Tiny Houses

You may have seen the Portlandia episode about the tiny house or you may have seen an article about them in a magazine or two and you may wonder “What the hell is that thing?”

That was my first thought.

And my second, third, fifth, and possibly tenth thought as well.   (#4 was “why would someone live in something so small?” #6 was “How can you twist around to wash your crack in that shower?”  #7 was “sex could be really limited and awkward in a short loft like that” which lead to #8 “You’re not having sex with anyone anyway so that could actually work for you.” closely followed by thought #9… “I’d really like to get laid.   Shit.”


So.   Tiny houses.

These are tiny little, (rather redundant) houses on wheels that are nothing more than highly customized trailer homes.  They are custom built to your own spec, by your own two hands.  Or by someone else’s own two hands. Either way, they’re custom built trailers that people live in full time.

I’m only mentioning this because I went to a weekend long seminar about these little castles so I could learn the basics of building one for myself & my loved ones.   Or maybe not.

Hosted by Portland’s PAD (Portland’s Alternative Dwellings), the seminar featured author Dee Williams and was good overview of living small.

It covered things like how to define whats important to your own living space, how challenging it can be to build your own, where to place your tiny home and an awful lot of information on where and how to handle your poop.

My god, so much poop talk.

You never think about it, but damn, your poop takes a whole lot of effort.

Just plumbing a place to get the poop out of your house takes some real planning and thought.  Making your home mobile makes it even more challenging.   Do you want a storage tank for it?   Do you want a direct connection to a sewer?   Or maybe you want a chemical toilet that dissolves it?   Or hey…  maybe just a nice bucket and some sawdust so you can compost it and turn it into a lovely garden salad next year?


Too many choices.   I kinda like making my poop disappear down a sewer line, never to be seen again.  But for tiny living, that’s the least likely option.

You see, tiny houses really are just fancy, custom built trailer homes. You can even go so far as to have the Department of Transportation come out while you’re building the thing so they can certify it as a road worthy trailer- which leads to things like being able to get insurance or financing on it.

But at the end of the day, it’s still a trailer.  And as such, few trailers actually have direct connections to sewers, so a lot of tiny’s go for the composting toilet… ie: the bucket and sawdust.


I like the idea of simplifying life to reduce clutter, to reduce your footprint on earth and society, to reduce the cost of living and to just not have so much stuff to worry about.


But man… I’m not sure a tiny home is really something I could live in 24/7.  I lived in a 300 square foot apartment for 2 years in college and it was hard not to go stir crazy at times.  I think my ideal is more along the lines of a 2 bedroom bungalow with a detached garage.    One bedroom to sleep, one for an office, a living room to entertain friends and a good kitchen because knowing how to cook and having the space to do it is the foundation for a good life.  And the garage.. it would store my bike and become my permanent photo studio.

That would be a simple, good place to live.


About Scott

I am an older geek who has a deep, abiding fascination for all things shiny and new, but also a deep, abiding respect for all things shiny and old. Or just old. And not always shiny.

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