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Discussion Starter #1
The wife and I are looking to buy property out of state. The keyword is out of state. But we are torn between the tiny house conversion and travel trailer.

Either way we're leaving whatever we decide to do there on the property.
This is more geared towards questions on a Shed/Barn conversion type of tiny house.

We are trying to keep everything permit free, which means under 200sq ft. That gives us a 12x16 footprint to play with. The idea is to take this shed/barn idea, insulate it, put in a kitchenette, composting toilet, and little living space. I discovered there was a 2 story 12x16 barn kit available. The upstairs I think would be great for a bedroom and downstairs would be the main house.

Now for the questions and concerns.

This barn does not require a concrete foundation, but obviously it would be better to have. What other options are there? The terrain is deep woods, possibly sloped very slightly. The climate tends to be varied, but it can freeze and snow but never very hard. Foundation is my concern.

I was thinking of trying to adapt a water storage tank to the house and reusing the grey water for watering, etc. Water would only be for shower, cooking, etc. I don't know anything about RV setups, but I believe they have the same basic principle. Storage tank, water pump pulling water from the tank to water heater, from water heater out to source. I can't seem to find anyone who's done a portable water storage tank setup. Any suggestions or ideas on this?? We won't have an active well or anything on the property yet.
 

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If I were planning an adventure like yours, I would learn the ordinances and permit systems that would apply to my new location--backwards and forwards. Then make a plan accordingly. In most states there will be at least, minimal ordinances that you will have to follow--and permits to get from local authorities in order to get to your end point of a house, a well, a septic tank, an electrical hookup, a final inspection and occupancy permit, insurance, number of animals you can keep--and possibly more than just mentioned. You may find a few clever ways to "fly below the radar" that meet the legal spirit of the laws, but, generally, in a new neighborhood, people will notice what's going on and question it, gossip about it, or report it----Then the local powers that be will come down hard on you as you go through the building process.

Basically, there just aren't that many ways you can permanently live on your property before you build your "legal" dwelling.....

geo
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks.

The property is quite rural. There are no subdivisions or neighborhoods near the area. It's a 20 acre property and is zoned as A-1 which has the least amount of restrictions for this state. But accessory buildings statewide apparently can't be larger than 200sq ft from what the ordinances read.

Permits and such won't be an issue when we build an actual permanent structure. Just the time being the land will be used recreationally but we'd like to be comfortable for say a week at a time throughout the year.

Still doing research. Not much to be found for tiny home regulations.
 

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While building our current home we lived in a two story shed. I think it was 12 x 16 downstairs and 16 x 16 upstairs. The upstairs was our bedroom. Downstairs was the computer and seating. It was cramped. If you are mostly outside and the house is used as a bedroom, it is doable. My DH built it as though it was a real house, as practice for building the big house. This little adventure convinced him that he could not frame the big house and we hired someone to do that, so a win-win. It did not have a bathroom, I rented a port a potty. You could probably hide an outhouse.

Find out is there is any restriction on how much square footage a dwelling must be. I think you would end up being better served by just building the house you want instead of trying to beat the system with a shed that is actually a dwelling. The cost of a permit is based on how much square footage you will have, so any tiny house is going to have a smaller fee than a larger house. If you don’t have a permit you will not have inspectors. If you do not have the house inspected and passed, then you can run into trouble in regards to insurance. When you build the permanent house the tiny house can become your office or a visitor’s cottage. The only problem would be if you are only allowed one residence per piece of property. I considered having an old mobile home to live in while we built, but zoning would not allow two dwellings, so we went with the two story shed, which would have become a spare bedroom if it hadn’t burned down.

How are you going to heat it? If you aren’t going to use it over night in the winter, or if you have real mild winters, just bring along an extra sleeping bag. If you have electricity, which you’ll have to get sooner or later, get a safe electric space heater. You might as well make it look nice, so put on siding. Under the siding have 2” of styrofoam insulation boards. Ditto with the roof. Use a metal roof, either standing seam or plain metal. This helps to make it look like an outbuilding, and means you won’t have to be replacing shingles. Put a little fan in the attic to pull out the heat in the summer.
 

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This place started as a garage, 12'x20' concrete floor. The bedroom/bath is an add on leanto. We remodeled the main part when we bought it. There was an old building here before so we used the old septic. We have gravity water, through a wood stove coil for running hot water. Summers hot water is supplied through a coil of black water pipe on the roof. Heat is from the greenhouse and a dehydrator/heat sink. 12v solar, 24 volt micro hydro. Very minimal....James
 

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I've been considering the 2 storied Home Depot storage building turned into a home.
This has been done, this one is for sale now.

621.jpg

That is about 20 x 20, and then the loft. They later added on the back portions.

Then he had this smaller one for a TV refuge.

628.jpg

Just something I've been watching for a few years.
 

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Big Front Porch advocate
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A storage building home and storage building for storage

small storage building home.jpg

And I saw this one in New Salem TN, there is a place there that makes these.
This is not a usual one but can be done. It was 12 or 14 x 32. Had framed in wall between kitchen/living area, then a bed room with a 3/4 bath with large shower enclose put in, and a walk in closed and a bit of a nook next to the back door. This one as it was was $8,000. It was the nicest one level I've seen ready to turn into a home.

long storage cabin to home.jpg
 

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May I ask, what state. Sounds like a warmer one.
 
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