My current obsession/time wasting/future planning project is coming along nicely and trawling around the inter webs this morning I came across this Tiny House site. I really love the layout and design of it and think is seems to fit in so much more than the designs I have come across so far. It doesn’t seem too cramped and as I have never set foot in a tiny house I am probably not really the best person to judge these things but I really like the fact it is set out over different levels and the stairs are the most grooviest I have seen so far. All the detail just all seems to fit together into a cohesive package. Take a look at their youtube vid
Better not waste the day doing this, but think some Sketchupping to be done in the near future.
Living big in a Tiny House – Tiny House by the sea
Find myself thinking about and looking at Tiny Houses on youtube and thinking about the possibilities. This vid above really struck a chord, not just for the living space and specs but also the ethos of not wanting a mortgage again. I have also been thinking about how will I want to live when this chapter ends and I have to move on and being rational about the options I feel that this is the best and most suitable solution having ruled out living on a narrowboat and converting a van to camper van. I have long been interested in building my own place having got sucked into the self-build fashion back in the 90’s. Although this was based on the fact it was a full sized house and consequently full sized budget. Now that life is much different and the need for ‘things’ has reduced over the years I can now see living in a small space far more clearly than I could when I first started thinking about living in my own build.
One of the main factors to all this and as stated in other posts here, land is the stumbling block and as more people want to do the same thing and the population grows the scarcity and cost of it increases by the day not to mention big corporate developers swallowing up any land that comes up.
I have also been collecting pins on Pinterest where there is a wealth of ideas and although the bulk of tiny house living is done in other parts of the world it is not impossible to live tiny here just needs a lot more research and planning. Ok off back down the rabbit hole..
One of my dreams is to build my own cob house and only came to know about these wonderful economical and eco-friendly homes relatively recently. There are many different variations of the vernacular across the country and I was surprised to find that they were not restricted to the west country where the bulk of cob building remains. In my brief research over the last year some of the fascinating things I picked up along the way were the finding of the geological map and then through a program on canals the story of the man behind the map. Also from this online map the locations of bore holes and the documentation of these going back into the 1930’s fascinating stuff as one can see the composition of a certain local area more exciting information.
As part of the bigger plan it has become a bit of an obsession to build my own house. Now I am in no way oblivious to the pitfalls of this and also the effort needed to take it from idea to finished home. I certainly don’t have rose tinted specs and living in la la land is not my idea of fun. I wouldn’t put myself down as one of the tree hugging brigade and no offence to them but I am certainly seeing a new perspective from the received practices and wisdoms of our elders and the banking institutions; there is no such thing as good debt. The idea of owning a huge home and more importantly the huge mortgage is now so alien that I would do anything to avoid it. The main stumbling block to all these high falooting plans is getting land and a plot that one can build on suitably once the local building codes and regulations have been observed and adhered to. I do realise and agree with the fact that there needs to be a kind of order or the country(side) we love will be concreted over. I do wish that there was some more vision from the powers that be to assist the home builder in their dreams, rather than weakly or lazily giving into the corporate property companies. If one was somewhat cynical then it could be construed as control but as I am not a conspiracy theorist I think it is just the lack of vision.
When I first started out looking at the tiny living movement I looked towards the west and US and Canada for inspiration as to me the bulk of the information was coming from there. What triggered the journey of self discovery was randomly seeing a tweet one day on Tiny House Talk got me trawling the internet for all things tiny living. Having grown up in a pretty large family home and then subsequently lived in more than amply proportioned houses/flats others have asked why oh why do I want to go an live in a cardboard box? My answer is why wouldn’t I? Then listing off the cost and finance of large home living etc even down to not having to buy toilet paper for (n) bathrooms. I really like what is going on over there and think that the more grass roots level projects that get going the better. To just have that SPACE is, in the true meaning of the word, awesome. Having visited Canada last year and seen from a Europeans eyes the scale of it and the space it just blew my mind and on my return realised that space does have an effect on psyche and I definitely want to return one day to explore more. For some time I did wonder if I would ever be able to follow the dream over here thinking that it would be too difficult in the current “climate” but to my amazement I found a small tiny house community developing. You can’t keep a good idea and people down!
So how does this tie in with the Cob house? Well I am suspecting that although it would be a lot cheaper to build a TinyHome in the long run the need for a nomadic lifestyle would wain on me, this said out of someone with no experience of TinyHomeLiving (if you are not already listening to Tiny House Chat, you should be. However the alternative dream of own and building my own Cob home is going to be a much bigger and way more costly project. Like everything else I have done before I will research loads more until I can come up with a balanced justification for either project. But building ones own house with ones own hands to ones own plans has got to be a pretty amazing goal to achieve. What would you do?
One of the ideas behind setting up my blog was to look at ways of living once I finally move on from here and my relatively new found world of tiny houses and tiny living. One of the most profound effects on my thinking was seeing a TEDtalk on youtube that changed my whole perspective on things and came at a time where I had just sold my conventional house. Due to lifes up and downs I had purchased the house back in 2001 and lived in it for all of probably about three years over the next 14. Of these three years the house was treated almost like a hotel apart form the fact I filled it with junk that I didn’t need or was given. Amazingly when I got the house people offered me all sorts of items that not until some time later I realised that they were offloading their junk to make space for more ‘new’ stuff to fill their houses. I was not happy there and soon moved away to rented accommodation with work and although I was paying rent on living elsewhere I was still paying the mortgage. Yes I know it was stupid and all the rest of it, with hindsight etc etc etc.. but it taught me one useful lesson and thats to be somewhere where you want to be. I guess I just didn’t see that and due to the downward spiral that must of started at around the same time I just wasn’t aware of it and the choices I was making. But looking around the internet and delving more and more into the world of tiny living realised that this was a way of life I want to lead, not just down to the financial reasons but also the desire not to perpetuate a consumerist way of life.
Step forward fourteen years and I am now in a position where I can decide my own destiny finances allowing to move on to a sustainable life. Some of the worries and concerns that I will have a comfortable old age come from the fact that I will have little or no income apart from a very meagre pension so I have a limited time to either increase income or increase capital savings. The later is obviously the better path and one I intend to take as the idea of going back to the rat race is not one that fills me with joy.
With age comes wisdom so they say and that is something I have learnt rather later in life more to my detriment, however theres no time like the present and on good days I have been planning my future, today is a good day!