Last year, 31-year-old Alek Lisefski was inspired to try to live a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle. So the Web designer built a tiny house for himself, his girlfriend Anjali, and their dog, Anya, on an 8-by-12-foot flatbed trailer.
“Without room to hoard things and hide away from the world, I’ll be forced to spend more time outdoors, in nature and engaging with my community,” Lisefski explained on his blog when he first started his project. “This will foster better health and healthy relationships. With no more rent to pay, I’ll save money, allowing for a less hectic work life and more time and funds for health, leisure, and travel.”
Aptly dubbed The Tiny Project, the home took Lisefski a year to put together, including seven months of construction work where he labored on the house every night and weekend.
Lisefski built his tiny house on a flatbed trailer in order to make the house mobile and avoid the minimum square footage requirements most municipalities have for permanent structures. Because the house is technically considered an RV, its height could not exceed 13.5 feet and the width could not exceed 8.5 feet.
In total, Lisefski spent $US30,000, including the money spent on the trailer, tools, supplies, and appliances. Lisefski did almost all of the labour himself, asking for advice and trouble-shooting problems online and at his The Tiny Project blog.
The couple’s home is currently parked in the backyard of a home in Sebastopol, Calif. that they found on Craigslist. They do some yard work as a form of minor payment, and have access to the city’s water supply. They even built a fence around the tiny home to let their dog Anya play outside.
The house has been such a success that Lisefski created a downloadable book available on The Tiny Project website that details the entire construction process, including trailer details, wall framing, and window installation to help all those interested in building their own tiny dwelling.
This is Lisefski's tiny home, which was built on a flatbed trailer. It measures 13 feet and four inches tall, eight feet by six inches wide, and 20 feet long, and can be pulled behind a car.
The home may look small, but it has everything Lisefski and his girlfriend Anjali might need. They even have a combo washer/dryer unit.
Lisefski did almost all of the construction work himself, and tried to source as many sustainable materials as possible.
The home is uncluttered, with plenty of innovative storage spaces. There are shelves, fold-away cupboards, and hooks to hang things.
For instance, Anjali knew she wanted a standing desk and a tall closet -- both of which they were able to accommodate in their new tiny home.
The house doesn't feel cramped, thanks to the tall 13+ foot ceilings. There's also a ceiling fan for when it gets hot, and the gorgeous ceiling was made from sustainably harvested blue stain beetle-kill pine.
Lisefski tried to outfit the home with high-quality products that could have dual purposes, such as this teensy stove/oven that's usually installed in boats.
The couple have access to pressured city water, which simplifies the plumbing process. Shelves help them find room for all their ingredients in the small kitchen area.
Lisefski has his own closet space, and there are more shelves for their knick-knacks. The home also fits a sizeable bed.
The pair compost all their waste with a home-made composting toilet. Here's a look at their tiny sink setup.
Currently, the couple are living in California on a host family's property. They pay a small rent for the land and do some occasional yard work.
Lisefski also built a compost pile out of old pallets and concrete blocks that he found on the property in the back for increased sustainability.
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