After our February whirlwind of Alaska Adventures, Jared and I rolled into March realizing we hadn’t made as much progress toward our tiny house dreams as we had hoped to. When we first sold our home we tossed around timelines without much knowledge of how long the design planning, builder seeking, and land finding process could take. But something we had accomplished in the last few months was research!
After many books and blogs (some of my favorites are listed below), we felt like we had a great understanding of what we were getting into, so we changed our approach for March from our previous lamb-like stroll, to an aggressive lion-resembling sprint. We would settle on our tiny home builder this month!
- Tiny House Decisions by Ethan Waldman– this was instrumental for us to make our checklist and understand all the intricacies of building
- Tiny House Talk Blog by Alex Pino– I signed up to get daily updates and not only see cool new ideas, but learn more about protecting a tiny house, financing the build, and progress in the Tiny House Movement
- Tiny House Living by Ryan Mitchell– My brother gave us the hard copy for Christmas and it includes some really great case studies
- Tiny House Swoon Blog– for creative inspiration; I can get so lost in the swoon
And so I waited to post this post until that very goal was accomplished. I am happy to announce to you that Greg Parham of Rocky Mountain Tiny Homes will be our builder and we anticipate being in our tiny house by July!
We had been down to two builders for the last few months. We were pretty close to signing with the other builder, because we hadn’t heard back from Greg in a while. But we both really liked his work and his openness to customization and creativity- check out Greg’s 8×30′ tiny house built for three! So Jared sent a last minute, hail mary email to Greg letting him know we were about to go with another builder. We loved Greg’s honest response- “Nothing like saying you’re about to hire another builder to get my attention!”
After that email things progressed pretty quickly! Greg sent us a sketch of a home he just built that was eerily similar the original sketch I sent him in February. We also found another home that really inspired us (see photos at the top) and so we altered our layout and design a bit to this sketch. We have decided to go with an 8’6″ by 24′ with double lofts.
We sent our sketch and a list of customized ideas to Greg on Sunday so hopefully the next step is an actual building plan to scale. But we continue to add ideas to our Pinterest board!
So with a builder found and the design in progress, land is the next bullet on our check list. We set a deadline to have found land before I leave for South Africa in April, which gives us almost a month exactly (April 25 is the deadline). So this past weekend we drove out to Granbury to look at some property near Jared’s Parent’s lake house that is a possibility for placing the Tiny House.
The Granbury property is lovely and on a bluff above the lake. There are really only two downsides to it: one is that as you can see it needs to be cleared out which we would have to pay for and add in plumbing and electric. The other is that it would mean a 50-60 minute commute for both Jared and I to our jobs in Fort Worth- BLAH. It’s not a trafficy commute, in fact it’s quite scenic, and we do have our Prius C for this very reason, but it’s still a lot of extra time in a car that we could dedicate to so many other things.
So with that in mind we hatched a plan on the way to the lake this past weekend. We decided to stop wherever we saw a lot of undeveloped land, find the nearest house or ranch, knock on their door and ask them if they or anyone they knew nearby was looking to lease or sell some of that wide open land! Jared insisted we wear our “Sunday Best” for this task and take our grown up job business cards so we seemed legit.
The outcome? Well we only actually spoke to one person (most people weren’t at home or didn’t answer the door). She was the wife of a Ranch Manager for a 2600 acres wilderness preserve off 377. The land had been left in a trust for school children to explore and learn about Texas prairie. Although the conversation was interesting and the woman was lovely, no part of the 2600 acres is for Tiny House parking…
As fate would have it, though, one of the Knight’s lake house neighbors knew of some land about 20 minutes outside of Fort Worth that is unrestricted and has some plots for sale! We explored that land on the way back on Sunday and wrote down numbers of two plots that were for sale by owner. Yesterday we made some calls and this is some promise, albeit potentially expensive promise, in both. More to come on that later!
The other current task at hand is our continued downsizing. When we moved in November we packed a lot of items we knew the Knights would have in their house while we stayed with them (think kitchen and yard items). We stored it all in the storage shed at the lake which is actually right next to the uncleared property. As we looked at what remains we realized a few of things:
- We will likely be having another yard sale this spring
- Some items we have lived without for the past 4 months but we won’t know whether we can get rid of it or not until we move into our Tiny House in July. We are lucky to have a free storage unit!
- We have A LOT MORE TO GET RID OF!!