Small Homes

Four… 64 sq ft Micro Houses Visions from Cozy!

A few days ago an email sent me on a trip down memory lane. It contained a few questions about the 64 sq ft Limbo Rock, a design concept that we won a contest for at Alex’s site Tiny House Talk about a year ago.

64 sq ft "Sit Tight" Micro House

The 64 sq ft “Sit Tight” Micro House

tiny-limbo-rock-house

The 64 sq ft “Limbo Rock” Micro House

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here was the exchange…

I have a couple questions about your cool little 8 x 8 house design please: http://tinyhousetalk.com/8×8-tiny-house-design-by-kevin/

1) How would the water from the shower drain away from the bathroom floor with this design? Would you have a sill at the bottom of the door so the water wouldn’t go into the rest of the house? Would you put a grate on the floor of the bathroom and have a drain hole underneath?

2) What waterproof material would you use to cover the walls and floor of the bathroom?

Thanks!

Steve

And from Me…

Hey Steve, Thanks for the email.

Wow, seems like so long ago!

Great questions, hope this helps…

That is actually a stock 32” x 32” shower pan in the concept rendering, but a person could get an even smaller size online like 30” x 30”.

I try and use all completely stock materials in all of my designs though.

The pan would be sufficient to catch the water or one could simply make a custom one out of cement by the way, then “YES” your sill could be any height. If it was me, I would probably put a standard shower door on instead of a curtain too. Not sure about the “grate” idea? That might be kinda rough on my little feet. However if it was elevated a bit one could capture the gray water easier.

A properly installed tile job uses cement backer board and a water proof membrane underneath and in front. Liners come in prefab, PVC and liquid roll on forms. That’s a more complicated process though. For a DIYer “like me”, I would probably use green or purple water resistant drywall and a solid surface shower enclosure kit… or even material like FRP “fiberglass reinforced panels work great, then caulk with some awesome silicone. Not near as pretty but in an 8×8 space, pretty has nothing to do with it in my humble opinion. I have tiled thousands of sq ft and a really small shower is pretty tough to do.

Obviously, in the Limbo Rock I used a composting toilet simply like a 5 gal bucket that sits in the space when it is not in use.

A few months ago I added some more 8×8’ concepts… If you’re interested their the, Sit TightLay-n-Low and Svelte that has a great bath and loft bed. There all actually pretty different concepts too “which is not all that easy to do with 64 sq ft” and have both pros and cons. AND… All with actual toilets!

Here is a link to Flickr, I now have over 130 different designs in ascending square footage so they will be the first ones. Plus 1,2,3 and 4+ bedrooms.

Don’t hesitate if you ever have questions, just send them over.

Cozy, Kevin

P.S. There are a few shots of them in Pinterest too, but not as many as in Flickr…

 

Cozy Homes with Lofts

Many shoppers of tiny or Cozy home plans want to have a sleeping loft available in their new home. Many famous tiny homes utilize the loft idea for not only sleeping, but for storage, design aesthetics and the ability to “nest” inside their own home. The idea of a loft for sleeping is cozy, comforting and a real space saver.

tiny-house-loft

While the benefits of a loft work well for tiny homes under 200 square feet or on wheels, there are some disadvantages to the spaces under the roof. One of the main ones being that they usually need to be accessed by a ladder. This is not easy for older people or the disabled. Another reason that a loft may not work in your tiny home is that they tend to trap heat in the summer and don’t release the heat quickly unless you have an operable skylight or other window. Another reason not to build a loft is that you are not able to stand up in most tiny house lofts. This may appeal to children, but not to a six-foot adult. It also makes it more difficult to make your bed or get dressed.

cozy-cube-loft

Cozy Home Plans offers a small home design with an “upmarket” loft. The Cozy Cube has a simple shed roof design that stays classic, but allows for a standing loft that also includes a balcony. The Cozy Cube is 196 square feet with a flexible design plan and includes all the “Tiny House Must Haves” including a fully functioning kitchen, storage space, a dining area, a 3/4 bath, room for another bed and a stackable washer and driver. The loft is accessed by an open staircase rather than a ladder and looks out over the living area. The loft can be a sleeping or office space and also has a large closet area under the roof.

cozy-cube-loft2

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Other Loft Plans include the Innuendo at only 192 sq ft and our latest Micro house concept, the Spyglass at 196 sq ft.

Photo by Rowdy Kittens

Cozy Kitchen Updates: Small Costs, Large Payoffs

Small adjustments to a room, especially in a tiny house or Cozy Home, can make a large impact. Without spending a lot of money, a few simple projects in a small kitchen can maximize space, enhance the visual aspects and even add value to the home. Maximizing space is essential in a small home and there are several simple tasks a homeowner can complete themselves.

cozy-kitchen

Christopher Toleman and David Silverstein, co-owners of Arocon Roofing and Construction, give homeowners tips on how to improve their kitchens if space is an issue.
“Inexpensive, open shelves can really provide you with the most storage for less,” Toleman says, “Slide-out baskets can also be installed to the underside of wall cabinets.”

Extra storage in the kitchen can also be created by adding shelves to the inside of cabinet doors and by using nails as hooks underneath the cabinets. Hanging pots, pans, lids and utensils from these hooks makes them easier to get to and frees up cabinet space. Increasing the visual appeal in a kitchen can be as simple as updating hardware and adding a coat of paint.

“Updating hardware, like drawer pulls, is a quick and easy way to spice things up,” Silverstein says. “Painting your kitchen cabinets is another great way to brighten up your kitchen.”

drawer-pulls-kitchen

If a homeowner wants to add value to their kitchen on a budget, it’s important to choose the most impactful project. Increasing the amount of natural lighting in a room, such as adding a skylight, can add value by making the space look bigger and feel more comfortable. Redoing the flooring is also a great place to start.

“The floor gets the most use, so replacing or upgrading your floors will greatly increase the value of the home,” Toleman says.

There are many types of flooring, each with different benefits.  Tile has the most visual appeal and comes in many colors and textures. Laminate is durable and low maintenance. Wood is warm underfoot and quiet. Vinyl is inexpensive and has several colors to choose from. Also, upgrading appliances can significantly increase value of the home. When choosing which appliances to improve, start with the fridge.

“Your refrigerator is the appliance that gets used the most and also has the most visual impact because it’s the largest,” says Silverstein. “Today’s refrigerators really maximize food storage and are much more energy efficient than older fridges.”

Arocon Roofing and Construction is a screened and approved member in the HomeAdvisor network. They focus on creating individualized construction solutions and specialize in roofing, siding, gutters, kitchen/bathroom remodels and more. HomeAdvisor, is a leading website and mobile app provider offering resources for home repair and improve projects. For more tips on sprucing up your tiny space visit HomeAdvisor.com.

 

Photos by Charles & Hudson and my_eye

Murphy Beds for a Small Home

When you think of Murphy beds, what sometimes comes to mind is some comical movie scene where someone gets trapped inside this bed that folds out of a wall. In reality, the Murphy or wall bed can be an ingenious space saving option for a micro, tiny, small or especially a Cozy home. The original Murphy bed has been around since the early 1900s, but has come a long way and modern wall beds offer more high tech options and beautiful details.

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Most Murphy beds fold up into the wall and disappear into a closet or cabinet, leaving additional space for a living or entertaining area. These types of beds work great in a studio home or in the Cozy Home Plans like the 288 square foot Thimble Peak or the 288 square foot Granite Mountain. These days, Murphy beds also include more than just the bed, you can have specialized lighting, storage and clothing cabinets and office components. Because of the mechanics and cabinet work included with Murphy beds, they do not have box springs and the mattress usually sits on a platform or cordage. The beds usually run between $1,500-$2,000. Some of the ultra-chic beds can reach $5,000.

Because of their multiple components, Murphy beds do need to be installed on the wall of your home. The cradle is the mechanism that makes the bed fold up easily into a cabinet and will need to be put together with the correct distance from the wall. The DIY Network has a good tutorial on how to install a Murphy bed.

Here are several simple Murphy beds at different price points that could work in a smaller home as either a main bed or even a guest bed:

wayfair-murphy-bed

This Queen size Murphy bed is simple, but still includes a small closet, a side table and some storage drawers. It is currently going for $1,727 on Wayfair.com.

beda-bed-murphy

This Hiddenbed by BREDABeds is $1,995 and converts from a desk to a bed without having to remove the desk’s contents. It also includes a side hutch.

dile-murphy-bed

With this bed you get a living room and a bedroom all in one cabinet. The Dile sofa bed by Flying Beds provides a stylish seating area and some shelving and a fold down bed inside. The price for this bed is $5,710.

Photo by Andrew Sinclair/Flickr

Bed Begs Don’t Discriminate, They Like All Humans

Depositphotos_14002879_xsInsects, especially the blood-sucking ones, don’t care if your home is 200 or 2,000 square feet. The only thing they need to live happily and heartily is a warm body. In fact, bed bugs don’t tend to stray farther than eight feet from their human host’s bed.

Bed bugs make their way into homes a number of different ways and they will stay there, unless you are aware of the situation and take action.

Stats

Bed bugs have been common throughout history, but the U.S. saw a considerable drop in populations during the mid-20th century. They are back again, an epidemic plaguing Americans. In a 2013 survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), 99.6 percent of pest management professionals interviewed have encountered bed bug infestations.

The small, flat, brownish insects don’t discriminate when choosing their homes, and they love to travel. Pest professionals say they treat bed bugs 98 percent of the time in apartments/condos, 96 percent in single-family homes, 75 percent in hotels/motels, 47 percent in college dorms, 41 percent in schools and daycare centers, 33 percent in hospitals and 21 percent in transportation.

Knock Knock

Being small and covert, bed bugs can slip undetected into the smallest space and stay there for extended periods of time. They hide in the seams of luggage and depths of overnight bags. They camp out in furniture and live in bedding. They are transported from place to place when people travel. In a small home, they can hide anywhere—in cracks and crevices, in the folds of clothes, between a mattress tag and its crease & mdash; because your blood is always close by.

Clutter, according to the professionals in the survey, accounts for two-thirds of the biggest customer-oriented challenges in treating bed bugs. Once they get in, it’s difficult to get rid of them. Keep your place neat and tidy and look for signs of these pests.

Don’t Let the Bed Bugs Bite

Fortunately, they are not known to carry disease, but they can give sleepers nice-sized welts across their body. They survive on blood.

Detection is possible, as there are tell-tale signs of infestation. Red, itchy bites, like mosquito bites, will appear on your face, neck and body and can take as much as 14 days to develop.

Other clues include: exoskeletons in the seams of your mattress; live bugs in the the folds of the sheets; cracks of the headboard, corners of the bedside table; a sweet, musty odor; small blood spots on mattress or nearby furniture (blood-filled fecal matter).

Extrication

To prevent infestation, take a good look around your home. Seal cracks and crevices critters might hide in and keep clutter to a minimum. When traveling, check hotels for signs of bed bugs before you put your luggage down in the room. Leave bags in the bathroom until the room looks clear of bugs. Even 5-star hotels can have bed bugs lurking. When home, check luggage thoroughly and launder clothes in hot temperatures.

If bed bugs get in, contact a pest control professional to treat with insecticide.

Guest Post for Cozy Home Plans

Marriane McCornish

Marriane is a mom and health and wellness writer originally from North Dakota.

Three Ways to Keep Your Cozy Home Cool

The western U.S. is currently suffering from a heat wave and even people in Cozy, small or tiny homes are feeling the heat. Some locations around the U.S. can go without any kind of air conditioning (you lucky people up in the mountains), but many homes need some sort of cooling during the summer months.

sun-hot-window

However, there are ways to avoid the expense of central air conditioning when building your Cozy home. According to the Rocky Mountain Institute, central AC units and installation can cost between $3,000 to $7,000. These units do end up lasting around 20 years, but air-conditioning is one of the heaviest burdens on the power grid and causes more greenhouse emissions. Having a smaller home to cool is the first benefit and there are several others.

1. The placement and insulation of your Cozy home can have a huge difference in how easy it is to keep cool. If you place your home with most of its windows, or the largest windows, facing West, the home will heat up faster. Design and place your home so that the windows face south if you are in the Northern Hemisphere. Good insulation will trap the cooler night air in a home and will let it out less gradually than a home with sub-par insulation. Also take into consideration the color of your roof, a lighter colored roof will reflect back heat.

2. During the summer, reduce the use of home appliances and electrical equipment. When these appliances or lights are left on, they heat up the home from the inside. Avoid using your oven and cook with an outdoor grill instead.

3. Choose some air-conditioning alternatives. These include swamp or evaporative coolers, geothermal heat pumps, solar-powered AC and ice power. Swamp coolers cool air through the evaporation of water; geothermal heat pumps use the earth’s steady temperature to cool and heat water, and each system has an indoor and outdoor unit that transfers water into the ground and pumps it back inside; solar-powered air-conditioning contains an AC unit connected to solar panels and helps reduce energy bills without the commitment of extensive rooftop solar panels; ice power works in conjunction with conventional air-conditioners by making ice during the night, when energy demand is lower. During the day, it uses this “ice battery” to deliver cooling to the AC unit, which offsets the energy usage of the system.

If you are interested in installing a small window AC unit in a tiny house, there is currently a great article by Logan Smith of Smalltopia in the Tiny House Magazine, Issue 7 about how he and his wife, Tammy Strobel of Rowdy Kittens, installed an air conditioner in their tiny house on wheels.

 

Photo by Justin/Flickr

By Christina Nellemann for [Cozy Home Plans]

 

 

Cleaning a Cozy Home: Three Tips

Anyone who lives in a Cozy or small home knows full well that cleaning a tiny space is much easier and quicker than cleaning a 3,000 square foot home. In my small home, it really only takes me about half an hour to dust, clean the bathroom and run the vacuum. I can get it done on a weekday afternoon and have the rest of the weekend to relax and have fun. However, when you have a smaller home, there are some tips that can come in handy when keeping a small space clean.

cleaning-house

1. Stay on top of things

When you have a tiny or small house, everyday clutter can pile up quickly since you don’t normally have the storage space or appliances to stash projects, dirty clothes, paperwork or dirty dishes away. In a tiny home, a little time each day should be spent making sure all the dishes are washed and put away, the beds are made, laundry is either being washed or the dirty clothes are in their respective hamper, and books and other objects are in their proper place. This allows you to do your regular cleaning much faster since you are not busy picking up after yourself.

2. Keep your cleaning products clean

According to the Environmental Working Group, many cleaning products labeled “green” are actually full of toxins including phthalates, carcinogens and chloroform. Not only do these chemicals find their way into your food,  and your lungs but they are washed down the drain into our water supply, rivers and lakes. Keep your small home even simpler by cleaning with EWG approved cleaners or just doing your cleaning with natural cleansers like vinegar, lemons or salt.

3. Reduce the size of your vacuum cleaner

In a tiny house, there is no need to drag around one of those heavy vacuum cleaners, in fact, you might not even need one. For a simple, small home with wood floors, a broom will be enough to clean the floor. However, if you want a vacuum cleaner, brands like Shark, Dirt Devil and Dyson all sell smaller vacuums that use bags or are bagless.

Photo by Boston Public Library

By Christina Nellemann for [Cozy Home Plans]

Cozy Homes as Vacation Rentals

The summer months mean family vacations for many people across the country and many people these days are looking for alternative ways to spend their holidays. To get away from the typical hotel or resort, some people camp during the summer and some people stay in unusual places like river camps, tipis, sheep wagons and even tree houses. Companies like VRBO and Airbnb are making it easier for people to experience these fun and unusual places to stay.

tiny-limbo-rock-house

If you have your own tiny, small or Cozy home, you will know about the satisfaction that comes with living and being happier in a smaller space. It would be nice to share that feeling with visitors without having to have them take over your own sacred space. Maybe you could build another tiny house that is just used as a vacation rental? Cozy Home Plans offers several very tiny home plans that are affordable to build and could end up being a good source of income as a short term or long term rental.

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The first is the Cozy Cube, which was featured on Tiny House Talk. The Cozy Cube is 196 square feet and two story with an upstairs balcony. This home will probably have to go through a county inspection before it is started, but it offers a private space for several people.

tiny-limbo-rock-house

tiny-house-limbo-rock

The brand new Limbo Rock is for someone who really wants to challenge themselves with living small and it’s the perfect guest or rental option since it’s only 64 square feet. It has a single bed, a toilet and some great skylights.

tiny-house-sprinkledrop

tiny-house-sprinkledrop2

The cute Sprinkle Drop looks just like a typical guest house and comes in at just under 200 square feet. It features a great room with a tiny kitchen and a small bathroom with a shower. The kitchen doubles as a food prep area, eating area and small office.

thimble-peak2

thimble-peak

The Thimble Peak is a Cozy Home basic that comes in at 288 square feet and offers a large covered porch and a studio room that includes a kitchen. It also has a full bathroom and an area for a washer and dryer.

Cozy Home Plans has many other tiny house ideas on its Flickr pages. Check them out for your own guest house idea.

 

By Christina Nellemann for [Cozy Home Plans]

Being Tiny and 100% Sustainable

How fantastic would it be if all micro, tiny & small homes were 100% sustainable? It makes complete sense to me. Tiny homes offer the best opportunities to experiment with all the different aspects of sustainable resources due to there size. This sure would also be one way to get the tiny home critics to have something positive to say about these sized homes, while at the same time challenging their environmental consciousness even more.

There are so many sustainable & green energy options and they include:

  • ·       Solar energy
  • ·       Bio-fuels/bio-energy
  • ·       Wind power
  • ·       Hydro power
  • ·       Hydrogen and fuel cells
  • ·       Geothermal
  • ·       Ocean energy

In addition to these renewable energy options, there are also so many different types of recycling efforts that can be utilized for maximizing of material use. Where do we start on this 100% sustainable mission? By incorporating ideas like:

  • ·       Building a portion or all of the tiny home from recycled material
  • ·       Using appliances and other items that utilize renewable energy: These include items such as solar cookers, Sun Frost refrigerators, composting toilets, rainwater catchment systems, hand operated appliances, and so much more.
  • ·       Utilizing solar panels to generate electricity
  • ·       Using solar heaters to heat water
  • ·       Using non-electric washing machines
  • ·       Planting trees and plants for food, air purification, wind and temperature control
  • ·       Using solar lanterns and candles as lighting options

Creating tiny homes that are 100% sustainable is possible. It requires effort and a lot of creative thinking. We are halfway there by having a Cozy Home!

Cozy,  Kevin B Harrington

Foundations for a Cozy Home

Many of the popular tiny homes are built on a portable foundation like a trailer that can be towed around the country, or even on skids that can be moved around a piece of property. However, if you are thinking of putting down roots in a small or Cozy Home, you will most likely want a strong and solid foundation. There’s a saying that a home is only as good as its hat (roof) and boots. Let’s go over those boots.

There are several different types of foundations for a small home. A slab foundation, a concrete perimeter foundation, a basement foundation and a crawl space foundation. In some hotter parts of the world, some homes are built on a pier and beam foundation. Each of these foundations are built in different sections of the country and each have their own pros and cons.

slab-foundation

Slab Foundation

Most homes in the South are built on a slab. A slab foundation is usually concrete poured directly onto the ground after the soil is removed and the grading is complete. It’s a quick, efficient and more inexpensive way to build a foundation and the pro is that concrete rather than wood is used to support the weight of the home.

basement-foundation

Basement Foundation

Most homes in the north part of the country have a basement foundation. These types of foundations are constructed at least 8-10 feet into the ground with a concrete slab and concrete walls around the slab. The house rests on the concrete walls and the basement can act as an extension of the home. Some basements can be finished to include an extra room or storage and laundry space and some are used as a refuge during tornadoes or other fierce storms. A basement foundation does add additional cost to a small home.

concrete-perimeter

Concrete Perimeter Foundation

For homeowners who want the stability of concrete, but don’t want to have a basement, a concrete perimeter foundation is a cheaper solution. A concrete perimeter foundation is formed by excavating around the outside dimensions of where the house will sit and pouring a layer of concrete known as footer into the ground. After the footer is poured, concrete blocks are cemented together on top of the footer to provide concrete block walls for the house to rest on.

foundation-500x332

Crawl Space Foundation

Crawl space foundations are usually built where the frost line is not as deep. This type of foundation is built above the ground allowing just enough room to crawl underneath to access wiring and plumbing. There are stem walls on the perimeters, pierced in-between and then a girder system and floor joists on top of that.

austin_repair_foundation

Pier and Beam Foundation

A pier and beam foundation consists of wood beams or posts that sit on top of concrete piers, with the house resting on the wood beams. The advantage of this type of foundation is that it is easier to construct and less expensive than a concrete perimeter foundation. A pier and beam foundation may be implemented in areas where there is a low risk of earthquakes or hurricane-velocity winds because the foundation is not embedded as deep into the ground as a concrete foundation.

Photos by Chris McSorley, Ohio Passive Solar Home, Home Style Choices, Quality Foundation Repair

By Christina Nellemann for [Cozy Home Plans]

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