Getting Started

As I said in previous posts, I’ve decided to build my tiny house on a trailer—or rather, my “almost” tiny house on a trailer. I say “almost” because most of these tiny houses are built on a 20’ trailer. My house needs space for my collection of guitars and other instruments, a small portable washing machine (I use a clothes line as a dryer), and visits from my kids and grandkids.

I found that there isn’t much available in trailers between 20’ and 30’ so I started designing around a 30’ trailer to get comfortable with the space and fitting into it.  I worked through many different configurations before settling on something that feels like it would work.

I visited a couple of local trailer dealers and ended up ordering a 36’ trailer, due to be delivered to me by mid-September.  Next I needed a place to build my house.

The image on the front page of this blog is a rough up of my design using Google Sketch-up.  In addition to the first floor as shown, I plan on a sleeping loft over the bathroom and part of the kitchen area and another loft over the porch and a bit of the living room area for storage and as a guest room.

I have a shop full of tools in storage but no shop for the tools.  Last month I worked out a barter arrangement with a friend…business consulting services in exchange for the rental of their now goat-less goat barn and attached buildings.  Over the next couple of weeks I will be getting things set-up and ready to build.

Back in the early ‘80s I gained some house building experience.  We were in need of a house and wanted to build so we hired a friend who was at that time a teacher at a local vocational school and had the summer off.  He’d been a contractor before starting teaching and he agreed to frame the house using me and my sister’s boyfriend Steve (now my brother-in-law of 20+ years) as his crew.  Bob was a great teacher and both Steve and I learned a lot.  I ended up framing the house with Bob & Steven and then doing the remaining work including electrical and plumbing with my own two hands. So, I had the confidence that I could build this tiny house.  I’ll be doing the work with my 13 year old grandson Jordan and we plan to do all of the work ourselves with occasional assistance from friends.

Construction to begin in mid September!

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Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Getting Started

  1. That’s quite a long trailer! That seems like a pretty sound decision based on your needs. Are you going to be off-grid or is your planned living spot utility accessible? Do you plan on installing hooks on the walls for the guitars? I’m all too familiar with that storage predicament. 😉

  2. Yeah Russ, it is long but it’ll end up being around 300 sq ft including loft…my recent apartments have ranged from about 280 sq ft to 400 sq ft. I decided I didn’t really want to build any smaller and then regret it. Lots of hooks on the walls and then I’ll store the cases in a storage shed so they don’t take up room in the house. And I expect to have electric hookup. I work as a consultant, often from home, and would not be able to do that without adequate internet access.

  3. Christina

    My husband and I have also been considering for a while building a bigger than typical ‘tiny house’. We have been thinking about doing a 30′ (we would like larger, but are concerned about the weight). Are you going to ever be towing your house or is it going to remain stationary? Just curious, if you are going to tow it, have you estimated the final weight of the trailer? Thanks.

    • Christina, I don’t expect to tow on a regular basis but I want the option of moving on occasion. The trailer is rated at 15K and I’m sure I can keep the weight under that.

      • Christina

        If you don’t mind, where did you order your frame from and what kind of trailer is it (gooseneck or regular)? We are in CT and have just been looking at old travel trailers to strip down and use the frame. We just came across a 36′ that someone wants $250 for. Good price, but we can’t decide if it’d be too big. What are you building with, wood studs or metal studs?

        • I ordered the trailer (regular, not gooseneck) new from Perfection Trailers in Richmond, Vermont and it wasn’t cheap ($7,200) but I wanted a new trailer to be sure it could handle the weight and ordering one and having it shipped here or going to get it would have been at least as expensive. I’ll be framing with wood.

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