Relaxshax's Blog

How tiny can you get when it comes to housing?
September 9, 2012, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

‘Just curious as to what the personal standards of some might be- and its something to think about. This, is too small for me, personally, full time (even if I lived alone), but as a getaway cabin for decent stretches of time, I’d be more than fine with it!

I often see photos of tiny structures I LOVE the look of, and say to myself “I could live in that!”, and then start visually breaking the layout down, or plan as to how it could look, function, feel, and work- and all, usually, from just an exterior photo. Even a photo such as this one- and its not meant to be a full time house, granted- gives you a general idea as to how big this tree house/stilt-house-cabin is, and from there its a simple exercise in spatial layouts…..and well, daydreaming….

I usually make a running checklist in my mind, just to see how I can make even the smallest of cabins, houses, or what others deem “forts”, liveable.

For instance….I WOULD…
-Create a sleep loft is enough space were available, if not, a fold down bed, or a bed-slash-long desk conversion might be an option.

-Extend the deck a little, and put a canopy or roof over it so as to extend my living space outdoors- which is a simple trick that always helps.

-Add a place to hang a hammock both indoors and out (same single hammock), which could serve as a lounging, couch-like place to read and watch tv from.

-Have one wall ENTIRELY composed of bookshelves and cubbies, which could be hidden (out of sight, out of mind) by a storage curtain. One LARGE shelf pocket could also contain a mini sink (with window in the back of it) and “counter space” to prepare small meals. Another could hold a microwave, or a single-burner camp stove (propane, a la the Coleman ones).

-Get rid of the track/sliding door (too drafty!), and replace it with a “real” door that opens OUTWARD to save interior space.

-Raise this little office cabin (or so it appears) a little higher and build-in a deck space directly beneath the structure, for shaded, outdoor hang-out space (also a place to park bikes, or hang tools (against one added outdoor wall perhaps). If you later needed more living space, this area could easily be enclosed.

-Toilet? There’s the tricky one in so tight a space- weather/climate/region permitting, you could possibly go with an outhouse, or cantilever a little more space (a tiny, tiny, room) off one end (even just 3′ by 4′) and make it a wet bath, with an ultra small boat toilet, or a composting unit.

-Heat the cabin with a small, oil-circulating, electric radiator (you would only need to run it on its lowest setting), or a Dickinson Boat Stove- those things are GREAT!

…And you get the idea!

Like I said, its a fun little mental/design exercise I like to often challenge myself with…

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen


2 Comments so far
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Many years of small places in various shapes and sizes, I can say with confidence that 80sq ft is the smallest space I care to live in for long term as a single person. My husband and I live in an Airstream, about 165 sf. plus an outhouse and a little deck/porch.

Comment by Meow Blah III

Also – instead of gas or diesel stoves (Dickinson) Have you thought about tiny marine woodstoves? this is what we'll be putting in the Airtream this winter. I prefer to be off grid, and living in the woods, fuel is free. Woodstoves are low-tech. Finding a small enough woodstove for shacks and tiny places is a challenge.

Comment by Meow Blah III

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