Tag Archives: Tiny House

Tiny Camper-Houseboat Eye Candy

This is my dream home. And it doesn’t seem like it would be too difficult to pull off. Maybe when The COMET is done touring the country for a while, I’ll put it on a barge and live on the ocean!

I’ve always wanted a deck on top of a camper, this is a great way to achieve that!

 

I’ll be out in the COMET today, removing the old water tank, old toilet, rotted wood and such. Demolition day! Pictures to follow, until then, have a lovely day readers!

(Oh, and go over to relaxshacks.com and sign up for Tiny House Summer Camp!! Full roster was just announced, and it’s going to be an amazing weekend.

Also, if you haven’t already done so, sign up for the Tumbleweed tiny house workshop in Boston in May, which is going to be another wonderful weekend. We’re going to look at the ORIGINAL Tumbleweed tiny house! It’s basically a historical landmark!)

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Radiosity 3000 – Radiant Heat Barrier for The COMET

So you probably have heard that white roofs are good for green building: white reflects the sun’s heat and keeps the building cool in the summer, reducing AC costs and energy use. In addition to painting the roof (and most of the exterior, except for a few colorful graphics) with white no-VOC paint, I will be using a product called Radiosity 3000 as a radiant heat barrier to keep The COMET cool in hot temperatures.

As you can probably imagine, a little aluminum box like the camper basically turns into an oven in the heat. My solar system won’t allow me to use air conditioning (I also don’t have the space for an air conditioner, and don’t particularly like them in general) so I was looking for a solution to keeping the COMET cool in the summer. The people at Green Building Supply suggested Radiosity 3000, and I think it’s going to end up being the perfect thing.

Radiosity 3000 is a radiant heat barrier that comes in powder form and mixes right in with interior or exterior paint. It has no effect on the paint’s color or performance, as it is just very fine glass. Here’s an excerpt from the Green Building Supply website:

“Radiosity 3000 is a paint additive that creates a radiant heat barrier on roofs, ceilings and walls to greatly reduce cooling costs. It can also be used in interior applications to reflect and trap warm, radiant heat from fireplaces, stoves or in-floor heating systems. Radiosity 3000 contributes significantly to the thermal comfort levels in both summer and winter months while it reduces energy usage.”

Basically, I am going to mix the Radiosity 3000 in with the exterior paint, and paint the entire COMET with it to keep it cool in the summer. On the interior, I will mix it with the interior paint to keep heat in when it is cooler outside. I’ll have a double heat barrier!

Pretty cool!

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Tomorrow I’m going to start demolition in The COMET: tear out the rotted wood in the walls, take out the old water tank, clean it up inside, and get a real sense of what needs to be replaced guts-wise. We’ll see what’s hiding behind those soft spots in the walls, so expect some gruesome photos tomorrow!

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Very Quick COMET update

Hey all!

I spontaneously moved the COMET from her hiding place behind my father’s mill building back to my house/workshop yesterday. The weather had been consistently nice and it’s time to break some ground inside. I towed her myself for the first time and she handled as nicely as I could expect from a trailer that old!

I’ll post pictured of her in her new home later on, but for now I am on my way to a Photovoltiac workshop at Hampshire College, where I am helping to build a “solar wagon” which will hang out near the bus stop and charge cell phones, laptops, ipods, etc. Check out soldesignlab.com to see what I mean.

Oh, and big THANK YOU to Derek Diedricksen over at Relaxshacks.com, who did a blog post about me today. Thanks Deek for helping me get the word out about The COMET project!! And if you haven’t already, go over to relaxshacks.com and sign up for tiny house summer camp, it’s going to be awesome. July 6-9th in Vermont tiny houses galore full roster to be announced today and I’ve heard it’s going to be NUTS!

 

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Thank You Green Building Supply!

I want to give a huge Thank You to Green Building Supply, an eco-friendly home and building center, for making an incredibly generous contribution to The COMET project. I found Green Building Supply while I was researching and pricing out sustainable building materials, and knew they would be great people to work with. Their website is comprehensive and informative, and their staff is friendly and SO helpful. I told them what I was doing with The COMET, and they were happy to help me figure out which green flooring, paint, and other products would be a good fit for the project. Green Building Supply has the best selection and best prices of any eco-friendly home place that I came across in my research. I also love Green Building Supply for going beyond the “sustainable products” for interior finishes and having a commitment to energy efficiency and sustainable systems as well. They have composting toilets, air and water filtration systems, energy efficiency items, and everything else you could imagine, in addition to eco-friendly flooring, countertops, paints, and more. Check out their website to see everything they have to offer. I highly recommend them as a resource for your next green building project.

Thank you Green Building Supply for your kind contribution to The COMET, which includes Marmoleum Click Classic flooring, UltraTouch Denim insulation, AFM SafeCoat primer (no VOC), a bunch of paint and caulk (also no-VOC), and Radiosity 3000 radiant heat barrier.

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Also, check out the new page I just added, up at the top of the website, titled “Events + Appearances”, to see where you can find The COMET in the next few months. I’ll be adding Tiny House Summer Camp (with Deek Diedricksen, July 6-9, go to relaxshacks.com for more info)  details and the full roster later, as soon as it is announced. I’ll also add the Brattleboro, VT KOA vintage camper and tiny house event (July 21-22) so keep an eye out for it! And if you have a vintage camper that you would like to display at the rally in Brattleboro on July 21-22, then please contact me! Vintage campers get a discounted rate at the campground.

 

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The COMET and I will be at the Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in Boston next Month!

Hey everyone!

I’m very excited to announce that I will be speaking at the Tumbleweed Tiny House Design/Build workshop with Derek “Deek” Diedricksen. The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company’s workshop is in Boston, MA and is 2 days, May 19th and 20th. I will have The COMET with me (someway, somehow, I will be towing – and parking it – around Boston!) and will be talking about the project, vintage campers as Tiny Houses, solar electricity in your tiny house or converted camper, and green + recycled building materials. It’s going to be an awesome weekend. There will be some other guests announced soon as well.

Go to the Tumbleweed Tiny House website, http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/workshops/boston/, and sign up for the weekend workshop soon!

Also, go to relaxshacks.com and sign up for the other workshop that The COMET and I will be at – Tiny House Summer Camp weekend in Vermont, July 6-9.

Can’t wait to show you all The COMET’s progress up close and personal, and meet some of you in person.

If you are planning on attending either of the workshops this summer, let me know in the comments!

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Great used building materials resource: DiggersList

I came across this really great resource for finding used/extra building materials for sale in your area. It’s basically a Craigslist just for home improvement/building materials/appliances, and it’s called DiggersList. Just type in your area/town and DiggersList will find anything for sale/free in a 50 mile radius. I really like the name, because as someone who loves to find used materials in the dumpster or in piles on the road, or even in piles on the internet, I think people like us really are “Diggers!”

If you check out DiggersList and find something great to use in your tiny house, camper conversion, or other project, let me know in the comments!

(And on the flip side of acquiring great used/unused extra building materials for free or cheap, you can also post your own leftover flooring, old fridge, or salvaged lumber on the site so others can take it off your hands!)

A random tiny cabin that I liked: solar powered, and check out the motorcycles (very fuel efficient).

Also, just a quick reminder about the TINY HOUSE SUMMER CAMP workshop weekend that Derek “DEEK” Diedricksen of Relaxshacks.com is hosting: sign up fast because there are VERY limited spaces available. It’s going to be an amazing weekend of tiny house building, designing, idea swapping. and more. I’ll be there, and The COMET will be coming with me to the workshop. I’m going to be showing it off (mid-construction) and bringing along lots of interesting sustainable building materials and other things. I’ll be showing off my free and recycled finds that will be going into The COMET, explaining why vintage campers make great tiny houses,  talking about how to save $$ in your tiny house by having an entirely DC photovoltaic solar electric system like The COMET, and more!

Other speakers at the workshop include WILLIAM ROCKHILL of Bear Creek Carpentry, who builds Tiny Houses for Tumbleweed, TRISTAN & LIBBY and their WHITTLED DOWN CARAVAN (an amazing vardo/caravan they towed from New Mexico to Massachusetts with a little sedan!), Derek’s own HICKSHAW CABIN, and more!

There will be a bunch of tiny dwellings in one space, and it’s sure to be quite an experience!

Right now there is a special early-bird price of $399 for the 3-4 day weekend, which includes some meals and lots of tiny stuff. If you want to register, email Derek at kidcedar at gmail dot com and head over to relaxshacks.com to find out more about the workshop.

See you there!!

 

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Tiny House Parking Lot Surprise

 

Hello!

The other day I accidentally found the coolest parking lot in Worcester, MA. I unexpectedly drove into the parking lot where my friend Ian’s timber-framed tiny house is located (see his house and more here: http://littletimberhouse.blogspot.com/), as well as my other friends’ “Studio Bus” (a converted school bus that is now a living space, recording studio, and more). There was also a GOLD metallic school bus back there, but I don’t know what that was. I had no idea all the weird Worcester tiny/mobile houses were in this one secret spot behind a big warehouse. I also checked out the big open indoor warehouse space where there is talk of tiny house collective-ness…

Anyway, I didn’t have my camera on me so here are some pictures of Ian’s tiny house from his website. I know a lot of people are always wondering, “Once I build a tiny house, where will I put it?” and it can be hard to find a place to park your unusual mobile dwelling. I’m glad these kids found a great spot!

 

Also, I have some final mock-ups for the Marmoleum floors for the COMET, so stay tuned for those.

 

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Tiny House Summer Camp with Derek Diedricksen of Relaxshacks.com!

It’s official!!

I’m SUPER EXCITED to be a speaker at Derek Diedricksen‘s tiny house design/build weekend workshop this summer. Deek just announced the workshop last week, and there are very few spots open, so sign up fast!! It’s going to be called “Tiny House Summer Camp”, and it’s taking place the weekend of July 6-9 at Derek’s home-built cabin in Vermont. The weekend will be full of tiny house tours, solar cooking, camping out, tiny house building. designing, idea swapping, and geeking out about all things tiny. As a participant you get to sleep in a cabin, a treehouse, a tiny house, or something else cool that will be at the workshop (depending on what state The COMET is in, I might be able to accommodate a few campers!) The COMET will be coming with me to the workshop, and I’m going to be showing it off (mid-construction) and bringing along lots of interesting sustainable building materials and other things. I’ll be showing off my free and recycled finds that will be going into The COMET, explaining why vintage campers make great tiny houses,  talking about how to save $$ in your tiny house by having an entirely DC photovoltaic solar electric system like The COMET, and more!

Other speakers at the workshop include WILLIAM ROCKHILL of Bear Creek Carpentry, who builds Tiny Houses for Tumbleweed, TRISTAN & LIBBY and their WHITTLED DOWN CARAVAN (an amazing vardo/caravan they towed from New Mexico to Massachusetts with a little sedan!), Derek’s own HICKSHAW CABIN, and more!

There will be a bunch of tiny dwellings in one space, and it’s sure to be quite an experience!

Right now there is a special early-bird price of $399 for the 3-4 day weekend, which includes some meals and lots of tiny stuff. If you want to register, email Derek at kidcedar at gmail dot com and head over to relaxshacks.com to find out more about the workshop.

 

 

Also, I’ve been working on getting The COMET concept across using words and pictures, and here are some early attempts. I’m working on an all-explaining infographic that combines everything The COMET is all about, but it’s not finished yet! Coming soon 🙂 I have a couple more infographics in the works, one with price tags on the big-ticket systems items and one that highlights the “green” materials being used in The COMET. All in time!

If you have any cool ideas for infographics relating to The COMET or tiny houses, let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

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Yestermorrow Design/Build School – first workshop this week!

I realized that I hadn’t written a post about the Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont, and that I should introduce you all to the place since I have my first class there this coming Sunday. Yestermorrow School is a design/build school that focuses on hands-on teaching and sustainable building practices. They offer workshops that range from 2 days to 4 weeks (and they have a sustainable building semester program with UMass Amherst). Topics range from Green building materials, woodworking, and tiny house building workshops, to architectural design and drawing courses and stained glass making workshops. I found out about them last year and when I read their “Philosophy” statement I was SO HAPPY to find a place that shared my values exactly. All last semester I had been talking about closing the gap between designers and builders, and wasn’t really getting any support in doing that. So I left my college for some time to attend Yestermorrow for the next year, through their Sustainable Design/Build Certificate program. Basically with the certificate program (and they offer certificates in other subjects too)  you choose a handful of week-long, 3-week long, and weekend workshops from a long list of amazing classes. I chose the certificate over the semester program because of the flexibility and that way I could work on The COMET at the same time. I’ve heard the workshops are really intense and totally awesome, and that a 3 week workshop feels like an entire semester. I’m about to find out!

Anyway, here’s their philosophy you you know what I mean:

“Yestermorrow’s courses are specifically designed to demystify the designing and building processes using hands-on, experiential learning to teach students the art and wisdom of good design and the skill and savvy of enduring craftsmanship as a single, integrated process.

This creative process offers students unique insight into the oftentimes disparate worlds of the architect and the builder. Architects are routinely trained without any building experience that might inform their designs, and builders are trained to execute without a sense of the overarching purpose or design of the project.

Combining design and building offers numerous advantages and promotes the creation of intentional and inspired buildings and communities that enhance our world. From the professional design/builder to the do-it-yourself design/build homeowner, every designer should know how to build and every builder should know how to design. This philosophy sets Yestermorrow apart from other educational institutions.”

There you have it. I was in love!

Anyway, this coming Sunday I go up to VT for my first workshop – a 5-day intensive called “Solar Electric Design and Installation”. Just in time, too, because I just bought 3 solar panels! I specifically chose workshops that would help me with the skills associated with designing/building/making the COMET. Once I take this workshop, I’ll be able to install my own photovoltaic system, and show you all how I did it step by step!

Also, if you haven’t seen it already, you should check out this video of the tiny house that the Semester program just built/finished. It is gorgeous!! (see it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5mD3iwOb2w)

I encourage you to check out the Yestermorrow website and browse through their courses to get an idea of how awesome the place is. When you attend a class there, you can either stay in the main building, stay in a cabin, or just camp out. I’m really excited! Hopefully at some point I’ll be able to stay in the COMET when I’m up there!

 

Also, on the topic of workshops, I just signed up for the recently announced Tumbleweed Tiny House building workshop in Boston on May 19th and 20th, with Jay Schafer and fellow Massachusetts tiny house guy Deek Diedricksen. I’m really looking forward to it. Personally, I think the Tumbleweed houses are a little too traditional for my style (what can I say – I like recycling junk and using used materials!), but I’m looking forward to building one! Is anyone else planning on going to the Boston Tumbleweed workshop?

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European Tiny Appliances for Tiny Houses

When I was in London last week we stayed in a little one-and-a-half room apartment that had all of the amenities in miniature form. I don’t exactly know the brands of some of these tiny appliances, and to be honest it took me a while to figure out how to work them! So I’m not sure how available these particular models are in the States, but I thought that these were all great space-saving ideas for a tiny house!

First off, there was a tiny dishwasher. I kind of think that a dishwasher would be a luxury in a tiny house, and that to save space most people would just op to hand-wash their dishes. But this one was so tiny!! It probably saves water too.

Tiny dishwasher

There was also a small washer/dryer combination (it all happens in the same machine!) hidden in another cabinet. You’d never have to move the laundry again! Above the washer/dryer is the super small oven/microwave combination. Everything multitasked!

 

And our final tiny European appliance is the stove top – with just two burners and a really smooth look. It’s set into the countertop and takes up virtually no space.

 

I thought all of these would work well in a tiny house. Not sure of the price tag on these sorts of mini-appliances, but they sure are cute!

 

I’ll post some more pictures of the totally cool vehicles/buses I saw in London a little bit later, so stay tuned!

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