Tiny house dorms would be a great idea in a college or university setting where there is an architecture and woodworking program.
The architecture students can design while the woodworking class builds tiny houses for use as student housing in a particular area of campus.
Some of the students who help design and build the houses can also have the opportunity to live in them.
The cost of construction materials goes to good use by providing affordable living for its students and income for the university. Not to mention great experience with design and construction for the students involved in the project.
I’m not saying schools should replace regular dorms with tiny houses. What I’m saying is it would be neat to see some universities design, build, and offer just a few tiny houses as dorms for their students to see how it goes.Â This would create a community of tiny houses within the campus.
Last week I got to talk with Marc Hyman who builds custom tiny houses in California. His company’s name is Custom Cabins. Enjoy the interview, ask questions in the comments, and visit his website.
Alex: Can you tell us a little history about yourself and what got you into the world of tiny houses?
Marc: I moved to Santa Barbara from New York City almost 20 years ago. I had gone to law school in New York City, passed the bar and disliked urban living.
I came to California for a friend’s wedding and I was sold on the great outdoors and sunshine. I discovered the amazing back country real estate that was priced very cheaply because there were no utilities in reach.
This was way before the off-the-grid movement but I was always looking for a way to make those remote places livable.
I’m talking 20 acres of high desert or Sierra land for $20,000. I always thought, what a bargain there has to be a way to live there cheaply.
Fast forward 10 years later, I got into real estate as a licensed agent. Prices in Santa Barbara were going through the roof and once again I got to thinking about living in a beautiful place without all of the expensive trimmings.
At the same time, one summer I needed extra space in my house in Santa Barbara where visiting teen age cousins could sleep since all of the bedrooms in the house were full.
So I decided to build my first cabin to house the summer visitors. The structure had to be spacious, affordable, and well designed.
Photo credits: Marc Hyman
I learned a lot that year about small house designs and that first cabin got me hooked.
This prefab building system is a great way for a beginner or some one with budget constraints to get started on a tiny house.Â The book comes with plans and instructions to complete a project with common building materials.
When all the panels are complete they can be transferred (on a regular pick up truck) on site to be assembled.Â Here’s a video by Michael that explains it in more detail.Â Order options for the plans are below.
Quick Housing Solution has mastered small spaces with their one-bedroom Jillaroo, the studio Squatter, and their office space Joey.
This is a Sydney, Australia based company and they call each of their dwellings a SHACK in a PACK.
They are designed using modular panels and there are several choices in colors. The panels are put together using snap-click-lock technology which they say works like “Lego”. Using this system makes the installation quick without the need of heavy equipment.
According to their website Australia has had their own housing crisis where there has been a need for students and the elderly for affordable housing. Due to this, the government has released a policy allowing all residential home-owners with large enough lots to be granted approval to build a “granny flat” on their property.
This new policy allows homeowners to expand their housing space and/or earn extra rental income from their property. It’s nice to see how the Australian government responded to the housing needs over there.
So, take a look at some of their designs right here and then jump on over to their website to learn more about their SHACK in a PACK granny flats.
I found these tiny houses / cabins to be really cool because I like the style of A frame houses and these resemble them in a much smaller way.
They’re like little huts.Â Some of these are probably too small but I can see a 150-250 square foot version being really cool.
I got so excited about this idea that I decided I’d use my “not so good yet” SketchUp skills to try and design something similar.Â So here’s my design and below that you’ll find pictures of the “The Pod”.
My Larger Version of the Pod… I’ll call it the Rounded A Frame Tiny Cabin
The inside is approximately 14′ by 14′ so it’s about 196 square feet of interior space.
There’s no windows on the side so I tried to make up for that with the large window in the rear and two 2’6″ by 2’8″ windows in the front by the door.Â I’d also use a door with large windows to keep the light in the place.Â In the back the window space is 9′ wide and 4’6″ tall.Â Large enough to bring the nature outside “in”.
I’d certainly live in a place like this with a view of the forest, mountains, a lake, the ocean, or a garden.Â SketchUp is fun!
This small car camper is unbelievable. It’s a really really small car and the owner has put every feature into it. The downside to the size is that you have to convert the car for every different feature.
But he has managed to squeeze in a bed, shower, kitchen, and his drums.
It’s a hatchback car so when you open the back it becomes sort of like a galley in a teardrop trailer.
Below is the set up of the base of the car for storage and sleeping platform.