A $25,000 floating cabin and a 70-square-meter "tiny home cube" in one story can only mean one thing: it's Friday and it's time for your weekly dose of "tiny houses" and/or interesting "off-the-grid" lifestyles.
This week, both are brought to you from Fair Companies, which regularly features the tiny house movement and other alternative living situations.
Let's start with the off-the-grid, floating 620-square-foot cabin that only cost $25,000. Fair Companies reports that Margy and Wayne Lutz discovered their "dream home" while camping in British Colombia. What they found in the early 2000s was a community that floated -- although permanently anchored to shore -- on Powell Lake.
The Lutz's bought their floating home in 2001 and when they retired a few years later, they moved permanently from Los Angeles. Here are a few interesting tidbits about the home, including that they pay $500 per year to lease their "water lot":
Today, the Lutzs live completely off-the-grid. There’s no water heater (they boil it on the wood stove as a luxury) and no plumbing. They hand-pump water from the lake (for washing dishes, they remove most food first and use only biodegradable soap and the water is returned to the lake).
There’s no trash pickup. They compost nearly everything- kitchen and garden waste, ashes from the wood stove- in their hilltop heap. Even their toilet biodegrades their waste so it’s clean enough to be dumped in the forest- or an ornamental garden- every few months.
For their energy uses, the Lutzs rely on solar, wind, and thermoelectric power. They have 3 main solar panels, each one for a specific function. Two panels (200 watts & 125 watts) feed into the main cabin, charging six 6-volt batteries (wired in serial pairs to produce the requisite 12 volts they need to run most of their cabin. There’s also a 300 watt panel on top of Wayne’s floating “writer’s retreat”, a boat called Gemini (it can be switched to feed the boats’ needs or the cabins’).
Watch Fair Companies' tour of the floating home:
The next Fair Companies profile comes to us from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in Barcelona. Monica Potvin and her husband Markel Otaola bought a one-room studio in the city and made it, as Fair Companies describes, "the couple's ideal apartment." They knocked down walls to create more space and made a "cube" in the middle of it all for "useful stuff":
It houses all the apartment’s plumbing, as well as his and hers closets and plenty of storage space. It also serves as a divider between the open kitchen/living area and the couple’s bedroom (an all natural escape carpeted with tatami and a non-synthetic futon bed).
Then Potvin found out she was pregnant. A one-room studio is notably not the easiest situation for a now growing family -- or is it? Their son Gaël is now three and although sharing a room isn't always ideal, Potvin told Fair Companies it worked out pretty well:
“I'm really happy we were here when he was a baby and up to now because having everything just be so easy. So I would wake up and we'd take our shower together and then washing diapers and stuff so the washing machine is right there and it was very kind of fluid and easy. Because you're cooking and they're playing and it's not like the kitchen is separate so it's just perfect.”
Check out how this family of three makes it work in a tiny, open floor plan:
- See NYC's Most 'Offbeat' Apartments: Indoor Skate Park, Repurposed PanAm Cabinets, and Even a Bus
- 'Drawers Within Drawers': 269-Square-Foot Apartment Hides Full-Size Pull Out Tub
- Here's the Full 'Tiny House People' Documentary You've Been Waiting for
(H/T: Business Insider)
This story has been updated to correct that one of the homes was 70 square meters, not 70 square feet.