Friday, December 30, 2016

Full Review: Tiny House Life

Tiny houses. Are they worth the hype or are they another faux pas destined to make a dramatic crash into millennial oblivion? Read on to see what living in a tiny house is really like; costs, maintenance, expectations, experience, and the like.



The short of it:

Pros:
-tiny space brings us closer
-tiny fridge allows us to be more mindful of the money we spend on food
-composting sewage system: saves water, saves environment 
-quick heating time and low energy cost
-potential to save a boat load of money (property taxes, energy costs, etc.)


Cons:
-too much time and money to build
-loft stairs hurt to walk on a daily basis
-composting sewage system takes work
-sink too small to do dishes comfortably
-lack of water pressure and hot water




First things first, our tiny house (before and after):

       
            




For a more in-depth before-and-after video, check this video out.


Net cost (a completed house and nothing more): $9,600

Final cost (after all the other things we had to buy like a new heater, chain saw fuel for cutting fire wood, dish soap, etc.): >$15,000
-we had to spend more money after "finishing" the house because we were not comfortable with how the house originally turned out. Yes, we technically built the house for $9,600 and could've lived in it without investing more money into it.

The first obvious critique we have of building the house is that it cost more than we wanted to be comfortable living in it. Also keep in mind that neither the net or final costs take into consideration the labor needed to bring this thing to life. Had we of included labor.... the house would've been more than a new car I'm sure...


The second critique would be how nice it was to have such a small space dedicated to only things that we need/use on a daily basis. There was absolutely no room for things we didn't use as you can see in the photo below, the table was just big enough for us to sit and eat comfortably. It also folded down and hung flush with the wall. Our chairs also folded.

 



A third opinion was how we originally designed the stairs to the loft. It might've been a good idea, but having to step on gas pipe every time we wanted to go to bed (or get down) got real old, real quick. Lesson learned: first choose practical, then go for design. As you can see in the photo below, Kiah got up with the gas piping on the bathroom door whereas Travis had to climb up on the counter, then onto the gas piping on the left side of the photo.

 

Also evident in the photo above, we had a tiny fridge to go along with our tiny house. This was a blessing in disguise. Travis grew up with a family who always had a huge fridge (like many people do). What many people don't realize is; with a big fridge you can (and often will) store more food than you or your family can eat before it goes bad. Food gets pushed to the back where you can't see and goes back quick. If you're lucky to see it when you clean the fridge, you'll easily add up the costs of wasted food to be far more than it should be.

Having a tiny fridge required us to face what food we've bought recently and eat it in a timely manner.



 

The photo above shows our composting toilet set-up. That's a little bit of a misleading phrase, it isn't a composting toilet, rather, a bucket which we empty into a compost bin which decomposes our human waste. This is an important distinction because there are legit composting toilets that deal with the human waste right then and there. Anyways...

Having a composting sewage system opened both of our eyes to how much water we waste flushing down our sewage!!! Why do we Americans use clean water to flush down human waste?? Our sewage goes to a giant sewage system where the water is separated, bleached, and ruined before going back into our drinking system. Seems like a broken system to me!

One negative is that it takes work to maintain. You have to have an ample supply of cover material (stuff you use to cover your business in the bucket after you go), you have to empty the bucket and maintain the pile to make sure it's decomposing properly. Is it worth all the trouble to save some water and the environment? Hell yes!

 

Evident in the photo above, we had a fireplace. I said "had" because we promptly got rid of it. Why?? check this blog post out for a more in-depth explanation. The short of it is; it sucked. That is a BIG negative but the stove isn't a reflection of the tiny house experience, it's a reflection of poor craftsmanship. 

The positive related to this stove is; it doesn't take a lot of energy or time to heat this 250sq ft. home. We left the heat off for an entire day, came home with it being around 1 degree and heated it all back up to a comfortable 70 in about 25min.



Ultimately, we decided that there was too much stress involved in the constant upkeep of our home. Do all tiny housers experience that? Probably not. Our stress was directly caused by the fact that we didn't do things by the book (housing codes, titling the trailer, heating, size of the kitchen sink, etc.).

Our final verdict, which should be obvious by now, is that having a tiny house isn't worth the time and money it takes to build on your own. This is strictly our opinion and it does not reflect all tiny housers.

What are we to do with the tiny house now that we've built it?? Donate it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What happened to the stove?

Dear Unloved Stove,

Travis and I are not sorry to inform you that you will no longer be apart of our tiny house. We did not love you from the very beginning nor did we love you at the very end. If anything we grew to hate you. There are too many reasons why you will not be missed but here's a few that we feel we need to express. 

Oh the times you made us wake up in the middle of the night, freezing because you were unable to burn for more than 3 hours; will not be missed. Or the time that you made me (Kiah) get onto the roof, all alone to fix you; will not be missed.  The time that you burnt Travis' hand while he was trying to fit wood inside you to keep us warm; will not be missed. The time that you spit ash out and almost caught my hair on fire; will not be missed. In the end it brings us much joy knowing you're gone! Farewell stove and may you never return!

Sincerely,
The-Tiny-House-Couple-who-have-found-new-babies-to-love





Click the video below to go to our Youtube Channel where we explain why we're getting rid of the stove

Thanks for watching!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Big Reveal!

This past weekend we invited friends and family to check out the house.

Almost everybody's favorite part was our tiny stove and the pallets on the walls.

I'm happy that my family and friends came to check out the house and support us. 

I didn't think owning or even building a tiny house was going to be life changing, but it was. I've learned so much from my tiny house and it's hard for me to put into words how grateful I am for it. I'm grateful that Travis and I gave ourselves this opportunity. It kick-started us to do so much more with our lives.

Here's pictures from our house warming
If anybody has any more they'd like to share, please do with the #tinyhouse


Travis talking about the stove 

I think my little cousins had a blast walking up and down our stairs :)

Meeting my second cousin for the first time :)

This picture is priceless <3 Pure love right here

Giving hugs!

Travis giving my grandparents a tour


Travis' family and friends


Freckles! <3


What a little ham! He's up to something ;)

My dad brought a tape measure..... He wouldn't be a Rudnicki if he didn't have one on him ;)

















He's smiling! This was Freckles' first time seeing the house completed! He stopped by frequently when we were working on the house. What a sweet boy!

<3

Somebody was eager to leave ;) 

Thanks to everyone who came out and brought goodies for Travis and I! We really appreciated everything and all the food that was brought!
Love you all!



Tuesday, October 25, 2016

We're FINISHED!

This was the first picture we took of the house. It was the day after we got it moved onto the property. Back then we called it "the trailer". We had a vision of what we wanted to do, but we couldn't quite call it a tiny house yet.


We worked so hard on the trailer. Day and night. There were quite a few 12-hour-days we pulled working on this thing.



Nothing has compared to all the hard work that we put into making this our Tiny Home. Travis and I talk all the time about how building this house was the greatest achievement of our lives so far.  More so than walking across a stage and getting handed a piece of paper; graduating high school. That does not compare, even by a little. 

We have so many memories of working on the house. I can't wait to see what the future holds for us!

I also want to thank my brother and his dad for coming up and helping us finish the house. Honestly, I'm super thankful that they made time to paint the house. If anybody out there is looking to get their house painted, let me know and I can put you in contact!

They are hard workers and very good at painting houses. I mean, they made a trailer look like a tiny home!


Now for the big reveal!
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TA DA!!!!!


We are finally done!! I want to say thank you to my man. I could explode with a bunch of lovey-dovey statements about how amazing this guy is! I'll just stick with; if it wasn't for you, my handsome, we wouldn't of been able to say "WE BUILT A TINY HOUSE!"

WE DID IT!!!

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Pumpkin "Turkey" Chili with video

Oh I love Pumpkin "Turkey" Chili!

It's the perfect fall dish for this time of year and in my opinion it's super healthy!

In my Pumpkin "Turkey" Chili I used pea protein instead of turkey because I'm vegetarian. My mom and I have been making this recipe for years.  

I would like to suggest a few things before you jump into cooking the chili!

Allrecipes.com is where my mom and I found this recipe and it's my favorite site for a myriad of reasons. One of those reasons is that you can change the amount of servings and it'll show you the exact amount of each ingredient you need. This takes the guess work out for you. Since I've made this recipe so much, I just eye ball it and make a bunch!

Another reason is that a lot of the recipes have very few ingredients and I've found that those are the ones that turn out the best! Less is more not only applies to the Bounty quicker picker upper, but here too.

I also like to add or take away ingredients and try to make it my own. I have yet to try this with this recipe because I love the simplicity of it, but I would suggest adding one or all of these ingredients; corn, beans, chips, and salsa. I've recently found warm salsa and let me tell you, it's as good as cold salsa! If you live in the Denver metro area or any of the states that has Fuzzy's Taco, you must go!  All I'll say is they make the best warm salsa and veggie tacos!

Next I would suggest prepping your food. Sometimes I find cooking or baking stressful and it's because I don't prepare myself. I taught myself to cut everything up, open cans and containers before I start cooking. Reason being; when I start the actual cooking part I like to keep an eye on everything I put in and not have to focus on chopping and cooking at the same time. Prepping myself makes cooking less stressful and way more fun!

Last suggestion is to make a bunch so that you have plenty of leftovers. Trust me you'll want them! For yourself and so you can share it with your friends and family!

Video time!

I love watching cooking videos because it relaxes me, specifically ones that show the cooking process. I thought it would be a great idea for me to put a little video together and make Travis be my guinea pig. Mwuahhh (that's my evil laugh) I make it every year and I think this year was the best yet!



Thanks for stopping by and make sure to comment and let me know if you make this and if you add or take anything out.  Also if you have any fall recipes you like making, please share it here or on any of the Tiny House Couple's social media! I love seeing what other people like to cook or bake this time of year.

Bon Appetit! 

Monday, October 10, 2016

Decorating a Tiny House on a Budget: Fall Edition

Hey everyone!

Fall is upon us! It's been fall for a while now and I'm a bit late decorating but I'm super excited to show you all what I came up with.
I love decorating! Halloween and Thanksgiving are my favorite holidays to decorate for.

My budget was $20 and I decided to go to the Dollar Store. I also got a couple things at Joann's which has really good discounts as well.


If you've been following us for some time, you will know that I love fairy lights! I grew up having them all over the house.

When it came to decorating, I knew I wanted to add something to my wall-lights, so I came up with taping leaves to them. I've never seen anybody do this before so I thought it was original and fun! I love how it looks like they're falling.
(The leaves cost about $6. I got some at the Dollar Store and some at Joann's)

I also bought the little pumpkin that is sitting next to the globe (in the photo above). I cut out the top and stuck a flameless candle in it. (I also did that with double sided tape. I just wanted regular tape. Silly me) The pumpkin cost about $5.




I love decorating the front door because it's the first thing people see when they enter a home. 

I thought it wasn't a good idea to put anything on the outside of the door (because of all the water that runs off the side of the trailer) I decided to do it on the inside, plus you see it more than you would on the outside. I bought this leaf and pumpkin hanging piece at Joann's for super cheap and painted it. I didn't paint the back side of it because I thought I could paint it differently next year.




BEWARE! This thing is like a glitter bomb (if you don't know what a glitter bomb is, click here) I got this at the dollar store for $1. I wanted to put something festive on the table. I also love looking at it when the sun shines through the window and hits it, so pretty!



Lastly, I taped a bunch of fake leaves all over the house. Luckily for Travis I didn't just go out and rake a bunch of leaves and throw them in a pile in the middle of the floor, which at this point I should of done.

In the end I stayed way under my budget for these fall decorations.  I love the simplicity of how it all looks and for how cheap they were I'm happy with how everything turned out. It makes our tiny house look festive and feel that more cozy! 

Hope you enjoyed and got inspired to decorate your house!

Happy Fall!



Thursday, September 29, 2016

Update on the Tiny House

Hey guys!

It's been a while since we've updated you on the house. 

We've been living in it for about three months now and it's going great. There's a few things that are harder when living in a tiny house compared to a regular house, if you guys want to see a blog post on that, let me know and I'd love to do one.

Also exciting news!

We will hopefully have the outside of the house painted by the end of this week. We're shooting for the outside to be done before the end of October. 

Here's a before picture of the house and it all prepped and ready to be painted





October is already my favorite month and there's a lot of exciting plans that Travis and I are making. First is finishing the house, completely (and before winter that's our number one priority), then Halloween; lot's of adventures that I'm planning on making videos on, i.e. haunted houses, Oktoberfest, parties, etc. Lastly, Travis and I are finally planning our first big trip together. We'll let you guys know where we go :)

I'm excited for this coming month! Lot's of changes and exciting things happening! I hope you guys enjoy and continue to follow along our journey with us!