Home Sweet (Tiny) Home

What changes can we make to our lives to deal with the economic and energy crises ahead? Have you already started making preparations? Got tips to share?

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JohnB
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Home Sweet (Tiny) Home

Post by JohnB »

I did some housework yesterday, so decided I ought to take some photos of my new home, while it's tidy!

It's 18ft long and on average around 12ft wide (it tapers at one end, and there's under stairs storage. It's the downstairs of the smaller of the two houses that make up my place. Stone walls on three sides, and plasterboard on the other. Almost all the main materials were found on site. The furniture is made mainly from old floorboards, with other timber that was here. The comfy chair cushions and kitchen sink are from a caravan that was being broken locally. I bought loads of screws, and the wood panelling was bought new for another job I didn't need to do in the end.

It's not finished yet, and will evolve as I find problems, and get new ideas, but it's working pretty well so far.

Lounge area and office. Low beamed ceilings are great for storage!
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Office area and comfy chair next to kitchen. There's storage under the hinged seat base. Try to ignore the temporary curtains!
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The sofa, again with hinged base and storage under. The door was found in a shed, and I think was originally in this house.
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Kitchen area. The worktop and tiles were found in a shed, and the mirror came from my neighbour. Note the hi-tech plumbing! The curtain wasn't mis-measured, it came from a shelf unit I built in my van!
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The bookshelves are the back of the sofa, and the bottom shelves are wider to follow the sloping seat back. They don't go all the way to the end wall as there's a ramp there for Charlie to get onto the sofa, as he can't jump up any more. The filing cabinet goes under the stairs. The box bed on the left is less finished than the rest of the place.
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Looking the other way towards the kitchen, and the other temporary curtain.
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It's difficult to photograph the box bed. The bed base is a sheet of 18mm OSB that was in this room, supported by chipboard from old wardrobes. Lots of storage underneath. There will be curtains across the opening. There's an inch or two of insulation in the sides (mostly removed from my trailer when I stopped travelling). It will have DVD viewing facilities, and is an ideal reading room, so when it's cold it will reduce the need for heating.
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View from inside the box bed, showing bookshelves and kitchen.
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"Now you've cleared up all the hair, can I start spreading it again?"
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There's no loo yet. That will be just outside the door (but inside the building).

Living is a small space is great, and far more sustainable than the huge places most people live in!
John

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Aurora
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Re: Home Sweet (Tiny) Home

Post by Aurora »

JohnB wrote:Living is a small space is great, and far more sustainable than the huge places most people live in!
:D I admire you JB.

Over the years I've surrounded myself with more junk than I care to think about or openly discuss on our forum. :oops:

When we moved to Llareggub a few years ago, we took the opportunity to have a massive purge.

The trouble is, I can see some of our old habits returning. :roll:
Last edited by Aurora on Fri May 18, 2012 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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biffvernon
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Post by biffvernon »

But where does one hold the ball?
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JohnB
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Re: Home Sweet (Tiny) Home

Post by JohnB »

Aurora wrote:Over the years I've surrounded myself with more junk than I care to think about or openly discuss on our forum. :oops:
I've still got a fair amount of stuff, but all the domestic things should fit in it. I'm hoping the workshop I'm planning will be big enough! Some stuff is shared with others living on the site.
John

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JohnB
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Post by JohnB »

biffvernon wrote:But where does one hold the ball?
That's a rather personal question :wink:. I'm 6'2" and the ceiling is 6'6", so dancing is risky anyway. I was hoping to prove I can seat 10 people last night, but the meeting wasn't very well attended.
John

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Post by vtsnowedin »

You mention a ramp for Charlie but it dose not show.it speaks well of you that you have made provision for his comfort.
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adam2
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Post by adam2 »

The saving of space, and therefore also of embodied energy and heating fuel is most comendable.
BUT, such compact arrangements do have the drawback of insufficient space for doomer stocks.
Where does the 2,000 A/H battery bank go ? and the 1,000 liter water tank, and the 10 cases of tinned food, 100 kilos of dried food, the reserve of candles, the dozen spare blankets and so on.

It may be of course that the arrangements pictured are purely living space with storage elswhere.

Oh, BTW in one picture there appear to be several extension leads or other electric cables that pass under a draught excluder/rolled up blanket.
I hope that these are only very lightly loaded.
The passing of significant current through a cable that is coiled up, or covered with insulating material is a serious fire risk.
A rough guide is that the current should not exceed 20% of the normal rating in such circumstances, or only 2 amps on 1.0mm flex.

The building of a ramp for the dog is an excellent idea, I have seen many older dogs struggling to jump up to a sofa etc. This must cause pain or distress to the animal, and provision of a ramp is the caring thing to do.
"Installers and owners of emergency diesels must assume that they will have to run for a week or more"
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nexus
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Post by nexus »

Looks great John, thoughtfully designed and good use of recycled materials.
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Frederick Douglass
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JohnB
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Post by JohnB »

vtsnowedin wrote:You mention a ramp for Charlie but it dose not show.it speaks well of you that you have made provision for his comfort.
It's in my interest too, as it saves me having to lift up his back end!

I'll be extending the bookshelves over it, as they aren't big enough!
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He was very reluctant to co-operate. He gets on the sofa when he wants, not when I want him to!
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John

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JohnB
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Post by JohnB »

adam2 wrote:BUT, such compact arrangements do have the drawback of insufficient space for doomer stocks.
Where does the 2,000 A/H battery bank go ? and the 1,000 liter water tank, and the 10 cases of tinned food, 100 kilos of dried food, the reserve of candles, the dozen spare blankets and so on.

It may be of course that the arrangements pictured are purely living space with storage elswhere.
Living space with planning permission is a limited resource. I haven't planned for doomer stocks yet, but it could go in the lofts, or in outbuildings. Again with batteries, they need to go outside the house, but I haven't made plans for them yet. The 1,000 litre IBCs etc are part of the plan I'm working on for outside.

The box bed is part of reducing the need for blankets, as it should provide a nice cosy space.
adam2 wrote:Oh, BTW in one picture there appear to be several extension leads or other electric cables that pass under a draught excluder/rolled up blanket.
There are currently lots of extension leads, as there's no mains wiring in the house! The lead goes under the door, where the surplus is uncoiled. There's a mains supply, but it's not connected yet. I need to get upstairs sorted before getting the wiring done.
John

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JohnB
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Post by JohnB »

Here's the original plan, that I've more or less stuck to. No dining table yet, and there's a comfy chair where it is on the plan. The kitchen has changed a bit too. Dimensions in inches because that's what my brain understands, and haven't worked out exactly as planned.
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John

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Post by RevdTess »

I was wondering when you'd put something in that space! It looks fabulous. Almost boat/van-like space usage. Did you have to do anything with that cracked lintel over the entrance?
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JohnB
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Post by JohnB »

Thanks :). It's what living in a van for so long does to you!

The lintel was replaced ages ago, but the vertical crack in the wall above it is still a mystery. I'll be investigating it soon!
John

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Post by mobbsey »

A case of great minds....
http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/makin ... -and-green

Real Homes: Small, Frugal, and Green

With 5 million houses in foreclosure, we are rediscovering that living sustainably includes living affordably.

Doug Pibel, Yes!, 23rd May 2012


The real estate bubble that kicked off the 21st century taught us some things that a home isn’t. It isn’t a way to get rich quick. It isn’t a cash machine. It isn’t a speculative investment that’s guaranteed never to lose value.

This is not to make light of the pain of people who have suffered from the real-estate-fueled financial meltdown. It wasn’t the buyers who made those claims about residential real estate—it was the people who were making the loans. Say what you may about undeserving people getting loans they shouldn’t have gotten, but remember one thing: not one of the borrowers ever approved a loan. That was done by the people who made money writing the loans.

{SNIP}

There’s a simple way to make a huge difference right away in both the environmental and financial impacts of housing. Unfortunately, in light of the “bigger is better” story that has become firmly entrenched in the American belief system, the simple solution is not the easy one. Plainly stated, it’s this: Small is beautiful.

It’s not a deep concept. Smaller houses cost less to build. It takes less furniture to fill them. They cost less to heat and cool. For existing homes, you can come close to cutting the environmental footprint in half just by doubling the number of people living in the space. Jason McLennan, who developed the Living Building Challenge, proposes that, regardless of “green” features, large houses simply cannot be environmentally sound. He says that, on average, 450 square feet per person is as big as we should go-—and smaller is better.

{SNIP}
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JohnB
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Post by JohnB »

mobbsey wrote:A case of great minds....
A lot of the inspiration has come from the US tiny house movement, although a lot of US tiny houses are built on trailers to get round their building codes.

I've got what was two houses, that in total had 9 or 10 inhabitants in 1891, and that was without the 1960s extension. Recent residents have tried to convert it to one house for a couple of people. I think it could be made into five tiny homes, but I'm not sure the planners would agree. It has great potential for reducing the cost of ownership and running a comfortable home, especially where some resources are shared.
John

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