The house (called the steely cottage) is designed and built from scratch on a 24 x 8.5 foot flatbed trailer. It has taken just under a year to complete. The charter I used to build it is pretty simple, “everything I needIMG_7548, nothing I don’t”. The house is fully off the grid, all electrical is generated by a self contained solar system (PV panels/control center and batteries for storage)

Take a look at an article about the PV system in Home Power Magazine. It will give you everything you need to know about setting up a solar power system in your home.

Water is pressurized and stored in the house, I just add water to the on-board storage tank every week or so from a hand puIMG_6738mp well on the property (rain catchment as well). The bathroom has a fill size shower, sink/vanity and composting toilet. All “grey” water goes to watering the gardens. Hot water is generated by the 4×8 solar water heater panel that circulates hot water to the hot water tank. The house is plumed just like a “normal” house. There is a small clothes washing machine that will do full loads and I dry on the clothes line outside.th4

As you can see by the photos, there is a full size kitchen with a LP stove, 24v fridge/freezer, lots of storage and room to prepare food. The bedroom has a queen size bed with closets at both ends and a chest of drawers under the bed. There is a small drop-down “office” for my computer and I am currently designing a sofa/table unit for the living area. The house is mainly heated by the wood stove, bIMG_6744ut passive solar keeps the house quite warm!

The outside of the house is clad in recycled cor-ten steel sheets. (hence the steely cottage name) These have rusted to a lovely color and then be maintenance free for pretty much ever. In short, this 200 square foot house has all the creature comforts and amenities of a “normal size” house, just smaller. I have no utility bills, mortgage, or a big house money pit.

It is interesting that in this country we call these “tiny houses” when in most of the rest of the world my house would be a castle! so I like to call mine a “world house” For not really that much money, a small family with a modest income could thrive in one of these. So I am trying to help spread the word with ultimate self sufficiency and off grid as a basis to start and off we go!