Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Oops! I'm Doing It Again!?

Could you live in 144 square feet?
Can one build a tiny house for less than $20,000, without sacrificing ANY amenities?
Do tiny houses really NEED lofts?
Since the completion of My Empty Nest last November I will admit to feeling a bit lost, and bored.  It’s not like I have nothing to do.  I am a VERY busy person and have remained very active in the tiny house community by attending events, near and far. (even as far as Vermont!)  I’ve written blogs, I still record the Tiny House Podcast every week, and have actively kept my finger tight on the proverbial pulse of the movement.

But, big creative projects are my vice. They’re what keeps my mind distracted from my otherwise very stressful life. (Ironic, I know.) So, for as much as I have going on in my life I have felt like I need something to scratch my creative itch! Problems to solve, challenges to overcome, etc… (ones that I can control!)
I have thought long and hard about what my unique contribution to the tiny house community might eventually be. I have had many people ask me if I plan to build, and sell houses. I’ve thought about writing a book or offering consulting services.  But, those are paths that so many others are following. I really want to contribute in a way that few people have, or can.  And, of course, I want it to ultimately create an income stream.
As I look at the people who are making money in the tiny house movement, they all appear to fall into one of four major categories: tiny house or trailer builders, consultants / workshop instructors, short term rental hosts (Hotels, AirBnb, and VRBO) and tiny house bloggers.  As I consider where I might fit into these categories I have to admit that I am drawn most to the social aspect of tiny houses; the hosts / hostess gigs. Yes, I love building tiny houses but what I love the most is TALKING about them!  (Side note: If you know me you are no doubt shocked that it took me any time at all to figure that out for myself. But I digress…) I love sharing my story and I love inspiring others with the idea that they too can build one for themselves!
So, without further ado, I am hereby formally announcing the launch of my next project:
My Tiny Perch!
My floorplan.
I have carefully considered all of the feedback that I see, and read, about my tiny house and others.  So many concerns about the tiny house movement appear to be focused primarily on zoning.  This makes total sense but there are others blazing those trails so it’s not something I can address with MY project.  But, what I can address or call attention to is the number of people who have trepidations about climbing stairs into a loft bedroom. So, my next tiny house won’t have stairs or a loft. My newest design is a single story tiny house, with a separate bedroom and a full bathroom. (and room for dining, for two!)

Next, hauling a tiny house is a HUGE undertaking and not for the faint of heart.  The bigger the house, the bigger the truck that is needed, and the potential pitfalls and nightmares.  Believe me, I’ve heard them all. (and, as you recall, My Empty Nest actually tipped over while being moved!) So, my next tiny house will truly be very tiny, only 144 sq feet. This means it will be lighter, shorter, and much easier to haul with my boyfriend’s ¾ ton truck. No need to hire a mover. 

So, what about the design / floorplan? As a beginner builder it’s pretty tough to wrap ones head around the trailer / house combo. Do you design the trailer around the floorplan or the floorplan around the trailer?  How does one account for the fenders in the floorplan? These are all tough questions. Questions, however, that I won’t have to answer because a single story tiny house built on a deck over trailer is a super practical and much MUCH easier way to accomplish a tiny house goal than building between the fenders and calculating the exact ceiling height needed in the sleeping lofts!
And, finally, who has over $50,000 to buy a tiny house? Not me. As the movement grows larger, so do the tiny houses and their sale prices.  Yes. I know. It’s ironic and odd but “practical”.  So here’s the bottom line: Can you actually build and live in an affordable, teeny, tiny, house without sacrificing any basic amenities? One that costs less than $20,000 to build?  I intend to prove that you can. I am designing OUT the costs of some materials like flooring and siding; and reducing labor at the same time.
My color and décor scheme.

So here I go again. And, to clarify I am starting out (again) with NO money. I am again seeking the support of sponsors and then augmenting my budget with money I earn through sources other than my primary income. Then, when it’s done, My Tiny Perch will be put to use as a short term rental to help others experience the tiny house lifestyle, even if only for a weekend. 
I can indeed be a builder, AND a blogger, AND a Hostess with the Mostest!
So, stay tuned! I’ll be posting pictures and how-to articles and this time I’m jumping onto the Instagram bandwagon.  
It’s gonna’ be a fun, but no doubt bumpy, ride!





  1. Oh Michelle, Kudo's to you!!! I told my husband if I ever got the inclination to build another THOW, "lock me up!". Not that I don't love building mine (also 144 SF with NO loft), the part that nearly stopped me is the physical hefting of the walls, roof, etc. I'm onto the exterior siding (fairly easy part) now. I look so forward to seeing your newest build!

  2. Good for you! I'm excited to see your new tiny house.

  3. I had a dream I lived in a tiny house with no loft. Can't wait to see what you come up with.