Tumbleweed Tiny Houses: A 648-Square-Foot Home in Maine

A family of four lives well in a small, elegant home built for $55,000.


| July/August 2010


Ben and Sarina Speed live—happily—in Franklin, Maine, with two young children and two cats in a 648-square-foot home. How do they do it? “You really don’t need as much space as you think,” Sarina says. “You do have to be willing to spend more time outside and not have everything. You just can’t hold on to all the stuff.”

That’s just the message that Tumbleweed Tiny Homes founder Jay Shafer, who designed their home, hoped to convey. A minimalist at heart, Shafer built his first tiny house out of frustration more than a decade ago. When he couldn’t find a livable, efficient space to fit his personal needs, he built himself an 89-square-foot home in Iowa City, Iowa. Shafer’s been so comfortable in his home—which he affectionately calls “Tumbleweed” —that he moved it with him when he relocated to Sebastapol, California, and lives in it still.

Shafer started the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company so others could live in small, well-made homes. He designs “tiny” homes (65 to 140 square feet) and “small” homes (251 to 837 square feet) with whimsical names such as Lusby or Harbinger, often inspired by people he respects. “All along the goal has been to get the word out that bigger is not necessarily better and that there is another way to live,” Shafer says. “I feel like we’re accomplishing something.”

More about the structure:

• Ben and Sarina purchased plans for the Enesti home from Tumbleweed Tiny Homes and built the 648- square-foot house themselves using certified sustainably harvested wood from a local lumberyard. Building costs, including land, a 600-foot driveway and materials, totaled about $55,000.

• The roof of the Speeds’ home is covered in locally milled cedar shingles.

• After their daughter was born, the couple decided to add a bedroom near the back of the house so their son and daughter could have separate rooms. With the addition, the house will total 800 square feet.

• Ben and Sarina use what is normally“dead space”—interior walls and corners of rooms—for shelving.

• The Speeds spend about $600 a year on wood to heat their home and about $100 a month for all utility costs.

• When the kitchen table isn’t in use, it can fold into a bench for additional seating.

BruceS
3/5/2015 7:16:37 PM

FYI: Jay Schafer has started a new company for tiny homes at http://www.fourlightshouses.com/


Judiann
3/5/2015 12:02:19 PM

Where did the combination kitchen table/bench come from? Thank you.


susanettes
8/6/2014 5:43:48 AM

These days a growing number of movies are in the http://www.steve-calvert.co.uk/pub-dom/pub-dom.htm. These works are considered part of the public cultural heritage and may be freely used by all. Public domain refers to the body of creative works and knowledge in which no person, government or organization has any proprietary interest such as a copyright.






mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on natural health, organic gardening, real food and more!

LEARN MORE



Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $14.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $19.95.




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265