Wednesday, June 19, 2013

So What's the Hold UP???

Everyone has been asking what is the status of our tiny house. Well, given the rain we have had in SE Iowa over the past several weeks we are considering a slight structural modification which would morph the tiny house into an ARK!
Okay, just kidding. However, the rain (much needed) that we have had here has stalled phase II of our building process. The location of the tiny house will be out in a field by a Fairfield horse farm. We have been awaiting a break in the rain so the owners of the land can put in a gravel road.
Once the gravel road is in we will transport the framed floor and wall panels over to the site on a flatbed trailer. We will then re-erect the walls, screw them together, and then set the roof rafters. Since the ground out here in Iowa has a high clay content we have been leery of sinking while trying to get the tiny house panels out to their new home. So we've been enjoying our last bit of air conditioning and resting up for the big move and continued construction.
Ellie and I did get a chance a couple of nights ago to go out to the field where the house will be and watched the sun set. It was gorgeous! We sat on the top of the car and watched a bunny come sniff around the car inquisitively. Our first welcome from one of our new little furry neighbors. It was very exciting.
We also have been taking in some local events with the extra time on our hands. Last week we attended a Dutch oven cook-off. Boy was the food delicious. We also saw some really cool cars that were on display.
So, the next step will be to place the tiny house on concrete blocks approximately 8-12" from the ground. Hopefully the road will be in within the next week. Thank you all of your interest. We are hoping to have big work done on the tiny house over the next several weeks to share with you...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Considerations on Where to Park Your Tiny House...

Recently, Paula wrote in to and asked an excellent question. In summary, with so many THs being easily portable, resulting in what can be seen as an overwhelming amount of choices, how do you narrow down your options and decide where to settle down?

I recommend these as a starting point for TH Location Selection:
1. Time, Both Personal and Professional
2. Social Situation
3. Services Needs
4. To Own or Not

Each of these factors, when combined, will assist you in determining the most ideal TH location for your consideration.
1. Time... There are a variety of ways we spend our days, whether it be working, volunteering, creating, relaxing, fellowship, or hobbies. These are each equally important factors to consider
when choosing a location to settle in. Are you retired or going to be retired soon? Are you self employed? Or will you most likely work for someone in your field of expertise?
Let's take Portland, Maine for instance. If you are a social butterfly, want to be within biking or walking distance to everything, and you paint or write for a living one may want to consider parking their TH near the 'Old Port'. The 'Old Port' is a bustling mecca for artists, coffee or wine with friends, and services all within walking and or biking distance on cobblestone roadways.

On the other hand, anyone liking local 'access' to this type of lifestyle but prefers to be in a small, quiet country setting and still desires walking or biking access to everything would probably do best parking their TH out on Peaks Island. Peak's Island is an oasis of calm and only a 15 minute ferry ride to Portland's Old Port.
If one prefers being on a larger parcel of land, and is not adverse to using a car to access work and/or play, then parking a TH in North Portland out near Falmouth may be the best choice.

2. Friends and Social Environment may not be something that makes the top of our list for where to park out THs, but it should. Friends and entertainment nurture and sustain us. One of the benefits of TH living is the fact that it affords us the time and encouragement to spend a plethora of time with our hobbies, nature, and friends. Will you, and your friends if applicable, be meeting for coffee and dinner,  playing board games, hiking, beach combing, or horseback riding? The answer to some of these questions can assist in narrowing down where you and your TH will be most happily situated.

3. Distance. There are a host of factors to consider when determining distance. Are you a hard core sustainability minded person who strongly prefers to ride or bike to the majority of your destinations? Does public transportation and elimination of the responsibilities of owning and maintaining a personal vehicle tickle your fancy? Or maybe with close family out of state, a regional airport within a short distance from your TH is a priority?

4. Own or rent. Personally I believe it is prudent, if you are completely new to an area, to rent land prior to purchasing. This gives you the freedom, even if it is only 3-6 months, to test drive the area and make sure it meets your needs. You will also be able to take you time and garner a real estate agent with whom you can trust to scope out the variety of land options available in your new community. With the economy the way it is, it is fairly easy to find someone to rent a small portion of their land, especially if you are off grid and self sufficient. I would run an ad in the local newspaper and see what you get for offers.

As a starting point, considering these factors will help you in seeing a 'clearer' choice for your living location and arrangements.

A special thank you to Paula for starting this conversation.

Write in and let us know what you feel are the important factors when deciding where to park a Tiny House?