Jay's EPU is the comparison point.
DEE WILLIAMS in Olympia, Washington built her 84 sq ft TW for $10,000 from recycled materials ~ 2x4s, plywood, tarpaper, cedar siding ~ using a plan from Jay Shafer. What does she like about living in her smaller-than-a-parking-spot TW? According to the interview: A simpler life, more time, more money, no mortgage, small utility bills ($6 in winter, less in summer), being able to offer money to her family and friends when they need it... Getting to watch the stars or the rain every night from her loft window...
January 2011 update: 6 years in a tiny house
PBS on Dee's house with review of other tiny house styles (at 5:11 point in the film)
Notice Dee's variations on Jay's EPU design ~ things to consider in finding out what you would be comfortable with in your TW... (use the pause button to stop and look closely at the Komo4 u-tube):
- Skylight set into right side of roof (the raised rectangle) ~ actually there's two of them: one in loft (at far end of left side of roof), one in entrance room (at near end on right side of roof)
- Small rectangular window above the porch (Jay has customized gothic oval)
- Bumped-out loft space above the porch (Jay has a porch roof; his loft starts flush with house wall)
- 2 large windows either side of front door; skylight window in entrance room without wall windows on the long sides; small window on R & L walls at the far kitchen end, the one on the left side underneath the loft skylight (you need to see Mark Hoffman's Nau u-tube to catch all these)
- The porch is not fenced in ~ it's demarcated by the stained-glass window on the upper left side and 2 pieces at floor level on R & L edges
BRAVO, DEE! Very inspiring for other women, like me, who are hoping to build their own TW!
- Reed screens for privacy across the lower half of the porch windows, also in kitchen (might consider clorestory windows instead ~ privacy, ventilation, no need for curtains)
- Privacy in the entrance room from lack of side windows (large skylight window and 2 porch windows give plenty of light)
- Wall space in entrance room ~ for pictures on the windowless side walls
- A reading couch along one long wall with a window (this is part of the kitchen, I think ~ great idea!) ...with the kitchen countertops and window on the facing side, presumably
- A fold-out table top
- Narrow shelves on one side inside the hanging closet (good idea)
- Skylight in loft ceiling at pillow end of bed, giving view of stars, rain (with small window at head of bed)
- The loft is open on one side (where the ladder is placed), which gives an 11.5' cathedral ceiling in the entrance room (see photo of Dee in YES article and Nau's u-tube)
- Kitchen: 2 windows (short wall, long wall) with spacious countertop, no upper cupboards or shelves, simple bowl-shaped porcelain sink, small propane gas ring (with a window in the facing wall above the built-in couch, yes?), no fridge (Dee uses an ice box kept under the trailer for milk - shops for fresh food daily? eats out? doesn't eat much?)
- Bathroom: towel rail on wall above toilet (nice wood box container for composting bucket with lid), mirror nearby (on the couch wall?) ~ is there a door or curtain for the bathroom? It doesn't look like it converts to a shower. (Later: That's right, it doesn't. Dee says in one interview that she has to ask for water, take care of her compost and "find a place to shower.")
May 2010 update: Dee has started a company with Katy Anderson, www.PortlandAlternativeDwellings.com, helping people plan/build tiny houses on wheels!
Public Radio interview with Dee
PBS interview at Dee's house (aired July 2010) ~ yey Dee!
Dee to a reader: Years ago, I bought a set of plans from Tumbleweedhouses.com. Then I
re-tooled them to fit my needs. I made the house myself (with the help
of friends) over a three month period. I used a bunch of 'green'
building materials including cotton batt insulation, Marmoleum,
salvaged and second-use materials, and low-e argon insulated windows.
The house includes a kitchen, 1/2bath, livingroom and sleeping loft. It
cost me about $10,000 to build (the solar electric system represents a
good chunk of that)....
Note: some other inspiring u-tubes from nau, including "Sliding Liberia" ~ a boy surfing in his war-torn country