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204 Sq. Ft. Mountaineer Tiny Home with Rooftop Deck

This is Luke and Tina’s 204 sq. ft. solar-powered tiny home on wheels.

Outside, you’ll notice there’s a rooftop balcony accessible from the sleeping loft.

When you step inside, you’ll find a living area, two lofts, a bathroom, kitchen, and plenty of storage throughout.

The off-grid home also features a rainwater harvesting system and a composting toilet.

If you’re interested, plans are available to purchase if you’d like to build your own. Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thank you!

204 Sq. Ft. Mountaineer Tiny Home with Rooftop Deck

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More Details on this Tiny House

  • Luke and Tina (husband and wife) designed this tiny house themselves.
  • They’re both engineers so they made the plans and hired a contractor to build it.
  • The tiny house can function completely off-grid because it has solar, composting, rainwater harvesting, and propane.
  • They live on a 40 acre farm on the foothills of Mt. Hood.
  • The house features hide-away space savers like a dining room table, coffee table, chairs, doors, drying rack, and storage that can’t be seen.
  • There’s a walk-able and waterproof roof deck that has access via a small hobbit door from the bedroom loft!
  • The house features live edge redwood slabs and 12″ redwood panels all around.
  • This tiny home has a mountaineering look and feel which is why there’s a large gear cabinet! It houses all of their outdoor gear easily.


Interested in buying the plans? Visit http://www.backcountrytinyhomes.com/

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!

{ 66 comments… add one }
  • Janp July 2, 2016, 10:34 am

    Love love love the design and how it is built. Hopefully couch becomes a bed as I still could not do ladders or want steps. But overall while I usually think under 400 sq ft is just too small,this one has proven me wrong. I definitely could live here.

    • Tina July 2, 2016, 7:05 pm

      Hi Jan! Thank you so much for the compliments about our house! You’re correct, the cops just pulled out into a full size bed. We made sure to include this aspect because we do have a lot of guests over at our house, including my mother, who cannot make the trek up the stairs or the ladder. It was a great alternative for those who need the convenience of a single floor tiny house. Take care!

      • Rev August 13, 2016, 7:02 pm

        Keep a close watch in your rear-view mirror, and avoid most cops. But some cops are sneaky, and they’ll get you irregardless.

        • Tina Orlando August 13, 2016, 11:49 pm

          Haha, whoops. That’s what I get for not proof reading. But yes, some couches are sneaky like that.

  • LouAnn July 2, 2016, 10:43 am

    Wow! Amazing design with wonderful storage. As an interior designer, I am impressed. Curious about how many pets they have since there were 3 or 4 medium size crates. Thank you for sharing this very creative THOW.

    • Carie July 2, 2016, 3:01 pm

      They have 2 dogs. This was built and featured in last weeks episode of Tiny House Nation.. if you want to see it better.

    • Tina July 2, 2016, 7:08 pm

      Hi LouAnn! Thank you so much! We have 3 dogs. We have a Siberian Husky, miniature Australian shepherd, and a standard Australian Shepherd. We adopted our aussie right after our show aired. Though, we tend to foster dogs a lot so it is not unusual for us to have upwards of six dogs in the house! Take care!

  • Sharee July 2, 2016, 10:59 am

    I just saw this episode on TV. It was fun watching it being built and all the decisions being made to end up with this beautiful and functional THOW (young couple and their 2 dogs).

    • Clint July 2, 2016, 12:20 pm

      Sharee – Which tiny house show did you see it on? We’d like to watch it. Thanks!

  • jake July 2, 2016, 11:51 am

    Incredibly special. Just fascinating. Every bit wonderful.

  • Dede July 2, 2016, 1:58 pm

    This is a great place! It is bright, well thought out and it looks so comfy and convenient. Love the tvs! bravo!

  • Emily c. July 2, 2016, 2:10 pm

    One of the best Tiny Houses I’ve seen. Great storage. Looks much bigger than 204 sq. ft. Unfortunately for me, bad knees would make it difficult to access the great roof top deck. I would have to have a design were the roof could be access in another way, like an outside spiral stair.

    • Eric July 8, 2016, 4:24 am

      Emily, I don’t see what your issue would be. You say you’d need a spiral staircase outside to access the roof deck. Why? One just needs to use the stairs up to the bedroom, walk the length of the bedroom to the small porch off the bedroom or walk the 3 or 4 steps up to the roof itself. Far easier than a spiral staircase anyday. Death traps they are too… and I’m speaking from experience. And I too was resurrected… just not on the 3rd day. LOL

  • connie July 2, 2016, 2:51 pm

    This is the most amazing tiny house on wheels I’ve ever seen! LOVE the balcony and that it is totally off grid and with rainwater collection!! Amazing design.

  • David July 2, 2016, 5:52 pm

    I too first thought “it’s one of the 10 best houses among the 500+ I’ve seen”. Until I saw the inside of the french door. Two steps up on the inside, what a waste of space! I appreciate that it reduces the height of the staircase next to it, but it makes the whole entrance(!) area needlessly narrow/impractical/cheap. A grand home like this shouldn’t be impared by such design flaw, in my opinion. Despite this, I still feel this is “one of the 10 best houses among the 500+ I’ve seen”, yes. Well done, very livable! :-)

    • Tina July 2, 2016, 7:12 pm

      Hi David! I can see where it would appear the steps hinder the livable space in the main area of the house. While these stairs do help cut down the horizontal space needed for the loft access stairs like you mentioned, the real reason is to cover the three axle wheel fender of the trailer. You can’t see it, but we’re covering the other side with our gear cabinet. We had gone back and forth about placing the door above the wheel well and we ended up going with it so that we could use that vacant space beneath to store shoes since we would have to cover it anyways. Thank you for your other compliments and take care!

      • david July 3, 2016, 11:45 am

        That’s a nice surprise, you are here in person. Thank you Tina. Yes, it’s a good workaround the wheelwell, I may have done it too but probably would have placed the door at ground level and instead hid the wheelwell under the staircase. :) Also because it avoids having to take the outdoor deck in front of the door with me everywhere (on an extra trailer).
        Hey, you as engineers (it says), have you thought of doing an extendable roof, for head height? If you did, what spoke against it?
        I myself can’t understand why anyone would want to spend tens of thousands of dollars (building or buying, either way) for the “privilege” to have to duck down all the time and to feel like a rabbit. Seriously, that’s how I see it, these “children lofts” everywhere are a bad joke of housebuilding, in my opinion. An extendable roof is easy and costs a fraction of chic interior like yours (compliment).
        I notice with interest that you have chosen the Separett Vila, very wise. I can’t see why others want to wait for breaking the handle on Nature’s head and similar aberrations. Are you happy with your decision, right?
        The banister on the roof deck folds down for travel, I assume?

        • Tina Orlando July 11, 2016, 1:46 pm

          1. Hey David! I’m sorry it has taken me a bit to get back to you. The only drawback to placing the door at ground level was that we wouldn’t be able to roll out our sofa bed without blocking our main entrance. It was extremely important that we have a secondary sleeping area. Being originally from the east coast of the US and now living in Oregon, we tend to have guests over once a month and it was imperative for us to carve out a specific space for where they could sleep comfortably in our house. We elected to specify out a sleeper sofa that had a required minimum space as it would roll out into a full sized bed. This led us to designing the living area at the rear of the trailer, requiring us to find an alternative place to put our main entrance. Hence, the raised door. Also, Our 3-year plan with the house was to remain stationary on our 40-acre farm in Oregon. So, our focus was not on a mobile set of stairs with a lowered door but on an elevated door with a semi-permanent porch for our use to help dry/wash off our dogs prior to them entering the house in the rainy season for Oregon. If we had more of a plan to travel frequently with the house, we absolutely would have put the door level with the trailer floor for that exact reason! We have certainly thought about the extendable roof. We had two concerns. The first was the extra weight needed for the material and hardware and how that would impact our overall GVWR for the trailer. We’re rated for 15,900 with a factor of safety built in and adding what would, effectively, be another raised room would have put us over (per our bill of materials). The second concern was simply just the complications of having an extendable roof. Above our bedroom loft is our rooftop deck which has removable railings. Even if we didn’t have a roof deck, the mixture of adding a watertight seal to a flexible and extendable roof requires extra care and maintenance we didn’t want to risk. We live in Oregon, home of the rainstorm, and the more connection points there are, the greater the risk for leaks or cracks. They work amazingly on mobile homes and RVs but we just didn’t see it working for us. We elected to keep the design simple by maximizing our loft height at 4’1” so that we could sit up in bed with plenty of head room. Ha, we don’t spend enough time in the bedroom that the height bothers us. We loved closing it of for privacy at night should we have guests but we’re always on the roofdeck or outside enjoying our farm too much to think of it as a bad design. We wanted that exact loft because it met our needs. Though, we know it’s not for everyone and that is okay too! This house will be for 5-7 years and we will be designing another that better fits our needs as we get older. The separett has been such a great choice for us. No smell and very low maintenance. We’re able to go 3 months without having to change the waste collection and I designed a dilution tank for the urine. Yep! The railings on the roof deck breakdown easily for travel to put the house at 13’5”. Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  • Gabriella July 2, 2016, 5:57 pm

    Yes This resolution is perfect, nothing is missing, it is a traveling
    “mini villa”. Off I like the resolution of the two terraces on different levels, inside is full of colorful items and shelves, compartments very
    helpful. But the kitchen is certainly the most artistic an original element (para splash); the light penetrates almost everywhere
    asymmetrically as in the best architectural developments.

  • Danni July 3, 2016, 1:17 am


  • Dawn July 3, 2016, 11:24 am

    Probably my favorite tiny home I have seen so far! I love the unique custom storage spaces. This home is pretty much what I have been looking for in a house. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Chris July 3, 2016, 10:09 pm

    This is by far the best design and use of space I have ever seen. I have followed with interest for some time now other people’s comment about these tiny houses and find it interesting that sometimes the people who have never built a tiny home (or any size home for that matter) tend to project all their negative wisdom repeatedly about every house that gets built. If they have all the knowledge of how it should be done…where is their house? Really, it gets tiring reading from some of the same people each time who are constant downers! You all did a great job and if there was something I would do differently, I would have the good manners to keep it to myself since it is not my house. The important thing is that YOU are happy with it and I suspect you are…well done you two!

  • Kathe July 4, 2016, 1:24 am

    We really enjoyed your episode – wow, what an adventure! Can I ask what happened to the inlay door to the roof? It looks the same as the show otherwise – except homier. Nicely done.

    • Tina Orlando July 5, 2016, 12:01 pm

      Hi Kathe!

      Unfortunately the door didn’t hold up to the harsh winter we had and it warped, cracking the inlays. So, I removed the door and I’m in the process of un-warping it so that I can turn it unto an outdoor table!


  • Roger July 4, 2016, 6:57 am

    They just keep getting better don’t they?
    I assume people see something they like in someone else’s design, and make their own version.
    Sometimes they have something in mind that they want, and just have to make it fit.
    I have been thinking about including a balcony, and mine will be different to this one, but I’m sure I will ‘borrow’ some aspect or other. Hope you don’t mind.
    Nice work you guys :-)

    • Tina Orlando July 5, 2016, 12:02 pm

      That is exactly right! If we can inspire even one other person to go tiny, we will feel accomplished. The best of luck on your own tiny adventure!

  • Suz July 5, 2016, 4:49 pm

    This is by far in my top favorites list! I don’t own a lot of outdoor gear for that beautiful eclectic wall of cubbies but, I can tell you it brought the biggest smile to my face! The Live Redwood slice countertops are absolutely beautiful! Can I gush anymore?! I’m going to go try and find the episode that features a tour of your home now and I’m going to write to you to see about the availability and cost of a set of plans. Thanks for sharing!
    Suz (short for Suzanne) 😊

    • Suz July 5, 2016, 4:53 pm

      P.S. What did you use to create the stairs? And, are they drawers for storage? Thanks!

  • jr July 6, 2016, 1:49 pm

    The best tiny house I’ve seen

  • terry mitchell July 6, 2016, 4:11 pm

    I love Your Designs. Just really don’t know HOW to get started !!…
    Please CONTACT ME. Thank You so much…. Terry M.

    • Tina Orlando July 7, 2016, 9:34 pm

      Hello Terry!

      It’s great to hear from you and thank you for reaching out! We’re currently running an early bird special for our tiny house plans! For easy communication, you can reach out to us at BackcountryTinyHomes@gmail.com! Thank you!

  • Susan July 7, 2016, 5:25 pm

    This is one AWESOME TH! I love this one – the design is fabulous! Love the ‘stairs’ to the loft and it looks like one could actually ‘stand’ up in, too!

  • Michael L July 7, 2016, 11:10 pm

    Luke and Tina… this is one of the nicest I’ve seen. I especially like the deck off of the sleepimg lot. Thanks for sharing.

  • Julie July 10, 2016, 10:51 am

    Really? They designed it? They are engineers and outdoor mountaineers alright but this house and it’s dog cages and fancy rack to dry wet gear,deck,etc….was the brain child of Zach on Tiny House Nation. He puts his heart and soul into making these buses what people really want. He is the true” engineer” on this build. I am tired of seeing he and John work so hard to give the people on the show beautiful custom handiwork only to see them sell the houses almost immediately after or take credit for the custom designs. Shame on them. This episode of Tiny House Nation aired mere weeks ago! In the new Season. So wrong. Zach should be given credit for being the brainchild of this build.

    • Tina Orlando July 10, 2016, 6:47 pm

      Hi Julie! It’s great to hear from you. My name is Tina and my husband, Luke, and I did engineer this house. This is our house. While I understand the show portrays Zach as the designer behind each beautiful build, this is not true. That would be the portion that is “made for TV”; especially reality TV. What you didn’t see on TV are the 18 months of sleepless nights that we slaved over every single last detail that was being built for our house. From the framing to the window placements to the structural analysis, this would be our engineered design and no one else’s. When the TV cameras shut off, we were right there along side our licensed contractor putting up the framing, utilities, and decor. While Zach is a fantastic person and very talented carpenter, his special pieces made for us (drying rack, door, and cabinet) were designed by us months prior to the show filming. The TV show followed our house plans and they created a story line that would fit with the show. We were, indeed, the chief engineers and designers of the entire build. I can understand your frustration behind this misunderstanding, especially since this is how the show portrays it. If you have any specific questions about our house or our engineered design, please feel free to reach out to me. Also, for reference, as a lot of the tiny home owners have sold their homes after the TV show has left, I can ensure you this is our forever home and we were not there for any gimmick or fame or to sell it. We were there to surround ourselves with industry professionals for the experience and knowledge as we built our house. Take care!

      • Julie July 12, 2016, 5:19 am

        Hi Tina,I am sincerely sorry. I knew you guys were engineers and smart and adventurous but I thought Zach actually came up with and created those special features I mentioned. I had no clue that the show did not exactly present the truth of it. I think my frustration comes from seeing the hard work that is done for all the Tiny House Nation families and then seeing the houses up for sale so quickly after the episodes. That is not you guys and I should not have taken it out on you. I never meant to imply you were selling yours. I think your tiny home is beautiful,smart,and innovative. I am so happy that you have found your forever home. I am old school and in my 50’s so I guess I am still not use to reality shows not always being completely realistic. I just was feeling bad for Zach and John because they really seem like great guys who really care about thetiny house movement . I still believe they are great guys and all, and wish those that sell their homes off right away should be held to at least a few years to qualify to be on the show. Again,my sincere apologies. Great job! 😊Maybe you can give me some tips and ideas when I am ready to retire and build my own tiny home .Happy Adventures to you guys! Really awesome home.

        • Tina Orlando July 14, 2016, 10:33 pm

          Hi Julie! No worries at all! I know it’s difficult because the show portrays a modified story line that only borders on the truth. Though, a lot of the time you would be right! There are many home owners that have no design going into the show and Zach (and the production crew) do put together the entire design! Luke and I were one of the rare couples that had a design ahead of time and I believe we were one of only a handful of homeowners to actually engineer the entire thing ourselves. I also can completely agree with you about all the hard work the show does. It really disheartens us to see people chosen for the show that do not appreciate their new home and either immediately sell it or rent it out on AirBNB. I get promise you, that is certainly not the case with us! We LOVE this house and it absolutely our forever home. And I do want to say that both Zach and John are just as genuine in real life as they are on the show. That part is not an act! Zach is a VERY talented carpenter and all around amazing person. While we may have designed out what we were hoping he could help us with, he absolutely did build the special items himself. He has an amazing eye for detail! Absolutely no hard feelings and if you are ever in the market for a tiny home or ever have questions, please feel free to reach out to us at BackcountryTinyHomes@gmail.com! Take care!

  • Julie July 10, 2016, 10:54 am

    I meant houses,not buses.

  • Kat July 25, 2016, 1:06 pm

    Tina, is that a dumb waiter hanging off the loft? What a fantastic idea for getting things up and down without having to use stairs or ladder…


    • Tina Orlando August 14, 2016, 12:22 am

      Hello Kat! That is actually a drying rack that Luke and I use for our mountaineering equipment for when we return back from an expedition. We have some pretty sensitive gear that we have to dry out in the wet months and the drying rack is in direct line of our heater. Though, it does allow us to bring light items up and down to the storage loft easily and when you fully lower it, it turns upside down into a coffeet able. Hope this helps and take care!

  • Ashley Phelps August 6, 2016, 9:31 pm

    I love your home! What a great use of space! It is very apparent a lot of thought and planning went into it. Your sectional sofa is exactly what I’ve been searching for. Would you mind telling me where you found it, or had it made?

    My Thanks,

    • Tina Orlando August 10, 2016, 12:17 pm

      Hi Ashley!

      Thank you for the compliments about our home! We actually planned the house around the sofa. Not only is it a sectional, it’s also a full sleeper sofa that rolls out into a full-sized bed for guests! It has great storage under the chaise lounge as well. You can find it at IKEA (friheten). Best of luck!

  • AVD August 13, 2016, 12:27 pm

    A double NO-NO – two inward swinging entry doors.

    • Tina Orlando August 14, 2016, 12:18 am

      Hello AVD!

      That’s sad to hear you’re not a fan of the in-swing entry doors. For us, we did not initially plan to have a large platform porch for our entry. So, having outswinging doors would have not worked when accessing the house with a short outside mobile staircase. That and we have three dogs! When these doors wing in, it prevents the dogs from accessing the bedroom loft during the wet-weather months until we’ve had a chance to dry them off. A win-win, ha. Take care!

  • Debbie August 13, 2016, 1:43 pm

    This is the most well thought our tiny house I have seen. Having you explain in the other comments your reasons for things you did to it was so informative. I love the inside scoop you shared.
    Tina just have to comment on your grace in handling the negative comments. Impressive.

    • Tina Orlando August 13, 2016, 11:56 pm

      Hello Debbie! Thank you for all the kind compliments! We thoroughly enjoy going through the comments, positive or negative, and helping people with questions or providing different perspectives for why the design was done. Not everyone has to agree with us and that is completely okay. It just makes us more excited to see what their design may be for our own inspiration Take care!

  • Brandi August 13, 2016, 6:34 pm

    Tina, I sure would like to see your home and to see the hidden things you’ve spoken of. I, to am here in Oregon. Please look for the email from me. inthemidstofchaos@msn.com Your house is FANTASTIC!!


  • Large Marge August 13, 2016, 7:14 pm

    We immediately notice the vertical planking visually shortens the interior. Although it may not be, the space seems ‘smaller’ because the vertical lines terminate the sight-line prematurely.

    How do the government agents respond to your intent to not move the rig from your farm?

    • Tina Orlando August 14, 2016, 12:09 am

      Hi Large Marge! We can completely understand regarding your design comment. For us, we really wanted to use redwood rosewood panels for the interior. It’s not possible to find this type of wood in a tongue ad groove design without paying twice as much as we did. The advantages to tongue and grove in a mobile tiny house is it allows the house to create something called “a moment”. This refers to the twisting motion the house goes through during travel. Moments can and will create shear forces in rigid materials (like dry wall) which will create cracks and damage in your walls when you’re transporting the house. So, a lot of tiny house owners will use tongue and groove panels that allow for movement within the wall as a sort of “floating” design. Without having tongue and groove redwood available to us, we had to place the panels vertically. Placing the horizontally would have forced us to create 1/8″ gaps for the movement between panels which visually looked rather broken and unappealing for us. The EMC for redwood (equilibrium moisture content) is rather low (woohoo!) but still would have left us with twice the amount of spacing through our walls during construction should we have gone horizontally. So, I suppose it was more of a battle between engineering and design that led us to our decision. That and a 10.0′ ceiling still feels rather roomy when you’re inside :)

      As for your comment regarding local code and zoning, we have our house registered as an accessory dwelling and we’ve ensure to meet the local codes required to obtain this permit.

      Hopefully his helps and take care!

  • ZACHARY E MOHRMANN August 13, 2016, 7:27 pm

    Now that’s sharp, very big but sharp looking house…. I can imagine what the cost of a house of this size could be…

    • Tina Orlando August 14, 2016, 12:13 am

      Hello Zachary! This house cost us $35,000 to build with a licensed contractor and fully functioning off-grid system (solar, rainwater harvesting, composting, and propane). Though, I can’t say this would be a very representative budget for anyone looking to build the same. The expedited build schedule, professional promotional trade outs (we were on a tv show), and more drastically impacted our budget both positively and negatively. We do sell the plans to this house and we have estimated the actual cost for each model here on our FAQ page. Hope this helps!


  • Kathi August 15, 2016, 3:31 pm

    I don’t like walking into the house and having the steps over the wheelwells. I don’t like stepping down into the house.

  • Bigfoot October 11, 2016, 9:09 pm

    Hi Luke & Tina, congrats on a cool design & build ! Fabulous.
    Tina, thanks for the concise explanation(s) regarding some of your design considerations & decisions. The stairs/storage faces look like perforated stainless steel? For ventilation? I imagined some low level diffused light filtering out from behind the perforations in the metal. This could be decorative(colors) or utilitarian for those wee hour jaunts to the loo. Motion activated switch for bedtime use & energy conservation ;) I was also wondering what type of insulation you used ?
    The entry door placement lends a different flavor to the exterior aesthetics. It did not look like there is any screening at the hobbit door ? Would have been a nice addition.
    I would love to read a follow up down the road on what design elements have worked out well for you two & what if anything you would do differently.

    Enjoy the day!

    • Natalie Natalie October 12, 2016, 6:28 am

      So glad you liked it! — Tiny House Talk Team

    • Tina Orlando October 13, 2016, 5:29 pm

      Hi Bigfoot! Thank you for all the kind compliments! The face of the stairs do indeed have stainless steel metalwork! Though, your idea sounds much more fun than what we currently have. The metal is for decoration only and is attached to a wood backing. it was originally added for protection against dirt/scuff marks and to help tie in the rest of the metal decor in the home. We do have a motion detector light on the first floor which has been a great addition for the exact reason you mentioned though! Our insulation as very minimal due to where we parked the home. We used typical fiberglass insulation, R30 which has been sufficient enough. Though, if we do ever travel to colder regions that would certainly not be enough. We do plan to build another tiny house in the future and we will most likely go with spray foam or SIPS so that we can maintain a breathable home for non-mechanical ventilation but ensuring we don’t forgo the required insulation rating. Unfortunately, no screening for the hobbit door though that would be a great addition for the future! As for any changes, Luke ad I have discussed them in great length. If we were to redo this house again, we would have gone with a floating click and lock flooring from the get-go. It has been a godsend for three dogs and with an open foundation beneath. No warping, can have standing water on it, and easily comes up if we want to change it out in the future! Our original hardwood was damaged within months and laminate warped immediately due to the thermal break beneath the home. Many a headache could have been avoided should we had spec’ed out vinyl to begin with. We will also be retrofitting in a wood stove above our propane heater to have two heat sources. Propane has been great but it does create excess moisture that you have to be prepared to ventilate. We had pre-designed a space for a wood stove to exist per Canadian codes (more stringent than USA) for when we have the finances to update that. Other than minor changes (extra light fixture, different sized-cubby) we would not change much! Some items that worked out really well have been our sliding dog door for the bedroom loft that duals as laundry storage! Also, the sofa sleeper has earned it’s keep for when we have guests over. Please let us know if you have any other questions and we would be happy to answer them!

      • Bigfoot October 14, 2016, 6:20 pm

        Thanks again for your detailed response. Regarding insulation, I’m a fan of sprayed in closed cell foam on a standard framed wall. SIPS are good if weight is a concern but to me a glued & screwed conventional frame with the sprayed insulation is the ultimate. It would be nice to see more builders address the many areas that can be affected by thermal bridging. IMO, these should be considerations for any climate, just for the cumulative energy savings. I have heard a good number of horror stories regarding hardwood flooring & the backer boards soaking up water. I’ve seen a few click together/floating cork flooring manufacturers that have went to a synthetic backer system impervious to moisture so water from the top or bottom is never a problem. – I think it would be cool to install plumbing feed/return lines that a separate external thermal cycling heater/manifold could be attached to after the unit is set to attain some ‘free’ hot water & possible interior heating as well. Be easy to plan at the construction stage. Two heat sources for your home is a great idea! Three even better:) I was wondering how much energy you’ve gotten from your PV/deep cycle battery setup & what all you run with it? Did you go 12vdc, 24vdc, or converting to ac voltage? Any adjustability on the solar panel mounts for elevation/orientation & do you think these things would be beneficial. Do you keep any stats on your rain collection quantities & how much of a benefit has that been for you? I’ve had homemade dog doors for the exterior of my homes for decades so they can come & go as needed. It would be nice to see someone incorporate this on a tiny. One last question, are the horizontal support beams for your upper deck stairs cantilevered into the wall construction with the beams running a good distance into the interior wall frame or just attached to the end wall only?

        • Tina Orlando October 14, 2016, 7:03 pm

          Hi Bigfoot!

          I completely agree regarding the insulation. Our next home is set to be a travel-ready home so weight is going to be at the front of our minds but for homes we’re currently designing that are future park models or modest movers, we’ve been spec’ing out spray foam if the home owner can afford it. It’s amazing with some of the ratings you can get out of it with still using 2×4 construction! Also, precisely on the hydrophobic backerboards (that is what we now have thankfully). It’s funny you mentioned the recycled feed lines for heating. There is a current park model we are looking at that has managed to include a fusion of hydronic radiant floor heating along with their rainwater cistern stored within their floor boards. It’s not for me (too many moving parts) but the idea was really intriguing! As for our PV/deep cycle setup it all depends on the season. For background, we run a 30 amp system with three 160 W solar panels, 12V system (12V to 110VAC). Our house is not solar aligned (womp) due to severe grades in the area so our efficiency is not where it could be. I plan to use a lock and load retaining wall with geogrid to create a retaining wall so that we can better park our house next summer but for right now we usually see about 140 amp hours in the summer with an overall 13.6 V at the end of the day (we usually charge around 18 amps an hour for direct sunlight). The winter is another story. We plummet with the constant cloud cover and perpetual rain. We run a generator to keep the deep cycle batteries above 60% every couple days or so. If we re-aligned the house, we wouldn’t be having this problem. Our current panels don’t have adjustability within the mounts. We considered it but we realized we wouldn’t be home during the day to keep the solar alignment at its peak efficiency. Unless you have an auto-aligner, it can be tough to maintain without always visiting the roof. I do recommend a stand alone array that can detach from your roof if you are expecting to be an area long enough! You can have better access to it for alignment. If you can afford it, go lithium for your battery bank. Deep cycle is “okay” but the life span is fleeting. As for the rainwater harvesting, I was a civil and environmental engineer in another lifetime and I lived water usage stats. In this case, we use 18 gallons/day between 2 adults and up to 6 dogs. Granted, we have a composting toilet and we hand wash our dishes which keeps usage down greatly. Our cistern was well oversized per our subcontractor’s desires (1,100 gallons). Our collection area maxes out at 160 SF but we are able to keep the cistern full after a typical rain storm (no 2-year or even a 10-year necessary). Keeping track of our usage has helped greatly because after our data collection we can confidently sell our large cistern and opt for one that fits in the back of the truck for transport that still allows for a 3 months drought in the PNW. I think I have seen a doggy door here and there but not as frequently for THOW. For us, we have three dogs of our own but we foster up to 3 additional at a time. We specialize in dogs with behavioral problems and reactivity (we foster and retrain) so we can’t allow them to have free reign when we aren’t home but I can see where that would be helpful for well-socialized pups! As for the outer stairs, they are cantilevered off the ledger from the outside with two kickers on the bottom. The ledger is attached to a 4×4 header within the house. After running SAP2000 (my go to choice for structural analysis) we have it rated at 1,500 point load with a FS of 2.5. So, 8 adults or so with up to 20 static adults before we see failure. Granted, there isn’t enough room for 8 adults on the stairs alone. The roofdeck itself has a much higher load rating though. For homes that will be in snow load areas, I would suggest forgoing the ledger and make the connection within the walls themselves! Let me know if you have any other questions!

  • Nanny M October 12, 2016, 11:20 pm

    Wow, what an intelligently designed home! Stunning counters and the wonderful walls o’ storage. And your gracious handling of criticism is so rare. I will have to see the show. Thank you for all your non-defensive responses with useful information.

    • Natalie Natalie October 13, 2016, 6:41 am

      It is so beautiful! And graciousness is a wonderful thing :) — Tiny House Talk Team

    • Tina Orlando October 13, 2016, 5:16 pm

      Hi Nanny! It is great to hear from you and thank you for all the wonderful compliments! We love to have constructive criticism because it keeps us on our toes as designers and we love to see the needs that others might have to help us come up with better solutions for future tiny homes! We know that there is a tiny house design out there for everyone should they want it and I really enjoy seeing different view points of our current home. As for your comment about gracious handling of some of the negative comments, thank you. Catch more flies with honey, right? I also know how easily it is to be misunderstood through written words without knowing the context so we always want to react with kindness and from a place of understanding. Thank you again for your compliments and if you ever have any questions that we can help you with, let us know!

      • Natalie Natalie October 14, 2016, 7:06 am

        Thanks so much for being so helpful and involved, Tina :) — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Melissa October 13, 2016, 12:18 pm

    Nice house. Outdoor living space is huge for me, so I really love the decks.

    • Tina Orlando October 13, 2016, 5:33 pm

      Thank you, Melissa! Outdoor living is huge for us as well. We really enjoyed merging our outdoor adventures into our home and ensuring our home allowed both spaces to coexist. Have a great day!

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