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The Tiny House Bedroom: Don’t Skimp on Luxury

Tiny House March 12, 2017

Tiny homes are all over trending news. People are longing to simplify and downsize their lives, and the tiny house offers all the comforts of a larger house, with less maintenance, lowers costs, and even mobility in some cases. But, contrary to what you might believe, you don’t really have to give up living in luxury.

Bedrooms are a home’s sanctuary, a place for respite and relaxation. It is your private retreat, and your tiny house does not mean you must sacrifice anything for this sanctuary.  Your tiny house bedroom can be as simple and basic, or as luxurious as you want it to be.

This may be just a basic loft bed, without any frills, but it is surrounded by interest with storage steps leading up to it. Walls are blank canvasses for hanging objects like posters or plants. You can make it what you want. Dress it up with interesting bed linens – sheets, comforters, toss pillows – or leave it plain and neutral.

Image Houzz

This bedroom area is a bit more ornate and colorful. It is bright and airy, and hosts a closet and other storage space. The bed in this room is a queen sized bed, so you don’t have to skimp on sleeping space either.

Image Pinterest

This is the height of bedroom luxury in a tiny house. And this tiny house happens to be a converted school bus. The loft space above the bed area is additional seating space. This beautiful bedroom is a cozy spot, with lovely bed covers and pillows – a real place to step into a relaxing slumber. Added interest are the drawers surrounding the bedroom, and the architectural ladder. This is a great example of luxury in a small space.

Source: Pinterest  https://www.pinterest.com/explore/tiny-house-bedroom/?lp=true

Featured Image courtesy of Tiny House Licing

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Your Guide to a Real Cabin Lifestyle

Cabins March 2, 2017

Cabin living is much different from city living or even suburban living. There are a few things you need to know before you take on such a huge lifestyle change. You can have a cabin styled home in or near the city, but real cabin life requires a bit of know-how when it comes to living off the grid. We are talking here about building cabins in wooded areas or remote country areas.

Here are some things you should know about the cabin lifestyle before buying or building a cabin home. 

 You may actually be off-grid, meaning that you may need to provide your own electricity, water source, and heat source for the winter. There will most likely be no “gas company” to pay every month. You will probably have to get the lines run yourself with your own money. The electricity hook-up will be the same. As for water, you will probably need a well. Many water wells are electric these days, so you will need to account for that fact. Also you will need to decide how you are going to heat your home if you are in a climate where the seasons change. Will there be electric or gas heating or will you install wood burning stoves and fireplaces?

You may be alone with no neighbors. For some people this may be a dream come true, and that is fine, but for others who may be used to a more urban type of living, the idea of the nearest neighbor being 20 miles away may be daunting. You must prepare yourself by having a storage of food and other items you need, like band aids, meds for colds and flus, food that does not spoil and some place to store it. If winter is near, you may need to gather and cut enough wood for the entire season, because if a cold front hits at the last minute, the nearest store may be miles away and it may be too dangerous to drive. Be prepared with batteries for flashlights if a storm takes your lights out. These are all things you used to walk next door to borrow. If you’re living a true cabin life, you may not have that luxury.

The key is to be prepared to supply your own needs, whether it is a water source or a dozen of eggs. Living the cabin life may make it extremely difficult to get these supplies if your neighbor is a  30 minute drive away.

photo: Pinterest via Moorea Seal

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How Do Composting Toilets Work?

Tiny House March 2, 2017

Many people are becoming familiar with the movement to “go green” and one idea has really grown in popularity, and that is the composting toilet. Many tiny homes and camper residents use a composting toilet. It is easier in the long run to use and you don’t need to have a lot of plumbing installed. You can take your tiny home, van, or camper anywhere you want to go with a composting toilet.

So how does a composting toilet actually work?

A composting toilet uses evaporation and decomposition, two very natural processes, to get rid of the human waste, liquid and solid. Over 90% of our human waste is actually liquid, which evaporates into the atmosphere, while the remaining solid 10% is then turned into a natural fertilizer for a garden or for growing grass. This is similar to the way a regular garden composting machine works, except in a composting toilet, the natural environment is manipulated within the chamber of the toilet.

To ensure an odor-free operation, the composting toilet uses just the right amount of heat, oxygen, and moisture to break down the organic materials in a rich environment that transforms waste into a great soil fertilizer. This manipulation of the natural process does work to make sure that the bathroom is odor-free. Though it is good to go green and help the environment by getting rid of waste properly, no one wants a stench in their beautiful tiny home or trailer.

Basically, a composting toilet should perform three functions well:

1. Quickly compost the waste and toilet paper in an odor-free manner

2. Make sure that the compost is safe to handle by humans

3. Make certain that all the liquid has been evaporated

If you own a tiny house or live in another alternative manner, a composting toilet is a great way to avoid the materials, labor, and money, that traditional plumbing would cost, and you’ll also be a part of the solution to certain environmental issues.

Photo: Let’s Go Green

Source: How Composting Toilets Work

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Steel Homes: An Economical Alternative

Uncategorized March 2, 2017

Steel homes are becoming increasingly popular, and more especially to young homeowners buying their first home. Their value-for-money is uncompromising. You can design your own home without the participation of either an architect or an engineer. Their durability is unmatched. There is no risk of problems like fire and pest infestations and so the homeowner’s insurance is much lower than with conventional construction. And with steel homes you can easily add on to the original floor plan and expand the design. You can have complete control over your home’s layout.

The maintenance on a wood built and asphalt-roofed home can be exhausting and expensive. Steel-built homes are much more easy to maintain, and so less of a drain on your wallet. They can be prefabricated or customized to your needs, desires, and requirements.

There are also kits for steel-built homes, so that you can save the cost of a building contractor. For as little as $8,000-$10,00 you can construct your own steel home in a matter of weeks or even days.

The location of your home is completely up to you. Steel homes can be put together almost anywhere you desire. That’s another reason why steel homes are so much more cost-effective. You may want your home to be in an open space, on a mountain, or in a more secluded location. Any of these sites works with a steel-built home.

Compared to a traditionally built home, designed by an architect and built by an engineer, steel-built homes can withstand hurricane force winds and other weather hazards, with little to no stress. A wood sided and framed home is more susceptible to bad weather conditions and is never as durable as a steel built home.

With a steel built home you can add rooms or reconfigure the home’s layout much more easily and less expensively than with a traditionally built home. As your family grows or you need more space for guests or animals, your steel built home can change and evolve just as you and your family evolve.

The benefits of living in a steel built home are many and deserve scrutiny and deep consideration. They are much more cost-effective and environmentally friendly than a traditionally built home. They can be prefabricated or customized to your specifications. The engineering is built into your home’s design. There is no need for an architect. Steel homes are more durable and weather resistant than traditional homes. Add-ons are easily accommodated and your steel home can be expanded as your life expands. Pest infestations need not be a problem and steel homes are non-combustible. The actual construction of your steel home on your chosen site can be quick and simple. Steel homes are a great choice for young couples. So steel built homes are an economical alternative.

Source: General Steel Buildings

 

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Houseboat Living: Flexibility and Style

Houseboats March 2, 2017

Conventional living – with a home and yard – is being eclipsed by many different kinds of alternative lifestyles. The Tiny House Movement is very popular, as are prefabs, modular homes, and steel homes. But there is nothing more mobile and flexible, nothing more versatile than the houseboat. Living on the water is both relaxing and low maintenance, and nowadays builders are constructing greener and more environmentally friendly houseboats. Sustainable living is not only good for the environment, it is also being responsible, and part of the climate change solution.

Families love the houseboat lifestyle. There are so many fun activities that come along with living on the water. Kids love the easy access to  water sports, and adults can enjoy sitting on the deck with cool sea breezes, drinks, and taking in the sunset. There is no lawn maintenance, or other outdoor jobs to be tended to. Houseboats have all the comforts and amenities of conventional living and none of the upkeep. And beautiful views are almost guaranteed. It is like you not only own your home but also the mountains surrounding it.

Image: Lucerne Valley Marina

The most wonderful part of houseboat living is your home’s mobility. You can “park” it anywhere. Have new neighbors whenever the mood strikes you. Dock somewhere where the fishing is good. And houseboats are much more like a home, but with the advantages of a boat. They can be very spacious, have many rooms, and lots of space for entertainment and having friends and family over. The versatility of houseboat is unrivaled. Your choices are endless. Whether you decide on getting an existing houseboat, buying a prefabricated one, or having one custom built, you can’t go wrong investing in a houseboat. You can trust that life will forever be transforming.

For a gallery of houseboat designs and more info, click here.

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Summer Tiny Home Idea – Super Simple Design

Cabins February 27, 2017

summer tiny home

Here’s a DIY tiny house unlike any you might have seen before. These fellows did it with just a bit of lumber and that piece of corrugated metal. Interested in trying something like this yourself?

They’re a couple of Californians, named Matt & Margo, and they built this one over a dry creek bed (usually dry, anyway).

It’s their summer cottage, and it’s located, for those interested, in the western foothills of Sierra Nevada Range, California.

They also mentioned that a tiny house like this, set up as a summer house in an out-of-the-way location in an area with a significant amount of fires, like those California mountains, is one that isn’t relatively that big an investment, and if it ever were to burn up in a wildfire, they could just rebuild it.

Nice little deck, and you probably noticed that sheet of corrugated metal is quite small, and they made do by using it like a single-pitch roof, with a bit of a slant to the rest of the building.

Find more tiny home and cabin builders indexed in our Home Designers and Builders Directory. You can search the company’s name and look builders near your area. And to see more cabins homes, click here.

And here’s a little gallery of some more little cabins — some even use corrugated metal sheets, but none do it like this cabin at the top, which is pretty interesting. Unfortunately, the picture at the top is the only one that seems to be around for Matt & Margo’s cabin so far (if anyone finds more, make sure to send them to us so we can update this), as well as if anyone has built similar structures. Of course, the top image also expands, as all the pictures on our site do.

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Amazing Coffee Tables for Barn Style Houses

Interior Design February 25, 2017

Home owners can feel trapped into decorating their barn style homes a certain way. Just because it’s a barn house doesn’t mean that all furnishings must be traditional or southwestern. Your barn style house can be decorated in a way that is uniquely you, whether it be traditional, country, or modern minimalist.

The coffee table is the centerpiece of the living room area and can be a conversation starter if it’s style is unique enough. With a barn home you don’t have to limit yourself, you can compliment the traditional style or design through contrast, where you choose pieces of furniture that are the opposite of what is expected.

Here are some examples of coffee tables that go with the flow and traditional style of a barn style home:

Now here are some examples of more modern coffee table styles that will still compliment a barn style home:

The main difference between these more traditional coffee tables and the 2nd tier of tables, is that the second set of coffee tables are simply a bit more sleek and they play around with materials and angles, and also cultures, as the tables are lower to the ground, more Japanese style coffee tables.

The interior of a barn house can be decorated with furniture from many different cultures that will honor the dwellers, more so than honoring a tradition that the homeowner may not connect with. Everything from Asian to Hispanic can compliment a barn style house, you must simply choose the furniture you love and try it out inside the home. You may find modern minimalist may be your style and that it compliments the wood and moldings inside your home just beautifully.

When in doubt, try a glass coffee table, then you can decorate the coffee table with traditional and/or modern ornaments.

Here are some examples of glass coffee tables that can compliment a barn style house if decorated with the right accessories:

These three coffee tables are glass, which does give them a modern flair but their designs are incredibly versatile. The key is to find glass coffee tables that are more minimal and spare underneath, so that the glass stands out the most. But if you’re not afraid to be modern inside of your barn style home then go for it and choose the most modern table you can find. As long as you and your family enjoy it, that’s all that truly counts.

photos: Pinterest

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Prefabs: A Long-Held Alternative

Prefab February 24, 2017

Prefabrication homes, or prefabs, have been an alternative style of living to building a home made with conventional construction, for years. They are by far cheaper to create and assemble than the usual home. They come in many different styles and can be customized to suit the buyers.

Prefabs are constructed in factories off the home site and then panels are assembled like puzzle pieces on-site. Less labor is necessary to put these houses together, and some prefabs can be built in as little as three days. And you can be expected to pay between $180-$220 per square foot. Prefabs are more energy efficient and can be put up just about anywhere.

Designers of prefabs having been pushing the boundaries of prefab construction.

You can live with all the convenience and comfort of conventional construction in large or small prefabs.

Some of the materials used in prefabricated houses are:
Structural steel and metal fabrications
Blockboard,plywood, laminates
Electrical and pipe fittings
MGO and gypsum board
Scaffoldings
Roofing sheets
Clear and tinted glass

The versatility of prefab houses makes them very desirable. Most of them can be moved to a location of your choice after first settling in to one place.

Prefabs are sustainable, energy friendly, produce less waste, cost less, and can be assembled anywhere you wish in days. They are a wonderful way to have the home of your dreams more easily and efficiently. Just do your research and know the right questions to ask. Images: Inhabitat, Methodhomes, and Modular Homeowners. You can find them in our directory of prefab home builders.

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The Truth About Modular Homes

Modular February 20, 2017

modular homes

Modular homes and prefabricated homes are essentially the same thing, but most people use the term “modular” to refer the the larger homes and prefabs to the smaller ones. Modular homes are constructed off-site in weather-protected factories and then transported to the home site. As a rule, modular homes are stronger than their on-site counterparts and are constructed in sections called “modules”.

After a home is put up in its location, more modules can be added to it, more levels, and more rooms. Modular homes are built to accommodate local building codes and are a cost-effective, environmentally friendly, less waste alternative to homes built on site.

The cost of a modular home will vary from site to site and contractor to contractor. If the style you choose is one offered by the company and not custom built, you can expect to pay considerably less than if you customize your home. But in general the cost per square foot can be anything from $50 to $150. But always know that the final cost will most likely be higher than what is quoted to you.

Cost will also depend on what location you choose for your modular home. A clear open space will obviously be cheaper than a wooded area or building on the beach. But know that modular homes are extremely versatile and can be built in almost any location.

Modular homes are built from the same materials as site-built homes. Wood frames can be used, you can have brick or stone exteriors, and granite can be used for countertops. But the beauty of a modular home is that from construction of the modules off site, to the putting together of them, modular homes can be completed in a matter of weeks, or even days, depending on the size and onsite location.

What people often forget, because they are as finely built as site built homes, is that modular homes can be taken apart, moved to a new or more desirable location, and put back together with almost no waste. The parts are completely reusable.

To sum up, you can design your dream home with modulars much more cheaply than with conventional construction. You can move the modules around, add levels, and increase the square footage for a much more cost-effective price. Modular homes are built with less waste material than site built homes, and are more environmentally friendly. They can be put almost anywhere you desire, increasing the value of your property. And the waiting time for the finished product can be only weeks or days. So move -in time comes so much more quickly. You can be living in your modular home in less than a month. The popularity and versatility of modulars increases every year, so the value of your home may even go up.

Images: Select Homes Inc., homeesthetics.net, and About Pure Country Homes.

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The Tiny House Revolution: Downsizing Your Lifestyle

Tiny House February 15, 2017

Many people are finally letting go of what we sometimes call “The American Dream”: A marriage, two and a half kids, a dog, a good paying job, and a nice big house. And the accumulation of “stuff” has been at the forefront of this myth. For these folks a more minimal, manageable life holds a big attraction. Enter the tiny house.

Once the province of the retired, like RV living, more and more Americans are opting for the tiny life. Many of these tiny houses are built to be mobile so that its inhabitants can visit places of interest, and live on the road. For those of you who work and can do so remotely, but still wish to downsize your living space, the tiny house is an ideal option.

Lots of people take it on themselves to get their hands dirty and build their own tiny houses. An Alliance of professional builders promoted the use of ethical building practices and guidelines and this was carried on by the American Tiny House Association, which deals with issues of zoning and coding.

Tiny houses can be as small as 120 square feet and as large as 500 square feet, and still be considered a tiny house.

Benefits of Tiny House Living

You can divest yourself of unused and useless “stuff”. There are so many things humans can really do without – you’d be amazed at how much clutter we can get rid of and still be happy.

The cost of living in a tiny house is much more reasonable than living in a large house. Utilities are all less, and you spend much less time cleaning and maintaining your tiny house. And buying or building your own tiny house costs but a fraction of what living large does. You no longer need to live paycheck to paycheck with an exorbitant mortgage.

Tiny living forces you to be organized with the things you choose to keep in your tiny house, and therefore is more efficient.

For those who wish to “live green” the tiny house is just the ticket. You can use water collection tanks, wind turbines, and solar energy to power your tiny house and in the long run save thousands of dollars in electrical bills.

Self-sufficiency is another big reason that people opt for the tiny house. Especially if your tiny house is mobile, you can pick up and go whenever you please.

Many cities across the country are providing zoning regulations for tiny house communities, and you can actually live tiiny in a real neighborhood.

The above photograph is a wonderful example of how you can compact your life and still have all the comforts of home.

Living the tiny house lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but if you are ready for letting go of the “I need my stuff” syndrome, it may be just the thing for you.

Sources: 3 Tiny Houses That Let You Live Green-And Off The Grid, What is the Tiny House Movement?

Photo credits: Benjamin Chin, Google Images

Click here for a bigger gallery of a bunch of various tiny homes.

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