The ability for customization, efficiency & function specific to our family of four + cat. The ability to personally design for my aesthetic preferences. The longevity of the materials used in the build. The eco-friendliness of the materials and systems used. The better insulation & four season capabilities, since we don't know where we'll end up. I <3 RV’s & travel trailers though, they’re just not the right fit for our family at this point in time.
Why did you decided to go with a builder instead of DIY?
I REALLY wanted to build it myself, but I also knew I would have needed an extra pair of hands. Those hands would have most likely ended up being my husband more times than not. Unfortunately he has a bad back that causes him quite a bit of discomfort at times, and is not supposed to lift more than 30lbs. He was also busy finishing up his grad work at Purdue and the last thing he needed was to come home to more work. He simply did not want to, nor have the time to build a house.
I would have LOVED the challenge, as I love designing, building and creating things, but it was not the right time or place for my husband to help. We knew our kids were at the perfect age (3 & 5) to start this lifestyle, and we didn’t want to waste any time. So I found a builder willing to work with my crazy ideas. I calculated the costs and time savings, and it worked out well for us to hire a builder.
How long are you traveling for?
We took off mid January 2016, and are traveling indefinitely. However, in the back of our minds we would like to be settled somewhere when our daughter starts 1st grade in August 2016.What are you doing for the kid’s schooling?
This school year 2015/2016, our daughter is in Kindergarten, and our son in Pre-School. They spent the fall semester at the amazing Montessori School of Greater Lafayette. It was the hardest thing ever to pull them from that school mid year to go on our adventure. But now we are homeschooling on the road, and plan on it until the new school year of 2016.
What do you do for work?
How do you afford this?
Aaron just finished grad school, and I run my own photography business. We’re frugal, we’ve saved, we are simple and our expenses are few. We are also in a transitional period in life and are taking advantage of it.
What if you end up hating life in a tiny house?
Then we’ll move out. Just like if anyone buys a house that doesn’t end up working out for him/her, they move. People go through several different phases of life, and we are not immune. We are very aware that we will eventually find ourselves in a different phase that will drastically change our circumstances. We’re okay with that. We won’t see it as a failure if we decide to move out of our tiny house full time. We’ll see it as a success that we went against the grain and took on this personal challenge in the first place to live how we wanted to at that time. What I can tell you is that we’ve been living tiny for 10 months now, and we love it. Personally, I am happier now than I’ve ever been in my entire life.
What about personal space and privacy?
When we were going about our normal life (Aaron at Purdue, the kids at school, and me doing photography) it was barely different than living in the “big” house. First of all, any parent of young children gets limited personal space no matter what size house they live in. But I actually prefer having the kids within earshot at nighttime (in the loft across from ours), so I know right away when they need me or something else. And about privacy… our bathroom door locks, just like anyone else’s. And if it’s intimacy you’re worried about, use your imagination.
Does a composting toilet smell bad?
Nope! It's not supposed to if used properly.
How does a composting toilet work?
It has 2 compartments, and therefore separates the urine from the feces.