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.
OK so we are planning for the whole off grid living home methods, now I should think about how to make a house smarter. Essentially I have opened another pandoras box with this topic. Almost everything can be controlled remotely from a smart phone so why not tap into what is available. We will be showing you what is possible with an overhead view of our latest micro dwelling pod home. Please check out the smart house image on the off grid kickstart campaign page.
Its funny to me the fact that I love design and purposely change the complete house design often. I started this project the beginning of the year hoping to start building the summer of 2014. I need to stop changing and get on with the many aspects of drawing construction documents for permit. Keeping in mind always my budget, not sure what that could be but I know a few more things now than when I started. The first being space, there is no need to plan for a large house I’m only going to spend at on a monthly basis. Yes we have kids but really how often are they gonna go up to Show Low? I now think that 1000 sq. ft. is plenty for two. The bigger you go the more money you have to spend, definitely don’t need that. Another thing I desired in my design is a way to see the lake a half mile from the house and totally avoid seeing juniper bushes. A two story house makes for stronger and more structure members which of course means more money. I compromised instead of a second story I decided a deck only is the way to go which is super easy using the foam building system I chose.
The new design is more playful in that there are lots of glass and plan to completely landscape the deck and the covered entryway. This can easily be obtained because of the roof design, three shed roofs that the rain will dump in the same area, the plant area.
I thought the great room with high ceilings could use a couple of Nana walls to fully open this space to the outside.
Below is a couple of shots of the final design period!!
I am now close to submitting the plans to an engineer for structural approval so Navajo county can sign off and give me a permit to build.
The only item we need to focus on is some lush landscaping. We always want to encourage outside ideas from you our fans. We are thinking vines for the metal posts, desert willow for great shade and lots of pine trees.
I guess not, a little tweek here and there is the name of the game. I think Im getting close to being happy with the concept design. Landscaping is next, give me some pines!
That is more like it, I need to remove all the ugly Juniper bushes and replace them with some beautiful pine trees. I think this concept looks great so its off to the drawing board for some construction drawings for permit.
You can see this is a very simple arrangement that fits our odd shaped lot perfectly. We hope to be starting to build the summer of 2014 so I have some work ahead.
I now want to say a few words about my good friend Kenneth Conner. He is a retired architect from Phoenix, he has been giving me advice about things on the floor plan above, thanks Ken!