Our Tiny House Dilemma

Our Tiny House Dilemma

Our Tiny House Dilemma

As we gear up to graduate and begin the work on our new house we have been researching and planning for the construction of our new home. We have settled on stick built with lumber we mill from the area we are building on but one of the biggest questions we have been struggling with is just how big this house is going to be.

As much as I love the tiny house movement, I am not sure it’s for us. Don’t get me wrong, compared to your average Americans we’re practically minimalists, but parts of our life require a lot of space. Just to give you an idea, in the corner of our dorm room there’s a 9 tray Excalibur dehydrator, a milk crate full of canning jars with a well used hand wringer sitting on top, a 1925 Singer Sewing Machine, a handmade basket of yarn, a cracked, worn, and mended spinning wheel, a birdhouse gourd, and a jolly, fat, little pumpkin. 

As this house will be off grid, things like the hand wringer and washtubs and a drying rack will be used in the living room during the winter. Homesteading and being self reliant takes space. 

We also will be sharing our home with a dog, a cat, and 4 litter trained rabbits 2 of which, weigh over 10 pounds. We also regularly have family that comes and visits us for a few days at a time.

At the same time we know we don’t want a huge a house. We enjoy the simplicity of not having a lot of stuff and limiting our space is one way to do that. Also the smaller the house the less firewood we have to cut, split, and stack to keep it warm. I also believe that smaller spaces bring people together.

Lately we have been thinking about a 24′ x 24′ cabin, not including a porch, with 1 1/2 or 2 stories. We hope that it is mostly open with the living room, kitchen, and bathroom downstairs, with one or two bedrooms upstairs. If it’s a full two stories that will give us a total of 1152 square feet. That’s enough room for our animals, homesteading activities, and guests but isn’t so big that we’ll feel the need to fill it up with more stuff. 

So what do you think? Bigger? Smaller? What would you do?

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5 Responses to "Our Tiny House Dilemma"

  • I love tiny homes but they seem to be suitable for only individuals or couples. Think large homes can be beautiful but I don't have the energy to clean and maintain one. Lee and I have our older mildly autistic son named Daniel and rarely a guest stays over. We don't use all the space in our current home so one somewhat smaller or a different configuration will do. Two to three bedrooms suit us. One and a half bathrooms or more works. I pretty much have to go to the bathroom as soon as I feel the urge since I had our younger son Thomas who unfortunately died 7 weeks after his birth four years ago. Doors and locks would be useful. Daniel loves to soak the floors so areas with a sink need a lock and something blocking him from opening it by sliding something in between to disengage the lock. He keeps leaving our fridge door open so a locked door is good there or a lock that keeps him out (he broke off child proofing when he was a toddler and now he's 7). Lee needs a sound proof room to sleep in as he's a light sleeper and the slightest thing wakes him up. He also needs a workshop to work on projects. I need my own space as I'm an introvert and my alone time is when I recharge. Just need enough room for a tv, my video game consoles, my books, my collections (most are small and only have 5 or 6; largest one is my books but I'm switching over to ebooks which take up less space), and room for my kettlebells and the space to swing them. Need a fenced in yard or enclosed sun room to function as a play room (plan to have sand, water, slats, rock climbing, swings, and a mini trampoline, floor that drains away spills and padding to keep him from getting hurt if he falls and if indoors wouldn't have to worry about him running off, he could still play when the weather doesn't permit, and wouldn't have to worry about bugs that sting or bite). Daniel likes to run off and I can't catch up to him (my right foot is broken from a fall I had a couple of weeks ago and my bust is still too large post breast reduction). He's already ran off a few times. First time thought he was in our yard or our neighbor's. The second time didn't know he could open a window by himself as most of ours require two people to open them. The third I was looked away a moment to do continuing school paperwork that had to be turned in quickly at a playground (normally check our mail when we drop off Daniel as the school bus so got to the mail late that time). This was before my breast reduction and back then had breathing problems (one particularly active day I stopped breathing for a few minutes) and debilitating spine pain when I was more active than usual). The police told me if there's another time they will take him away and arrest me.

  • Wow sounds like a busy life. Those are definitely unique housing needs but it sounds like you have a plan and know well what will work for you. Are you hoping to build a home soon? Good luck with all your ventures and stay strong.


  • I just found your post so don't know if you are building yet but will comment anyways:) I would go at it backwards. List out what is needed for such things (canning jars, wringer) then ask if they can share a space with something else. (a drying rack can be hinged on a wall so will be flat when not in use, etc.) I would say build the house for you, not your company. There are usually quite a few options when it comes to housing others from sleeping bags, or an RV to a small guest cabin (that could also be the spinning/sewing studio?) I know I'm not answering your questions, but hopefully giving you ideas for options. Best of luck.

  • We've actually just been clearing and prepping the site. The real work will begin once it warms up a little more. Those are definitely some great ideas I especially like the idea of working backwards. We're still working out the exact details and may even being going with rammed earth instead of a cabin but we'll be going pretty small with room to expand later if we decide to. We are really trying to be in some sort of a home by next Christmas. Thanks again!

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