Sunday, May 1, 2016

We Answer BuzzFeed's 41 Questions: "Dear 'Tiny House Hunters' people..."

We Answer Every Single One of BuzzFeed's "41 questions for 'Tiny House Hunters' People..." 

It's a cold, rainy Sunday, so why not?

1. What actually qualifies, in your mind, as a “tiny house”?

There are three criteria: 1) a place you can own outright without going into debt or converting your parents' basement into a slightly improved version of your high school hangout  2) under 250 sq ft per person 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

As Seen on HGTV...and now Netflix

Check out video of our tiny off-grid cabin as seen on HGTV's Tiny House Hunters on the pilot (Episode 1, Season 1)

If you haven't experienced the pure drama and anticipation of us newlyweds squaring off over a composting vs. flushing toilet, now is your chance! 

What we affectionately call "our episode" of HGTV's "Tiny House Hunters" is now available here on Netflix or stream the full episode on HGTV's website, here

We are excited that this pilot episode (and all of Season 1) is now viewable by more folks on more platforms.  

Essential Updates / FAQ since the show first aired in December 2014: 
  • The Marriage: Our marriage is

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tiny House Spiral Staircase: Done!

Alternating tread spiral staircase after 1 night + 1 day build time

"Spiral staircase" was a dream feature for our tiny cabin. But is it possible? A standard spiral staircase has a diameter of about six feet making it a bad fit for this tiny space. Lots of tiny homes use ladders, ship's ladders and homemade stair/storage combos to access the loft without taking up valuable floor space. 

Solution: the Arke Karina staircase kit with alternating trades (also called "paddle stairs"). Alternating tread stairs allow

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ceiling Planks

"Faux Reclaimed" planks cover the OSB sheathing on the Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) roof
Sourced from the Shohola Sawmill on Hwy 6 between Hawley & Milford PA. 

Reclaimed wood is overrated. It fetches a hefty price premium in the northeast due to the mill work required to standardize it. It is also in high demand with designers. Environmental benefits of reusing old wood? Not really there. Buying new wood from sustainably managed local forests is actually the way to go. A ceiling does not need to stand up to foot traffic so a soft wood such as pine will do the trick. 

How we achieved the "reclaimed" random look from new pine planks 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Major Kitchen Progress

The most important room in the house has come a long way in the past couple months
We hustled to get the most important room in the house in order, just in time to host a BBQ and camping weekend for 40 guests. Our kitchen-building learnings include...

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Creatures of Equinunk

Ranging from two to eight legs, these are just some of the creature sightings we are treated to. 

Stay tuned...the game camera is in position to capture more of what goes on after hours. 

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Spring is for finishing the house!

May 2015 - Kitchen Progress

Huge thanks to Alex of Tiny House Talk for the wonderful writeup on our home and this blog. We're getting a lot of welcome encouragement from the tiny house community. Keep reaching out, commenting and following our progress. We love to answer questions and see inspiration from others who are building small.  

Off to a strong start this spring! Check out the latest finishes here. The kitchen and bath are ready to plumb and the wood stove is now installed and fully broken in.  

Our next step is to get 360 square feet of rough sawn boards sanded, stained and onto the ceiling. This will require us to rent scaffolding and a brad nailer, so we're procrastinating a bit in order to enjoy some beautiful spring days. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Snowed in

When the northeast has one of the coldest, snowiest winters on record, it's best to take a break from the interior finishing schedule to enjoy the peaceful quiet created by over three feet of snow cover. Work on the house slowed to a crawl between December and March but there is some progress to report. Drywall is up, the bathroom is ready for plumbing and lighting fixtures, and the kitchen is beginning to take shape. 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Historical Aerial Photos

This weekend we tracked down some aerial photos from USGS Earth Explorer. Here's a snapshot of how the land looked 50 years ago, 30 years ago and today. The property edges are clearly visible because of the mature tree plantings. Dense evergreen growth marks the creek.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

About Us

Adam and Karen's cabin in Equinunk, PA. 280 square feet, off-grid and solar-powered. The tiny home uses less than 1,800 kilowatt hours of electricity per year (over 80% less than the 12,000 kWh used by the average home in the northeastern U.S.)

Karen is an elementary school art teacher. Adam co-founded a sustainability consultancy that helps companies run more responsibly through green business strategies. We do not consider ourselves to be part of the tiny house "movement" where the goal is often small for the sake of small.

For us, building tiny is an adventure in long-term sustainability that includes comfort, affordability and style. Our design prioritizes off-grid living with a strong connection to the land.

In 2014 we decided to design and build our 280 square foot home on 12 acres of enchanting undeveloped property in scenic Wayne County, PA. Located between the Catskill and Pocono Mountain ranges, our home is perched on a mountainside a few miles from the Delaware River. The area is surrounded by farms, summer camps and recreation.

We are building much of this house with our own hands and with no prior construction experience. Every step of the way we are learning new skills. Online "DIY" resources have been key. This blog documents the four main steps of our ongoing building adventure.  

From the conceptual design through finishes (is it ever really finished?) we hope you enjoy our pictures and detailed descriptions of this journey.