Missive 28: 7 March 2019, Thursday
Greetings from our family to yours and Welcome to another TrailMagick89 missive,
We have been busy up to this point planning our life and we are looking forward to backpacking, cycling, and possibly canoeing this year alone. We have decided that we are going to be also spending time this year looking at tiny houses. It is no secret that we prefer life outdoors and part of that is living in small structures like tents and lean-tos.
Our apartment felt too big when we moved in and it now, more than two years later, still feels too big. So our decision to live in a tiny house just makes sense. We are looking at a few of options.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Regarding the location; we are thinking along the lines of parking it first in at a campground followed by a manufactured housing community or on private property. These three options would allow us the freedom to live in a structure to fit our needs in a location of our choosing. Though Michigan has many campgrounds and manufactured housing communities there just are not currently that many communities across the state that are directly geared towards tiny housing.
In the past I have worked for a few different manufactured housing communities; as maintenance, sales, and management. Those were some interesting years and they were fun. So the thought of starting a campground, manufactured housing community, or a tiny house community is an intriguing thought and we will be looking at those possibilities. Another option would be to buy land and place our tiny house there and then buy say five or six additional tiny houses and open a tiny house hotel of which there are only a dozen around the nation.
On top of the location options we can look at a few building options: a tiny house on wheels or a tiny house on a foundation or slab. Of course the two options to build a tiny house are build it yourself or have it built for you. Now if you build it yourself on a slab or a foundation inspection fees come into play and passing those inspections can be hard, also building one on a trailer is much easier though getting them insured can be the difficult part.
Sweets and I have two options for a tiny house. The first is a tiny house on wheels and for insurance purposes the house has to be no smaller than seventy square feet (70’) and no bigger than four hundred square feet (400’) for interior measurements. We are not looking at having a loft, I am only five feet eight inches tall and Sweets is only five feet two inches tall so something that it thirteen feet with or without a loft is just too tall.
The tiny house on wheels must also has to meet the following National Codes and Standards requirement; NFPA 1192, ANSI 119.5, and NFPA 70 (National Electric Code), as well as withstand a minimum wind speed of one hundred forty miles per hour (140mph), a snow load of fifty pound per square foot (50 psf), and withstand a 6.5 seismic earthquake (zone 4). It must also be equipped with a vapor barrier with fans and vents, and be balanced 60/40 with sixty percent of the weight being forward of the axle(s). All windows and skylights must be double pane and entry doors must have weather stripping, and all sleeping areas must have a primary and secondary means of egress (meaning, the action of going out of or leaving a space). For more information you can go to NOAH, which insurance companies use the NOAH standards to determine if a tiny house is insurable.
We are looking at a custom built structure to match our heights; think of it this way we live in an apartment that would comfortably fit someone that is up to seven feet tall. And as short as we are the upper cupboards and the shelves in the closets rarely get used. Yes, I know we could get a step stool to access them, but why. We are trying to eliminate our belongings that we do not need not add to them.
Our insurance agent gave us an interesting idea yesterday and we will be looking into it over the next year. Since I have worked in construction I have an idea of building many things and I have been doing wood working projects as long as I can remember so getting a Contractor’s License and start our own company.
There are three companies, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, Great Lakes Tiny Homes, and B & B Tiny Houses, that we have looked at for building our tiny house and over the next two years we will be looking at a few more with the possibility of purchasing a home from one of them if we decide not to build one for ourselves. If you are interested in looking at more information one way is to go to YouTube and check out Living Big in a Tiny House, Kirsten Dirksen, Relax Shacks, Tiny House Giant Journey as well as many, many more.
Next week we will look at building a house based on the International Residential Code which if we choose to build our tiny house on a slab is a whole different ball of wax.
Until next time, be blessed.
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