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Updated Design – Mini Cabin

Posted May 3rd, 2009 by Michael Janzen and filed in Design

I posted a new version of Nine Tiny Feet on Tiny House Design last night. I’ve been getting some great comments all day that make me think I should make this nine square foot house even more light-weight. Some people even suggested making it light enough to be towed by a bicycle.

I’m also rethinking the rain water collection and soil box due to the added weight these two systems could add. Although I don’t want to give up on the added self-sufficiency these features add. I’ll have to noodle over that and weight the pros and cons.

For all the details on this new variation take a look at the post on Tiny House Design. Below are some semi-transparent images you won’t find on the other blog.

nine-tiny-feet-cabin-north-wall

nine-tiny-feet-cabin-west-wall

nine-tiny-feet-cabin-south-wall

nine-tiny-feet-cabin-east-wall

nine-tiny-feet-cabin-top

Now go take a look at the detailed description of this design variation.

18 Responses to “Updated Design – Mini Cabin”

  1. Superdog says:

    When might you get a chance to start building the 9 sq ft house? You already have the trailers.

    I’d like to see you build it and live in it full time for 30 days, keeping a journal as you go. We would find out if it had enough storage space, places to hang clothes, laundry, groceries, supplies, etc. What worked? What didn’t?

    That would be terrific reading. You could become world famous and then sell the plans.

    Not sure what to tell the wife regarding this 30 day experiment though.

  2. Grant Wagner says:

    That is an interesting idea, but I would instead suggest picking any given 4 weeks, one for each major season of the year. Heck, let’s drop it to three, as I imagine that spring and fall would be very similar.

    That would be so cool!

  3. jbg says:

    This is great stuff. Can't wait to read more. You really have my wheels spinning. I'm thinking something “canoe shaped” for wind resistance purposes to be pulled behind a motorized bicycle.

  4. DeenaLarsen says:

    Wow, that does look like fun and they are doable. I'm impressed. Here is a challenge–can you build an accessible house in 9 square feet?

    We are canoodling over how to do that in 250 square feet…http://www.accessahut.wordpress.com

    • Michael Janzen says:

      A nine square foot accessible home would be an interesting challenge. I think the final design would really depend a lot on the individual too.

      I just bookmarked your RSS feed and will stay tuned on you progress. Good luck!

  5. Wow, I just found out about the Tiny House and Small House movement. I think this is fabulous. I love your 9ft idea that can be pulled by a bicycle. I have been homeless in my life and have worked with the homeless. Having any kind of a home makes you feel a lot better. This is also a great idea for college students. It is hard to work your way through college and get good grades, there are only so many hours in the day. They could work just enough to pay tuition, books, and food, get good grades and have a place to sleep.

  6. [...] to get through the day—a tiny kitchen, shower, toilet, a place to sleep and even a porch. The Nine Tiny Feet Cabin does it all in a singular sustainable design, while simultaneously forgoing the need for any main [...]

  7. Steve says:

    Really interesting. Loving the concept of light and minimalist. I’m not sure about the function of the porch though. I think you could easily almost double your living space without that addition – and without adding much extra weight – an awning would be lighter and more functional.

    Same for the planter. Not sure if the return is there for that space investment. And concerning the water collection – I think that’s a great idea. If you’re towing the portadomi with a bicycle or similar – just empty the fluids and refill at destination. Light weight materials are where it’s at. Maybe you should adjust the experiment to find the perfect weight balance and space allocation. lbs / square foot. THAT could be a great measure.

    An aluminum chassis and a set of bicycle tires, composite framing and poly walls along with a poly weave expansion and awning… Think hybrid tent house.

    Anyway, sounds fun:)

  8. Bubba says:

    I built an 6×10 foot cabin to leave at the hunting camp. It had solar lighting so I could read at night. It weighed about 750 pounds and was too hard to load on the trailer for transport. I like your design. How much does it weigh?

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Hi Bubba,

      I don’t know the weight yet but once I have it built I’ll post that. 6×10 sounds much more comfortable, the 9 sq ft design is really more of an experiment in finding the baseline for micro houses.

      I’d love to see a photo of your cabin… it’s always nice to tell success stories on my other blog, http://www.tinyhousedesign.com.

      -Michael

  9. TC says:

    I like the idea of green/sustainability, but the real world says this would appeal more to guys, who typically have to live in more substandard housing.

    Women won’t even date a guy without a car, much less his own toilet. Living in ones car is like wearing a sign that says,”Don’t have sex with me”.

    Thoreau & Swiss family robinson is me on the inside for sure. I’ve lived in a rooming house (18×10 rooms along a hallway) where 2 bathrooms (3 toilets and 2 showers) were shared with all 12 single-occupancy rooms. Women would never live like that and rarely date guys who do. Women are more conformist and will go along with Suburbia et al. until it falls down in flames. Men are more ghetto.

    Some people think of being in two ways: Yuck how do i get rich and away from poor people, OR How do i enjoy this and see this as a Christian thing… I see it as the second. I always side with the underdog/oppressed. i wish small houses would catch on but as long as blood diamonds are popular (most women crave the ‘rock’ on their finger), materialism will KILL any green innovations… That’s why eco-shopping is HOT, and frugality and not-shopping isn’t. I love it, but oh well.

  10. Lace says:

    Love it!! I’m working on a 5×8′ (trailer, 4×7′ living space) dwelling at the that could be towed by a Durango, Explorer, etc (<2995 GVWR). It's nice to know I'm not the only one working on this kind of thing. :)

  11. Robert Daniel says:

    Love this whole topic ever since reading Walden in the late 60s. Have been downsizing for the last 15 years. Now that youngest child is on his own, wife and I finally down to 1 bedroom apartment. Unfortunately, due to our age and physical condition and wife’s absence of the camping out gene, probably never get much smaller, but fun to think about.

  12. Darlene says:

    TC, join your local Green Drinks chapter or any environmental social networking function in town. Look on Craigslist under Events or Volunteer. You will meet people who think you are a very smart person to be saving energy and helping reduce brownouts. You can work a community garden or attend lectures. Sooner or later you will be back on here blogging that you and your little family live in a tiny house. Won’t that be cool?

  13. John says:

    I’ve been thinking of building a similar design to be pulled by bicycle. My main concern would be height of it with wind blowing. I’ve thought of having a triangular or pentagonal shape with a solid base and a heavy canvas upper wall with a hard roof. The top could be folded down while riding. I have some concerns on weight since I would like it to be self-sustained as far as rain collection and solar power. Using an electric induction burner for a stove, saw dust toilet, and a folding bed. My main problem I’ve come up with is having a structure with a shower in it when the walls fold down. I was thinking of maybe a camping style shower for it’s lightweight and durability. I’m still in the early stages of planning though.

  14. harplady says:

    Hi- Want to build a trailer, to be pulled by a Ranger. Then I can be traveling Gypsy Musician! Must sell the Hyundai, tho. Have you built the 9 sq footer??
    Thanks for sharing!

  15. Brandon Phildor says:

    Really great!!, The most appropriate word for this, I’ve been looking for a variety of source and now I’ve found it, so I can immediately resolve the problem that I am facing. thank you

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