INHABITAT: Do you ever feel cramped living in your small home?Hari: On cold or rainy days, our house shrinks. With the option of going outside for space removed, I do feel cramped. I feel cramped when I am trying to write and the kids are playing with the dog and asking me questions. But, we’ve gotten used to it after living here for a year. When I feel cramped, I am fighting against what is happening in the moment. If I am edgy and needing space, I need to bundle up and go outside or climb up into my loft with a book. Sometimes, it means I just have to stop writing, put away the laundry, the dining room, pick up the dishes, put away the toys and 15 minutes later, I have my space back. The key to not feeling crammed is staying present - and putting things away!
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.