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  1. #21

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    Wow that is amazing, inspiring and really interesting. Thanks for posting.

    As someone who loves looking at architecture and design (not with any knowledge mind you) and my favourite TV program is Grand Designs, the idea of creating something that is practical and more importantly totally sustainable is fascinating.

    I have mentioned before that I am having a place built at the moment (and taking a lot longer than the initial finishing dates). It is two bedrooms and will be just the right size for myself. The slab has been laid and it does look really tiny. But if I could build anything myself, this might be the sort of thing I would look at. I couldn't have something as small as the one in the video, and I would need a bathroom, but it wouldn't be very far off.

    Also in Australia we really do have a housing crisis with many properties now unaffordable and people do get caught up in the rental spiral. And so many places that you see on display are enormous with lots of wasted space. Maybe something like this might be the answer or what people should be thinking about.

    And the fact that I am currently putting a lot of stuff in storage as I have to move again (and will be living at mums and housesitting until mine is built), these things certainly get me considering about how I could downsize my life.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  2. #22
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    I once had a 400-square foot apartment and it had all the rooms I needed--just more compact.

    But then I had to remind myself that I have friends living in that same space with their whole family.

    What you're used to as a child really influences what you can live with.

  3. #23
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    I've always thought the bad thing about 1-2 people living in big houses is the need to heat/cool the whole house (or at least the whole floor) just to keep you comfortable. To me it's really a big waste of energy.
    That's so true. I have to say though, I think tiny houses like this might be kind of a waste of energy too. It seems they have a high "surface area" to volume ratio, so it's not efficient to heat and cool the inside.

    I think apartment/condo buildings are probably still the most environmentally friendly and cost effective way to go in terms of efficient heating/cooling, materials usage (sharing of interior walls), plumbing, electrical, etc. I don't think the tiny houses are all that sustainable (even though they look awesome).

  4. #24

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    The Japanese really do micro living RIGHT - some amazing creativity on display in this article. I love the crystal brick, Penguin and Yachiyo houses. The others looked a little like prison cells to me. And I just found this new article today with some great pre-fabs from Dwelle's.

    Although I've been looking at tiny houses for several months I'm torn between wanting to go the trailer hitch house route or the 3 story Japanese Penguin house route. I love the idea of being able to just transport my house to a new place whenever I need a change of scenery, but I also love great architecture and plumbing and storage, etc. And realistically how often would you want to move house? Some stackable modular prefabs can't be too far off in the future, can they?

  5. #25
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    I feel "at home" if I have the following:

    A three-seater sofa
    A separate chair
    A dining table that can seat four
    A queen or king sized bed in a separate room
    A separate desk
    A dishwasher
    A washer/dryer

    I can fit all of the above, fairly comfortably, in a 12 x 15 living room and 12 x 10 bedroom. Allowing for the dishwasher and W/D, I'd need about a 10' x 6' galley kitchen plus a 6' x 6' bathroom, and one 10' x 4' closet assuming good ceiling height.

    So 180 + 120 + 60 + 36 + 40 = 436 square feet is what it what it would take for me to feel at home.

    We have 760 square feet right now, and it allows for a living room, dining room with a table that seats 6-8, 10' x 10' kitchen (palatial for New York), one real bedroom, one small bedroom/den, one full bathroom, one half bathroom, a coat closet, a broom closet, and a walk-in closet. It helps that our entire apartment has floor-to-ceiling north-facing windows, which make all of the rooms seem deeper than they actually are.

  6. #26
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    More photos, Louis!
    3539 and counting.

    Slightly Wounding Banana list cont: MacMadame.

  7. #27

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    Relevant to the discussion, a CNBC article from late last week:
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/38757287

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilJen View Post
    Relevant to the discussion, a CNBC article from late last week:
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/38757287
    This is one trend I can get behind! Houses really had gotten too big in recent years and the only way to go was down. My parents raised 2 kids perfectly fine in a house less than 2000 sq ft.

    In fact, living with my aunt for a summer in her 5000 sq ft house convinced me that big was not good at all, seeing how empty the house still seemed despite her shopaholic tendencies. And the fact they really needed an intercom, and someone to keep track of what they had or didn't have or what was going bad in their also-ginormous fridge...

  9. #29
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    Why must everything be in the extreme in the U.S.?????

    Seriously. How about a nice middle ground. Why can't we ever have that. We realize that everyone doesn't need a 3000+ square foot house. This is true. But then we automatically have to jump to living in the smallest possible space or getting a trailer? Really? What about the middle ground?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Why must everything be in the extreme in the U.S.?????

    Seriously. How about a nice middle ground. Why can't we ever have that. We realize that everyone doesn't need a 3000+ square foot house. This is true. But then we automatically have to jump to living in the smallest possible space or getting a trailer? Really? What about the middle ground?
    Some of us (namely the young childless 20-something hippies ) like to do things ALL THE WAY!

    USA! USA! USA!

  11. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Why must everything be in the extreme in the U.S.?????

    Seriously. How about a nice middle ground. Why can't we ever have that. We realize that everyone doesn't need a 3000+ square foot house. This is true. But then we automatically have to jump to living in the smallest possible space or getting a trailer? Really? What about the middle ground?
    Why not? Things like this really do get you thinking about what you need to get by in life. It sometimes takes an extreme to make people wake up and think about it.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  12. #32

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    Ugh, Dee Williams bugs. She's putting her ugly teeny tiny house in her friend's backyard (which looks like a typical suburban McMansion to me) and she's not paying any rent? Why doesn't she get a trailer park or get a teeny tiny condo?

  13. #33

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    Damn! And I thought my 140-year old historically certified, classic Philadelphia trinity on a 6 foot wide 220-year old cobblestone street was tiny. It's 632 sq. ft spread out over 3 floors - 1st floor is a small kitchen living combo, 2nd floor a small bath and small bedroom, 3rd floor a slightly bigger bedroom with a little deck. (And mine was expanded from an original 12x12 footprint to a 12x20 footprint, with the crazy winder stairs replaced by ones that are mostly straight. The sq. footage is smaller than the mathematical calculation would have you believe because the original brick walls are so thick.)

    While I paid a small fortune for such a small house (location, location, location and charming + historic setting) I have incredibly low energy bills and have learned major lessons in downsizing and being comfortable with less.

    I will say though, that having tiny rooms and lots of stairs has made me long for 632 feet of open, all-one level space. I'd probably feel like I lived in a mansion if I moved back to your standard 650 sq. ft 1 bed apt., let alone an open loft style space with 15 ft ceilings in another part of town that is the same sq. footage.

    Here's a nice article about the Philadelphia trinity house phenomenon, also sometimes referred to as the vertical equivalent of the classic New Orleans "shotgun" houses. Some really are as tiny as 400 sq. ft. (10x10) on FOUR floors (with kitchen in basement), I've been in them!

    http://casacara.wordpress.com/2009/0...rinity-houses/

  14. #34

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    In a house like that wouldn't you spend an awful lot of time just going up and down the stairs? Good exercise, yes, but time consuming as well.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    She's putting her ugly teeny tiny house in her friend's backyard (which looks like a typical suburban McMansion to me) and she's not paying any rent? Why doesn't she get a trailer park or get a teeny tiny condo?
    The parties seem comfortable with the arrangement. Free parking for free work in the house.

    ETA: Had I such a house I would have tried a similar arrangement (e.g. perhaps parking for $, not for work). This is supposed to be more an RV than a trailer, so I'd be more comfortable having it near a friend's or a relative's house.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    In a house like that wouldn't you spend an awful lot of time just going up and down the stairs? Good exercise, yes, but time consuming as well.
    Well you would save on gym fees and time spent going there.

    A little bit of exercise doesn't hurt anyone.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  17. #37
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    One summer I sublet a 5th floor walk-up - my ass never looked so good.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    In a house like that wouldn't you spend an awful lot of time just going up and down the stairs? Good exercise, yes, but time consuming as well.
    LOL. In Philly, I had a "trinity" house with a kitchen in the basement and the master bedroom on the third floor. As Jenny said about her fifth floor walkup, my butt never looked so good. The stairs are so tight that there are really no "hallways," so it actually doesn't take that long to get from floor to floor.

    I also had two sets of neighbors, who are still there, one in their eighties and one in their NINETIES living in these houses where they have to walk up or down spiral stairs (sometimes 2-3 flights of them) every time they need a drink of water, to go to the bathroom, etc. Stairs keep you young and spry!

  19. #39
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    Not exactly a tiny house, but it's amazing what you can fit in a small space if you give it enough thought...

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...ficpnwl22.html

  20. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    The discussion is around not so much tiny houses (I've been seeing articles about them for years now), but paring down one's life - less things, less expenses, more time with loved ones.
    However, if you have lots of loved ones, you won't be able to spend time with them all in a tiny house.

    I'd be fine with less space than I have in my current apartment as long as it were arranged better for storing things.

    But already I go to my sister's house far more often than I invite her family of 4 to my place. If my father and stepmother, and/or my other sister and her family of 5, are visiting, it wouldn't be comfortable having everybody over at once. So I never get to be the hospitable one.

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