INHABITAT: What is your favorite part of the house?Hari: I love our kitchen with its simple tile/wood back splash, wood counters and shelves. I also enjoy having two small windows next to the sink. Having the items we use everyday on display makes me happy. We put most of our herbs and spices in canning jars and the flour and other grains are in clear containers—the apartment sized range fits the scale and performs the job perfectly. I love the floor to ceiling 4” shelving in the kitchen. It holds all of our glasses, mugs, small dishes and wine bottles. It also makes it easy to purge. Sometimes, I sit on the couch and notice something we haven’t used in a while. It ends up at our local thrift store. We put a restaurant ticket rail up to display the kids’ artwork. The pantry cabinet hides the unattractive pantry stuff; we also use the inside of the door to hang our family calendar. The glass-front bottle cooler from our restaurant works well as our only refrigerator. We don’t have a freezer.
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.