Granite Mountain Coachworks has been building our latest tiny house for a while now. We have most of the exterior complete accept for the metal roof. The inside is bare and ready to be customized to someones liking, this includes some type of power system. We aren’t sure if on or off grid is the best so marketing this home now makes sense. We feel using propane for the refrigerator, tankless water heater and cooktop is a good choice. We will be completing the bathroom with a compost toilet, lavatory and shower. The home is currently being built in north Scottsdale so if interested in seeing it call David at 602-561-7069.
As some of you know there has been change going on with projects. Things weren’t working with directions I was heading so I found new people. I want to invite you to my newest and strongest venture thus far… Granite Mountain Coachworks. We are comprised of three men, two in the building industry for too many years and one kooky designer-ME.
We want to get into the thriving tiny house market that seems is going to be here for good!
Bruce and Thomas have a lot of connections and the know how to build something great. Bruce has a house in Oregon that will be our other HQ so we can eventually chase the weather. Oregon is a great place to be most of the year so that is why we want to develop tiny house communities. Shown below is a few designs I’ve been playing with and one is being built now.
Its been months since I posted anything here but we are finally building! No not where I should be near Showlow, Az but in an off grid community north of the I-40. I saw an opportunity to make some money while I perfect a small cabin design and all its facets. Im teamed up with a realtor/contractor with a passion for off grid cabins. No power you say, yes thats right. Dont worry though, Az has a lot of sun, sun, sun.
We have found ourselves a reputable solar system design, that has a system perfect for our sub 1000 sq. ft. dwellings. This system will give us 600 watt hours per day. This system comprises of only four pieces of equipment, this makes for a very affordable system. It uses one large deep cell battery weighing in over 100 pounds, that should give you plenty of reserve power. Another sweet thing with this system is that it can be upgraded if needed in the future and is extremely reliable.
We are starting to build using wood studs, in the near future we will be offering foam structures that keep the warmth inside longer because of a sealed interior. Getting approval from the county may pose as a small problem, perhaps we would have to get it engineered. Like our first cabin, getting the first passed takes time.
I am now thinking of building foam panels here in Phoenix then shipping all the pieces onto the job site for easier assembly. That way I could install all the windows, run the plumbing and electric, installing any stronger supports such as where the second story connects to the walls.
My new design connects the panels to the foundation using screws and also attaching the panels together. The total width of the walls will be 8″. This gives us lots of surface area to glue pieces together.
A pellet stove will be chosen for the heating chores, this method is much easier to fuel up and the heat is retained much longer. Ive noticed though that they are a little pricey.
When this project started over 16 months ago, I thought I knew what I wanted. A small cottage in the mountains that I could spend some time at along with part or all of my family. Well that is all fine and dandy accept I never was really happy with any of my designs. This is where the change takes place, I realized I wanted more complications than I needed.. Why not build a simple box with a loft and a large porch? I have known about this design for a while, it never hit me to consider it though. Check out this super simple design that would work for most anyone wanting to get away. Smaller size, less walls, less windows, less power consumption, cheaper build, plus lots of room to live and sleep. I figure a couple of 250 watt solar panels would give plenty of juice. I cant forget the backup gas generator just in case. This design was originally designed around 2×6 lumber, is there any reason why I cant build with foam, I will have an engineer tell me.
Im sure there are some of you out there going “Is he ever going to build”? Thats a good question but when you see this new simple design you will know it may happen before 2020!
I recently found a member that seems excited about what I want to do with the group. Why would anyone join a group that doesn’t want to reply to messages or go to meetings. Maybe I’m being a little anal, life happens, things change.
I have recently formed a meetup asking my fellow smart dwellers if anyone would like to help with the clearing of my land near Show Low, Az. I know this is a tall order but this has to happen if I’m going to build soon. All work and no play makes anyone dull so after our work we will then go play in the private lake and maybe a little golf.
There are many things to think about when building a new home. Money is by far the thing you need to stay in check. Establishing a budget has to be your first step, otherwise you may never be opening the door to your new house. I gave myself a preliminary budget of 50k to get the foundation poured and the shell of the house done. Yes this new house is fairly small (under 1000 ft. living), I still have to price 49 windows and 3 outside doors. The windows need to be of excellent quailty, three pane. I dont want the windows to be the weak link in my energy efficiency factor. Im still shopping but I can tell you just windows are going to take a big chunk of my budget. Plumbing is the first item installed in the ground, fortunately my brother has been doing the art of the plumb for a very long time. I figured that portion will cost a few thousand dollars. I should be under budget although I now have to figure the extra costs involved constructing the walls. The company I used to represent is not with me now, I think I have found a better way that is stronger. Using only foam with a shallow concrete coating for wall construction isn’t enough structure for many engineers. I have devised a plan to use a few metal studs at all corners and at door and window openings. On both sides of the wall are these studs bolted together thru the foam wall. A three foot piece is then sticking out of the foundation for the wall metal studs to screw onto. This way my walls are structurally strong plus I now have a way to connect my roof and cabinets. Below shows a perspective image of a wall section showing the metal studs.
Electrical which includes lights, outlets, wiring, audio, solar, smart technologies. I will eventually be on solar/wind power, I still need to be connected to electric utilities so installing a 100 amp panel should be part of the shell build above. Its damn hard to construct without power!
After ten months of changing designs we have settled on a 1126 square foot home complete with a garage and one bed/bath. This home will be perfect for our off grid plans. The beauty features of this home is the kitchen/greenhouse connection, metal roofing and grey water collection/filtering, compost toilet, solar power system, in floor water heating and 12 volt lights throughout. I want to mention that this home is smart, it thinks on its own and can also be controlled by a smart phone controlling lights, shades, climate control and security. The red area below shows the kitchen, greenhouse and a the entryway that will be built for the upcoming Shemer Art Center’s Microdwell 2015 show.