Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The foundation

After figuring out what would make my ideal home, listing my storage and living needs, my design ended up being 24 ft long. This is a bit longer than most tiny houses on wheels, but since I am looking for a home that needs to only move occassionally I figured the extra length was worth the extra weight. The trick was finding the perfect trailer to match. I finally found Appalachian Trailers in Pennsylvania. The people there were incredibly helpful and flexible with the design, well priced, and upon measuring the final trailer, amazingly accurate and square.

She is a 24' 12K pintle hitch deck over, with no decking or rub rails. She weighs 2,400 pounds.

(One of the most difficult aspects of designing the home has been figuring out the weight. I have estimates, and have been comparing those figures to the actual material as they are placed on the trailer. I'll make sure to put those numbers up at the end in case anyone can benefit from it.)

The basic design

I have long been obsessed with building my own small home on a large piece of property, a dream which has been sidelined by numerous life changes and circumstances. Inspired by the growing tiny house movement I have decided to work backwards, putting the house before the land so to speak, and to build my own home on wheels. This decision has been influenced by the desire to simplify my lifestyle, the adventure of personally creating my own home, lack of desire for a mortgage, and the realization that I am a single 32 year old who has had to move back into my parents' house to finish grad school, with no real job or financial security. 

That can definitely have you start thinking of alternatives. 

What is below are my prelimenary sketches of the house. Although I have more precise renderings, with stud and sheathing placements, those are currently be redone since getting the actual trailer.  

This view is of the half loft. I needed to find storage space for my art and photography supplies. That combined with my complete lack of grace pretty much ensured that I needed to design a bed that I could reach easily. I also figured that I could forgo a bench seat in the living area since I can easily curl up with a book on my bed. The ikea draw leaf table and my old art trunk can easily fit in under the loft, framed by the built in bookcase. The small closet space will be at the head of the bed.

My friend Dawn and her husband generously scored me a free french door (which will actually switch places with the living space window and is taller than the drawing so there is no transom) The shower was going to be an rv shower, but the have a cheap feel so I thinking of building my own. This wall is about 9' high.

Heat will be from a tiny wood stove, the "cape cod" from navigator stove works. The wall is about 7' high. There will have to be insulation though between that and the fridge, which is separated by a skinny wall. I love to bake so I plan on having a magic chef 3 burner range. Toilet will be the lovable loo and the house will be wired for 12 volt dc, the plan being that solar or wind will become my power source in the future. For now I will be plopping this down on my folks property until I can afford 
my own land. 

So there it is. If you have any suggestions let me know.