Before my husband and I were married we often talked about owning and working land as a method of creating additional income. As time passed I began to really love the romance behind the idea of living on a farm. You know the picture; you wake up to the sound of sprinklers and bright green alfalfa. Maybe there is a horse in the neighbors’ pasture (not my own, of course that would be too much work) and someone down the lane owns a rooster that adds music to the beautiful summer morning.
So, shortly after we were married we began looking for property and came up disappointed over and over again. This was during a time when property values were sky high and all the farmers in town were hoping to sell their ground to developers for millions of dollars. Our dreams of buying a farm fizzled and we became very happily occupied with living in our increasingly populated neighborhood and having children.
Somehow or another during this blissful time of me quitting my business job and starting a family I began to slowly evolve into a bit of an urban farm girl. I began raising chickens and I spent hours and hours of my life every fall preserving my garden as well as food I had purchased from local farmers markets. We even acquired a small herd of Angus cows somewhere along the way. It wasn’t long before my dream of owning a farm was alive and well once more.
As the story goes, the economy died and a great deal of raw ground in the area was in foreclosure so out we went again, scouring the county for some property. We found a great little piece of somewhat secluded land exactly 5 miles from my house. We worked long and hard with the bank that owned the property and finally we went to sleep as farmers. Unfortunately there wasn’t anything but weeds on the property so we had A LOT of work to do!
A bit more time passed and our cow herd grew, and then my husband decided I needed a horse for my birthday so we were anxious to get some of the land improvements going to properly accommodate our animals. Slowly (we are still a LONG way from done) things have improved and for the first time in January 2015, we had all of our cows and horses living on our farm.
We had decided a few years ago that it wouldn’t be fair to move our four children away from their neighborhood, church, and school so we ruled out living on the farm permanently. But it didn’t take long for me to learn that there was nowhere else I would rather be. I drive out to do chores at least once a day no matter rain, snow or wind and often times the little kids end up sitting in the truck to stay out of the cold. I soon realized how much we needed a bathroom (especially for the potty training 2 year old) and a kitchen. We brain stormed multiple options and finally settled on building a tiny house where we could live for short periods of time or simply stay for the day.
Land before construction
After conducting hours and hours of research on tiny house living I realized there were a few things I simply couldn’t live with. First, I didn’t want to live on a trailer. Not only did I imagine it would be terribly cold in the winter and hot in the summer but I worried I might go crazy living in a narrow space with low ceilings (I’m almost 6 feet tall and my husband is 6’2”) so, since I didn’t need to move my house I scratched the Tiny House Trailer idea. Building on solid ground made everything feel less tiny and more like building a regular house.
Preparing the Foundation
I was amazed at how many options I suddenly had when I made my house square (or, almost square). I was able to fit a full size kitchen with full size appliances so I can preserve my food AND have a place to feed the kid’s dinner when the farm work is running late. I have a small, currently unidentified area near the loft latter to either build a cabinet for pantry space or to build cubbies and hooks for a mud room, I’m open for suggestions. Overall I’m very excited about the kitchen. It has two great windows to provide natural light and a great view of the property.
Framing moves quickly on 500 square feet
With 4 kids and plenty of messy work to do I anticipated laundry to be an issue so we have plans for a full size washer and dryer in the closet that will also store clothing and linens. The bathroom has a full size bathtub, a toilet (connected to a septic tank so composting is not necessary), and a bit of counter space. It may be a bit of a challenge to have all 6 of us sharing one shower but with a tight schedule I think we can make it work. The kids will sleep in the loft above the kitchen and bathroom which has just enough room for 4 twin mattresses and a bit of storage for their stuff. The living area will be multifunctional and serve as the master bedroom, the dining room, and the living room. A small wood burning stove will help keep the tiny house nice and warm.
Framing is complete
Because of our obvious lack of space we don’t have room for a regular water heater or a furnace so we are using small electric units that will function a bit more like a Tiny House on a Trailer would. Most of our furniture will be built in and serve multiple purposes. We also have plans to build a root cellar nearby to store food, since Tiny kitchens aren’t real great for food storage.
Ready to move on!
Deciding on a floor plan can be difficult and very stressful. I looked at so many options! (You can follow my Tiny House pins HERE or my Personal Bunk House pins HERE.) I don’t very often hear of families with 6 people going Tiny but we are going to give it a shot. I’m sure the kids will be looking to the great outdoors to find their personal space but while we are all inside we will have to learn to cooperate. Now that the Tiny House Floor Plan is complete and the contractors are busy building we are ready to move on to the exterior design stage so keep in touch to see how the outside of my Tiny house will turn out.