“Love is our main inspiration”

Our living room floor is officially covered in books.  Currently the subjects of said books include (but are not limited to) small house design and furnishing, basic carpentry, finish carpentry, green building, table saw basics, food preservation, permaculture design, and good old general home building.  It is also important to note that Nikki and I spend our evenings together (with the dogs) watching “Bob Vila-esq” videos regarding specific aspects of home building (window installation, plumbing a sink, composting toilets, etc.) and tiny house design.  As we watch, Nikki sits with a book in her lap telling me about different building basics to consider (R-Value, plywood types, siding options, etc.).  It is a somewhat of a home building stimulation overload, and I love it!  We’ve been having so much fun connecting with other people’s blogs and watching their progress as they surmount many of the hurdles we will soon face.  We gather a few notes from our videos (specific brands, subtleties, what to avoid, etc.), and then we each sit at our respective computers and search craigslist for materials.  “I found a few rolls of window flashing for $24” Nikki says from the next room.  “But we’ll want to make sure to get all our products from the same manufacturer”.  She is such a seriously cool woman, and I am continually impressed with the tenacity the she brings to any and all projects we take on.  We look for windows, doors, flatbed trailers, and then cruise for just about anything useful in the “free” section.

That is what a big portion of this project is about for us.  How can we not only make a great place for our family to live, but how can we do it with as many reused and repurposed materials as possible?  How can we turn our culture’s excess and waste in to something beautiful and sustainable?

Short answer: We’re figuring it out, trust us.

There hasn’t been a whole lot of physical progress toward our goal thus far.  However, I feel like we are making strides whenever we sit down to learn, designing, and dreaming of what we want to see for our tiny home.

We have decided to add a few wish items that correspond with each blog post. I may make a running wish list and project time frame once I figure out how to do so.  Please let us know if you, or anyone you know has access to any of the items listed.  We would love to talk with you more about how we can purchase/barter for them.

Wish List:

  • Flatbed Trailer (8’X16′ or 8’X20′)
  • Windows (double hung, vinyl/wood, various sizes)
  • Exterior Door (no larger than 36″ wide, wood, etc.)
  • Inspirations/Ideas (please let us know if you have any thoughts or ideas!)
  • Building plans (we are calling on any contractor within ear/eye shot to help us with our design.  Home-cooked meals and/or produce shares, and/or dog sitting, and/or yard maintenance included)
  • A place to build (we will need a spacious, safe, and preferably covered area to complete our project)

I would also like to take a moment to personally thank anyone who has taken any time to read anything that I have written in these pages.  It has been a wonderful personal exercise for me, helping me to organize my thoughts, and make social commitments to completing the project.  It has also been inspiring to know that people are interested and excited about what we are doing.  Please keep the comments coming.  We are also looking to grow our “online community” so please feel free to share this link with anyone you think may be interested.  It’s gonna take a village to raise this tiny home.

Thank you for your inspiration!



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8 Responses to Inspirations

  1. Annie says:

    Gosh Mitchell,
    Too bad I’m so far away I have the property on the hill in the banana grove ocean view…and materials and equipment….I can just picture you guys in your livingreally reaming planning ..together a team!….really it will all work out and
    you are making the journey just as fun Good for you!! Blessings auntie ann

  2. justabackpackandarollie says:

    Great post! You are laying the groundwork for a new life filled with learning and adventure. The wish list is a great concept. You never know what’s available if you don’t put it out there.

  3. If you need any advice with concern to trailers, we bought a dud for our first one and learned a lot about what to look out for and what is required for how heavy the tiny house will be. Our tiny house project has been put on hold for a year because we no longer have a place to build – good luck with finding a location!

    • Wondering what makes a “dud” of a trailer. I know we will need something that can handle around 7,000 GVW, but that seems to be where most of them start. I also know that it seems like going new might be better (since the house will depend on the mobility of the trailer). I’ve seen some with brakes, and know of a few different providers around here. What should I look for/avoid? We too are looking for a place to build (or else we will be waiting on the weather). We recently took a trip to an industrial area around us, and it might be fruitful to approach someone with empty warehouse space.
      Thanks for sharing!

      • We purchased an 18×8 ft trailer for what we thought was a bargain at $550 but learned that it would cost a lot to replace some of the bent struts and put in brakes. With a used trailer the lights aren’t usually what you’ll need for the size and weight of the finished house – blinkers and tail light kits seem to be common for smaller widths of trailers. Replacing the tires on a used trailer is a big chunk of money unless you can find a good deal on a used set – for the weight load on a dual axle trailer we were advised to get either 6-ply tires or 8-ply tires. In the end we sold our trailer at a loss and decided to save up for a new one – the peace of mind that the foundation of our house won’t be rusty or pieced together is worth it. We lucked into having a neighbor who builds trailers as a hobby and he has been advising us since our first purchase. Good luck finding a building space!

      • I have definitely had the thought to purchase new (as it serves as the foundation for the house). I have called a few companies, and am doing some reading about how to maximize R-values with trailer choices. I’ll let you know what I come up with!

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