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Any tiny house (or smaller-than-usual-homes) 'Novans here?


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Any tiny house (or smaller-than-usual-homes) 'Novans here?
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-18, 19:00

Tell me all about it...dimensions, design, on wheels or stationary, alone or partner/family?

Last edited by pscates2.0 : 2020-11-19 at 04:48.
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-19, 12:51

My wife an I lived in a 900 sq ft condo for 12 years. I have a lot of thoughts about tight spaces and efficient packaging. In renovating the condo I progressed through Ikea Hacking solutions to custom building pieces to solve storage, closet and flow issues. I got a little too good at it engineering solutions, and not so good at behavioural ones. I never quite got good enough at purging stuff out. By the time we moved I had enough stuff in the three closets and the storage locker to fill a single bay garage full, and that included none of our furniture!

In a way we were lucky, because we had a corner unit and extra windows and high ceilings helped the space feel roomier. The single bath was too small for my liking, I'd have given up the utility closet for more space or to create a split 1+1/2 bath design. But doing such a reno was too complicated, though I'd have done it if I planned to retire there.

Here's what I can tell you about laying out a room based on common furniture sizes.

Spacious rooms start at 12 ft wide. This width lets you put sofas and tables into a room in either north-south or east-west orientations and still have flow around them, assuming medium sized 7ft long sofas and 7ft long tables. (Also, comfortable versions of each will tend to be about 40" deep and both table and seat-back height will be around 30") However, this 12' width is by no means a capacious dimension, and many rooms, even in larger (but older houses) are not this wide. They can still be large and roomy though, if the other dimension is at least that large (and some); they simply lock you into particular furniture orientations for larger size pieces. Truly spacious rooms start at about 15' wide on the short side. These give a lot of freedom for furniture placement and flow

10ft wide rooms can be either spacious or intimate depending on the long dimension and furniture choices, with a little more care towards arrangement. With anything between 10 and 15 ft a good flow and large pieces can be accommodated, you just lose degrees of freedom as the room gets narrower.

8ft wide rooms are intimate, you have to edit a lot more, and customize to get a good functional fit.

I bring this up because a lot of tiny homes use a single wide trailer platform as a starting point, or a shipping container, and those are 8ft wide on the external. (they're going to be 7'4" internally with standard 2x4 dimensional framing)

If I were building a permanent, as opposed to a movable, tiny house, I wouldn't necessarily default to the long narrow (single wide) dimension. I'd think a little bit about what can be done with square, wider rectangles, or trapezoidal layouts while still staying small...

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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-19, 16:17

Yep, already there. The long, linear stuff doesn't make much sense on a stationary house. I've got tons of drawings/ideas (layout, storage, etc.) from all my years of existing in sub-500 sq. ft. spaces.

My current place is 450 sq. ft. and it feels huge/wasted to me, if that gives you any indication about how I'm wired, and see things.

I wouldn't know what to do with myself in 900 sq. ft.!
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-11-19, 16:27

First, I hate that you always edit your posts and remove the meat of it.

Second, I don't live in a tiny house but if I were in your situation I'd go full time RV instead. It is like a tiny house but you can easily go anywhere. You gain true mobility. Then managing the "property" is more standard rather than faddish.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-11-19, 16:30

I could do it if I were by myself. But a full summer of camping every other week in our new trailer has taught me one very important lesson:

No way in hell I'm sharing less than 1500sf with two women.

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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-19, 17:23

I think a few of us here are about the same age. I'm in my early 40's now, but the mid 40's are right around the corner. Something I thought about when renovating our current place was, how's this gonna work if we're lucky enough to grow really old here? I went through renovating a really big house for my parents because my dad could no longer climb stairs. Luckily their house is huge, so it was simply a matter of converting an unused living room into a bedroom and building a big (wheelchair accessible) bathroom on the main floor. Cost us about $450 in doors, and about $6000 in bathroom finishes and reno work, and a bunch of sweat equity. This was a good enough solution, compared to installing a lift (those guys are criminals) or the financial and emotional cost of moving them. They liked their neighborhood, it's close to everyone we know. The downside is that they effectively turned their huge house into a bungalow, and no one ever went up or down the stairs. It's fine because they have us (adult children) nearby (same neighborhood) to fetch out the seasonal items, and look after the winterizing and HVAC bits, but I don't know if I'd like having areas of my house I couldn't get to if I was on my own. Hopefully that's all too far off to worry about, but maybe because it was all so intense while it was happening, it was really in my head every time we went to see a property, and I left one room that could become a main floor bedroom and large bath when we created an otherwise open concept main floor.

Some things I'd do in another build: Large bathroom, fully lined with floor drain. Essentially making the whole thing one large walk-in shower just in case I ever have to haul my dirty ass in there using a walker or worse. Large doorways/passageways - same reason. Bungalow, because... well see parents experience above. Kitchen against one wall and some thought to the table/island in case work surfaces of various heights are required. Two car garage with direct access to interior - no need to trudge over ice/snow, or other trip and fall hazards. Basically something I could live in until I'm 110, with the right amount of Cialis

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kscherer
The Ban Hammer
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Boyzeee
 
2020-11-19, 18:05

Yeah, I won't invest in anything that is not fully functional on a single floor. A basement would be nice, but for storage and a bar, not for living in. Oldness comes on quickly.

Got to be thinking about that as you get ancient there, Paul. Don't want to be 70 and climbing up into a loft bed. Keep it single-level.

And I second the RV thing. You can get those things set up and ready to go, and go live in an RV park somewhere with all the other old coots looking to downsize.

- AppleNova is the best Mac-users forum on the internet. We are smart, educated, capable, and helpful. We are also loaded with smart-alecks! :)
- Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Mat 5:9)
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-19, 19:51

Not interested in the RV/travel thing. Any traveling I do will be as always, via small/efficient car, etc. Not looking to drag a place around and go through all that. Not looking to commune with others, either. Not interested in being part of an RV/retirement park gang.

As for lofts or any sort of upper/elevated areas, anything I've designed has been stair-based (both code-compliant and not-so)...I don't trust myself on a ladder now, let alone 15-20 years from now.

I'm really not into the "tiny house" thing as it's been defined/portrayed (the narrow, on-wheels thing with cramped ceilings, etc. I'm more into just small, but open, houses...no ladders, no crouching, etc. I don't want 200 sq. ft on wheels., but I don't want/need 1,000+ cookie-cutter sq. ft. in a subdivision either.
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-20, 13:25

There's something to be said for subdivisions. They come with a lot of conveniences, and eventually the good ones turn into nice neighbourhoods. I don't know your area. I know my home province pretty well, from the metropolitan areas around lake Ontario, up the St Lawrence corridor to Quebec, or south east to north shore of Lake Erie, up to the Ottawa Valley and the near north. Regrettably I have not explored the true north, but there are still enough affordable parcels in the lands between that I have seriously entertained building a retreat somewhere near a waterway/woods, between rural and wild space.

I think I've come up with a few options that could get a smallish cottage built under $50,000. I have three design ideas more than superficially plotted that could get it done.

Cheapest may be to span a roof section over two parallel or splayed 40' or 53' high cube shipping containers, giving between 600 and 1200 sqft depending on budget and design, possibly with a bit of an atrium over a portion of the span. Next option involves using a Quonset hut into a bit of a Gothic peak, sort of a different take on an A-frame. And lastly an actual A frame using a hybrid of timber frame and stick built construction techniques, maybe even gluelams or some sort of LVL/PSL arrangements. This doesn't need to be too expensive if kept relatively modest/focused.

I'll post a few the inspirations I found as I researched and evolved my ideas.

Could use a gothic quonset to achieve something like this

Ayfraym does the A-Frame in a beautiful, if expensive, kit home concept, here. I can't replicate what they do on a shoe string budget, but, I can make a pretty cool cabin using the same ideas for a lot less.

Finally, the shipping container ideas here, of which there are many from mild to wild: Just one example.

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Last edited by Matsu : 2020-11-20 at 14:39.
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Matsu
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2020-11-20, 15:21

Notwithstanding my previous posts about room dimensions, I could probably make a trailer work as a getaway, but it needs to have a bit of vintage airstream flair and so far, anything I can find seems too expensive...

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_Ω_
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Send a message via AIM to _Ω_  
2020-11-20, 21:17

No help here, just bought a house which is 280sq meters (over 3000sq ft)
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