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Tumbleweed Fencl Tiny House on Wheels

Ever dream of your own tiny house off the grid somewhere? Perhaps somewhere in the Rocky Mountains?

This is a dream that Kathy is making come true as you read this right now. It’s something that has been on her mind for a long time and is now becoming her reality.

On October, 2011, she was able to purchase 11.4 acres of land in the Rocky Mountains so she’s now building the home on wheels in Michigan and planning to move it down once it’s completed.

Instead of designing the entire home herself, she decided to go with one of my favorite highly detailed construction plans from Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Houses. It’s the Fencl tiny house.

It’s a 130 square foot design with a sleeping loft. It includes a tiny covered porch and of course is designed to be built on a flat-bed utility trailer so that you can legally tow it on most roadways.

Tumbleweed Fencl Tiny House on Wheels

Photo Credit Tumbleweed Houses

To begin the project, Kathy ordered a 20′ trailer from PJ Trailers in Milan, Michigan. The cost was $2915 brand new with an extra $85 fee to deliver it to her building site. She’s using some reclaimed appliances from an RV which you can check out on this post over at her blog.


She’s recruited the help of professional carpenters to help finish the project as quickly as possible while avoiding common mistakes that beginner’s might make. A great investment, in my opinion. If you’re interested in starting your own project just like Kathy’s, consider Tumbleweed’s variety of detailed tiny house plans.

Also- when you join our Tiny House Newsletter you’ll get free tiny house plans along with a catalog including more detailed available construction plans to purchase.

To stay updated on Kathy’s tiny house project visit her blog and subscribe. If you enjoyed this post, also “Like” and share using the buttons below then share what you liked best about her project in the comments below. Thanks!

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A2B Electric Motor Bicycle

How perfect would this A2B electric motor bicycle be for a tiny house that you can manage to place somewhere in town?

Maybe even in a city. With a 20 mile range and just 3 and half hours to recharge, it’s the perfect answer to a relatively short commute.

If 20 miles isn’t enough, you can always add on an extra battery to double the distance. It can travel at up to 20 mph without any pedaling assistance and all the way up to 40 mph while you pedal.

All of these numbers- of course- vary depending on your weight. It’s no way near as bulky as a scooter but it’s definitely heavier than your average bicycle at 73lb. The 3-inch wide tires help give it more of a rugged look, too. I’m just so happy to be able to add this to the bicycle section here at Tiny House Talk.

It comes with 7 gears, a twist throttle, and the main battery is stored inside the frame of the bike. No driver’s license is needed to drive either. It also packs a front and rear suspension for comfort and you can always add a basket and side bags so you can take your stuff with you or go do some groceries with it.

A2B Electric Motor Bicycle

Photo Credit PlugBike

I encourage you to read the rest of this post and watch the video review, plus where you can rent one, below:

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Hobbit Hole Tiny Cottage by Wooden Wonders

Meet Rocky and Melissa. They live in Maine and have been building what I like to call Hobbit Hole Tiny Homes.


Their micro structures can serve a variety of purposes. Originally they were intended to be for children so they were in the playhouse business.

Recently they’ve decided to broaden their market when they realized that adults love these little dwellings just as much as kids do and I think they made a great choice, don’t you think?

Their company is called Wooden Wonders and as most of you might already know a “hobbit” is a character from a book called The Hobbit which is now more widely known as Lord of the Rings.

Even in the original book, Hobbits were known to live very simple lives in rural areas. Much like many of us want to consider trying and some of you are already doing. Some of you are even completely off-grid in your own tiny cabin.

Hobbit Hole Tiny Cottage by Wooden Wonders

Photo Credit Wooden Wonders

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Visitors at Northwestern University's Tiny House

If you haven’t heard of Northwestern University’s tiny house before, this post will show you. We also covered part of the construction process a while back over on this post, in case you missed it before.

Not only that, we’ll also let you know where you can take a tour of it in real life if you’re ever in the Chicago area.

Right now, as I write this, it’s at the city’s Museum of Science and Industry ready for you to tour.

In 2010, a special group of students in engineering and construction at Northwestern University decided they would design and build a tiny house on a trailer.

Today it’s known as the Northwestern Tiny House Project, which you should visit real quick and “Like” on Facebook. Who knows? Maybe with enough likes we can inspire them to build another one!

Visitors at Northwestern University's Tiny House

Photo Credit Northwestern University

What do you think about the large awnings that they added to the house? I thought it was a unique way to extend the outside space a bit and they can also come in handy if you wanted to add more solar panels to help power the house.

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Minimalist Small House in Downtown Tokyo Japan

It’s called the Reflection of Mineral. This modern & minimalist small house is in downtown Tokyo, Japan.

At 900 square feet on a 480 square foot lot it’s the epiphany of future sustainable housing not just for individuals and couples but for families as well, especially in areas like Tokyo where space is truly limited.

I know I say this often, but living tiny or small doesn’t always have to mean sacrificing. With less space there can be room for more luxury.

And many of you know my mantra on quality over quantity. So a home like this definitely hits home for me, how about you?

It’s designed by architect Yasuhiro Yamashita and it has now received lots of exposure and media attention.

Minimalist Small House in Downtown Tokyo Japan

Photo by Makoto Yoshida

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Prefab Tiny Home called the Housearc

I normally like to show you examples of tiny houses that are a little more affordable, but other times I still like to show you great examples of small space designs because they’re inspiring.

You can always take these ideas and put them into your very own design and then build it yourself for much less.

But if you do happen to have the extra money, or can even sell off your current assets to downsize, this might be a great option for you since much of the design and labor is already done for you.

So I do imagine that for some folks, this route can still be way worth it, it all just depends right?

I believe this prefab tiny home kit ends up costing upwards of around $65,000 according to Bridget Borgobello over at Gizmag. So let’s take a little virtual tour of it right now.

Prefab Tiny Home called the Housearc

Photo Credits Bellimo Architects & House Arc  [click to continue…]

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Two Tiny House Construction Mistakes You Can Avoid

Some of you are familiar with Louis Burns, who built his own tiny house on a trailer in Austin, Texas not long ago.

This little house was built inexpensively and take note that it was Louis’ first attempt at building a home in general.

So there are plenty of mistakes that he made which he is very open about. I’m sure if he did it a second time, he’d do a heck of a better job.

Some of the errors were major while others were minor but either way you can learn a lot about what not to do from his experiences and we should all still give him a hand for not only starting the project but finishing it.

He even took the time to document his entire experience in an ebook and video format which is great value if you find yourself interested in learning even more from his mistakes and experiences and you’re not able, or cannot afford to attend a workshop yet.

I will point out two of his major errors for you..

Mistake #1: The first and most obvious will be the placement of an outdoor water heater directly inside the bathroom which is not a great idea. You’ll see below..

You can easily create a micro vented shed on any of the exterior walls (I recommend on the tongue of the trailer) to house this, as Dan Louche- of Tiny Home Builders– has done with all his homes so far.

Mistake #2: The other serious mistake that he made was the order in which he installed the siding. You have to keep aerodynamics in mind before you do this otherwise your panels are going to come off because of high force winds when towing the house.

So without further ado, the Austin Tiny House Project..

Two Tiny House Construction Mistakes You Can Avoid

Photos Courtesy of Louis Burns

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