Tiny House Interview Questions:
So we pulled some questions off of the internet and you can picture us sitting in our living room, drinking coffee, talking about these questions with our dog on our laps. Also, it’s raining outside.
What are your names? Evan and Kelsey Lamb.
How many people are living in your tH? Us plus our ginger Poodle, Rosie.
Where do you live? Abbotsford, BC.
Why did you decide to go tiny? It wasn’t a decision to go tiny as much as a drive to live in a cheaper situation that was comparable to renting rather than owning. The question was, how can we take control of our living situation as much as we could.
What are you hoping to get out of living tiny? Freedom from the basement. Freedom from renting under someone. Windows. It made sense to us, we calculated how much our rent cost a year and it made sense to pay into something that we owned. Yes, we are paying for the spot our house is on, but it’s cheaper and we have autonomy.
How did you first learn about tH? Youtube. Watching, Living Big In A Tiny House, hosted by Bryce from New Zealand. We recommend it.
What was the first item you bought for your house? A yellow sparrow wall hook that we hang our kitchen towel on.
When did you officially start your tH? Bought our trailer in February. Started renovating the trailer in March. Started building in April.
Is your house complete? How long did it take to finish? That’s tricky. Yes, our house is finished but there are random things that we haven’t. Like some light plates, a cupboard door, super random. But to actually to get into living in it, it took six months, spread over 8 months: Built from April - July. We took August and September off and then worked from October - November.
How did you build your house? With our hands. Kelsey’s said that, not Evan, just so he’s clear. So Evan quit his job end of February and started working on the house full time, everyday, while doing furniture on the side. Kelsey came after work every evening to help and we both worked Saturdays all Spring/Summer.
Did you have help? Yes! We had lovely family members chip in here and there and a friend do our electrical but otherwise we did it all.
How did you arrange a place to park? We didn’t want to build it until we had a spot. We invited our shop landlords to have a coffee with us and drew out what we had in mind and plotted it out. They said they would get back to us, and they got really into it! They figured out a spot, they were conscious of parking and utilities already before we even started. We only waited a week for them to get back to us!
Before going tiny, what was life like? We were sad. (Wait as we both finish laughing). No, we were. We were ready for a change and we didn’t know what it would look like but from dream to finish it was a two year process and we were so ready for some kind of transition and this was it. We didn’t know what was next and we loved the freedom of renting but we wanted something more specific and tailored to us.
What were some of the unexpected issues that you ran into when making the transition? We were so excited to move in that we hadn’t finished electrical, water, or even had a toilet. That only lasted less than a week but our expectation was we would be relieved and relaxed moving in but we couldn’t be that right away.
What benefits are you experiencing now? We have a life outside. As in, we have a garden, we live on a farm where we get eggs and get mooed at by cows. We live by a creek and have big oak and willow trees to shade us. We have plum and pear and apple trees. We have wild daffodils growing right now. We see wild foxes and rabbits. We have a train that runs past. We both work full time together at Woodland Collections so our home and our job are in one place. We have the benefit of no commute and working from home. We get to be with our puppy and we get to entertain on our deck with fires and BBQS. We have windows which means light floods our home, we see each season and weather change as it happens and we look out at stars and the moon from our sky lights. We got to design our home completely, and what a great experience to flex our creative muscles. We are always cosy. Our home is pocket sized but it’s everything we need. We made it beautiful for us and we are enjoying it everyday. Every corner is unique and we are proud of what we created. So, we are experiencing no benefits at all. (Big smiles over here).
Now living in your house, is there anything you’d change? There’s nothing. A bigger deck? But actually we are happy with everything we have sooo…..
What are some challenges? Our roof started leaking in the winter and we were fearful that we really screwed up and that we didn’t escape from novice builder problems. But it turned out the insulation we put up there was trapping moisture, freezing and then leaking into our house. So we changed the insulation to rigid foam instead of pink fluffy stuff and it was solved!
Keeping it clean is a big one. Clean up takes no time at all but tidying is an almost everyday thing.
We have more than enough storage in our actual house, but we have relied on the workshop to store things like camping, Christmas, etc. so we didn’t have to. Some might say we aren’t true tHouser’s but we don't care. Does this mean, living in a tH isn’t possible? No. We just happen to have random stuff we only pull out a couple times a year and they aren’t pertinent to our daily living in our actual house. Again, moving into our house wasn’t about minimalism but about changing our life and minimalism became a lovely part of that change. So if you have and outside place to store extra things, do it and be happy.
What tH advice do you have for others? We are so happy to show people how we live cause it is achievable and worth it if you're willing to go for it and be creative and we are proud of what we created.
Do it. Change your circumstance, be open to possibilities, and dive into the dream.
The tiny house builder, Jay Shafer says, “Deep philosophical questions come up. Why can’t I get rid of my art, my books, my wine cellar? It’s looking at those elements we have the hardest time giving up that will reveal the most to us. A lot of it comes down to idolatry… the worship of the idea of something over the appreciation of what that idea represents.”
Life is fluid and if you are willing to go with each change and move and shift with time, items become meaningless and you can replace stuff with people and experiences. Minimizing can be emotionally draining but it can be emotionally and psychologically freeing and unburdening. Life is hard enough, why not feel unburdened by what you can change? If I didn’t loosen my (Kelsey) grip on my library (being an English Major and all) I wouldn’t be able to move around in my house, we would trip and break our legs and die. That’s extreme but I realized I needed to look at the big picture. I could be happy with less and have a different experience than I thought I was having before with all of my books, and which I was going to fully embrace. There are different seasons of life and we want to be fully present in each season.
This quote by Shafer rings so true. And we think about it all the time. We didn’t move into a tH for the value of minimalism. But we changed our lifestyle to fit into our home. It felt counterintuitive as a young married couple who should be growing in their life together not minimizing it. We don’t want to worship all of the things we could have had. We want to appreciate that living in a tH means less. We want a life that has better values than stuff. Also the process of minimizing isn’t all or nothing. We have been organizing still since day 1 and we go to the thrift store at least once a month. If life is ever changing, then we are along for the ride.
You'll be happy to know that Evan and Kelsey have finished their coffees and will now be going back to work. Rosie is going on her 4th nap of the day. It has stopped raining.
Stay tuned next time for a photography expose and our final tallied price. You don't want to miss it!