You're Going To Build A What?

The saga of J building his tiny off-grid house

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Really, really overdue update

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Well it’s been quite a while since my last post here, and this will be the last for a while to come. The short update is that this little plan is no more. Life became busy, I moved in with my girlfriend and found myself in near full-time work in the film industry.

I sold the windows, chimney, batteries and most other parts of the tiny house and scrapped the lumber to various places that it could be used.

I hope to return to build a tiny house one day but it’s a way off in the future, as there are some other plans afoot to take the two of us to the countryside in search of a less hectic life together.

I’ve been asked here and there what advice I might give to anyone else considering building something similar and it would be simply this: buy a decent trailer and make sure it’s good before you start anything else. I could have bought a custom trailer, modified by the manufacturer with the extras that would make the build much easier for about £2500, it would have been money well spent. I could scrimp and delay putting some nice things inside but at least the house would have been built in a fraction of the time, been solidly roadworthy and I might be living in it now.

Life has turned out differently for me, I’ve become wonderfully entangled with my new girlfriend and we forging a future together. I do still follow the world of tiny houses with great interest and when I see a particularly well done example I get a pang of wonder about how mine might turn out. I’ve still not seen one built the way I had mine designed and perhaps that’s enough incentive to one day make mine a reality.

Thanks for following along with my journey.

Peace, out.

Written by justin

October 20th, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Overdue update.

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My apologies for being absent on here for a while. Life, as it has a habit of doing, has become rather busy. Last thing I posted was that it was going to cost an excessive amount to upgrade the trailer so i was requesting prices from a number of firms to get a trailer built to my specifications. The bids came it from £2000 – £3000 and I’ll be going with one of the lower options when I have the money to do so.

In the meantime I managed to pick up some part time work that very rapidly seems to have become full time for the next few months. I’m working long hours which has left me virtually no time to even think about the tiny house, let alone update the blog. However, I’m clearing off some debt, which is a big weight off my mind but means that it’ll be spring before I’m likely to have any time to get back to working on the house.

I’ve also been rather unlucky with having the really bad weather arrive at exactly the point where I couldn’t spend any time at the house. This had lead to a significant portion of the woodwork becoming waterlogged. I’ve had to take all the framing apart, separate out what’s good and get that stored away. most of the OSB sheeting that was stacked under tarps has soaked water in from the edges and seems to be unusable now. I think a good half of the timber i bought is now trashed. on top of that I need to get the old trailer moved off site for the winter and, with no time to get it to a point where it is towable (which would require significant welding) I’m looking at just going in and cutting it into pieces and taking it to the scrap yard.

The end result of all of this is that most of the year’s work is scrapped, along with about £1000 in costs for the trailer, steel and timber. After being quite depressed about this for a while, I’ve decided that the only thing I can do is chalk it up to experience and remember that I’ve learned a great deal along the way from it. I will start again in the spring with a custom trailer which will be designed explicitly for the house and allow me to move straight into the build phase knowing my foundation is solid.

I’ve learned enough this year to prove to myself that I’m capable of building my tiny house, that my basic plan is viable and the rest of the things I collected to go into it are still tucked away safely in store and will come out as and when needed. The new house will be a little bigger, as I can spec the trailer the way I want and will be 18 x 7.5 feet when finished. I will also have a 3 foot fold down deck outside which means I will be able to use the full 18′ as interior space, significantly increasing my living area. The basic layout will be unchanged but allow me a bit more storage space and living room while still being a size that can be reasonably towed by something like a 4wd or a van.

I’ll be keeping an eye out for useful bits and pieces for the house but I’m unlikely to be updating much over the next few months, though I’ll be keeping an eye on my tiny house friends and staying in touch. Life is ultimately a journey which has ups and downs, I’ve had both this year and it’ll be interesting to see what the next year brings.

Peace, out.

Written by justin

December 1st, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Beautiful, tiny ecohomes

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I don’t normally put things in this blog that don’t relate directly to building my house, but as I’ve mentioned one of these before, I thought I’d include this great little show of how you can build small and green for very little money.

Written by justin

September 9th, 2009 at 12:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Quick update.

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I’ve been playing with some notification options and you can now subscribe to updates of this blog via RSS, Twitter and email by clicking on the links in the sidebar or entering your address in the email subscription box. I’m as paranoid as anyone about online privacy and I promise not to give away, sell or otherwise disseminate your address to anyone.

J.

Written by justin

May 18th, 2009 at 11:14 am

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Nice article from NBC on small houses

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Dee Williams is featured along with some others doing the small house thing that you can view here.

Written by justin

April 29th, 2009 at 7:45 am

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