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Micro House Builder on Tiny Houses and Freedom

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 are many 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 toward small spaces continues to gain steam as people realize the benefits of downsizing.

His backyard is filled with micro cabins, shelters, and shacks. Each completely unique.

Derek’s Micro Houses

Derek DEEK Diedricksen of RelaxShacks Micro Shelters and Tiny Houses

Video is thanks to Faircompanies. Make sure you subscribe to their YouTube channel.

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 Little Blue Bump and the Krunk Bunk are both micro cabins built during Deek’s 2011 sold-out workshop.

The Gypsy Junker is semi-portable and is 90% recycled construction 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:

  1. Build on a regular foundation in your backyard within the size requirements of a shed in your area
  2. 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 to 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

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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!
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • sesameB
    December 13, 2011, 3:17 pm

    excellent. You keep me inspired.

    • December 15, 2011, 7:02 am

      You’re the best, thanks 🙂

  • sesameB
    December 15, 2011, 2:27 pm

    THE TODAY SHOW HOST Ann reveals what she’s thankful for this holiday season, 2011, SO, I AM REVEALING to Alex and his readers WHAT I AM THANKFUL FOR THIS HOLIDAY—I AM THANKFUL FOR THE SMALL/TINY HOUSE MOVEMENT movers and shakers, and, to know that Dance Legend Mary Anthony: Still Kicking at 93! Yes to dance and Yes to small/tiny house lifestyles. I still dance in my ‘weebee’ casa here in rural Arkansas

    This is another example from real life in living in big houses, can pose many risks –Dr. Risinger recovering from beating – 2007
    Dr. Charles Risinger apparently interrupted a burglary in his home Wednesday afternoon and was beaten by the burglars. When he entered through the garage.Dr. Risinger was taken to the hospital. His condition was not immediately available, but he was not transported by helicopter. Dr. Charles Risinger, beaten by burglars at his home Wednesday, is doing “OK” his brother, Casey, said and is expected to fully recover. Dr. Risinger, 47, surprised burglars in his garage about noon on Wednesday when he went home for lunch. They tied him and beat him with a baseball bat. “They hit him multiple times in the head with a baseball bat,” his brother, a veterinarian said. Dr. Risinger was able to reach the panic button on his home alarm system and call for help. He was stabilized in the Terrell hospital before being taken to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas. And, Man, 41, dies after
    falling from roof of home in rural Lake Crystal
    Updated: August 3, 2011 – 1:10 AMLAKE CRYSTAL, Minn. – A 41-year-old man is dead after falling off the roof of a one- story home in southern Minnesota. Sheriff’s deputies and an ambulance were called Monday morning after John Simek of W arsaw, Minn., fell in rural Lake Crystal. The Blue Earth County sheriff’s office says Simek stopped breathing and had no heartbeat. Attempts were made to revive
    him, but he died at the scene.
    I do not get on roofs!

    Happy and safe holidays
    From my solo ‘weebee’ casa in a meadow with my locally handmade pine box, barefootin’ in rural Arkansas, drinking spring water, Re-wilding myself is ongoing process – December, 2011

  • david head
    June 26, 2014, 6:13 pm

    ..you could walk into the Taj Mahal or any other grand mansion and you’d be no doubt overwhelmed…but there’s one thing they couldn’t do..and that’s put a big smile on your face, because that’s the first expression that comes to everyone when they first set eyes on one of these tiny homes, as can be seen in all the photos of people visiting this site. That’s their first effect. They’re more than just houses, there’s something else going on..

    • Alex
      June 26, 2014, 8:11 pm

      Wow. Well said. Thanks David.

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