Is Anybody Interested in a Tiny Beach Getaway?


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This attractive little cabin overlooks the coastal waters and islands of British Columbia. It is located in a development of recreational lots on Gambier Island, just north of Vancouver. The vendor is offering lot purchasers the option of a basic starter cabin and outhouse package to give the new owners a jump-start in developing their properties.

The Tiny Getaway Cabin provides a basic but well-built shelter for “glamping” and storing camping gear between visits. If the owners embark on building a larger cabin, the Tiny Getaway can serve as a workshop and a place to store tools and building supplies. Once the main cabin was complete, the Tiny Getaway Cabin would make for a nice-sized guest cabin or studio space. Western Red Cedar board and batten siding and exposed rafter tails give the Tiny Getaway a classic cabin look. The inside of the 16′ by 12′ (roughly 4.9 m by 3.7 m) structure is a single room with a loft in one corner, where a shed dormer provides a bit of extra headroom. While the walls are of standard 2 by 4 construction, the loft and roof were timber-framed using Spruce beams and rafters. The interior walls were left open for the buyers to insulate and finish themselves if they wish to. A sliding patio door makes for easy access to the large deck that is included in the package.

Country building is one thing, but tiny homes in cities have many rules and regulations to follow. If your tiny house will be on a slab or foundation, then to be a legal residence, it must conform to building codes and most likely, go through the permitting process. If you follow this path and build in accordance with zoning & building regulations, I recommend using a realtor to help find your land. It can be tempting to try to save money by searching for cheap land from eBay or another auction site, but buyer beware! Without a professional involved, you'll need to be extra diligent in researching for issues like back taxes, liens, hazardous waste, former meth labs (especially with burned out buildings), mineral rights, water rights, moratoriums on building due to water scarcity (mostly in CA), depth of well needed to get water (mostly in the desert), minimum lot size required to build, whether there are wetlands on the property, whether there are endangered species there that prevent building (scrub jays in Florida), whether the property is landlocked or otherwise inaccessible, whether the photos are of the actual property or just the area, zoning, what the HOA rules are, etc. This information is rarely disclosed on eBay or Craigslist.

The concept of a sustainable off-grid community must take into consideration the basic needs of all who live in the community. To become truly self-sufficient, the community would need to provide all of its own electrical power, food, shelter and water. Using renewable energy, an on-site water source, sustainable agriculture and vertical farming techniques is paramount in taking a community off the grid. A recent concept design by Eric Wichman shows a multi-family community, which combines all of these technologies into one self-sufficient neighborhood. To grow the community you simply add neighborhoods using the same model as the first. A self-sustained community reduces its impact on the environment by controlling its waste and carbon footprint.

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