Thursday, February 26, 2009

Small is Sustainable. The charming small homes of Tumbleweed

For the past 4 decades the average size of the American home has increased. In major home and builder magazines, "small" homes are often anything less than 2000 sq. feet.

But, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company of Sebastopol, California offers really small houses that are really big on style.

Some of the houses are built on trailers, such as the Weebee, but a number of the designs are meant for permanent foundations. A few are minimalist modern, such as the Z-Glass, but most have the charm of a early 20th century cottage. The Harbinger and Loring and the larger but less lyrically name, B-53, would all fit in any historic neighborhood.

Though the homes are stick framed and built with conventional material, their size alone makes them green and sustainable. Jay Shafer's designs often incorporate lofts, wet bathrooms and ceilings of less than 8 feet. The lower ceilings keep proportions of the house right and add to a more cozy feel.

The very tiny houses built on trailers can be purchased ready made. The other homes are available as plans, with consultations and attendance at building workshops included.

Below is a video introduction to Jay's own home an Epu which is built on a trailer.

UPDATE: On Feb 23, 2009 Amanda at "Constructing a Simpler Life" published an excellent piece with pictures based on an interview with Jay Shafer it is really interesting.

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