Owner Builder Forum
Re: Tiny home on foundation, strawbale 55sqm. Floorplan.21
Dec 09, 2014 2:51 pm
A lot of what you've been thinking about, I did as well -- a small but liveable space, comfortable, but still with old-world character. It can be done, but there are a few important things to keep in mind.
The one thing that helped me the most was a book called "Get Your House Right" (terrific American grammar there). It goes through each of the very common mistakes when trying to build a traditional-looking home (of any size) and points out solutions. I'd say anyone in the same boat MUST buy this book and read it cover-to-cover:
http://www.bookdepository.com/Get-Your- ... 1402791031
Have a look at my build and shoot me any questions you might have -- always happy to help!
My storybook home build: https://forum.homeone.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=57987
Re: Tiny home on foundation, strawbale 55sqm. Floorplan.22
Dec 09, 2014 3:41 pm
I'd say you definately got your house right. It looks amazing. I'll have a look at that book too. The last thing I want is to do all this work and end up with something that ldoesnt look right. Yay! My library has that book. Got a hold on it which should tide me over until I can get a bought copy delivered. Currently reading Timber Frame Construction, Jack Sobon which is another great American title. Not that I'm going to hand tool my own frame. But it helps to understand this type of construction so its not all a mystery. Very interesting book actually. A good read lots of information on the development of traditional architecture. Passive solar is as old as the hills.
Re: Tiny home on foundation, strawbale 55sqm. Floorplan.23
Dec 14, 2014 11:53 am
Here is another small house from NZ that placed third in a US solar decathlon design competition of 79 sqm.
http://www.houzz.com.au/ideabooks/34667 ... t=gallery0
It not only has excellent green credentials but also looks pretty good as well.
Re: Tiny home on foundation, strawbale 55sqm. Floorplan.24
Dec 14, 2014 1:15 pm
Great use of space there, love the cupboard beds, have considered doing that myself an dispensing with bedrooms. I've seen lots of great alcove beds that do double duty as couches, reading nooks and just plain cupboards. Thanks for the link it's very inspiring. With these kinds of design options the little S6 would be very spacious indeed as a home.
Been doing more and more research too. As I am a petite female with no assistance on my build I've been looking at alternatives to the strawbale option. As I have the not so unique problem of not being able to lift heavy loads on my own and needing to do a fair amount of labour on the build to save money too.
One option I've looked at is light earth. Which is basically clay soaked loose straw that you pack into forms in order to create monolithic walls. Good insulation value, low skills required and allows me to handle the material in quantities that I can physically shift without causing a major injury. It also needs to be rendered. But because you are starting with a substrate that is near perfect the rendering is easier to achieve a good finish. You are not trying to fill large holes and valleys with render in order to create a smooth surface. It has many advantages over strawbale while essential creating the same thing. No stitching of bales, chainsawing down the rough edges etc. You can also use large round bales for material negating the need to find a supplier of rectangular bales of the necessary quality for strawbale building and paying the attendant premium as well.
Another option that's been suggested is mudbrick. While it's true I can affordably buy the bricks in to save labour, they are still individually very heavy and still labour intensive and may also need bagging to create a surface that I like. There is also their implications for basix to keep in mind, as my research tends to indicate that the basix requirements do not favour mudbrick and building double mudbrick may be required in some climates to get 6 stars, or doing a mudbrick veneer which basically begs the question, why bother?
One thing is for sure, they are all labour intensive but it's going to come down which has the right mix of labour and skill requirements versus cost in order to make this build feasible and effective for me. Also taking into account that I will need to sub in labour at some stages in order to finish it, so what's going to be the best form of that. If it's a low skill method then I can hire a labourer rather than a skilled tradie, depending on what it is I'm doing. Or it could be more cost/time effective to get a skilled tradie in, pay the premium and move on. Lots of things to consider.
The only thing that is certain for me is that building as small as possible to create a comfortable home is a good idea, as is finding a way to effectively use that small space.
Re: Tiny home on foundation, strawbale 55sqm. Floorplan.25
Dec 15, 2014 8:33 am
Hmmm... strawbale and mudbrick are excellent ways to save money on materials -- but the labour is intensive and (to my mind) unfortunately not worth it (*unless you can source free labour in the form of friends and relatives).
You could look at prefabricated timber frames, to save costs (although for your size building, making the frames would be a single day's job). Use a good quality house sheath (such as Permicav), blueboard the exterior and render it (or timber siding, if fire regs allow), and pack the cavities with high-performance 90mm thick insulation. All built on a simple concrete slab.
Bit boring I know, but if free labour is hard to find it's your most straight-forward option. Then invest in some lovely trim (carved barge boards, finials, etc etc).
My storybook home build: https://forum.homeone.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=57987
Re: Tiny home on foundation, strawbale 55sqm. Floorplan.26
Dec 16, 2014 8:40 pm
Actually after looking at that awesome barn door recently posted. I went a hunting and found....tada! The exact kind of building I want for a home. Yes folks it is a traditional barn. This little one would be perfect. Soaring gable, useful space, the right size. Could be dressed up however I like. The cupola is a detailing bonus.
I think this hits all the right notes. Simplicity, small scale, open plan. Sometimes the answers really are staring you in the face. It also has a traditional look without looking like bog standard Aussie pioneer homes. I would actually even keep the barn doors because they look cool and you could seat some nice french ones behind them. Added bonus no-ones breaking into your house while you are out, once you close and padlock that
Re: Tiny home on foundation, strawbale 55sqm. Floorplan.28
Dec 16, 2014 9:37 pm
I would love a stone cottage but I think that's out of budget.
Meh they're over-rated. I live in one now and the amount of subsidence and subsequent cost to my landlord is going to require a mortgage just about. It's so bad several of the sandstone blocks have split clean through. I actually wonder if the place is still structurally sound but my lease is up soon and back to NSW I go. Yay!
Stone keystones though, maybe possible. You can pretty much use a stone tile to create the effect. Relatively cheap way to go.
Re: Tiny home on foundation, strawbale 55sqm. Floorplan.29
Dec 16, 2014 9:56 pm
Oh just as well I wont get one then. I think rbv is the way to go but the big builder wont do it for me, am still looking at others so might end up with one yet.
Re: Tiny home on foundation, strawbale 55sqm. Floorplan.30
Dec 17, 2014 6:59 am
And here is this barn built from scratch, after seeing it in the flesh. I'm loving it even more.
I think it's time to contact this guy and ask about this plan. It's an awesome little building that seems fairly straight forward to build. A bit of research and this particular plan has the required ceiling height on the lower floor, the loft would qualify as non-habitable space only. But really who cares? If I am building it to live in, if I ever sell it, it can still be sold as a small studio with storage space. The lean-to though has a lower ceiling height.
The other similar plan which is a slightly larger version of this has a more usuable loft and higher ceilings on the ground floor. Still very compact at less than 60sqm total. So what's the go with wanting to use an American plan? Should I buy this (nominal price) and just take it to a local draftie to get it done up complying with BCA with a few tweaks here and there? The framing (as seen in that blog) seems really compatible with light earth infill and I can put it on a proper slab. It doesn't bother me if the loft is considered attic space according to BCA and non-habitable.
Re: Tiny home on foundation, strawbale 55sqm. Floorplan.31
Dec 18, 2014 7:43 am
Question answered. The architect got back to me today. Because it's spec'd in American lumber I can't make use of those plans here. We have different lumber sizes so I will need to go to a draftie and have the whole thing done from scratch. No biggie.
Doing up elevations and floorplan based on something similar to this. Looks good so far. Perfect shape for what I want. Makes all the decisions about roofline, verandah etc a snap. Gives it the look I'm after. I've just added a decorative bargeboard and it's looking sweet.
Re: Tiny home on foundation, strawbale 55sqm. Floorplan.32
Jan 14, 2015 10:45 am
I love your vision of living small, I think more people should do it! Our family of 5 has recently downsized from a 5x3 to a 3x1 and have found it perfectly sufficient, and a lot easier to keep clean!
Your plan looks really good - one thing caught my eye though. That is that the bedroom door opens straight into the bed. If you furnish the bed against the left hand side wall it will work a lot better, and you can fit bedsides in more easily. You might just need to reconfigure your window location.
Good luck with your build, I look forward to following this one!
Re: Tiny home on foundation, strawbale 55sqm. Floorplan.33
Feb 24, 2015 9:16 am
I had dreams about building out of cob on our acreage just because we could. Never have gotten around to it but it was going to be a tiny house with a half turf roof
Details are from here: http://www.dreamgreenhomes.com/plans/solaroval1.htm
Definitely following this thread and seeing where it takes you.
@Johnson how did I miss your thread. That's so amazing! LOVE it.
EDIT - tacking this PS on just in case! PS if anyone is looking for acreage in Hunter Valley area with a relatively small 1 bed loft house built on it we are selling (this is where I was going to build the cob house)
http://www.realestate.com.au/property-a ... -116710391
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