Austin Adventures

IMG_1342.JPGSo much has happened in the last week!  Jared and Tim cleared our land, we met with Nomadic Cabins in Austin, and we stayed in a tiny house to try the lifestyle on for size.

Some may say we are in pretty deep to be spending the night in a tiny home for the first time and that might be true, but Jared and I were both pretty happy with the space and functionality during our stay. We even took notes on the few things that bothered us that we wanted to make sure to pass along to Nomadic for our own home.

But first things first- the day before we left for Austin, Jared and Tim, my father in law, rented two large brush mowers to clear some of the space on our land.  Yes, the chigger and cactus-filled paradise had to be tamed, although Jared and I both very much want to keep the land natural and rural.  So we went out with Tim and Kat, my mother in law, last week to take a look at where we wanted to clear and just how big the job of clearing was going to be.

Jared used our GoPro camera to set up a time lapse shot while he and Tim cleared the land that you can see here!

But they didn’t stop with that- they have been back to the property twice in the last week to do some tree trimming. And Jared and I met this past week with a man who is going to till ‘the cactus graveyard’ they left behind after the brush mowers.  The man may also remove a large pile of debris on our property that, according to our neighbor, used to be a barn. We aren’t really sure what exactly is in the debris pile and it’s going to be expensive to move so we haven’t yet decided if or when that will take place.  Although the debris pile does sit on the area that we imagined would be part of our driveway so we may have a little more research to do on that piece.  Because we were already going out to the property to meet with the man, Jared and I got to take a good walk around the property to decide exactly where the house and fence would go and found the perfect spot: in between the trees below so we will be nice and shaded. Jared and Tim have done so much work on the property- hard, sweaty, and sometimes bloody manual labor and I’m not sure it’s possible to adequately thank them.  Nonetheless walking around the cleaned up property with Jared was so cool.

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If all the progress on the land wasn’t exciting enough, we have seen so much progress with the house in the last week too!  Last weekend we left to head down to Austin to meet with Nomadic Cabins and visit with family and friends. As one might expect, Austin is totally on top of the tiny house movement, and we found an adorable tiny house in a woman’s backyard on AirBnB to rent for the weekend.  Trish’s Open, Airy Tiny House-Central & UT!was affordable, adorable, and perfect for our first tiny house overnight stay.  The house was actually very close to Jared’s brother in northwest Austin and even closer to the build site for our tiny house.  

IMG_5698.JPGThings we loved about this tiny house:

  • It’s smaller than our house (in length and height of the lofts) and it still felt huge!
  • Plenty of room for guests- We had a few friends and family come over for a beer and comfortably fit 5 people in the living/kitchen space.
  • Loft sleeping is fun.

Notes we made for our house after our stay:

  • Not that it was up for debate before but Trish’s restroom had only a curtain and no door- there MUST be a door to the bathroom
  • Add handrails on the walls beside the stairs or ladder to the lofts
  • Make sure there is a remote to the a/c unit- Trish had one and it was awesome
  • Be mindful of the placement of the house- Trish’s house had curtains on all windows but not on the front window door where the evening sunlight flooded the couch with blinding light

All in all, we would absolutely recommend this place and both felt great about our move to tiny living afterward. Check out the view!

Finally (and maybe most importantly) we got to meet with James from Nomadic Cabins while we were in Austin.  Their work space is right behind an old glass factory off of Burnet Road (note to self- wear close-toed shoes next time!). We arrived on Saturday right before lunch and were so pleasantly surprised to find our trailer had not only arrived but the initial floor was already installed.

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We also got to walk through their previous build which is right beside ours, ‘walk through’ our house and feel where the kitchen, living, and bathrooms areas would all be, and talk in detail about our plans.

Updates from that discussion:

  • We have decided to forgo central air and heat for a smaller and less expensive unit that can cool up to 800 square feet (our house will be closer to 300).  This unit will be much easier for us to control, repair, etc. and saves us $!!
  • We are not building a fold down deck, but rather a segmented detachable deck that won’t add to our road traveling width (which would also take away from our inside width).  That way we can put it together relatively quickly and keep it there when we are stationary but take it apart and store it in the house while we move the house!
  • We are moving the water heater and utilities from inside the house and in Jared’s closet to a small outside unit to give us more space inside the house (which won’t impact the travel readiness of the house).

All of these were James’s suggestions that we felt really comfortable about.  After chatting for about an hour and a half, we left feeling like our home is in pretty good hands!  And then, this past week James texted us with a photo of some pretty exciting progress:

 

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