INHABITAT: Leonardo Da Vinci said "Small rooms or dwellings discipline the mind, large ones weaken it." Do you believe that to be true?Hari: I know that small rooms/dwellings discipline the mind, and in my case, a larger dwelling did weaken my discipline. Through the creative confines of a small space, the mind has to work out a puzzle, which is certainly a discipline— especially when living tiny with a family. Everything has its space, and it has to be put away. It forces me to stay present with each moment. I wrote about how the tiny house has disciplined me in Digging Rocks and Tiny House Reforms a Messy Housekeeper.
INHABITAT: Can you tell us a little bit about the Tiny House Family‘s home and its features?
Hari: Our tiny home is 8’ x 21’ with a full loft. The loft has 3’ of head space. We built two separate lofts for a bit of privacy. There are areas of the house dedicated to office, living, dining, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and wardrobe. Appliances and fixtures include a 12 gallon hot water heater under the kitchen counter, an apartment-sized range, a large hood (which vents the house in minutes), an under-counter refrigerator, a built-in couch and shoe bench (both of which open up for storage), a toilet, a shower, a hand sink and a kitchen sink. Each family member has his/her own cabinet for clothing. The windows and full-light door help bring lots of natural light inside making a connection to the outdoors.
INHABITAT: What made your family decide to build your tiny home?
Hari: It fit into our long-term plan to build a small mortgage-free homestead. After saving for and buying the land, the well and septic, and putting in a driveway, we weren’t left with a lot of money. We were also still in Florida, but we wanted to start building. Building on a flatbed trailer made it possible to start building while still in Florida. It was also possible to build to completion even with our small grubstake. Building tiny also made it easy to find salvaged/overstock/leftover construction materials. When you only need 12 sq. feet of tile, and 100 sq. ft. of flooring, it’s easy to find deals.
INHABITAT: How much did the home cost and how did you keep prices down?
Hari: $12,000. We kept costs down by salvaging, using Craigslist and doing all of the labor ourselves.