Spring has sprung and tiny house building resumes!

I finally have time blocked off to get back up to the farm and get back to work on the tiny free house. The weather is perfect and there’s a pile of pallets is waiting for me. I’m really looking forward to spending some time outside working too. I work in front of a computer screen all day and while the winter here in California is mild, I still feel like I’ve been cooped up too long.

tiny-free-house-google-sketchup-concept

My next steps will be to first decide on the final roof design. Even though it takes up a little floor space I think I’m going to go with the asymmetrical roof design below. It’s unique, cute, stronger, and the steep roof pitch should be pretty good for solar panels if I can find some free ones.

I plan to take a rope and a couple of boards and mock-up the roof line just to get a good idea of how much floor space I’ll loose by having one short 48-inch wall. Google Sketch-Up is handy for picturing the house in 3D but nothing beats standing inside the real thing, especially when designing a tiny house where every inch counts.

Check back next week to see my progress! In the mean time you might be interested in some free tiny house plans I posted on my tiny house design blog.

The Trailer Informs The Floor Plan

Last weekend I got dusty and sun burned testing a bunch of theories about how best to put this tiny house together. I also got some really good measurements of the trailer. This combined with the decision to permanently attache the house to the trailer added something new to consider, wheel wells. This trailer has some really big wheels too so the wheel wells are more than little bumps on the floor. They require boxes that measure 76″ long by 17″ into the room, by 14″ high. Yikes that’s about 9 square feet.

At first I was a little concerned and then started laying things out and realized that the wheel wells pointed me in the right direction. Ironically I’m almost back to where I started. The door is in the end of the room, the bathroom is back to having a separate shower, the kitchen counter is fairly large, there seems to be adequate space for storage, there’s space for a small water heater, and even the twin size bench/bed downstairs.

The loft sticks out a bit much so my only concern is that this might feel smaller than it is. I could go with another roof design and rotate the loft bed 90 degrees. That would push the loft back 20 inches and open up more of the room visually. I might try that next.

The Floor Plan Is Coming Together

Last night I stayed up late and worked out some of the more important details of how the tiny free house will be framed and laid out. Thanks to a lot of noodling and inspiration from another tiny pallet house concept I landed on a floor plan and roof line that should work well.

This is still a work in progress but far enough along for me to start putting panels together today. I also think I have a way of dealing with the verticle seams between the pallet boards that will cover the exterior. Using a router I’m going to create a half inch lap joint all the way around the boards. It’s hard to visualize so I’ll just take pictures today as I work on it and show you all tonight how it all came together.

I would love your feedback, especially if you know something about framing. The floor framing plan is a bit overkill but I’m trying to stick to short 36″ 2x4s and it needs to be strong enough to hold up with just the 4 RV corner jacks holding the house up. Normally 12′ 2x8s or 2x10s would seem like the right way to frame this… but would something like what I’ve drawn above work? The jury is still out in my head so I’m throwing it out to you. Thanks!