Saturday, May 20, 2023

We are getting a tiny home

sort of! We aren't moving into it, which is kind of the point of a tiny home, but it's still very exciting and it's a big part of why I haven't had a lot of knitting to show you lately. 

not our tiny home

This is the only building currently standing on the legacy property we're responsible for until the next generation takes over. It houses tractors and a work bench. That door on the right side accesses a walled-off section in the back serves as a lounge with a kitchenette and a three-piece bathroom. Unfortunately, being attached via an interior door also, the bathroom and lounge space smell very strongly of everything that's stored with the tractors. It's not very pleasant there for hanging out, or even getting tidied up after a long day's work. This problem has only gotten worse over the years.

So.... when we agreed to sell our cottage to our neighbours, and realized we didn't have anywhere to store all the things we wanted to keep from it, we decided to build something else at this property, under a separate roof. Not very far separate though, because the area is mostly hill and the shed is on the only near-level section. 

Okay, this hill, pictured before the snow melted this spring, might have been another part of what motivated me to coordinate another building project. Having this for a back yard, available for as much walking and climbing and watercolour painting as you like? yes please.

The property is just over an hour from our house, so we don't need a dedicated place to sleep, or laundry facilities. We don't even need a range - a hot plate and a microwave or toaster oven are plenty. Since the magic of a tiny home comes from fitting all those functions into a very abbreviated space for resident/s who live there full-time, we are kinda cheating, as well as missing out on a lot of the really amazing stuff our builder can do. So, maybe it's not a tiny home so much as a tiny *cabin*. 

Or as I think of it, a clubhouse.

Another thing we don't need is a trailer with wheels, because we're staying put. Trailers are custom-built over a period of weeks for each tiny home. About as many weeks as it takes to build a house, which means we don't have to wait long for our tiny home: our builder was able to fit us into the gap formed by trailer lead time and we'll have it by midsummer this year. Yay!

One thing we *did* need was space. We're blending our family histories by housing furniture and knickknacks from our generations at the cottage. I see a lot of tiny homes that run just 24' long, and pack a serious punch. Ours will be almost 400 square feet and have some open space. Less open than this, once the framing is finished, but still, it'll be airy.

check out those beams!
they will be visible in the finished home, too.

One last plus-side item: no drywall. Drywall doesn't travel well, and when the house is finished, it will be driven to our site to be connected to the foundation we've set up for it. So instead of dusty drywall, we're getting tongue-in-groove pine and plywood. If you've ever renovated a house, you will totally get what a big deal this is for me, ha! 

I was hoping for something entirely off-grid, but the up-front costs for solar power are steep. Weirdly, there was little enthusiasm for a composting toilet when I proposed it to the folks who will be doing all the hard work maintaining the property, so the solar budget had to go to funding a septic bed. We are future-proofing, though. There is space for batteries and other solar necessities in a storage loft we've planned for over the bathroom, and an empty conduit will make it easy to connect solar panels later, as we can afford to do it.

Water has posed a similar challenge. Turns out there is a shortage of well-drillers in Ontario, and the ones who returned our calls are booked through to next year, so we are hoping the old well can be salvaged. A new well is massively expensive; refurbishing an old one is only painfully so, if you don't count the cost of the space-hogging pump you need to store inside your building because it's nowhere near your building site.

I made lemonade out of that one though. Turns out you can stash a well pump under a banquette, and once you have a banquette it doesn't cost much more to make it a pullout bed, and if you have a window over the back of it too, you're inches from a windowseat.

the finished banquette area will be a different kind of cute,
but this should give you the general idea.

Who is going to want to sleep on a bed over a pump that kicks in every time somebody flushes the toilet, you ask? Possibly nobody. It's going to be great for naps though, or for stretching out on to write, and if those two things don't have my name on them, what does?

We couldn't stretch to a lot of custom finishing here, as one would with a true full-time tiny home. We are getting bookshelves and an entry area with a bench with hooks over it though, for storing boots and coveralls. One of the bookshelves will have a door over an area just big enough for a broom and vacuum; the other will be in the kitchen, just big enough to keep the dust off our dishes. And we're getting a custom bunk bed / loft arrangement at one end, in case anybody does ever need or want to sleep over. Or, you know, stretch out for a nap without disrupting the kitchen table setup. Ahem. At the other end, we'll plant an IKEA daybed that also pulls out to sleep two. Trying to plan ahead.

I could go on and on, and probably will in the weeks to come, but the bottom line is - We are getting a tiny home!

Hope something wonderful is happening for you too, but just in case, I will leave you with this lush image of our lilacs after a long rain. 


See you next Saturday!


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