Doug, a school teacher, built his own 8 foot by 20 foot Tumbleweed Elm 20 Overlook mobile tiny house on a trailer. It took him nearly 3 years to complete it, though he lived in it while finishing it and held down a full time job at the same time. One of the most unique things about his tiny house is the small sun room that can be used to heat the whole home. Doug built the sun room using glass storm doors at the entrance to the tiny house in place of a more traditional front porch. He presented his house during a Hands-On Tiny House Building Workshop which was organized by Deek Diedricksen of www.Relaxshacks.com. All the photos showing the house in this post are part of a video tour filmed by Deek and you can watch the whole video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amTkene5JLo.
The sun room was designed by Doug in a way that generates a large amount of solar heat gain. According to Doug, on a winter sunny day the sun room heats up to 90 F, which is ample to heat the whole tiny house. As a result, Doug’s yearly heating bill is just $104, while his total energy utility bill comes to just $176 per year.
A 30-inch stained glass door leads into the main area of the house, and when closed and bolted the door creates an airtight environment in the tiny house. Since the heat accumulated in the sun room is not sufficient to heat the whole house year round, Doug also installed a Dickinson marine fireplace, which is powered by propane.
The sleeping area is located in a loft, to maximize the downstairs living space. There is enough room for a queen size bed, though the slanted ceiling is so low it would be impossible to stand up in. The loft is accessible via a ladder, which Doug hand built from trashed wood. There is also enough space in the loft for a closet, while Doug also installed a window for ventilation and a great view.
The kitchen, main living area and bathroom are located in the main area of the house. The kitchen is fitted with an instant water heater, a sink, 3 burner stovetop, and a compact refrigerator. The bathroom is located right next to the kitchen and is fitted with a standard RV shower along with a Nature’s Head composting toilet that comes with a venting system. Doug claims he has only had to empty the composting toilet once every six months, and that he’s had no problems with odor whatsoever.