tiny house tours

TH 101 in D.C. Recap

TH 101 Workshop DCIt was such fun to team up with the other members of the Tiny House Collaborative to the TH 101 Workshop in D.C. this past weekend for tiny house curious folks! Vina and I arrived in D.C. on Thursday evening and since this is the first time we've pooled our materials to teach a workshop together as the Collaborative, we spent most of Friday ensuring that our curriculum was ready to roll.

Saturday we greeted our participants (most of whom arrived early because they were so eager to get started!) and got started with our sessions. We talked about our inspirations, the benefits of going tiny, big considerations, and regulatory issues as well as exploring design considerations and project planning. On Saturday evening we had a happy hour so people could ask additional questions and share more about their specific situations.

Yesterday we started out with tours of two tiny houses: Lee's Tiny House and Jay's Tiny House. (If you want to see them for yourself, be sure to attend the Tiny House Tours on April 17th!) I'd never visited either tiny house before even though I've known Lee and Jay for a while now. Jay and his sweetie came to visit me and The Lucky Penny in Portland last year so it was great to see them again and swap tiny house tours. I love how creative Lee was with use of her space, including multi-functional furniture, a tuck-away ladder, and pops of color that bring her house to life. Jay's house is a masterpiece of intentionality, with a fabulous map of places he's been, a spot for his bike, a minimalist wardrobe, and even room for a power tool or two! I loved his plastered walls and picked his brain about them. I'm more eager than ever to give plaster a try in T42!

Back at the Thurgood Marshall Center, we recapped our tour topics: trailers, building the box, systems, and building science basics. Then we played with tiny house design and had another round of Q & A before bidding everyone farewell amidst lots of hugs and handshakes. We're honored to have been part of the tiny house journey for this great group of people and we look forward to seeing what they do over the next couple years!

If you'd like to join us for our next Tiny House 101 Workshop in Portland, OR, please mark your calendar for the weekend of July 2-3 and stay tuned. Registration will open soon!

Day 3 of Tiny House Design-Build: Tiny Tours

Today’s guest post brought to you by Cheryl Gant, a student in this summer’s Tiny House Design-Build class at Yestermorrow. Thanks, Cheryl!

2014-07-23 10.21.07Today we went on a tour of tiny/small homes in nearby Montpelier, Plainfield & Cabot, Vermont.

The first home was 500 square feet and will be on the new show about tiny homes in late August. You can watch episodes of Tiny House Nation that have already aired on the FYI website. The owner got a loan for $50,000 and $40,000 worth of materials were donated through the show. This is a well-designed high-end home with high ceilings, beautiful kitchen with concrete counter-tops, recessed lights & expensive appliances. The wall between the master bedroom & the one for his 22 year old daughter moves against the back wall to completely open up the space. Beautiful tile shower and swanky concrete bathroom sink are among the many elements that make this a very nice tiny home. The couple building it have decided not to move into it because they have all their kids back at home. We asked how it was permitted but he wasn't sure but maybe as a ADU (Accessory Dwelling Unit.)

2014-07-23 11.21.52On to the 2nd house which was up high with a view of the river. It had been designed by a Yestermorrow Semester Program. The angles were interesting and the mix of rusted steel exterior and other materials was interesting. The bottom part was a wood workshop (400 sq ft.) & upstairs was the living space (600 sq ft.). Again high ceilings made the space feel bigger. Not sure about the shower door entry on the hallway, but otherwise the kitchen, dining room, and den space were all very comfortable. The high R value of the sprayed in cellulose insulation made it very energy efficient.

2014-07-23 13.40.42Onward now to a tiny house on a trailer bed built by a Yestermorrow class 2 years ago. By built I mean started by a class then the owners have to do the rest of the work themselves and buy the materials. Two years later they were done and living in it and soon to join them will be their new baby. The space was very functional but their loft ladder took up a chunk of space and the temporary bed covered a lot of floor. The owners gave everyone lots of good information about simplifying the electrical system and hiring a professional mover to move your home to a new site.

2014-07-23 15.25.12The last two homes were on the same property and both were used as detached bedrooms while using the kitchen and bathroom in the main house. The first had a bath tub underneath the floor, very cool! Lots of windows and a curved roof, a drafting table and bookshelf.

The next house, well as we headed towards it we had a sudden down pour and we all were drenched by the time we got to it. We lingered for a while inside, admired the plexiglass sunroof that barely leaked and decided that since the rain showed no sign of slowing down we'd better leave so we hopped out and headed for our two cars. The van had most of the class and I was in our instructor Paul's car with Julie and Ashley Layne. Julie was craving ice cream so when we got back to Montpelier Paul dropped her and A.L. out and we drove around the block till they came out with their ice cream. Pretty good day at Yestermorrow!