I live in a "Tiny House" - Part 2
In the last post of this series, I introduced my family’s Tiny House adventure. I also talked a bit about people’s questions that we often get and our responses to those questions. In this post I am going to tell you a bit about getting our Tiny House to Kansas and about the light remodeling we completed.
It was early in 2017, we knew God had told us to sell our house so we had been getting it ready to sell. We still didn’t know what the next step was but knew if we listened, we would figure it out. We started by planning to build a house out of old grain bins until my husband jokingly suggested we move into a Tiny House, but I had no idea what he was talking about – I thought he just meant a smaller house. Of course, he showed me a picture and I fell in love. From there, we made accounts with tinyhouselistings.com (basically Craigslist for Tiny Houses) and if a Tiny House came along that we liked, we would save it and then we would share our favorites with one another when we got home from work. One day in March we found that we had saved the same Tiny House. It was in Tennessee, it was 280sf without a loft and it was perfect. We prayed and agreed that it seemed like the right move so we called the owners and made arrangements.
After flying to Tennessee to visit it, we purchased the Tiny and paid a trucking company to tow it for us. Moving any Tiny House is a concern that most people have. For us, we did not own a truck that could pull it – it requires at least a ¾ ton. Additionally, we were not raised on farms or familiar with backing and pulling heavy trailers. We opted to hire a company to bring it to us. It cost us $2,000.00 and if anything happened to the house during the trip, the company would cover all of the damages. The towing insurance was an important part of our decision and we felt that detail alone made it worth the money.
In April of 2017, it rolled on to our sweet friends’ property (we didn’t have land yet, but needed to start remodeling it). We remodeled the inside almost completely. We ripped out the bathroom entirely and started over. We added an area in our closet for a washer and dryer combo unit. We built a bed frame that allowed the mattress to lift and allowed for substantial storage underneath and round the base there is fabric cube storage accessible from the outside. My husband completely redid the plumbing and added to the electric, putting additional lights and outlets. We pulled down the upper cabinets in the kitchen and put in floating shelves. We made a trip to Ikea for furniture for the living room. We did some painting and some decorating and we were done with the inside!
In June of 2017 we moved the Tiny House to our newly purchased land. This time a friend moved it for us with his pick-up. He said it was easy to pull, no problems. He could tell there was weight in the bedroom area, but that was to be expected.
Starting in August of 2017 we worked on improving the land and hooking the Tiny House up to all of its utilities. Many people do this differently, but we decided to have a normal toilet rather than a composting toilet and all of the other normal hook-ups. During this time we also built a small deck because the Tiny sits a ways off of the ground and everyone in the Tiny House community knows, outdoor spaces are super important. Just last month we began adding more to the deck because our goal was to wrap it half way around the house.
In mid-late August of 2017 we moved in! The first night was hilarious because we laid there and just smiled at how tiny, yet cozy and fun this new adventure of our lives was. People would walk in and gasp at how small it is, but we forget that it is small - to us, it is normal.
Also in the last month, we worked on our kitchen layout. We use a mini-fridge, but it is a bit larger than most – some call them a “Camper fridge”. We decreased the size of our pantry because we do not eat many boxed items and made a built-in space for our microwave. Our counter tops are raw-edge cottonwood planks with a thick epoxy coating – they are stunning. We also re-did our backsplash to something that was wipe-able. In addition to the kitchen, we replaced the floor in the front area. We had always talked about doing this but just did not get to it until now. In the same week we put shutters on all of the windows facing the road to give the house some curb appeal.
In the rest of this series I will talk about some of the difficulties we have had, what it was like getting prepared to move in and I will share some suggestions if you are looking into going Tiny. At the very least, humor me and visit tinyhouselistings.com and take a peak!
Thank you for following our story! Exciting news in the next release.
Written by MacKenzie Witzke, Business Manager at Agora Architecture