Recently, we had the great fortune to get some of our most frequently asked questions answered… by one of our favorite customers who is living in his hand-built Seattle Tiny Homes tiny house on wheels. Some of you might have seen these folks on the episode of Tiny House Nation, “Big Dog, Tiny House” last season. The Porters are a young couple that are using their tiny home to travel, and living in it with not only their (very) big dog, but also their adorable toddler Emery. (We were so grieved to hear of the passing of one of their two big dogs in the summer. We send them our deepest condolences. Losing a pet is so hard!) Below is our interview with Sean….
Q: Specs of your tiny house:
30′ – Bumper Pull
Hauled with: 2010 Ford F450 (Upgraded Hitch -> 20k lbs. and 20k lbs. weight distribution system)
Q: What made you go tiny?
With me working from home, living tiny and mobile was a way for us to be able to travel and see the country and spend larger amounts of time with our families and friends without having to leave our dogs behind. This desire in addition to not being able to afford to live in the area that we wanted to made the time before Emery was in school the perfect time to embark on this adventure.
Q: Can you tell us about your tiny home journey?
We always loved HGTV, and from there we saw a couple of shows about tiny houses, and then randomly came across other shows as well that continued our interest in the movement. Initially, my interest was more from the aspect of building it myself whereas my wife is the minimalist and loved the idea of getting rid of all our stuff!
We started considering doing it ourselves as I’m more than capable of building it and since I had tons of free time at the time. I started looking into designs and options. We found a website tinyhousebuild.com and read up of their story (among many others) They were offering the sale of plans (half off at Christmas) so we bought their plans. Shortly thereafter, we found out Kate was pregnant and therefore any thought of a TH got put on hold until we figured out how to handle life with a little one.
Fast forward 4 months, we sold our 2600-sq. ft. house and moved into a 750-sq. ft. house closer to Kate’s work.
Fast forward another year, our landlord wanted to sell his house, we wanted to live in that area but couldn’t afford it, so suddenly, we were seriously considering a tiny house. This is when we started looking at options for financing, sourcing, and building. I still really wanted to build it myself, but we ran into a lot of problems finding financing. So we started looking elsewhere, and that was when we came across Seattle Tiny Homes and Sharon. After meeting with Sharon, her enthusiasm and attention to detail earned our trust which helped seal the deal.
Q: Can you tell us a little about the Build Process?
If anyone has built a home (or tiny home) from scratch, there is a LOT that goes into it; a lot of details and decisions that need to be made. The initial planning discussions went well, Sharon told us some of the general ideas that we needed to follow to stay within RV certification and worked with the designs and needs that Kate and I had put together. After getting a floor plan together came the hard part. There were decisions based around finishes, lighting, plugs, countertops, floors, cabinets, walls, light switches…. obviously, the list goes on. If I had one complaint about the process, it was regarding some of the decisions that needed to be made. For the most part, Sharon would generally tell us we could do anything we wanted to…. Unfortunately, this can get extremely tiring to do all the research on all the options for things!
Q: What is life like now in your tiny house?
Life is an adventure. There are difficulties and compromises, but we’re making it work and are loving the time we’ve spent visiting with family and friends. We love almost everything, the joys of fully custom building, you get exactly what you want. The light and bright feel we were going for is present in the entire house.
Q: Are there aspects of your tiny house not often seen in others?
We were planning our tiny house for 2 adults that work from home, 2 large dogs, and a toddler. So a number of those things had to be taken into account. I think generally speaking, you don’t often see a full size standard crib in a tiny house, or a dishwasher / peninsula. The kitchen was a huge part of our design, and we had to love it, so the 3cm silestone counters, and the marble tile backsplash had to happen. (Despite their weight addition.) I also don’t often see people in the TH community with our design style. Most seem to go with warm and rustic, and we went with light, bright and modern.
Q: Have you made adaptations and changes since you moved in?
Closets / Clothes storage / Storage in general. We added closets up in the main loft as well as a dresser, we added a bunch of high storage in the nursery and a whole storage unit the secondary loft as well. Beyond that, it’s been mostly organizational things.
Q: What do you do when we need time or space?
We go somewhere… I’ll go for a bike ride, Kate will sew (and I’ll take Emery out of the house). Sometimes I work from the truck as opposed to the house, to get a little space. (Emery likes to come have conversations with me when I’m on the phone for work.)
Q: Do you see generational differences with regards to going minimal?
The baby boomer generation coined the concept of “Keeping up with the Joneses”; I think that our generation doesn’t suffer from that same sort of stigma, at least not to the same extent. There is also a surge in the love of the outdoors and the desire to see a lot of it and going minimal and tiny makes that easier.
Photos by Kate Porter
To read Kate’s blog post about Living Tiny, go HERE.
To see what the Porters are up to now, you can visit them on Instagram!