Woodland Collections

The Sparrow - Our Tiny House Beginning

Before Construction, Planning StagesEvan LambComment

Summer 2014 - Evan showed Kelsey a video about a couple building a house on wheels. They both got excited over the prospects and the adventure and watched many more videos! They told each other they wanted to build a tiny house as soon as possible!

Almost a year passed with not much progress or talk about any tiny house plan. BUT then -

June 2015 - We went out for a walk and realized this dream hadn't left us. We dreamed of changing our setting, owning our own home, and saving money along the way. And the fact that Evan could build it all himself (because he is an amazing carpenter!) sealed the deal. We drew it out in a parking lot and were convinced even more. We had naysayers in our life but we felt that those people couldn't wrap their minds around the concept, that they didn't have the same goals as us in life, and we stuck to our guns about what was right for the two of us.

A lot of the trouble that faces tiny housers is the fact of where to put the house. We thought that if this tiny house thing was going to happen, we had to have the location first before we invested everything. We had no plans of travelling the world with it and just needed one small corner to plant it in. We love the outdoors and to have a space full of light was our only stipulations for the location. We felt strongly about one location in particular but had only known the family for less than a year. Plus, Evan was renting his shop from them, so technically they were already our landlords. We really didn't feel concerned if it didn't work because it would have only been our first try but also if it didn't work, we were going to be a square zero so we had a coffee meeting all together and...

they said, YES! Of course, after much thought and deliberation.

So now, we had somewhere to go. From nothing to something.

The Specs:

Size: 20x 8: That seemed to be pretty standard and we were not willing to go smaller because of how we were designing our space. Also, any bigger and we were getting into bigger and more expensive trailers and materials etc. For a moment, we thought we could do it without a trailer, but without having our own land, no one would feel comfortable renting to us without having permits, etc. 

We decided on a slanted roof (one side of the roof is higher than the other) because that would bring us more light facing South, more head space where we needed it at the stairs, and we didn't want to sleep in, what looks like a pokey attic, in most tiny homes. Sorry, but just being honest.

Budget: We wanted to live tiny but still have life-sized features in our home. I know, bad joke. That meant, we wanted our living room and kitchen to be featured in our home aka as roomy and built with ease as much as possible. So our living room is going to be big and roomy with lots of windows and our kitchen is going to have a full sized fridge (24"), full stove with oven (24") large sink, dishwasher (18", what!!) and a washer (18", we aren't getting a dryer which we will write about later). 

So all we can really say about our budget right now is because Evan is building most of it, and almost everyday starting March 1st 2016, we want to build it for under $20,000 in 4 months. We'll let you know how that goes.

Our main goal was to save money with this venture. We were paying 10's of thousands just renting and there is no way we could break into the housing market. We knew we were spending more money up front to build the tiny house but over a year, we were going to pay half of it back and have lowered expenses. It sounds like a sweet deal!

January 2016 - Debates over what kind of trailer should be bought had been going on for a few months. The debate was either buying in the US or Canada and whether we should buy second hand or new. One morning however, changed all of our thoughts. Evan found an older trailer that had come down in price on craigslist. We were wary that it was used but it was a triple axle trailer and could hold 18,000 lbs. We never thought we would have that much weight so we went for it! We decided within the hour and Evan headed out to Kamloops! All of a sudden our dream for so long had become reality. 

And so this trailer became a game changer! It was way cheaper than we thought so now we had more in our budget, plus it was 23x9, so now we had more square footage. Bonus.

Check back for more Tiny House news!