what we are working with – trailer and design

OK! We have a trailer, now what? Well, our trailer is 8 feet wide by 24 feet long. Most tiny houses keep within dimensions that will allow it to be towed on roads legally without needing an oversize permit or an escort, which means keeping it within 8’6″ wide and 13’6″ tall.

We began designing, and redesigning, and watching shows, and reading blogs… And came up with our general design. We have a big crush on the plans for hOme tiny house so we modeled a lot of our ideas off of it. Maybe one day we will work up the courage to ask them out on a date, or at least leave a cryptic note in their locker. Check it out here.

SO! Put on your spacial visualization thinking caps and come on a tour of our house – as we imagine it will be now:

Kitchen – We really don’t want to skimp too much in the kitchen as this is a place we spend some time in and is kind of a center for socialization. It’s really easy to have a kitchen look kind of dumpy if you aren’t careful, so although we are trying to be cost effective, this is a spot we have flagged as somewhere we would be willing to spend a little more to make it nice. This is to encourage Kenton to continue making daring new discoveries and for me to make the same 3 meals over and over again in. We are having a U of countertops on the far end of our trailer to maximize storage and working space. Our fridge will be running electric, and we decided to go full size. Our stove will be propane, and I can talk to you about that later when we get into our “off grid” system another time.

Bathroom – In here we are going to have a composting toilet. The skinny on the composting toilet is this: It isn’t gross. Basically,  you have a normal looking toilet that catches everything in a little container underneath. You have to fill the thing with some absorbent stuff like peat moss or wood chips. You do your work, and then cover it up with some more of that stuff, turn a handle to mix it all around and then go wash your hands. You DO wash your hands, right? Anyway when it fills up, you go dump it somewhere outside because there is  no reason to treat our waste like toxic waste. It’s seriously fine to put out there. Apparently, it should come out smelling, looking and (I assume but will never find out) feeling like regular soil. Not a big deal – but kind of a big deal. Oh, and the bathroom will have a shower. With a real shower head and everything, imagine! More detail when we get into our water system which is frustratingly never talked about in any other tiny house ever.

Living Room – We have about a 6×8 foot living room. Which holds a couch. Which is basically all we use in our living room anyways. It’ll be facing double glass doors, which we can open outwards to the wide open world and hopefully not let in every mosquito living in Alberta. It’ll essentially feel double the size having our front door big and glass though, and by putting it on the side of our house we feel we will avoid the whole “hallway” feeling effect. Our plan is to put our projector on the back wall up high someplace (TBD) and then have the screen pull down over the doors to block out light and also give us our TV when the world is just not interesting enough for us.

Bedroom – We are having a loft bedroom over the kitchen. Pretty much just big enough for our bed (queen sized) and some storage. We decided on stairs up to this loft because it gives us lots of fancy storage and will save my life if I ever get pregnant.

Second loft – We designed in a second loft over our bathroom – it’ll definitely be smaller than the bedroom one, but we wanted a separate space from the living room in case Kenton plays his stupid music for 3 hours in a row or I won’t stop watching reality TV or talking to the cat in a baby voice. Reality. Plus it works well if ever someone feels brave enough to stay with us overnight.

Roof – A shed style roof (that’s the one where it’s highest at one side of the wall and then slants down on a single slope to the other wall) gives us a less cramped feeling up there cause probably you’re gonna have your bed in the middle where a normal roof would be tallest. In general, I don’t stand on my bed. So we wanted the tall spot beside the bed. Plus it gives us a nice tall long wall for our passive solar design.

Kenton drew out our design and re-designs a few times on graph paper which really helped us see how big things were going to be in our space. Paul, Kenton’s friend and colleague, has given us so much advice on the wall structure, passive solar considerations, skirting, insulation, etc to make sure our house is really well designed for our climate (really hot summers, really cold winters). He has also taken it on to draw us out our design professionally since he is a man of many hats. When that’s done, we’ll post it up on here for your viewing pleasure.

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