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DIY Off Grid Tiny House with Massive Patio Door (for sale)

This DIY off grid tiny house on wheels is for sale in Saint Jean Port Joli, Quebec, Canada.

It’s built on a 3-axle trailer that is 28 feet long by 8 1/2 feet wide, giving the house a total square footage of 238 square feet.

Image © Exploring Alternatives

We love the garage door wall in the living room that connects the indoor and outdoor spaces.

Image © Exploring Alternatives

This tiny house is designed to be completely off-grid with stainless steel water and grey water tanks, a Sun-Mar composting toilet, and propane for heat and hot water. It’s ready to be hooked up to solar panels, too.

Image © Exploring Alternatives

VIDEO: DIY Off Grid Tiny House with Massive Patio Door

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Danielle Chabassol
Danielle is a digital nomad who is passionate about tiny spaces, living with less, reducing waste and eating plant-based food. Danielle is half of the Exploring Alternatives blog & video project. You can find more of her at www.ExploringAlternatives.ca and her Exploring Alternatives YouTube Channel.
{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Marsha Cowan September 9, 2017, 7:31 pm

    Really nice. Minimal, but with all the necessary amenities. Really nice.

    • Alex September 13, 2017, 11:45 am

      Thanks Marsha glad you like it! Looking forward to showing everyone your new tiny home soon!

  • Steve in Micco September 9, 2017, 7:51 pm

    Agree w/ you Marsha. Definitely a doable deal. Love the simplicity. Would be curious though. With Hurricane Irma bearing down on us here, as I write this, I wonder how well this would hold up? As I piece together my 29’x10′ THOW, I am not currently at a stage where I am expecting immediate trouble, still I am concerned for the future, as my place is not intended for any great stretch of roadway.

    • James D. September 9, 2017, 10:30 pm

      So long as they have time to prepare it for a storm then it should be able to handle at least a category 1 hurricane storm…

      Storm winds fall into the following ranges…

      Hurricanes category –

      Five: ≥70 m/s, ≥137 knots, ≥157 mph, ≥252 km/h
      Four: 58–70 m/s, 113–136 knots, 130–156 mph, 209–251 km/h
      Three: 50–58 m/s, 96–112 knots, 111–129 mph, 178–208 km/h
      Two: 43–49 m/s, 83–95 knots, 96–110 mph, 154–177 km/h
      One: 33–42 m/s, 64–82 knots, 4–95 mph, 119–153 km/h

      Tropical storm: 18–32 m/s, 34–63 knots, 39–73 mph, 63–118 km/h
      Tropical depression: ≤17 m/s, ≤33 knots, ≤38 mph, ≤62 km/h

      THOWs typically have to be able to handle at least 60-70 MPH winds for optimal highway towing speeds, but as long as they are well built, with hurricane ties, etc. included in the framing, then they should be able to handle up to 130 MPH winds…

      Weight is a issue if it’s light and side winds can be risky as it’s a lot easier to knock a trailer over from the sides than fore and aft but if the trailer chassis is designed with anchor points then you can usually tie it down and anchor it to a foundation, so it can then withstand anything the structure is strong enough to withstand.

      If you go all out and construct the house out of super strong materials like MIPs, with steel siding, storm shutters, etc. then you can have a structure that can withstand over 200 MPH winds… But of course this will cost much more than simple stick framing and it’s one of the cost trade-offs to consider when designing your house…

  • Jennifer in Chattanooga September 10, 2017, 12:15 am

    Steve, I think that if you have a tiny house, you have to anticipate the future. Don’t be in tornado-prone areas during tornado season, and if you’re going to live near any coast, you need a THOW that is easily transportable.

  • Karen Distazio September 10, 2017, 8:25 am

    Hi am very interested in owning a ttiny house. I live in Ct. Can anyone tell me are their tiny house rentals possibility. in MA. So I can get the true experience. Would love to know.!!!!

    • James D. September 12, 2017, 10:54 am

      If you want to try it out then do a search on either AirBnB or Try It Tiny…

    • Raymond Boutin Jr September 13, 2017, 10:16 am

      Hi Karen,

      I live in a tiny house in VT with my family. If you want to see it or rent it for a weekend I can arrange for that. I’m also a tiny house designer/builder and would be happy to help with your project. Feel free to email me at [email protected]. You can see our tiny house build on Instagram at TinyLivingBigAdventures

      • Alex September 13, 2017, 10:53 am

        Hey Raymond! Would love to connect and see your work!

        -Alex

        • Raymond Boutin Jr September 13, 2017, 10:56 am

          Hi Alex, Please email me anytime so we can connect. I love to show off the work I do. I think you will enjoy it.

  • Van September 11, 2017, 3:36 pm

    Just look at how trailers and mobile homes effected by the storm. Then look at how most stick built home is effected by the same. You’ll be in the ball park as how it will handle a hurricane. Tropical storm, if built well, should be ok. A Cat 1 should not be too much of an issue if you don’t get the eyewall. Anything more and I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. Yes, you can over build anything, but at what cost? You can be lucky, but only for so long. Andrew, Wilma, Katrina, Irma, just a few major hurricanes that come to mind. As long as it’s not a direct hit, you have a chance. There is a lot to be said for shipping containers and concrete. Using the appropriate fittings that used to secure the containers to the deck fittings and to each other are super strong. Keep the doors on to close over windows and keep the side walls that you cut out for glass walls or sliding doors, so you can close it back up, you can do really well in most anything.

    • James D. September 12, 2017, 11:57 am

      No, shipping containers can still be knocked over… Look at the docks after a storm… Flat sides make excellent surface area for the wind to push against, especially when stacked and you create a tall wall that might as well be a sail…

      Something in the higher categories, like Irma was when it hit Florida at category 4 was able to damage even new foundation build buildings.

      Most of the container’s strength are at the corners… So stacked designs that offset them to not rest corner to corner are already stressing the structure and every opening you cut for windows, doors, etc. is cutting into the support structure and unless you did proper re-enforcement then there’s no guarantee it will be as strong as a non-converted container…

      The steel does handle impacts well but you need more than simple durability to ensure it will be able to handle hurricane force winds and all the stresses that can be put on a structure…

      It’s also not a good idea to use a container for an underground shelter as the walls aren’t designed to resist that kind of pressure… as the weight of the ground around it pushes inward and can crush the container inward on the sides if buried too deep…

      While what’s harder to avoid than strong winds is flooding and placing a house on a slab foundation means it’s on ground level and will get flooded if the area gets flooded… This is why many places in flood prone areas are starting to mandate that buildings be placed well above grade… Some new houses in Florida are actually designed with collapsible first floor walls to let the water flow through rather that compromise the pillar foundations and the house itself, since they can have flood surge from rising sea level or even a Tsunami, and, if not too heavy, the house can also rise higher on the pillars as the water level rises for added protection.

      Keep in mind that all of the worst hurricanes in the last twenty years did more damage through flooding than from the winds…

      Most hurricanes usually won’t exceed a category 5, 1-3 is usually the norm… But a tornado can reach higher wind speeds that are also a lot more focused into a very small area and is one of the reasons almost nothing can survive in their path.

      Measured under the Fujita Scale…

      RF (Relative Frequency); ADPW (Average Damage Path Width)

      F0 = 40–72 MPH, 64–116 KMH, 18–32 m/s, RF 38.9%, ADPW 10–50 meters (33–164 ft) – Light Damage… Some damage to chimneys; branches broken off trees; shallow-rooted trees pushed over; sign boards damaged.

      F1 = 73-112 MPH, 117-180 KMH, 33–50 m/s, RF 35.6%, ADPW 30–150 meters (98–492 ft) – Moderate Damage… The lower limit is the beginning of hurricane wind speed; peels surface off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos pushed off the roads; attached garages may be destroyed.

      F2 = 113-157 MPH, 181-253 KMH, 50–70 m/s, RF 19.4%, ADPW 110–250 meters (360–820 ft) – Significant damage… Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars overturned; large trees snapped or uprooted; high rise windows broken and blown in; light-object missiles generated.

      F3 = 158-206 MPH, 254-332 KMH, 71–92 m/s, RF 4.9%, ADPW 200–500 meters (660–1,640 ft) – Severe damage… Roofs and some walls torn off well-constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted; heavy cars lifted off the ground and thrown.

      F4 = 207-260 MPH, 333-418 KMH, 93–116 m/s, RF 1.1%, ADPW 400–900 meters (1,300–3,000 ft) – Devastating damage… Well-constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundations blown away some distance; cars thrown and large missiles generated.

      F5 = 261-318 MPH, 419-512 KMH, 116–142 m/s, RF <0.1%, ADPW 1,100 metres (3,600 ft) – Incredible damage… Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable distances to disintegrate; automobile sized missiles fly through the air farther than 100 meters (330 ft); trees debarked; steel reinforced concrete structures badly damaged and skyscrapers toppled.

      So like Jennifer pointed out, best to avoid Tornado zoned areas if possible… Otherwise either don't count on the house for your safety and make sure to built a underground shelter or if you have the funds build a in ground shelter garage that you can roll your THOW into during a storm but a underground shelter is the better option as you will usually have little to no warning when a Tornado will hit and is almost like trying to avoid lightning…

      This is not to say you have to automatically assume the worst because you can live years and even decades in a area and never get hit but like most disasters you can never count on that always being the case…

      There is also the danger of geography as some areas can be more easily effected by a storm than others… A category 3 or higher hurricane hitting New York City will pretty much kill everyone there because Manhattan is sitting in an alcove that will act like a cup for rising sea levels, the island itself needs to be constantly pumped to keep water level from flooding the subways which won't happen with a complete black out, and the skyscrapers aren't designed for such high winds, for example, and Hurricanes have historically hit New York before if you look back about a hundred years or so…

      Like most people don't know that Coney Island amusement park wasn't the original New York amusement park… The original was actually destroyed by a hurricane that eroded the island into the sea and that's when they moved it to Coney Island…

      There's similar examples for California and islands that used to border it…

      It's just hard planning for every contingency, especially ones that may take years, decades, and even centuries to occur, and it's not really affordable to really try, especially with the full range of things that can possibly hit us… So always consider acceptable losses and focus on personal safety first… Prioritizing things in your life should extend to safety as well… The house can always be replaced but your life can't be…

  • Van September 13, 2017, 1:21 pm

    James D, evidently you haven’t read my comment on containers fully. I mentioned the proper fittings that are used to secure containers to the base, called Twist lock, also the horizontal connectors and the lashing rods with Turn Buckles. Those fittings set into concrete heavy footing and a couple of containers connected with horizontal connectors and lashing rods, no amount of wind would do damage to it short of tearing out the heavy concrete footing from the ground. BTW, those connectors are not expensive to purchase, relatively speaking. I’m not sure if you have been around many containers aside from looking at pictures. On the docks, they are not interlocked, just stacked one on top of the other.
    Not to argue with your vast knowledge on shipping containers and their methods of securing on a ship, but as an officer in the merchant marine for 36 years now, serving on various commercial cargo vessels, you’d be hard pressed to convince me of the ineffectiveness of cargo boxes in a storm secured correctly. There are different forces act on the boxes on land than on a ship. More static force even with wind gusts rather than dynamic force, momentum, that acts,on those fitting at sea. Yes, there are containers lost at sea during storms, about 4-6000 estimated per year, but there are menu examples of a stack of 7 high 40′ containers held together leaning over by those fittings and make it to nearest port to offload or re secure cargo.

    You bring up some numbers you probably found on the web, nothing wrong with that, but at one point you say that hurricanes usually won’t exceed category 5. I hope you realise that Category 5 is the max, nothing to exceed that. Anything over 157 mph wind is simply Cat 5 regardless how hi the wind goes.

    So while there are pluses and minuses for every method of construction, and yes, not much can be done about flood damage, I would rather be in a container built house put on steel beam posts set in heavy concrete footing using proper fitting and lashing than any of the common stick built crap or shoddily built concrete homes with questionable roofs.
    I’m not sure how many hurricanes did you go through, hurricane Irma was my 5th, but I can tell you that aside from the flooding, the most damage is due to loss of roof that in term allows the wind that to blow out the walls. Roof trusses work as bracing of the walls aside from the tie beams. All you have to do is take a drive through neighbourhoods where homes were knocked down and you would see that roofs are missing and the walls are laying next to what left of the structure because the wind blew it out. People often find roofs in their yards that does not belong to them. High gusts and the tornados carried inside the storm that causes most of the wind related damage.
    Then you go,off on a tangent that had nothing to do with the subject and start to,talk about containers used as underground shelter. Again, you are only partly correct as usual, there are ways to prevent containers to corrode from ground water and moisture in the soil. So in reality, the question is not so much whether it is good or bad option for that, but rather is the choice of construction method make financial sense to use. With money, you can do just about anything but there is a point where it just make no sense and a different choice of material makes a better choice.
    Again, just my two sense, I’m no expert, not claiming to be but I also don’t try to dazzle with numbers off the internet or baffle with BS.

  • Yvonne battles September 14, 2017, 2:13 pm

    Where can I get like that I love it

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