So I promised this a while back, and finally getting around to adding it. I am a carpenter/builder/crofter and was asked by a friend last year to build her a "tiny house on wheels". I jumped at the chance. What makes a tiny house different from a hut? Well, I guess a house is meant to be lived in, so includes a toilet, shower etc. I wouldn't bother with them with a hut personally - I'd have an outhouse. I kept a full blog of the build process on my old Facebook page 'Atlantic Drift Woodcraft' if you'd like the full story. If you'd like to follow my new page The Wild Croft, there will be a hut being built hopefully in 2021, this time for us. Super cheap and super simple is the plan, probably A-frame. Anyway, back to the tiny house I built...
On wheels! Need to be movable with a road legal trailer. (means max weight 3.5te)
Zero plastic. All avoidable plastic fittings must be kept out! (breather membrane and a few exterior plumbing items were the only plastic bits I couldn't find a way around).
Sustainably built. Reclaimed or well sourced materials
Budget of £15k including trailer, labour, delivery from the highlands to Shetland!
She wanted a bath, and remember, no plastic! Hmm. That was a challenge.
On grid, but with a wood stove for heating and cooking.
Might be used to live in, might be airbnb, might be moved back to the mainland and used as an occasional hut, so plan and design for all these things.
We eventually decided on a Shepherd's hut type design. I didn't want a 2nd storey as it was going to be sited in Shetland and needed to cope with 100mph winds. Tall things go missing in Shetland. The chosen trailer was £4,600 delivered, a third of the budget gone before I started. It was a superb trailer imported by Tiny Eco Homes in Northumberland. It was 20' x 8' (6m x 2.4m). 14.4sqm total so about 12sqm internal.
Internal Layout (as planned):
The rest of the specs:
2" sheep wool in floor (sealed galv metal sheet under this)
3x2" frame, insulated with reclaimed kingspan and sheep wool, then ply, then clad in Scottish cedar
Curved roof cladding supplied by Cladco Glasgow, 3" sheep wool insulation.
Instant hot water gas heater, fed from a well. Also gas 2-ring hob. Bottled gas.
Mains electricity lighting and kettle. No heater. (couldn't afford a solar setup)
Wood range-type stove made by Windysmithy, Devon. 4kW with oven and hot plate.
Reclaimed hardwood double glazed windows.
Reclaimed door split and made into split stable door.
Wooden bath made from marine ply, with shower overhead.
All-in-one compost loo (very simple design, not bought).
Wooden kitchen sink (reclaimed dough bowl off ebay!)
Pine flooring, pine t&g cladding inside.
Raised double "box bed" with storage underneath.
Even with all of this, Tiny, as she's now called, is incredibly spacious. Most people who stay in it or visit comment that they could happily live in it. So, if you are planning to max up to the 30sqm hut size I would argue that isn't really necessary. Just design your space well and save some money.
It was built in 3 months working a total of 400 man hours (just me but occasional helpers, including the client who came to get stuck in for a week!)
Building Materials incl plumbing & electrics: £4,400
Stove and flue: £1,000
Gas heater, fridge, hob, bath: £500
Indoor painting, sofa, mattress and other bits and bobs were extra.
All windows and half the insulation were salvaged for free, saving a considerable amount of money
Door was reclaimed.
Obviously there were logistical costs of moving it etc and a lot of labour involved, and the budget of this one was only feasible with "mates rates" and really going out of my way (and being lucky) with reclaimed materials that take a lot of time and effort to find, but hopefully the costs above give you an idea.
If you weren't needing the wheels, the exact build could be done on blocks saving that cost, but you'd need beefier support beams as the trailer was also the main structural frame.
The total weight was 2.6Te all fitted out, so plenty of wiggle room on the 3.5te legal max.
Here are a selection of photos. For build photos, check out my Facebook page linked above for a full build log. Started early 2019. I hope you enjoyed the post and feel free to ask any questions. I am right on the north coast, near Tongue, but am potentially available for builds north of Inverness only, on wheels or not. But this isn't an advert really, I did this as a one-off and am now focussed on other projects. Not gunna lie though, it was awesome fun to build and if you're dreaming of a hut, press on - it'll happen, and it'll be worth it. :)