For some, building a tiny home is a form of financial security: some build and live in them as mortgage-free residences, other tiny home owners build them as second residences for getting away, while others rent them out for extra income. For University of Northern British Columbia graduate student Geoff de Ruiter, building his tiny treehouse home was a step toward stability, while undertaking an exercise in self-sufficiency and reusing salvaged materials.
De Ruiter, who is studying bio-energy and carbon management and splits his time between Prince George and Pender Island, gives us a short tour of the 165-square-foot home below:
As he tells the Huffington Post:
One of the original reasonings for this was place stability. So if everything goes wrong in my life, all I have to do is basically pay my property taxes and I own everything outright. Stability to me is also sustainability. Because it means we are not needing to forever chase resources.
De Ruiter has dubbed his tiny home -- which features a bedroom loft, small sitting area, kitchen and composting toilet -- The Raven Loft, thanks to the abundance of ravens on his half-acre lot, which he purchased on Pender Island for $35,000. There is a mix of recycled and new materials, with some materials that were free or found at the local Habitat Restore.
In all, he spent $8,200 on building the treehouse itself, and had some help from friends to raise everything up off the ground, the most difficult part of the process. He used custom-made treehouse bolts that can hold 4,000 pounds each, plus a pole support, to hold up the treehouse.
For heating, he uses one electric baseboard, two 100-watt lightbulbs and six candles. But in a gesture that shows no man can be an island, de Ruiter has a friendly agreement with his neighbours, who have given him the use of one power cord connected to their house, in exchange for $20 per month -- more than he actually uses. Though there's no shower in the treehouse, de Ruiter says that it's an excuse for him to get out of the house and shower at the local marina a short walk away.
After his positive building experience, De Ruiter now firmly believes that tiny homes can build a better sense of community. Widely established tiny house communities, with shared amenities, is still a dream, but it's something may one day come true, considering that more and more people are consciously choose to live with less, and that usually means also being willing to share too. More over at The Huffington Post.