John Black

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since Nov 21, 2015
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Recent posts by John Black

Kevin EarthSoul wrote:I did a search of this forum, and found that no one has raised the issue of the psychological need for space. Granted, this is variable somewhat by culture. I grew up in American suburbia, having my own room-- just a bedroom-- of around 120 sq.ft.

To cram into that same kind of space: bedroom, living room, kitchen, and bath... it seems inconceivable to me.

I did some Googling on this, and found that tiny houses seem to be popular among the under 30 crowd, but that those over 40ish tend to not appreciate having to reconfigure their space several times per day.

I just simply could not imagine it would be psychologically healthy to live in a 100 sq.ft. tiny house through the Midwest winter.

How much space is really enough? How much is too much?

My wife and I are planning an ecovillage. We utterly reject the need for single-family housing, where a housing unit is designed around a kitchen. Private space only needs to include sleeping and study space, and need not be larger than a typical room at a hotel. It need not even include a private bathroom.

We're looking at 230-300 sq.ft. per 2 person occupancy units.

Public areas include toileting areas shared by 2-3 occupancy units, and kitchen, laundry, showers, and living areas shared by 4-6 occupancy units. These 4-6 occupancy units would be built efficiently, sharing common walls, rather than individual free-standing units, also allowing for comfortable movement between private and public areas without having to dress for outside weather.



As a few people have pointed out the great thing about having land and a tiny home is the ability to erect other structures on your property. Having an extremely large workshop is incredibly cheap to build in comparison to a house. Putting a couch in it is also cheap. The only thing a tiny house provides is a place to easily heat and cool. Outdoor showers, outdoor barbecue pit, outdoor seating, outdoor patio, and lots of open space. This is all very cheap to construct. However, things like property tax inside a city and renting/purchasing property is expensive. Therefore having a tiny dwelling gives you more financial freedom. Not to mention what I've wanted to construct is a very large outdoor building with gutters attached to it for rain collection. Depending on the size of your roof you could easily collect 200-500 gallons of water per inch of rain at 60% efficiency.
5 years ago

Stephen Dobek wrote:Hi everyone,

I'm currently shopping for farmland and I think I'd like to live in a yurt once I find the right place. If it was good enough for the Mongolians while they conquered most of the known world then it must be good enough for me and my modest ambitions. I've done a good bit of research on my own but I'm just curious if anyone out there has any advice or can speak to the real cost of these things. Prices quoted on websites are just for the shell of the building and I'm interested in having some creature comforts like a private bedroom, running water and electric. Barely on the grid living I guess. I've been looking at the larger yurts from Pacific and Rainier, 30' or 33' diameter. Also, sorry if this doesn't belong in this category, this is the first time I've posted on the building forum.

Thanks!



The reason Mongolians lived in Yurts is the same as why Native Americans lived in tents, they were mostly nomadic. Are you nomadic? Also getting running water and electric into a yurt sounds like a nightmare. I am unfamiliar with the cost of yurts but my suggestion would be to build a more permanent structure for your farmland.
5 years ago
A few concerns and one that has already been mentioned. Why didn't you level the sonotube concrete footings? Seems odd that you would level afterwards with pieces of wood. Which brings me to my next concern, wood sitting directly on concrete. This is a huge concern for rot. Next why didn't you embed metal anchors into the top of the concrete footings? Trying to anchor the wood into the concrete after the fact can cause problems. Also looking at your most recent photographs you haven't anchored to the concrete which is a big no-no. Ah, and I almost forgot, you mentioned the floor is only 2-3 inches from the ground in a few spots, or was that 2-3 feet? Having the wood that close to the ground is also a concern for rot. I believe the minimum code is 6" from the bottom of a suspended timber floor construction.
5 years ago