Relaxshax's Blog


What do you think of this micro-cabin/hotel?
September 30, 2012, 9:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
 I think this one has great potential as a mass-produced tiny house kit/offering…

 From the minds of the architectural firm “Studio WG3“, comes the first installation of the “HYPERCUBUS“- a micro-modern (and portable) hotel-room unit (in Austria). By their portability, these rooms for rent can be relocated to meet tourist demands in different parts of the country, through the highs and lows of different seasons. Not to shabby, and I love the hanging/lofted beds, which are positioned so as to take advantage of a triangular clerestory-like window.
   Note: The photo above is deceiving from the angle its taken, as you’ll see in the interior photos below.

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen


A tiny, tiny Habitat For Humanity House in Mississippi!
September 30, 2012, 8:53 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Check out this tiny house/playhouse that was built by the Habitat For Humanity crew in Fort Jackson, Mississippi! I love the front array of windows, the interior colors (mostly), and the micro second floor. The horizontally laid tongue and groove walls look great as well.
     If you really take a look at this, especially from the outside, its got the makings of a GREAT looking tiny house or cabin for adults, never mind kids. Sure you’d have to tweak some dimensions, add a little bathroom, and some better second floor access (I’d prefer that at least), but its pretty much all there!
     This house was ultimately raffled off as a fundraiser- talk about one lucky kid!

Again, I’m working on a coffee table-style book on kids forts, getaways, tiny houses, treehouses, and clubhouses (and their possibly design influence and ties to regular housing). If you have a project or have taken photographs of one that you’d like immortalized in a book, send ’em over to kidcedar at gmail dot com– I’d love to see/consider them. Hi-res/300 dpi+ photos only please. Perhaps we could feature them on this blog, or www.fortaday.com too.

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen



Tiny House/Tumbleweed Fencl Photos from our DC Workshop
September 29, 2012, 8:19 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
A Tumbleweed Fencl- this particular model was built by “Big Bill” Rockhill at Bear Creek Carpentry (www.bearcreekcarpentry.com).    

 Better late than never! I’ve since hosted the Chicago Tumbleweed Workshop as well (I’ll post photos of that soon), but here’s a few Fencl and classroom shots from Washington, DC- another GREAT group of people! Jan Kenney, who lives in the Tumbleweed that Gregory Paul Johnson once owned, and the Boneyard Studios Group (www.boneyardstudios.com) were our guest speakers too. Aside from it reaching 104 degrees in the city when we arrived, and a freak tornado-like windstorm one night that had trees and power out everywhere (we were untouched, thankfully), all went very smoothly- the tiny house gods were on our side apparently!

The NYC Workshop that I’m hosting is October 20th and 21st in Brooklyn- I can’t wait!

My other Relaxshacks.com three-day, hands-on, tiny-house-building workshop is Nov 2-4 in Stoughton, MA- we only have about 2-3 spots left now. kidcedar at gmail dot com to sign-up.

I love the top photo, and its one, of about another 1000 or so I have to pick from, that I might put in the next book that I’ve been working on- a follow-up to my book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks”.

I’m STILL (and will be for some time) looking for Fort, Treehouse, Shed, Cabin, Tiny House, and Container House photos- one’s you’ve taken or built for another project I’m also working on- YOUR CHANCE to be part of a cool coffee-table style book! kidcedar at gmail dot com.

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen



A Parasitic Skyscraper Tiny House Addition….
September 28, 2012, 10:41 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

This one’s pretty out there- its a side panel sketch from my book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks”….at some point I’ll even post some of the outtake sketches that we didn’t have room for, or that were just too wild/weird for the book (believe it or not- lol!).

Have YOU built or designed a kick-ass tiny fort or structure???
Again, I’m working with a publisher on a brand new book, and in search of AWESOME and unique DIY Forts, Shed Conversions, Tiny Houses, and Cabins…..here’s your chance to have your work immortalized in a book. kidcedar at gmail dot com to submit ’em….
Also, our Tiny House Building Workshop– Nov 2-4 in Stoughton/Boston, MA is almost sold out, if you’re interested in attending, don’t delay too long! kidcedar at gmail dot com as well…. We won’t have another workshop until well into 2013….

Click to ENLARGE….
When they run out of space in cities…..or heck, even as a cliff-hanging cabin/dwelling….

 
-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen



The 1910 Dietz "Dollhouse"….Tiny House Eye Candy- A Micro-Victorian House
September 27, 2012, 10:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

From the Seguin, TX Historical Society’s Website (and thanks to Don Siders for pointing us in the site’s direction).

Dietz Doll House (1910)
415 S. Austin St.

The Dietz Doll House is one of the Seguin Conservation Society’s most charming properties and like the others, comes with an intriguing history. It was built in 1910 by Louis Dietz for little Alice O’Brien, 5 years old, who had come to Seguin as an orphan train child.
Alice was born on May 28, 1905, in the New York Foundling Hospital in New York City. In those days, orphan or homeless children were transported by train to various small towns throughout the United States for adoption. In Seguin, Alice was taken in by John and Julia Magin, but nine months later, Mrs. Magin died. A German-born carpenter, Louis Dietz and his sister, Miss Mollie, applied to the Catholic Parish priest to raise Alice in their home.
Alice moved to her second home May 10, 1910, about the time Louis Dietz built the Victorian doll house for her. The little house was originally located on the right side of the tree-shaded back yard of Louis and Miss Mollie’s house at 423 N. Milam Street. Some people in Seguin remember that in the 1920’s The Doll House sat at the left side of the Dietz Cabinet Shop facing N. Milam Street. In time, The Doll House was moved again to create an entrance for the Dietz house.
Louis worked in his cabinet shop next door at 427 N. Milam Street. He built ornate furniture and crafted unique items of wood — rocking horses, gray elephants, humpback camels, and animals on wheels. Another of his specialties was making different kinds of wooden fruit – bunches of grapes and watermelons. Equally distinctive were decorative clock shelves painted to look like marble. A child-size wardrobe and dresser made by Louis are on display in The Doll House.
Pablo Castilla and his son, Ralph, gave the Dietz Doll House to the Seguin Conservation Society in 1967. See it next to Los Nogales Museum at 415 S. River Street.

If you’re going into tiny house living for simplicity, and lack of maintenance. this might not be the model you want to emulate though- that scroll work and fancy trim would be more than a pain to paint.

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen



Tiny Houses/Tumbleweeds: To Skylight, or NOT to Skylight?
September 26, 2012, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This question has been posed at EVERY Tumbleweed Workshop I’ve hosted (Boston, Miami, Chicago, DC, Seattle, NYC, Middle Earth, Atlantis, etc), and I’m sure we’ll talk about it, both your opinions and mine, in the upcoming NYC Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in Brooklyn, NY- October 20th and 21st. This particular workshop will feature Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller, the duo behind the much anticipated “Tiny: The Movie”- who have recently completed their own tiny house on wheels. More guest to be announced soon too…..CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.

SKYLIGHTS- SHOULD I INCLUDE THEM IN MY TINY HOUSE’S LOFT?
This could apply to houses of ANY size, but more particularly to tiny houses, as their loft space is so comparatively limited….

First of all, in the “pro-skylight” column, just look at this photo of a simple lofted sleeping area in a tiny house- I mean how cool, cozy, and inviting does this look? I love it. On the other hand, you’re losing heat like crazy, r-value-wise, if you don’t have high end, insulated, double-paned, skylights. However, this heat loss, as your loft will ALWAYS be the warmest place in your tiny home, might also come as a blessing.

Now on the other hand, take the above example- this converted attic could have possibly benefited from the additional light and venting abilities of a skylight or two, BUT with the inclusion of a decent sized window on the gable end of the home, the lighting in this little loft seems to be just fine.

The CONS of skylights…..well, even with the most thorough flashing and trim work, ANY TIME you add an roof penetrations or complications (toilet stacks, electrical poles/goose necks, dormers, and yes, skylights) THAT will be the place, most prone, down the road, to leakage. SO, by not having any skylights, you’re more or less eliminating this increased risk, but at the cost of less light, and in some cases, ventilation. If you live in a particularly rainy and windy region of the country, or oceanside, where the weather can be rather brutal, for this reason, skylights should be carefully considered.

But its not that cut and dry…..as you’ll see in photo #3, Jay Shafer’s original Tumbleweed Tiny House….

This cool little loft, above, is pretty darn cozy, and with only one lancet/gothic window, its also on the dark side- which sleep-wise, I really love (I prefer sleeping in pitch black rooms). That can either be a pro or con, but in terms of a off chance fire or emergency, those who choose to only install small windows in their lofts are faced with the challenge of squeezing through them for egress if need be. With a skylight, on the other hand, whether its meant to open or not, come fire, or any other dire situation, one swift kick to the glass and you can make your way out- It won’t be pretty, granted, but you will be alive.

PRO- Larger windows, or skylights, just may help you in terms of your being able to load long, or bulkier items into your loft- ones that otherwise would not fit up through the small entrance hole (if not an open loft set-up).

PRO and CON- Solar gain is another thing to consider, and this will all depend on where you live, where your house is situated and in which direction its located. Skylights on a south facing roof will collect alot of heat during the day in your loft. If your home is parked under the shade of a tree in the summer, this skylight gain will be greatly reduced. In colder climates, this solar gain, on the other hand, might be exactly what you want.

CON- Skylight shades always seem to be problematic and a good many people just don’t bother with outfitting them with their custom shades- AND when those shades break, they’re slow to replace them. The result: When the sun is up, you’re up- unless you own a sleep mask.Skylights with built-in interior, between glass, shades- forget it, they always end up breaking over time- at least in cases I’ve seen.

Above: Skylights put to good use- Dee Williams of Portland Alternative Dwellings, in her Tumbleweed. Note how the skylights are staggered and both are not situated on one end of the home- this arrangement is less apt to structurally weaken your tiny home (especially important if its one on wheels that will be moved often).

PRO- Who doesn’t want to sleep with a clear view of the stars overhead? It’d be like sleeping in a stargazers field, but without the bugs, cold, and manure under your feet. Same with the rain overhead- to be so close to the elements, yet so protected, comfortable, and dry, is something to be experienced. Its one of the reasons that I love installing clear poly roofing on many of my small shelter structures.

And I’m sure there are other reasons, for and against, that can be added to this conversation, and perhaps, that’s where you come in. Feel free to enter any comments, and your thoughts, below.

Derek “Deek” Diedricksen, runs the blogs Relaxshacks.com and Fortaday.com, is the author of “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks”, hosts workshops on his own and for The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, and hosts/directs/produces the tiny architecture/diy show “Tiny Yellow House” on youtube. He is also a freelance carpenter and designer. Click HERE to check out his book….



Tiny Houses (Me and Sage) featured in US News/Yahoo.com
September 25, 2012, 2:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
 (Above: The Workshop “Classroom”- redefined…..here’s one of the locale’s where we’ll be hanging out and building. These micro-structures from my youtube show “Tiny Yellow House” will serve as examples of what can be done with certain free and recycled materials)

 AS FOR THE US NEWS
Yet more proof that so many people are very curious about alternative architecture and tiny house living…here’s an article that US News covered, and that later ran on Yahoo.com. Sage Radachowsky, a Gypsy Wagon Dweller/Carpenter, who is also featured, is one of the speakers/guests at our Relaxshacks.com Tiny House Building Workshop– 3 days, camping (if you’d like), MANY speakers and demos, hands-on building, guest cabins/campers that you’ll get to tour, an optional trip to THE first built Tumbleweed Tiny House in Boston (the one Jay Shafer lived in), a pizza party, nightly bonfire discussions, networking galore, and more!!!

Check out the article here…  http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2012/09/18/could-you-live-in-a-120-square-foot-house

Only about 3 spots left, email me at kidcedar at gmail dot com

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen