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There has been a lot of discussion about small homes - compact, sustainable, off grid, interesting design. Quite a few of us seem interested in the idea, if not the reality quite just yet!

I love the idea. I keep telling people I would be happy to live in a tent if I had my garden around it. A well built small home would be better!

We can but dream.

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Started by Lissa Mar 21. 0 Replies

FULL ARTICLEIf you’re looking for a tiny home…Continue

Tags: granny flats, tiny homes

Tiny Houses for the Homeless in Portland, Oregon

Started by Elaine de Saxe. Last reply by Lissa Mar 19. 1 Reply

Yet another way to make use of the tiny house concept:From this link.'by GILLIAN FLACCUS…Continue

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Comment by Dave Riley on September 1, 2015 at 7:00

The adaption I reckon is to have a tent -- or tents --under a corrugated iron canopy, such that the tent or tents act as so many rooms.

That way the 'canvas' logic feeds on itself and your tent options can be much cheaper and various.

As with any build -- council approval rules..but with tents and 'shed roofs' it's sure to be easy. Where the shared tent design resonates I reckon, is in its use of a  wooden platform/floor. That changes the dynamic..and you could erect any tent on such a floor (screwed down rather than pegged) below such a roof.

People come visit so you 'erect' a room for them.

And sheds or garages like that come ready made from the steel fabrication industry.

As I say, I spend so much time 'under canvas' at the moment that i absolutely respect and love curtaining material. Its' like the clothing you wear -- and to keep warm or cool you layer it or disrobe. You also choose different materials depending on how much you want them to breathe. Much better than one layer of corrugated iron --as per a standard shed wall.


Compare that to the longstanding fashion for mud brick or straw bale...

Canvas is a great material to live within. I've spent freezing cold Ballarat Winters in army tents...but it's not easily waterproofed. It can be if you are pro-active. Whereas modern plastics resist moisture but don't breathe.

Comment by Phil on August 31, 2015 at 21:11

I like how close to nature this kind of habitation makes you feel and of course the price is great too. As pointed out in the video it is important to fully understand your land's environmental conditions before deciding on a building site for a more permanent structure. This allows you to do this in reasonable temporary comfort. But as for using it as a permanent structure it has some major drawbacks. Specifically -

- No insulation. Heating and cooling are going to be major problems unless you have the ideal climate.

- No water collection from the roof and similarly no ability to generate electricity from solar roof panels. Thus you will need to get these resources some other way including perhaps from town supply. Okay for a suburban block but not in the country.

- As Lissa has hinted it would be down right scary huddling in one of theses during an extreme weather event such as a cyclone, hail or even a large thunder storm.

- Security could be a problem as you only need a pair of scissors to gain entry.

Still it does look nice in the video.

Comment by Lissa on August 31, 2015 at 17:56

Quite lovely Dave. They have made these tents very habitable indeed. Don't know if I would want to be living in one during extreme weather though.

Comment by Dave Riley on August 31, 2015 at 16:49

This is the sort of habitat accommodation  I really appreciate. Transience is the way to go. The US based company is HERE-- but the template is easily replicated. You get burnt out or blown down or build ..actually you 'assemble' --  again.

Comment by Phil on August 22, 2015 at 13:09

I'll pm you Lissa re places

Comment by Dave Riley on August 22, 2015 at 12:06

Well, I'm all for building huts outback...I think that's very feasible. It's not as though they take up a lot of space. And a cheap build is not worth any attempt at council approval.

Call it 'a shed' if you have to. The traditional SEQ  'bush house', is a variation of that.

Try before you make any commitment. Spend a few hundred to  find out.

With electricity (a lead), computer access (wifi), a bed and a phone -- your 'sleepout' -- is easy access to and from the garden. Build a kitchen 'bbq/patio'  area under shelter to the side. Add a tap. A stove with your choice of fuel...and there you go.

Rent out the house you live in.Be the hermit that lives outback.

Alternatively, buy a second hand caravan -- $3,000- $8,000 -- and park it in the backyard.

As I've written before I collect my own urine and deploy it as 'toilet' is not as crucial in my day to day. But the way the urban sewerage system works today, you gain nothing by pretending to go off grid unless you are without piped sewerage. You get levied anyway.

My garage goes through the the width of the house and is open at both ends so it's ready made for garden access.

Even a Stratco shed could be converted into a hut. I love corrugated iron and as huts go the classic Nissan huts are a design masterpiece. But so too is the simple tin shed if you aren't building your hut via recycled stuff.

Comment by Lissa on August 22, 2015 at 11:16

Phil - just had a quick look at your links. Both in NSW. Do you know of any places in Qld?

Comment by Lissa on August 22, 2015 at 11:03

What's holding me back is a good question.

My children, grandson and elderly parents live nearby and I don't want to move out of their area.

I've put a lot of effort into my existing garden and don't want to lose that if possible, though I may not have any choice in a year or so.

At my age it's not easy physically to start again. The days when I could work hard day in and out have passed. But again, I may not have any choice in a year or so.

Finding the right place ie piece of land. Lack of $ when I sell this place as I only own half of it. Inability to get another loan at my age (I don't want one if it can be avoided) and lack of income due to unemployment.

All reasons.

Comment by Phil on August 22, 2015 at 8:37

How about a composting toilet Dave to solve the dunny conundrum? Have you read about or used these? Councils should be encouraging people to utilise them on their properties (especially in place of portaloos) but instead make it as difficult as possible. There's little money in it I suppose. 

Comment by Phil on August 22, 2015 at 8:20
What's holding you back Lissa? Finances? Location? E.g. Proximity to hospitals/services/family. As Dave has pointed out below you can have a small home on a suburb block that should meet these needs. If you willing to go further afield then there are other options that don't cost much such as shared community living. This one doesn't look extreme -
Not sure if that property is still available but is an example of how little it potentially costs.

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