Saturday, November 23, 2013

It Is Official - I Am Going With The Shouse

You may recall my post on November 14th about converting a prefab shed into a house. If not, you can read it here. Go, I will wait. Ok, you get the gist of it, right? I did not post yesterday as I was deep in thought about the building of the Tiny House. The piece of land I am looking at had a mobile home on it at one time, so I am happy to report it already has septic, a well, and electric going to it. That is HUGE in the world of land improvements. While I still plan to ultimately be off the grid, those improvements mean I can do more down the line if I choose to. The beauty of where this land is located is that code is not an issue. That means that building a tiny house on wheels may no longer be the best option for me. Let me explain why I am thinking a Shouse would be a better option.

First off, let me explain that a shouse is a shed or outbuilding that has been converted into a house or living space. From here on out I shall distinguish between a tiny house as a house on wheels and a shouse as a shed converted into a house. Here is why I think in my homesteading situation a shouse would be a wiser choice. Let us compare the two:

  • My shouse will be 12' x 30' or 360 sq. ft 12' x 36' or 432 sq. ft. plus the loft space of 120 sq. ft. A tiny house is 130 to 204 sq. ft.
  • A shouse allows for a full size bathroom and a washer/dryer. A tiny house does not.
  • A shouse will allow me to can (preserve food) and put by. A tiny house has more limitation with regards to stocking up and cooking.
  • A shouse will allow me to keep my freezer. I could not fit a freezer in my tiny house. 
  • The shouse will have a loft that is 12' x 10' with enough headroom to put a long dresser on one side. A tiny house loft has only enough space for the mattress.
  • The shouse can have a small staircase. The tiny house has a ladder or a staircase, but the staircase takes up valuable space. 
  • I can install a more user-friendly closet in the shouse.
  • I can use regular, full-size furniture in the shouse. 
  • I can continue to sew using both my machines at the same time in a shouse. There is not enough room for my sewing machines in the tiny house. 
  • The dog and cat will have more space in the shouse than in the tiny house. I can install a doggy door as well.
  • The cost for the shell of the shouse (not including electric wiring, plumbing, insulation, and wall board) is the cost of just the trailer for the tiny house. 
  • Windows can be installed where ever I want them in the shouse.'
  • I can insulate the shouse just as effectively as the tiny house and still use my electric fireplace to heat the place.
  • I can install an a/c unit in the shouse. 
  • Like the tiny house, I can build the shouse on skids so that the building can be moved later if I so desire. If I don't like where I set it up at first, I will just have it moved to where I desire it.

So, I do believe that I have made a decision to go with the shouse. You will see that the information I provide in this blog is still related to tiny house living, as a shouse is not a mansion and the two are not mutually exclusive, but you will also note that this blog is really focused not only on living in a small footprint, but about living a more sustainable life.

What do you think of 360 square feet? Does this seem too small still or is this more reasonable in size for you?