My First Tiny House Visit
Photo Credit: TheNotSoTinyHouseProject.com
Saturday, February 18th, 2017 was a huge step in the process of going tiny for me. Not only was that day the first day of the "Tumbleweed Tiny House Company--Dream Big Go Tiny: A 2-Day Workshop," but it was also the first time I was able to see a tiny house in person. What if I saw this tiny house and it was too small? What if I had just spent all this money taking this workshop and reading all these books just to change my mind when I finally step inside?
Needless to say, this was a huge make or break moment for me. For the past year and a half I had gone through so many different phases of considering going tiny. First, it started off as "that's a cool idea," which grew into "that might be a good solution for me," which then turned into "I can't afford to pay someone to build that for me." Finally, throughout my YouTube research of tiny houses, I stumbled on a few channels that really changed my entire thought process. It's a tiny house after all--why couldn't I build it myself (sub-contract out the parts I can't do) and save money on the labor? This would be a fantastic way for me to grow skills, learn new things and do something I enjoy--designing. So I decided, this was how I was going to proceed with my future.
Until that day, I had only played around with sketching out designs in a sketch book, creating layouts on graph paper, searching for the perfect functional layout, but I had never been to or had even seen a tiny house in person. I threw myself so completely into the research process, I couldn't imagine the outcome of not moving forward with this project. I so desperately had my heart set on this path.
That afternoon, after spending the morning in the Tumbleweed workshop, we all left the hotel on the west side of Madison to travel about 25 minutes away to the nearby city of Deerfield, Wisconsin where we were able to tour this little beauty!
Do I have any Tiny House Nation fans reading this?!
Does this house look familiar?
Photo Credit: TheNotSoTinyHouseProject.com
It just might if you've seen the show before! This house is the 170 square feet "Rustic Bike House" that was filmed in Watertown, Wisconsin. This little gem was featured in season 3 episode 15 and if you'd like to see the full episode you can check it out by following this link: FYI S3 E15.
Immediately, pulling up to the house, my heart skipped a beat. It was so much bigger than I pictured from the outside. Once I was able to get inside the house, I knew immediately that this was something I could do and that I was worried for nothing.
Sarah and Tabatha, the tiny house residents, were inside the house waiting to greet us and answer the hundreds of questions we had for them. They were really wonderful women to learn from and so incredibly kind to let us tour the house--on Sarah's birthday nonetheless!
Click here to see photos of the inside!
Talking with Sarah and Tabatha, we found out that their trailer weighed about 15,000 pounds and cost about $84,000 to make. I believe our instructor said the trailer was 26 feet long but I think it might have been smaller. As you can tell from the photos of the inside of the house, you get the feeling of a very cozy home.
The three things I loved most about the house had to be 1. The siding of the home and the fact that it was installed vertically rather than the typical horizontal method--It was very beautiful to see up close 2. The dual skylights in the bedroom loft--they let in so much natural light and really made the space feel much bigger and 3. The amount of prep space they had in their kitchen--they truly had a lot of countertop space to work with.
While the house felt very cozy to me, the layout/floor plan was not particularly my favorite. Pay close attention to the stairs in the episode as they aren't shown in any of the photos. The stairs were truly the part that I didn't like the most--they were fine to walk up but were very awkward to climb down from. I felt like I couldn't go down them facing forward but had to turn around to go down them backward.
I noticed that they weren't using the ceiling bike rack that was shown in the episode and sadly the cool little "mud room" wasn't there either. Also as you may have noticed, we visited the house in Deerfield while the episode was actually filmed in Watertown--we found out that a neighbor of theirs in Watertown actually reported them and they were forced to move the house to their new location.
Overall, seeing a tiny house in person just made me even more excited to move forward with the process. If you haven't seen one in person yet, keep your eyes and ears open--there are a ton of tiny house festivals and events going on year round all around the country. Consider staying the weekend going tiny in one of the many tiny house hotels that are popping up!
Check out this quick video about my first tiny house visit!