Building Smalltopia: We’ve got siding!

by Tammy Strobel on August 30, 2011

After years of talking about building a little house, our dream is finally turning into reality. It’s hard to believe that we’ll be moving into our new abode in November. And it’s even harder to believe that we’ve downsized to the point of being able to live in such a tiny dwelling. We’re really excited about the big move and judging from all the inquires I’ve received recently, so are you.

Two common questions have emerged in the comments section and my inbox. Below are my responses:

1. Can you give us a construction update?

Since our little house is being constructed in Gig Harbor, I don’t get to see it everyday. Katy, our talented builder, has been sending us frequent photos via her iPhone. She recently put up the siding, which is rough hewn cedar. Also, the windows and electrical wiring have been installed too!

Sometime in September, we’ll make a trip to Gig Harbor to visit Katy and take lots of photos of the little house. I’m really excited to see the interior of the home because one of Katy’s many talents is finish carpentry.

2. Where are you going to park the little house?

We haven’t decided where we are going to park our little house. We’re thinking about moving to a little RV Park out on Sauvie Island. It’s just outside Portland and I love the island. However, the commute to and from town is long. It’s doable without a car, but we’d prefer to be a little closer to the city. At this point, we’re keeping our options open and continue to look at potential parking spots within the city limits.

Do you know of someone who is interested in hosting us? Contact me: tammy (at) rowdykittens (dot) com and pass on the flyer.

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More questions? Check out my past video updates and essays:

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Update: Katy sent me a few more photos today! Check out the french doors . . .

1 David Stokley August 30, 2011

So cool, congrats! Can’t wait to see the finished product.

2 Tammy Strobel August 30, 2011

@David – Thanks! We’re excited too. :)

3 Jane O August 30, 2011

How much will it weigh once it’s completed?

4 Logan August 30, 2011

@Jane O, It will weigh around 5,000 lbs when completed and furnished. Heavy but that’s the side effect of stick-built construction.

5 Katy @ The Non-Consumer Advocate August 30, 2011

Tammy and Logan,

Your tiny house looks incredible. I know you will happy wherever you choose to park it. It has been fun to follow your progress.

Congratulations, and welcome back!

Katy

6 Tammy Strobel August 30, 2011

Thanks Katy! We’ve got to have coffee soon. :)

7 Katy @ The Non-Consumer Advocate August 30, 2011

Coffee sounds like a plan. The kids are back in school after next Tuesday, and I will be free, free, free!

Katy

8 Amanda August 30, 2011

Awesome!! I’m excited for you to be moving into your new little house! Hope you find a great spot to park it at. Also, I love the new look of your blog, it’s still minimal yet really nice! The logo at the top is cute too. :) Keep us posted on your house, can’t wait to see it all finished.

9 Tammy Strobel August 30, 2011

@Amanda – Yay! I’m so happy you like the new layout of the blog. I’m still in the process of realigning things and plan to add more fun pages to the site in the next few months. Stay tuned. :)

Thanks for reading!

10 Patty August 30, 2011

Would you be willing to pass on the name and information for your builder? I would love to be able to ask questions and inquire about pricing. Thank you!

11 Tammy Strobel August 30, 2011

@Patty – Sure! You can find all the info you need here: http://portlandalternativedwellings.com/

12 DJ August 30, 2011

Congratulations on this amazing progress!

I adore Sauvie Island. Might be worth the commute to live in such a country setting so near a large city.

What will you do with your pets?

13 Tammy Strobel August 30, 2011

@DJ – I agree. Sauvie Island is beautiful. But the commute would it be a hard trek everyday. Then again, we would be in really good shape! :)

Luckily we still have a few more months to make a final decision.

Our pets are coming with us. I wouldn’t give up my kittens. :)

14 Luke Wilson August 30, 2011

Awesome, Tammy, looks like it’s coming along great! So happy for you (and @loganenator), following your passion for tiny living and tiny houses over the past few years.

My wife and I are rebuilding a 24′ motorhome, so we’re moving into our tiny house with wheels soon, too, only ours happens to have a motor, as well! :-)

Looking forward to those interior shots once it’s done!

All the best,

Luke

15 Tammy Strobel August 30, 2011

Thanks Luke! I didn’t know you were moving into a motorhome! Super exciting. :) Thanks for stopping by and good luck with your upcoming transition.

16 Meghan August 30, 2011

Any special living arrangements for your cats in the tiny home? My husband and I are enjoying watching your process and wish you the best of luck with everything! We can’t wait to see it all finished! :)

17 Tammy Strobel August 31, 2011

@Meghan – Nope. They will be inside/outside kittens and Katy is building a hiding spot for their litter box. Thanks for stopping by! :)

18 Jenni Lynn August 30, 2011

I’ve loved following your progress. My hubby and I are also downsizing–drastically. First we went from a 3 bedroom home where we raised our kids, to a one bedroom duplex. The house was crammed full, but two years ago we sold off a lot at yard sales before moving. The duplex, too, is crammed, but it is also half the size our house was. We are nearing the final push to de-junk, because we will be hitting the road in our motorhome in May and hopefully won’t land in another sticks and bricks abode for at least five years. Best wishes to you. Jenni

19 Patti Stone August 31, 2011

Congratulations Tammy! It looks great. I admire you so much for going against the norm and massively downsizing to move into this very small space. I, too, would love to live in such a space. Lots of luck and can’t wait to see more pics.

20 Sunday August 31, 2011

i’m SO excited for you guys! those french doors are gorgeous!!

21 kim August 31, 2011

Hi Tammy,
I first discovered you and Logan while watching Peak Moment- and it has been great to just watch all the crazy things you guys are doing! You are so inspiring! Although I don’t think I’d ever talk my hubby into a tiny house, you two really inspire me to live as simply as possible…. I’m so excited for you and your new tiny home. I bet the kitties will love it too! :) You’ve got friend in the Panhandle of West Virginia!

22 Andrea August 31, 2011

I’m so excited for you guys! Can’t wait to see the end result!

I’ve been downsizing (albeit slowly) and my kitchen is already much more functional with less stuff. Please tell Logan THANKS for giving me “permission” to go slow with this process. As much as I’d like to be, I have to accept that I’m not one of those people who can just dive into the ocean. I tiptoe. :-)

23 Nina Araujo August 31, 2011

Wow! We are halfway through a treehouse for your kids and I am really impressed with you guys have done so far. Your story is really inspiring. Congratulations and enjoy when it is done : )

24 Sherri Dunham August 31, 2011

Yay, I’m super excited for you! I’m happy to see this long-term goal come to fruition. I have no doubt you’ll find a great spot to park your tiny house. My husband’s and my long-term goal of moving to Costa Rica has finally come to fruition as well – we’ve been here for 3 days and will be moving into our condo tomorrow. We got our belongings down to 9 bags (which still seems like too much). I admire you for being able to pare down your belongings so much. I’m sure we’ll continue to get rid of stuff as we figure out what isn’t really needed. Thanks for being an inspiration!

25 tordis August 31, 2011

do you want children? what about them? would you give up this tiny house and have a new (and a bit less tiny) one built instead? or an extension? is this tiny house extendable?
i imagine it could be hard to live with even one child after some time (babies would be ok, but teenagers?) in exactly this house.

anyway – it looks great! i like it :) (although i would prefer the scandinavian version with white paint on it. but that’s just my personal taste)
i’m excited to hear about your adventures in november! (and before. and after.)

26 Tammy Strobel August 31, 2011

@tordis – We aren’t going to have kids. I like being an aunt. :)

However, Katy is building another little house for a woman who is planning on having a baby. Raising kids in small spaces is an option. You just have to figure out what works for your family. For example Shay features a number of families who live in small spaces in, Little House on a Small Planet.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

27 Rahel August 31, 2011

This is so cool — thanks for sharing your tiny house story! If you or/and your house ever happen to need a vacation in Switzerland, you’re more than welcome ;-)

BTW: We’ve insulated our house with sheep wool last year. It is such an amazing alternative to all those high-tech products — you will love it!

28 Tammy Strobel August 31, 2011

@Rahel – You’re so sweet! :) If we ever end-up in Switzerland for a vacation, I’ll be sure to contact you.

And yay for wool insulation! We’ve heard so many good things about it. I’m sure we’ll be nice and cozy in the rainy Portland winters.

Thanks for leaving a comment! :)

29 Becca Truly September 1, 2011

WOW! I am so glad for you-soon you will be all nestled in your cozy Home! One question-are you buying a auto to tow your tiny house and if so, what are you going to buy? I am curious.:)

30 Tammy Strobel September 1, 2011

@Becca – Ohhh no! I’m not buying a car. We can rent a big truck to tow the house. Also we have friends and family members who can help us too. :)

31 Natalie September 1, 2011

That is so exciting to see your house being built! Good luck in finding a location, and thanks for the updates!

Natalie

32 Greg W September 1, 2011

Hi Tammy; Great to see the house coming together. A while back you showed a sketch of the proposed design. French doors on the side of the house doesn’t seem to stick out in my mind. Did your design ideas change? Is there an updated sketch somewhere I can look at? Cheers G

33 Tammy Strobel September 2, 2011

Hey Greg – You can see the sketch here. For the most part, the plan has stayed the same. Although some things have shifted. I don’t have an updated sketch to share with you. At least not yet. :)

34 Jo@simplybeingmum September 2, 2011

Having just spent two weeks living in our temporary tiny house in France (holiday caravan!) these photos remind me of lovely evenings drinking wine and relaxing in a cosy space. Back to reality in our family home, with dreams of selling up and packing up into a campervan (RV) once the kids have flown the nest. Few years off yet, but I start learning French next week in anticipation (reckon 16 years or so gives me time to be relatively proficient?)… all the very best with the build – Jo

35 Jo@simplybeingmum September 2, 2011

ps – you’d have loved one of our methods of transport over there living the simple French life. Quad Pedal bikes accommodating a family of four in luxury – with a canopy and everything… made the traffic behind us slow down around town, no chance of getting past it like on a two-wheeler!

36 Mike | Homeless On Wheels September 2, 2011

I’m glad to see you’re making progress on the tiny house, Tammy!

37 Tammy Strobel September 3, 2011

Thanks Mike! :) I hope you’re doing well.

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