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Old 08-22-2011, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,619,499 times
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Back when I was a wage slave I had a 3k sq ft two story. The walkout was a converted apartment, so I only lived on the top floor 3BD 1.75BA... and that was still more space than I really needed. Our cabin is half the size of just the top floor. Heck, the wall tent we're living in is smaller than that living room! Even in a larger space, I still carved out a smaller space to cozy up into most of the time.

I think some people are less attached to 'things' and some people don't need so much space to feel comfortable. When I lived alone in 400 sq ft apartment with my cat, I thought I could probably stand to have about 150 sq ft less to clean (the 'dining' nook). If I have 250 sq ft for me & necessities, or share a larger space with someone and have 50 or sq ft that's solely mine, it's really all I need. I may have some necessities (food stores, tools, seasonal clothes) that I need a small shed for, but I don't need all that stuff in my living space all the time.

With some creativity and organization, you can store a surprising amount of necessities in a smaller space without making it cramped and dysfunctional. Layout, materials and color play a big part... unless you like the "cave" feeling, you probably don't want thick/heavy fabrics and lots of dark wood and dark walls/ceilings. Keeping things light and airy helps a lot with the claustrophobia... so do strategically spaced/placed windows and doors.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Staten Island, New York
3,681 posts, read 6,042,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
That looks cool. The two bedroom version is about the same size as my 1930 'kit' house. I love that it LOOKS like an old house too. For one person, even two if you have a good solid shed like I plan to add, for the leftover stock, its a good size.

I use the small 'second' bedroom, painted with murals of threes and sky, as my bedroom. It has a large bed accomidating me and assorted furries and a dresser. All you really need in a bedroom.

I'd love a basement, for several reasons, but with the local watertable it would be a very 'green' room. A frequently asked question in this state is why so few houses have basements.
That's why I like it so much, I think - the Victorian look in a little house. I don't think it will ever happen, but I hope one day to build it as a retirement home. The large bedroom would be mine, the second as a guest room. The main floor would be adjusted to be wheelchair accessible (you never know). The extra room would be a library/office with a daybed in case of more guests. I would add a little mud room type thing behind that for basement access. That would have an interior wheelchair ramp so I could get into the basement to do laundry and get to the pantry.

Of course, this can only happen if I win the lottery!
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Old 08-24-2011, 11:01 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,437 posts, read 39,794,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYChistorygal View Post
... I hope one day to build it as a retirement home. The large bedroom would be mine, the second as a guest room. The main floor would be adjusted to be wheelchair accessible (you never know). The extra room would be a library/office with a daybed in case of more guests. I would add a little mud room type thing behind that for basement access. That would have an interior wheelchair ramp so I could get into the basement to do laundry and get to the pantry.

Of course, this can only happen if I win the lottery!

Or cough up a little dough. These things are WAY overpriced. You can ezly build one for $20-$40, but then might as well have a used RV for $3-5000.

I get most my building stuff from Habitat 'Re-store' or other used / overstock places. (most are new). Light fixtures, doors, laminate, ceramic tile, cabinets, carpet, appliances all bought in the last month VERY CHEAP.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Londonderry, NH
41,505 posts, read 51,286,412 times
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Anyone know where I could set a shipping container, or two, on a foundation and call it home?
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Old 09-01-2011, 12:44 AM
 
1,337 posts, read 1,228,855 times
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Originally Posted by GregW View Post
Anyone know where I could set a shipping container, or two, on a foundation and call it home?
If the question is more from a zoning angle, rather than a building code angle, and if you wanted to stay in NH, your options are limited. However, Grafton (southern end of the state) and certain parts of Pittsburg (up by Canadian border) would probably offer you the least restrictive environment for those who want to pursue alternative building techniques (be it for "green" purposes, or to pursue an interest in some kind of alternate architecture like container homes).

Some of the Free Stater folks picked Grafton as a place to live for that reason. That was a few years ago. I don't know if Grafton has zoning and building inspectors nowadays. Haven't heard anything to the contrary, though I have not been paying as much attention lately.

According to old info I have, they said Grafton has:
(a) NO Zoning,
(b) NO Building Inspector, and
(c) NO "Certificates of Occupancy".

Of course, since the NH building code is statewide nowadays, the distinction in (b) is a de facto one, not a de jure one (meaning, the code still applies, and is still supposed to be followed, it's just that there won't be somebody looking over your shoulder about it). Its basically the same situation you have in a lot of Alaska and probably parts of Maine in the unincorporated territories.


Some of the cabins up in Pittsburg are really 'rustic' also, so I don't think they much enforce anything that goes on up there (though I'm sure part of that has to do with the fact that many of the cabins are old, and so were built pre-current code).... and the real estate websites list a lot of upper Pittsburg as having no zoning, so you should not get any objection living in a shipping container from an aesthetic objection point of view. You still have the building and septic code issue which is statewide, but you shouldn't really have too big of a problem with that if you kept it fairly simple.... not sure what kind of plans you have in that regard. If you can deal with the cold up there (it's actually a noticeable difference from the southern end of the state), it's an option.

Last edited by FreedomThroughAnarchism; 09-01-2011 at 01:05 AM..
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Old 09-02-2011, 08:14 AM
 
8,648 posts, read 15,274,520 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raven1976 View Post
We're looking at lots of options. If we could find a small home we can fix up that might help. We just basically want to be mortgage free in a few years and also install solar energy so that the utilities are minimal.
would you be interested in 1/2 acre in Texas with a BIG lake and a house about 800 sq feet, NEEDS WORK.....CHEAP...PM me if you are....wooded and lots of good fishing.....
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Old 09-02-2011, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
9,745 posts, read 14,152,478 times
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I like the idea of a very small living space. My brother and I recently moved across the country, and the most conveniently located apartment available (that we could work out without actually being in the town) is a two bedroom, two bath that's probably 1000 square feet or so. It's definitely larger than we need. However, my brother has decided to move back home for various reasons, which will leave me free to find the smallest place I can. So I'm hoping for a studio apartment no larger than 300-400 square feet. I like the idea of these little houses, but having owned a house, I've decided home-ownership is not for me. Plus I'd have to buy land, and considering I prefer to live in the middle of town, that would be quite expensive, to say the least. And that's assuming I could even find a lot for sale, and building codes would allow such a house. I've also considered living on a boat, but that comes with at least as many complications, more maintenance, and probably at least as much expense.
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Old 09-02-2011, 02:01 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,619,499 times
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One thing that worries me is that, with small spaces becoming vogue, even (affordable) tiny houses and studio apartments will become overpriced and out of reach for many folks. I was looking in the paper the other day, and the small spaces are nearly as expensive as the larger ones now. Greed sucks
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Old 09-02-2011, 02:29 PM
 
1,337 posts, read 1,228,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissingAll4Seasons View Post
One thing that worries me is that, with small spaces becoming vogue, even (affordable) tiny houses and studio apartments will become overpriced and out of reach for many folks. I was looking in the paper the other day, and the small spaces are nearly as expensive as the larger ones now. Greed sucks
True, but that is why there needs to be a resurgence of promoting the skills necessary for people to build themselves (and plant food, and other homemaking skills people once had... but mostly no longer do).

When people learn the skills (even if its not at a master craftsmanship level... it just has to be sufficient), they can't be leveraged so easily into the position of having to pay the large sums of money that are often asked for certain products (be it a $5 box of cereal, or a small home you could build yourself for a fraction of the price).

The more people who do this, the more leverage we all gain, in aggregate, against those who would otherwise offer goods and services for very high mark-ups. It'll shift the equilibrium point back the other way towards the consumer, sending the market signal to the producer or tradesman that because more people are now willing to do things themselves, if they want to be competitive and get the jobs again, they better consider lowering their prices. It's win-win for the consumer, both in long and short term, if people do this.

Last edited by FreedomThroughAnarchism; 09-02-2011 at 02:55 PM..
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Old 09-02-2011, 06:30 PM
 
Location: Interior AK
4,729 posts, read 8,619,499 times
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Too true -- if people really understood the full costs of "convenience" maybe they'd spend a little time, money and effort doing things "the hard way"
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