Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home offered by tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?

Expand Messages
  • Jennifer Wynn
    Hello fellow small house lovers, It has been 7 years since I have been truly passionate about ANYTHING. I am now 37 year old. A female professional living in
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 5, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      Hello fellow small house lovers,

      It has been 7 years since I have been truly passionate about ANYTHING.  I am now 37 year old.  A female professional living in Akron near Peninsula Ohio.  I REALLY want to live in Peninsula but it's expensive because the Cuyahoga National Park is here and the only way I will EVER be able to afford land would be to build a very affordable house on it.  2 days ago I discovered tumbleweedhouses and I REALLY would love a tour of one of these cute little places but there are no interior photos on line of the Z glass which is the design that I adore. 

      I have never in my life seen one of these little houses in person.  People don't seem to build these in Ohio.  I would love to see interior photos of this small house.  The site also shows a smaller version of the Z glass known as the Popomo but I think that one might be even too small for me. 

      If anyone has advice or wants to respond please do.   I just started on my small house adventure and this is the very first email I have written. 

      Jen

    • rob crissinger
      Hi Jen,I don t think any have been built.That is computer generated image.Look for past links to shipping container conversions on the smallhouse pages or
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 5, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        Hi Jen,
        I don't think any have been built.That is computer generated image.
        Look for past links to shipping container conversions on the smallhouse pages or google..
        Tons of info on 1 and 2 unit container homes that are cheap and easy to convert.
        If you are single the little units are way big enough 400 sq ft is a mansion

        --- On Fri, 11/5/10, Jennifer Wynn <jenniferdrake73@...> wrote:

        From: Jennifer Wynn <jenniferdrake73@...>
        Subject: [shs-talk] Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home offered by tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?
        To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
        Date: Friday, November 5, 2010, 4:25 PM

         

        Hello fellow small house lovers,

        It has been 7 years since I have been truly passionate about ANYTHING.  I am now 37 year old.  A female professional living in Akron near Peninsula Ohio.  I REALLY want to live in Peninsula but it's expensive because the Cuyahoga National Park is here and the only way I will EVER be able to afford land would be to build a very affordable house on it.  2 days ago I discovered tumbleweedhouses and I REALLY would love a tour of one of these cute little places but there are no interior photos on line of the Z glass which is the design that I adore. 

        I have never in my life seen one of these little houses in person.  People don't seem to build these in Ohio.  I would love to see interior photos of this small house.  The site also shows a smaller version of the Z glass known as the Popomo but I think that one might be even too small for me. 

        If anyone has advice or wants to respond please do.   I just started on my small house adventure and this is the very first email I have written. 

        Jen

      • David Neeley
        Greetings, Jenn! In the quest for an affordable home, more people like you are discovering the small house movement. As your interest and knowledge grows, you
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 5, 2010
        • 0 Attachment
          Greetings, Jenn!

          In the quest for an affordable home, more people like you are discovering the small house movement. As your interest and knowledge grows, you may find yourself gravitating toward some very tiny options--often smaller than you now believe feasible. 

          Part of this transition is to embrace the idea of minimalism in your life--reducing the level of "stuff" to a very workable minimum. If you are like many of us, this transition will seem very liberating as you realize you are no longer weighed down with your possessions. Also, through this process, you will find yourself requiring less space simply to warehouse unnecessary possessions. 

          The Tumbleweed people do a very good job of producing well detailed plans, although most are somewhat expensive. However, please also check out the various others available; you may find something a bit closer if you want a pre-built home and are almost sure to find some that are less costly as well.

          If you are in good health and have no mobility issues, I would also look carefully at some of the plans that incorporate a sleeping loft. That is a space multiplier, and can give you much more useful space in a tiny home. I found the 8x7 bedroom in the Z glass plan fairly useless, personally. For a home for a single person or even perhaps a couple, you could easily enough build in a bed with storage beneath it as one possibility if you should persist with a single level without loft.

          There are many blogs these days which focus on small homes. 

          Should  you buy land which is accessible for building, there are many alternatives for building affordably on site. I would not opt for a shipping container conversion in your area, most likely, because I like a higher level of insulation than is usually practical with them. I would also like a better passive solar setup than most of those afford. However, there are some situations in which they can be highly practical--such as homes designed for occasional occupancy that need to be highly secure when unoccupied. 

          It is quite possible, too, to build a home for your area that would be nearly or entirely heated passively. A designer in upper Michigan has an intriguing technique of using racks of 2-liter PET soda bottles filled with water in an attic space, warmed with a South-facing sun space that also gives very pleasant space to enjoy the brighter winter days. One gentleman built one of these in a climate similar to yours for less than $15,000...and he had few of the limitations of the Tumbleweed designs. The designer is Laren Corie, and he calls his passive heating system a "thermal attic"-- http://www.thermalattic.com

          Since you are contemplating a home in the 400 square foot area, you should certainly consider your alternatives before committing to a plan. For example, I'm not necessarily a fan of such a limited kitchen. Some of the larger refrigerators are as energy-efficient as most of the very tiny ones, for example; affordable ones in the 16 to 17 foot area are now available at retail that would cost you less than $20 per year in electricity--about 30 percent more efficient than the Energy Star minimums. At the same time, I would be hesitant to have one quite as closed in as the Zglass plan shows. Personally, I'd just as soon have it share space with the living area. 

          Any way you go, good luck in your ambition!

          David

          Good luck!

          David

          On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 01:25, Jennifer Wynn <jenniferdrake73@...> wrote:
           

          Hello fellow small house lovers,

          It has been 7 years since I have been truly passionate about ANYTHING.  I am now 37 year old.  A female professional living in Akron near Peninsula Ohio.  I REALLY want to live in Peninsula but it's expensive because the Cuyahoga National Park is here and the only way I will EVER be able to afford land would be to build a very affordable house on it.  2 days ago I discovered tumbleweedhouses and I REALLY would love a tour of one of these cute little places but there are no interior photos on line of the Z glass which is the design that I adore. 

          I have never in my life seen one of these little houses in person.  People don't seem to build these in Ohio.  I would love to see interior photos of this small house.  The site also shows a smaller version of the Z glass known as the Popomo but I think that one might be even too small for me. 

          If anyone has advice or wants to respond please do.   I just started on my small house adventure and this is the very first email I have written. 

          Jen


        • Jennifer Wynn
          Hi David, Hope you are having a fantastic weekend. Thank you so much for the thoughtful email! Now I have so much to consider that my head is spinning. I
          Message 4 of 15 , Nov 6, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            Hi David,

            Hope you are having a fantastic weekend.  Thank you so much for the thoughtful email!  Now I have so much to consider that my head is spinning.  I can't afford land where I want to live right now and I have no idea if the trailer park, Indian Springs, near the national park in Peninsula Ohio where I live is going to let me move one of these hip, modern trailers onto their property.  I haven't asked....yet.   The trouble is, none of the other trailers that are parked there look anything like these great new energy efficient/ modern ones.  I am afraid everyone is going to feel like a "space ship" has landed if I park it there. lol.

            Eventually when I buy land here I want to live off the grid.  Trouble is,  I have no idea what I would need to take into consideration to live in a mini house without using some form of municipal infrastructure.

            I guess, ideally, I could buy a mini house that I could move into a trailer park but then move it out onto my own land eventually. 

            Any thoughts? 

            Jen


            From: David Neeley <dbneeley@...>
            To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sat, November 6, 2010 2:51:42 AM
            Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home offered by tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?

             

            Greetings, Jenn!


            In the quest for an affordable home, more people like you are discovering the small house movement. As your interest and knowledge grows, you may find yourself gravitating toward some very tiny options--often smaller than you now believe feasible. 

            Part of this transition is to embrace the idea of minimalism in your life--reducing the level of "stuff" to a very workable minimum. If you are like many of us, this transition will seem very liberating as you realize you are no longer weighed down with your possessions. Also, through this process, you will find yourself requiring less space simply to warehouse unnecessary possessions. 

            The Tumbleweed people do a very good job of producing well detailed plans, although most are somewhat expensive. However, please also check out the various others available; you may find something a bit closer if you want a pre-built home and are almost sure to find some that are less costly as well.

            If you are in good health and have no mobility issues, I would also look carefully at some of the plans that incorporate a sleeping loft. That is a space multiplier, and can give you much more useful space in a tiny home. I found the 8x7 bedroom in the Z glass plan fairly useless, personally. For a home for a single person or even perhaps a couple, you could easily enough build in a bed with storage beneath it as one possibility if you should persist with a single level without loft.

            There are many blogs these days which focus on small homes. 

            Should  you buy land which is accessible for building, there are many alternatives for building affordably on site. I would not opt for a shipping container conversion in your area, most likely, because I like a higher level of insulation than is usually practical with them. I would also like a better passive solar setup than most of those afford. However, there are some situations in which they can be highly practical--such as homes designed for occasional occupancy that need to be highly secure when unoccupied. 

            It is quite possible, too, to build a home for your area that would be nearly or entirely heated passively. A designer in upper Michigan has an intriguing technique of using racks of 2-liter PET soda bottles filled with water in an attic space, warmed with a South-facing sun space that also gives very pleasant space to enjoy the brighter winter days. One gentleman built one of these in a climate similar to yours for less than $15,000...and he had few of the limitations of the Tumbleweed designs. The designer is Laren Corie, and he calls his passive heating system a "thermal attic"-- http://www.thermalattic.com

            Since you are contemplating a home in the 400 square foot area, you should certainly consider your alternatives before committing to a plan. For example, I'm not necessarily a fan of such a limited kitchen. Some of the larger refrigerators are as energy-efficient as most of the very tiny ones, for example; affordable ones in the 16 to 17 foot area are now available at retail that would cost you less than $20 per year in electricity--about 30 percent more efficient than the Energy Star minimums. At the same time, I would be hesitant to have one quite as closed in as the Zglass plan shows. Personally, I'd just as soon have it share space with the living area. 

            Any way you go, good luck in your ambition!

            David

            Good luck!

            David

            On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 01:25, Jennifer Wynn <jenniferdrake73@...> wrote:
             

            Hello fellow small house lovers,

            It has been 7 years since I have been truly passionate about ANYTHING.  I am now 37 year old.  A female professional living in Akron near Peninsula Ohio.  I REALLY want to live in Peninsula but it's expensive because the Cuyahoga National Park is here and the only way I will EVER be able to afford land would be to build a very affordable house on it.  2 days ago I discovered tumbleweedhouses and I REALLY would love a tour of one of these cute little places but there are no interior photos on line of the Z glass which is the design that I adore. 

            I have never in my life seen one of these little houses in person.  People don't seem to build these in Ohio.  I would love to see interior photos of this small house.  The site also shows a smaller version of the Z glass known as the Popomo but I think that one might be even too small for me. 

            If anyone has advice or wants to respond please do.   I just started on my small house adventure and this is the very first email I have written. 

            Jen



          • teleiap
            Hi Jen, There are a lot of options for going off-grid. If you opt for a composting toilet, you ll be left with grey water, which can simply be piped out a
            Message 5 of 15 , Nov 6, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              Hi Jen,

              There are a lot of options for going off-grid. If you opt for a composting toilet, you'll be left with grey water, which can simply be piped out a ways from the house and allowed to filter through the ground, letting the ground clean it naturally. You just want to make sure it's at least 300 feet from your well.

              Another option is a septic system, but it'll require chemicals, and contract maintenance every couple of years.

              Teleia


              --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Jennifer Wynn <jenniferdrake73@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi David,
              >
              > Hope you are having a fantastic weekend. Thank you so much for the thoughtful
              > email! Now I have so much to consider that my head is spinning. I can't afford
              > land where I want to live right now and I have no idea if the trailer park,
              > Indian Springs, near the national park in Peninsula Ohio where I live is going
              > to let me move one of these hip, modern trailers onto their property. I haven't
              > asked....yet. The trouble is, none of the other trailers that are parked there
              > look anything like these great new energy efficient/ modern ones. I am afraid
              > everyone is going to feel like a "space ship" has landed if I park it there.
              > lol.
              >
              > Eventually when I buy land here I want to live off the grid. Trouble is, I
              > have no idea what I would need to take into consideration to live in a mini
              > house without using some form of municipal infrastructure.
              >
              > I guess, ideally, I could buy a mini house that I could move into a trailer park
              > but then move it out onto my own land eventually.
              >
              >
              > Any thoughts?
              >
              > Jen
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > ________________________________
              > From: David Neeley <dbneeley@...>
              > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
              > Sent: Sat, November 6, 2010 2:51:42 AM
              > Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home offered by
              > tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?
              >
              >
              > Greetings, Jenn!
              >
              > In the quest for an affordable home, more people like you are discovering the
              > small house movement. As your interest and knowledge grows, you may find
              > yourself gravitating toward some very tiny options--often smaller than you now
              > believe feasible.
              >
              > Part of this transition is to embrace the idea of minimalism in your
              > life--reducing the level of "stuff" to a very workable minimum. If you are like
              > many of us, this transition will seem very liberating as you realize you are no
              > longer weighed down with your possessions. Also, through this process, you will
              > find yourself requiring less space simply to warehouse unnecessary possessions.
              >
              > The Tumbleweed people do a very good job of producing well detailed plans,
              > although most are somewhat expensive. However, please also check out the various
              > others available; you may find something a bit closer if you want a pre-built
              > home and are almost sure to find some that are less costly as well.
              >
              > If you are in good health and have no mobility issues, I would also look
              > carefully at some of the plans that incorporate a sleeping loft. That is a
              > space multiplier, and can give you much more useful space in a tiny home. I
              > found the 8x7 bedroom in the Z glass plan fairly useless, personally. For a home
              > for a single person or even perhaps a couple, you could easily enough build in a
              > bed with storage beneath it as one possibility if you should persist with a
              > single level without loft.
              >
              > There are many blogs these days which focus on small homes.
              >
              > Should you buy land which is accessible for building, there are many
              > alternatives for building affordably on site. I would not opt for a shipping
              > container conversion in your area, most likely, because I like a higher level of
              > insulation than is usually practical with them. I would also like a better
              > passive solar setup than most of those afford. However, there are some
              > situations in which they can be highly practical--such as homes designed for
              > occasional occupancy that need to be highly secure when unoccupied.
              >
              > It is quite possible, too, to build a home for your area that would be nearly or
              > entirely heated passively. A designer in upper Michigan has an intriguing
              > technique of using racks of 2-liter PET soda bottles filled with water in an
              > attic space, warmed with a South-facing sun space that also gives very pleasant
              > space to enjoy the brighter winter days. One gentleman built one of these in a
              > climate similar to yours for less than $15,000...and he had few of the
              > limitations of the Tumbleweed designs. The designer is Laren Corie, and he calls
              > his passive heating system a "thermal attic"-- http://www.thermalattic.com
              >
              > Since you are contemplating a home in the 400 square foot area, you should
              > certainly consider your alternatives before committing to a plan. For example,
              > I'm not necessarily a fan of such a limited kitchen. Some of the larger
              > refrigerators are as energy-efficient as most of the very tiny ones, for
              > example; affordable ones in the 16 to 17 foot area are now available at retail
              > that would cost you less than $20 per year in electricity--about 30 percent more
              > efficient than the Energy Star minimums. At the same time, I would be hesitant
              > to have one quite as closed in as the Zglass plan shows. Personally, I'd just as
              > soon have it share space with the living area.
              >
              > Any way you go, good luck in your ambition!
              >
              > David
              >
              > Good luck!
              >
              > David
              >
              >
              > On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 01:25, Jennifer Wynn <jenniferdrake73@...> wrote:
              >
              >
              > >Hello fellow small house lovers,
              > >
              > >It has been 7 years since I have been truly passionate about ANYTHING. I am now
              > >37 year old. A female professional living in Akron near Peninsula Ohio. I
              > >REALLY want to live in Peninsula but it's expensive because the Cuyahoga
              > >National Park is here and the only way I will EVER be able to afford land would
              > >be to build a very affordable house on it. 2 days ago I discovered
              > >tumbleweedhouses and I REALLY would love a tour of one of these cute little
              > >places but there are no interior photos on line of the Z glass which is the
              > >design that I adore.
              > >
              > >
              > >I have never in my life seen one of these little houses in person. People don't
              > >seem to build these in Ohio. I would love to see interior photos of this small
              > >house. The site also shows a smaller version of the Z glass known as the Popomo
              > >but I think that one might be even too small for me.
              > >
              > >
              > >If anyone has advice or wants to respond please do. I just started on my small
              > >house adventure and this is the very first email I have written.
              > >
              > >
              > >Jen
              > >
              > >
              >
            • Jennifer Wynn
              Hi Teleia, Could you explain to me in the simplist terms posible how this composting toilet works? I am very interested. Also, How is water supplied for
              Message 6 of 15 , Nov 6, 2010
              • 0 Attachment
                Hi Teleia, 

                Could you explain to me in the simplist terms posible how this composting toilet works?  I am very interested. 

                Also,

                How is water supplied for showering, running a dishwasher.  What are the options?  Is there a way to ensure that you will have good water pressure.

                As you can see I am starting from scratch here and know very little about my options.  I just started looking into buying a small house about a week ago. 

                Thank you,
                Jen



                From: teleiap <teleiap@...>
                To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sat, November 6, 2010 9:09:57 PM
                Subject: [shs-talk] Re: Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home offered by tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?

                 

                Hi Jen,

                There are a lot of options for going off-grid. If you opt for a composting toilet, you'll be left with grey water, which can simply be piped out a ways from the house and allowed to filter through the ground, letting the ground clean it naturally. You just want to make sure it's at least 300 feet from your well.

                Another option is a septic system, but it'll require chemicals, and contract maintenance every couple of years.

                Teleia

                --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Jennifer Wynn <jenniferdrake73@...> wrote:
                >
                > Hi David,
                >
                > Hope you are having a fantastic weekend. Thank you so much for the thoughtful
                > email! Now I have so much to consider that my head is spinning. I can't afford
                > land where I want to live right now and I have no idea if the trailer park,
                > Indian Springs, near the national park in Peninsula Ohio where I live is going
                > to let me move one of these hip, modern trailers onto their property. I haven't
                > asked....yet. The trouble is, none of the other trailers that are parked there
                > look anything like these great new energy efficient/ modern ones. I am afraid
                > everyone is going to feel like a "space ship" has landed if I park it there.
                > lol.
                >
                > Eventually when I buy land here I want to live off the grid. Trouble is, I
                > have no idea what I would need to take into consideration to live in a mini
                > house without using some form of municipal infrastructure.
                >
                > I guess, ideally, I could buy a mini house that I could move into a trailer park
                > but then move it out onto my own land eventually.
                >
                >
                > Any thoughts?
                >
                > Jen
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ________________________________
                > From: David Neeley <dbneeley@...>
                > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Sat, November 6, 2010 2:51:42 AM
                > Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home offered by
                > tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?
                >
                >
                > Greetings, Jenn!
                >
                > In the quest for an affordable home, more people like you are discovering the
                > small house movement. As your interest and knowledge grows, you may find
                > yourself gravitating toward some very tiny options--often smaller than you now
                > believe feasible.
                >
                > Part of this transition is to embrace the idea of minimalism in your
                > life--reducing the level of "stuff" to a very workable minimum. If you are like
                > many of us, this transition will seem very liberating as you realize you are no
                > longer weighed down with your possessions. Also, through this process, you will
                > find yourself requiring less space simply to warehouse unnecessary possessions.
                >
                > The Tumbleweed people do a very good job of producing well detailed plans,
                > although most are somewhat expensive. However, please also check out the various
                > others available; you may find something a bit closer if you want a pre-built
                > home and are almost sure to find some that are less costly as well.
                >
                > If you are in good health and have no mobility issues, I would also look
                > carefully at some of the plans that incorporate a sleeping loft. That is a
                > space multiplier, and can give you much more useful space in a tiny home. I
                > found the 8x7 bedroom in the Z glass plan fairly useless, personally. For a home
                > for a single person or even perhaps a couple, you could easily enough build in a
                > bed with storage beneath it as one possibility if you should persist with a
                > single level without loft.
                >
                > There are many blogs these days which focus on small homes.
                >
                > Should you buy land which is accessible for building, there are many
                > alternatives for building affordably on site. I would not opt for a shipping
                > container conversion in your area, most likely, because I like a higher level of
                > insulation than is usually practical with them. I would also like a better
                > passive solar setup than most of those afford. However, there are some
                > situations in which they can be highly practical--such as homes designed for
                > occasional occupancy that need to be highly secure when unoccupied.
                >
                > It is quite possible, too, to build a home for your area that would be nearly or
                > entirely heated passively. A designer in upper Michigan has an intriguing
                > technique of using racks of 2-liter PET soda bottles filled with water in an
                > attic space, warmed with a South-facing sun space that also gives very pleasant
                > space to enjoy the brighter winter days. One gentleman built one of these in a
                > climate similar to yours for less than $15,000...and he had few of the
                > limitations of the Tumbleweed designs. The designer is Laren Corie, and he calls
                > his passive heating system a "thermal attic"-- http://www.thermalattic.com
                >
                > Since you are contemplating a home in the 400 square foot area, you should
                > certainly consider your alternatives before committing to a plan. For example,
                > I'm not necessarily a fan of such a limited kitchen. Some of the larger
                > refrigerators are as energy-efficient as most of the very tiny ones, for
                > example; affordable ones in the 16 to 17 foot area are now available at retail
                > that would cost you less than $20 per year in electricity--about 30 percent more
                > efficient than the Energy Star minimums. At the same time, I would be hesitant
                > to have one quite as closed in as the Zglass plan shows. Personally, I'd just as
                > soon have it share space with the living area.
                >
                > Any way you go, good luck in your ambition!
                >
                > David
                >
                > Good luck!
                >
                > David
                >
                >
                > On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 01:25, Jennifer Wynn <jenniferdrake73@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > >Hello fellow small house lovers,
                > >
                > >It has been 7 years since I have been truly passionate about ANYTHING. I am now
                > >37 year old. A female professional living in Akron near Peninsula Ohio. I
                > >REALLY want to live in Peninsula but it's expensive because the Cuyahoga
                > >National Park is here and the only way I will EVER be able to afford land would
                > >be to build a very affordable house on it. 2 days ago I discovered
                > >tumbleweedhouses and I REALLY would love a tour of one of these cute little
                > >places but there are no interior photos on line of the Z glass which is the
                > >design that I adore.
                > >
                > >
                > >I have never in my life seen one of these little houses in person. People don't
                > >seem to build these in Ohio. I would love to see interior photos of this small
                > >house. The site also shows a smaller version of the Z glass known as the Popomo
                > >but I think that one might be even too small for me.
                > >
                > >
                > >If anyone has advice or wants to respond please do. I just started on my small
                > >house adventure and this is the very first email I have written.
                > >
                > >
                > >Jen
                > >
                > >
                >


              • g rooney
                Hi Jen, I joined the SHS group several years ago because I was impressed with the Tumbleweed site. To my knowledge, I have never seen a real building of the
                Message 7 of 15 , Nov 6, 2010
                • 0 Attachment
                  Hi Jen,
                  I joined the SHS group several years ago because I was impressed with the Tumbleweed site.
                  To my knowledge, I have never seen a real building of the Z-Glass, only graphics.
                  But it is still a cool design.
                  Yours, Gerrie

                  --- On Fri, 11/5/10, Jennifer Wynn <jenniferdrake73@...> wrote:

                  From: Jennifer Wynn <jenniferdrake73@...>
                  Subject: [shs-talk] Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home offered by tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?
                  To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Friday, November 5, 2010, 4:25 PM

                   

                  Hello fellow small house lovers,

                  It has been 7 years since I have been truly passionate about ANYTHING.  I am now 37 year old.  A female professional living in Akron near Peninsula Ohio.  I REALLY want to live in Peninsula but it's expensive because the Cuyahoga National Park is here and the only way I will EVER be able to afford land would be to build a very affordable house on it.  2 days ago I discovered tumbleweedhouses and I REALLY would love a tour of one of these cute little places but there are no interior photos on line of the Z glass which is the design that I adore. 

                  I have never in my life seen one of these little houses in person.  People don't seem to build these in Ohio.  I would love to see interior photos of this small house.  The site also shows a smaller version of the Z glass known as the Popomo but I think that one might be even too small for me. 

                  If anyone has advice or wants to respond please do.   I just started on my small house adventure and this is the very first email I have written. 

                  Jen


                • Jennifer Wynn
                  Hi Gerrie, I know, me neither. It does look cool but as another SHS member smartly pointed out to me yesterday, you can make much better use of such a small
                  Message 8 of 15 , Nov 6, 2010
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Hi Gerrie,

                    I know, me neither.  It does look cool but as another SHS member smartly pointed out to me yesterday, you can make much better use of such a small place by having a "loft" for your bed as opposed to a seperate room for it. 

                    Still I would LOVE to see photos of the Z glass interior.  Do you have a small house?  I just started looking into this whole concept a couple days ago. 

                    Cheers,
                    Jen



                    From: g rooney <gerrie4unity@...>
                    To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Sat, November 6, 2010 10:35:28 PM
                    Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home offered by tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?

                     

                    Hi Jen,
                    I joined the SHS group several years ago because I was impressed with the Tumbleweed site.
                    To my knowledge, I have never seen a real building of the Z-Glass, only graphics.
                    But it is still a cool design.
                    Yours, Gerrie

                    --- On Fri, 11/5/10, Jennifer Wynn <jenniferdrake73@...> wrote:

                    From: Jennifer Wynn <jenniferdrake73@...>
                    Subject: [shs-talk] Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home offered by tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?
                    To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                    Date: Friday, November 5, 2010, 4:25 PM

                     

                    Hello fellow small house lovers,

                    It has been 7 years since I have been truly passionate about ANYTHING.  I am now 37 year old.  A female professional living in Akron near Peninsula Ohio.  I REALLY want to live in Peninsula but it's expensive because the Cuyahoga National Park is here and the only way I will EVER be able to afford land would be to build a very affordable house on it.  2 days ago I discovered tumbleweedhouses and I REALLY would love a tour of one of these cute little places but there are no interior photos on line of the Z glass which is the design that I adore. 

                    I have never in my life seen one of these little houses in person.  People don't seem to build these in Ohio.  I would love to see interior photos of this small house.  The site also shows a smaller version of the Z glass known as the Popomo but I think that one might be even too small for me. 

                    If anyone has advice or wants to respond please do.   I just started on my small house adventure and this is the very first email I have written. 

                    Jen



                  • rob crissinger
                    Humanurehttp://www.weblife.org/humanure/chapter8_2.html container homes can have added insulation.No need to even worry about
                    Message 9 of 15 , Nov 6, 2010
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Humanure

                      container homes can have added insulation.No need to even worry about that.

                      Water can be rain water cistern if off grid or shared if on rented land.
                      On demand gravity or pump fed water heaters propane fueled are about $500.
                      Design and build your own stick built tiny home.

                    • teleiap
                      Hey Jen, Before I answer your question directly, I ll say you will probably love the Tiny House Blog (www.tinyhouseblog.com) which you can visit directly. I
                      Message 10 of 15 , Nov 6, 2010
                      • 0 Attachment
                        Hey Jen,

                        Before I answer your question directly, I'll say you will probably love
                        the Tiny House Blog (www.tinyhouseblog.com) which you can visit
                        directly. I prefer to get updates via facebook, so just type it into
                        facebook. There is a TON of information there.

                        I don't have my little house, yet, either, but I'm hoping to in 3-5
                        years.

                        Also, regarding practical building options, I highly recommend the book,
                        "How to Plan, Contract, and Build Your Own Home" by Scutella and
                        Heberle. It's dry, but it covers absolutely everything, including green
                        options. It does a great job of giving you the pros and cons of each.

                        Ok, on to composting toilets. The person who recommended "Humanure" is
                        right on. Everyone recommends that. But you can find lots of ways to
                        do it online.

                        First, there are 3 parts to the composting toilet, and if you do it
                        right, it won't smell and you won't have many bugs. Of course, there's
                        the place where you sit, a composting chamber, and a drying chamber.
                        Naturally occurring bacteria break down waste into a very moist
                        hummus/soil-type material. The drying chamber is where the liquid
                        evaporates. It's very concentrated, but can be used as fertilizer if
                        mixed with regular soil.

                        Now, there are a million different ways to get a composting toilet. The
                        easiest is probably to buy one, but they're about $1000
                        (www.realgoods.com). I plan to do this because they come with proper
                        ventilation; they often have a fan and an exhaust pipe.

                        Probably the simplest home-built ones are boxes around a pail that you
                        do your business in, cover with sawdust (to eliminate odor) and
                        periodically dump in your backyard. This type of compost pile has to be
                        turned though, and it does smell. I would suggest googling and reading
                        up, or you can just check out the tiny house blog--they've got
                        composting info on there, if I remember correctly.

                        I read the reply about the water cistern and pump. You're in PA, right?
                        It might be worth your while to find out how much rainfall there is in
                        your area, because a well is costly to have dug. If you aren't a big
                        water user, and you invest in some great storage, you might be able to
                        get away with just a cistern of some kind. Probably you'll need a well,
                        but maybe not. Especially if you use rainwater catchment to water your
                        plants and stuff.

                        This is my dream, so I've done a lot of reading, both regular books and
                        online. As much as I love the Tumbleweed houses, I don't recommend the
                        book because there's really nothing in it you can't get from their
                        website.

                        The same guy who does Tiny House Blog has a site called, Tiny House
                        Design (www.tinyhousedesign.com). You'll probably like that, as well.

                        I think I said it before, but if you move to the RI, MA, NH area, please
                        let me know. I'm trying to get a group of about 5 people/families
                        together to buy some land (a few acres) together because it's cheaper
                        per acre that way. You can friend me if you facebook, or you can always
                        reach me at www.hotmail.com. If you know of anyone looking into this
                        stuff in New England, please give them my e-mail!

                        Peace,
                        Teleia

                        --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Jennifer Wynn
                        <jenniferdrake73@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Hi Teleia,
                        >
                        > Could you explain to me in the simplist terms posible how this
                        composting toilet
                        > works? I am very interested.
                        >
                        >
                        > Also,
                        >
                        > How is water supplied for showering, running a dishwasher. What are
                        the
                        > options? Is there a way to ensure that you will have good water
                        pressure.
                        >
                        >
                        > As you can see I am starting from scratch here and know very little
                        about my
                        > options. I just started looking into buying a small house about a
                        week ago.
                        >
                        >
                        > Thank you,
                        > Jen
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ________________________________
                        > From: teleiap teleiap@...
                        > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                        > Sent: Sat, November 6, 2010 9:09:57 PM
                        > Subject: [shs-talk] Re: Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home
                        offered by
                        > tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?
                        >
                        >
                        > Hi Jen,
                        >
                        > There are a lot of options for going off-grid. If you opt for a
                        composting
                        > toilet, you'll be left with grey water, which can simply be piped out
                        a ways
                        > from the house and allowed to filter through the ground, letting the
                        ground
                        > clean it naturally. You just want to make sure it's at least 300 feet
                        from your
                        > well.
                        >
                        >
                        > Another option is a septic system, but it'll require chemicals, and
                        contract
                        > maintenance every couple of years.
                        >
                        > Teleia
                        >
                        > --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Jennifer Wynn
                        > jenniferdrake73@ wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Hi David,
                        > >
                        > > Hope you are having a fantastic weekend. Thank you so much for the
                        thoughtful
                        >
                        > > email! Now I have so much to consider that my head is spinning. I
                        can't
                        > >afford
                        > >
                        > > land where I want to live right now and I have no idea if the
                        trailer park,
                        > > Indian Springs, near the national park in Peninsula Ohio where I
                        live is going
                        >
                        > > to let me move one of these hip, modern trailers onto their
                        property. I
                        > >haven't
                        > >
                        > > asked....yet. The trouble is, none of the other trailers that are
                        parked
                        > >there
                        > >
                        > > look anything like these great new energy efficient/ modern ones. I
                        am afraid
                        >
                        > > everyone is going to feel like a "space ship" has landed if I park
                        it there.
                        > > lol.
                        > >
                        > > Eventually when I buy land here I want to live off the grid.
                        Trouble is, I
                        > > have no idea what I would need to take into consideration to live in
                        a mini
                        > > house without using some form of municipal infrastructure.
                        > >
                        > > I guess, ideally, I could buy a mini house that I could move into a
                        trailer
                        > >park
                        > >
                        > > but then move it out onto my own land eventually.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Any thoughts?
                        > >
                        > > Jen
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > ________________________________
                        > > From: David Neeley dbneeley@
                        > > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                        > > Sent: Sat, November 6, 2010 2:51:42 AM
                        > > Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home
                        offered by
                        > > tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > Greetings, Jenn!
                        > >
                        > > In the quest for an affordable home, more people like you are
                        discovering the
                        > > small house movement. As your interest and knowledge grows, you may
                        find
                        > > yourself gravitating toward some very tiny options--often smaller
                        than you now
                        >
                        > > believe feasible.
                        > >
                        > > Part of this transition is to embrace the idea of minimalism in your
                        > > life--reducing the level of "stuff" to a very workable minimum. If
                        you are like
                        > >
                        > > many of us, this transition will seem very liberating as you realize
                        you are no
                        > >
                        > > longer weighed down with your possessions. Also, through this
                        process, you will
                        > >
                        > > find yourself requiring less space simply to warehouse unnecessary
                        possessions.
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > The Tumbleweed people do a very good job of producing well detailed
                        plans,
                        > > although most are somewhat expensive. However, please also check out
                        the
                        > >various
                        > >
                        > > others available; you may find something a bit closer if you want a
                        pre-built
                        > > home and are almost sure to find some that are less costly as well.
                        > >
                        > > If you are in good health and have no mobility issues, I would also
                        look
                        > > carefully at some of the plans that incorporate a sleeping loft.
                        That is a
                        > > space multiplier, and can give you much more useful space in a tiny
                        home. I
                        > > found the 8x7 bedroom in the Z glass plan fairly useless,
                        personally. For a
                        > >home
                        > >
                        > > for a single person or even perhaps a couple, you could easily
                        enough build in
                        > >a
                        > >
                        > > bed with storage beneath it as one possibility if you should persist
                        with a
                        > > single level without loft.
                        > >
                        > > There are many blogs these days which focus on small homes.
                        > >
                        > > Should you buy land which is accessible for building, there are
                        many
                        > > alternatives for building affordably on site. I would not opt for a
                        shipping
                        > > container conversion in your area, most likely, because I like a
                        higher level
                        > >of
                        > >
                        > > insulation than is usually practical with them. I would also like a
                        better
                        > > passive solar setup than most of those afford. However, there are
                        some
                        > > situations in which they can be highly practical--such as homes
                        designed for
                        > > occasional occupancy that need to be highly secure when unoccupied.
                        > >
                        > > It is quite possible, too, to build a home for your area that would
                        be nearly
                        > >or
                        > >
                        > > entirely heated passively. A designer in upper Michigan has an
                        intriguing
                        > > technique of using racks of 2-liter PET soda bottles filled with
                        water in an
                        > > attic space, warmed with a South-facing sun space that also gives
                        very pleasant
                        > >
                        > > space to enjoy the brighter winter days. One gentleman built one of
                        these in a
                        >
                        > > climate similar to yours for less than $15,000...and he had few of
                        the
                        > > limitations of the Tumbleweed designs. The designer is Laren Corie,
                        and he
                        > >calls
                        > >
                        > > his passive heating system a "thermal attic"--
                        http://www.thermalattic.com
                        > >
                        > > Since you are contemplating a home in the 400 square foot area, you
                        should
                        > > certainly consider your alternatives before committing to a plan.
                        For example,
                        >
                        > > I'm not necessarily a fan of such a limited kitchen. Some of the
                        larger
                        > > refrigerators are as energy-efficient as most of the very tiny ones,
                        for
                        > > example; affordable ones in the 16 to 17 foot area are now available
                        at retail
                        >
                        > > that would cost you less than $20 per year in electricity--about 30
                        percent
                        > >more
                        > >
                        > > efficient than the Energy Star minimums. At the same time, I would
                        be hesitant
                        >
                        > > to have one quite as closed in as the Zglass plan shows. Personally,
                        I'd just
                        > >as
                        > >
                        > > soon have it share space with the living area.
                        > >
                        > > Any way you go, good luck in your ambition!
                        > >
                        > > David
                        > >
                        > > Good luck!
                        > >
                        > > David
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 01:25, Jennifer Wynn jenniferdrake73@ wrote:
                        > >
                        > >
                        > > >Hello fellow small house lovers,
                        > > >
                        > > >It has been 7 years since I have been truly passionate about
                        ANYTHING. I am
                        > >now
                        > >
                        > > >37 year old. A female professional living in Akron near Peninsula
                        Ohio. I
                        > > >REALLY want to live in Peninsula but it's expensive because the
                        Cuyahoga
                        > > >National Park is here and the only way I will EVER be able to
                        afford land
                        > >would
                        > >
                        > > >be to build a very affordable house on it. 2 days ago I discovered
                        > > >tumbleweedhouses and I REALLY would love a tour of one of these
                        cute little
                        > > >places but there are no interior photos on line of the Z glass
                        which is the
                        > > >design that I adore.
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >I have never in my life seen one of these little houses in person.
                        People
                        > >don't
                        > >
                        > > >seem to build these in Ohio. I would love to see interior photos
                        of this
                        > >small
                        > >
                        > > >house. The site also shows a smaller version of the Z glass known
                        as the
                        > >Popomo
                        > >
                        > > >but I think that one might be even too small for me.
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >If anyone has advice or wants to respond please do. I just
                        started on my
                        > >small
                        > >
                        > > >house adventure and this is the very first email I have written.
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > >Jen
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > >
                        >
                      • Sherman Johnson
                        Hi Jen, You asked about composting toilets. My wife and I have had a very bad experience with a popular composting toilet from a major mfr. Without going
                        Message 11 of 15 , Nov 6, 2010
                        • 0 Attachment
                          Hi Jen,
                           
                          You asked about composting toilets.  My wife and I have had a very bad experience with a popular composting toilet from a major mfr.  Without going into too much detail, most composting toilets that use AC power rely upon both a heater and a fan to evaporate liquids.  The system works well until the T-stat that controls the heater (or the heater itself) fails.  This has has happened to us three (3) times.  There is no warning that the heater has failed.  The first indication you will have is when a putrid mixture of feces and urine begins to leak out around the clean-out drawer on the front of the unit.
                           
                          The mfr will claim that connecting the "emergency drain" will prevent this, which is true -- but the primary reason for spending such a huge sum of money (now about $1,800) on a simple toilet is because there is no plumbing (no sewer or septic) available. 
                           
                          The mfr will say that in cases where there is no sewer or septic the owner should dig their own cesspool and connect the drain to it.  They are careful to say that the owner should 'check local ordinances'.  That is because it is ILLEGAL in most areas and potentially unsanitary and unsafe to connect a toilet to a home-made cesspool.  The pipe may freeze if not properly installed below the frost line.  Depending on soil type, the liquid may not be absorbed into the ground and may rise to the surface where children and pets may come in contact with it.
                           
                          In short, if you decide to purchase a composting toilet, ask if it is FAIL SAFE.  Last I checked, all or most are not.  There should be some indication that the heater has failed -- particularly in cases where the emergency drain cannot be legally and safely connected.
                           
                          My wife and I have continued to use the toilet but we must constantly monitor the current draw to determine whether the heater is working.  This can be somewhat difficult because while the fan runs constantly, the heater runs intermittently.  If the current draw (or watts) indicates that just the fan is running, the heater may have failed or it may simply be off at the time.
                           
                          BTW, we never came close to overloading the toilet.  The mfr claims its capacity is 4 adults full-time.  In our case, it is installed in a guest room that is rarely used, and when we do have guests it is generally one or two people for a day or two.
                           
                          Buyer beware.
                           
                          Sherman
                           
                          PS:  Real Goods (mentioned below) is a very good resource.    
                           
                           
                           
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: teleiap
                          Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2010 12:22 AM
                          Subject: [shs-talk] Re: Hi Teleia

                           

                          Hey Jen,

                          Before I answer your question directly, I'll say you will probably love
                          the Tiny House Blog (www.tinyhouseblog.com) which you can visit
                          directly. I prefer to get updates via facebook, so just type it into
                          facebook. There is a TON of information there.

                          I don't have my little house, yet, either, but I'm hoping to in 3-5
                          years.

                          Also, regarding practical building options, I highly recommend the book,
                          "How to Plan, Contract, and Build Your Own Home" by Scutella and
                          Heberle. It's dry, but it covers absolutely everything, including green
                          options. It does a great job of giving you the pros and cons of each.

                          Ok, on to composting toilets. The person who recommended "Humanure" is
                          right on. Everyone recommends that. But you can find lots of ways to
                          do it online.

                          First, there are 3 parts to the composting toilet, and if you do it
                          right, it won't smell and you won't have many bugs. Of course, there's
                          the place where you sit, a composting chamber, and a drying chamber.
                          Naturally occurring bacteria break down waste into a very moist
                          hummus/soil-type material. The drying chamber is where the liquid
                          evaporates. It's very concentrated, but can be used as fertilizer if
                          mixed with regular soil.

                          Now, there are a million different ways to get a composting toilet. The
                          easiest is probably to buy one, but they're about $1000
                          (www.realgoods.com). I plan to do this because they come with proper
                          ventilation; they often have a fan and an exhaust pipe.

                          Probably the simplest home-built ones are boxes around a pail that you
                          do your business in, cover with sawdust (to eliminate odor) and
                          periodically dump in your backyard. This type of compost pile has to be
                          turned though, and it does smell. I would suggest googling and reading
                          up, or you can just check out the tiny house blog--they've got
                          composting info on there, if I remember correctly.

                          I read the reply about the water cistern and pump. You're in PA, right?
                          It might be worth your while to find out how much rainfall there is in
                          your area, because a well is costly to have dug. If you aren't a big
                          water user, and you invest in some great storage, you might be able to
                          get away with just a cistern of some kind. Probably you'll need a well,
                          but maybe not. Especially if you use rainwater catchment to water your
                          plants and stuff.

                          This is my dream, so I've done a lot of reading, both regular books and
                          online. As much as I love the Tumbleweed houses, I don't recommend the
                          book because there's really nothing in it you can't get from their
                          website.

                          The same guy who does Tiny House Blog has a site called, Tiny House
                          Design (www.tinyhousedesign.com). You'll probably like that, as well.

                          I think I said it before, but if you move to the RI, MA, NH area, please
                          let me know. I'm trying to get a group of about 5 people/families
                          together to buy some land (a few acres) together because it's cheaper
                          per acre that way. You can friend me if you facebook, or you can always
                          reach me at www.hotmail.com. If you know of anyone looking into this
                          stuff in New England, please give them my e-mail!

                          Peace,
                          Teleia

                          --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Jennifer Wynn
                          <jenniferdrake73@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Hi Teleia,
                          >
                          > Could you explain to me in the simplist terms posible how this
                          composting toilet
                          > works? I am very interested.
                          >
                          >
                          > Also,
                          >
                          > How is water supplied for showering, running a dishwasher. What are
                          the
                          > options? Is there a way to ensure that you will have good water
                          pressure.
                          >
                          >
                          > As you can see I am starting from scratch here and know very little
                          about my
                          > options. I just started looking into buying a small house about a
                          week ago.
                          >
                          >
                          > Thank you,
                          > Jen
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > ________________________________
                          > From: teleiap teleiap@...
                          > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                          > Sent: Sat, November 6, 2010 9:09:57 PM
                          > Subject: [shs-talk] Re: Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home
                          offered by
                          > tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?
                          >
                          >
                          > Hi Jen,
                          >
                          > There are a lot of options for going off-grid. If you opt for a
                          composting
                          > toilet, you'll be left with grey water, which can simply be piped out
                          a ways
                          > from the house and allowed to filter through the ground, letting the
                          ground
                          > clean it naturally. You just want to make sure it's at least 300 feet
                          from your
                          > well.
                          >
                          >
                          > Another option is a septic system, but it'll require chemicals, and
                          contract
                          > maintenance every couple of years.
                          >
                          > Teleia
                          >
                          > --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Jennifer Wynn
                          > jenniferdrake73@ wrote:
                          > >
                          > > Hi David,
                          > >
                          > > Hope you are having a fantastic weekend. Thank you so much for the
                          thoughtful
                          >
                          > > email! Now I have so much to consider that my head is spinning. I
                          can't
                          > >afford
                          > >
                          > > land where I want to live right now and I have no idea if the
                          trailer park,
                          > > Indian Springs, near the national park in Peninsula Ohio where I
                          live is going
                          >
                          > > to let me move one of these hip, modern trailers onto their
                          property. I
                          > >haven't
                          > >
                          > > asked....yet. The trouble is, none of the other trailers that are
                          parked
                          > >there
                          > >
                          > > look anything like these great new energy efficient/ modern ones. I
                          am afraid
                          >
                          > > everyone is going to feel like a "space ship" has landed if I park
                          it there.
                          > > lol.
                          > >
                          > > Eventually when I buy land here I want to live off the grid.
                          Trouble is, I
                          > > have no idea what I would need to take into consideration to live in
                          a mini
                          > > house without using some form of municipal infrastructure.
                          > >
                          > > I guess, ideally, I could buy a mini house that I could move into a
                          trailer
                          > >park
                          > >
                          > > but then move it out onto my own land eventually.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Any thoughts?
                          > >
                          > > Jen
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > ________________________________
                          > > From: David Neeley dbneeley@
                          > > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                          > > Sent: Sat, November 6, 2010 2:51:42 AM
                          > > Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home
                          offered by
                          > > tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Greetings, Jenn!
                          > >
                          > > In the quest for an affordable home, more people like you are
                          discovering the
                          > > small house movement. As your interest and knowledge grows, you may
                          find
                          > > yourself gravitating toward some very tiny options--often smaller
                          than you now
                          >
                          > > believe feasible.
                          > >
                          > > Part of this transition is to embrace the idea of minimalism in your
                          > > life--reducing the level of "stuff" to a very workable minimum. If
                          you are like
                          > >
                          > > many of us, this transition will seem very liberating as you realize
                          you are no
                          > >
                          > > longer weighed down with your possessions. Also, through this
                          process, you will
                          > >
                          > > find yourself requiring less space simply to warehouse unnecessary
                          possessions.
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > The Tumbleweed people do a very good job of producing well detailed
                          plans,
                          > > although most are somewhat expensive. However, please also check out
                          the
                          > >various
                          > >
                          > > others available; you may find something a bit closer if you want a
                          pre-built
                          > > home and are almost sure to find some that are less costly as well.
                          > >
                          > > If you are in good health and have no mobility issues, I would also
                          look
                          > > carefully at some of the plans that incorporate a sleeping loft.
                          That is a
                          > > space multiplier, and can give you much more useful space in a tiny
                          home. I
                          > > found the 8x7 bedroom in the Z glass plan fairly useless,
                          personally. For a
                          > >home
                          > >
                          > > for a single person or even perhaps a couple, you could easily
                          enough build in
                          > >a
                          > >
                          > > bed with storage beneath it as one possibility if you should persist
                          with a
                          > > single level without loft.
                          > >
                          > > There are many blogs these days which focus on small homes.
                          > >
                          > > Should you buy land which is accessible for building, there are
                          many
                          > > alternatives for building affordably on site. I would not opt for a
                          shipping
                          > > container conversion in your area, most likely, because I like a
                          higher level
                          > >of
                          > >
                          > > insulation than is usually practical with them. I would also like a
                          better
                          > > passive solar setup than most of those afford. However, there are
                          some
                          > > situations in which they can be highly practical--such as homes
                          designed for
                          > > occasional occupancy that need to be highly secure when unoccupied.
                          > >
                          > > It is quite possible, too, to build a home for your area that would
                          be nearly
                          > >or
                          > >
                          > > entirely heated passively. A designer in upper Michigan has an
                          intriguing
                          > > technique of using racks of 2-liter PET soda bottles filled with
                          water in an
                          > > attic space, warmed with a South-facing sun space that also gives
                          very pleasant
                          > >
                          > > space to enjoy the brighter winter days. One gentleman built one of
                          these in a
                          >
                          > > climate similar to yours for less than $15,000...and he had few of
                          the
                          > > limitations of the Tumbleweed designs. The designer is Laren Corie,
                          and he
                          > >calls
                          > >
                          > > his passive heating system a "thermal attic"--
                          http://www.thermalattic.com
                          > >
                          > > Since you are contemplating a home in the 400 square foot area, you
                          should
                          > > certainly consider your alternatives before committing to a plan.
                          For example,
                          >
                          > > I'm not necessarily a fan of such a limited kitchen. Some of the
                          larger
                          > > refrigerators are as energy-efficient as most of the very tiny ones,
                          for
                          > > example; affordable ones in the 16 to 17 foot area are now available
                          at retail
                          >
                          > > that would cost you less than $20 per year in electricity--about 30
                          percent
                          > >more
                          > >
                          > > efficient than the Energy Star minimums. At the same time, I would
                          be hesitant
                          >
                          > > to have one quite as closed in as the Zglass plan shows. Personally,
                          I'd just
                          > >as
                          > >
                          > > soon have it share space with the living area.
                          > >
                          > > Any way you go, good luck in your ambition!
                          > >
                          > > David
                          > >
                          > > Good luck!
                          > >
                          > > David
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 01:25, Jennifer Wynn jenniferdrake73@ wrote:
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > >Hello fellow small house lovers,
                          > > >
                          > > >It has been 7 years since I have been truly passionate about
                          ANYTHING. I am
                          > >now
                          > >
                          > > >37 year old. A female professional living in Akron near Peninsula
                          Ohio. I
                          > > >REALLY want to live in Peninsula but it's expensive because the
                          Cuyahoga
                          > > >National Park is here and the only way I will EVER be able to
                          afford land
                          > >would
                          > >
                          > > >be to build a very affordable house on it. 2 days ago I discovered
                          > > >tumbleweedhouses and I REALLY would love a tour of one of these
                          cute little
                          > > >places but there are no interior photos on line of the Z glass
                          which is the
                          > > >design that I adore.
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >I have never in my life seen one of these little houses in person.
                          People
                          > >don't
                          > >
                          > > >seem to build these in Ohio. I would love to see interior photos
                          of this
                          > >small
                          > >
                          > > >house. The site also shows a smaller version of the Z glass known
                          as the
                          > >Popomo
                          > >
                          > > >but I think that one might be even too small for me.
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >If anyone has advice or wants to respond please do. I just
                          started on my
                          > >small
                          > >
                          > > >house adventure and this is the very first email I have written.
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > > >Jen
                          > > >
                          > > >
                          > >
                          >

                        • David Neeley
                          Ideally, you would want insulation on the outside of the structure, which isn t always very practical for a shipping container home--especially if it is to
                          Message 12 of 15 , Nov 7, 2010
                          • 0 Attachment
                            Ideally, you would want insulation on the outside of the structure, which isn't always very practical for a shipping container home--especially if it is to ever be moved. Putting an adequate amount inside the container for life in any sort of climate other than the most mild takes up precious space, further reducing the width available inside. The most efficient practical insulation would be a high efficiency foam. In most climates, I'd want about four inches of it. Add any sort of sheathing and you reduce the interior by about a foot in each direction--making the width all of seven feet. 

                            Furthermore, you would need even more than that in the roof structure to cut down heating or cooling loads. That would not be practical inside the structure, as it would dramatically decrease the headroom. Sorry, but I have studied the shipping container options fairly carefully and, regretfully, I can't see them except for very limited applications and especially in the mildest of climates.

                            If your demands are small, there is a propane-fired on demand water heater made for camping which some are using in tiny houses that are available on eBay for about $125. They are presumably workable for a single shower or sink faucet.

                            Rainwater catchment would be my choice where feasible; relatively few tiny houses have a particularly good roof structure for collecting rainwater. They should be designed with good gutter systems for this use. You can also erect a carport at relatively low cost which would add to collection surface and, if designed properly, would use less gutter. (A roof sloping in one direction or a "butterfly" design would be very workable for this purpose). In areas with low annual rainfall or where rain comes mostly in a limited season, this extra roof surface may be mandatory to get adequate water. Of course, a composting toilet helps that greatly.

                            Tiny House Design has a free plan for a shed-roofed tiny house designed to be on a trailer. The tall side has extra window area that would make it quite nice; the entire trailer can be oriented easily so the large windows are on the South during the Winters, then turned around to face North during summers when overheating may be an issue.

                            I would also examine the possibility of putting retractable or removable awnings over windows, so they could be shaded when necessary to make the interior comfort that much better; tiny houses, especially those designed to be transportable, simply don't have the roof overhangs that would otherwise serve this purpose.

                            I agree that a small house built on site can be extremely cost-effective where that is feasible. With a relatively small budget, it should be quite possible to build a small house of perhaps four or five hundred square feet that would be nearly or fully passive in heating and quite comfortable year-round, with rainwater catchment and (depending on zoning) fairly simple graywater treatment. If it is also designed to take advantage of good daylighting as well as to be very efficient with electrical needs, it would also be fairly inexpensive to go completely off-grid with it. 

                            David



                            On Sun, Nov 7, 2010 at 05:34, rob crissinger <robcrissinger@...> wrote:
                             

                            Humanure

                            container homes can have added insulation.No need to even worry about that.

                            Water can be rain water cistern if off grid or shared if on rented land.
                            On demand gravity or pump fed water heaters propane fueled are about $500.
                            Design and build your own stick built tiny home.
                          • teleiap
                            I read reviews of toilets (which Real Goods is nice enough to provide) to choose a model. It s true that some of them aren t very good--you have to do your
                            Message 13 of 15 , Nov 7, 2010
                            • 0 Attachment
                              I read reviews of toilets (which Real Goods is nice enough to provide) to choose a model. It's true that some of them aren't very good--you have to do your research. And you have to do it right; all pipes for your house should be laid in your foundation. A proper foundation includes piping below the frost line. I can't stress enough how good the Scutella and Heberle book is; it goes over all this stuff.

                              Also, a lot of the stuff regarding tiny/small houses doesn't comply with the law, or it goes around it. If you live in a rural area, composting toilets are usually ok (this is another of the reasons I'm planning to go to NH; MA is law-heavy).

                              Regarding showers, which I forgot to address earlier, as long as you have a reliable supply of water, you'll have pressure. You can also install an aerator to the faucet; it makes the pressure stronger without using as much water. Same goes for the shower.

                              Another thing to check out is the tankless (or on-demand) water heater. It heats the water as you need it instead of storing a bunch of hot water in case you want some right this very second. It'll save you money over time and they take up less space.

                              Happy Sunday,
                              Teleia


                              --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, "Sherman Johnson" <mrnatural1@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Hi Jen,
                              >
                              > You asked about composting toilets. My wife and I have had a very bad experience with a popular composting toilet from a major mfr. Without going into too much detail, most composting toilets that use AC power rely upon both a heater and a fan to evaporate liquids. The system works well until the T-stat that controls the heater (or the heater itself) fails. This has has happened to us three (3) times. There is no warning that the heater has failed. The first indication you will have is when a putrid mixture of feces and urine begins to leak out around the clean-out drawer on the front of the unit.
                              >
                              > The mfr will claim that connecting the "emergency drain" will prevent this, which is true -- but the primary reason for spending such a huge sum of money (now about $1,800) on a simple toilet is because there is no plumbing (no sewer or septic) available.
                              >
                              > The mfr will say that in cases where there is no sewer or septic the owner should dig their own cesspool and connect the drain to it. They are careful to say that the owner should 'check local ordinances'. That is because it is ILLEGAL in most areas and potentially unsanitary and unsafe to connect a toilet to a home-made cesspool. The pipe may freeze if not properly installed below the frost line. Depending on soil type, the liquid may not be absorbed into the ground and may rise to the surface where children and pets may come in contact with it.
                              >
                              > In short, if you decide to purchase a composting toilet, ask if it is FAIL SAFE. Last I checked, all or most are not. There should be some indication that the heater has failed -- particularly in cases where the emergency drain cannot be legally and safely connected.
                              >
                              > My wife and I have continued to use the toilet but we must constantly monitor the current draw to determine whether the heater is working. This can be somewhat difficult because while the fan runs constantly, the heater runs intermittently. If the current draw (or watts) indicates that just the fan is running, the heater may have failed or it may simply be off at the time.
                              >
                              > BTW, we never came close to overloading the toilet. The mfr claims its capacity is 4 adults full-time. In our case, it is installed in a guest room that is rarely used, and when we do have guests it is generally one or two people for a day or two.
                              >
                              > Buyer beware.
                              >
                              > Sherman
                              >
                              > PS: Real Goods (mentioned below) is a very good resource.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > ----- Original Message -----
                              > From: teleiap
                              > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                              > Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2010 12:22 AM
                              > Subject: [shs-talk] Re: Hi Teleia
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Hey Jen,
                              >
                              > Before I answer your question directly, I'll say you will probably love
                              > the Tiny House Blog (www.tinyhouseblog.com) which you can visit
                              > directly. I prefer to get updates via facebook, so just type it into
                              > facebook. There is a TON of information there.
                              >
                              > I don't have my little house, yet, either, but I'm hoping to in 3-5
                              > years.
                              >
                              > Also, regarding practical building options, I highly recommend the book,
                              > "How to Plan, Contract, and Build Your Own Home" by Scutella and
                              > Heberle. It's dry, but it covers absolutely everything, including green
                              > options. It does a great job of giving you the pros and cons of each.
                              >
                              > Ok, on to composting toilets. The person who recommended "Humanure" is
                              > right on. Everyone recommends that. But you can find lots of ways to
                              > do it online.
                              >
                              > First, there are 3 parts to the composting toilet, and if you do it
                              > right, it won't smell and you won't have many bugs. Of course, there's
                              > the place where you sit, a composting chamber, and a drying chamber.
                              > Naturally occurring bacteria break down waste into a very moist
                              > hummus/soil-type material. The drying chamber is where the liquid
                              > evaporates. It's very concentrated, but can be used as fertilizer if
                              > mixed with regular soil.
                              >
                              > Now, there are a million different ways to get a composting toilet. The
                              > easiest is probably to buy one, but they're about $1000
                              > (www.realgoods.com). I plan to do this because they come with proper
                              > ventilation; they often have a fan and an exhaust pipe.
                              >
                              > Probably the simplest home-built ones are boxes around a pail that you
                              > do your business in, cover with sawdust (to eliminate odor) and
                              > periodically dump in your backyard. This type of compost pile has to be
                              > turned though, and it does smell. I would suggest googling and reading
                              > up, or you can just check out the tiny house blog--they've got
                              > composting info on there, if I remember correctly.
                              >
                              > I read the reply about the water cistern and pump. You're in PA, right?
                              > It might be worth your while to find out how much rainfall there is in
                              > your area, because a well is costly to have dug. If you aren't a big
                              > water user, and you invest in some great storage, you might be able to
                              > get away with just a cistern of some kind. Probably you'll need a well,
                              > but maybe not. Especially if you use rainwater catchment to water your
                              > plants and stuff.
                              >
                              > This is my dream, so I've done a lot of reading, both regular books and
                              > online. As much as I love the Tumbleweed houses, I don't recommend the
                              > book because there's really nothing in it you can't get from their
                              > website.
                              >
                              > The same guy who does Tiny House Blog has a site called, Tiny House
                              > Design (www.tinyhousedesign.com). You'll probably like that, as well.
                              >
                              > I think I said it before, but if you move to the RI, MA, NH area, please
                              > let me know. I'm trying to get a group of about 5 people/families
                              > together to buy some land (a few acres) together because it's cheaper
                              > per acre that way. You can friend me if you facebook, or you can always
                              > reach me at www.hotmail.com. If you know of anyone looking into this
                              > stuff in New England, please give them my e-mail!
                              >
                              > Peace,
                              > Teleia
                              >
                              > --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Jennifer Wynn
                              > <jenniferdrake73@> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Hi Teleia,
                              > >
                              > > Could you explain to me in the simplist terms posible how this
                              > composting toilet
                              > > works? I am very interested.
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Also,
                              > >
                              > > How is water supplied for showering, running a dishwasher. What are
                              > the
                              > > options? Is there a way to ensure that you will have good water
                              > pressure.
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > As you can see I am starting from scratch here and know very little
                              > about my
                              > > options. I just started looking into buying a small house about a
                              > week ago.
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Thank you,
                              > > Jen
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > ________________________________
                              > > From: teleiap teleiap@
                              > > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                              > > Sent: Sat, November 6, 2010 9:09:57 PM
                              > > Subject: [shs-talk] Re: Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home
                              > offered by
                              > > tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Hi Jen,
                              > >
                              > > There are a lot of options for going off-grid. If you opt for a
                              > composting
                              > > toilet, you'll be left with grey water, which can simply be piped out
                              > a ways
                              > > from the house and allowed to filter through the ground, letting the
                              > ground
                              > > clean it naturally. You just want to make sure it's at least 300 feet
                              > from your
                              > > well.
                              > >
                              > >
                              > > Another option is a septic system, but it'll require chemicals, and
                              > contract
                              > > maintenance every couple of years.
                              > >
                              > > Teleia
                              > >
                              > > --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Jennifer Wynn
                              > > jenniferdrake73@ wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > > Hi David,
                              > > >
                              > > > Hope you are having a fantastic weekend. Thank you so much for the
                              > thoughtful
                              > >
                              > > > email! Now I have so much to consider that my head is spinning. I
                              > can't
                              > > >afford
                              > > >
                              > > > land where I want to live right now and I have no idea if the
                              > trailer park,
                              > > > Indian Springs, near the national park in Peninsula Ohio where I
                              > live is going
                              > >
                              > > > to let me move one of these hip, modern trailers onto their
                              > property. I
                              > > >haven't
                              > > >
                              > > > asked....yet. The trouble is, none of the other trailers that are
                              > parked
                              > > >there
                              > > >
                              > > > look anything like these great new energy efficient/ modern ones. I
                              > am afraid
                              > >
                              > > > everyone is going to feel like a "space ship" has landed if I park
                              > it there.
                              > > > lol.
                              > > >
                              > > > Eventually when I buy land here I want to live off the grid.
                              > Trouble is, I
                              > > > have no idea what I would need to take into consideration to live in
                              > a mini
                              > > > house without using some form of municipal infrastructure.
                              > > >
                              > > > I guess, ideally, I could buy a mini house that I could move into a
                              > trailer
                              > > >park
                              > > >
                              > > > but then move it out onto my own land eventually.
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > Any thoughts?
                              > > >
                              > > > Jen
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > ________________________________
                              > > > From: David Neeley dbneeley@
                              > > > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                              > > > Sent: Sat, November 6, 2010 2:51:42 AM
                              > > > Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home
                              > offered by
                              > > > tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > Greetings, Jenn!
                              > > >
                              > > > In the quest for an affordable home, more people like you are
                              > discovering the
                              > > > small house movement. As your interest and knowledge grows, you may
                              > find
                              > > > yourself gravitating toward some very tiny options--often smaller
                              > than you now
                              > >
                              > > > believe feasible.
                              > > >
                              > > > Part of this transition is to embrace the idea of minimalism in your
                              > > > life--reducing the level of "stuff" to a very workable minimum. If
                              > you are like
                              > > >
                              > > > many of us, this transition will seem very liberating as you realize
                              > you are no
                              > > >
                              > > > longer weighed down with your possessions. Also, through this
                              > process, you will
                              > > >
                              > > > find yourself requiring less space simply to warehouse unnecessary
                              > possessions.
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > The Tumbleweed people do a very good job of producing well detailed
                              > plans,
                              > > > although most are somewhat expensive. However, please also check out
                              > the
                              > > >various
                              > > >
                              > > > others available; you may find something a bit closer if you want a
                              > pre-built
                              > > > home and are almost sure to find some that are less costly as well.
                              > > >
                              > > > If you are in good health and have no mobility issues, I would also
                              > look
                              > > > carefully at some of the plans that incorporate a sleeping loft.
                              > That is a
                              > > > space multiplier, and can give you much more useful space in a tiny
                              > home. I
                              > > > found the 8x7 bedroom in the Z glass plan fairly useless,
                              > personally. For a
                              > > >home
                              > > >
                              > > > for a single person or even perhaps a couple, you could easily
                              > enough build in
                              > > >a
                              > > >
                              > > > bed with storage beneath it as one possibility if you should persist
                              > with a
                              > > > single level without loft.
                              > > >
                              > > > There are many blogs these days which focus on small homes.
                              > > >
                              > > > Should you buy land which is accessible for building, there are
                              > many
                              > > > alternatives for building affordably on site. I would not opt for a
                              > shipping
                              > > > container conversion in your area, most likely, because I like a
                              > higher level
                              > > >of
                              > > >
                              > > > insulation than is usually practical with them. I would also like a
                              > better
                              > > > passive solar setup than most of those afford. However, there are
                              > some
                              > > > situations in which they can be highly practical--such as homes
                              > designed for
                              > > > occasional occupancy that need to be highly secure when unoccupied.
                              > > >
                              > > > It is quite possible, too, to build a home for your area that would
                              > be nearly
                              > > >or
                              > > >
                              > > > entirely heated passively. A designer in upper Michigan has an
                              > intriguing
                              > > > technique of using racks of 2-liter PET soda bottles filled with
                              > water in an
                              > > > attic space, warmed with a South-facing sun space that also gives
                              > very pleasant
                              > > >
                              > > > space to enjoy the brighter winter days. One gentleman built one of
                              > these in a
                              > >
                              > > > climate similar to yours for less than $15,000...and he had few of
                              > the
                              > > > limitations of the Tumbleweed designs. The designer is Laren Corie,
                              > and he
                              > > >calls
                              > > >
                              > > > his passive heating system a "thermal attic"--
                              > http://www.thermalattic.com
                              > > >
                              > > > Since you are contemplating a home in the 400 square foot area, you
                              > should
                              > > > certainly consider your alternatives before committing to a plan.
                              > For example,
                              > >
                              > > > I'm not necessarily a fan of such a limited kitchen. Some of the
                              > larger
                              > > > refrigerators are as energy-efficient as most of the very tiny ones,
                              > for
                              > > > example; affordable ones in the 16 to 17 foot area are now available
                              > at retail
                              > >
                              > > > that would cost you less than $20 per year in electricity--about 30
                              > percent
                              > > >more
                              > > >
                              > > > efficient than the Energy Star minimums. At the same time, I would
                              > be hesitant
                              > >
                              > > > to have one quite as closed in as the Zglass plan shows. Personally,
                              > I'd just
                              > > >as
                              > > >
                              > > > soon have it share space with the living area.
                              > > >
                              > > > Any way you go, good luck in your ambition!
                              > > >
                              > > > David
                              > > >
                              > > > Good luck!
                              > > >
                              > > > David
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 01:25, Jennifer Wynn jenniferdrake73@ wrote:
                              > > >
                              > > >
                              > > > >Hello fellow small house lovers,
                              > > > >
                              > > > >It has been 7 years since I have been truly passionate about
                              > ANYTHING. I am
                              > > >now
                              > > >
                              > > > >37 year old. A female professional living in Akron near Peninsula
                              > Ohio. I
                              > > > >REALLY want to live in Peninsula but it's expensive because the
                              > Cuyahoga
                              > > > >National Park is here and the only way I will EVER be able to
                              > afford land
                              > > >would
                              > > >
                              > > > >be to build a very affordable house on it. 2 days ago I discovered
                              > > > >tumbleweedhouses and I REALLY would love a tour of one of these
                              > cute little
                              > > > >places but there are no interior photos on line of the Z glass
                              > which is the
                              > > > >design that I adore.
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > >I have never in my life seen one of these little houses in person.
                              > People
                              > > >don't
                              > > >
                              > > > >seem to build these in Ohio. I would love to see interior photos
                              > of this
                              > > >small
                              > > >
                              > > > >house. The site also shows a smaller version of the Z glass known
                              > as the
                              > > >Popomo
                              > > >
                              > > > >but I think that one might be even too small for me.
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > >If anyone has advice or wants to respond please do. I just
                              > started on my
                              > > >small
                              > > >
                              > > > >house adventure and this is the very first email I have written.
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > > >Jen
                              > > > >
                              > > > >
                              > > >
                              > >
                              >
                            • David Neeley
                              Teleia, ... the law, or it goes around it. ... another of the reasons I m planning ... Not precisely true. A tiny house built on a trailer is not under the
                              Message 14 of 15 , Nov 7, 2010
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Teleia,

                                Perhaps I can clarify a few things:

                                >Also, a lot of the stuff regarding tiny/small houses doesn't comply with the law, or it goes around it. 
                                > If you live in a rural area, composting toilets are usually ok (this is another of the reasons I'm planning 
                                >to go to NH; MA is law-heavy).

                                Not precisely true. A tiny house built on a trailer is not under the same laws as one on a fixed foundation. To say they "don't comply with the law" is, in general, not correct...they come under different rules, if any.

                                >Regarding showers, which I forgot to address earlier, as long as you have a reliable supply of water, 
                                >you'll have pressure. You can also install an aerator to the faucet; it makes the pressure stronger 
                                >without using as much water. Same goes for the shower.

                                Again, not necessarily true. A rainwater collection system, for example, may have a ground-level storage tank (or even one below ground). In such case, there will be no water pressure unless you install a pump. An electric pump that runs on demand, and perhaps a pressure tank added to the system, would give you reasonable pressure and, if you choose the right components, acceptably small electric use. 

                                Similarly, a well may have ample water but would also need a pump system of some sort.

                                Also, there are low flow shower heads that are available that use as little as half a gallon per minute--far below most that advertise being "low flow" but may use five times that much water. With any flow-restricted system, though, you must be sure your water pressure is adequate so they will work as designed. Again, a pressure system with an electric pump is often a very good idea.

                                >Another thing to check out is the tankless (or on-demand) water heater. It heats the water 
                                >as you need it instead of storing a bunch of hot water in case you want some right this very 
                                >second. It'll save you money over time and they take up less space.

                                True enough regarding less space. If properly sized, and if you are home all day and using water regularly, a tank system may not have much difference in consumption--especially if you have it heavily insulated with an extra insulation blanket around the tank and a water heater timer installed so the tank does not heat when you are normally away from the house. The difference in up-front cost can be rather extreme, however. A small tank heater such as is used in an RV may be a fraction of the price of most tankless systems up front, and the payback can be many years in the making for some of the tankless systems.

                                Often, the most energy efficient water heater is a heat pump water heater, by the way. Again, the cost is larger up front (as with most tankless systems sold in America), but the energy use can be extremely low. 

                                Where I live, Ukraine, by far the most common water heaters are tankless designs. Because there are so many, they are quite cheap. However, they are also usually quite basic. 

                                If you go tankless with a residential-style unit, you might look at the Bosch Aquastar units that are pilotless. They use a small turbine wheel in the water supply that turns when the water is turned on, creating a spark that ignites the gas for the heater. This saves considerably on gas, yet does not require electrical wiring to the heater.

                                Keep in mind, though, that the cost of gas may continue to go up in future; there is at the moment considerable doubt about that, though, because of shale gas that has new extraction methods that are far less expensive than previously. When coupled with massive shale deposits in North America and elsewhere, we could easily see gas prices decline dramatically over the next few years. Let's hope so, anyway.

                                If you go off-grid, many solutions will as a practical matter no longer be realistic options. A small water pressure pump is certainly feasible, as would be one of the more efficient conventional refrigerators now on the market. Electric space heating, electric water heating, electric clothes dryers, and even perhaps some composting toilets that have heaters in them would probably be out of the question should you go off-grid. The cost for generating electricity for such loads would simply be prohibitive.

                                David
                              • Jennifer Wynn
                                Hi Sherman, I cannot thank you enough for this sound advise! What are the alternatives? If you could do it all again what would you suggest? Jen
                                Message 15 of 15 , Nov 7, 2010
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Hi Sherman,

                                  I cannot thank you enough for this sound advise!  What are the alternatives?  If you could do it all again what would you suggest?

                                  Jen


                                  From: Sherman Johnson <mrnatural1@...>
                                  To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Sun, November 7, 2010 12:54:55 AM
                                  Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Re: Hi Teleia

                                   

                                  Hi Jen,
                                   
                                  You asked about composting toilets.  My wife and I have had a very bad experience with a popular composting toilet from a major mfr.  Without going into too much detail, most composting toilets that use AC power rely upon both a heater and a fan to evaporate liquids.  The system works well until the T-stat that controls the heater (or the heater itself) fails.  This has has happened to us three (3) times.  There is no warning that the heater has failed.  The first indication you will have is when a putrid mixture of feces and urine begins to leak out around the clean-out drawer on the front of the unit.
                                   
                                  The mfr will claim that connecting the "emergency drain" will prevent this, which is true -- but the primary reason for spending such a huge sum of money (now about $1,800) on a simple toilet is because there is no plumbing (no sewer or septic) available. 
                                   
                                  The mfr will say that in cases where there is no sewer or septic the owner should dig their own cesspool and connect the drain to it.  They are careful to say that the owner should 'check local ordinances'.  That is because it is ILLEGAL in most areas and potentially unsanitary and unsafe to connect a toilet to a home-made cesspool.  The pipe may freeze if not properly installed below the frost line.  Depending on soil type, the liquid may not be absorbed into the ground and may rise to the surface where children and pets may come in contact with it.
                                   
                                  In short, if you decide to purchase a composting toilet, ask if it is FAIL SAFE.  Last I checked, all or most are not.  There should be some indication that the heater has failed -- particularly in cases where the emergency drain cannot be legally and safely connected.
                                   
                                  My wife and I have continued to use the toilet but we must constantly monitor the current draw to determine whether the heater is working.  This can be somewhat difficult because while the fan runs constantly, the heater runs intermittently.  If the current draw (or watts) indicates that just the fan is running, the heater may have failed or it may simply be off at the time.
                                   
                                  BTW, we never came close to overloading the toilet.  The mfr claims its capacity is 4 adults full-time.  In our case, it is installed in a guest room that is rarely used, and when we do have guests it is generally one or two people for a day or two.
                                   
                                  Buyer beware.
                                   
                                  Sherman
                                   
                                  PS:  Real Goods (mentioned below) is a very good resource.    
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: teleiap
                                  Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2010 12:22 AM
                                  Subject: [shs-talk] Re: Hi Teleia

                                   

                                  Hey Jen,

                                  Before I answer your question directly, I'll say you will probably love
                                  the Tiny House Blog (www.tinyhouseblog.com) which you can visit
                                  directly. I prefer to get updates via facebook, so just type it into
                                  facebook. There is a TON of information there.

                                  I don't have my little house, yet, either, but I'm hoping to in 3-5
                                  years.

                                  Also, regarding practical building options, I highly recommend the book,
                                  "How to Plan, Contract, and Build Your Own Home" by Scutella and
                                  Heberle. It's dry, but it covers absolutely everything, including green
                                  options. It does a great job of giving you the pros and cons of each.

                                  Ok, on to composting toilets. The person who recommended "Humanure" is
                                  right on. Everyone recommends that. But you can find lots of ways to
                                  do it online.

                                  First, there are 3 parts to the composting toilet, and if you do it
                                  right, it won't smell and you won't have many bugs. Of course, there's
                                  the place where you sit, a composting chamber, and a drying chamber.
                                  Naturally occurring bacteria break down waste into a very moist
                                  hummus/soil-type material. The drying chamber is where the liquid
                                  evaporates. It's very concentrated, but can be used as fertilizer if
                                  mixed with regular soil.

                                  Now, there are a million different ways to get a composting toilet. The
                                  easiest is probably to buy one, but they're about $1000
                                  (www.realgoods.com). I plan to do this because they come with proper
                                  ventilation; they often have a fan and an exhaust pipe.

                                  Probably the simplest home-built ones are boxes around a pail that you
                                  do your business in, cover with sawdust (to eliminate odor) and
                                  periodically dump in your backyard. This type of compost pile has to be
                                  turned though, and it does smell. I would suggest googling and reading
                                  up, or you can just check out the tiny house blog--they've got
                                  composting info on there, if I remember correctly.

                                  I read the reply about the water cistern and pump. You're in PA, right?
                                  It might be worth your while to find out how much rainfall there is in
                                  your area, because a well is costly to have dug. If you aren't a big
                                  water user, and you invest in some great storage, you might be able to
                                  get away with just a cistern of some kind. Probably you'll need a well,
                                  but maybe not. Especially if you use rainwater catchment to water your
                                  plants and stuff.

                                  This is my dream, so I've done a lot of reading, both regular books and
                                  online. As much as I love the Tumbleweed houses, I don't recommend the
                                  book because there's really nothing in it you can't get from their
                                  website.

                                  The same guy who does Tiny House Blog has a site called, Tiny House
                                  Design (www.tinyhousedesign.com). You'll probably like that, as well.

                                  I think I said it before, but if you move to the RI, MA, NH area, please
                                  let me know. I'm trying to get a group of about 5 people/families
                                  together to buy some land (a few acres) together because it's cheaper
                                  per acre that way. You can friend me if you facebook, or you can always
                                  reach me at www.hotmail.com. If you know of anyone looking into this
                                  stuff in New England, please give them my e-mail!

                                  Peace,
                                  Teleia

                                  --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Jennifer Wynn
                                  <jenniferdrake73@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > Hi Teleia,
                                  >
                                  > Could you explain to me in the simplist terms posible how this
                                  composting toilet
                                  > works? I am very interested.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Also,
                                  >
                                  > How is water supplied for showering, running a dishwasher. What are
                                  the
                                  > options? Is there a way to ensure that you will have good water
                                  pressure.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > As you can see I am starting from scratch here and know very little
                                  about my
                                  > options. I just started looking into buying a small house about a
                                  week ago.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Thank you,
                                  > Jen
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > ________________________________
                                  > From: teleiap teleiap@...
                                  > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Sent: Sat, November 6, 2010 9:09:57 PM
                                  > Subject: [shs-talk] Re: Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home
                                  offered by
                                  > tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Hi Jen,
                                  >
                                  > There are a lot of options for going off-grid. If you opt for a
                                  composting
                                  > toilet, you'll be left with grey water, which can simply be piped out
                                  a ways
                                  > from the house and allowed to filter through the ground, letting the
                                  ground
                                  > clean it naturally. You just want to make sure it's at least 300 feet
                                  from your
                                  > well.
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > Another option is a septic system, but it'll require chemicals, and
                                  contract
                                  > maintenance every couple of years.
                                  >
                                  > Teleia
                                  >
                                  > --- In smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com, Jennifer Wynn
                                  > jenniferdrake73@ wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > > Hi David,
                                  > >
                                  > > Hope you are having a fantastic weekend. Thank you so much for the
                                  thoughtful
                                  >
                                  > > email! Now I have so much to consider that my head is spinning. I
                                  can't
                                  > >afford
                                  > >
                                  > > land where I want to live right now and I have no idea if the
                                  trailer park,
                                  > > Indian Springs, near the national park in Peninsula Ohio where I
                                  live is going
                                  >
                                  > > to let me move one of these hip, modern trailers onto their
                                  property. I
                                  > >haven't
                                  > >
                                  > > asked....yet. The trouble is, none of the other trailers that are
                                  parked
                                  > >there
                                  > >
                                  > > look anything like these great new energy efficient/ modern ones. I
                                  am afraid
                                  >
                                  > > everyone is going to feel like a "space ship" has landed if I park
                                  it there.
                                  > > lol.
                                  > >
                                  > > Eventually when I buy land here I want to live off the grid.
                                  Trouble is, I
                                  > > have no idea what I would need to take into consideration to live in
                                  a mini
                                  > > house without using some form of municipal infrastructure.
                                  > >
                                  > > I guess, ideally, I could buy a mini house that I could move into a
                                  trailer
                                  > >park
                                  > >
                                  > > but then move it out onto my own land eventually.
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Any thoughts?
                                  > >
                                  > > Jen
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > ________________________________
                                  > > From: David Neeley dbneeley@
                                  > > To: smallhousesocietyonline@yahoogroups.com
                                  > > Sent: Sat, November 6, 2010 2:51:42 AM
                                  > > Subject: Re: [shs-talk] Anyone seen the inside of the Z glass home
                                  offered by
                                  > > tumbleweedhouses.com or have photos?
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > Greetings, Jenn!
                                  > >
                                  > > In the quest for an affordable home, more people like you are
                                  discovering the
                                  > > small house movement. As your interest and knowledge grows, you may
                                  find
                                  > > yourself gravitating toward some very tiny options--often smaller
                                  than you now
                                  >
                                  > > believe feasible.
                                  > >
                                  > > Part of this transition is to embrace the idea of minimalism in your
                                  > > life--reducing the level of "stuff" to a very workable minimum. If
                                  you are like
                                  > >
                                  > > many of us, this transition will seem very liberating as you realize
                                  you are no
                                  > >
                                  > > longer weighed down with your possessions. Also, through this
                                  process, you will
                                  > >
                                  > > find yourself requiring less space simply to warehouse unnecessary
                                  possessions.
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > The Tumbleweed people do a very good job of producing well detailed
                                  plans,
                                  > > although most are somewhat expensive. However, please also check out
                                  the
                                  > >various
                                  > >
                                  > > others available; you may find something a bit closer if you want a
                                  pre-built
                                  > > home and are almost sure to find some that are less costly as well.
                                  > >
                                  > > If you are in good health and have no mobility issues, I would also
                                  look
                                  > > carefully at some of the plans that incorporate a sleeping loft.
                                  That is a
                                  > > space multiplier, and can give you much more useful space in a tiny
                                  home. I
                                  > > found the 8x7 bedroom in the Z glass plan fairly useless,
                                  personally. For a
                                  > >home
                                  > >
                                  > > for a single person or even perhaps a couple, you could easily
                                  enough build in
                                  > >a
                                  > >
                                  > > bed with storage beneath it as one possibility if you should persist
                                  with a
                                  > > single level without loft.
                                  > >
                                  > > There are many blogs these days which focus on small homes.
                                  > >
                                  > > Should you buy land which is accessible for building, there are
                                  many
                                  > > alternatives for building affordably on site. I would not opt for a
                                  shipping
                                  > > container conversion in your area, most likely, because I like a
                                  higher level
                                  > >of
                                  > >
                                  > > insulation than is usually practical with them. I would also like a
                                  better
                                  > > passive solar setup than most of those afford. However, there are
                                  some
                                  > > situations in which they can be highly practical--such as homes
                                  designed for
                                  > > occasional occupancy that need to be highly secure when unoccupied.
                                  > >
                                  > > It is quite possible, too, to build a home for your area that would
                                  be nearly
                                  > >or
                                  > >
                                  > > entirely heated passively. A designer in upper Michigan has an
                                  intriguing
                                  > > technique of using racks of 2-liter PET soda bottles filled with
                                  water in an
                                  > > attic space, warmed with a South-facing sun space that also gives
                                  very pleasant
                                  > >
                                  > > space to enjoy the brighter winter days. One gentleman built one of
                                  these in a
                                  >
                                  > > climate similar to yours for less than $15,000...and he had few of
                                  the
                                  > > limitations of the Tumbleweed designs. The designer is Laren Corie,
                                  and he
                                  > >calls
                                  > >
                                  > > his passive heating system a "thermal attic"--
                                  http://www.thermalattic.com
                                  > >
                                  > > Since you are contemplating a home in the 400 square foot area, you
                                  should
                                  > > certainly consider your alternatives before committing to a plan.
                                  For example,
                                  >
                                  > > I'm not necessarily a fan of such a limited kitchen. Some of the
                                  larger
                                  > > refrigerators are as energy-efficient as most of the very tiny ones,
                                  for
                                  > > example; affordable ones in the 16 to 17 foot area are now available
                                  at retail
                                  >
                                  > > that would cost you less than $20 per year in electricity--about 30
                                  percent
                                  > >more
                                  > >
                                  > > efficient than the Energy Star minimums. At the same time, I would
                                  be hesitant
                                  >
                                  > > to have one quite as closed in as the Zglass plan shows. Personally,
                                  I'd just
                                  > >as
                                  > >
                                  > > soon have it share space with the living area.
                                  > >
                                  > > Any way you go, good luck in your ambition!
                                  > >
                                  > > David
                                  > >
                                  > > Good luck!
                                  > >
                                  > > David
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > On Sat, Nov 6, 2010 at 01:25, Jennifer Wynn jenniferdrake73@ wrote:
                                  > >
                                  > >
                                  > > >Hello fellow small house lovers,
                                  > > >
                                  > > >It has been 7 years since I have been truly passionate about
                                  ANYTHING. I am
                                  > >now
                                  > >
                                  > > >37 year old. A female professional living in Akron near Peninsula
                                  Ohio. I
                                  > > >REALLY want to live in Peninsula but it's expensive because the
                                  Cuyahoga
                                  > > >National Park is here and the only way I will EVER be able to
                                  afford land
                                  > >would
                                  > >
                                  > > >be to build a very affordable house on it. 2 days ago I discovered
                                  > > >tumbleweedhouses and I REALLY would love a tour of one of these
                                  cute little
                                  > > >places but there are no interior photos on line of the Z glass
                                  which is the
                                  > > >design that I adore.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >I have never in my life seen one of these little houses in person.
                                  People
                                  > >don't
                                  > >
                                  > > >seem to build these in Ohio. I would love to see interior photos
                                  of this
                                  > >small
                                  > >
                                  > > >house. The site also shows a smaller version of the Z glass known
                                  as the
                                  > >Popomo
                                  > >
                                  > > >but I think that one might be even too small for me.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >If anyone has advice or wants to respond please do. I just
                                  started on my
                                  > >small
                                  > >
                                  > > >house adventure and this is the very first email I have written.
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > > >Jen
                                  > > >
                                  > > >
                                  > >
                                  >


                                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.