Important Notes from the 2017 Tiny House Summit — 8 Comments

  1. I’m in the camp of folks building a small home with natural materials in order to provide income by renting out my primary residence. Will soon “retire” and would not be able to without this projected income source, all made possible by the good work of Dr Owen Geiger! Thanks again!

    • Thanks a lot. This is an excellent idea. One of my favorite stories is a guy who made numerous rental cabins one at a time over the years and eventually retired without having to work a regular 9-5 job. Instead of getting paid one time for his labor, he kept earning money year after year.

  2. Dear Owen,
    I am your student who attended the 2011 earthbag workshop. We are now working on a steel post and beam + wood chip clay/light straw clay small home and also the development of a forest garden. At the same time, we also participate in the community development of our village which has only 100 residents. One of the main goal is to attract young people to move here. The main problem is how to help them rapidly build a tiny house on the land they rent or purchase, and the house should be low cost and can be dismantled and re-assembled. Our idea is to use light steel with bolt and nut as main structure, and we are still thinking about the wall material. Could you give us some suggestion? Using trailer as foundation is expensive here in Taiwan.

    • Hello. Glad to hear from you again. The ‘secret’ to natural building is to use whatever is low cost and locally available, and of course you’d know that better than me. Wood chip/clay is a great option. It can last for centuries. It’s very common in Germany for instance. I agree the trailer option is very costly. They’re typically $5-$10,000. You could easily build the whole house for that price. Other options include using pallets, poles, barn wood or other types of salvaged wood, or slab wood:

      Check out the Tiny Texas Houses website for tons of good info on using recycled wood and salvaged materials. His DVD explains how students could make an income from salvaging materials from old buildings while also gathering materials for their own homes.

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