I don't want to go too much into this project, since they know more about about it than I would, so I thought I would share this one with my fellow tiny house community and hope that we can come together and help each other out! Let's make community of connections and resources available for everyone to achieve a happier and healthier life. Check it out!
Sometimes keeping up with writing blogs, composing emails, answering press requests and doing interviews, you stop and think... when did it all get so complicated?
We live in a tiny house. We live in a tiny house. We live in a tiny house. After awhile it becomes a script that is recited over and over and over again, and anyone that currently lives in a tiny house can relate to this feeling. You never think that when you build your tiny house, your life will become nothing but your house. What everyone wants to know is, how the tiny house is doing? When we focus more on the house than what's inside the house, it starts to loose its meaning. It's not about building the best tiny house and being better than everyone else's tiny house or breaking down someone for their personal decisions and what goes into their tiny house. Frankly, I would be just as happy in a tent as I am in my house... because it's what I bring to the space that makes it home. I'm not my tiny house! We are real people, experiencing life in our own way. We are not our tiny house. We aren't doing anything crazy (though many would like to believe we are) other than living our lives in our own way. When we first set out on this journey, it was just that, our journey. Over the years, and maybe it's because we aren't building any more, the journey has shifted its focus to the structure and not so much the story behind the structure. I've seen people get personally offended when someone, they've seen on TV sell their tiny house, soon after it was built. Do you also get offended when your neighbor decides to sell their car? We take it as a personal attack on ourselves, or what we stand for, even though all it comes down to is choices. We get asked a lot on why we decided to go tiny... honestly, just that.... we decided to go tiny. I'm not going to sugarcoat the topic, we made a personal decision just like everyone does, whether it's choosing which flavor of coffee you are going to enjoy that morning, or the pair of shoes that would look best with your current outfit. We all make choices, so let's stop beating up each other over things we all do. I get it, Tiny might not be your thing and that's perfectly acceptable, so move your judgments aside and let those that choose to go tiny, enjoy it.
Life got a bit more complicated (in a different way) once we built our tiny house. It also might have to do with when we built our house. We don't have as much living experience as say, Dee Williams or Jay Shafer, but have lived in a tiny house for almost four years and get asked a lot of questions because of it. I love answering questions, but it does become overwhelming when you see your inbox explode overnight... every night. And because of this, I'll soon be creating a better FAQ page to help with the overflow of emails that Christopher and myself get. We are happy to help out and make your journey a positive one!
Some of the reasons I haven't been blogging as much lately... well... life! I work as a Freelance 3D Artist, which keeps me busy about 10-14 hours a day, I garden a little (getting into it... still learning), go hiking with my husband on our days off, travel and in general have a good time! Christopher also has a full-time job that keeps him busy, and we are in the process of planning our future! Some of our goals include.... (this is going to freakout the haters out there) buying a house..... (ohhhhh no I didn't). Not so much for us, as for our friends, and our house would camp out in our backyard (think community). A great example of this would be the Portland Tiny House Community. It would be the same situation with what we have going on right now, the only difference is, we would own the house and land. :) I know... shocking to some, right!!!! haha. But it's cool, one could even say, we have a plan of a tack! ;) Funny last name usage (insert laughter here)! For future updates, be sure to check back... might be a couple days... or months... who knows, haha.
"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," - Confucius
If you haven't heard yet, my friend Jeremy Beasley's film is officially available on iTunes and the Small is Beautiful Movie website.
It's a touching first hand look at some of the lives that have been moved to try on tiny. It follows their journey, pain and accomplishment with personal reflections and moving inspirations. This is one to see!
Q&A with Jeremy Beasley, Director of Small is Beautiful
What the film is about
Small is Beautiful is a documentary thats follows four people as they build their own tiny houses, to try and live a mortgage free lifestyle. Through the process they discover that living tiny is about much more than just the house.
What inspired you to make the movie
The idea of having a 30 year mortgage is not something I'm comfortable with, so I started researching alternative ways to live. How could I live with less material possessions, in a smaller space and I thought what better way to learn about it than to interview the people in the process or already doing it.
How does your documentary differ from other tiny house films?
I wasn't aiming to glorify tiny house living in ways that has already been done. I explored what it is really like to build and live in a tiny house, sharing the subjects struggle and triumphs. We see them question their motives, their partners, their relationships with their family and their past. I wanted the film to go deeper than trends or aesthetic. To explore the real human aspect of choosing to live this way. The stories and the people are real. Varied, full of joy, hardship, and humanity.
How can people watch the film?
It's available for Download via our website SmallBeautifulMovie.com which is the best way to support us directly. There is also loads of bonus content in different packages with hours of great info and footage that we couldn't fit in the film.
It's also available on iTunes (USA, Canada & Australia), Vimeo on Demand, Amazon Instant and Google Play.
itunes link: http://bit.ly/SmallBeautifulMovieiTunes
Website link: http://www.smallbeautifulmovie.com
Did you have previous movie making experience in the past?
I'd been a professional photographer for 6 years, having shot a whole series of short films as well. This was by far the biggest project I've ever undertaken though.
Explain the characters you met
A lot of people want to know if people willingly choosing to live in a tiny house are introverted? The thing that surprised me the most is they're the exact opposite. The community is so strong, people are constantly helping other people build their own tiny houses or find land to park it. Like when Ben was trying to finish his house, over two days 20 people came to help him work on it and try and finish it. He had people banging nails, painting walls, sanding cupboards - everyone chipped in.
Do you have a tiny house?
I got so caught up on the research of tiny houses and in making the film that I haven't actually been able to make my own yet. Who knows, hopefully after we're finishing touring the film around I'll be able to build one then. I have definitely learnt a lot about it through the process of making the film and how I'd do it differently from what I originally planned.
Things you learned making the film
I learned a lot about what goes in to building a tiny house, but the biggest take away for me is that when taking on a massive project, like building your own tiny house, or making a feature length film on them - the projects are a marathon, not a sprint. Ask for help along the way and when you're setting a time line, multiple it by about 8 and that's how long things really take.
Personal relationship with the characters
I've developed friendships with all of the people involved in the film. It's really hard not to. I know we're meant to kept a journalistic distance when making documentaries, but when you watch someone struggling to build their house over the course of a year it's really hard to not put the camera down, pick up a hammer and help bang some nails into their house.
If you haven't been so luck to have seen it yet, there is still a handful of tickets available online for the Seattle Showing, this Tuesday night at the SIFF Film Center. Following the Screening, there will be a Panel Discussion with some special guests. See you all there!
Special guests will include:
Jeremy Beasley, Director of Small is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary
Chris and Malissa Tack, The Tiny Tack House, in Snohomish WA
Hannah Rose Crabtree, Maiden Mansion, in Seattle WA
Brittany Yunker, Bayside Bungalow, in Olympia WA
Kerry Alexander, Hope Island Cottages Bed and Breakfast, in LaConnor WA
Only 3 Days left to get your ticket to the screening of Small is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary.
Be part of the magic of tiny, at the first ever screening of Small is Beautiful, on Tuesday May 5th at the Seattle Center. Hangout with fellow tiny house enthusiasts and let's explore tiny together!
Tickets are available till April 28th and can be purchased at: https://www.tugg.com/events/15745
For more information about the film, please checkout http://smallbeautifulmovie.com
About the crew:
Chris Kamen – Producer
Chris has 12 years experience as a producer. He’s made three seasons of ABC2 TV’s music concert series jTV Presents, numerous short films (including AFC funded Directions by Kasimir Burgess), music videos for the likes of Empire of the Sun and another with the hugely talented Natasha Pincus, an ABC commissioned comedy web series Corn Cobs, along with $10M+ worth of TV commercial production for multinational blue chip clients including MasterCard, McDonalds, and Lion. In 2013, Chris completed a Master of Laws (Juris Doctor) as part of a plan to become a long form producer and independent distributor. Having grown up on the Internet, Chris is super passionate about the opportunities that online film distribution is bringing to the indie film world. Small is Beautiful represents Chris’ third documentary to be released via a direct-to-audience strategy. His first success was in 2012 on Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (deepblueseafilm.com), a film that offered a sorely needed humanitarian perspective on the highly politicised Australian asylum seeker issue and earned $100k revenue through a crowd funded national screening tour and online release. Most recently in 2014 Chris has released music documentary about Grammy award winning Americana icon Jim Lauderdale: The King of Broken Hearts (jimlauderdalemovie.com).
Jeremy Beasley – Director
Armed only with his DSLR and field sound recording kit, Jeremy is the epitome of the modern day one-man-band filmmaker. This nimble and light weight methodology allows Jeremy to ease himself into the most intimate of scenarios to capture fascinating human stories. Relatively new to the film world, Small is Beautiful is Jeremy’s first documentary feature. Prior to film, Jeremy gained six years experience as a photographer, shooting weddings in Australia and internationally. His photographic work is widely celebrated for its un-staged documentary aesthetic. It is through this experience behind the lens that Jeremy has honed his unique skill to coax his subjects to lower their guard and open up with their most intimate thoughts, hopes and fears. The result is a delicate and genuine insight into the human condition.
Originally trained as an engineer, Jeremy also has a natural fascination with design, making, and problem solving – all central aspects to the challenge of building tiny. Upon discovering the tiny house world, Jeremy’s first impulse was to design and build his own tiny house. Yet after meeting many of the eccentric and alternative minded characters from this world he became fascinated about the story of an empowered community intent on creating their own housing.
Accordingly, Small is Beautiful was conceived: is the tiny house dream merely a naive and trending fad, or is living tiny a serious solution to today’s pressing issues of housing affordability and sustainability?
Following the screening, there will be a panel discussion for Small is Beautiful. So come out and support your Tiny House Family!
I hooked our solar setup several months after we moved into the house.
At first, I had the power going in directly into the breaker box. Once I was ready, I switched that over to the inverter & from the inverter back into the breaker box.
You can always add the solar at a later time as long as you plan for it ;)
One of the first things to familiarize yourself with is the types of solar setups (off-grid, grid-tied, grid tied with battery backup, grid fallback). Our setup is classified as a grid tied with battery backup (we are not set up to sell power back to the grid).
During the winter months, the sun does not visit enough for us to rely on our solar exclusively here in the greater Seattle area. On the other hand, when it’s sunny, we are almost exclusively off-grid. In 2014 for instance, we got all but about 4 days of our power needs from solar mid-April through early November!
For more details on our specific solar setup, take a glance at a blog post I did a while back & let me know if you have further specific questions on it. FYI, we purchased an inverter that cost quite a bit more and can handle around 10 more solar panels than we currently have, giving us the opportunity to add more panels later. Be aware that batteries cannot be added later as combining new batteries with old ones will shorten the life of the new ones to match the older ones :o
I wish I had an easy answer for all of your energy related questions…Unfortunately, it is not an easy thing to figure out. We ended up going through Whidbey Sun and Wind to assist with sizing our system. Also, some solar equipment manufacturers do not sell retail meaning you have to go through someone to order your system.
One of the most important things you need to figure out is how much electricity you currently use. You can do this one of many ways…you could grab your current monthly utility bills & subtract how much you are using in your current living situation that would not be brought into a tiny home (i.e. furnace, massive hot water heater, etc.). The other (and more accurate method) would be to use a solar sizing spreadsheet to calculate the power consumption of each of the specific items you plan to use (computer(s), monitor(s), hard drives, hot water heater, heater, fridge, tv etc.). Be honest with yourself…list everything! Even your hair dryer / straightener…even if you only use it for 2 minutes per day, it may require a huge amount of power! All of your appliances should list how much power they consume on them. If you have 2 of the 3 (volts, watts, amps), you can figure out the missing one. Most appliances list the Volts & Watts on them A = W / V or W = A × V
Once you have each of these items listed, you need to come up with a realistic number of hours that you use each of these items to calculate daily usage (be honest with yourself on this ;).
Once you have your power consumption figured out, you need to plug that all into a solar sizing spreadsheet & figure out how large of a system you need based on your geographic location (sun-hours/day).
Here is a good resource to check out: http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/estimating-appliance-and-home-electronic-energy-use
I would definitely recommend you consider your appliances carefully if you want to be off-grid completely. You can find on-demand hot water heaters that use propane. You can also find propane refrigerators. By wiring our 4-gallon hot water into a switch, we leave it turned off when not in use. We also take military-style showers (water on long enough to get wet…back off…soap up…rinse off…done). This in conjunction with our low-flow shower head saves oodles of unnecessary power to heat water.
Hope this helps! Feel free to post in the comments section below & I will do my best to get any questions answered.
Well, the holidays are upon us as we bring in the New Year tonight! Christopher and myself aren't planning anything big, just to enjoy each other's company! Maybe we will plan our next big adventure!
I wanted to take a moment and share a few adjustments we have to do to our tiny house, when old man winter starts blowing. One big thing for us, has been our windows. Let me start by saying, It's not that I don't like Jeld-Wen windows, but they have not served us well. Maybe there are other factors involved, but here is my experience. We purchased our windows straight from the factory, so they were nice and pricy, which when you spend over $3,000 on windows, you hope they are going to last more than a few years. Every winter, when the temps start to drop outside... and I'm not talking that low (we have not seen a winter with temps lower than 11 degrees, most of the time it's more like 25 degrees) and we keep our house at about 60 degrees at night, since it's warmer up in the loft (and we have lots of blankets!). So, the thing with the windows in a tiny house, and I've seen this happen in a lot of them, they get moisture collected at the bottoms of the ledges. If this water sits there long enough, it starts to bleed behind the adhesive and rot the wood from the inside. We did decide to go with wood windows, since the look of wood was what we were going with. Be sure if you do decide to go this route, to make sure you seal it up! We typically don't have issues with the windows in the spring, summer or fall, just the winter months. I find myself having to sand the black off my windows and reseal them every summer. I know, not much to complain about, if that is my only maintenance to the house. But it can feel frustrating when you spent the money you have for quality windows. Now, let's talk about moisture in the tiny house, since that seems to contribute to the issue as well. Since our first winter in the tiny house, we decided to get a much larger dehumidifier to take care of the moisture we experience in the pacific north west, during the winter months. If we kept it running for a full 24 hours, we would have to empty the 30 pint container every day... that's a lot of water floating around your house. Even with a fan, you are just going to be moving the moisture around, and you might still have persisting issues. Since we got the dehumidifier a few years ago, it has been much more comfortable inside the house, and easier to heat as well. We typically will keep the heater to about 70 degrees during the day (on low) and turn it down to about 60 degrees at night. We will actually find ourselves sweating at night if we keep it any higher (our blankets work amazingly! basically two comforters, haha) We only really experience the moisture on the windows at night, during the day, the sun works it's magic on them. Also, one thing to point out, when it's just me in the house, there really isn't enough moisture being put out to notice anything, but when Christopher is also in the house, is when I start to see the condensation starting. Cooking dinner in the evenings also will help with that. So we typically will turn the dehumidifier on during dinner and leave it on a few hours into the night. It has a built in timer, so we can set it, and it will turn itself off. Same thing with our little oil filled radiant heater, we can set the time and it will shut off within a few hours. Since I work from home, I can monitor the system, but when we have to go somewhere, we will set it to turn off. Keep in mind when you are considering building your very own tiny house that there are a lot of factors you aren't going to notice, until you live in one. I hope that our personal experiences can be of some help to those looking to build or live in a tiny house of their own. Thanks for all your support! I'll see you in the new year!
I hope everyone is having an amazing adventure! Let's bring in the New Year, with new possibilities!
Happy New Year From The Tiny Tack House!!!!!
Some photos of what I've been talking about.
Today marks our 3 Year Anniversary of moving into our lovely Tiny Tack House! So much has changed around our house since then, as well as many new friends and experiences. Christopher has changed work and is now a product photographer with Zulily, and I'm working out of our home, doing Freelance 3D work. It has been such an amazing journey for the two of us, and I'm so happy that I've been able to share it with you all! I receive so many wonderful emails from people, and I'm so lucky to have had the chance to express our experiences and hear back from you all!
I also wanted to share some a few more photos from the last few days, because.....we got SNOW!!! We don't always get snow where we are, but this year we were luck to have our own little white winter wonderland, right outside our door.
It has been so nice out this November, that we managed to get a few more hikes in, before most of the roads and trails are closed off for the season. Here are a few from our hike to Margaret Lake.
I just wanted to take a moment and say, Thank You... for all you supporters out there! You Rock! We forget to say Thank You sometimes, especially when our daily lives become filled with new tasks, responsibilities and adventures. Since building our home, we have been enriched by so many of your stories, and drive to do better and live happier. Thank you for supporting us, as well as inspiring others to do the same. I didn't start this movement, but I'm grateful that I've had the opportunity to have my own place in it. We have received hundred and hundreds of emails over the past 3 years, and what an adventure it has been. I'm thankful for your wonderful comments, for they are a daily reminder that we don't just live for ourselves, but we live for each other. Even the simplest and mindless acts, can have a lasting impression on someone. I try to look toward to the future with hope and and understanding that I can change the world. And that I choose to make it the best place I can. Thank you everyone for encouraging us to do what we do, and to live a happy and thankful life. I also want to thank my Dad, for he is the one person in my life that has never questioned anything I have ever done. He has always looked at me with possibility to do good in this world, and has never stated that I couldn't do what I wanted or love. He has allowed me to become the person I am today, someone who sees possibilities in this world and to be thankful for everything I have, for he is the reason for it. I appreciate his quiet stillness and strong heart, I wish I could be more like him, and strive to, everyday.
I would challenge you to take a moment out of your day and reflect on the people around you, the ones that have helped shape your lives and make you the person you are today. Send them a letter, or a simple phone call... you might not get the chance to someday, so why not say thank you, now! Make the day count, and make it about more than yourself, it's an incredible feeling. For all your support with this movement, for it is a movement... it's a emotional and physical movement... I thank you.
Okay, now on to some images over the past few years, haha.
The Big TIny - A Built-It-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams
She's going on tour and you aren't going to want to miss out on this! Christopher and I have come to know Dee quite well over the last few years, and she is an absolute pleasure to be around. She has this ora, that just draws you into her. So if you find yourself near any of the locations, I urge you to go and experience how AWESOME Dee is.
Let's show Dee how much we love and support her… she has loved and supported so many of us, now it's our turn!
Come Meet Dee on Tour!
*April 22, 2014 - Washington, DC - Boneyard Studios
*April 23, 2014 - Brooklyn, NY - PowerHouse Arena
*April 24, 2014 - St. Louis, MO - Left Bank Books
*April 25, 2014 - Little Rock, AR - Arkansas Literary Festival
*April 28, 2014 - Denver, CO - Tattered Cover
*April 29, 2014 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Book Store
*May 1, 2014 - Seattle, WA - Third Place Books (Christopher and Myself will be there!)
*May 2, 2014 - Portland, OR - Powell's Books
*May 4, 2014 - Corte Madera (SF Bay Area), CA - Book Passage
*May 6, 2014 - Santa Cruz, CA - Bookshop Santa Cruz
*May 8, 2014 - Los Angeles, CA - Vroman's Bookstore
*May 11, 2014 - Bellingham, WA - Village Books
For more info about this amazing book tour, please check out PAD's Website for more details.
Lets Get Excited for DEE!
For the past year I have been working on this book that highlights different usable spaces in a fairly small footprint. I constantly have ideas running through my head, and using my 3D skills, I am able to get those ideas out and share them with others. I could have continued working on more and more designs, but I had to tell myself to stop and get this out to the people! I love what I do, and I hope that something you see in here will help light a spark inside you, or move you in the direction that has been eluding you.
Take a peek at what's inside!
Layouts include: 10 x 10, 10 x 12, 10 x 14, 10 x 16, 10 x 18, 10 x 20, 12 x 12, 12 x 14, 12 x 16, 12 x 18, 12 x 20
Price: $19.95 for Undersized-3D Floor Layouts. [download a PDF of this book now!]
Guess what time it is...based on the title of the post, you probably already guessed it ;) WORKSHOP TIME!!!!
If you are located in the Pacific Northwest & are considering building a tiny house, you might want to check out some upcoming workshops being offered by Portland Alternative Dwellings (PAD). Malissa & I have had the pleasure of taking part in several of their workshops in the past & feel they are a great resource for anyone considering building a tiny house!
Tiny Chair Workshop: Hands-On Building Instruction
Portland, Oregon – Saturday, January 25, 2014
Are you interested in building a tiny house, but don’t know where to start? How about a tiny chair! If you want to take on a bigger building project, but are nervous about using power tools correctly, this introductory workshop is for you. Start small by building yourself a simple, comfortable, tiny chair that folds up and stows away when you don’t need it. It’s perfect tiny house furniture, and travels well for picnics and day
Tiny House Basics Workshop: Introduction to Design and Building
Portland, Oregon – February 1st & 2nd, 2014
Do you dream about building a tiny house on wheels, designed just for you? Do you picture it in your backyard, or nested into a community of sorts, or resting out in the country where you can finally hear yourself think? Then this workshop is for you!
Our 2-day Tiny House Basics Workshop is comprehensive but entry-level, introducing you to the unique design and building principles that apply to a house. We’ll address:
- Case studies of tiny houses and pocket neighborhoods
- Cultivating home—the place and the people who make community.
- Navigating codes, insurance, and regulations.
- Tiny house building basics, including how to properly anchor a stick-built structure to a trailer.
- Tiny house building science, including moisture control, ventilation, heating, and cooling.
- Tiny house systems, including electrical, gas, and water systems.
The workshop includes both classroom-style learning and the chance to explore a tiny house. The topics we discuss are brought to life with a tour of pocket community.
This workshop will leave you confident and empowered, holding the three things you need most to start you out on your path toward tiny:
- A sound understanding of the considerations for designing and building a tiny house
- A variety of options and considerations for the systems you might want to include in your little home
- An understanding of how to connect with resources and get help with your project
- A connection to other like-minded tiny house enthusiasts, proving once and for all that you are not
Thought I would share some photos from the past few weeks, in the tiny house.
A Special Gift to You!
Chris and I wanted to say a special thanks to all of our supporters, so for a limited time, you can download either of the plans and receive a Happy Holidays Discount! Yay!!
Head over to the House Plans page and enter the code tack2013 for a special discount on any of the plans. This code is good till Dec. 31st, so hurry and get your copy!
Join us in Charlotte, North Carolina on April 5-6, 2014 for the first ever Tiny House Conference! We’ll have speakers, workshops, tiny house tours and more!
There are going to be many great resources at this conference! This is a great opportunity to learn, explore, & meet other like-minded individuals!
Can't wait to see you there!!
Code good through Jan 1st 2014.
Yesterday I had a dream, of a space and I really wanted to get it out of my head on in 3D, so this is what I came up with. I went right to work the moment I woke up and put the final touches on it today with the renders. I wanted to share my art with you, so I hope it can help inspire you in your own designs! Enjoy! :)
I hope everyone is staying warm this Holiday Season!!!
So, you are imagining yourself living the perfect life, one that could only be obtained through living a life in a Tiny House. Well, it's no big secret anymore, and living in a Tiny House will not make you happy. Getting a smaller fridge to hold just enough food for a week, did not make me happy. Showering in a wine barrel did not make me happy, or cleaner. Taking a oven out of my house and not being able to bake did not make me happy. Having to take only a mere 4 steps to get from my kitchen to my living room has not made me any happier, living in a Tiny House. I think sometimes, that if we all lived this way we would all be a little happier, but it's not so. YOU make your life happy! You control what good or bad comes into your life, and it's the way you respond to it is where you find your happiness. This isn't the life for everyone, people find their happy in many different ways. I have a friend that finds her happiness in 8-12 cups of coffee a day, and others that enjoy spending their time with friends and family. Living in a Tiny House is what you make it to be. I love that my fridge only holds about a weeks worth of groceries, this gives me the time to chat with my favorite check out ladies at Central Market, and see what they have been up to. I love showering in my wine barrel, it's so different it forces you to look at something so standard as taking a shower, in a whole new light. Not having an oven in the house forces us to interact with our friends and help build a community feeling, something that is missing from our busy lives that makes us believe we need to be totally self-sufficient and that asking for help is unacceptable. I'm not confined by my house, yes it's small but this life gives me a chance to explore creative possibilities. Living in a Tiny House has not made me any happier, but I have found my happiness with it. To be kind to others, to never stop giving even when you have nothing left to give. To not focus on the future but live every moment now...that's my happiness! To be grateful right now for everything that has come into your life, it has made you who you are today! You make your happiness in every moment of your life, and I only wish that everyone has the opportunity to find their own, true happiness.
Christopher and I have fallen in love with each other every day since the day we met. He is my best friend and my eternal light. I love looking into his eyes and seeing that same love I have for him, shine back at me with his gentle gaze. We built a house together and made it our home, and this has brought much peace to our lives. We find happiness in the experiences we share with each other and those around us. Since building our home, we continue to hear so many of your stories and experiences. You tell us that you were inspired by what we have done, and that you want to do the same. You told us you want to hear more, what it's like living in a Tiny House, now that it's done. You tell us your story and how it has changed the way you think. I only hope that you go and inspire others, challenge the world's thinking about how life is supposed to be. We are forever grateful for all the support we have had over just these past 2 years. We never thought our journey would take us any further than building a home, but you have made it so much more. You have made it a chance to reconnect with your neighbors, to exchange creative thoughts and a way to move people to inspire good things. Those good things make this world better, and by doing so, you will find your Happy!
Thank you all,
Chris and Malissa Tack
As Malissa & I are interested in seeing the tiny house movement gain momentum, we find the topic of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU's) to be very interesting. We have come in contact with a company in California that manages the construction of ADU's & found it appropriate to have a guest post on our blog. Enjoy!
Hello fans of the Tack family. My name is Sean Wallace and I work for a company called New Avenue located in Berkeley, CA. We focus on managing the construction of Accessory Dwelling Units (also known as in-law units). I happened upon the Tacks’ blog and was thoroughly impressed by the photography and the care that went into making their tiny house a reality. At New Avenue we love the idea of living your life in the optimal sized space, whether that be a 140 square foot tiny house with wheels, or a 500+ square foot backyard cottage. With that in mind, I would like to talk a little bit about what the Tacks’ did that New Avenue could benefit from and to share a backyard cottage we built that has a footprint of approximately 250 square feet that could be categorized as a “near-tiny” house located in Berkeley, CA.
The Tacks’ house is particularly impressive to us at New Avenue because there are several design aspects that can translate to larger backyard cottages. One example is the amount of space dedicated to living area in the Tacks’ house. They made an effort to have a relatively large kitchen and living area compared to their bedroom because this makes the home seem more spacious and allows for more room to do things that are active, unlike sleeping. With the building codes that many cities have our Accessory Dwelling Units are often limited in square footage and this design approach could prove beneficial for New Avenue homes.
For more examples of the Tacks’ design features that we find particularly awesome please check out this link to New Avenue’s website - http://newavenuehomes.com/estate/project/876/
Where the purpose of building a tiny house is usually along the lines of decreasing your carbon footprint and environmental impact, decreasing housing costs, doing away with a mortgage, or allowing yourself the freedom to move your home (if you built a model on a trailer) the purpose of an ADU is to either gain supplemental income through rent or to build a space where family members can live close to one another. At New Avenue we make sure to showcase some of the environmentally friendly aspects that tiny house living shares with our ADUs along with the practical elements that initially attract people to these backyard homes.
Let’s talk more about Karen’s cottage. Karen is a professor living in Berkeley, CA. She lives with her daughter in a beautiful two bedroom one bath home. Karen had the following needs: An independent home for an aging relative who lives with her for several months per year, a sanctuary for her own work, a guest house for a steady stream of family and friends and a little extra income. We worked with Karen to fulfill these practical needs and she was happy to customize the design and add several green upgrades.
Check out this documentary clip focused on Karen’s cottage - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VMAAWABynns
At the end of the day this cottage looks and feels similar to a tiny home like the Tacks’, except it’s in the shadow of a pretty standard larger home. If an ADU could suit your lifestyle like a tiny house suits the Tacks, then feel free to contact New Avenue at http://newavenuehomes.com/contact/ to get started. Above is a selection of pictures showcasing Karen’s backyard cottage.
As many of you may already know, there are many great tiny house resources popping up across the internet. One that I was recently introduced to is Tiny House Love. It is run by a young couple (Khala & Jaime)
One resource I thought may help people is a "Building Checklist" post on their blog . Since planning is such a large part of building a tiny house, this may be a good place for many of you to start.
Like many, Khala & Jaime are looking to make their dream of building a tiny house a reality. If you would like to support them, they have a place to help on gofundme.
If you have always wanted to visit a tiny house but never had the opportunity, here it is! Brittany Yunker owner of the Bayside Bungalow in Olympia WA has invited you over on Sunday, August 18. Information below!
Many people over the past year have asked if they could see the Bayside Bungalow and check out the tiny little house that I now rent out as a vacation rental. Alas, the time has come for a (tiny) Open House!
Are you interested in exploring, testing, touching, trying, photographing, peeing in (the composting toilet - duh!), measuring & learning more about tiny houses? Then this is for you! Learn about how it was built, why I decided to build it, how it works, what goes in (water, electricity & food) and how it all comes out (gray water, urine-diverting toilet system), and most of all - does it fit YOU? Bring on the questions! Bring a sketchpad, measuring tape & camera & explore this tiny house.
What: Open House at the Bayside Bungalow tiny house vacation rentalWhen: Sunday, August 18, 2pm-6pmWhere: The Bayside Bungalow in Olympia, WAYour host: Brittany Yunker, builder & owner of the Bayside Bungalow
For directions & more info, photos, or to make a reservation, visit www.baysidebungalow.com
Please invite a friend & swing by! I look forward to meeting you.
Here are the newest photos of The Tiny Tack House. You will find both some interior and exterior shots that include new construction. You will notice a second workstation was added opposite the wall mounted iMac. Malissa built a beautiful table out of some old pallets. Now it serves as our outside dining room :) We also added a hummingbird and bird feeder. We have many regular visitors including: American Goldfinch, Chickadee, Quail (who is very vain...he admires his reflection in the grill & lantern), Anna's Hummingbird, Steller's Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, House Finch & more!
We have been working on a garden near the house as well (photos to come).
Hope you enjoy the new photos!