When he’s not putting out fires in Edmonton, Canada, firefighter Steve has managed to find time to build an Earthship-inspired tiny home on wheels. The 140-square-foot home, which can easily go off-grid, has all the comforts of a traditional residence – including a queen size bed, a deck and even a mini vertical herb garden in the kitchen. And of course, it was built to meet building codes for fire safety.
Steve built his little shelter after taking a one-year sabbatical, during which time he traveled via campervan, volunteering on many tiny ship builds along the way. Having honed his building skills, he came back to Edmonton to construct his own earthship-inspired tiny home. Located in a the backyard of a home that he rents out, the compact dwelling was recently featured by Living Big in a Tiny House.
The entrance to Steve’s home is via an open-air wooden deck that’s a perfect space for reading or bbq-ing. The interior living space is bordered with seating and storage cubbies on the wall. This main room doubles as the bedroom when the pull-out queen bed that’s hidden under the kitchen platform is rolled out.
The kitchen is definitely designed for someone who has a love of all things culinary. The L-shaped layout makes for an ultra-efficient space and easy movement. A wall of vertical shelving has ample space for basic condiments as well as space to grow herbs, although Steve admit to killing most of them.
The floor of the tiny home is brick, which was Steve’s attempt at creating a high thermal mass for passive heating. However, he’s planning to replace the flooring with wooden panels because the brick’s heat isn’t faring well against the cold Canadian winters. However, the home is still well-heated thanks to the three different heating options: woodstove, propane heater or electric patio heater.
During the design process, Steve wanted to make the home as off-grid as possible. Now, it sits in the backyard and uses the utilities from the main house, but the idea was to have a roaming independent space. The main structure is built on wheels and hot water is provided by a propane-powered water heater. For extra sustainability, there is an incinerating toilet in the bathroom.
When asked about his inspiration to build the tiny home, the firefighter explained it’s all about financial practicality, “For me, it was how the economics of it make sense. I rent the big house out and the tenants pay the mortgage, so by me staying in the small house in the backyard, I’m living a mortgage-free lifestyle right now, immediately, while I’m still collecting equity in the main house. So that makes sense to me and that’s a good situation to be in.”
Video and images via Living Big in a Tiny House