Hello! Welcome to One Tiny House.....Hopefully sometime soon, this space will be full of DIY ideas for the average homeowner. Our goal is to share our "Average Joe & Jane" level projects with others who are making their own "Tiny House" into a livable reality.
First....let me introduce myself. My name is Gib, and I'm a robotics engineer. I'm what some might call a Jack of All Trades....Most of what I know about home improvement has been gleaned from helping my dad as a kid, reading DIY magazines, watching This Old House and the New Yankee Workshop, and realizing as a young, first time home buyer, that I couldn't reasonably expect all of my wants and needs to exist in a house I could actually afford.
My first home was a bank foreclosure that nobody (except me) seemed to see any potential in. It was ugly....dirty....and full of surprises. Many things I wanted to do, would cost far more money to have done than I was making at the time, so I figured I could do them myself to save some cash. Needless to say, the learning curve was steep. But, along the way, I learned a lot about plumbing, drywall, electrical, flooring and many other useful skills. With each project, my skills got a bit sharper, and the end results were much more rewarding.
Somewhere along the way, I changed jobs a few times, and while I was making better money, I ran short of time for projects. I ended up buying my brother's house when he had to move out of state for work, and put my old place up for rent. Shortly after (with so many grand home improvement plans), I took a job that required me to travel out of state most of the time. This unfortunately meant that all of my projects had to wait, and eventually, I lost interest.
A few years later, while working in Kansas City, I met my girlfriend, Melissa. I was living with a friend of mine, and she had an apartment near the city. Eventually we decided to move in together, and she decided she was done with apartment living, so she started looking for her own first home. Now, since I still own both of my homes in Michigan, this was going to be all hers.....after all, we were less than a year into our relationship, so if things didn't work out, she didn't want to have to look for a new place. So, I went with her while she looked at various homes, making sure the electrical and plumbing were up to date and there were no major potential gremlins with whatever places she liked. She eventually settled on a nice little house that fit her budget, and she took the plunge.
The house is small, but "cute" as she would describe it. Three bedrooms, 1.5 baths, and a basement that doubled as a small garage/laundry room. The structure was built in 1929, but the previous owner had knocked down all but the outside walls, and started from scratch. While this means the house lost any 1930's charm it might have had, it also meant that we had all new plumbing and electrical, new drywall, new windows, new furnace and AC....everything. No worrying about cast iron or lead pipes, no knob & tube wiring, no asbestos, no 80 year old fire hazards waiting around every corner. She was happy, and I was satisfied with her purchase.
Fast forward about 4 and a half years....How much space could two people take up?? Turns out.....a lot. When we first moved in, we shared the small walk-in closet in the master bedroom. The other two bedroom closets were used for storage of all of the things that didn't go out in the open. Eventually, as our wardrobes and collections of various things grew, I ended up having to move my clothing to one of the spare rooms so she would have enough room for her stuff......then I somehow managed to fill that closet.....and the cycle continued. The basement/garage area? Well, that's another disaster. I ride and work motorcycles in my spare time, and somehow, I managed to fill the garage/basement with bikes and spare parts....so much so, that it's often impossible for her to park her car in there.
Long story short, we have a small space, and a lot of stuff.....and we don't want to get rid of most of the stuff, so we need more space. While we eventually plan to sell both of my houses in Michigan, and her house so we can move into or build something that suits us better, for the time being, we need to make the most of the space we have. That's where this journey begins.
So....stick around....grab a beverage and dust off your tape measure. We're going to build stuff, maybe even destroy stuff. And hopefully, when all the dust settles, we'll have optimized our space, while hopefully adding to the resale value of the property.....and maybe the next owners will even appreciate all of the little things we've done.