The Tiny House Group

What better use for solar energy then on your "tiny house". Let's share ideas on building our own tiny houses and how best to power them with solar energy.

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 17
Latest Activity: Jan 29

Discussion Forum

12x24 in South West TX

Started by B. Kelly. Last reply by george appel Sep 5, 2012. 5 Replies

Been planning for over 8 years.. (had property since 2004). Had the HD/TuffShed come out and build it for me for about $5500 in 7 hours flat.. 2x4 and 16" centers.. 2 skylights and steel door only…Continue

Comment Wall

Comment by billy honaker on June 30, 2012 at 11:45am

ray share what you have there with us to get us started off. looks good in the picture!

Comment by Renewable Ray on June 30, 2012 at 12:50pm

That's a stock photo Billy LOL  I'll go take a picture after lunch.

Comment by billy honaker on June 30, 2012 at 1:00pm

thanks ray. tell us about what your doing. i love this kind of stuff myself.

Comment by Mr. Noob on June 30, 2012 at 1:59pm

This is my ultimate goal, sell our house in Joplin, purchase some property, buy a 16x32 unfinished "storage shed" and finish it out to live in featuring the wind and solar I have built! I can't wait to be debt free!

We recently decided to build a 16x16 "bedroom" with a hallway off to the rear of the cabin and a 10x10 wash/laundry/mudroom off of the bedroom.  Thought of making it making the footprint sort of like a "Y" with the other 2 buildings off to either side of the main so we could have a "back yard patio" sort of feel but I don't know...What are your opinions about this idea?



Comment by Renewable Ray on June 30, 2012 at 10:19pm

Here is a cruddy picture of where we are at. Made so many mistakes on this one. Wish I would have engineered the awnings etc. into the initial build but....I know better next time. Lot's left to do including windows, especially in the lofts.

Comment by Mr. Noob on June 30, 2012 at 10:26pm


What are you using this for? In my area if it is not on a foundation then it's an outbuilding! Less property taxes! I am going to pour footings like a mobile home has and tie it down the same way. Thought very seriously about building it off the ground about 3' and making a trap door in the floor that goes to a tornado shelter in the ground underneath...dual puropse survival/rootcellar! Just a thought.

Comment by Renewable Ray on July 1, 2012 at 7:59am

What am I using it for? Well, it will be multi function for years to come. My sister thinks she is going to live in it. One of my daughters thinks it needs to be set up for her when she is in town.

For now it will be an office/shop for one of our small businesses [OK, don't laugh. We retired from owning a bowstring manufacturing business years ago and I still build a few here and there. So it will have the small amount of equipment I need and still have a bed and TV etc. in the loft so family can stay over and have a private spot.

It looks like a small building, it is, but it is all 2 x 6 construction that's screwed and cabled into the ground. This thing is a behemoth! 

Comment by W.R. Wahlquist on July 1, 2012 at 10:00am


  Having lived in small spaces at some points in my life and being frugal, some say just cheap? I thought on a few hints you might consider. First your local lumber yard. I lucked out by walking in saying I needed some windows, he said what size? I laughed and said I don't no as I havent built it yet! He got excited saying he had a deal for me. We went in the back and he started showing me dead inventory, new nothing wrong windows! For some reason these just hadn't sold. I bought nice windows for about thirty cents on the dollar. However! If you want to match them and only one is there you pay full bore on number two.

   On heat, was part of my business at one time, I have found that hot water in the floor is wonderful in chilly climates It takes very little room and puts heat where heat belongs. With this in floor heat solar will work during the day, presuming a few things, and the boiler also can set even outdoors, also could be a heat pump for evening, again outdoors out of needed space. 

   If one's in an area where it gets cold and we cook inside a vent hood is a must. And an opening for air in! Or, my first choice would be an air exchanger with the hood. An air exchanger takes outside air and brings it in while dumping inside air out saving most of the heat or cool energy over a heat exchanger. It will provide fresh air and near eliminate oder and the Co2 poisoning risk.

  If installed right it can do another interesting thing, eliminate cold drafts. Where it's cold outdoors and one has forced air or cycling heat the heat running expands the air leaving a slight presure on the homes interior. When the heat is satisfied and shuts down the air again cools, shrinking leaving the home in a slight vacuum. The outside air now under pressure begins filling the house causing cold drafts like around windows and doors, air to air exchange maintains the inside pressure eliminating drafts. It did not save energy! It just happened outside rather then in. The exchange process does cost some energy, not a lot and the health and safty it provides makes it a wonderful tool in the right application.

   I'll admit here that I lived small scale because of need, but enjoyed it. Being self serving and paid for somehow made it worth it. It didn't take long knowing that living small is it for a while to understand that a bedroom only needs to be a bunk in the hallway, that a tiny but well layed out kitchen was adequate. That said, two places I always found needed to be as roomy as possible were the living room, a must for visitors and your sanity and the bathroom. A camper style bath is great maybe for a weekend but not full time living.  

    I also found sunlights to be desirable. Here where it gets dark and stays that way for the winter we get few hours of sunlight,, lots of short cloudy days. Even on cloudy days the light from the skylight was good for ones state of mind and did save the need for lights being on.

     Just some thoughts.  

Comment by billy honaker on July 3, 2012 at 7:31pm

here is something else to think about. i have about 30 solar yard lights scattered around. all of them have rechargable AA batteries in them.  i purchased several extra AA rechargable batteries and flash lights that run off them. just something else to think about in a micro home setup. use everything you can!!

Comment by Renewable Ray on July 4, 2012 at 5:33am

Love em Billy, our back lot is filled with them. Our back lot [where our mini house is] is also home to our gardens, wood piles, parked non running vehicles and while my gal thinks they look great I love the fact that the mice HATE them.

Tip I learned from our neighbors up north, where they struggle with rodents doing damage to the cars and trucks at night. They pull their trucks over the lights at night and the mice won't go anywhere near them. They love the dark. I love them not being around.


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