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We first visited Austin Hay after he had just finished his sophomore year (see 16 year old builds tiny home to guarantee mortgage-free future ) and he had built just the shell of his tiny home on wheels (based on plans donated by Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company for his Fencl model ). Now, Austin is in his senior year of high school and he has finally completed his home, including a full kitchen, DIY sofa-bed, nearly full-sized shower and composting toilet (doorknobs and solar to come). We stopped in at the open house of this mini house builder where his house was packed with a dozen friends (at any one time). His mother weighs in on the future of tiny houses (his high school and other local schools have asked for Austin's guidance in building their own versions), his girlfriend answered our questions about living in something tiny one day and his grandfather playing Santa Claus to help Austin finish his tiny dorm on wheels.
Imagine moving your family from living in a comfortably-sized home into a much tinier home, downsizing so drastically that you would have to part with three quarters of everything you own, selling, donating and tossing many items you grew attached to throughout your life. Just thinking about it gives us anxiety. But that's exactly what Hari and Karl Berzins decided to do about four years ago when their restaurant went out of business and left them struggling financially, and they've given us a house tour of their new small abode. The Berzins owned a successful restaurant in central Florida called New Day Café. But in 2008, because of the steep rises in gas prices, Hurricane Fay sweeping through the area and the collapse of big banks like Lehman Brothers , the Berzins lost their restaurant. "So at that point, we just made a firm decision that we were not going into debt again," says Hari Berzins.
Lulu is a single mom who'd gone back to school and didn't have the time or interest in working full-time to pay for rent. So when she had to move out of her more conventional home, she decided to move herself and her daughter into a shipping container. "I think I'm a little claustrophobic so the storage container was a little daunting, but I got the container for free."
Looking for a place to stay that's sustainable, fun and suspended? The one-of-a-kind, mobile AirHotel, designed by a group of Belgian artists, may be just the ticket. Made from recycled materials, the quirky hotel's six elevated or hanging rooms are each unique in their own way and all come with an unusual form of room service that ranges from a love song to a disco party.
As we all know, now that we are experiencing the era of the iPad and Kindle, traditional books are becoming less and less popular. As a matter of fact, even some elementary schools are replacing books with iPads . I have a friend who just got her packet for attending University in the fall, and it came complete with an iPad 2 and a list of e-books to order for her classes. People are handling this major transition in different ways. There are those who always chime in with, “ Those e-books will never compare to real books. ” Others accept the change a little easier by embracing and having fun with it.
When I was a boy, I spent much of my spare time up a tree. The long months of revision for my A-levels were spent in a state of suspended bliss, at the top of a pine tree on a valley's edge with long, wooded views. There I lay for hours at a time, reading. Nobody knew I was there. I passed those A-levels, and the iron bedstead is still there 47 years later. I would spend weekends camping , as well as canoeing on the Wey river in Surrey.
Shelters and Small Houses
There are several companies that make all-season yurts that can be turned into permanent homes. Yurts cost less than stick-built homes, and even with "all the fixins," they are often less money than even manufactured homes. They can also be assembled quickly in comparison to stick built and even modular homes. And while you might think of a yurt as something small and temporary, some of the larger models are quite spacious.
Dave who is a big follower of the tiny house movement and a historical buff, sent me some cool links and neat information about the old days of the tiny house movement. Here is what Dave has to say: Back before Jay Shafer got online you had Lester Walkers books and a couple guys who also had wheels under their homes… There was Mr.
For only a week out of each year, Black Rock City, the home of Burning Man , is the fourth largest city in the state of Nevada. While the festival participants’ camps are only temporary, a lot of work goes into creating a comfortable, beautiful tiny shelter. These tiny “houses” have to be able to withstand up to 80 mile an hour winds, have to protect their inhabitants from the desert heat and cold, and the notorious dust storms of the Black Rock Desert.
Last weekend on small space furniture #19 we explored murphy beds. If you’re in a tiny or small house it’s important to choose the right furniture. So I stumbled onto something called Mobile Wallbeds.
The same Indian company that has produced the world’s cheapest car has announced its latest product which is a flat-pack tiny house that costs about $700. It can be assembled in a week and is said to be 215 square feet. It’s a pre-fabricated kit with doors, windows and a roof. According to reports they are experimenting with a few designs. The homes are designed to last about 20 years. A larger version of the home will also be available.
Vertiginous views are one thing, but combine such dizzying prospects with the sense that the planks on which you walk might give way at a moment's notice, and even the bravest soul would be forgiven for allowing a little fear to creep in. The urge to inhabit high up places has been with us throughout the course of human history – tied up with a desire for protection from predators and the ability to see threats coming from afar. Trees were obvious choices when our ancestors were selecting lofty locations in which to build house and home – but with such grand designs come natural risks.
Pete Nelson is a rare triple threat: a writer, photographer and a treehouse builder. Nelson is also an architect and contractor, as well as a family man, and he has spearheaded a growing treehouse revival that inspires the kid in all of us. Nelson's latest book, New Treehouses of the World ($25 at amazon.com ), takes us on a fantastical voyage through secret hideouts and dream forts, from Long Island to Thailand and many places in between. Nelson, who designs and builds the playful structures through his Seattle-based company TreeHouse Workshop, Inc. , believes they help children and adults alike reconnect with nature, as well as enjoy family time. Nelson encourages us to "let go of earthbound encumbrances and be free."