Day 1: Wow, we are really started!!!

Thank you to the many awesome people that joined us today to get started on our tiny house with our mini-barn raising today!! We made more progress than I expected, and hope to have enough lumber to keep the project busy tomorrow until the local lumber yards Koopman’s opens back up on Monday. And of course a big shout out to the many people that have loaned me tools and their design feedback suggestions! Our day started off with some snow showers, and eventually cleared up and turned into a very pleasant afternoon. Today was a  big deal, not only starting our house – but the first time I have led a group of people on a construction project (the last time I did this was building a chicken coop with my after school program at Touchstone Community School.

We have a unique Tiny House design that will feel really spacious, particularly the gooseneck trailer element for headroom in the bedroom – please share this post with your network to get the word out about our twist on two designs…

Funny start to the construction: I needed a few boards delivered in the morning, and Matt – the lumber delivery guy is into tiny houses and is going to talk to his boss at Koopmans lumber here in Grafton, MA to see how we can get a workshop or something for the tiny house community through Koopmans. Just like Wright Trailers in Seekonk have become a go-to resource for tiny house trailers because they are super accommodating and knowledgeable about tiny house needs – maybe Koopmans will do the same?

So progress for today: our original plan was to cut the sheets of plywood lengthwise and fit them up under the frame. This didn’t work since the dimensions were too tight so we adjusted our gamep lan and ran the plywood lengthwise front to rear of the trailer. You will see in the pictures 2×4 wood around the inside perimeter of the frame. We used screws with washers to drill up through the 2×2″ angle iron to fasten the plywood down, and also provide some needed rigidity in the middle of the trailer (even though the plywood is not load bear, it will be good for it to be supported and not let any moisture in to the dense pack cellulose we plan to use for insulation in our floor. Also, we had to notch the wood around the trailer’s electric brake cables…

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Mid day was a much needed lunch break with a nice spread of food with time to review our building plans since.

The trickiest part seemed to be all the cuts required to get the plywood to fix snuggly into the gooseneck/upper portion of the trailer. It turned into a family event, with parents and kids all working together really well to make it happen. I included some awesome tiny house artwork on some of the scrap wood, a wonderful addition to the many laughs from good to mediocre jokes (I will take responsibility for the puns!).

Tomorrow’s weather is looking chillier but no sign of precipitation so we will likely get all of the sill plates anchored to the trailer and will be ready for our plywood decking that we will be building walls on (we might even frame a couple smaller wall sections to get a jump on our wall raising party next weekend!

If you or a friend are interested in  coming here and learning more about building tiny houses please have them send me an email: sethmansur@gmail.com. Today’s gathering was wonderful to meet several other’s interested in living tiny; I look forward to more conversations about tiny house living options and building community through collective building projects like today’s work. Time to eat some food!!

Looking for head room in a tiny house – go GOOSENECK!!

Who loves being hunched over? I am 6’1″, and I either hit my head on low doorways/ceilings or end up hunching/slouching. Every time I curl up my spine and dip my head to hunch below a low doorway or most tiny house lofts, I can hear my chiropractor in my ear: stand up straight, don’t hunch to just because most of the world is shorter than you!

This is why my wife and I are going with a gooseneck trailer design for our tiny house. The sleeping loft area will have over 7′ or head room! Check out a recent addition to my website with more info about gooseneck tiny house design, and the pros/cons of using a gooseneck trailer vs. the typical flat utility trailer design.

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Can tiny houses save the world?

There has been a lot of talk about tiny houses. A reality TV show, the news show Chronicle with a nice piece, and I just heard the other day about the Pawn Stars show that included tiny houses.

In 1978 the average new house size in the U.S. was 1,655 square feet. Compare that to 2,169 in the most recent census. Why are houses getting smaller, while the average family size has decreased? Craziness, pure craziness!! We here in the U.S. use way more resources than most people in the world. Some estimates say that it would take 5 worlds if everyone on Earth consumed as many resources as we do here in the U.S. Tiny houses seem to average between 100 square feet or smaller to upwards of 400 square feet. Imagine the resource savings of building & maintaining properties that are 5-20 times smaller than current averages?? TINY HOUSES REALLY COULD SAVE THE WORLD!

Why is it important to pay attention to this trend? Tiny houses are a reflection of  a sustainable society by using few resources to build, operate, and maintain, along with creating deeper interpersonal connections since people don’t isolate themselves in their “wing” of the house. And an even deeper reason: people and their employment are more mobile than they have ever been.

We have all seen the statistics: Our grandparents used to be able to graduate from high school and work a job for 40 years and retire comfortably. Most people are living a very different reality: going deep into debt to complete college, then moving jobs and even professions every 5-7 years. How can someone feel settled if they employment shifts so much? The answer: tiny houses!

While some have chosen RVs, or recreational vehicles, many are opting for the home feel of a lumber framed tiny house that replicates a typical house in many ways – except smaller and uses the space extremely efficiently. Read more about tiny houses here.

What kind of tiny house would you like to live in??