I’ve been obsessed with alternative building for years. Cob, straw bale, and rammed earth set my heart racing. I’ve read books and watched documentaries on tiny homes and the idea of living in a smaller foot print is so appealing to me.
I’m happy to say we are finally in our home. The home that we have been working towards for the last two years. We’ve conquered road block after road block and have come out the other side triumphant. It is not the alternative home I have always dreamed of, it is certainly bigger than a “tiny” home. But it is ours….our small house. At just over 700 sq ft it has everything our family of four needs and nothing more.
The home was build in 1946 and has had decades of renters come through its doors. Honestly, it would have been easier for us to tear it down than to renovate it. Definitely a sweat equity project for us, but our hard work has now paid off.
We really wanted to make our home as efficient as we could within our budget and restraints of the house. We stripped the walls and added insulation and we also wrapped the entire home with two inches of styrofoam before we sided the exterior. We added an energy efficient ductless heating and cooling system, and added energy efficient appliances and a heat pump hot water tank. We would like to add solar panels eventually…once it becomes cost efficient in our part of the world.
With such a small space I designed the house to have the best flow possible. We analyzed every space and tried to create as much dual function as we could. Since we could only fit one small couch in the living room we made built in benches that doubled as a media counsel and shoe storage so we could maximize our storage and seating options.
We added built in storage whenever we could on the interior walls where electrical and plumbing were not in our way. We think it turned out beautifully and gives us spots to store and display our precious items (like lego and VW cars!)
All the walls in the house are made out of finish grade poplar plywood which makes it very easy to hang things off of them. We have created a music wall for easy access to instruments and just having them in reach of the kids has inspired impromptu music throughout our days.
The look I was going for with our house was earthy-arty and I feel we have pulled it off nicely. The plywood walls, painted tongue and groove ceiling, and original fir floors give it a beautiful effect that feels warm, bright, and intriguing.
So far we are feeling that the space is perfect for us. 700 sq ft sounds small but it is so well laid out that it feels ample. One thing I have noticed is that I have zero tolerance for clutter, as soon as there is a mess the house feels chaotic to me. Luckily with such a small house it is a cinch to clean!
We’ve come a long way since we started the reno as you can see from our before pictures.
There you have it, our new-to-us home that we will live in when we are not traveling. What do you think?