Category Archives: Tiny House Nuts and Bolts

Tiny = Design-y
Design, products, and helpful tidbits from around the web

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Clever Storage Solutions!

I love this website! Although not repurposed, these items are great ideas, and maybe a jumping off point to your own creation! Here is an idea- you could even have a whole wall of these and they could be anywhere … Continue reading

Passive Solar Parking Spot For a Tiny House

When I was younger, a friend of mine lived in a passive solar house. Every time I walk in front of Walmart in the evening after another brutal Florida summer day, I am reminded of that house. The way the house passively collected and used the solar energy was because it was positioned to face south and because of the sun room.

It is all about “R” value, baby! The front room of her house had a huge window wall, and the flooring in that room was concrete block. Apparently, various types of building materials have a different R value. R value, is a rating of how well a material or method of building absorbs and retains heat to be released later.

I had an idea regarding passive solar heating of the tiny house. Based on the model of the front of the Walmart, (and concrete block does have a fairly high R value),  a parking space could be built for the Tiny House that would also help to heat it. During the summer, the tiny could be actually rolled BEHIND the wall into the shade in order to help keep it cool. This passive solar parking spot would be in addition to any other passive solar features already in the home. A great thing about tiny houses is that they can be positioned to get the most effective use of the sun, and can be re-positioned to eschew it.

My proposed  “passive solar parking spot” would consist of a concrete slab larger than the tiny to be laid and a concrete wall built on one side. Ideally, this would face south with unobstructed access to the rays of the sun. The tiny would not actually have to be there during the day, but could be rolled into place at night, as you wish. I would build the wall of concrete block. You can find this type of block with attractive surfaces, and I would build the wall as high as you can afford. This wall could be between five feet- to the height of the tiny itself. Of course this should be done by someone who knows how to build walls safely! I do not recommend a novice build block walls for this reason. Make sure you check out building codes in your area.

Many a time walking past the shimmering rays of heat rising from the concrete or asphalt, I have considered how this energy could be used. A south facing passive solar parking spot for the tiny would be a great way to collect this free utility and harness it to heat your tiny home.

 

© Annie Blair and Tiny House Wisdom. WordPress.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Accessorize Your Tiny: a “Dumbwaiter” and an Inexpensive Versatile Light

I currently have a loft bed in the small house in which I live. As stated before on this blog, I spend quite a lot of my time in my cozy loft. I have noticed, incidentally, that I use a lot less energy to heat said loft. This 40’s cottage with its minimal insulation is somewhat expensive, (inch for inch), to heat and cool. I have had very little heating costs this year as a surprising bonus of spending my time three feet from the ceiling. Of course, the fact that my room faces south helps to glean this passive solar energy, the configuration with my bed only serves to use it effectively.

The fact that I spend mucho time in my loft has its own drawbacks, as the surface of the bed quickly becomes littered with various items that I have not taken the time to remove, plates, glasses, teacups, papers and so on. I struck on the idea, (only partly implemented at this time), of a dumbwaiter for the tiny house.

A dumbwaiter in Victorian days was a separate chute, quite similar to a laundry chute in homes today. Meals were prepared in the kitchen below and a system of pullies raised the food and implements to the dining area on another floor. Many a child took a ride in these contraptions. In this version I would put mine at the edge of the loft opposite the ladder and on the same side as the kitchen. It would be a square, (of course you can repurpose a round top if you wish, but it won’t fit next to the counter below), and one could arrange the kitchen to accommodate the edge to fit nicely against the counter. This way you can raise your snack, (did I mention I eat in my loft?), and lower empties and stuff when finished with them. Alternately, this dumbwaiter could be lowered when there was company and used for additional table space. You could even use it as a desk on the lower level when not in use for the loft.

On another note, I use a utility light for modern versatile lighting. It can be found here: http://www.amazon.com/Designers-Edge-Incandescent-Clamp-6-Foot/dp/B00076Q0FQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1326035140&sr=8-1

This lamp moves about and is held in place by a clamp. I love this because it is versatile and love anything shiny and low cost. Remember design-wise, anything shiny helps to create a look of spaciousness in square foot challenged spaces.  A well placed electrical outlet in your tiny would make it possible to use this on the ground floor or the loft without ever unplugging it. Another thing I have noticed in my personal loft is that the lighting puts out a good amount of heat itself and becomes a source of heating when it gets cold.

© Annie Blair and Tiny House Wisdom. WordPress.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

A Tiny Idea

There is no question about it- I am an idea person. I do not always have the mojo, be it technical skill, energy, or the GREEN to accomplish what I have dreamed. So while thinking about a tiny kitchen, I had an idea, (reader beware, in my house, the phrase, “I had an idea” usually sends my daughter screaming, “OH NO” from the room).

Instead of spending thousands of dollars for a wooden kitchen ensemble, or for a tiny prefab metal one, I happen to know that used restaurant stainless steel can be picked up easily for just a little bit of cash. Hand wash sinks, bar sinks complete with drain board and even sink/table combos can be purchased locally or online for very little money compared to the outlay for the more involved models, even you purchased prefab cabinetry from big box stores.

I searched online and easily found a great 24×48 stainless table on ebay for $125.  An added bonus to that price is that many of the online restaurant equipment stores ship free! A handwash sink wall mounted was about $46 at one online venue, and I suspect that used equipment is even less expensive if you search for local outlets in your town.

There are several advantages to using the stainless option. For starters, I am pretty sure that pound for pound, it would be lighter weight to haul stainless counters in your tiny on wheels than the same footage in custom wooden cabinets. Secondly, you could dramatically reduce your monetary outlay by being able to do it yourself, rather than have your builder go the custom route for you. I think a novice could most likely handle the metal tables. Another advantage of these tables is that you get a great design plus for your tiny house- inexpensive stainless countertops.

If you compare used tables to new stainless countertops, you will discover the vast difference in price- a couple hundred for the entire set up as opposed to the THOUSANDS you would spend on the counters alone.  And too, if you wanted to build in cabinets later, viola, stainless countertops are already in place!

Stainless adds to the look of spaciousness, as any reflective or shiny surface increases the feeling of largeness in design. Also, with the undersides being open, this also contributes to the feeling of increased area of the home. Some many not like the idea of the shelves being open underneath, but you cannot have everything…. A solution to this problem would be of course to hang curtains under the counters, English Country Cottage style. Square Baskets- metal weave or other type material, say wicker, would also be a way to hide your bottles and cans in the open shelf underneath.

However you personalize it, used stainless restaurant tables and sinks are a way to have a great look with a fraction of the expense of wooden cabinets. And it is repurposing an item that would definitely inhabit the land fill for a very long time.

 

 

© Annie Blair and Tiny House Wisdom. WordPress.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Announcing the New Addition to Tiny Texas Houses: Tiny Texas Warehouse!

I have not left a “virtual breadcrumb” for readers to follow for ideas, resources and materials for building your own tiny home in quite a while. So today’s link is really exciting to share.

On Tiny Texas Houses Facebook page, it was announced that they would be soon opening their doors to a new warehouse! This will feature many of the reclaimed items they have gleaned over the years salvaging buildings and houses doomed for the landfill.

The regular link to Tiny Texas Houses can be found here: http://tinytexashouses.com

You can also find them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/tinytexashouses

Happy Repurposing! I can’t wait to see what they will have!

Virtual Breadcrumb… WalMart RVing

The following link is to a group that is moderated on Yahoo that keeps tabs on the WalMarts (US only) that allow overnight parking. They spell out what is the accepted behavior, they have lists of the ones that do NOT allow overnight parking and they also seek to promote better relations between RVers and WalMart. There are a bunch of other type stores that also may allow overnight parking to perhaps a lesser extent, some of these are Sam’s Clubs, Flying J and KMart, among others.

I thought that someone could use the info that could be gleaned from joining this group. I know Tiny Housers may not be that big on WalMart, but if you are traveling with your house and have nowhere to go, it could help.

http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/walmartrving/

Today’s Virtual Breadcrumb- A Shiny Chair

Today I found this site that has a lot of compact furniture that would go well in a tiny house- much of it, alas, is pricey. This piece would make an awesome main room chair and visually would not take up too much space. This one is on sale and priced appropriately.

http://stores.advancedinteriordesigns.com/-strse-148/bertoia-side-chair%2C-bertoia/Detail.bok

Design Concept: Shiny

he design concept here is twofold: Shiny objects increase largeness of space. Also this one is see through, as it is a woven pattern reducing the visual space it occupies.

Virtual Breadcrumbs- On Demand Hot Water Heater

http://www.precisiontemp.com/pt_rvmd_rv500.html

Here is a source for on demand hot water heater that can be used with propane.

Today’s Virtual Breadcrumb…Tonita’s Sink!

From the first time Scott sent me a video of Tonita’s custom tiny house, I had one question: where did she get that sink in the bathroom? Well I lucked into finding Tonita’s blog, (you can find it here: http://shabbychictinyretreat.blogspot.com/2011/12/my-tiny-house-is-decorated-for.html ), and she lists on her website where to find various things. The mystery has been solved. It comes from Ikea and here is the link to it and another sink I see in many Tiny House kitchens:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/search/?query=Sinks

I was impressed with Tonita’s blog and loved her upcycled chicken coop which is a hoot and can be found at her blog. By the way, any similarities between her blog and mine are merely coincidental. I just found her blog today. She writes about chicken coops. I write about My Great Grandma’s out house. Oh well, it happens…

Today’s Virtual Breadcrumb: Workamping….

Today’s VirtualBreadcrumb… Working From Your Tiny

There is a large group of RV-ers who travelall over the country to work based on ads they locate through Workampingmagazines, and blogs. Of course these would be perfect for Tiny-ers who want tomake income in a less conventional or off the grid type of way.Apparently these jobs vary from campground work to Amazon who hires extras atthe various sites around the US.

For some of these jobs, the pay is good and though hard, the work is for a setperiod of time. Unfortunately, there are others who try to take advantage ofthe workampers and try to get them to drive long distances only to barter workfor a free spot at the campground.

Do your homework and be careful, but this sounds promising for Tinies!

http://www.work-for-rvers-and-campers.com/work-for-RVers-and-campers-blog.html

Here is an article about how to spot the phony jobs:

http://www.work-for-rvers-and-campers.com/bad-workamping-jobs.html


And this one is about the Amazon job:

MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope I just gave somebody a present