Pocket Shelter

Pocket Shelter

location: Mobile
type: New Construction
completed: Spring 2013
size: 8′ x 23′ / 200 sqft

About

This is a little story about a little house.

This tiny house on wheels is a synthesis of thoughtful design, detail-oriented craftsmanship, and a healthy dose of patience. Five years in the making (longer if you count the design time), this has been a labor of love and a playful experiment in alternative construction… and living.

I began planning this house as a prototype- the first of a series of “Pocket Shelters” or small dwellings and structures. That series may still come to pass, but the project got sidetracked as I decided (along with my partner and young son) to make it ours and move into it.

Learning how to build this small is a challenge. But it’s child’s play compared to learning how to live small. It took every bit as long to pair down enough to fit reasonably into such a small space as it did to build it. Going through round after round of downsizing, purging, and otherwise shedding whatever is unnecessary took determination and mental and emotional stamina. And it’s been totally worth it. Having only what’s essential (by relatively affluent western standards) frees up a lot of clutter, expense, maintenance and energetic baggage.

So yeah, I’ve learned a lot through this process. About myself. About design and building. And about patterns of living. What a fun journey, what a ride!

Now that it’s finally done, I’m ready to sell it after all. When we began this project, we were still looking for a place to land and call home. In the meantime, we’ve found that place and it has it’s own house that we’ve fallen in love with and are now renovating and living in. So, if you’re in the market for maybe the fanciest tiny house on wheels you can find, hit me up and maybe you can buy this one. My asking price is $64,000.

Process

If you’re interested, you can learn more about the construction and see photos (and even some video) of the process here.

Features

  • advanced-framing construction
  • bio-based icynene insulation throughout
  • salvaged and reclaimed materials
  • custom built-in storage, cabinetry, and details
  • local and up-cycled hardwoods
  • live-edge slab countertop, shelves, and trim
  • micro-porch / mudroom
  • custom kitchenette with 2-burner gas cooktop
  • sliding glass pass-through door
  • closet / bathroom / sanctuary
  • mini built-in composting toilet cabinet

*Update: June 4th, 2013 / A Note on Price
So, word about the Pocket Shelter has begun to work it’s way around the internet, and I’ve been truly warmed by the overwhelmingly supportive and enthusiastic feedback.

I’ve also noticed some criticism of my asking price. I understand this perspective and I want to offer another.

What is so loved and eagerly received by the audience of this work is it’s spirit. The love and care that has bathed this tiny home since the time it was just an idea show through in the photographs. From concept to design to implementation to placement to photographs to pricing to posting for sale, this project has been nurtured. This is not your standard home. It is a prayer. And it is art.

As with any art, there is much debate about how to value the efforts of the artist.

At this price (minus the cost of the materials I purchased and the labor I hired at various stages of work) my profit earns me roughly $12/hour for my own labor time for design, project management, and construction across the life of the project’s execution.

To me, for this Pocket Shelter, the price fits the project. It represents a fair return, an energetic match to my careful and dedicated craft.

I believe what I’ve created is unique, durable, and of high-value to someone out there with the unique need that this little home or guest house could fulfill.

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