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Wheel Pad THOW helps new wheelchair users through the transition

Life-changing injuries are never part of the plan, and houses are not in general very wheelchair accessible. That goes double for tiny houses, of course – think lofts, ladders and cramped bathrooms. But after a disabling accident, adding a handicapped-friendly tiny to the yard could be a lot easier than retrofitting an existing residence. There have been a few accessible tiny homes already, like the studio37 prefab and most notably NextDoor Housing’s Drop Home, and now there’s another one: the Wheel Pad.

It’s basically a simplified THOW whose floor area is divided between a sleeping/living area and a giant bathroom able to accommodate a wheelchair. There are no kitchen facilities, because the Wheel Pad is conceptualized as a temporary living solution for new wheelchair users who will have assistance from family or friends while making the transition. In fact, there’s a provision to connect the unit to a larger house to make that easier.

 

The prototype Wheel Pad in the photos is called the Norwich Model after Vermont military college Norwich University, whose students and professors helped out with the build. It was designed by Joseph Cincotta of LineSync Architecture and will be made available free to area residents in need (an application can be found here).

Future units will be marketed by a company called Wheel Pad L3C for sale at $50,000 or lease at $1,500 per month. They hope to help out wounded veterans and other newly disabled people while also benefiting the southern Vermont economy by providing jobs at an employee owned factory.

h/t Tiny House Talk

Jan 18, 2017 / by / in ,
A vintage brick tiny in the Tucson Mountains

This little house in the Tucson Mountains celebrated its 60th birthday recently, but it’s been so well maintained and so tastefully upgraded that you could easily mistake it for a new build consciously attempting a vintage style. The combo of knotty wood with exposed brick walls is classic, and the sliding glass doors and huge window really open it up to the three acres of scrub land around it and the mountain views beyond. The 330-square-foot house is currently listed on Estately for $140,000, and has already attracted a full-price offer; the seller suggests building a larger house on the property, but look at these pictures and ask yourself – why bother?

A partially covered wraparound brick patio makes a pleasant space to enjoy the desert air.

Much of the house is devoted to a spacious bedroom/living room area.

The kitchen, meanwhile, is probably small enough to fit in a THOW.

The bathroom’s plenty big enough, though, and nicely decorated as well.

There’s even an outdoor hot tub!

h/t Tiny House Talk

Jan 14, 2017 / by / in
Hale Iki: an unassumingly lovely Hawaiian vacation rental

Mark and Lucretia Worster have only been renting out their Hale Iki tiny house for a few weeks now, but they got some great advance publicity with an appearance on Tiny House Hunters. It’s easy to see why HGTV picked their house for the show: not only is Hale Iki located in a fern-filled Hawaiian rainforest just a few miles from an active volcano, it also boasts relaxed but indisputably luxurious tropical styling, a huge lanai to complement its 240 square feet of interior area, and conveniences and comforts like a chiminea fireplace and a gas grill. Despite being completely off-grid, Hale Iki also has a big refrigerator (solar) and a flush toilet (water catchment).

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The kitchen includes a full-size gas oven and a sink, albeit not a whole lot of counter space.

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The fridge is conveniently located just across the bathroom door.

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The bathroom itself is quite small, holding just a shower stall and the aforementioned toilet, but it’s nicely finished in grey tile.

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The bed at the other end of the house is a comfortable queen size surrounded by windows that let in the morning light and look out on a jungle of ferns and ohia trees.

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And staying here costs less than you’d think – at least for now. Mark and Lucretia are currently offering an introductory rate of just $115 per night, and they accept single-night and last-minute bookings too. You can make a reservation directly or on Airbnb or VRBO.

Jan 6, 2017 / by / in
Brevard’s MINIstry of Magic makes glam livable (& affordable!)

With an entire loft dedicated to shoes, makeup and clothes, a customized primping area and a full-length mirror, Genna Poletti’s MINIstry of Magic Tiny House has to be the glammest THOW we’ve ever seen. And it’s not just glam, it’s a Brevard – so you know it’s got a thoughtfully designed, ultra-livable interior and a reasonable price tag to go with all that style. In fact, Genna did a lot of the design herself, cherry picking elements from some of her favorite tiny houses from blogs and Instagram, with the Music City Tiny House serving as her primary inspiration. But she gladly accepted Brevard’s input on putting it all together, as well as their suggestions for practical additions like kitchen shelving.

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Aside from the loft dressing room, Genna’s top requirements included a bathtub long enough to stretch her legs in, a couch long enough to accommodate overnight guests, a king-sized bed for her own sleeping comfort, a full-size oven with four burners on top, a big dining table, and a sliding barn door to the bathroom. And guess what? Brevard made fitting them all into a sub-200-square-foot THOW look easy. Plus an apartment-scale fridge inside the storage stairs and a fully automatic washer/dryer unit in the bathroom. All for $55,000. Brevard’s always been good, and they just seem to keep getting better…

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Genna filled out the MINIstry of Magic with accessories from Ikea and Target and decorated it with original artwork (in the relatively few places she could find windowless wall space) and trinkets from her travels to Europe, Russia and Southeast Asia. To see it all, be sure to watch the video tour she gives with her twin sister Alexa.

h/t Tiny House Talk

Jan 5, 2017 / by / in
Matt and Kelsey’s two-bedroom tiny

Merriam-Webster calls arm’s length “a distance discouraging personal contact or familiarity,” but connotations aside, arm’s length isn’t really all that far – and you’d think a couple planning to live in a tiny house together would be looking forward to the more literal interpretation of the term. Turns out that for Matt and Kelsey it’s a little bit of both. They’re all set to enjoy the intimacy and closeness of tiny house living – but they’ll be doing it from separate loft bedrooms on either end of their new 300-square-foot wheeled home. (Less startlingly, they’ll also have separate work desks that pull out from the storage stairs leading to Kelsey’s bedroom.) The house debuted on FYI’s Tiny House Nation and obviously presented some unaccustomed challenges for the design team. Besides the requirement for two full-size sleeping lofts, Kelsey needed stairs due to back issues. That does take up space, but since that space also contains the desk, a coat closet, and other storage, it’s at least a multifunctional one. Fold-outs have also been used for the table and seating in the small, self-contained living room. The kitchen in the middle is small but (except for the lack of overhead cabinets) functionally adequate, with under-counter placement of a small convection oven and mini-fridge saving countertop space. In fact, the only part of the house that’s truly cramped is the bathroom, where a washer/dryer competes for real estate with the toilet, sink, shower stall – and whoever’s trying to use those facilities at the moment.

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h/t Tiny House Talk

Dec 31, 2016 / by / in
Loaded, livable, low-cost THOW with solid SIP construction

Yesterday we profiled a beautiful $87,000 “luxury tiny home” from Handcrafted Movement. This 28-footer, built of structural insulated panels (SIPs) in Tennessee and currently for sale in New Jersey, is on the other end of the spectrum. It’s going for just $30,000 and has none of the detailed interior decoration of the Urban Craftsman – but aside from a sheet metal shower stall in place of a bathtub, it’s got just about as much practical functionality. Propane range and water heater? Check. Electric heater? Check, plus a Dickinson propane burner for when things get really cold (and with R values as high as you get from SIPs, you could probably overwinter in Alaska and not feel a chill). Washer/dryer? Flat screen TV? Air con? Check, check check. And it comes with a couch, king size mattress, and burlap blackout curtains for its 16 windows if you ever want to sleep in some sunny morning. Nothing fancy about the finish, but with reclaimed barn wood on the outside and beetle kill pine for the interior, it’s a quite pleasant sort of plainness.

It’s great to have choices, and as the tiny house movement expands we’re getting more and more of them. High-end models like the Urban Craftsman or Tiny Heirloom’s Tiny Adventure House might attract more than their share of attention (and occasional opprobrium for their prices), but it’s good to remember that there are still a lot of very livable lower costs options like this one out there as well.

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Dec 30, 2016 / by / in
Another lovingly finished house from Handcrafted Movement

Handcrafted Movement’s eagerly awaited* new build is finished and for sale as of a couple of days ago. It’s called the Urban Craftsman and it’s a 290-square-foot “luxury tiny home” on a 26-foot trailer. Luxury, of course, doesn’t often come cheap, and the current asking price is a formidable $87,000 – but before you write it off as an overpriced betrayal of tiny house movement first principles (or for that matter, before you reach for your checkbook, if that’s more how you roll), let’s take a look at what you get for the money.

First, you get great interior finish, something Handcrafted Movement founder Matt Impola excels at. It’s a very pleasant blend of comfortably worn wood and metal – reclaimed oak, walnut and maple; aged copper, bronze and brass – with tastefully painted surfaces. The walls are populated with shelves and planters, and the vintage leather sofa comes with the house (as does the memory foam queen mattress in the loft).

You also get fixtures and appliances including a 27-inch ceramic kitchen sink, 30-inch four-burner gas range with hood, full-size refrigerator under the stairs, 5-foot freestanding bathtub with rain showerhead, dual flush toilet, LG washer/dryer, remote-control electric fireplace, and a 40” Sony Bravia TV.

You get a well-appointed living room, a sleeping loft with a huge skylight, a big bathroom, and a kitchen that, thanks in part to an innovative extension that doubles as a dining table, adds an enormous amount of counter space to the aforementioned appliances.

It’s all wrapped up in a sealed aluminum floor pan, board and batten siding and a standing seam metal roof, professionally plumbed and wired and fitted two 30-pound LP tanks that feed the stove and water heater.

*By us, at least – we loved their first one!

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Dec 29, 2016 / by / in
Camphouse Aero: cozy comfort in a small package for a nice price

This charming little arched-roof THOW is called the Aero, and it’s the first of several projects in the pipeline for new tiny house company Camphouse. The others, a sequel called the Aero 2, a more conventional THOW named Happy, and the angular Shark, haven’t been built yet, but the original Aero is certainly impressive enough to leave us wanting more from this outfit.

It really is small, even for a THOW – just 20 feet long and 155 square feet in area – but thanks to that curve in the roof and some very sensible interior design you don’t really notice that. The living room turns into the kitchen pretty quickly, but what you notice is a high ceiling and a comfy couch. The kitchen hasn’t much counter space and makes do with mini appliances, but the curved ladder to the high loft leaves it feeling open and more cozy than cramped. The bathroom is definitely tight, but fitting the toilet into one corner has left room for not only a sink and shower but also a washer/dryer. And a loft-level extension to the rear of the Aero allows space for a private master bedroom as well as an exposed guest/kids’ sleeping area over the kitchen cabinets. The finish work looks very homey too, mostly natural wood with a couple of accent walls to give the house some easy individual character.

Now, with all that and an asking price of just $35,000, there’s got to be a catch, right? Well, based on our readership statistics, there is for most of you: the Aero is located in Sofia, Bulgaria. But if you happen to be in that neck of the woods and in the market, this looks like it’d be well worth checking out. (And if you happen to be a fan of Bulgarian tiny houses, check out our article on Hristina Hristova’s Koleliba.)

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Dec 28, 2016 / by / in
Alpine’s space-efficient, loaded new cedar custom build

Open the red door to Alpine Tiny Homes’ new cedar-clad custom build and you could easily think you’ve stepped into the entryway of a regular house. You’re in a spacious area with stairs and a hallway in front of you and coat storage to your right… It turns out to be an illusion, though: this is actually a 24-foot THOW, and you’re standing in the living room. There will soon be a couch to the left and a 55-inch TV in the cabinets to the right. Walking forward you pass an 8-foot closet and a built-in cafeteria style dining table for two before coming to the very well-designed kitchen, which manages to fit a full-sized Samsung refrigerator and oven, 30-inch sink, washer, dryer, and a surprising number of cabinets into not very much space at all – and, with a faux-stone tile backsplash, look good doing it! The bathroom is also quite pleasant, particularly the sink, which is right at the end and surrounded by three windows (there’s a fold-down mirror above it, too). A flush toilet, shower stall with rainfall showerhead, and digital on-demand water heater complete the room. As for the loft, it’s a sizable 8×8 space with a privacy wall on one end, storage cabinets on the other, and windows on each side. Heating and AC is provided by a remote control ductless unit. Alpine has packed a lot into this house; there’s no word on how much it cost, but for comparison their 28-foot Teton went for $65,000. There aren’t many pictures available yet, either, so be sure to check out the video tour at the bottom to get the whole story.

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h/t Tiny House Talk

Dec 22, 2016 / by / in
Heritage Restorations Dry Creek barn restoration

This beautifully restored Waco, Texas, barn belongs to Kevin Durkin, who’s also the founder of the company responsible for the renovation: Heritage Restorations, which has been doing similar projects for nearly twenty years now and has offices in New York, Connecticut, Idaho and Montana as well as Texas. Kevin spends most of his time in New York, but says he always enjoys staying in the ‘Dry Creek Guest House’ when he’s in town. Large as it looks (if you’re used to looking at THOWs), at just 336 square feet this really does qualify as a tiny house; the ultra-spacious feel is down to its 3:5 width-to-length ratio and 21-foot centerline height. Besides looking big, of course, it looks gorgeous, with full, modern kitchen and bathroom facilities blended beautifully into the reclaimed remainder. Much of the material was carried over from the original barn, while Heritage Restorations added an antique staircase and salvaged wood flooring from other sources. If you’re ever in the area, Kevin sometimes gives tours of the place – otherwise, enjoy the pictures, and check out our previous article for some of a larger barn that Heritage Restorations transplanted from New York and turned into a home in Texas.

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h/t Tiny House Talk

Dec 21, 2016 / by / in