Wicked Tiny House Design
I'm not actually sure when the idea of building a tiny house crossed my mind. What I can tell you is that I have a list of 101 Things to Do Before I Die, and "Build my Own RV/Camper" has been on it for as long as I can remember. I really got serious about the design in 2014 when I was spending a lot of time in the field for work and had alot of downtime. The first sketches were for something that I could put on a 5'x10' trailer that I already owned.
I quickly realized that a 5'x10' trailer wasn't going to be enough, and started sketching out floor plans for a 8'x18' trailer,
Obviously, I didn't go to architecture school for a reason, and quickly progressed to modeling the house in Google SketchUp. I spent alot of time during the spring and summer of 2015 doing research on tiny houses, refining the SketchUp model, and trying to incorporate as many pratictical ideas into the house as I could.
Everything in the design of a tiny house is a compromise. Want more headroom in the kitchen? You lose it in the loft. Want a second loft? You lose open, airy feeling of the vaulted ceiling. Want a full kitchen? You're going to lose some space in the living area. Want a marble shower and granite countertops? Better add a third axle and get a bigger truck!
My original design was 18' long, and had the loft vaulted 2' out over the front of the trailer. The loft would be located over the kitchen and bathroom, which would have the minimum amount of headroom needed to be comfortable for the majority of people, which I decided would be about 6' 2". The bathroom would have a false floor so that you can't actually fully stand up in the bathroom, and you step down into the shower. I would rather be uncomfortable for the 5 minutes I am in the bathroom every day, and gain the extra space in the living area where I will spend the majority of my time.
Here is a list of the things I wanted in my deisgn
- Loft with room for a minimum queen size bed
- Kitchen with normal size sink, cooktop, fridge
- Normal size shower
- Second sleeping area for guests
- Storage for skis and all my other outdoor gear
- Plenty of other storage for everything else
- Well insulated
As summer 2015 was winding down, I continued to refine my design. Then, my occasional craigslist search for "tiny house" turned up an abandoned tiny house project about an hour south of Bangor. I took a ride down to take a look. The house was EXTREMELY rough around the edges, but it was on a solid custom built trailer and was the approximate shape that I was looking for. Bottom line, it was something I thought that I could work with. I knew that it would be too easy for me to put off starting the project from scratch, and having a half-finished project sitting in the yard would motivate me to get to work. I hemmed and hawed. And then my significant other spoke up and said "If you don't buy this, you know you're probably going to regret it, right?" Five minutes later, the seller had a $300 down payment in his hands. The next day, I bought the cheapest used truck I could find that I thought could tow the house, and I drove down to Augusta to finish the sale and bring my new (to me) project home.