Going Tiny Seems Perfect!

Alexis Haifley used to work as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service, which meant moving around a lot. After getting used to the nomadic lifestyle, her and her husband would joke around that a Tiny House would be perfect. The thought of focusing on Family, friends and experiences rather than things appealed to her. Plus she loved the fact that she could customize them however she wanted.

Although they don’t live in it full-time yet, she said the financing and building wasn’t what she was expecting. The things she thought would be difficult, were simple, and there were challenges she never thought would lead to such a domino effect.

They are right now in the process of downsizing and say it will be interesting to see what they’ve paired down to.

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Tiny House…Boat?

So there I am, scrolling through my Facebook feed, when I suddenly see something that catches my eye immediately. It’s bright red, and very hard to miss! Then I see that it was posted on one of the many Tiny House groups and pages I follow. A tiny house boat on the water. As it turns out, this little red gem has quite a story as she was converted from an old boring boat, to a bright red star.

It began as an old 1969 Cobia Mini-Yacht, originally bought as just a gutted shell on Craigslist by Katie Trinket Hartwright.

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Katie spend a lot of time and effort to design, and restore her to the bright and beautiful tiny house boat she is now.

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Katie named her ‘Petal’. Sadly, the Emeryville Marina and Safe Harbor called the boat “an eyesore” and Katie was forced to get rid of it by the Harbormaster.

‘Petal’ was purchased from Katie by a woman named Cindy Hanson O’Neil, who now co-owns the boat with her daughter Brittney Vinculado. They have aptly re-named her, and now call her ‘Betty Boop’.

You are sure to find ‘Betty Boop’ in the San Francisco Bay Area near Oakland where she is docked and ready any time Cindy is up for a quick and easy getaway.

Tiny Home?

Ok, I know that this is technically not a ‘tiny home’, but it is mobile, you technically can live in it, and it is pure awesome!

This guy bought an old beat up 1969 Cardinal Deluxe camper for $900. Him and a friend completely ripped it apart and rebuilt it, and as of August 2016, were selling it for $15,900.

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I have posted a few teaser pics here, but every single step of the project, from tear-down to design, to the last paint brush stroke was documented in about 90 photos on his imgur page.

All Sorts of Sorts

As I have mentioned before, Tiny Houses come in all sorts of shapes, and designs and colours and finishes, etc. I came across this great post that showcases some different tiny homes, from bathing in a wooden barrel, to living like Cinderella. We also have a steam punk themed tiny house and a grain silo transformed into a home.

Enjoy!

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http://www.wideopencountry.com/16-amazing-tiny-houses-want-live/

What is a Tiny Home?

One of the biggest questions I get asked most often from people is, “What is a Tiny Home?” It’s a fair question, and I am going to try to explain as much as I can from what I have learned from research and hearsay from ‘the experts’.

How Big is a Tiny Home?

A tiny home is a self-contained structure that is typically under 500 square feet (46.5 square meters).

Now the dimensions are where we get into some regulations. I am sure the restrictions and bylaws are different everywhere you go, and this also depends on whether or not you intend to transport your tiny home, but here is what I have noticed mostly everywhere in Canada and the United States.

Anything under 8′-6″ wide and 13′-6″ high from ground to peak can be transported without a permit. The allowable lengths differ from province to province and state to state. Here is a handy AAA reference. Anything between 8′-6″ wide and 12′-0″ wide requires a permit to transport, which vary in cost anywhere from $20 to $200 (check with your local municipality). Anything over 12′-0″ requires a pilot truck, and I am pretty sure those probably are not cheap.

Now, those dimensions are for tinys that require transport. If you are planning to build on site and not transport your tiny anywhere, local bylaws apply and I urge you to check them BEFORE you build. I have seen structures torn down because they did not adhere to local bylaws.

Where Can I Park a Tiny Home?

The best answer I can give to this question is you should be able to legally park a tiny home anywhere you can legally park a flat-deck trailer or RV. As with the building to code, location is another very grey area right now. I am finding that most times on the good old television shows like Tiny House Big Living, people are parking them on private owned land. On other shows like Tiny House Hunters, I see a lot of people parking them at RV parks.

Perhaps the best answer is to do your homework and due diligence and check with your local bylaw enforcement agency.

Does a Tiny Home Have to be Built to Building Code?

While we are discussing grey areas, now would be a great time to get really grey. The really grey area is the National Building Code (or provincial Building Code in my case for Alberta). Part 9 of The Alberta Building Code states that it applies to structures 3 storeys or less with a building area not exceeding 600 square meters (6,458.4 square feet). It also states that it does not apply to an accessory building not greater than 10 square meters (107.6 square feet).

The grey area is this, tinys can be on wheels (mobile) or built on skids  which makes them non-permanent structures which the building code does not apply to. But at the same time, once you are ‘living’ in a structure, it must meet certain safety requirements. Athough the code doesn’t specifically list ‘Tiny Homes’ or ‘Tiny Houses’, it does say words like ‘structures’ and ‘dwellings’ so technically I would say it applies. This is not an issue as there are some tiny home builders out there that already build to meet or exceed building code such as Finished Right Contracting.

The bottom line is, ALWAYS check with local municipalities regarding bylaws and use a builder that ensures your tiny is code-compliant whether it is required or not because they will be better structures in the end.