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Families living in very small spaces: need advice! *UPDATED* 7/2/11 - Page 3

post #41 of 55

OMG, how cool is that Tumbleweed Houses site!!! The biggest house seems small when you look at the numbers, but it is bigger than the apartment we're in. I'm already rearranging the plans a bit to include even a tiny studio space for our music. And it estimates it costs $58k to build...that's so little for a house.


Sorry to totally derail things, I'm just really, really excited looking at that site. I've dreamed of a house for so long.

post #42 of 55
Thread Starter 

Kimmom- I love your greenhouse!!! We're debating attaching ours to the house or not- our two slabs are separate so DH is afraid of movement because of frost etc... if we attach it directly to the house but attaching and building a window from the house to the greenhouse would allow us to take advantage of passive heat... so we will see... : ) And your new house is completely gorgeous- would love to see more pictures of your progress : ) Congratulations! 



Originally Posted by HeckedyPeg View Post



this is a very cool idea! subbing cos i want to see what happens after the thaw :)


what are you going to do for washing/drying of clothes? 


I really can't wait to get more work done! 


I'm thinking we are going to end up getting a free standing claw foot type of tub, so I might be able to hand wash some things and let them air dry, but I'm planning on having to hit the laundry mat in town (like 15 minutes away) once a week or so. REALLY hoping to have DS (21 months) learning how to use the potty before then as that would save me a ton of washing! 


So I don't know if anyone else has read this or not, but I am starting to read the Humanure Handbook (the idea being to safely compost our waste but not using it to grow food- so keeping it separate from our food compost pile). We'll probably build something like this http://humanurehandbook.com/store/LOVEABLE-LOO-Eco-Toilet.html 

Friends of ours have been living in a yurt off of the grid for 10 years and have been using this method the entire time with no issues. We were thinking about buying an incinerating composting toilet but they are like $2000 and from what I've heard from other folks, don't always work so well. 


Has anyone done anything similar? Might ask this in the off the grid forum as well 

post #43 of 55

We have been using the bucket system like in the humanure handbook for a few years now.. In my opinion stay away from the commercial composting toilets, makes something simple too complex and difficult.. In our cob home we tried to pass through a composting toilet but we couldn't without a septic system. So we installed a basic gravity fed septic then plumbed our greywater septic so that it comes out of the house seperately and can either be diverted to the septic or into a greywater system. That way in the future "if" we ever sold our home the new owners could divert back into the septic. We have installed a flush toilet in the house for now but may in the future switch back to the bucket system. But with a  big family it is alot of bucket hauling! Our compost piles is usually around 115 F and never smells at all..

Heres a link to our website/blog on our home building, can't remember if I gave it to you before www.canadianfamilyrobinson.com

post #44 of 55
Thread Starter 

We've made a bit of progress so I thought I would update : ) DH has school break from teaching in mid April so he's going to camp out for the week with some friends and get the addition up, floors down, windows in, insulation in etc... we're also planning a 'work party' for that weekend so our friends and family are going to come out and help! We were gifted some fabulous glass from an old sun room that we are going to use for the greenhouse/ entry way so that was pretty exciting. We were also given a fridge (although it might be too big, so we'll see about that) and are going to check out a sink/counter unit tomorrow. I also found a gift certificate for a local greenhouse that I forgot we had so we're going to get a few apple trees and some grass seed- when the snow melts we are going to have one massive mud pit on our hands! 





The plans 




We moved this tiny window from one side to the other. It's where DSs mini loft is going to be so we're calling it his pirate window : P We're also removing the door and putting a big window in it's place. We've had some fantastic luck cruising the clearance section of the building supply store for windows and doors! 




Hole for the door and kitchen window still in the wrapping




Pirate window and DHs 'thinking chair' the loft is going to be in the peak and just be big enough for a sleeping mat with ladder access. We're going to make the under area a closet for our clothing and our bed is going to be on the opposite end of the room 




DS playing in the sun : ) 


I was also recently sent this link by a friend. I think this families space is pretty amazing!


I had to look twice but they totally have a poster in their kitchen area for the Common Ground Fair- an amazing local organic fair in our area : )


Their mega small space made me feel more confident about having children in our mega small house- which is good because we just found out we are pregnant! 


post #45 of 55

How exciting GGM!


We are both in the Nov ddc and I have a 12 month old.  We have been living in a 1 room cabin, using a sawdust toilet for 19 months now. My Dh is just about finished with our addition of an 8x12 room so we can move the bed to the floor and have floor space inside for the little ones to take over and us not have to worry about the wood stove or other things getting in their way :)


Love your plans!


We are working on plans for our forever home we will be building farther west on our property but that won't start for some time.


post #46 of 55

I love to see your pics and hear the news. I miss our old cabin in VT! 

post #47 of 55
Originally Posted by boogiemonster View Post

The place sounds adorable, but the commute would be a deal-breaker for me. I'd hate to lose that much time per day with DH.

I hope everything works out for the best for you!

ETA: Sorry, just read your reply. If your DH can get out of the commute, I say go for it! But 3 hours of driving each day (longer in bad weather) sounds pretty grisly.


THIS! Thew size of the place sounds great to me, but the commute sounds not doable. I do realize some people spend 3 hrs driving Mon-Fri but I think there would be a real chance your dh would be too worn out to really do anything when he was home.


post #48 of 55

What a great thread!! joy.gif

How are things now? 


I live in a tiny apartment with my soon-to-be 10 year old son. The apartment is 350 sq. feet total. One bedroom (almost half the apartment biggrinbounce.gif ), a small bathroom and a kitchen/livingroom.  We share the bedroom for now, but I have divided it into two "rooms" with fabric/a huuuge floorstanding bookshelf etc. I`ll try to find some pictures to show you. smile.gif  

I looove the sound of your plans, and the pictures are amazing!!! We live a 5 minute walk from downtown of Norways thirds largest city, so not very rural at all. But, this place is in the old part of town, with small wooden houses, few passing cars, lots of small independent shops/coffeshops etc. We love it here. (LoveBug`s dad lives next door, another big reason the stay in this tiny apartment.) I love the fact that I don`t have to own so much. It seems freeing, in a way. 


Oooh, and congrats on the pregnancy!!! 
*off to find some pictures*

post #49 of 55









This last pic shows both "rooms". I`m standing in the doorway (is that the right word?). After these pics where taken, I have put up a fabric/curtain between the rooms, so they are now completely "separated". 

Edited by *LoveBugMama* - 5/14/11 at 9:22am
post #50 of 55

Here is the rest of our tiny home: 










post #51 of 55

Love Bug, I want to see but those links bring me to an error page!

post #52 of 55

I`m on it! orngbiggrin.gif

Originally Posted by mouso View Post

Love Bug, I want to see but those links bring me to an error page!


post #53 of 55

GGM: Loving the pics! It looks great. And congrats on your pregnancy! :)


LoveBugsMama: you have such a happy looking home! 

post #54 of 55
Thread Starter 

Hey Mamas : ) Oh my goodness, it's been SO long since I've been on MDC! I have so many new pictures of the progress on our little space that I am going to share my Facebook album public link instead of trying to upload them all here! https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.167969886550485.44400.100000124230135&l=e8d0f875b1


There's been even more work done since these were taken, DH teaches at a school that has session in the summer, so they have two short breaks- one at the begining and one at the end of the summer- he is on one break now and is working like crazy to get our greenhouse/entryway/bathroom built. We're 19 weeks pregnant with baby number two and it feels weird to be planning for a home birth in a home that isn't done yet! DH built our table (which is really more like a bar) today and just called me to tell me how beautiful it is! The going is a little slowish only because we are doing the building part debt free (which means lots of rice and beans for dinner lately : P ) It's hard right now but I know we are going to have no regrets about that part of it. 


Eventually when I get enough time to sit down and sort it all out, I would like to start a blog about our project and compile a list of all of our research and resources. 


Here are some cool things we found recently that we are going to use or incorporate:  


Gorgeous low VOC paint- http://www.yolocolorhouse.com/#1


Low VOC floor finish made from renewable resources- http://www.vermontnaturalcoatings.com/store/polywhey-floor-finish-gallon.html


We also got a super cute (tiny!) ceiling fan that I nicknamed Bumble Bee orngtongue.gif


Here are a few of my favorite recent pictures 



DH in green (looking a bit sleepy!) insulating with one of our friends 



DH and another friend putting the metal roofing on our kitchen addition 




Greenhouse/entryway and bathroom going up 



My DS playing in the river by our property : ) 



LoveBugMama- I am in love with the tiny lofted bed- so sweet AND practical! I also love your organization and shelving- your computer space and couch area look super inviting! I don't have pictures yet but FIL is building all sorts of shelves/ bookcase type things for us so I'll post pictures when we get them up : ) 

post #55 of 55

i do love me some tiny spaces. :) in norway no less. :) and on a country estate somewhere in ME! :D


i should definitely get our place photographed and up for ya'll. when DS is ready to move into his own bed, it will be in the lounge, and we may well put up a curtain for privacy, but who knows if it will be necessary. probably not. LOL 


anyway. :) one of these days, i'll get to it. :D



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