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  • Writer's pictureJim Martin

Getting Started—Where Should We Build It?

This was all Jenna’s idea. I mean, I love a good construction project, don’t get me wrong. But with two kids in college, I wasn’t imagining we’d find any extra cash lying around let alone enough to build a tiny house. I was thinking something more like a chicken coop.

Then one day Jenna took me out into the back yard and pointed at the back corner. “What if we pushed that fence out a bit? Wouldn’t that create the perfect space for a tiny house?”


I was taken aback. We’d talked about tiny houses before. A lot. We’d watched documentaries such as Small is Beautiful. We’d read some books. We’d gotten so far as to agree, “We think there’s a tiny house in our future.”


But looking at Jenna’s face in the back yard that day, it was obvious that she could imagine one sitting in that corner by the fence—and a lot sooner than I thought.


“What about a chicken coop?” I asked.


“Of course!” she replied. “We can build a coop with the extra materials from the tiny house.”


Hard to argue with that.


The first step in the process was moving the fence from here:


Photo from deck showing original position of fence in the background

Here's the shot with the old fence gone

To here:


Hard to tell but the fence is pushed out roughly 12 feet making just enough room for a tiny house!

I should note that because most of them are mobile, people build their tiny houses in all kinds of places—driveways, backyards, or warehouse buildings, just to name a few. (Warehouse space, if you can find it, has some obvious weather advantages.) It’s helpful to find relatively flat ground with enough clearance for the finished house.


The ground we had chosen had something of a slope to it, which we knew would make leveling the trailer a challenge. But that seemed doable, and otherwise the location seemed perfect.


Next we had to find a trailer…


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Jim Martin
Jim Martin
Sep 04, 2019

Funny about the chicken coop!! And great questions. Yes, fence move was the first investment. And yes, there is a gate. And we’ll be leveling the trailer rather than the ground underneath. Details soon!

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Beth Marcus
Beth Marcus
Sep 04, 2019

Ok we’re both (Todd and I) following along.. we have two kids in college.. so we totally get that part. We’ve also built a chicken coop together.. lol which worked great until the dog started eating the chickens. Nice fence btw. Todd commented.. ok so that’s the first investment. We assume there is a gate of some kind to get the tiny house right!? Will you attempt to level the lot or the trailer? Maybe we can live vicariously through you two and skip the building part. Lol. Thanks for journaling your journey. B

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