Welcome to our tiny house!
I’m Matthew, and in the summer of 2014 my partner Kat and I started building a tiny house in Ontario Canada. We made our house based on our own visions and designs, but much of the structural design was modelled after tiny houses we had seen in person while travelling in the southwest of the United States, in places like Arizona, California, and Oregon.
Here is our tiny house as of now, summer of 2018. We have recently put our tiny house on AirBnB for rentals!
I’ll spend most of this post showing off our house in its most recent finished state, but stay tuned for other posts about the various construction stages that came first, along the way!
We had figured on 4 months and about $30,000 (CAD) for building our tiny house, although with very little building experience, and a very rainy summer in 2014 (we built it outdoors without shelter), it took about a year and closer to $40,000 to complete!
Above is our master loft, accessed by a staircase, and built overtop of our kitchen and bathroom area. We also have a smaller second loft, on the other end of the tiny house, accessed by a swing-down ladder, and built overtop of the couch/living room area.
Note the hatch door to the lower right of the photo. The lofts were constructed using 2″x6″ joists, which could have easily just been empty space, however in a tiny house every inch counts for storage. We used this space between the floor of the loft and the ceiling of the lower level to integrate as much storage space as possible. There are hatch doors in the floor of the loft, for clothes, and also hatch doors in the ceilings of the lower level, which swing downward, for kitchen dry food storage.
Here’s the tiny house above, still not quite complete in 2015. This is the actual tiny house on wheels, built on an 8’x20′ flatbed trailer. Later we would add a porch to the front of the house, and later again we would fully finish the porch into a finished sunroom, adding more indoor space upon news that we would be having a baby!
Here’s the inside of our finished sunroom. It is built on 4×4 posts and lag bolted to the side of the tiny house. The seams between the sunroom and the tiny house are spray foam-insulated to help keep heat in during the winter – and bugs out during the rest of the year! One day when we move our tiny house, we will have to cut out all of the spray foam, unbolt the sunroom from the tiny house, and then move the sunroom separately, on a flatbed trailer.
Our tiny house runs on a 24 volt battery system. Our four, 6 volt batteries, are housed underneath our couch which is closed off from the rest of the house, and that space is properly ventilated to the outside. Deep cycle batteries off-gas hydrogen which is explosive, so it is important that their space is properly ventilated. These six, 260 watt solar panels charge our batteries so that all of our lights, fans, and inverted 120V AC plug outlets run off the sun! Our stove, heater, and water heater are propane-fueled.
Here’s our tiny house kitchen. The stove came from a stripped down camper, we bought it for $30 and had it installed in our tiny house. The stove is propane, and propane fitting is one of the only jobs that we did not do ourselves. The fold-down table to the right was found for free and given to us by our neighbours. As much as possible, this house was built using reclaimed materials, to lessen the demand for new products required to build our house.
Here’s a view of our living room, as seen from the stairs leading up to the master loft. There are two sleeping lofts – one that is 8’x8′ with a double bed, and the other that is 5’x8′ with a single bed. The futon in the sunroom sleeps one, so a total of four people can sleep here (5 if somebody wants to sleep on the main couch)!
This is a straight on shot of our living room, as seen from the kitchen. Regarding the use of reclaimed materials within this house, we had built our stick frame structure using discarded skids made up of 2″x4″x8′ lumber…the pallet boards on the tops of those skids became the hardwood flooring you see in the photo above.
Here’s the second loft, with a partial privacy wall, and accessible by a swing-down ladder. This was my daughter’s room while we lived in our tiny house for 3 years. As of July 2018 we have moved out and now offer the tiny house on AirBnB!
Stay tuned for more in-depth posts about the specific areas and applications of our tiny house, on things such as solar panels, battery banks, propane heaters and water heaters, using reclaimed materials, grey water systems, water storage systems, and more!