Last night I was excited to open an email from Kirsten Dirksen of Faircompanies.com.
She puts together some of my favorite videos that are on YouTube.
This week she did a video on my friend Derek “DEEK” Diedricksen of RelaxShacks.com.
Why Micro Houses
Derek calls himself a bizzar-chitect. He likes to create tiny architecture and he’s loved it ever since he was a kid.
He’s been building backyard forts throughout his life. When he was 14 years old he read Lester Walker’s book, Tiny Houses.
This made him realize that there were a bunch of other people out there just like him.
The Tiny House Movement
To date Deek has built dozens of tiny dwellings from sleeping huts to micro offices.
Meanwhile the movement towards small spaces continues to gain steam as people realize what they can do if they downsize.
His backyard is filled with micro cabins, shelters and shacks. Each completely unique.
Derek’s Micro Houses
The Gottagiddaway is his $100 homeless hut. Then there’s his 32 square foot office that was built for $80 using recycled barn materials.
The Hickshaw is a cabin that can be moved by one person. It has wheels and is actually quite nice to be inside of thanks to the windows and clear roof.
The Wolfe’s Den is a treehouse cabin that he recently built for a client. It’s 10′ by 10′ dwelling with lots of open light.
The Wedgie is a scrap treehouse for kids. He’s also got a treehouse in the works which is 35 feet high (not finished yet).
The Gypsy Junker is semi-portable and is made more than 90% from recycled materials.
Using Recycled Materials to Build
One of the neatest things about the small house movement is that people are using scrap materials to build amazing things.
For example, Derek makes windows out of:
- Plastic bottles
- Wine bottles
- Washer/dryer windows
- Pickle jars
- 5 gallon water jugs
Minimum House Size Requirements and Getting Around It
I like Deek’s perspective of super small spaces in this video, where he says, “There’s almost this whole outlaw aspect of it. I’ve kind of been a little anti-authoritarian most of my life playing in punk bands and what-not and a lot of the housing codes and rules to me, while some of them make good sense, a lot of them are just ridiculous and very antiquated.”
As you know most civilized areas enforce minimum size housing requirements preventing you from buying a plot of land to build your own 120-square-feet or so of bliss. In most cases there are two loopholes for you to choose from so you can get by with your tiny house:
- Build on a regular foundation in your backyard within the size requirements of a shed in your area
- Construct your house on a flatbed trailer so that it’s considered a recreational vehicle and you can still park it in most backyards
In most cases both of these methods require a main house to already be built on the land where you’re parking unless you are thinking of going off the grid.
Why Tiny Houses
People are showing a growing interest in smaller homes because they help you free up your time and resources. The most precious thing in our lives is our time. That’s the only thing that’s the same in life is that we each get the same amount of it. What we do it with it makes up our lives. So if we choose to be content with a smaller home then it helps build a solid foundation for the rest of our lives. In essence, it can give you the freedom to design your own life versus being in that reactive state of living.
That’s why I believe the message of small spaces is so powerful for people from all walks of life. With a conventional home you’ll be working overtime every week just so you can make ends meet and fill the house up with furniture and electronics. With a tiny house you gain that freedom to live your life on your own terms. That’s what the tiny house movement is all about for me.
My Other Posts on DEEK
- Adventure to Micro Cabin Workshop
- The Boxy Lady Micro Shelter
- UB30 Treehouse
- Deek’s Tiny House Adventures
- The Hickshaw Mini Cabin