Ruffy. I never knew such a place existed. But it does, northeast of Melbourne. And there, you could pick up 15 acres of land, a tiny house, and something that resembles a pile of scrap–that really is a room / hut of some description. According to the listing on Domain.
Etamogah Mark II as well as a small 1st Class Cabin (8m x 3.2m) provides great weekend accommodation for friends and family on this very private hideaway within easy reach of Ruffy Store and a 20 minute, give or take, drive to Euroa.
To be honest, it looks like a slice of heaven. I want one.
This article is written in an American context but I intend to pull it apart in the coming months and answer the questions in an Australian context. It’s worth checking out anyway.
Codes and the tiny house.
What a neat little bathroom.
When you think tiny house, it’s easy to thing tiny amount of storage. This can be very true, but it comes down to good design. The Tiny Life wrote this about storage:
Don’t forget storage! Look at what you own, decide what’s important to you and plan, plan, plan for it in your design. Not only will this allow you to organize your space more readily once you move in, you’ll also notice how open your space can feel with the right amount of organization. We did not design storage in to La Casita and it has caused a lot of headaches for us. As we’ve come to find out, it’s easy to feel cluttered in a tiny house and I will never again underestimate the enjoyment of an organized space.
To which I added:
Tip #4: Storage – The great thing about most tiny houses is that they have built in furniture. This creates great opportunities for incorporating storage. Take a look at your standard couch. They have a really large footprint and a useless amount of space underneath. Whereas a built in couch can incorporate a huge amount of space underneath and all sorts of cool drawer systems, etc.
When I design my tiny house I am going to purposely make the couch high and deep, to allow for maximum storage space underneath. Also the bed.
The first part of The Tiny Life’s tip is a good one: decide what stuff is important to you. If you design your storage system without doing this it could be tempting to build tonnes and tonnes of space into your tiny house and hoarding stuff you don’t really care about. This will sacrifice living space and could lead to all sorts of problems down the track.
My tip for sorting your stuff: be brutal and intelligent. The Simplicity Collective published a great article yesterday called, How To Live Simply: The De-Junking Guide. Not only does it share tips, but it analyses the reasons why we hold onto stuff in the first place. Burch believes that “material things also help us remember significant events and relationships”. Sure, not everyone that chooses tiny living wants to be a minimalist. But I am sure most would probably want to get rid of some of their junk and clutter. And this is very important when it comes to storage in a tiny house.
With the shipping container design I am throwing around, I envisage a built-in couch at one end, about 750mm deep x 500mm high; with some sort of door or curtain across the front. This will be where I store stockpiled food, camping gear, etc. The bed will be down the other end and will hold about double the amount of storage. This along with some shelving and a cupboard for clothes will probably be enough.
A while ago I wrote a piece on buying cheap land in Australia. Most average size building blocks, within a reasonable distance of a suburbia or a large town, sell for well over $100,000. But there are a few places, if you really sift through the listings, where you can pick something up for well less than that. In fact, I saw a block in Rosebury, Tasmania, the other day, listed for $6,000!
Over the past few years its become a bit of a common publicity stunt to rent out farm houses or sell blocks in rural towns in distress for a nominal amount. Well, Richmond in QLD has become the latest Australian town to sell blocks of land for $1. That’s right, a buck will get you 600sqm of planet earth!
The point of the exercise is to encourage people back into the town, especially people with trades and experience that the town requires. Apparently they need a vet, and they’re short on truck drivers and people with general skills. There are conditions, as you would expect: “[I]nterested parties must have less than $500,000 in combined assets and pre-approval from a bank to build a home. They must complete the dwelling within two years and occupy the residence for at least a year.” The whole “pre-approval from a bank to build a home” throws me off a little bit. This, to me, implies that they will only allow certain homes of a certain size and value to be build on the blocks. Types of homes that banks are willing to finance–which, at least in the States, excludes most tiny houses. It doesn’t sound like a promotion suitable for those wanting to go debt-free and perhaps build a smaller (or tiny) house themselves. I have emailed the Richmond Shire Council asking them whether one is still eligible if they do self-fund and owner-build. I’ll report back if they reply.
Welcome to a new “segment”. Well, it’s not really a segment rather a type of post that you will see fairly regularly from now on. It’s called “My Tiny House Ideas”. These won’t necessarily be unique ideas that I have thought up, rather, ideas I am considering for my own tiny house. Sort of a place for my to scrapbook what’s going on in my noggin. Without further…
I’m considering going down the shipping container route with my tiny house. I haven’t done a thorough pro/con analysis as yet, and will, but what I have read and seen so far has really encouraged me. For a start, the shipping container is a lot of the house done with little effort. It’s the structure, floor, walls and ceiling all in one. If one chooses to line it, they can get away with using a smaller gauge timber frame than they would if they were building a structure–if they choose to line it at all. (I certainly will from an insulation point-of-view.) The size is right–I’d go a 20 footer, I reckon–and I think they look pretty snazzy. Not to mention the environmental side of the equation–practically your entire house is salvaged. Shipping containers are also pretty cheap–a 20 footer tends to sell for $1800-$3000 secondhand here in Australia. There are obvious downsides like the fact that metal conducts heat very well–not a great thing during a hot, Australian summer. But that can be overcome with how you line it and other measures.
As I said, I haven’t given it super deep consideration yet. It’s just an idea I am throwing up and it will depend on many factors.
That’s right. Magazine. You read correctly! Kent Griswold of Tiny House Blog (I always think of National Lampoon when I hear his name) has just launched a new–virtual–magazine called Tiny House Magazine. Not a bad name, huh?
Kent gives the reason for the magazine on Tiny House Blog today: “The goal with the magazine is to reach a new audience via this new media.” I must say, it certainly has a lot of sex appeal about it that is sure to get the attention of the uninitiated. Kudos to Kent.
Stumbling across the tiny houses on the internet is one thing. Seeing a cover like the one below in the iBookstore is plain intriguing and is likely to rope ’em in.
Tiny House Magazine
He goes on to describe some of the benefits of virtual over physical magazine: “The Tiny House Magazine is an unique experience that takes advantage of the iPad’s interactive capabilities. Because it is connected to the internet it can take advantage of videos and other interactive web related formats. By simply clicking a play button you can view a video right within the magazine. It’s a whole new reading experience has the the ability to link to other websites and blogs!” Sure, not everybody has an iPad or compatible ereader, but that’s the way things are moving. Especially amongst the people the tiny house movement is targeting I think. These are people that are possibly getting rid of their vast book collections; they’re not subscribing to physical magazines or newspapers anymore–they’re consuming more media online. Virtual magazines are the way to go. I applaud it. Plus it makes economic sense.
Another very important point: by making the magazine virtual, it’s available to people all over the world, including Australia. If it were physical, I’m sure one would be hard pressed to find a copy here anytime soon. Save ordering it online and having it posted I suppose.