Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tumbleweed Tiny Houses

Jay Shafer's house makes mine look like a freaking MANSION. I saw another longer video tour where he mentions the price to build this house. $17,000 in materials and 500 hours to build it. His is 8' x 12'. That comes to $177/sq ft.

My house is 12'x18', over twice as big. I haven't calculated my material costs but it had to be less than $24,000 because that's all I got paid the year I built it. My cost included a septic tank and new well pump and a lot of other comforts like a full size Subzero refrigerator, 13 SEER mini split air conditioner, and a radiant heat tiled bathroom floor. My cost comes to more like $111/sq ft. I kept all the receipts and stuff. I should really do a cost roll up and figure what it would cost to build one of these without all the stuff I already had. Just guessing I'd say over $200/sq ft.

It also took me over twice as long to build my house as Jay Shafer. Twice as big, stands to reason. I started in February of 2005 and started living here in November. I only worked on it weekends, 8 months x 4 weekends/month x 16 hours/weekend, that's 500 hours right there. But it was far from done when I moved in. There was Tyvek house wrap over the window openings so it looked like a Japanese tea room when it was lit up inside at night. I put in the windows while I lived here, and did the siding, interior walls, ceilings, loft, fixtures and everything on weekends. I would move all my stuff out into the yard on Saturday morning and back in Sunday night.

But for my effort I got a king size loft that's open on two sides down to the living room. I can't see how Jay Shafer got his mattress into his loft. It was one of the few things I had to have help with. But to get to my loft I have a switchback stair arrangement with a ship's ladder that is FAR superior to what Jay has going on. His loft makes me anxious just looking at it. I made mine have an egress window by the head of the bed in case something goes wrong with the front door --like it's on fire or under water or guarded by zombies. I just like to be prepared.

And unlike Jay I vacuum my house a lot. I built a special closet for my Electrolux vacuum cleaner with its ironic 75 foot power cord. And I find it gets EXTREMELY dusty. I blame toilet paper. The amount of lint made airborne from unrolling toilet paper set loose in such a small volume of air constitutes a fairly high concentration of dust that's going to settle out on everything.

Seeing this video sort of motivates me to brag on my house more. I should make a basswood model of the framing to illustrate how to build one. Problem is, I don't have room to do a project like that in here.

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