How we found ourselves in this place to begin with.

Research Phase

The biggest question we’ve gotten from most people after we tell them our plans of building a tiny house is: WHY?! This post is going to explain where we’re coming from, and the reasons why we’re choosing this path. I won’t go too much into detail about the savings in money, energy, and stress that really make the sell for going Tiny- this will be the topic for another post.

It started out probably the same way it did for most people- a friend had shared a post on facebook about a tiny house (in fact, Tim had also shared it around the same time), which was the first time i’d ever heard of the concept. Here’s the page: http://news.distractify.com/people/itty-bitty-house/?v=1. The featured image at the top of this post is of the tiny house showcased in this article, which was built (and is now lived in) by Andrew and Gabriella Morrison. The reason the Morrissons’ tiny house caught my eye was more so because of its efficient use of space and capability of having a small ecological footprint. It never occurred to me that it might actually be something that I could do.

Then a few months later, in September 2014, Tim and I were on the plane heading to Dublin, Ireland for a two week trip when, by total chance, the man sitting next to me was a tiny house owner from Nova Scotia! He explained that he had a carpentry background and his life situation had changed such that he realized his needs could be completely met by what a tiny house has to offer. So he got a trailer, built the house, and moved in. Simple as that. Now he’s happy as can be with very small bills and the ability to up and leave whenever he wants. This was a huge step for us in realizing how doable it actually is in our part of the world, and that having our own tiny house is a realistic dream.

I could have SWORN I wrote down his name and contact so that we could get in touch once home again, and could hear more of his story and his perspective on tiny houses, but somehow I can’t seem to find it anywhere. Hopefully one day we’ll run into him again and be able to tell him how grateful we are for instilling the confidence we needed to seriously think about getting a project like this off the ground.

Even after all this, we still weren’t close to making any kind of commitment to building our own Tiny house. It required the connection to real necessity for us to open our eyes and actually make a move in the right direction. We have been thinking for a while now that we’d like to take some time to do a bit of longer term travelling before we have any real responsibilities in our world. And with Tim finishing his journeyman block (welding) just before Christmas, the opportunity would present itself in 2015 to get going. Trying to think ahead, we wanted to sort out what we would do for storage, since we’re way too attached to some of our possessions to just sell everything (I know, I know, I’m working on it). We knew that paying for a storage unit would be out of the question- if there’s one thing I’m tired of is paying money into a black hole with nothing to show for it at the end. Tim suggested that we could build an enclosed trailer, which would be costly upfront but we’d at least have something we owned when it was all said and done and could sell it later if we wanted.

At some point in the days following this decision, the thought popped into Tim’s head: If we can build an enclosed trailer, why don’t we just build a tiny house?! And so it began.

Once we’d finally added 2 and 2 together, we tore into this idea like wolves, hungry for information on trailer dimension regulations, floor plans, framing options, insulation R-values, roof and truss designs, and pretty much everything that you need in order to build a smart, efficient, tiny house. I’ll go into much more detail on these topics and more as time goes on. But for now, hopefully you have a better idea of where we’re coming from, and perhaps it doesn’t sound as crazy as it did before you read this.

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Tiny House Builders and Adventure Seekers

About Us

Jess and Tim are two, forward-thinking millennials who push the boundaries of what they grew up thinking their life was going to be like. “Because that’s the way it’s always been done” or “Because that’s what everyone else does” are never, ever, answers they accept to questions they have. They believe in the good-hearted nature of people around the world and love to travel as much as possible to witness it in every way possible. Instead of buying into the typical 9 – 5, Monday to Friday, pay your bills and save for retirement mindset, Jess and Tim decided that building a tiny house could allow them to travel while they’re young, and subsequently afford to work when, and where, they most wanted. They are budding entrepreneurs, and want to create their own niche whereby they can contribute to their local economy in a meaningful and fulfilling way.
Jess and TimThis energetic couple is from Newfoundland – an island in the North Atlantic region of Canada, known for the resourcefulness and kindness of its people. It’s a place that has historically relied on the fishery, kitchen gardens, root cellars, and the strong will of families and communities to survive in such a harsh environment. In the early 2000s, Newfoundland’s economic focus switched to oil, bringing in a flurry of development and wealth. Unfortunately, the old way of life on the island and its connection to re-purposing, waste reduction, and experiential-based joys, slowly started to slip away and was being replaced. Over the past couple of years, Jess and Tim have noticed the stirrings of a resurgence in the air, and they feel that their tiny house fits in with a second wave of traditional Newfoundland culture in so many ways. Some of their biggest supporters are of the 60+ variety, as these people have a first hand understanding that happiness and success are not connected to the size of your house.

Jess earned her B.Sc. in geology from Dalhousie University, and after various summer jobs involving habitat research and preservation, she ended up working as a geo-environmental scientist for an engineering company. Sustainability and environmental conservation are high priorities for her, both professionally and personally. After an industry slow down and the resulting closure of her department, she decided it was time to pursue a dream of hers to teach English as a second language abroad. She’s very detail-oriented, feels a strong need to clearly understand the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of things she’s doing, and is most comfortable when she knows things are being done correctly the first time ’round. Jess can be rather serious, and probably needs to chillax sometimes; but her passion and determination are useful tools when it comes to achieving goals. She loves spending time outdoors, particularly camping and hiking, and has always had a connection to sports and athletics.

 

Tim earned his Journeyman / Red Seal in welding after completing a 4 year apprenticeship program in Newfoundland. He has worked in many areas of his industry including structural repair, fabrication, and interdisciplinary collaboration with other skilled trades. He is a born leader, with enough patience and logic for two people. Tim highly values minimalism and is very self-disciplined when it comes to his personal consumption of products and services. He is a handy guy who will take on just about anything, given enough time and the tools to figure it out. This is partially a product of his up-bringing in a small, isolated community called South East Bight, where residents must rely on themselves, their friends, and their family in order to get things done. Tim is very much a realist, which can make it tough sometimes when there are emotions to be dealt with; but this perspective provides groundedness and structure for those closest to him. Tim is a self-taught guitarist, and loves all things metal.