Ten Tiny House Companies you NEED to know about

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Tiny House, off-grid, build your own, retirees, retirement, small, mini, houses, homes, self sustaining

Good things come in tiny packages

There’s no doubt about it, the tiny house movement has well and truly taken off. Please let us know your favorites (news@off-grid.net). Extreme downsizing has become very popular, with a smaller space offering easier upkeep and lower utility bills. The average tiny house is 186 square feet – truly tiny! With prices of building your own tiny home being around $23,000 on average (remember Joseph’s upcycled shipping container home?) it’s not hard to see why it’s so popular. Even having someone else build you a tiny house, prices start around the $45,000 mark. This is a great deal cheaper than the price of the average American home which runs into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Therefore, a good many tiny house owners do not have a mortgage, giving financial peace of mind.

A survey conducted in 2015 by TheTinyLife.com found that retirees are becoming a large proportion of tiny house owners. The results showed that 30% of just 2,000 respondents were aged between 51-70 years. Of course this makes sense, as people reach retirement age downsizing is common practice – and you can’t downsize much more than a tiny home! When looking for a tiny house when you’re not as young and nimble as you used to be, it is important to look out for certain features. These include: easy to reach storage to reduce awkward stooping and stretching; a single storey tiny house, or a main floor bedroom – avoid loft sleeping areas with ladders! Accessibility is also important; whether this be wide doorways, walk in showers, ramp access or building low to the ground.

Here are ten tiny house companies, offering retiree appropriate (and non-retiree) products which could very well seal the deal for you!

 

Zyl Vardos Inc – Washington State

Based out of the Squirrel Hut mini-office in Olympia, Washington, Zyl Vardos builds unique and customisable small structures. The tiny house products offered vary in price from $45,000 to above $96,000. Currently their website showcases 10 of the tiny houses offered, but if you fancy having one designed to your own specification, that is also possible.

Their “Little Bird” Basic option is one of build options available. Coming in at $68,000, with a  22 ft x 8 ft floor space, this home has a copper roof and cedar exterior. With a single French door, 6 windows and a kitchenette, this tiny house has everything you would need. The bed nook happily fits a queen mattress, with room to spare, and a flush or compost toilet can be fitted.

If you would like to upgrade to the “Advanced” option of the Little Bird you can – for an extra $10,000. This upgraded model includes a tiled bathroom floor, oak floors, double French doors, expanded kitchen storage amongst other features. Custom options for a retiree such as wider doorways and a raised toilet can be included at an additional feel.

Zyl Vardos have a building slot available in June 2017, so if this has piqued your interest or you want to let your imagination run free with your own design – contact them. Their YouTube Channel, also gives some great insights into their range of tiny houses!

Tumbleweed Houses – Colorado State

A variety of options await you with the ability to design your perfect tiny house in less than 10 minutes! Base model prices begin at $62,950, with the Cypress and its recess porch being the most popular. Each model can either be 20ft or 26ft in length, offering 188 square feet and 269 square feet of space respectively.  The floor plan options can be customised to your needs, so you can truly put your stamp on the build.

Designing your own tiny house involves you choosing everything from roof colour and window style to interior walls and extra features. Oak, Bamboo or Walnut flooring – the choice is yours! Cabinet colour? Which stairs to get to the loft? Warranty length? All of these choices and many more are placed directly in your hands, giving you a quote for the exact tiny house of your dreams. Off-grid options are also available.

Check out their gallery for some images of what some people have done with their amazing tiny spaces.

 

Escape Home – Wisconsin

This company offers a variety of RV model and park model RVs, which come with basic and custom packages. One of the larger park model options, the Getaway has 400 square foot of space. It comes with a full size bathroom, kitchen with all appliances and private bedroom with queen size bed. The beauty of this home is it is all on one floor, so no pesky stairs or ladders to bother with. Panoramic windows offer breath-taking views to the great outdoors, with the option of an open deck, screened porch or even a sun-room for that extra oomph. Retailing at $88,700, this is a more expensive option, but offers a larger space with plenty of storage and all the comforts of home.

Off-grid options like solar panels and composting toilets can also be added into the designs offered. Depending on the model and customisation options, your Escape can be built in as little as two months and can be delivered to you (charges variable).

To find out more, visit the FAQ section on the Escape website to get into the nitty gritty of these tiny houses.

 

Little House on the Trailer – California

Offering compact moveable, customisable housing and home care cottages from $49,500 what’s not to like? Although, technically Little House on the Trailer is not a tiny house company, the models they build are still on the small side at 400 square feet. The home care cottages are aimed at retirees, allowing parents to live in the backyards of their kids, whilst still having their independence and own space. The selling point of this company is the heavy involvement of the client with the design of the homes. The time it takes from design to delivery is on average 2-3 months. If you fancy seeing one of the models, their display yard is open Saturdays 10 am to 4 pm.

To see more of the beautiful small spaces Little House on the Trailer builds, take a look at their gallery!

 

Home Care Suites – Florida

Tiny House, tiny home, self sustaining, small, mini, retirees, retirement, off-grid

Surprisingly spacious – tiny homes offer a lot for their money.

Like Little House on the Trailer, this company specialises in building small cottages in the backyards of existing residents. Therefore, they are built on permanent foundations and the utilities are tied to the main residence. Aimed mostly at retirees, these tiny houses are also marketed as potential home offices or man caves! Ranging in size from 256 square foot to 588 square foot, there can be ample room inside these tiny houses.

Aiming for the middle ground, the single storey Floridian model comes in at a nicely sized 448 square feet. With a spacious living area, private bedroom with walk in closet, accessible bathroom with walk-in shower, this has everything you could possibly need. It is also fully customisable, so added extras are also possible. The price for this model is $85,000 – $100,000 depending on options chosen. The minimum price for their smallest tiny house is $55,000. These tiny homes typically take between 5 – 6 months to build.

Check out Home Care Suites’ floor plans to see if any are right for you, or even just for a bit of inspiration!

 

Minim Homes – Washington

Not as flexible as some of the other companies mentioned, the Minim House comes as a standard basic home unit. It does however have a few options for customisation. The 12 foot by 24 foot space has an aluminium clad door, six windows and a solid walnut floor. The kitchen area has a stainless sink with foot pedals for hot and cold water, whilst the 4 foot by 6 foot bathroom has a separate walk in shower. A low flush toilet comes as part of the build, or the customer can install a compost toilet at a reduced price. There are plenty of handy storage areas, for instance, the 5 foot sofa opens up to reveal hidden storage space.

Options to add on to the home include a trailer, extra windows and an off –grid package of solar system and refrigerator. The price for this mini home is $71,000 and can be delivered to you for an extra cost.

Check out this pdf document for more on what’s included in the Minim House and prices for optional extras.

 

Shopdog – New Mexico

This company builds tiny houses to suit any design and need and are fully customisable. However, there is one condition – it has to be fully off-grid and self-sustaining. Plus, they aim to build the whole thing out of recycled materials (or as much of it as they can). This is what they achieved with the “Steely Cottage”, a 200 square foot space built on a 24 foot by 8.5 foot trailer. With a self-contained solar system, a composting toilet and grey water drainage system, this tiny house can go absolutely anywhere. As long as there’s sunshine and water to fill the tank of course! Plus, with its full size shower and queen size mattress bed, who says good things don’t come in small packages! The Steely Cottage costs $50,000 and can be shipped for a fee.

 

Nelson Tiny Houses – British Columbia, Canada

This company offers two main styles of tiny house, the V House and the Acorn. From these the company can build something customised entirely by you. V is for versatile and that certainly suits the V House down to a T! A 120 square foot (8 foot by 15 foot) V House comes in at $35,000. However, this can be made larger – up to 250 square foot – double the size! Typically, each additional square foot is around $200.

Built to your specific needs, your tiny house can be furnished with custom built furniture. Alternatively, you can adapt the original floor plan to add rooms or multiple lofts for more storage. Really very versatile! Plus, the tiny house can be built to be fully off-grid. However the price tag does increase up to $10,000 for this. Typical building time for one of these projects is between 12 and 24 months depending on the specification.  Currently, the company only delivers to certain states in the US – Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Check out a tour of the V House, plus check out the Nelson Tiny House YouTube Channel!

Tiny Home Builders – Florida

Another company with a variety of models, which can be delivered nationwide! One model is even named “Tiny Retirement”. Designed specifically for retirees it is based on a single level – no stairs in sight! Plus, with the entryway located at one end of the building, this allows space for a bathroom at the other. This leaves plenty of room  in the rest of the space for a full size bed!

However, if you don’t want to buy a model with “retirement” in the title, the Tiny Studio model can be customised to your needs instead. Options such as slip resistant flooring and a ramp are available! This tiny house has 160 square foot of space with kitchen and dining space on a slightly raised level. Underneath this platform there is a roll-away bed which becomes seating space when put away. Plus, being built on a mobile trailer, the tiny studio can go anywhere – just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you have to stay in one place!

 

Creative Cottages – Maine

Last but by no means least is Creative Cottages, which create custom energy efficient homes using environmentally sensitive building practices. Their Oceanside Retreat is a beautifully crafted 422 square feet which is liveable all year round. A single storey layout, with bedroom, kitchen and bathroom facilities, whilst the sliding glass doors ensure there is lots of natural light, making it bright and airy. Custom built on foundations, this is a more expensive option compared to the other choices outlined above, coming in at $238,000.

Creative Cottages also only services the Mid-coast Maine area. However, there is the option to buy plans from them (at a cost of between £1,850 and $2,300) and hire a contractor to build your very own creative cottage elsewhere.

 

These are just some of the tiny house building companies out there. It is clear there is a wide range of scope and creativity when it comes to building these mini homes. But it is easy to understand why so many people have fallen in love with them.

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He Built A Family-Of-Five Home For … $5,000

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The Family-Of-Five Home That Cost … $5,000

If you daydream about living the tiny house lifestyle but think that building your own tiny house would be either too difficult or too expensive, then you need to hear the story we found.

In a new video, a young father of three shares how he designed and built a tiny house for his family of five, with little to no building experience – all for under $5,000.

First, he did all the work himself over the course of a year. Then, he also saved money by repurposing free or low-cost items, such as returned wood at his local Lowe’s store, which he purchased at a deep discount, and free solid oak kitchen cabinets he found advertised on Craigslist.

This tiny house builder started with the flatbed of a 1960s Layton camper that he purchased for $200. Hoping to get back his purchase price in scrap metal, he dismantled and destroyed the camper in order to get down to its bed.

Story continues below video

He did recoup his $200, but he admits, “For the labor, it definitely wasn’t worth it. It was a lot of work.”

The tiny homebuilder bought all his framing materials at Lowe’s, explaining that after befriending the store manager, he was able to score great deals on returned or slightly damaged wood. As a result, the entire framing of the house, including the siding and the roof, cost only about $500.

He next tackled all the electric wiring himself, calling the job “very messy” but “pretty easy.”

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The family began their tiny home project in August 2012, and by August 2013, they decided to move the under-construction house to a new location 30 miles away by towing it with their Dodge Ram pickup truck. “It handled it with no problem,” says the builder.

In the new location, they set back to work, staining the home’s exterior red, putting in cedar paneling and window molding, installing hardwood and slate flooring, creating walk-in lofts for sleeping and creating bannisters.

The finishing details were time consuming, the father admits, but his photos show how much character they add to the home.

He made a second video several months after the completion of the home, and those photos reveal a warm and attractive – albeit small — family home both inside and out.

Story continues below video

“We use every single inch of space,” he says. “We have lots of storage nooks and places to hang things like our three guitars, our four guns, our four bows and all our books.”

He says organization is the key to living in a tiny house, but that “after two months, you enjoy the things you like even more than you did previously.

“You get rid of the things that clutter your life and keep the things you want the most.”

The young family is not without modern conveniences. For instance, they have a 42-inch high-definition TV, Internet and a PlayStation for video games. In order to play board games with friends, a table made from reclaimed church pews can slide out from its tucked away location inside a kitchen cabinet.

The couple has enough clothes for one week. “If you get something new, you get rid of something else,” he explains. Out-of-season, clothing and bedding are stored in space bags in cabinets under the couch. Homeschooling books for the kids are under a multi-purpose desk.

“You don’t sacrifice the quality of life (in a tiny house),” he says. “Our quality of life has improved. We have more money, more time and more freedom.

“It has been an awesome journey.”

Would you want to live in a tiny house? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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OFF GRID – Space Available For RV, Tiny House on wheels or….?

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(Picture is taken from my front porch steps)

 

Looking for an older single m/f or couple to live cheaply on my secluded high (5300′) desert land. Being on a fixed income (SS, Disability etc.) is preferred as there is not much in the way of jobs except for Sierra Vista, AZ (20 miles W).

Being that I’m no youngster (66), I’m NOT into building an off grid community & trying to live off the land or things of that nature. Although I do have a 8′ x 12′ greenhouse w/ running water & electricity.

I would like to find like minded people (1-2) to join me for company, to have someone there for emergencies (Yours or Mine) and to help with the maintenance of property, buildings & off-grid systems. (Solar, electric, water, solar batteries, garbage, etc).

Imagine your Tiny house on wheels here

I would like to find someone before my 5 siblings start telling me that I’m too old/disabled to be alone for this “Off Grid” living stuff. They haven’t started yet, thank god. I figure I’m good for at least 5+ years more before that happens.

I am a Full/Time Off-Grid RV-er with 15+ acres just 2.5 miles West SW from the center of Tombstone, AZ.

The property is at 5300 ft. altitude (900 ft. +/- higher than Tombstone) at the end of 2.5 mile dirt/rock road and surrounded by Federal BLM Land. The road is a bit rough but I’ve been driving it with my Nissan Quest for the last 10 years. And I’ve only used a 7” fan for air conditioning for the last 8 years as the altitude, wind usually keeps temps well below 100f. I actually have a 20” 12V swamp cooler but have never bothered to hook it up. It (land) is a actual ‘Patented mining claim’ from 1882 silver days in Tombstone.

I’ve owned the property since 2001 and I have been living there full time off grid for the last 8-9 yrs. I’m now 66 and have been retired on disabilities (COPD,+,+) for the last 4 years. I just prefer my privacy, living on the cheap off grid, on my secluded land with 50-60 mile views to the N & S. I’m a bit of a recluse or agoraphobic actually. The nearest neighbor living on their property is 2 miles away. I pretty much spend my days reading (2-4 books a week), on the Internet or watching movies. I have my own DVD store (6TB of movies, documentaries and TV shows.) I get phone/internet via Verizon and satellite TV is available but too costly for my budget.

(Preference to Veterans, Retirees and Snowbirds)

Also open to visits by people wanting to learn how-to live off grid.

NO HEAVY DRINKERS,

NO DRUGIES (Prescription, OTC or Illegal)

420 FRIENDLY (To a point)

Limited guns OK if not obsessed with them

 

Systems in place

SOLAR :

  • 1300 watts of panels

  • 3500kw Trace inverter

  • 45amp Morning Star MPPT charge controller

Auto BACK-UP :

  • 10,000 KW Koller gas, low revolution generator
    on a trailer for portability.

ELECTRICAL :

  • 30 AMP HOOK-UP

BATTERY BACK-UP :

  • (4) L16 Deep cycle batteries

WATER :

  • MUST be trucked in. Have a 520 gal. water trailer (5000 lb loaded)

  • Have 2800+ gallons of covered storage tanks

  • 1” pressurized water pumping system

GARBAGE :

  • Burn & bury what is possible

  • Recycle – all cans & plastic

  • 4′ x 8′ trash trailer for what needs to go to dump

You would be sharing space with

. Lots of insects incl. Scorpions, centipedes, killer bees, wasps etc.

.

Bobcat

Wildlife – coyotes, wild pigs, gilla monsters, snakes and a occasional mt. Lion or bear

. Cows occasionally

 

I do keep a 22 pistol loaded with snake shot to scare off cows & pigs. The lion & bear, I’ve only seen tracks and scat in 15 yrs a couple of times. But I did have a Bobcat on my roof early one morning. 🙂

 

 

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Tiny house build in Alaska

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I’ve never been to Alaska, I live in what most would consider a challenging place to live, on an undisclosed mountainside in the high desert of far west Texas… but I have to give props to those who live year round in Alaska, those are some really tough people 🙂

The people have to be tough, and their homes have to be equally as tough, this tiny house is built very to withstand the wilds of Alaska and honestly has most (if not all) of the amenities I would want to have. I thought that having an elevator bed, one that would go up and down would be a great idea, apparently someone else had the same thought and actually did it. This works and works great!

I really love the amount of open space as well as the storage space. Each space has been well thought out and is multi-functional, most components have at least 2 to 3 functions each, I’d say that this tiny home is the pinnacle of all the tiny homes I’ve seen to date.

https://youtu.be/lHjJd4tkvSU

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Tiny house in BC

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This tiny house has a rustic beauty that I like, the wood and corrugated metal makes me smile, it reminds me of the old barns and homes out here in far west Texas. The warm look is mirrored by the tight envelope created by a soy based foam insulation, allowing the home to be heated by an equally tiny marine style heater.

This tiny house is designed to be self sufficient with solar power, 12 volt goodies to run fully off grid, or you can hook up to regular 110v power. I might have changed the tiny sitting area and made it more of a wider bench so that it can seat more people and be used as a guest bed.

I do like the mudroom entrance, giving you some separate space before you enter the main space. I also like the ladder design. The closet is great, it’s large, often that is lacking in the tiny homes, but not in this one.

The wet bathroom is something I would like in my home, it creates more space for taking a shower, another thing that is usually lacking in a tiny home, this is designed very well.

Enjoy the video tour
https://youtu.be/ypKCTKZ34rk

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Ford Ranger tiny house

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I love YouTube for the plethora of entertainment as well as the educational value, just about anything you would want to learn can be found there. Today I found 2 tiny home videos, one of which really hits home for me. That would be the tiny home build on a Ford Ranger pickup truck. For those of you who aren’t familiar, a Ford Ranger is a small, very small pickup truck, there is nothing full sized about it. The reason it really tugged at me was I got my mother’s Ford Ranger after she passed away, she didn’t have many possessions, but had told my sister and I that when she passed away, which ever of the two of us needed it worse would get it, that fell to me as my vehicle had just bit the dust and I was in real need of a reliable vehicle. Several years later when we were moving to our off grid home, we traded it for a classic VW Beetle (bug) knowing it would last longer on our rough roads out here, I do miss driving that little truck.

https://youtu.be/4K6rSTeUOT4

The second video about tiny homes features a small trailer build, it’s 60 square feet, but contains everything you would need in an aerodynamic and tasty package. I like the corrugated metal siding, it’s my kind of style, he even calls it “the outhouse” LOL. It contains a couch/bed, a kitchen, a shower and composting toilet, and a big screen TV, there is lots of room in this very small space. I don’t know if I could LIVE in such a small space, but it would be great for traveling around, living part time.

https://youtu.be/bDZV2_hXAYk

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Tiny Houses And The People Who Live In Them Infographic

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Tiny Houses And The People Who Live In Them Infographic

 

Today’s infographic Monday  I have one from The Tiny Life Blog on tiny houses. They spent several hundred hours crunching data on tiny houses to come up with an infographic. 

 

More Tiny House People Are Mortgage Free

I want to break out a few numbers to discuss. 68% of tiny house people over 29.3 % of all us homeowners have no mortgage. More than half of us tiny house dwellers do not pay rent or a mortgage. That is a huge difference. More than double. The freedom you gain without paying a mortgage is amazing. For many, it can free you up to not work a job you hate. You can work a job you love or work fewer hours so you can spend more time with your loved ones. 

 

No Debt

I love this statistic. 89% of those that live in a tiny house have less credit card debt than average American’s. 65% of us, myself included, have zero credit card debt. If you believe like me that debt is slavery then this should give you hope. Many are realizing they have been fed a lie and escaping. The trend of getting a bigger and bigger house all the while drowning in debt is dying. 

Not Just The Young

If you think that just us youngsters are building tiny houses the giving the system the finger you are wrong. 2 out of 5 tiny house owners are over 50 years old. That comes out to 38% of tiny house people. The 40~50-year-old group has the lowest percentage with only 18%. So it would seem the older and wiser you get the more you realize the need to beat the system with a tiny house. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Come Join Me For A Tour Of My Off Grid Tiny House

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A Tour Of My Off Grid Tiny House

Join Me For A Tour Of My Off Grid Tiny House

I finally did a Tour Of My Off Grid Tiny House. After several requests on YouTube to do a tiny house tour. I kept putting it off till I could clean up my house. To get it done I decided to set a deadline and shoot the video tour of my tiny house whether it was clean or not. Well, It is not perfectly clean but I’m a man and a messy one at that. 

I realized that I forgot to show the loft. Also, I didn’t talk about the walls. I’ll answer some of the things here. If I get enough questions I will do a Q&A Video on my tiny house. 

 

Stained Plywood Walls

Stained Plywood Walls

Stained Plywood Walls

So for my walls, I took a unique approach. I didn’t want to do plain old drywall. After lots of searching on google, I came upon stained plywood. I went with a dark red stained which ended up looking like walnut to me. The great thing about the plywood is hanging pictures. I can put a nail anywhere and it will work. Plus I like wood over drywall. 

The Loft

The Loft Is 8 foot long by 12 ish feet wide. So it gives me plenty of room for a queen sized mattress and storage. I somehow totally forgot to video the loft in the Tour Of My Off Grid Tiny House.  The platform is stained plywood. The center braces were removed above the loft for more head room. With sturdiness of the plywood to hold it together, I was not worried about losing strength. Also, the 2×6 frame of the loft pulls the walls together. 

 

 

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The Upside Of Downsizing, The Freedom Of Living Smaller

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I can still remember the looks of shock and disbelief on many of the faces of our friends and family when we told them we were going to build a 1000 square foot home at the farm. Where will put

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How To Build An Off Grid Gravity Fed Water System Cheaply

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How To Build An Off Grid Gravity Fed Water System Cheaply

 

How To Build An Off Grid Gravity Fed Water System Cheaply

 

 

An off grid Gravity Fed Water System is a great  option for  running water. Since many of us off grid dwellers and tiny house owners do not have running water.  Yes, you can live without running water. Indoor plumbing has been around a long time but mostly for the wealthy. Your average 16th century English Farmer would have to carry in water. The same still holds true for many parts of the world today.

The system I’m going to show you how to build is not a whole house solution. The principles will scale up, though. This is a cheap and easy solution to get a gravity fed water system for a sink. So this is perfect for doing a few loads of dishes, brushing teeth or hand washing.

Best of all this build is both easy and cheap. I built the system in just a few minutes. I spent the next few days tinkering with it to try to optimize it.

 

Off Grid Gravity Fed Water System

The Parts

Parts

  • Five Gallon Bucket With Lid
  • Tubbing
  • Threaded PEX connector
  • Threaded PVC Piece
  • Rubber Washer
  • Hose Clamps That Fit The PEX Connector.
  • Faucet Connector
  • PEX Faucet Shut Off

Some of the parts listed are not specific. Therefore they will vary based on your needs and availability. You can do like I did and stand in the plumbing section of Lowe’s for an hour trying pieces for a fit. Unless you are going to be reducing it’s best to get tubing the same size as your PEX connectors. I believe the tubing I used was 3/8th. That was a very snug fit on the faucet shut-off connector.

You could also just go into the local hardware store and ask for help. If you get a smart employee, yes it happens sometimes, you can be out quickly. Just tell them you’re looking to hook up a hose to a five-gallon bucket.

 

Gravity Fed Water System

Drilling the hole

Building The Bucket

Use a paddle bit to drill a hole the size of your threaded piece. In my case, this was 3/8th size hole. Be careful not to let the bit dance. If you do the hole will be bigger than the connector. Also, Plumbers tape will help to a degree.

I had to get a pvc piece that was female on one side and male on the other.  Put Teflon tape on the PEX piece and screw into the female side. Use Teflon tape on the male side. Put a rubber washer on.

For inside the bucket, I had a female threaded open piece.

Thread the male connector into the bucket. It should be a tight fit. You want the piece to go all the way into the bucket for the washer to prevent leaks.

On the inside of the bucket, I put another rubber washer on threaded side. That way there is a washer on the inside and outside of the bucket to prevent leaks.

Thread the open female piece on the inside of the bucket. Tighten it as snuggly as you can by hand. Using a wrench would break something for sure.

Preparing The Line

At this point, it’s best to place the bucket where you are going to want it. Take the tubing you have and place on one of your hose clamps. Work the tubing onto the PEX barbed end on the bucket. It will be a really tight fit. This is what we want. When the tubing is all the way on, move the hose clamp to the center of the barb. Tighten the hose clamp. Don’t go crazy tightening it down, you don’t want to crack the PEX barb.

Run the tubing to the sink. It will most likely be too long. I didn’t want to have excess tubing congesting my Gravity Fed Water System. The less distance it travels will help with the pressure. Cut it to be just enough to reach the sink.

Nest put a hose clamp on the tubing and attach to the shut-off valve. And the Shut off piece connects to the faucet connector and that screws onto the sink.

Gravity Fed Water System

Gravity Fed Water System

Set Up

At this point, everything should be hooked up for your Gravity Fed Water System. Since this is only going to feed the cold water tap on the faucet. Don’t forget to either plug or shut off the hot water side. I used a faucet connector and shut off valve on it. Therefore the water  will just pour out. Ask me how I know.

Now fill the bucket with water. Check for leaks. Also you could use silicone to seal the connector coming out of the bucket. I have not had it leak in weeks of use, though.

Then turn on you shut off valve to the faucet. Check for leaks. If no leaks turn on the faucet. Remember only the cold will work. If water comes out awesome you did it! In the event that the water won’t flow it has air in the line. So we have to get the air out of the line first.

Also you could install a check valve to get the air out. I just squeezed the tubing near the bucket. When you squeeze the tubing it forces the air inside the bucket and fills the line with water. Once the line is completely filled with water it will flow.

 

Off Grid Running Water Gravity Fed Water System

Off Grid Running Water

Conclusion

In conclusion, I have been without running water for almost 2 years, living in  my tiny house. It isn’t that bad honestly. In particular many things you take for granted are made difficult. Like doing the dishes. So you can’t just rinse off something. The first thing I did after building my Gravity Fed Water System was to do some dishes. Finally It felt great to have running water to do dished with.

I fiddled around trying to get the water pressure to be better with no luck. Also don’t expect any great water pressure. It will flow steadily. But it will flow.

This project cost less than $30 and took less than an hour. As a result,  I can turn a faucet and water comes out. For a short term disaster or for those that live off the grid this is a cheap and easy solution.  So the next step  from this system  is rain catchment and a water pump. You could possibly do that for $100. Probably not, though. As an interim to that, this Gravity Fed Water System fills the gap perfectly.

What do you do for water? Have you built a Gravity Fed Water System? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

Want to hear yourself on the podcast? Call in with your questions at (615) 657-9104 and leave us a voice mail. 

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Off grid tent living

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Screenshot_2016-08-18-14-13-36-01

This is interesting and unexpected, it’s a 4 season tent,  the video shows it in winter with a blanket of snow.  Unlike a yurt, this really looks like an old style tent,  it reminds me of being in Girl Scouts.

The tent is divided into 4 sections, a sleeping area,  living, kitchen and dining.  It can sleep up to 4 people, though you’d best be good friends or family, there is no privacy to speak of.

The toilet is an outhouse down the trail, one nice thing about an outhouse in winter is less to no odor and no bugs.

https://youtu.be/yq_nJ0T4HV0

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Barn shaped blueberry

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Screenshot_2016-06-21-01-08-46-01_wm

Laura and Rory’s barn shaped blueberry tiny home,  they designed it themselves,  I love the little touches that makes it theirs. With clever ideas,  they have made the most out of the small space they call home.

The gambrel roof is a great idea,  it creates so much more usable space in the loft area,  and the ventilation in the roof area,  it’s something I want to incorporate into the SkyCastle.

Here is their video walk thru, enjoy.

https://youtu.be/CvbM_WyrGP8

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Tiny home in 40 days

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Pascal and Catherine built their tiny home in 40 days and live in it as their second home. This tiny home is very cute and has thoughtful touches to make the tiny space seem bigger, th001 I personally like the white along with the wood, it looks clean & sleek. I also love the tiny wood burning stove.

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You can learn more and follow them here
http://www.mamaisonlogique.com
@mamaisonlogique

https://youtu.be/YQelSAnTWxM

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Off-Grid Life In A $31,000 Portable ‘House On Wheels’

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When the average American family moves from one town to another town, it often involves weeks and weeks of packing up their stuff, not to mention finding another house in which to live. But for off-gridder Fred Schultz, it takes only about one day – but instead of buying a new house, he simply hitches his house-on-wheels to the back of a vehicle … and moves it.

Fred, his wife and their young daughter live in Australia in what is often called a “tiny house,” and he is this week’s guest on Off The Grid Radio.

The tiny house movement, we learn, has benefits for all homesteaders and survivalists, even if a particular family doesn’t want to make it their primary residence. There are, after all, benefits of being portable.

Fred also tells us:

  • How he designed and built his house for merely $31,000.
  • Why he believes life in a small house is far less stressful than life in a big house.
  • How he gets power and water off-grid, miles and miles from the city.
  • Why he uses an alcohol-powered stove for cooking.
  • What his plans are if his family continues expanding.
  • How he built a tiny wood-burning stove that also heats his water.

Fred also shares with us the biggest mistakes he made when building his tiny house. If you’re an off-gridder looking to be more portable or wanting to downsize — or you simply enjoy amazing, unique stories – then this is one show you will want to hear!

School teacher’s tiny home build

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Tiny home

When I was a little girl, my dad had converted our single car wide garage in our home into a dining room on one end and my bedroom on the other end. He built in a small closet, I remember taking everything out of the closet and pretending that space was my home, my hideaway. I would climb into the top shelf of the closet, that was the best spot, it felt safe and it was all mine.

I get that same feeling when I look at these tiny homes, of course they have lots more room than my little closet, but the sentiment is the same, it’s safe and it’s yours.

This tiny home is a real custom job, created over a period of years using about 80% recycled, repurposed material, working on weekends and summers, Ian and Jessie put together a really interesting home. I love the kitchen since they used full sized equipment, I could really cook there.

The one place where they deviated from most tiny homes is the toilet, many prefer using composting toilets, theirs is a plumbed flush toilet, I suppose you have to draw the line somewhere, and that was their line (grin).

I like the use of windows, light and the high ceiling to give the feel of more space than is actually there. Watch the video and enjoy this tiny home.

https://youtu.be/ODNKhV5qL2A

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Episode 84 Year In Review

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Happy New Year In Review

Happy New Year

Year In Review

This week I do a year in review of all the things that I did in 2015. I talk about 1 year now living in the tiny house. How the first winter was. How I was comfy living tiny during the long ice storm. About how much it cost to move a tiny house. Lots of rambling occurs without Couch Potato Mike to keep me in line. Enjoy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Friends come and go. Sites gone.
  • Built the tiny house and moved it
  • Built the herb spiral and garden bed
  • Lights in the bathroom and kitchen.
  • Hummidity
  • Buddy burner and kerosene. Still no wood heat
  • Straight razor a year in
  • Great TV back and gone again
  • New Star Wars, I’m seeing it tomorrow
  • Smart Drugs
  • Another new year sober.
  • Got to meet Jimmy Moore
  • Diet updates. Bullet proof, carbs at night, intermittent fasting
  • Expect more blog posts and videos the new year
  • Episode 100 and the four year anniversary
    Call and leave a vm for episode 100 Voice Mail Number (615) 657-9104
  • Still need to get the rain water collection
  • Electricity hooked up
  • Sink drain, grey water
  • More contests
  • More guests
  • And more music

 

 

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Experience a Tiny House – No Strings Attached

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Off-grid Experience

Perhaps you’ve thought about ditching the concept of the traditional house and living a full off-grid experience, in a tiny home? But you haven’t got the nerve to try it out.

Maybe you’re pretty sure that an off-the-grid lifestyle is for you, but you don’t want to fully commit to living in compact quarters. A new Boston-based start-up wants to let you try your hand in the world of off-grid living with no strings attached.

Sacrificing the open space of a traditional home for compact living has many benefits. Cost efficiency, sustainability, and focusing on the simplicity of life hold obvious allure, and for some, this allure is reason enough to convert from a typical home or apartment to dwellings no larger than a single shipping container.
 

Boston-based company Getaway will let you rent a mobile tiny home in the Boston area for as little as 99$ a night.

 

Some homeowners might find the idea of permanently leaving their space for something radically different is just too big of a transition. The answer may be this clever new take on an off-the-grid vacation,

Using the same principles of tiny house living (including the need to escape, the need to foster nomadic living, and the desire for sustainability), the newly-created company set out to build their very own tiny homes to fit families comfortably. The home is designed by Harvard graduate students and includes solar–powered flaps and a composting toilet. There are plenty of designs to optimize space, like fold-out beds and shelves to fit books and board games. Should the house be transported, setup will take less than an hour.

The overall design is meant to be simple, but also harness the best economy for the space. The average cost of rent in the U.S. is $962, while to rent a night in the tiny home which sleeps four, complete with bicycles and firewood, costs only $99 a night. There’s an additional fee of $15 for a pet, or a $10 fee for a third and fourth guest. The houses will be built on land leased from local landowners. Getaway sees this as a benefit for landowners: having a tiny house for rent on their properties would provide people with an additional source of income, and put open land to good use.

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The Simple House Floor Plan – Making The Most Of A Small Space

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Today is the 2nd installment of 24 articles in our year-long series called “The Simple House Project.” Every 2 weeks, we will publish an article or video covering the process from start to finish. From permits, plans, and construction of the exterior, to the complete interior finish – we hope to document the challenges, trials and tribulations of creating a simple house that is extremely cost-effective, energy-efficient and earth-friendly – using only the space we truly need to live comfortably. Let me first say that we loved all of the comments and suggestions after our first segment two weeks back. The response so far has been amazing, and it makes us realize how many people out there are really looking at downsizing and living larger – with less! As we have said from the beginning of this project – finding the “perfect small-house design” will be different for each and every person – and by sharing our ideas – we hope to inspire others to find theirs. Today’s segment is all about the floor plan. The simple fact is that if you really want to downsize – you DO have to make cuts somewhere in livable space. For us – we chose to […]

Tiny home documentary

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I really appreciate how tiny homes are becoming more and more mainstream as well as legal, though many still have to “get around” codes and rules by making their tiny homes on wheels, to make them mobile or portable. I worry that some more restrictive locations might catch on and create even more rules or laws against tiny homes.

Meanwhile, Kirsten Dirksen, a filmmaker has traveled around all over the world shooting videos old and new tiny homes, showing us the way different folk live. This documentary is a wonderful eye opening look into just how tiny some people have gone, one lady lives in a 90 square foot apartment and has gotten quite a lot of attention from the press, but there is a man who lives in an even smaller footprint, measuring in at 78 square feet, his apartment in Manhattan is not much more than a space for a couch and bed that folds up behind the couch, most of us have larger closets.

Watch and enjoy.

https://youtu.be/lDcVrVA4bSQ

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Episode 73 Homestead Update

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Tiny House

Tiny House

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Just a short podcast this week. No frills, no co host, no news just a man on a mic. This week I give a much overdo update to the tiny house and homestead. I talk about the move to Mikes land. How much moving a tiny house can be. The issues getting electricity hooked up.

More Importantly I talk about the projects that have been done since I got here. Things are finally growing. Fall garden beds are put in. The Herb spiral is doing great.

I also talk about my rain water catchment plans. The Rocket stove build, grey water system and much more.

 

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