Fwd: Nearly free house: NEED YOUR VOTE!

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Rachel Simpson

Jun 4, 2009, 7:01:43 PM6/4/09
to myhomey...@googlegroups.com
A forward from the tiny house collective.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <eda....@forces.gc.ca>
Date: Thu, Jun 4, 2009 at 11:23 AM
Subject: Nearly free house: NEED YOUR VOTE!
To: Tiny Home Collective <tiny...@googlegroups.com>

Hi All,

I have been trolling the web and have found a few groups out there who
are building tiny houses and attempting to do so for free.

Michael Janzen of Tiny House Design http://www.tinyhousedesign.com is
currently on a mission to build a free house from recycled pallets.
He is using his own design (and has free plans available on Tiny House
Design), items gleaned from CraigsList, and anything he can pick up
for free.  You can check his progress on www.tinyfreehouse.com .

There is also a group of students in Buxton, NC who are in the process
of building a free house that sprung out of a drafting class.  They
are doing a fantastic job using lots of material gathered from
construction dumpsters and through word of mouth.  Check the scrap
house out at http://thescraphouse.wordpress.com/2009/04/ .

Maybe it is the heat starting to affect me, maybe I have been rooting
around UsedVictoria too often, but I find both these projects to be
very inspiring.

I'm thinking I'd like to do something like this too partly to use up
some of Serenity’s leftovers and for the challenge of seeing "how low
you can go," (note:  this is your chance to jump onto this before
sanity returns to me).

Project parameters I am currently mulling over:

Building a nearly free house:

1.      The house:  I’m thinking of a studio cottage with basic facilities
and efficienty kitchen.  The entire thing will be designed for off-
grid living.  I’m not anticipating building a loft in this one other
than for storage.  The house will be 8 feet or less wide, for easy
transport to its final home, and no more than 12 feet long (so my
neighbours don’t freak out).  Think Walden Pond, a rough but cozy
little living space.

2.      Floorplan:  There are a couple of ideas floating around in my head.
The possible contendors are:

a.      The free 8’x8’ house:  http://www.tinyhousedesign.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/8x8-tiny-house-plans-v3.pdf
Tiny, but has a loft for sleeping, has wet-bath and kitchen.

•       Pros:  Livable.
•       Cons:  Taller height due to loft, wet bath.

b.      Scrap House:  http://thescraphouse.wordpress.com/2009/04/  I like
the 8’x12’ floorplan, doesn’t need a loft as sofa folds out.  Has
toilet, shower, and kitchen.

•       Pros:  Livable, roof height can be determined later (bungalow
•       Cons:  Larger and heavier, needs shower stall.

c.      Shepherd’s Hut:  About 6’x11’, an English phenonanom, used as very
basic field shelter by, well, shepherds!  No toilet, but a cozy little
space.  Will still have an stove or efficiency kitchen.
Inspirations:  http://www.shedworking.co.uk/search/label/Shepherd%27s%20Hut%20Tuesday

•       Pros:  Smaller, easier to trasnport, rustic.  Would make a good
guest cottage for garden or community.
•       Cons:  No toilet, very Spartan.

3.      Choosing the plan:  I want your opinion:  A- 8’x8’; B-Scrap House;
or C-Shepherd’s Hut.  Email me your preference or reply to this post
to vote for your favourite.

4.      Free versus buying:  There are lots of materials that are free but
sometimes free can cost a lot of money.  It just isn’t cost effective
for me to straighten nails given I know what I an earn for a hourly
wage on my part-time job.  I will salvage as much as I can, but a few
dollars for new shingles (left over from other peoples jobs) is more
valuable than trying to salvage garbage.  I will try to keep the cost
of the overall house below $1000.  This will give some flexability for
buying some items and make the house affordable.  Note, I just pulled
the dollar limit out of the air.

5.      Framing:  Pallets are free but they are HEAVY.  I’m hoping to use a
combination of salvaged lumber, scraps left over from other projects,
and rip the pallets down for their slats.

6.      Sheathing:  Haven’t decided on that one yet.  If I can salvage
enough ply I’ll use that, if not then I’ll use slats in a diagonal
format (anyone who has seen the sheathing of a pre-WWII house will
know what I mean).

7.      Roofing:  I’ll probably use shingles for this little house.  As it
won’t be on a trailer it won’t be travelling very far (just to its new
home).  Though I might use metal if I can get a salvaged lot.

8.      Windows/Doors:  If I can get free, great.  Might spend a couple
dollars on used.  Or, for a Shepherd’s Hut, might even make them.
I’ll have to see.

9.      Volunteers:  I have a couple friends who will help out but with the
smaller size I won’t need much help.  If anyone on the island wants to
be involved in this project send me an email and let me know.

I’ll be looking forward to hearing which option you vote for and any
other comments you might have.

Yours, “stoned on sawdust,”


Scott Newson

Jun 4, 2009, 7:41:11 PM6/4/09
to myhomey...@googlegroups.com
The Scrap House which he points to is a very well documented student project building a house on wheels. 8 by 12 feet, more or less, and no real loft. And pretty much everything is build from found scrap. And I think they're building it 'off the grid'.
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