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Guest Post: Our 415 Sq. Ft. Koastal Cottage Tiny Home with Bath and a Half!

We RVed full time in a 40′ fifth wheel for three years with our younger daughter (our elder daughter was already grown) and then moved into an apartment in Williamsburg, Virginia.

When Kaitie left for college, we moved back into the RV, placing it in a small mobile home park. Seven years later, when a tree destroyed the RV, we ordered a tiny home from Lil’ Lodges in Tallahassee, FL.

Now York County wants us to move, stating our home is an park model RV (although it is too large and an actual RV was here for SEVEN years!).

415 Sq. Ft. Koastal Cottage Tiny Home


Image © LilLodges.com

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This year a lot has happened in the world of tiny houses including quite a bit of new books.

In this post I wanted to share some of my new favorites with you along with some of the classics.

Some of these books will inspire you with photos and others will be filled with valuable how to information.

You might still be gathering ideas for your future home or you might be eager to build up your construction skills.

Either way some of these books, if you don’t already own them, should help inspire you towards your dream tiny house.

1. Tiny House Magazine by Kent Griswold


How to get the latest issues of the Tiny House Magazine

I encourage you to enjoy the rest of the tiny house books list below:

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I had an amazing time at the Relax Shacks workshop in Wilmington. I was able to meet so many bloggers and builders that I have known online – including Alex from right here at Tiny House Talk. I also had the privilege of spending more time with Ryan Mitchell of The Tiny Life – we even shared a condo for the weekend. At the workshop, he announced the release of his eBook Cracking the Code: A Guide to Building Codes and Zoning for the Tiny Houses.”

As a blogger, and someone who built a tiny home of my own, I am so grateful for the existence of this book. It is not overstating it to say it is an invaluable resource. I am often asked questions here on Tiny House Talk, over at my own blog, and on Facebook, about permits and codes. I had always felt powerless when faced with these inquiries as the answers aren’t so simple. Thankfully, Ryan Mitchell has come to the rescue by putting together years of research on building codes for his own house and releasing it as an eBook guide. Mitchell shares insight on how to work with your local government and how civil disobedience might be the best option for some tiny house builders.

Cracking the Code by Ryan Mitchell

Cracking the Code by Ryan Mitchell

Click below to read more about Ryan Mitchell’s eBook.

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With the surge in interest in tiny houses, and the growth of a “tiny house community” online, there has been increased interest in the development of real-world tiny house communities.

Photo credit: Four Lights

Image credit: Four Lights Tiny House Company

Probably the most serious effort so far is the “Napoleon Complex” tiny house village being developed by Jay Shafer’s Four Lights Tiny House Company. It consists of 16-22 units per acre, with communal facilities including parking and a common house.

But people have many motivations for building tiny houses, and one model might not work for everyone. In this article, I talk about three general approaches to tiny house communities, and the pros and cons of each.

Rural life and tiny houses

For some tiny house builders, the countryside represents an escape from what they see as the overly restrictive requirements, and hectic atmosphere, of cities and towns.

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In my post about Tiny Versus Small houses I spoke a little about our tiny house in the country and our small house in the city.

This got me thinking about the other divide among tiny house builders and dwellers.

It seems as though many tiny house people are split down the middle when it comes to wanting to live in the city or in the country and there are pros and cons to both.

So where to build a tiny house… in the city or in the country?

Our tiny house in the country. Photo by Laura M. LaVoie

Our tiny house in the country. Photo by Laura M. LaVoie

Read on to learn more about city versus country tiny house living.

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Greg Johnson of the Small House Society published a video on how city housing codes influence tiny house living.

In a 4 minute video he covers a viewers question, “where can you legally put a tiny house on wheels?”

Greg does a great job of explaining the problems we face in addition to different ways you can get around them.

He also briefly discusses cities that are beginning to allow this type of housing as completely legal accessory dwelling units.

Greg talks about the challenges faced by code enforcement to catch folks sleeping in recreational vehicles, campers, and tiny houses.

I’ll let him do the talking, Hope you enjoy and be sure to visit the Small House Society for more information related to the tiny house movement.

Tiny House Living and City Zoning and Building Codes - How to Get Around Them

Photo Courtesy of the Small House Society and Greg Johnson on YouTube

If you want to listen to Greg’s tips on how to get around building codes and city zoning, I encourage you to watch his 4-minute video below: [continue reading…]


George Packard with CuriouslyLocal.com has put up a great interview with Stephen Marshall on tiny houses.

He builds small spaces on wheels with his company Little House on the Trailer.

Most of his clients are elderly people who want to remain independent.

He offers designs from 120 to 400 square feet.

Stephen discusses laws, zoning, and ordinances we face and how people are getting around them.

He started building back when he was 19 years old and has always wanted to design and construct his own home.

Conversations on Tiny Houses with Stephen Marshall of Little House on a Trailer

Video length: 13:15

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You love the idea of living in a tiny house so you can have a maintenance free lifestyle with super low expenses.

I do too, but where are you going to park it?

If you’re like most people you prefer living in an environment where you can easily get to places like a park, grocery store, work, and neighbors.

It’s nice to be able to hop over to a coffee shop or something when you don’t feel like being home. After all, your house is tiny so you might as well be pretty close to the places you like to go to.

Those are my beliefs anyway and I am sure you have your own.

Finding your space to build and park

If you are buying your house ready made you really only have to worry about one spot which is where you are going to park it and live in it.

If you’re building it yourself you need to have another place where you’re allowed to construct it. Lots of times this might be the same place.

Here are some general ideas where you can start looking…

  • Backyards where RV’s or sheds are allowed
  • Renting your own piece of land (more on this later)
  • RV parks
  • Run a free Craigslist WANTED ad
  • Newspaper classified WANTED ad
When posting on Craigslist I highly recommend using a photo of a tiny house so that potential land owners see what you’re working with and understand that they will not be having to look at an eye sore beat up travel trailer, etc.

Renting land or bartering with business owners is a great way to find a solution. And don’t forget to ask whoever you talk to if they know anybody else who might be up for the idea. I’ve found the best and most honest people to do business with just by asking person to person.

You can also search your local craigslist and look in your newspaper but I recommend for you to explore areas of interest to get a feel for everything and talk to people about what you’re doing.

A profitable tiny house situation
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