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Season 3: Episode 4 - First Designs

Armed with Sketch Book and SketchUp, we have boldly galloped towards a design that we think will work for us. There is a lot of value in the iteractive process! The Tiny House we build will look nothing like our earliest sketches, which isn't particularly surprising.

Here is a little gallery of some of our earliest sketches:

We also worked to create a 3D digital model of our design. The first ones looked like this:

Version 1
Version 2

Version 3

Version 4

Version 5

Version 6

You can see we explored a few different design concepts in shell and layout - a bay window style bump out at the front, and an angled cantilever at the back, which we eventually abandoned because it would be much more challenging to build, add extra weight and one design concept we have tried to focus on is not having the tiny house be too big. Bryce has said before that second time tiny house builders almost always go smaller.

We experimented with different stair and step ladder configurations, bathroom sizes and appliance locations. Then we got version 9.

Version 7. There is no version 8, only 7b. Sourcerers take care.

Version 9

Version 9 is important, because this is where we started to get comfortable with the design, so we did the next experiment - being in the space.

Using painters tape on the lounge room floor we laid out the internal walls of the tiny house and spend an evening using pseudo-furniture to imagine the space. We liked it. We moved the tape around a bit for location of fridge and shower, we left it there for a few days and showed some other people. We learned that painters tape doesn't like being stuck down for a couple of weeks. This feels like a thing we could do!

Obligitary Living Big photobomb


Using this concept design and the art of spreadsheet-ing, we did two very important things - a weight estimate and a cost estimate.

Scribbling out framing for material quantity estimates

Areas and lengths of timber and sheets

Here is a copy of the spreadsheet if you want to repurpose it for your own uses. You also get a little bonus electrical demand calculation embedded in there. Note that we have since changed some of the framing timber sizes, cladding thicknesses and appliances - Foraging for Vegan Treats makes no guarantees about the accuracy of the spreadsheet - use at your own risk!

Up until this point, we really were not sure if Tiny House on Wheels was a viable project for us. These two numbers are super important:

Weight: 3030 kg, under our 3500 kg goal

Cost: $60 342, under our $70 000 goal

Milestone: WE CAN DO THIS!!! YEAH!!

This is the end of the concept design phase. We have hit an important decision point. Two more boxes to tick before we order our trailer, but we have determined the size of trailer we think we want, and that we could build on, under weight and under budget. Time to go meet some tiny house people and spend a couple of nights in a tiny house!

All our Love,

Adam and Ruth,

Foraging for Vegan Treats

Season 3 Statistics:

Mortgage purchase attempts: 2

Funds raised through selling stuff we were not using: $700

Tiny House University Units Completed: 37

Land Rover For Sale Gumtree Ads Bookmarked: 3

Working weight estimate: 3030 kg

Working cost estimate (spent/total): $0/$60 342

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