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We build north woods tough!

Ravenore safe outside

Ravenore safe outside

I recently saw an ad for a tiny house that said they build tiny houses for temperatures from 47 degrees to 147 degrees and the picture showed a cabin in snow storm. Snow at 47 degrees? Maybe they meant  -47?

Our cabins and tiny houses are built for many different climate for instance; the desert southwest to the frozen tundras. Each one has a different level that needs to be met for that climate. The multiple climate zones for building are;

Marine - A marine climate meets is defined as a region where all of the following occur:

  • a mean temperature of the coldest month between 27°F and 65°F;
  • a mean temperature of the warmest month below 72°F;
  • at least four months with mean temperatures over 50°F; and
  • a dry season in the summer, the month with the heaviest precipitation in the cold season has at least three times as much precipitation as the month with the least precipitation.

Mixed Dry – A warm-dry and mixed-dry climate is defined as a region that receives less than 20 inches of annual precipitation with approximately 4,500 cooling degree days (50°F basis) or greater and less than approximately 6,300 cooling degree days (50°F basis) and less than approximately 5,400 heating degree days (65°F basis) and where the average monthly outdoor temperature drops below 45°F during the winter months.

Hot Dry – A hot-dry climate is defined as region that receives less than 20 inches of annual precipitation with approximately 6,300 cooling degree days (50°F basis)or greater and where the monthly average outdoor temperature remains above 45°F throughout the year.

Hot Humid – A hot-humid climate is defined as a region that receives more than 20 inches of annual precipitation with approximately 6,300 cooling degree days (50°F basis) or greater and where the monthly average outdoor temperature remains above 45°F throughout the year. This definition characterizes a region that is similar to the ASHRAE definition of hot-humid climates where one or both of the following occur:

  • a 67°F r higher wet bulb temperature for 3,000 or more hours during the warmest six consecutive months of the year; or
  • a 73°F or higher wet bulb temperature for 1,500 or more hours during the warmest six consecutive months of the year.

Florida, Southern Texas, South Mississippi, South Alabama, South Georgia are some states that fit this zone.

Mixed Humid – A mixed-humid and warm-humid climate is defined as a region that receives more than 20 inches of annual precipitation with approximately 4,500 cooling degree days (50°F basis) or greater and less than approximately 6,300 cooling degree days (50°F basis) and less than approximately 5,400 heating degree days (65°F basis) and where the average monthly outdoor temperature drops below 45°F during the winter months.
Tennessee and Kentucky region and neighbor states fit this zone.

IMG_20170602_164012413_HDR

Cold Climate Zone – A cold climate is defined as a region with approximately 5,400 heating degree days (65°F basis) or greater and less than approximately 9,000 heating degree days (65°F basis).

From the New England states through the Midwest through the Rockies are in this zone, including the southern half of Minnesota.

Very Cold – A very cold climate is defined as a region with approximately 9,000 heating degree days or greater (65°F basis) or greater and less than 12,600 heating degree days (65°F basis).

Northern Minnesota, northern North Dakota, and the southern half of Canada are in this zone.

Sub Arctic Zone – A subarctic and arctic climate is defined as a region with approximately 12,600 heating degree days (65°F basis) or greater.

Each of these different zones requires different criteria in building envelopes as well as higher R Value assemblies.  Insulation plays a critical value in tiny homes. We have heard from some people that I am already reducing my carbon foot print or energy consumption substantially, it does not matter.

Does it? Fifty years ago, building a home with no insulation did not seem to matter, and yet 50 years later it really does. What will energy prices do in the future is anyone’s guess, and yet leading indicators would suggest using the technology now to create a personal environment and home that will meet your needs now and then.  Housing is becoming high tech and why skimp on something that can enhance your living experience in the future.

Anyhow, how about some winter cabins eye candy. We build our tiny house for our very cold zone as well as everyone else’s climate zone.

Snowflake tiny house – under construction

The Snowflake tiny house, a custom welded steel frame tiny house.

Specs

  • 8′x24′
  • GVW 9000Lbs
  • Sleeps 1-2 people
  • Welded steel frame 16 gauge cold formed steel studs
  • All connections welded
  • Stainless steel floor
  • Stainless steel shower enclosure
  • Stainless steel sink
  • Copper waste and water lines
  • Fabral steel siding exterior
  • Fabral steel siding interior

 

IMG_20171130_144934100 IMG_20171130_145002512 IMG_20171130_145027845 IMG_20171130_145056578 IMG_20171130_145251261

FYI, Tiny house news

FYI,

Tiny House, trailer

Tiny House Trailer

We have 1 opening for building a tiny house through the rest of the year. Minnesota state rules are that we can only license up to 5 trailers a year without a dealers license and that the trailer title has to be in the companies name and sales tax paid on that purchase.  Since we have already licensed 3 this year, can only do one more.

To get the dealer license for trailers we have to have a display area that can display 7 trailers.
If you want to build a tiny house this year with Tiny Green Cabins you will need to contact us soon.

This does not affect Airstreams or trailers provided by the customer for us to build on.

We will also not buy and sell just trailers until further notice.
Thanks
Jim

Update on the Ravenlore Tiny House

or a tiny house can appreciate in value

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Some tiny houses do appreciate in value, and the Ravenlore did. Nicki changed her career path which required a relocation to California and flying as a stewardess for Virgin Airlines. With that, she had to make a hard decision about her tiny house. Rather than take it with her, she decided to sell it as she would seldom be home, but traveling the globe.  So she put it up for sale and the Ravenlore sold quickly………..for more money that she paid for it. Like several thousands of dollars more.

We send Nicki best wishes for her new adventures. And if you are thinking of buying a Ravenlore tiny house, we can create one just for you. We do have a Ravenlore starting the “que” in production within 30 days for a customer that decided to purchase one before the price increased.

 

A tiny house named “Spirit”

Tiny House at Lochness Park for a photo shoot

Spirit has 238 sqft on the main level with 138 sqft in the 2 lofts. There is lots of storage in the smugglers holds, sliding spice rack, 7 -toe kick drawers, cabinet bridge, and stairs with built in storage.  Speaking of the cabinet bridge, it is constructed so that a guest could sleep on them, if needed. This tiny house also has a Airport Ball air exchanger to exhaust the stale house air and moisture to the outside while bringing in fresh air.

Tiny House Minnesota photo shoot, Tiny House Minneapolis, Tiny Green Cabins

Tiny House transport rounding a corner on the way to the photo shoot

Tiny House Minnesota photo shoot, Tiny House Minneapolis, Tiny Green Cabins, hOMe design

Parking the tiny house

Tiny House Minnesota photo shoot, Tiny House Minneapolis, Tiny Green Cabins, hOMe design

Tiny House photo shoot at the park

Tiny House Minnesota photo shoot, Tiny House Minneapolis, Tiny Green Cabins

Tiny house in the park

Tiny House Minnesota photo shoot, Tiny House Minneapolis, Tiny Green Cabins

Tiny house in the trees

 

Tiny house view thru the windows from the entry

Tiny house view thru the windows from the entry

Tiny house Airondack Recliner

A view of the tiny house Adirondack recliners built above the water storage tanks

 

Tiny House Cabinets

Cabinet bridge with cat sleeping areas, and a view of the Adirondack recliners built above the water storage tanks

Childs Loft

Loft for Wyatt

Tiny House Master Loft

Tiny House Master Loft

Fully functional tiny house kitchen

ully functional tiny house kitchen, with space saving dishwasher, range with oven, 7.2 cu refrigerator/freezer and table

Tiny House Boxout window over the sink

Tiny House Boxout window over the sink with custom mason jar lighting fixture

Tiny House Table

The drop leaf table in the kitchen

Drop leaf table

Justin and his father enjoying a cop of joe

Tiny House Kitchen

Tiny house kitchen view from the great room

Tiny house birch branch rail

Tiny house birch branch rail

tiny house, Minnesota tiny house

Tiny house Hobbit stove

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Tiny House Bathroom

Tiny House Bathroom

 

Tiny House Bathroom

Tiny House Bathroom

Tiny House Smugglers Hold Hatch

Smugglers Hold Hatch

There are 3 hatches with 6 peach crates inside of each hatch, and that provides 18 peach crates under the floor for storage.

Smugglers Hold Storage, Tiny House Minnesota photo shoot, Tiny House Minneapolis, Tiny Green Cabins

Smugglers Hold Storage

Tiny House spice and storage rack

Tiny house sliding spice and storage rack at the head of the stairs

 

 

Good night tiny house

Good night tiny house

The next post will show you how we made the Adirondack recliners and followed up by the step by step of making the mason jar lighting.

 

Freedom Tiny House Series

Ponderosa Tiny House

Features;

  • Custom tiny house trailer
  • Size 8′-6″ x 26′-0″
  • Sleeps 3 – 5
  • Curved Bow for aerodynamics when towing
  • Sunken Living Room
  • Full Sized tub
  • Space for washer dryer
  • Vanity at bath
  • Dual Lofts
  • Dual Stairs with storage
  • Fold up deck
  • Fold down deck canopy
  • Sliding patio door with grids
  • Wood framed (steel optional)
  • LP Smart Siding shingle panels
  • Corrugated Steel siding
  • Steel roof, guaranteed 50 years
Rustic Traveler Tiny House

Ponderosa Tiny House

Rustic Traveler Slice

Ponderso  Slice

Rustic Traveler Slice

Ponderoas Slice

Pricing starts at   $68,019.53

 

 

New home in Massachusetts for this tiny house

Parking found in Massachusetts

This tiny house has found a great place to park at in Massachusetts. It took a while but the owner never gave up on finding a great place to live in it. Massachusetts is probably one of the states that can make it difficult to park and live in a tiny house. But, this owner never gave up his search and kept asking a question, ” What do I need to do so I can live in it?”  He finally found a location and town that was willing to work with him. It shows that if one town or city says “no” just move on until you find a town or area that will help you out.

 

Tiny House Lakeview Tiny House Parking Tiny House view of lake

Stories and Snowy Tiny Cabins

Gunflint 1977

We all have a story, and this one is from a snow camping trip into the Boundary Waters of Minnesota.

Some of us start as campers with tents, then graduate to pop up campers, and then to self contained RV’s and motor homes all the while dreaming dreams of having our very own cabin to get away from it all.

A cabin can be defined as a small house or shelter to get away from it all, that may be located in a remote or isolated area.

Then some start to realize that they can capture the magical and peaceful lifestyle enjoyed at the cabin and build or have built a tiny house that they can take wherever life takes them. For me, I enjoy a life of simplicity and the coziness of a small cabin or tiny house. And  that takes me to books, stories, adventures, and experiences. Here is one story from my past.

“It was a hot humid summer day as thoughts turned to winters brisk winds. Sitting idly around a table sipping iced tea, several members of my family thought of possibilities and methods to cool down. As a lark, it was suggested that a day of cross-country skiing would be enjoyable and cold. As talk turned to bravado, the webs were spun and before long we were planning an expedition into the Boundary Waters for a little cross-country skiing and snow camping in the following winter. January was to be the targeted month, and the third week as those were the days that it was at the coldest temperature of the winter As the day progressed into the evening we plotted, planned, made lists, and decided who was to take care of which tasks. Now, this was before I knew about personality traits along horoscope lines, and if I did, I would have been aware of potential issues. Lists and Pisceans do not mix well, and Pisceans have a tendency to loose a list as fast as they are given one. Pisceans are dreamers and visionaries. I am a Piscean.

Several times thru the fall, phone calls were made, to remind us of the deal struck on that hot, humid, sweltering July day. The total group consisted of 6, and as the days became shorter, the temperatures dropped, the group became smaller. People were dropping out as fast as ice cubes had melted on that July day. I was even having second thoughts.

The day of reckoning arrived, and the surviving three dreamers met up in Hudson, WS. We quickly double checked our lists, gathered up our gear, and headed north. The evening temps were hovering around 28, and it had just started snowing. As we miles ticked off, the snowfall became heavier, until at times the road became obscured. We hung our heads out the window to eye the side of the road, and no one was talking about turning back. We had struck a deal, and we were not going to be deterred from our goal. We laughed as we drove, and decided we needed coffee and lots of it. Around 2AM, we pulled into Duluth, MN and stopped for that much needed coffee. We were slightly behind schedule considering the slow going of the roads. We were headed for the Gunflint Trail out of Grand Marais, and our goal was to start cross-country skiing at the end of the trail to our campsite by early morning. We had a 5-6 hour ski trek to make before we hit the campsite.

As we drove old Hwy 61 along the North Shore of Lake Superior, we could hear thru the snowfall the pounding of the waves on the rocks below us. 61 followed the lake, and at points was a shear drop to the lake without any shoulders. The only thing that separated us from the drop was a cable guardrail.

Around 5AM we turned out of Grand Marais, heading west, and the snow was piling up, the snowflakes being as big as boxcars, and the pine bows were along the road were sagging heavily under the weight of the new snow. The picture was an awesome black and white image in the headlights. We often thought we were part of a picture as the trees slowly crept by. Just as the early twilight of the morning had brightened to the day, we arrived at the trails end and a cabin stacked high with snow. We talked for a while with the lone owner and then strapped on our skis and headed out. We snapped some pictures and left the camera in the truck for safety. The sound of the skis on the new fallen snow was the only sound that broke the silence. It was very much like a lovers whisper in ones ear in the middle of the night.

After a couple hours of skiing along the lake, we heard the sounds of wolves in pursuit of some prey. Looking thru the pines in the direction of the howls, we saw a lone deer running ahead of 4 wolves, with 1 in the lead running down the middle of the lake. The sight held us spell bound as we witnessed the wild of nature and we were without the camera!

After another couple of hours of skiing we found our campsite and set up camp, and as we unpacked our gear, we decided we were slightly hungry. We searched all of the backpacks and discovered that food had not made the lists! We had coffee, 2 giant chocolate bars, some nuts, some granola and of course, I had a book! We made our coffee and decided that we were okay. This was not planned as a long trek, just 48 hrs, and we could shorten it and head out the next day instead.

We built a fire, melted snow, and told stories as the snow fell around us. Finally around 10 we decided to bank the fire and head to the tents. We could see the stars and the moonlight on the moonlight on the snow, the air biting at our cheeks, the frost icing up on my beard created a snapshot in my mind for years to come.

Around 2AM, I woke up, and thinking it was because I was cold, decided to do some isometrics in the sleeping bag to warm myself up. Then I heard what had woken me up. The sound was like a high-pitched scream in the night, and very much like a woman’s scream of terror. Now, I was awake, and so were Frank and Oscar. After some intense discussion we concluded it was the northern Lynx on the prowl.

The next morning dawned clear and cold. The snow was still falling, and we marveled at the sight. We had our coffee, ate some granola and nuts, and packed up our gear. By mid morning we were skiing across the frozen lake, making excellent time. By mid afternoon we reached the truck, stole the gear and drove to a restaurant in Grand Marais, where we ordered a large dinner to end the day.”

Below are some cabins and tiny houses in the season of December. Enjoy

The Move

Or Growing pains for the shop

A month ago, we were informed that our space that we were sharing with Pete’s Fabrication and Repair was ending as he was terminating his lease with the buildings owners. Our 1st thought was to rent the whole shop out for Tiny Green Cabins, but after running numbers, it was proving to be more than I wanted to undertake at this time. Some of our ideas for using the extra space;

  • Rent out some space for a private party to build their own tiny house
  • Host a series of workshops on building tiny
  • Rent out space for someone needed a shop for a weekend or short project
  • Move to New Ulm, MN for a less expensive shop

In our search of New Ulm we found a place that was for sale and inquired about it. The building was for sale and it could be leased.

After asking questions about utilities, we learned that the heat bill was over a $1000 a month through the winter. That heat cost made the New Ulm space more expensive that what we were looking at in Blaine. We made an offer on the lease asking for the owner to pay for 50% of the propane costs for the 1st winter and we would do a 2 year lease. He declined .

So we decided to stay in the Blaine area for the foreseeable future.

Then we had a visit from another shop owner that did welding and fabrication whom asked if we would be willing to switch spaces. He had 3000 sqft and we had 6000 sqft. The numbers were a wee bit more friendly, and after some thinking and discussion with family, I decided to make the switch. That meant tow shops that were working plus one that was closing needed to switch spaces. For me, that was an easy task as my work had not accumulated a lot of stuff….yet!!

Our part of the move was easy. The fabricator has a lot of specialized equipment and a mezzanine to move. He said he had built the mezzanine so he could take it with him. This we had to see.

And he did it. I am impressed!!!

However, Pete was swamped with trying to finish up his back log of clients and others that heard he was closing and wanted that last minute car repair done by him.

So we loaded our trailer and moved it to the new place and then moved the hOMe out of the shop to its new place.

So, now it was up to sort things out, pack up what he wanted, and toss the rest. He tossed out a lot, and he still has a lot to sort and liquidate. In the meantime, he is using some of our space and will be having a fire sale over the next month..

We are just about finished with the hOMe bound for MA, and have the other custom hOMe started. And that is all we can fit in the shop until Pete moves his stuff out. In a week or so, we will have room to start the Prairie Rose for the workshop class we will be holding the end of October.  And when Pete moves his stuff, we will have room for a 3rd tiny house.

The start to finish of the move took 8 days, with the weekend included in that.  Now we need to organize the shelves and shop so we can find stuff easily.

If anyone wants us to build or start one in the next month or so, I would suggest that you book that slot. Otherwise, the next slot after that would be early spring of 2016.

Tiny House Builder, Jim

Tiny House Builder, Jim

 

Window Installation

We install windows at Tiny Green Cabins using the following steps for all of our tiny houses.

Tools Needed: Hammer, caulk gun, slap stapler, level, tape measure, utility knife, work gloves

Materials needed: Butyl Caulk, Dupont Flex Wrap, Dupont Straight Tape 4″ wide, Shims, Great Stuff Window spray expanding foam

Step 1;  After the Tyvek house wrap has been installed and wrapped into each of the windows opening, cut

Wildflower Tiny House Bunkhouse Model

Wildflower Tiny House Bunkhouse Model

the Tyvek house wrap at the window rough opening top corner diagonally about 4″ upward and away from the window and tack back.

Step 2; Cut the Dupont Flex Wrap 12″ to 16″ longer than the window sill. Peel off the paper backer centering the Flex Wrap in the opening and full width of the sill. Press into place across the bottom and up the sides of the window – minimum up each window side is 6″.

Step 3; Peel the paper off the back of the flex wrap hanging outside the window and starting at each window corner, pull the corners outward and stretch while adhering it to the walls, then pull and press the rest of flex wrap into place.

Step 4; Using the shims, lay a shim at each window sill corner for creating a space to insulate used in step 10

Step 5; Caulk up the sides of the window frame, across the top of the window rough opening and down the other side to the sill. Warning, DO NOT CAULK ACROSS THE BOTTOM OR WINDOW SILL  – EVER

Step 6; Insert the window into the rough opening, center the window on the opening, and nail at one top corner of the window flange. Level the window and after leveling nail the other top window corner.

Step 7; Plumb the window sides   Tip: Square the window and check the reveal spaces where the window meets the window jamb. To square, using a tape measure, check the measurements diagonally from each corner to the opposite corner – they should be equal.  Also check the window edges from other features of the wall, such as wall corners or fascias to make sure things are set correctly. On a tiny house, since other features are close to the window, this is a check that everything is spaced correctly. After this check nail the window in place and around the window perimeter, nailing through every other hole in the flange.

Step 8; Install the corner flaps at each corner of the window.

Step 9; Cut the butyl tape for each side of the window and across the window head. Each piece should be cut 8″ to 12″ longer than the window. Install each side, and then install the top piece of Butyl tape.

Step 10; Do not install Butyl tape across the bottom window flange – EVER. This flange is left without butyl tape and caulk to allow water and moisture to escape in case it ever gets behind the window.  This is why the flex wrap is used as a sill pan flashing.

Step 11; Pull the Tyvek that was tacked out of the way, fold it down, and tack in place, cutting just short of the window head. Tape to the butyl tape and Tyvek together to seal them tight.

Step 12; insulate the window jambs cavity to wall opening. We recommend Great Stuff as the expanding foam seals the cavity better than a stuffed fiberglass can. Plus the foam does not allow mold to grow if the window leaks.

Here a good video that follows our best practices