A Common Concern

Some people who are interested in tiny houses are put off by the fact that most tiny houses have ladders instead of stairs. They say tiny houses look great, but there’s no way they’d use a ladder every morning and night. Some people need to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, others have physical limitations, and then there’s some people who simply don’t like ladders.

There are other options! One of the many great things about tiny houses is that they are versatile. They’re often custom-built as well, so you can have whatever you like. Here are some examples of alternatives.

This one is still technically a ladder, but it’s built into the house. No wobbling ladder here (you will have to scroll a bit):

http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-house-concept/colins-coastal-cabin/

This next one is half stairs/half ladder, with storage:

http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/sbo/2014/04/tiny-houses-peek-inside-160-feet-of.html?s=image_gallery

Now this is a completely different option. Instead of having the usual loft, you can choose to have your bed lower. I’ve seen some with seating below with a low ceiling and then a bed overhead. This tiny house was built on a goose-neck trailer, so the bed is above that and there’s some storage below it as well (again, you’ll have to scroll a bit):

http://tinyhousetalk.com/woman-builds-diy-196-sq-ft-micro-home-11k/

This is an alternative I’ve seen a few times. Instead of a full staircase, they have space-saving steps, often with storage in them. Tiny House Giant Journey did this with wooden crates to match their rustic look, and La Petite Maison features a white right-angle set of steps.

http://chrisandmalissa.com/candices-tiny-house/2nyzf3xfd29xtd3qg0wcbfklvf3e5n

And I almost forgot: real stairs! This set (it’s the fourth picture in the hOMe Gallery) covers up where the wheel wells cut into the house, and is big enough to accommodate a washer/dryer combination machine:

http://tinyhousebuild.com/photo-gallery/

They even have instructions on how to make your own:

http://tinyhousebuild.com/gain-sf-under-stairs/

Now that I’ve shared all that, I’ll explain why I’m still choosing to have a ladder.

My reasons:

1. I’m going to have two lofts and will need a way to access them both.

2. Ladders are thin and easy to store out of the way.

3. I found a staircase too difficult to fit into my floor plan without making my house longer, which I didn’t want to do.

4. I have no issues with ladders, climbing up or down them, or needing to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.

It’s funny because, when I was a little kid, I decided that stairs were silly and I was not going to have them in my future house. I thought to myself, why go up and down stairs all the time when you can just make everything on the same floor? I realized later that obviously you need more land for a big one floor house, but it’s kind of cool that a little-me decision is coming true; I won’t have stairs in my house.

 

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Minimalism is Addictive

I love learning new things and the tiny house dream has definitely had me reading about topics I’d never cared about before. I’m riveted by this little world I’ve discovered. I love reading other tiny house blogs, and one of the topics that keeps coming up is minimalism, or tiny house living. Every day when I go to get dressed, I see all the clothes I don’t wear. I look around my room and see things that won’t make the cut when I move into my tiny house. I would love to get rid of stuff now, but I think that I’ll just accumulate new stuff to fill the extra space that I have. When I do move though, it won’t be a matter of packing up everything I own and relocating it all. I will go through every item I own and decide what’s worth keeping. It’ll be a fresh start.

I believe in simplicity, things with more than one function, and surrounding yourself with only the things you love. I want almost everything in my house to be used or appreciated regularly, if not daily. One habit I’ve adopted is to stop before buying something and ask myself if I can picture it in my tiny home. I don’t need a lot, and I have way too much. I think about when I travel, I pick my favourites of everything to bring and the most versatile items. I don’t want to own anything (with some exceptions) that don’t make that cut. I’m also limited by how much space I have in my suitcase. Houses these days are so big that you aren’t really limited with how much stuff you can collect, but we aren’t meant to own so much! Imagine taking every one of your belongings and putting them all into a pile in your backyard. Then stand next to it. It makes no sense! We could never carry all that! Why do we feel the need to collect it all? I really believe that we’re meant to be nomadic. Plus, most likely, almost everything in that pile looks odd next to nature.

We create a buffer for ourselves out of stuff, and then we complain about how we don’t have fulfilling relationships with people. I want to get back to the natural and the simple. I want to be less attached to material goods. I want shopping to stop being a mindless, socially encouraged pastime. Minimalism just makes so much sense to me, and since discovering the concept/lifestyle, my perspective has changed. I look at my stuff and see things I could get rid of, things that I would be happy to get rid of. If you don’t use something or it doesn’t benefit your life, then why are you keeping it?

Exactly!

One of the blogs I follow is The Tiny Life and their most recent post is about after the house is built, which I find really interesting. I’m not building a house to build a house, I’m building a house to have a home to live in. I know a few tiny house blogs that just stop being updated after the build is done. That’s unfortunate because a lot of people want to know what actually living in a tiny house is like.

In the video in the post, Ryan talks about how tiny houses allow you to travel, and when he said that, I just thought, “Exactly!” I want to travel so much and see the world, but I also don’t want to be untethered with no place to come home to. To me, having a tiny house will mean low expenses, so 1. I’ll be able to save money to spend on travel, and 2. while I’m gone, I won’t be paying a ton of money to keep a place I’m not living in. And best of all, my tiny house will always be there for me to come home to.

So take a look, watch the video, maybe poke around the site a bit:

http://thetinylife.com/next-steps-for-the-tiny-life/

I love that there is such a huge network of tiny houses out there, sharing their knowledge and experiences.

Pinterest

I discovered Pinterest and tiny houses around the same time, so slowly, before the dream became a plan, I began pinning things that caught my eye. I never went out looking for tiny house pins, but last year I spent a lot of time just scrolling through Pinterest. I’d see design ideas or colour schemes and I’d pin them, just in case.

Some pins are about cleaning and regular sized houses, but there are a lot of colours and inspirations and fabulous storage ideas. I’ve always loved looking at houses, ever since I was a kid. I even wanted to be an interior decorator for a while.  It’s a dream come true to be able to design my own home.

So I just thought I’d share my TH board of not-always-related-but-sometimes-just-perfect pins. And a lot of the pins are useful even if you’re not building a tiny house.

Take a scroll:

http://www.pinterest.com/november1112/th/

The Kings of Summer

Last night I watched an interesting movie called The Kings of Summer. It’s about a 15-year-old boy who runs away to the woods and builds his own house, with the help of a couple of friends. I really liked it, and it made me think of tiny houses. I think there’s just something about building your own shelter that is so attractive to some people. The ability to put a roof over your head and take care of yourself is very comforting, because most of us want stability. For some people, they want a good job so they can afford a nice house, but for others, putting the plans and walls together themselves feels like a bigger accomplishment than just buying a house. I can’t wait to stand in my house and say, “I built this!”

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Quotes

"It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan." - Eleanor Roosevelt

"It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare. It is because we do not dare that they are difficult." - Seneca

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful." - William Morris