Project Spolight: Patrick’s Tiny house

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We love tiny houses at the Cave. Learn about Patrick’s tiny house project and his inspiration, what skills he learned and his favorite projects to watch come to life at the Cave.

How did you hear of the DIYcave?
I first heard of the DIYcave through The Source Weekly. My first time at the Cave was using the overhead sander and router to finish cutting boards.

Tell us about a project at the DIYcave.
I’m currently working on building an off-grid tiny house on a 20-foot Iron Eagle Trailer. The trailer is maximum road height and width. Built on the trailer tongue is an exterior toolbox supporting a two-foot bump out. Floor plan includes a loft, kitchen, bathroom, living/dining room with a cast iron wood stove and chimney, and a lower platform dog loft. The house has metal and burnt cedar siding. It will feature skylights, 12volt solar power system, led lighting, storage built into the staircase, composting rocking chair toilet, and sliding glass door to the outside world. I’m still designing the inside as it’s a work in progress.

Source of inspiration for the project?
My friends and family are very supportive and inspiring. I was inspired to build an off-grid tiny house so that I can live anywhere, comfortably and sustainably without going into debt and keeping utility bills to a minimum.

How did you prepare for your project?
I started with some basic tools and construction experience. I traveled a lot and got a feel for what I want in a house. I looked at pictures and tiny house ideas on the Internet and talked with friends and visited a few tiny homes. I saved up some dough and bought a trailer. Then I started to design.

What advice to someone who wants to start a project at the DIYcave?
Follow model Think it! Make it! Brainstorm ideas, have a realistic time frame, stay organized and focus on the big picture. Learn about tools and techniques to carry out your project. Be practical and efficient with your time and materials. Adapt and improve your design. Ask stewards and owners questions. They are knowledgeable about designing and building things and everyone has original input.

Some of the skills you learned at the DIYcave?
I learned how to safely operate a table saw, band saw, planer and jointer. Got certified to use the table saw, metal forge, and wood lathe. I learned a Japanese wood burning and preservation technique called Shou Sugi Ban, which means burnt cedar. Also used Lichtenberg wood burning to make electrical burns in wood.

What were the easy and hard parts of your project?
The easy part is getting started with construction. Hard part was Tyvek wrapping the house in the wind and putting a standing seam metal roof up with skylight flashing. The second time will be easier.

Favorite project witness at the DIYcave?
My favorite project was a tie between Ben and Amy’s 30-foot Volstrukt steel frame modern tiny house and Fresh off the Grid Michael and Megan’s apartment/studio van conversion. These were incredibly well done and successful projects. The time and dedication to these projects showed with the end result.

Have a project you’d like to work on? Interested in becoming a member of our makerspaceLearn more and stop by for a tour.

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