Tag Archives: tiny house

Couple Takes Tiny House On the Road

tiny-house-tiny-homeBy Amelia Robinson

Compliments: Dayton Daily News

Former Centerville resident Jenna Spesard, her boyfriend Guillaume Dutilh and their 1-year-old Australian Shepherd Salies have taken their house on the road.

Yeah, you read correctly.

The couple of two years set off last week in their newly finished, 132-square-foot Tumblewood Cypress home from Shelbyville, Ill., where Spesard’s parents Alan and Rebecca Spesard live.

Jenna-Spesard-Guillame-tiny-house-Nick-Graham-Dayton-Daily-News

At the start of an across the nation road trip, the pair swung by the Cox Media Group Ohio building and showed off the biggest and tiniest example of their new minimalist lifestyle. It took them a year to custom-build the home.

The stop was a homecoming of sorts for Spesard.

The 28-year-old spent her kindergarten to eighth-grade years in Centerville after her family moved here for her father’s job at Mound Industries. She still has friends in the area. Dutilh is originally from Pau in the South of France. He has lived in the U.S. about seven years.

Spesard and Dutilh are hauling their cozy home with a pickup at a maximum of 50 miles per hour.

They will travel the nation and Canada indefinitely, making upcoming stops in Boston; New York; and Montreal, Quebec, and Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada.

Jenna-Spesard-Guillaume-Dutilh-Tiny-House-Photo-Nick-Graham

The couple say a growing number of people are rejecting large homes and joining the tiny house movement.

“What we want to do is travel and live debt free,” Spesard said. She noted that many people who live in so-called tiny homes live in one place.

The average size of a new single-family house in the nation was 2,392 square feet in 2010, according to the United States Census.

Some tiny house are as small as 80 square feet.

Tiny homes are gaining attention. The new FYI network show Tiny House Nation features small houses and other living spaces.

Dutilh said he and Spesard are going against the grain of a society that pushes student loans and car loans.

“Our idea was to have a more free lifestyle and not be tied down,” the 30-year-old said.

He and Spesard said they were fed up with the cubical life.

The pair abandoned their 2,000 square feet apartments and jobs in Los Angeles.

She worked as an executive assistant at Dream Works Studio. He was was an engineer at Yamaha Motor Corporation.

“We want to live our dream lives,” Jenna Spesard said. “Why not take a risk and create a project around it.”

They spent $25,000 to $30,000 on their home, which they consider a drop in the buck compared to their rent in LA.

“You can make them cheaper,” Dutilh said.

Spesard said she and Dutilh wanted something more homey than a RV.

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Tiny house hero Dee Williams on her book tour

tiny-house-tiny-homeBy Janet Eastman

Compliments: The Oregonian

Tiny house hero Dee Williams will talk about the benefits of living simply in a small, efficient space and read from her popular book, “The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir,” on Saturday, Sept. 6 at Vintage Books in Vancouver, Wash.

This stop – which includes a walk inside her 84-square-foot house on wheels – is one of many she has made crisscrossing the country on a book tour intertwined with her ongoing efforts to educate about building, living and enjoying tiny houses.

Tiny-house-hero-Dee-Williams-on-her-book-tour

The self-taught carpenter and founder of the respected resource center, Portland Alternative Dwellings, has lived in her solar-powered home for more than a decade. She cooks using a single propane burner and sleeps in a loft with a small window.

“The house looked gorgeous: just like an ad for pancake syrup or a painting called A Simpler Time,” she writes in her inspiring, funny memoir that resonates with anyone on a quest to downsize, de-stress, let go or feel at home.

People interested in green design and plans for an legal accessory dwelling unit can explore Williams’ tiny house, from 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of Vintage Books, 6613 E. Mill Plain Blvd. She will read from her book and answer questions from 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m. inside the bookstore.

The event is sponsored by Vintage Books and Clark County Environmental Services’ Green Neighbors program.

Dee-Williams-Tiny-House

Williams has been interviewed by networks and newspaper reporters and has addressed TED Conference audiences, telling her powerful story about selling her high-maintenance Craftsman house in Southeast Portland and gifting away most of her possessions after she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

We caught up with her days before she is to tug her tiny house to Vancouver.

Q: You’ve been on the road telling your story and reading from your book since April. What has been the biggest adjustment being on the book tour circuit?

Dee Williams: I think the largest adjustment has been traveling so much. I’m a homebody – a real “stick in the mud” is what my 20-something-year-old niece would say. But I’m perfectly happy to putter around in my garden, to scavenge wood out of the rubble pile down the street or to play firefighter in the backyard with the four-year-old boy who lives next door. I like being home and the book tour is a bit of a distraction from that normal, mundane, simple life.

The other adjustment occurred by seeing that the small house movement isn’t just people who want to build a tiny house (or already have), or people who like cute tiny houses; it’s not that simple. Instead, the tiny house movement seems to be a tapestry of openhearted people who are interested in community building; they’re interested in living more simply on the earth, investing in their neighbors (both human and natural); they’re rabble-rousers and non-conformists, and some of the most compassionate, inclusive thinkers that I’ve met in a long time. It was invigorating and humbling to meet so many awesome people.

The-Tiny-House-that-Dee-Williams-built

Q. What is the most common question you are asked and how do you answer it?

DW: “Is that legal?” has probably been the most common question. And I usually answer it by saying something like… “ah dang it, not that question!” And then I’ll wax on about how much I like rules; that I’m an enforcement officer with the State, and I once cried at a stoplight because the idea of civil law is so beautiful to me – the way we all learn how to stop on red and go on green, and thereby save ourselves from having to tow our cars away in a heap.

So, I’ll explain who I am and then launch into how most municipalities apply travel trailer restrictions to wheeled tiny houses. They might restrict where you can park (not on the front lawn, in front of a school, too close to the neighbor’s house, etc.) and how long you can recreate inside the unit. If you’re living in the space for longer than 30 days or six months, you might be asked to move along.

I’d also throw in that there are a lot of cities that are looking for ways to redefine codes to allow for longer stays in tiny houses on wheels. They’re looking at ways to create better urban infill, and to create more affordable, sustainable, safe housing and little houses are a part of that discussion.

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Live Sustainably in Tiny Houses

energy-tiny-house-green-cropBy Marc Stapelberg

Compliments: Northern Star

SIMON Hartley is one of many forward-thinking residents of our region doing some impressive sustainable living experiments in their homes and yards.

Mr Hartley will open up his home to the public this month as part of Sustainable House Day, actually run over three days this year in a joint project between Lismore and Byron Shire Councils.

Live Sustainably in Tiny Houses Simon Hartley Goonellabah

At the main event in Bangalow, a suburb of “tiny houses” will pop up for the Sustainable House Day Expo, held on Saturday September 13.

These three homes are open this Sunday:
• 9am-noon. Richard Swinton and Cindy Thummell at 24 Ryces Dr, Clunes have retrofitted a 1980s project home.
• 10am-4pm. The Robinsons at 182 Bentley Rd, Tullera have built a new, low-cost sustainable home.
• 10am-4pm. Elaine Wood at 51 Cedar Dr, Dunoon has a solar passive steel-frame design.

These two homes are open next Sunday, September 14:
• 10am-4pm. Vanessa Tallon at 9 Keith St, Girards Hill has retrofitted a 1940s weatherboard cottage.
• 10am-4pm. Simon Hartley at 2/89 Figtree Dr, Goonellabah has a retrofitted brick duplex with intensive food production.

The popular tiny house movement is built on saving time, money, and the environment by dramatically reducing the size of our living spaces.

The event will include speakers on tiny houses, straw-bale building and a carbon neutral eco-village and information on repurposed shipping container housing, solar passive designs, aquaponics and retrofitting homes for energy efficiency.

Examples of “green” granny flat designs will also go on show, with the winner of Sustainable Small House Design Competition to be announced on the day.

There were 50 entries to the competition that gave designers a blank slate to create the best possible sustainable design.

“The competition was open to professional architects and designers, the community and young people,” Lismore City Council environment strategies officer Vanessa Tallon said.

“Some of the entries are unique and provide clever insight into how to build small and sustainable.”

Five locals are opening their homes for inspection on the Sunday before and the day after the expo.

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Tiny House Neighborhood in Rhea County, Tennessee

tiny-house-tiny-homeBy Sara Sidery

Compliments of: WRCB TV

A new kind of neighborhood is being built in Rhea County. They’re all tiny homes — just a couple hundred square feet. But these new “micro homes” are helping fight homelessness.

“This is a tiny house or micro house, they’re actually I guess the ‘new thing’,” said Laura Olmstead of We Care in Dayton.

Tiny House Neighborhood in Rhea County Tennessee

It’s the first one of its kind in the region — a fully furnished, 200 square foot ‘micro’ home that’s equipped with power, heating and air.

Olmstead said it’s more than having running water and a safe place to sleep.

“They don’t have to worry about someone coming in their room on them, they don’t have to worry about someone stealing their items. They don’t have to worry about the safety of their children, and it just gives them time to psychologically and emotionally rebuild,” she said.

There’s a misconception that homelessness doesn’t exist in Rhea County, but it’s a problem in rural areas across the country. On top of higher poverty rates, there are fewer options for the homeless in rural areas.

“Just because you don’t see it under the bridges as much, doesn’t mean it’s not there. They find a way. They sleep in cars, they go to Walmart,” said Olmstead, who was homeless as a teen and young adult.

“I loaded up what I could in the car, and we left,” said Karla Grun. She and her kids were once homeless.

A victim of domestic violence, Grun was forced to leave her home and lived in cars and on other people’s couches.

“I couldn’t protect my children anymore, so I had to go,” she said.

Grun wishes micro homes were around during her crisis, but is happy someone else can have that option.

“With this home, you don’t have to be ashamed. You can say ‘I have an address.’ You can go home after work and feel like, ‘I’m secure. I’m doing well. And I’ll be on my feet soon’,” Grun said.

“Once they get out of here, they’re gonna be OK, and then they can in turn reinvest and help the next family,” said Olmstead.

We Care is planning to build a micro home community with about 15 other houses. A family will be moving into the one that’s currently built next month.

WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather

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Transformable mobile tiny house designs

tiny-house-tiny-homeBy Derek Markham

Compliments: Tree Hugger

Tiny houses are captivating to many of us, perhaps in part because our homes are too big, or because we own too much stuff, or because we’d love to find a more affordable dwelling that would also better fit our green lifestyle.

There’s no shortage of tiny house designs, ranging from scaled-down versions of a traditional house to the outlandish and unfeasible, and most of them are conceived with the intent that the homes would remain stationary. However, mobile tiny homes, such as those built onto trailers, are also gaining in popularity, due to their ability to go where we go, which is right in line with the current trend of a more nomadic lifestyle, in which we aren’t tethered to a specific location, but instead move to where the next job or opportunity takes us.

Aero-Mobile-by-Jennifer Siegal-Office-for-Mobile-Design-Kaneko-tiny-house-alternative

With that in mind, the entries for an exhibition recently held at Kaneko, in Omaha, Nebraska, may be a harbinger of things to come in the future of architecture for the urban nomad, as each of the designs aims to be not only versatile and comfortable to live in, but also truly portable.

The Truck-A-Tecture exhibition, which is said to “examine architecture as redefined by mobility and technical expansion,” featured full-sized versions of tiny house designs that can carried on or in a vehicle, or built into one, offering a new perspective on modern mobile housing.

See the Rest of the Story … to learn more about The Aero-Mobile, designed by Jennifer Siegal, of Office for Mobile Design, The PNEUMAD, from Min | Day, The Self-Lifting Mobility Project, from Mark Mack and the Mobile Dwelling Support Structure (MDSS), from Jones Partners.

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