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our 10x12 tiny house...  RSS feed

 
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My Mom needed to stay with us so my wife and I built a tiny house in the back yard for her to live in.



It's on a raised cinder block foundation so I could install the plumbing and electrical underneath including the water heater. We decided on an open two story loft design so that it wouldn't feel so crowded inside.



It's a complete stand alone living unit all of the amenities of a regular house. Shower, toilet, stove, sink, refrigerator, bath exhaust fan, bath ceiling heater, tile floor, LED lighting, thermostatic electric wall heater.





Second bed upstairs.



And a tiny 10 inch by 12 inch wood stove.



With a tiny chimney.



By doing as much as we could ourselves, we were able to complete the entire project for $16K.

My Mom lived with us for 8 years and now lives in a convalescent hospital close by so it's easy to visit with her afternoons after work. She's 97 and has dementia. Almost everyone we know is dealing with their aged parents. A tiny house was our approach to be able to have her with us as long as we were able. She's actually quite happy in the home because the workers are very kind and there's a lot of social interaction between the residents. I'm a volunteer worker there by tending their small garden, playing piano when they sing, and dealing Poker for the card players.













 
pollinator
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Wow Greg, you did a great job!  I have a friend who did something similar, although she was using an existing space, so it was slightly larger.

The only comment I'd make if anyone gets ideas from this, is to have a properly installed grab bar by the toilet (unless it's there out of sight) and in the shower if one isn't already there.

Personally, *anyone* doing renovations of bathrooms, should take this advice. Any illness, even as simple as a broken leg, can make an independent person be a little safer with grab rails in key locations. Similarly, even if you are healthy and fit, you may still have an elderly visitor at some point. Think safety first!
 
Greg Mamishian
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Yes, I agree, Jay. Those were early pictures. We added a grab bar at the toilet. My Mom is unusual in that her health issues are all mental rather than physical. She was a raw food vegetarian for much of her life and wasn't overweight or diabetic or high blood pressure. Even now in the convalescent home, she takes no prescription drugs and walks around freely with a walker. During the day whenever she's tired she just heads for the nearest bed to take a nap. When I come there I have to check the rooms to find where she is and it's always a different bed. Where is Momma is a running joke with all the workers! (lol)

However, this does have a downside. Everyone has two horses... body and mind. One of those horses will always outrun the other. In my Mom's situation, her body outran her mind. Nevertheless she's happy and doing quite well even with though her mind checked out, and will likely live to 100 or longer.
 
pollinator
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Jay Angler wrote:Wow Greg, you did a great job!  I have a friend who did something similar, although she was using an existing space, so it was slightly larger.

The only comment I'd make if anyone gets ideas from this, is to have a properly installed grab bar by the toilet (unless it's there out of sight) and in the shower if one isn't already there.

Personally, *anyone* doing renovations of bathrooms, should take this advice. Any illness, even as simple as a broken leg, can make an independent person be a little safer with grab rails in key locations. Similarly, even if you are healthy and fit, you may still have an elderly visitor at some point. Think safety first!



I agree, and might just add that a great place to start is when the house is being built. All my bathrooms have plywood behind the drywall so that I can put a screw anywhere I want, for grab bars, mirrors, or a toilet paper holder. Not having to try to work around studs, or fuss with odd fasteners is really nice.

 
Travis Johnson
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Greg Mamishian wrote:My Mom needed to stay with us so my wife and I built a tiny house in the back yard for her to live in.




Nice job Greg. You are obviously a man of great moral character and integrity. I would shake your hand if I could. Good on you.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Travis Johnson wrote:

Greg Mamishian wrote:My Mom needed to stay with us so my wife and I built a tiny house in the back yard for her to live in.




Nice job Greg. You are obviously a man of great moral character and integrity. I would shake your hand if I could. Good on you.



It wasn't moral character, Travis. It was survival instinct. She was driving us nuts living under the same roof so we had to build her another house to preserve our sanity! (lol)
 
Travis Johnson
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Greg Mamishian wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote:

Greg Mamishian wrote:My Mom needed to stay with us so my wife and I built a tiny house in the back yard for her to live in.




Nice job Greg. You are obviously a man of great moral character and integrity. I would shake your hand if I could. Good on you.



It wasn't moral character, Travis. It was survival instinct. She was driving us nuts living under the same roof so we had to build her another house to preserve our sanity! (lol)




Ha...I know what you mean! (Teasing and joking of course).

My father has Alzheimer's and while I know many of the things we do together while he still physically can will mean a lot to me 20 years from now, it can be frustrating. We sided my house, and that taxed my patience. And when he put a clutch in my tractor and did not mark the hydraulic hoses...all 7 of them, it left me with 490 possible combinations. I figured it out...finally.

I suspect you have a hard time accepting a compliment, and I understand that. My statement still stands. You did a fine job building, and I would still like to shake your hand and give your wife a hug (with permission). I value our seniors and those who do all they can for them. For each person, yeah that looks different, but your integrity showed. I would be amiss to not point it out publically.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Travis Johnson wrote:

Greg Mamishian wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote:

Greg Mamishian wrote:My Mom needed to stay with us so my wife and I built a tiny house in the back yard for her to live in.




Nice job Greg. You are obviously a man of great moral character and integrity. I would shake your hand if I could. Good on you.



It wasn't moral character, Travis. It was survival instinct. She was driving us nuts living under the same roof so we had to build her another house to preserve our sanity! (lol)




Ha...I know what you mean! (Teasing and joking of course).

My father has Alzheimer's and while I know many of the things we do together while he still physically can will mean a lot to me 20 years from now, it can be frustrating. We sided my house, and that taxed my patience. And when he put a clutch in my tractor and did not mark the hydraulic hoses...all 7 of them, it left me with 490 possible combinations. I figured it out...finally.



Oh, I've done that too, Travis...except with wires. I'm an electrician. (lol)

Yes. Build your good memories now by enjoying your loved ones while they're still here.

My go-to source of practical education whenever I get stumped on how to do something is youtube. It's amazing how there is always someone willing to take the time to patiently show you how to do things. Youtube is like a "hive mind"... a common storehouse of useful practical information.

I suspect you have a hard time accepting a compliment, and I understand that. My statement still stands. You did a fine job building, and I would still like to shake your hand and give your wife a hug (with permission). I value our seniors and those who do all they can for them. For each person, yeah that looks different, but your integrity showed. I would be amiss to not point it out publically.



I really appreciate your goodwill, Travis.

God Bless,
Greg
 
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Nice clean job and I know the effort involved as I am about 2/3 done with a 12X26 cabin.  I would like some more info about the wood stove if you would be so kind. I am going back and forth about the pros and cons of installing one here in Central Texas.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Sam Stephens wrote:Nice clean job and I know the effort involved as I am about 2/3 done with a 12X26 cabin.  I would like some more info about the wood stove if you would be so kind. I am going back and forth about the pros and cons of installing one here in Central Texas.



Certainly, Sam. I'll be happy to share what I know. The stove is called a Dwarf, and it's manufactured and marketed by

tinywoodstove.com



This is Nick who designed the Dwarfs. They come in three sizes.

Your 12X26 cabin is a larger than 10X12 even with a loft, so you might do with a larger size especially if you live in a colder climate. We live in Southern California so even the tiniest stove easily gets the place toasty warm.

I love wood stoves and have used them for home heating since 1971.
 
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Greg, you are a good son, and that is a fabulous tiny house that you built for your mom.  She was a lucky lady to continue to live in her own home in much of her declining years, but close to family to look out for her.

Are you continuing to use the tiny house?  It would make a great guest cottage.

Good points about grab bars.  I just installed one outside of the shower in one of our bathrooms, right before the hubby's health took a downturn, so the timing was fortuitous.  We should probably be installing grab bars around the toilets in both bathrooms too.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Thanks Marci... and yes the tiny house does get use. My wife is a painter so it's her art studio. This wasn't our first project as we also built our own semi-tiny 1,100 square foot house.

(a strange day with unusually dark clouds)

 
Sam Stephens
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Greg Mamishian wrote:

Sam Stephens wrote:Nice clean job and I know the effort involved as I am about 2/3 done with a 12X26 cabin.  I would like some more info about the wood stove if you would be so kind. I am going back and forth about the pros and cons of installing one here in Central Texas.



Certainly, Sam. I'll be happy to share what I know. The stove is called a Dwarf, and it's manufactured and marketed by

tinywoodstove.com



This is Nick who designed the Dwarfs. They come in three sizes.

Your 12X26 cabin is a larger than 10X12 even with a loft, so you might do with a larger size especially if you live in a colder climate. We live in Southern California so even the tiniest stove easily gets the place toasty warm.

I love wood stoves and have used them for home heating since 1971.



Thanks Greg,

I read through your earlier stove thread but could you help with these specifics?

I am at 312 sq ft. Was temperature regulation a problem as far as keeping a relatively stable temp throughout the burn?

With the small woodbox, how long will it hold a fire?  

I heated a 2600 sq ft house back in the day with a Fisher Papa Bear which I guess is some sorta antique now. It  was enough hassle loading it 2X per day and minimal fussing with it to maintain a comfortable temp.  

My guess is these micro stoves are temperamental due to size and small wood load.  I am just trying to verify that.

I do thank you for your info.
 
pollinator
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To add another question - this says it's "not for residential use."  Is that an illogical regulation/law/rules thing or is there a legitimate reason that this wouldn't actually work for a full-time (small) residence?

P.S. Greg, that house is awesome.  Thanks for sharing all the pics!
 
Greg Mamishian
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Sam Stephens wrote:
Thanks Greg,

I read through your earlier stove thread but could you help with these specifics?

I am at 312 sq ft. Was temperature regulation a problem as far as keeping a relatively stable temp throughout the burn?

With the small woodbox, how long will it hold a fire?  

I heated a 2600 sq ft house back in the day with a Fisher Papa Bear which I guess is some sorta antique now. It  was enough hassle loading it 2X per day and minimal fussing with it to maintain a comfortable temp.  

My guess is these micro stoves are temperamental due to size and small wood load.  I am just trying to verify that.

I do thank you for your info.



Totally relevant questions, Sam.

You're right. Stoves with tiny fireboxes do pose a challenge over larger stoves in that the mass of the fire is so small and has less "inertia", so they naturally take more tending. That's the reason for the temperature gauges on the stove top and flue. They are absolutely essential to operating a small stove to keep it in the "sweet spot".  The larger the stove, the more mass and more "inertia" so there's less tending. I totally love tending a stove so I don't mind this at all. When the stove is already at operating temperature, the fire needs wood at least every hour. So if you even think you might have a problem with this, I'd suggest getting a thermostatically controlled natural gas, propane, or electric heater. These automatic electronic appliances are made to set and forget.

The Dwarf 3k is the smallest full featured current technology wood stove made, and its three air controls offer superb control over a small fire.





Primary: this controls air coming from underneath the fire and up through the grate holes in the bottom of the firebox. You open this control fully when you are starting your fire as it greatly helps in getting the stove hot quickly. After the fire is up to speed the primary is closed off.

Secondary: this controls the combustion of wood gas above the flames which makes the stove completely smokeless in just a few minutes after startup. There is a cast iron manifold at the rear of the firebox which preheats the incoming air. After which the superheated air is injected above the wood from the upper middle of the firebox. The camera flash shadowed the orifaces so they're not visible. This control usually remains open all the time except if the stove becomes overfired and you need to get the temp down quickly.

Tertiary: this controls the air coming in from from the top of the door and washing down over the door glass to help keep it clean. The air moves downward to the base of the fire to keep it fed.

The three air inputs all work together to create a circular flow in the firebox to insure efficient combustion of the wood gas...

1. along the bottom to the rear
2. up the rear to the top
3. along the top to the front
4. down the front to the bottom.

Your car uses the same circular flow (swirl combustion) principle in the cylinders for more efficient fuel ignition and burning.

The exit of the firebox is at the top front. There the hot air takes a 180 degree turn and runs to the rear of the stove between the roof of the firebox and the surface of the stove. This is where a lot of the heat gets released from the stove.  

 
Sam Stephens
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Greg Mamishian wrote:

Sam Stephens wrote:
Thanks Greg,

I read through your earlier stove thread but could you help with these specifics?

I am at 312 sq ft. Was temperature regulation a problem as far as keeping a relatively stable temp throughout the burn?

With the small woodbox, how long will it hold a fire?  

I heated a 2600 sq ft house back in the day with a Fisher Papa Bear which I guess is some sorta antique now. It  was enough hassle loading it 2X per day and minimal fussing with it to maintain a comfortable temp.  

My guess is these micro stoves are temperamental due to size and small wood load.  I am just trying to verify that.

I do thank you for your info.



Totally relevant questions, Sam.

You're right. Stoves with tiny fireboxes do pose a challenge over larger stoves in that the mass of the fire is so small and has less "inertia", so they naturally take more tending. That's the reason for the temperature gauges on the stove top and flue. They are absolutely essential to operating a small stove to keep it in the "sweet spot".  The larger the stove, the more mass and more "inertia" so there's less tending. I totally love tending a stove so I don't mind this at all. When the stove is already at operating temperature, the fire needs wood at least every hour. So if you even think you might have a problem with this, I'd suggest getting a thermostatically controlled natural gas, propane, or electric heater. These automatic electronic appliances are made to set and forget.

The Dwarf 3k is the smallest full featured current technology wood stove made, and its three air controls offer superb control over a small fire.





Primary: this controls air coming from underneath the fire and up through the grate holes in the bottom of the firebox. You open this control fully when you are starting your fire as it greatly helps in getting the stove hot quickly. After the fire is up to speed the primary is closed off.

Secondary: this controls the combustion of wood gas above the flames which makes the stove completely smokeless in just a few minutes after startup. There is a cast iron manifold at the rear of the firebox which preheats the incoming air. After which the superheated air is injected above the wood from the upper middle of the firebox. The camera flash shadowed the orifaces so they're not visible. This control usually remains open all the time except if the stove becomes overfired and you need to get the temp down quickly.

Tertiary: this controls the air coming in from from the top of the door and washing down over the door glass to help keep it clean. The air moves downward to the base of the fire to keep it fed.

The three air inputs all work together to create a circular flow in the firebox to insure efficient combustion of the wood gas...

1. along the bottom to the rear
2. up the rear to the top
3. along the top to the front
4. down the front to the bottom.

Your car uses the same circular flow (swirl combustion) principle in the cylinders for more efficient fuel ignition and burning.

The exit of the firebox is at the top front. There the hot air takes a 180 degree turn and runs to the rear of the stove between the roof of the firebox and the surface of the stove. This is where a lot of the heat gets released from the stove.  



Thank you for the time you spent crafting such a detailed reply.  You were on the same page as me and answered my questions succinctly.

Gracias!
 
Greg Mamishian
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Sam Stephens wrote:Thank you for the time you spent crafting such a detailed reply.  You were on the same page as me and answered my questions succinctly.

Gracias!



It's my pleasure, Sam.

Our relation to fire is primal and reaches deep into our past even before the beginnings of civilization.
There is absolutely nothing to compare to depth and texture of feeling the still quiet radiant warmth of a wood stove.
 
Greg Mamishian
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Sonja Draven wrote:To add another question - this says it's "not for residential use."  Is that an illogical regulation/law/rules thing or is there a legitimate reason that this wouldn't actually work for a full-time (small) residence?

P.S. Greg, that house is awesome.  Thanks for sharing all the pics!



My pleasure, Sonja.

That's just a legal disclaimer. That tiny stove is extremely safe and efficient and is better designed than some larger stoves which are "for residential use".

I have a six foot ladder which has a label on it warning me not to stand any higher than 3 feet 11 inches. Ths purpose of these warnings is to discharge liability in a lawsuit prone society. It legally shifts the assumed risk onto the user which is fine by me because I've been working on ladders for 40 years.
 
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