Monday, September 30, 2013

Could IKEA Threaten the Power Grid?

Today IKEA, the Swedish "everything you need comes flat packed in a box" store, announced it will be selling solar panels in England. The cost is around $9200 US and the company claims that the energy they can harness will be free after just seven years. The panels will be sold and installed by IKEA, so it is not like you can just take them home in the back of your soccer-mom minivan. IKEA also will install it hooked to the grid, so for my tiny house application this just will not work, however I take this as a sign of things to come. Most of the articles I read today talked about how much solar technology has increased while the costs have decreased in just the last five years. I find this very encouraging. This decreasing cost has me thinking about he future of the "grid." Could the grid be facing some problems with becoming obsolete and infrastructure failure due to falling revenues?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Tiny House Red Tape - Damn Sticky Wicket

(WBIR-Anderson Co.) A downsizing dream has been stalled for one Anderson County man who spent his entire life savings building a tiny home that the state says is not certified to move into a mobile home park.

Continue reading here:   

I am of the opinion that getting a Tiny House certified as an RV is a poor decision. Many municipalities have limitations on living in something that is  certified as an RV and thus your ability to dwell in your Tiny House year round for years to come. Insurance does become an issue when you do not have your Tiny House certified as an RV, however there seems to be enough insurance agencies that are willing to underwrite the policy on a Tiny House.  You will need to do some investigating and leg-work in your local area. I also believe that parking your tiny house on your own land in a rural area will be less likely to draw attention due to more lax regulations and/or enforcement. 

What do you think? Should you certify your Tiny House as an RV? Should a special type of insurance be developed just for Tiny House owners? 

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Where The Blacktop Ends - One Year Anniversary

One year and one week ago today I began this blog to chronicle my Tiny House project progress. This year has been fun, inspirational, and most importantly educational. I have learned so much about construction, electrical systems, plumbing, and the actual products that go into building a home. I have found a core group of folks who are strong proponents of the Tiny House movement. I have discovered some really great blogs written by some really great people about some really great projects.  I found some really strong arguments, both pro and co when it comes to a long-term viability of the Tiny House movement. I understand reasons for city building codes and more about how code enforcement is carried out. But the most important thing I understand is more about myself and why I am so drawn to the Tiny House movement.

Friday, September 27, 2013

The Luxury of Tiny Homes

I found this article here:

By  | Daily Ticker 

The housing market is 67% back to “normal” according to Trulia’s Housing Barometer and the post-crisis recovery is on-track, according to the latest home price figures from Case-Shiller. But these gauges may be missing a “tiny” but growing slice of today’s housing market.

Continue reading here:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Did Henry David Thoreau Begin the Tiny House Movement?

I have been ill this past week. I actually spent two days in the hospital and, as a result, have been off work as well. I go stir crazy when I am unable to do anything productive. Sitting in bed trapped in a fog of medication, I started letting my mind get the better of me and my anxiety started to rise. I began looking for diversion pretty quickly. First I took a nap. Then I watched something on my laptop on Netflix. Finally, I reached for my Kindle and tried to disappear into a good book. This week I chose to dive into Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I have read this book before and enjoyed it, but it has been at least 10 years since the last time I read it. I am reading it now through a different set of eyes. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Small Space Solution for Bathroom Clutter

Living in a tiny/small space means that every item you bring in takes up valuable real estate. A long time pet peeve of mine, even when living in a larger home, is bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash stored in my shower/tub area. Not only do they take up a lot of space, they look awful. In a tiny house this becomes even more apparent. Reducing clutter and the number of "things" on has or finding things that will do double-duty is very important when you are talking about less than 200 sq. ft. of space. I have found a fantastic solution to this problem.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Seeking Corporate Sponsorship

I have a great idea. I have a great plan. The problem is that I have limited funding. I want so much to bring my ideas to fruition, but I need a boost or this project may take years. I don't want to waste years of time. The answer may be found in corporate sponsorship.

Why Tiny House Ownership Will Continue To Grow Exponentially

A recent poll taken by (no I am not affiliated with them in any way, shape, or form) shows what Tiny House folks have known for a long time: The American Dream is not in home ownership any longer, but in debt free home ownership. Consider the statistics they disaggregated from the data they collected: 

The survey, conducted by GFK Custom Research for, found that most respondents (27.9%) said the American Dream is retiring financially secure at 65, though coming in at second place, 23% defined it as being debt-free. The other options were owning a home (18.2%), graduating from college or paying off your student loans (6.6%) and joining the 1% (4.3%). The responses were rounded out by: other (11.4%), none (0.2%) and don’t know/no response (8.5%).
These results were derived from about 1,000 complete interviews with Americans 18 and older, including an approximately equal number of men and women.
“The poll underscores something I have long suspected — there’s a great deal of nostalgia for a promise that increasingly and tragically no longer exists,” says’s Co-Founder and Chairman Adam Levin. “Once upon a time, the American Dream was owning a home full of thriving, college-bound kids, two cars and little debt. Now it appears that for many Americans, the American Dream has changed.”

This article just shows how much our notions are changing. I feel Tiny Houses and sustainable living will become more and more common as people abandon the concept of the McMansion and credit card debt. Living tiny does mean living large!

What do you think? Is the American dream changing? 

Monday, September 2, 2013

PEX and Plumbing - Do It Yourself Plumbing at Its Finest

Ball Valve
I have begun the final leg of my plumbing planning which includes listing all the PEX parts I am going to need to complete the plumbing of the Tiny House. I like PEX. I think that Shark Bite PEX looks easy and amazingly convenient, more so than sweating out copper pipes and worrying about elbows and such. With all the research I have done I figure PEX is the best bet for easy modifications and repairs. If you have never completed a plumbing project or are looking to modify or update plumbing, PEX is rapidly becoming the material of choice. Today I will explain the basics of PEX and why I am choosing it for my Tiny Home.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Slow Cooker Sunday: Lunch for a Week Under 20 Dollars - Chicken Teriyaki

I really hate having to pack lunch for work, but more than that, I hate paying $5 to $7 per lunch when I run to grab something because I am hungry as heck by 12:15 each day. I found a recipe floating around on Facebook for Chicken Teriyaki in a slow cooker and gave it a try. It was pretty good, but I modified it and changed it to make a new recipe I prefer. Total cost for ingredients is under $20 and it makes enough servings for 7 entire days worth of lunch or dinner. I partner it with rice and some fresh pineapple. I also prepare it on Sunday, put it in individual serving containers in my refrigerator and grab one each morning. Lunch could not be any easier in my world.

Rancho No Dinero Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

  • 1 Large Can Pineapple Juice
  • 8oz Soy Sauce (You could try low sodium, I haven't yet)
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • Ginger and Garlic (to taste, not necessary)
  • 6 Good Size Chicken Breasts (I use organic)

In your slow cooker crock add juice, soy sauce, and sugar along with ginger and/or garlic. Give it a stir. Add the chicken breasts. Put on the lid. Slow cook for 5 - 7 hours (when chicken breasts shred or fall apart I consider them done. Cook to the texture you like.).

Makes 5 - 7 servings.