Last night an unusual solution for Nine Tiny Feet popped into my head and I decided to stay up and draw it. This morning I added some color and detail. Tonight I think I might have found the final design that would make this nine square foot house concept habitable.
Why design and build a nine square foot house? Basically I wanted to explore the extreme end of tiny. I picked nine square feet because I think that’s about the amount of space I take up laying on the ground. It seemed like a good baseline and even though this house is still only in pixels it looks like it would work to me.
Below is the water collection system. Water would run off the roof and porch into a storage tank on the trailer tongue.
On the south side of the house solar panels would turn the sunlight into electricity. I’m also looking into portable wind generators, like those found on boats. The batteries would be below the floor.
Below the solar panels is a soil box grey water system that would process the shower and sink drain water. The floor of the house is fairly high because the shower drain must be higher than the top of the soil box reservoir.
The tiny kitchen would have a sink, a little storage, a tiny stove, and a 12VDC cooler below the sink. The main room is also the shower with a drain in the floor. Everything would need to be water proof. Storage for things that must remain dry would be stored on a shelf above.
The sawdust toilet would sit below the seat. A vent would pull the potentially stinky compost smell outside.
Two pieces of plywood would hinge down from the south wall to form the bed. The bedding would be stored above to keep it dry while showering. To get into bed you would flip down the first piece of plywood over the seat, climb up, and then flip the other board down into place. Your feet would basically be in the kitchen sink’s bay window and your head in the other bay window. A cutting board would cover the sink and the faucet would need to be secured to prevent a midnight foot washing.
Here’s what I think this design accomplishes:
- Nine square feet of interior space (24″ by 54″).
- Relatively aerodynamic for easy transportation.
- Relatively short in height and low center of gravity.
- Two very small bay windows that add just enough length for a 6-foot person to sleep.
- No loft.
- Place to sit and relax, work, or eat.
- A shower.
- Sawdust toilet below the seat, and vented to the exterior.
- Storage above the living area for clothes, food, and other personal items.
- Kitchen with sink, stove, storage, and 12VDC cooler.
- Rain water collection system with a relatively large roof area.
- Grey water system for handling waste water.
- Solar panels for electric power.
- A front porch for spending time outside in the shade. Also keeps the rain off you while unlocking the door.
- Easy to build. No complex framing and an efficient use of materials.
- Traditional appearance.
This is quite a departure from the other designs I’ve come up with so far but I think it’s by far the most successful. It takes many of the best features and wraps them up in a completely different form.
- I liked the first design for its appearance.
- I liked the shed design for its simplicity and added water collection and treatment features.
- I liked the ultra-aerodynamic design for its crazy bullet shape.
While these other designs still have merit, I think this latest one might be the house I build. I’ll let it sink-in and do more research on how I’ll handle heating and cooking. I’ve been considering a trombe wall for heating and an alcohol stove for cooking. I want to stay away from using any fossil fuels of any kind in this house.
If you have any ideas or questions I’d love to hear them. Please post a comment below.