I remember playing a game called Mash when I was a little girl. It was a game that told you who you would marry, how many children you would have, what kind of car you would have, and whether you would live in a Mansion/Apartment/Shack/House. Hence, the name Mash. I always hated when my fate was pronounced ‘shack.’ Who on earth would want to live in a shack? I wanted a Mansion, with servants and a huge dining hall and a ballroom and an indoor pool surrounded by glass windows.
Well, life sure is a funny thing. Here I am all grown up with kids of my own, and my current life goal is to live in a shack. How the heck did that happen? We tried living in a 1500 square foot, 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom house. While it was beautiful, it was old, in need of constant repair, and A LOT to keep clean and organized. Do you know how long it takes to vaccum and dust 1500 square feet? After the house, we moved into the basement of my mother-in-law, into one room that was 10’x20′ approximately. We all fit, but it was cramped, lacked storage, and severely lacked in parental privacy. Then we moved into our current two bedroom, one bathroom 600 square foot apartment. Even this space feels too big sometimes. Granted, it’s much much easier to keep clean and organized than the old house. But I keep thinking if we were able to build shelves and custom furniture, we’d have a lot more storage… even if we had less square footage.
If you have read through the links I posted on a previous entry, you may have noticed a site called Tiny House Blog. There is a movement in the US to build smaller, economize on cost, and live simpler. It’s called the Tiny House movement simply because many of these houses are really tiny. As in 10’x10′. As in 100 square feet of space. While I couldn’t see that small of a house working for a family of four with possible future additions, it would be superb as a guest house or a rental for a single person or a couple. I would sure live in one if I were single. Tiny houses move up in size, all the way up to “compact” housing which can be up to 1000 square feet. I’m a big fan of the 500-700 square foot range. As soon as I am able to get my scanner hooked up and running, I will be posting some floor plans that I have drawn and liked. Until then, I’ll tell you the general details of my dream home.
There will be one bedroom on the main floor, with two bunks and two small closets. Yes, we only have two children right now, but the extra bunks can double as storage and guest beds as needed. Every bed in the house will have efficient under-storage, and every closet will have mutliple shelves and dividers as necessary for optimum organization. There will be a small bathroom with a sink, a stand-up shower, and a composting toilet. There will be no fewer than two storage closets, and one small pantry. The kitchen will be of a modest size, have a huge farm sink, a small propane refrigerator, custom-built cabinets, and a wood-fired stove for heating/cooking. There will be a small, built-in dining area and a cozy livingroom with built-in seating… imagine all the storage space you could make under a couch! There will be a sailors ladder going up to the loft area, which will be the parents bedroom area.
Sounds very simple, huh? I like it. Personally, I would very much like to have propane lighting throughout, but my dear hubby isn’t impressed with that idea. He wants to install solar panels and a battery back-up system. I’ll convince him soon enough that propane is the way to go. Have you looked at the prices of making and installing a solar system? Yikes! Kerosene is also another option. We could do minimal electricity with kerosene lanterns to help light. Those are minor details that we’ll decide on as we go.
We’ll live in the little shack until we either outgrow it or can afford to build a larger home. Then the shack will become a guest house or rental. I’m planning on several years or more in the little house, because there are a lot of other financial burdens that come with land besides building the house. You’ve got outbuildings, chicken coops, gardens, paths, fences, livestock, equipment, orchards, landscaping, and a ton of other things. But that’s all for another post.