Relaxshax's Blog

The advantages of living in a tiny house- the ongoing “argument” (woodstoves)
January 19, 2011, 10:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

A Westfire-21 Woodstove- pretty dang expensive though....

As I discuss in my book, aside from resulting in less of a “house poor” life with a crushingly huge mortgage, having to expend less money on furnishing your tiny home, and costing less to heat and maintain- the advantages of small house ownership seem obvious- if you can acclimate yourself to living in smaller, more modest spaces, of course.

From time to time though, aside from these overly obvious perks, I look around at my own home and life, and realize that living in a small home (or for some of you a tiny cabin or cottage/camp) carries other often unseen benfits….

This place looks like somewhere Frasier's Niles Crane would live (NOT for me- too sterile), but what a great-looking, compact, woodstove! Lose the "Dentist-like" atmosphere, and I'm game!

For example, to lead this discussion (and please do give us your input as we might cover this more in a future book- and we ALL could learn from this) I sat in my cozy couch the other night, reading Dan Mulfinger’s “Cabinology” book (a very cool, beautifully designed cabin/vacation home tome) and as I drifted off into a nap I thought “Thank god for my small home- my woodstove- not even a GOOD one- is able to FULLY heat the entire home as a result”.

If I were to have a significantly larger home, not only would I need a larger woodstove (which most likely would effectively heat a portion of the home only), but I’d need to chop, store and haul MORE wood- EVERY YEAR- which again, comes down to time and money wasted (and my back)- one of the very things most tiny house lovers aim to avoid.

Life’s too short- why waste so much of it bustin’ ass for someone else, and to make money for things you might not even need?

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen


14 Comments so far
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Yo Deek, great discussion. I think that you are on to a great discussion regarding the quality of life living in a smaller home versus living in a bigger house.

The Mortgage debacle is one of those events that should have woken all of us up. A lot of people who lost their homes made the mistake of really buying too much house than they could have actually afford. A lot of people never even thought about what they were going to do if and when their mortgage payment went up. The banks really knew what was up. They set a lot of people up to fail and figured they were going to be able to turn those houses over really quick.

Our government supposedly set up a program to help those poor souls who faced tough times and even asked the banks to please show some mercy. After all didn’t we the tax payers bailed these heartless entities out of the problem they got themselves into?

One thing thats very interesting and a little heartening was that the Supreme Court of New York ruled against the Banking Industry pertaining to their bizzare practice of Robo signing mortgage documents. These so called Bank Officials weren’t really reading what they were signing. Plus the fact that these people were selling these mortgages on Wall street. Something that wasn’t done in our parent’s time. Your parent’s knew who owned that mortgage. Today, you jusst don’t know who owns that mortgage and that leaves you in a very strange place where you can’t renogotiate the terms of your mortgage.

Even with the Mortgage relief programs, the Banks have schemes already to work around the new rules of doing business. It’s really sad and it’s also tragic. A lot of people are losing their homes. This discussion is really important.

Another problem we face is that almost all the little towns we live in have laws that are against the building of little homes. It seems that the zoning boards are in favor of the bigger McMansion types of housing. We have got to find a way to change these peoples minds. I believe that this is the time of the Small Housing Movement! POWER TO THE PEOPLE BRO !!

Comment by Manny

“Life’s too short- why waste so much of it bustin’ ass for someone else, and to make money for things you might not even need?”

hear, hear! well said, deek!

Comment by kellicox

Here here.

Recently someone was telling me about a friend of theirs who bought a beat up old farm house, insulated it to the nines, and still needs 9 cubic meters of wood a winter. Nine! Shit, I thought, in my place I only need 1.5 to 2 (though I also suppliment with scrap wood I scavenge).

Wrote my homage to the wood stove and fire recently myself, if it interests ya:

They were meditations that occured at a house much too big for my taste, but revolve around how sweet it is to heat small spaces with wood and zone out in front of the fire.

Comment by clickclackgorilla

Deek I concour 100% right on the money .No pun intended, well maybe 😉 anyway less house = less infrastructure = less debt to service= less need to generate money to service debt = more free time (the only thing we really own )to persue what we are really passionate about

(what really makes you jump out of bed everyday?)this really boils down to life style design.

This is very counter intuitive we have been taught to go out and earn a living make money which determines how much life style we can have.

what we should really do is design our life and create income to support it.if you follow the herd the scenery doesen’t change much.

create your dream life and do what you are passionate about ,it’s not about the stuff ,and it’s none of your business what other people think of you.Deek you bang your own drum that is what I like about you .You are unique my friend don’t change that. 😉

Comment by kevinsmicrohomestead

Hey deek! Found your blog through tiny house design. Just wanted to say keep up the good work. The book looks cool, the vid’s are entertaining(great narration). Being from ME originally, I grew up around lots of these cabins/shacks/ice fishing shanties/school buses converted into homes. I think a lot of these were occupied by fugitives, so that might be a group worth marketing your stuff toward.
Just out of curiosity, how big is your “real” house? Just so we know your not pmpin’ it in some McMansion. Also,do you live off the proceeds from the book, or do you have some other income?

Comment by kyle in NC

Hey Kyle- thanks so much….
As for my “real” house- its four of us living in 950 square feet (and a HUGE dog)- not tiny, but small/modest (esp. by US standards). Its a 1930’s Craftsman-style bungalow- that more or less would have been a tear-down to anyone else. I’ve taken the last 9 years to fix it up, make it my own/funky/safer. Mortgage-wise, my wife and I found it was cheaper to buy a home like this than it was to rent near the Boston area any longer- so it was one of those no-brainer moves, where we have a nice, wooded yard now too (where I can build all my projects!)
Thanks again for checkin out the blog!

Comment by relaxshax

Very cool,very cool. I too live in a place just under 1K SqFt. I also just had my forth kid, so you gotta get creative fo sho! But hey, what about those pioneers with 12 kids in a 12X16? Funny how standards change so. It’s almost like some grand builder/supplier/bank conspiracy! They’re all after me money,AArrrrgh! So anyway, keep up the great work!

Comment by kyle in NC

Thanks all- lovin’ the outpour or ideas, ideals, n’ general positivity….


Comment by relaxshax

Hey derek,

Cool article. Keep up the good work.

Suggestion: try to put referral links to the book/s mentioned in your article/s. (

Comment by Alexandru

Some pretty stoves there. I don’t need heat where I live, but it almost makes me want a cold day…almost! Do you know what kind the ‘dentist office’ stove is? I’m always looking for things to send my bro’ for his place in NC.

Comment by MJ

That “dentist’s office” stove looks like a simple variation on the Westfire 21 (also shown)- not 100% though….Dwell Magazine usually carries ads on these type stoves- or google woodstoves under “images” until you see the model…

Comment by relaxshax

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”
I know you are a fan of his book.
Living in a 136 sq ft tiny house I subscribe to the premise wholeheartedly.

Comment by Robert

more groovy stoves

Comment by jay

here, too:

Comment by jay

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