Architecture

Gizmag talks to the creators of The Tiny Project – less house, more life

Gizmag talks to the creators o...
American web designer Alek Lisefski has recently finished building his very own tiny house on wheels
American web designer Alek Lisefski has recently finished building his very own tiny house on wheels
View 38 Images
American web designer Alek Lisefski has recently finished building his very own tiny house on wheels
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American web designer Alek Lisefski has recently finished building his very own tiny house on wheels
The 240 square foot (22.3 sq m) wooden home was built using traditional construction methods but extra care was taken to ensure it would withstand the wind and bumps when on the road
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The 240 square foot (22.3 sq m) wooden home was built using traditional construction methods but extra care was taken to ensure it would withstand the wind and bumps when on the road
"The Tiny Project" by Alek Lisefski sits amid its natural landscape in California
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"The Tiny Project" by Alek Lisefski sits amid its natural landscape in California
The tiny house has a floor space of 8 x 20 ft (2.4 by 6 m) and features an elevated loft half that size
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The tiny house has a floor space of 8 x 20 ft (2.4 by 6 m) and features an elevated loft half that size
The unique shape and design of the home came from Lisefski's desire to maintain as much space as possible
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The unique shape and design of the home came from Lisefski's desire to maintain as much space as possible
Sustainable beetle-kill pine was used in the home's construction
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Sustainable beetle-kill pine was used in the home's construction
The facade features the use of two different exterior cladding materials
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The facade features the use of two different exterior cladding materials
The house is fitted with 10 windows throughout, plus an all-glass door for lots of natural light and air circulation
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The house is fitted with 10 windows throughout, plus an all-glass door for lots of natural light and air circulation
The house is fitted with 10 windows throughout plus an all-glass door for lots of natural light and air circulation
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The house is fitted with 10 windows throughout plus an all-glass door for lots of natural light and air circulation
Just about all of the household furnishings have been built into the home's structure
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Just about all of the household furnishings have been built into the home's structure
The interior floor space measures 8 x 20 ft (2.4 by 6 m) and features an elevated loft half that size
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The interior floor space measures 8 x 20 ft (2.4 by 6 m) and features an elevated loft half that size
Space-saving furniture such as the foldable desk and dining table have been built into the home's structure
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Space-saving furniture such as the foldable desk and dining table have been built into the home's structure
Space-saving furniture such as the foldable desk proves a fitting choice
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Space-saving furniture such as the foldable desk proves a fitting choice
Interior work zone
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Interior work zone
Light-filled dining area
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Light-filled dining area
The interior of the micro home consists of a main living area with high ceilings, elevated loft bedroom, mini kitchen and bathroom
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The interior of the micro home consists of a main living area with high ceilings, elevated loft bedroom, mini kitchen and bathroom
View from the loft
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View from the loft
The Tiny Project interior space
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The Tiny Project interior space
The interior of the micro home consists of a main living area with high ceilings, elevated loft bedroom, mini kitchen and bathroom
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The interior of the micro home consists of a main living area with high ceilings, elevated loft bedroom, mini kitchen and bathroom
The elevated loft features inbuilt wardrobe space
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The elevated loft features inbuilt wardrobe space
The compact sleeping zone is light-filled and cozy
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The compact sleeping zone is light-filled and cozy
Elevated sleeping quarters
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Elevated sleeping quarters
Up the ladder and into bed
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Up the ladder and into bed
Up the ladder and into bed
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Up the ladder and into bed
View from the kitchen
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View from the kitchen
The kitchen features a two-burner stainless steel range stove with oven unit and a stainless steel counter-height fridge
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The kitchen features a two-burner stainless steel range stove with oven unit and a stainless steel counter-height fridge
The compact kitchen is also light filled and practical
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The compact kitchen is also light filled and practical
The kitchen features a two-burner stainless steel range stove with oven unit and a stainless steel counter-height fridge
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The kitchen features a two-burner stainless steel range stove with oven unit and a stainless steel counter-height fridge
The two-burner stainless steel range stove with oven unit
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The two-burner stainless steel range stove with oven unit
Shelving takes up the height of the kitchen walls
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Shelving takes up the height of the kitchen walls
The bathroom has a small hand basin, shower cubicle and composting toilet
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The bathroom has a small hand basin, shower cubicle and composting toilet
The bathroom has a small hand basin that fits nicely underneath the window
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The bathroom has a small hand basin that fits nicely underneath the window
The bathroom's small but functional shower cubicle
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The bathroom's small but functional shower cubicle
The mobile home on wheels is ready for travel and can be moved to different locations without destroying the natural habitat
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The mobile home on wheels is ready for travel and can be moved to different locations without destroying the natural habitat
The wooden homes blends into its environment
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The wooden homes blends into its environment
The happy tiny residents, Alek with girlfriend Anjali
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The happy tiny residents, Alek with girlfriend Anjali
Lisefski will be selling plans of his home and hopes to offer advice and consulting for other tiny house enthusiasts
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Lisefski will be selling plans of his home and hopes to offer advice and consulting for other tiny house enthusiasts
Tiny Project by Alek Lisefski
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Tiny Project by Alek Lisefski
View gallery - 38 images

Following in the footsteps of the Tiny Tack House and Pocket Shelter, American web designer Alek Lisefski has recently finished building his very own tiny house on wheels. After becoming tired of paying high rental costs and with the goal of owning his own home, constructing a micro and mobile house became the perfect solution for Alek and girlfriend Anjali.

In mid 2012, Lisefski started researching different building options from a range of plans and models but couldn't quite find anything that matched his style or needs. He then decided to design the entire home from scratch and thus commenced what he has dubbed "The Tiny Project."

"Once I saw a few pictures of the tiny house on wheels concept, I fell in love with it," Alek Lisefski tells Gizmag. "It provided me with a more affordable way to build my own house; one that was mobile to take anywhere and I saw there being many benefits to tiny house living."

The final result is a 240 sq ft (22.3 sq m) wooden home which was built using traditional construction methods. However, extra care was taken to ensure it would withstand the wind and bumps when traveling on the road. The interior floor space measures 8 x 20 ft (2.4 by 6 m) and features an elevated loft half that size. It also boasts a small 24 sq ft (2.2 sq m) outdoor porch and Lisefski has plans to add a fold-down deck to one side of the house, offering more outdoor living space.

"My design came about to maximize the interior loft space, hence the shed-style roof instead of gabled roof," says Lisefski. "I was also inspired by all of the nicer modern homes I saw when walking my dog. I wanted something that was slightly different and more modern. The use of two different exterior cladding materials helps set it apart."

The interior of the micro home consists of a main living area with high ceilings, elevated loft bedroom, mini kitchen and bathroom. Space-saving furniture, such as the foldable desk and dining table, have been built into the home's structure, along with shelves, storage space and, in fact, just about all of the household furnishings.

Space-saving furniture such as the foldable desk and dining table have been built into the home's structure
Space-saving furniture such as the foldable desk and dining table have been built into the home's structure

The house is fitted with 10 windows throughout, plus an all-glass door for lots of natural light and air circulation; a storage closet which also contains a propane on-demand water heater; a combination washer/dryer unit; and pantry storage. The kitchen features a two-burner stainless steel range stove with oven unit and a stainless steel counter-height fridge. The bathroom has a small hand basin, shower cubicle and composting toilet.

"I chose materials for energy efficiency and beauty," adds Lisefski. "Closed-cell spray foam makes it very tight and efficient, while sustainable beetle-kill pine adds beauty to the ceiling and walls. Carbonized strand bamboo is sustainably harvested and the beetle-kill pine comes from standing dead ponderosa pine trees, killed by the pine beetle outbreak."

In its current form, the home is set to keep utility bills low, although these could be reduced even further with the addition of solar panels and a water tank.

"Being so small, it is super easy to heat and it uses very little power for a few select appliances," says Lisefski. "Passive solar design brings in lots of light and heats it up in the winter and high-efficiency lighting (all LED) uses hardly any power."

The entire process from start to finish, including all of the design and planning, took Lisefski close to a year to complete. The construction time itself was seven to eight months and the cost of materials was close to US$30,000. "Most of the time was me working by myself each evening and on weekends," says Lisefski. "Many tiny houses are cheaper, but this is really a "dream home" despite its size and I often chose materials for reasons other than lowest cost."

"The Tiny Project" by Alek Lisefski sits amid its natural landscape in California
"The Tiny Project" by Alek Lisefski sits amid its natural landscape in California

The Californian resident was also inspired by how tiny living could help change and enrich his life. "Inhabiting such a small space will force me to live in a simpler, more organized and efficient way," says Lisefski. "Without room to hoard things and hide away from the world, I’ll be forced to spend more time outdoors, in nature and engaging with my community… While living in such a small house, my space, and in turn each area of my life, will be simpler, less chaotic, and free from all but what is essential. That sounds really great to me!"

The happy tiny residents, Alek with girlfriend Anjali
The happy tiny residents, Alek with girlfriend Anjali

Having completed his labor of love, Lisefski will now be selling plans of his home and hopes to offer advice and consulting for other tiny house enthusiasts.

"I want to stay actively involved in the tiny house world, possibly helping to create tiny house communities," says Lisefski. "I want to make it easier for people to build tiny homes and find legal places to park them – the support of a community and shared resources would really be of benefit of tiny house dwellers."

Source: The Tiny Project via Designboom

View gallery - 38 images
19 comments
Fairly Reasoner
It's an RV. Only heavier.
rik.warren
Who cleans up all the broken dishware and open cabinet stuff from the floor when transporting it over bumpy roads and such. Stuff would be flying everywhere. Otherwise I love the idea. Does it have a composting toilet?
John Mauldin
The tiny house movement is gaining tremendous momentum as young and old begin to explore the value of home ownership without being a slave to an unending mortgage note. The structures are typically built using conventional building techniques in use for centuries and afford the owner privacy, safety and much more.
f8lee
So other than being an Airstream trailer made of wood rather than aluminum, this is an incredible new concept because....?
Keith Reeder
"Tiny house on wheel" = caravan...
JAT
Only in California...
Joe Black
Minimalist is where I've been heading for several years now so I really like the concept . That said a nice used airstream or any trailer looks like a better option in many ways . In order for this to become a viable option for people a legal place to park them is going to be needed . Some thing like a trailer park , but then you're getting into what 4 or 5 hundred dollars a month park rent ? The real problem is that better than 50% of people who live and work here really can't afford to live here . One thing for sure is , the McMansion era is over .
Jeff J Carlson
"I want to make it easier for people to build tiny homes and find legal places to park them – the support of a community and shared resources would really be of benefit of tiny house dwellers." like a trailer park perhaps ? gee why didn't he think of that ?
StWils
Lighten up on the kid. He & his GF are being age appropriate. They imagine they thought of everything first. No doubt the first cattle drive operator thought he was really smart to have figured out how to build a whole kitchen into a wagon. On the down side, however, all that beetle-killed ponderosa pine will not last long in the progressively drier, fire prone California hills. Being small gives them some chance of being able to hitch up & run.
chidrbmt
Why all the negative comments? Easy to stand on the side,not contributing or designing a thing in life, and being negative. Lighten up people.