Relaxshax's Blog


Classy n’ Stained-"Glassy"- a reclaimed-materials, designer, tiny dwelling (oxymoronic!?)
January 31, 2012, 9:45 pm
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       Check out this gorgeous shot of a treehouse or “Trabin” (tree-cabin, there I go makin’ up words again!) in the woods, adorned with quite a bit of stained glass. Even used, stained glass is damn expensive, so if you ever come across any for FREE, DO NOT pass it up.
       Now THIS place is my idea of a cool, cozy, and unique dwelling, or tiny-cabin, getaway!

The treehouse was built in three days, with a team of carpenters, under the lead of set designer and art director James Hatt, for a magazine spread at the time.

Also, I’ll post a link tomorrow, but my book was in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL (crazy!) just yesterday….the new edition of “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” seems to be doin’ pretty well- thanks all! You can order it here below, if interested….$11.29- NEW (with a free shipping option)    -Derek “Deek” Diedricksen



Sage Radachowsky’s Turtle-Domed Camping Truck, and "Humble Homes" on GardenFork Radio…
January 30, 2012, 10:33 pm
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 Hey- first off, I did a very fun podcast interview with Eric Rochow of GardenFork.tv (a great back-to-basics site), and you can listen to it here….Eric also gave a very nice review of my new book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks”(which you can order below)- http://www.gardenfork.tv/build-a-tiny-house-with-deek-diedricksen-gf-radio

That said, I made another trip back out to Sage Radachowsky’s place near Boston a few days back to take some more photos, hang a little, and interview him in regards to a tiny, mobile, single sleeper he built, dubbed “The Occubago”, which was so often seen in the Boston area news in Occupy Boston’s Dewey Square camp- so at some point we’ll have video on that….once I find the time! I have quite a few backlogged videos now, and its tough to find the time, and funds, editors (in other cases), and the proper equipment, to complete these. I’ll “get ‘er done” somehow…I keep flirting with the idea of doing a kickstarter campaign to finish these and shoot several other ones I’d like to do (Seattle, NY, Maine, etc), but I’m not sure how I feel about it yet.

  

     Above is Sage in his Gypsy Wagon/Tiny House On Wheels, one of many shots I took, and while I didn’t intend to photograph his truck, on my way out and up his driveway, I snapped these pics. What’s cool about his little “inverted, boat-looking, roof/cap” is that with its addition of a tiny sleep compartment, or shelf, in the summer (or in more temporate climates) this would make for a great little camping vehicle. You could just drop some mosquito netting, and you’re G.T.G. (“Good to go”- sorry, its a stupid, made-up, saying I use all the time).

This truck would also be GREAT for tailgating- just set up the bed as you would a deck- table, chairs, a grill (if you had a means to open the roof), and you’ve got yourself a porch on wheels, WITH a nap spot.

Or, if you need to crash where sleeping in your truck isn’t so legal, you’re really perched out of site up in the eaves of this little turtle-backed rig, so chances are no one would ever see you (or be able to steal gear from the back of your truck! Imagine the scare you’d give ’em!).

There’s actually a design/concept in “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” that has the same premise- hidden sleeping quarters. Its called “The Thwart Fort”– a picnic gazebo, in which the filled in roof, plays home to a tiny, clandestine, sleeping or living spot. -Derek “Deek” Diedricksen



Simple Pipe Shelves/Shelving for Your Cabin, Tiny House, or Home?
January 28, 2012, 5:34 pm
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John Allison over at our Facebook group “Tiny Yellow House And Relaxshacks.com” dug up this photo. What a simple idea! Piping, if secured well enough, could also be used for a ladder, or for rails/railings in one’s tiny house or cabin.

And yup, the new edition of “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” has a few ideas for shelving and storage- using recycled, or free, construction materials.

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen



Gigantic Treehouse? Future Loft? Suspended Deck Technology? WTH?
January 27, 2012, 4:39 pm
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Ideas for a Treehouse? Or Loft, or Deck, supports on YOUR Tiny House?

I think I muttered the words “Holy Sh-t!” under my breath (luckily I did so quietly, as there were kids everywhere) when I turned the corner from the admissions booth at the Boston Children’s Museum and saw this enormous, web-like, treehouse-esque, monstrosity (in a good way!) before me. Pretty darn impressive.

Certainly not a tiny house or cabin- but the possibilities in terms of treehouse, or free-floating loft, construction are obvious here. This exhibit, in which kids can climb over three stories high, is a simple combination of steel cables (netting-style), and inch thick, steam-shaped/bent plywood panels.
     Look closely and you’ll see kids climbing all over this thing. I also think, first-impression wise, photo #5 below sums it up….this little guy is just overwhelmed.

All photos by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen
If you’re a treehouse nut, we have a few concepts in my book, which you can order below, I’ll also have a review on a treehouse book REALLY soon- and one of the better ones I’ve seen in some time. 
CHECK OUT THE REVIEWS BY CLICKING HERE….


Eli Curtis’ Tiny Cabin On Wheels- A micro getaway shack and workshop…
January 26, 2012, 9:57 am
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      I came across Eli Curtis’ photos of his tiny little cabin/sleep shack on wheels a little ways back and invited him to tell its tale. Some of you may have see one of two shots of his latest project, as Eli is a member of our “Tiny Yellow House and Relaxshacks.com” tiny housing discussion group on facebook. Anyway, here, in Eli’s words, is the back story on this cool little mobile house….



This micro cabin build just happened at the drop of a hat almost. I had purchased this heavy duty 5×10 trailer and took it with me to a barn restoration/addition job and parked it in the barn so that I could work on it when it was too wet out to set poles. My plan was to construct a cargo style builder-trailer with some reclaimed industrial metal building panels, but when I got the trailer painted and re-decked I decided that it would get used more if I left it flat. 



     I had been working on a few cedar cabin kits, that I eventually wanted to get some plans together for and sell, but this at the time was just one of many back burner projects I had going on. One day when I went to pick up some cedar from a local mill I had a conversation about barns,cabins and just wood in general with the owner. He told me that if I just had a place to put a demo building I could probably get some people interested in these kits. He also offered to donate all the lumber to build one! Well, in less time than it took me to get down the road, I decided that I was going to build a cabin on wheels! Three days later I picked up my package of materials with my flat deck trailer and set upon building it for the next two and a half weeks. This project really kind of consumed me and there was not a waking moment where I did not plan or work on it  until I was driving it down the road. Now that its complete I am ready to pull it to some of my longer jobs and I will use it as a job shack.

     This cabin is really grabbing some attention locally and I have already had some passerbys come over to  take a look inside. I hope to build more of them down the road for those who might be interested. (Deek: Info on that is further below…)

     The trailer is rated for about 5,000 lbs -dimensions are 5×10. I really wanted to keep the size down so I could pull it with ease (and the pile of lumber I loaded on it) when I picked it up. As for the large porch, the cabin is12 ft tall so instead of the two foot back porch, I shrunk the building down two feet to lessen the overall load and weight of the building.
     As far as outfitting it, I am basically going to keep it “camping style” with small portable propane stoves and heaters within. I’m going to do some basic wiring so I can have power, and the overall plan is to basically design custom cubbies and benches for storage later on. Another one of my major plans, design wise, is to have some custom canvas skirts made for the back porch that connect up under the eaves of the cabin and then snaps onto the fence area and so as to enclose the deck.

I do plan on building this model, and others, for people down the road. The price of the kits for a 6×8 is $3500 and one fully built for $4900. I will increase size all the way up to 6×16 for 7,000 (kit) and 9,800 (built). I will also build them 8ft wide all the way up to 8×14. If interested, you can email Eli at eli.curtis@ymail.com

If interested, we have a couple of vardos, carvans, and wheeled tiny houses in the new color photo section of my book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks”- which you can order below- only $11.29

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen




Tiny In Tokyo- The Micro Cabin/House Cluster Approach….
January 24, 2012, 9:13 am
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First, real quick, THANK YOU again! “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” has been the #1 selling book on Amazon.com for two days now! I make absolute crap off each book sold, but I’m more so glad that decent sales will mean I’ll get to release ANOTHER tiny housing book down the road- one that’s close to done already! You can order the new book- for $11.29- below…

And…a cool find from www.shedworking.co.uk

TINY, TOKYO-BASED, CLUSTER SHEDS/CABINS

   
These might be a little tiny for most, but the idea, and one not all that new, is pretty cool. I’ve often talked about this in response to people who say that the cabins I’ve built are too small, carry too few amenities, and just aren’t logical for actual use. Most people also exclaim “but there’s no bathroom!”- well, do like the majority of the world (not the US) and build a seperate outhouse or facility- problem solved. Or just add a tiny composting, sawdust toilet in one of them. You could clearly do the same with another mini kitchen outbuilding, and so on- or just cook outdoors. What people fail to realize is that I only have so much yard space, money, time, and energy, and that I build my little cabins as recycled-material examples of WHAT could be done with junk- I’m hoping, with them, to convey the ideas and approaches, more than “You must live in this 30 square foot cabin”. I also already have my own small/modestly sized home, and 250 square foot Vermont Cabin, so there’s no need to build anything “BIG” yet. I am, however, in the process of designing a REALLY easy to build, and affordable vacation cabin that is roughly 10′ by 10′- which has a cooking area, a sleep bunk, and a tiny, tiny, bathroom. No billiards room though!
    Anyway, I like the way this guy is thinking, although he’ll be the recipient of critique, no doubt, from those who misread the message. Here’s a guy who is DEFINITELY keeping it simple! 

Again, I first saw this on Alex Johnson’s very cool blog SHEDWORKING, which is definitely worth your time….and here’s the info Alex offered up…

 This is a design from  Atelier Ichiku that he simply dubbed “The Cabins”. These four mini sheds were built for a Japanese writer so that he could work in one (which features a desk and shelf), use another as a lavatory, the third as a prayer room and the final one as storage. Each cabin is 90cm wide with a porthole window but they each have various depths, as Architectural Review recounts (using lots more photos too).

I say, in terms of both sides of this…
THE PROS- small, EASY to build, VERY portable, affordable, you’re forced out of doors more- in a day and age where people spend too much of their lives inside, easy to replace or fix if damaged or vandalized.
THE CONS- getting from one to another when its raining, insulating them would lose further interior space (in such a small and confined area even losing a few inches of space would be noticeable), anchoring them and keeping them from blowing over- they seem so narrow and top heavy (this could be remedied easily though).

Either way, it certainly is a visually intriguing design!



The Writer’s Haven Tiny Guest House/Cabin Photo Gallery (from The Jamaica Cottage Shop)
January 23, 2012, 2:26 pm
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     First, a REALLY cool, and thorough, review of my “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” book just came in from Andrew Odom of TinyRevolution.us– a great site.  Check it out HERE… 
     Andrew is very involved with both the back to the land, and tiny housing movement. The book also made it to the #1 spot on Amazon.com’s carpentry books category again- which is just crazy. Thank you all! You can see the cover art, and order it below….

THE WRITER’S HAVEN- one of my all time favorite tiny house/cabin designs….

Today’s post is for the sake of inspirational eye candy for MYSELF, as well, hopefully, as all of you. This little cabin, dubbed “The Writer’s Haven” by the Jamaica Cottage Shop in South Londonderry, Vermont is amongst, in my opinion, one of the cooler, nicer looking, micro cabin kits on the market. I was bumpin’ around online last night and browsing through the JCS’s site, when I also saw that they have a floor model or two of this very cabin, both selling damn reasonably, at under $7000. Being a stubborn do-it-yourselfer, its rare that I even consider buying anything off anyone else, especially cabin or shed related, but this Writer’s Haven would be pretty incredible in a woodland setting if you didn’t have the time, and know-how to set out upon building such a thing. You can find more from Domenic Mangano and crew at: www.jamaicacottageshop.com

I’d LOVE to visit one of these someday- and film it perhaps….

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen