Make our 12x30 Roomier

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by jessandcody, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. jessandcody

    jessandcody Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2003
    This is for people that know how to live in smaller spaces. In general chat, we posted that our landlord gave us a 30 day notice to get the heck out. So we put a downpayment on a pre-made 12 x 30 cabin.

    It has 8 feet high ceilings, and we need some ideas for maximizing our space. We will be using a composting toilet, and our bathtub will not be in the main cabin.

    Also, we have a queen size bed that cannot be downsized :haha: Does anyone know how to make a very sturdy platform for a bed this size? That way we could have storage underneath, but I don't want to worry about falling through while sleeping or any other activity. :eek:

    The kitchen, for now, will have a apartment fridge, a hot plate, and a turkey roaster that will act as our oven.

    Thanks for any suggestions!

    - JEss
  2. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

    Dec 11, 2002
    NE PA
    Make each corner a "room" with the center as open as possible,
    then when you are in the "living room" for instance, the open
    space seems part of the room. Don't put walls up, and if you
    want a little privacy for the "bedroom" for instance hang a wall
    hanging or nice looking cloth to separate it from the may
    be taken down quickly so the place feels bigger.

    The least amount of furniture you have, the bigger it will seem.
    Good luck with your new place.

  3. syringaweb

    syringaweb Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2003
    light colors.

    a big mirror on a wall, illusion of more space.

    avoid bulky as much as possible (furnishings, sinks, etc.)

    There are TONS of books and magazines on this subject, if you find yourself in the big home improvement stores.

    From our personal experience, small spaces bring new meaning to family love!

    Good luck
  4. 12vman

    12vman Offgridkindaguy

    Feb 16, 2004
    Out in the Boonies.. In Ohio
    Is your tub gonna be outside... That brings back memorys... While I was building, my shower was outside. Heated the water with a kerosene heater. I would suggest a shower over a tub. Less room needed and less water. As far as a composting toilet, I hope you didn't buy one yet. They are large, take up lots of space. You can build one much cheaper and smaller. As far as your bed, maybe consider a frame that is "hinged" to the wall so you can "fold it up" during the day or if you have visitors and need more space at the time. Skylites give a room a feeling of being larger and give good lighting during the day. Good luck on your adventure... :D
  5. shakeytails in KY

    shakeytails in KY Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2002
    Check this out- Yours is a little narrower, so you would probably have to turn the bathroom 90 deg. and/or modify the kitchen layout.

    Or if you will have a loft...

    If you'll have proper electric, consider this for heat, its a bit more expensive than baseboard, but since they hang high along the ceiling, you can put furniture anywhere. I've got it installed in the 1 bedroom 24x24 house(attached to my horse barn) that I'll soon be moving in to.

    I know you're pressed for time and all, but you might consider a 24x24 garage plan as a shell instead. It's small, but liveable. I can send you pics of the inside of mine, it's really cute. Probably got $12-14,000 into it(DH is a carpenter), and it's appointed as any regular house would be with regular bathroom, laundry room, kitchen with dishwasher, full size stove and fridge. Here's a link to a 24x24-
  6. Kirk

    Kirk Well-Known Member

    Oct 30, 2003
    When you insulate and finish the walls leave the attic area exposed. only insulate between the rafters. Yes i know you won't get as much insulation in but the open ceilings will give the place a larger feeling. Lots of windows also help. For the queen sized bed, elevate it as high as you are comfortable with. You only need enough room to sit up in the bed. Underneath could be a home office and storage. Another thought is that if the building uses rafters rather than trusses you could build with a steeper pitch and have a loft just big enough for the mattress.
    Good luck with it.
  7. jessandcody

    jessandcody Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2003
    These are some great ideas.

    1. We are building our own composting toilet.

    2. Trusses are included in the cabin (the whole length) The top of the roof is about 3 feet or so above the 8 feet ceiling.

    3. We ordered the cabin to have the door open to the outside so we have more room inside :haha:

    4. We are making a shower out of a 55 gallon plastic drum. We're going to paint it black so it'll be our "water heater".

    We have a wood stove for winter. Remember it's Kentucky and we only have a few nights left of winter so we are going to use a space heater for those few remaining nights. But thanks for the links - going to check those out right now....

    - jess and cody
  8. Space bags for storage of bulky items like bedding, sweaters, etc. You can stack them upright, lay them under a bed, or even store them in a weather-tight box outside.
  9. mygrayfarm

    mygrayfarm Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    Sounds cozy!

    If you pitch your TV, you'll have even more room!

    Seriously - my folks have a small cabin on a mountain in PA. The best thing they did was to paint all the walls white and not to hang any pictures.

    If you put lots of pillows on the bed, can you use it for seating during the day - kind of like a conversation pit - and get by without a couch for now?

    Good luck!
  10. Gayle in KY

    Gayle in KY Gadabout

    May 13, 2002
    I lived with 7 of us in a 12X60 trailer for 5 years. The best advice I can give you is to store things as high as possible. Hang them from the ceiling, if you can. Leaves more room where you need it, on the floor and lower walls.
  11. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    As for the queen bed, I'm planning on doing this to ours. Make a box out of 3/4" plywood. Hinge another piece of plywood on top (like a lid). Then you can raise the top (with the mattress on it) and use the inside of the box for storage. Some of the travel trailers have beds like that, with storage underneath. Just be sure and frame and brace it. You can use a piano hinge, or large door hinges. Also you can put those hydrolic type things that hold up a hatch back on the hatch back cars. Don't know what they are called.

    We live in a 8' X 50' trailer and when our daughter lived in it with us I bought two shower curtains (dark heavy ones) and my husband used rigid pvc pipe and put it all the way accross the room. That way during the day we could pull the curtains back and made the room look larger.

    Good luck with your new place, there is a reason things happen. If your land lord had not ask you to move you probably would not be getting your own place.
  12. havellostmywings

    havellostmywings Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2003
    platform bed... that wont collapse... ok

    hubby and i are big people... and this one has held us for 3 yrs...

    hubby bought 3 sheets of ply board, half inch... cut two to fit together to make the platform for the bed... Now, I like a really high bed, infact i have a step to help me into the bed we have... because it sits 24inches off the ground... Hubby took the other sheet of plyboard and cut it into 24 inch high and the width of the bed... these he screwed into two by fours and then screwed the 2x4s into the platform... we also added pieces of two by fours between each "leg" on the bed.. there are 5 legs... but the amount of storage i have under the bed is amazing... now.. I dont have box spring on the bed, just the mattress, but I have never slept better...

    also.. a regular dust ruffle isnt long enough for the height of the bed we build, so i used some lace panel curtains to make a dustruffle and it looks nice (they were left over from some other house i had lived in years ago)

    I hope that gives you and idea

    Lynn in Texas
  13. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    Keep in mind a bed only touches the floor at 4 points. So you can either lift those points or lift the whole bed. 4 4x4 post cut to needed height will lift a bed.

  14. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

    Sep 18, 2003
    I like the concept of a "Captains bed".
    They are suspended from the ceiling, thru the joists, nothing actually touches the floor. Maximizes the storage underneath as you determine the height, and there are no headboard/footboard post to deal with.
    The downside is that there will be very little redecorating or shuffling of furniture!
  15. RAC

    RAC Guest

    Have you thought about a futon with a good quality mattress or a good quality sofa convertible? Beds can be such a waste of space, even with storage under them (we have a king size, since one interested party is tall....). Or even a murphy-style bed.

    I have also seen tables that are hinged to the wall at one end, and you pull them down when in use. On one of the early Christopher Lowell shows they made one. Also he put what looked like two tall, narrow bookcases back to back, attached them to a lazy susan type base, and one side was bed/bath/personal items, and the other side was a traditional bookcase/knickknack case. When company comes, just turn the cabinet to the "public" side, so to speak.

    You can only hang so much from the ceiling, and if anyone is tall, there will be complaints every time they hit their head on something ;-)