Tiny House Q & A

I receive a lot of inquiries about our little house. To avoid responding to the same questions, I created a brief Q & A. Please read through this before you email me inquiries! Thanks in advance.

How many square feet is your house?

About 128 square-feet. It was built on a 8 x 16 foot trailer.

Who built your little house?

Dee Williams designed the house and Katy Anderson built it. For more information, visit Portland Alternative Dwellings.

How much did the house cost?

$33,000.

Can I get insurance for a tiny house on wheels?

At this time, I’m not aware of many companies that offer insurance for tiny homes on wheels. When we tow our house down the road, our car insurance company covers us. If you decide to build a tiny house on wheels, do your research. It’s a fun living experiment, but there are risks.

For more information, read:

Did you have to get a permit for the house?

We didn’t go through zoning and permitting because the house is on wheels. The house was inspected by licensed contractors and built to the international building code. If you want to build a little house, check in with your local city planning department because building codes vary from city to city. Some cities are more flexible than others.

Where did you find land for your house?

For more information on this topic, please read these articles:

Can you tell us about your little stove?

The stove/oven is an Origo 6000 and its used on boats. It uses alcohol as fuel so its safe to burn indoors with minimal ventilation and its free standing (no pipes or wires it just sits in the counter). The inspiration to get this stove/oven came from Sheila and Kai who are also building a tiny house and write at a blog called 2cycle2gether.

What kind of insulation did you use?

We used wool insulation. It’s awesome because it’s local, non-toxic, and a wonderful alternative to plastic or fiberglass. For more information read: Using Natural Wool Insulation.

What type of heating source do you use?

We decided on a free standing radiant electric-oil heater.

Can you tell me about your plumbing system? Where do you get water and electricity?

I have a simple plumbing set-up in the little house; one pipe goes into the house and one goes out. A garden hose attaches to a valve on the exterior of the house and it runs to a kitchen faucet that is used to do dishes. Gray water from the kitchen sink and wet-bath drains flow together into a single pipe out to under the house and is currently caught in a five gallon container under the house. We use the grey water to irrigate ornamental trees and shrubbery and so far we have been producing about 1.5 gallons of grey water per day (or less).

Black water isn’t an issue because I have a composting toilet. The composting toilet is based off the model in the Humanure Handbook. Learn more and read “Tiny House Details: Composting Commode – Questions Answered.”

To get electricity we are plugged into the grid. We have an outdoor extension cord that is plugged into an electrical outlet. The little house runs off a 15 amp power source.

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Tiny house illustration by Kristin Noelle.