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The Towhee

SOLD! The Towhee, our brand new portable home, is now sold and no longer available for purchase. Please contact us for custom design options or to your explore your project needs.
The Towhee, a tiny house on wheels, against a blue sky with clouds.

The Towhee has 168 square feet of living space, 20 square feet of loft and closet storage, and 20 square feet of porch, all on a seven by eighteen foot flatbed trailer. This charming gable roof house fits within legal limits for towing on public road, yet offers all the comforts of a well built and thoughtfully appointed stationary home.

Interior

 
A custom panel door of solid vertical grain fir with mullioned windows opens to a bright room filled with light from four dual paned windows. The front door is flanked by a cedar lined storage closet on one side and a utility closet containing the electrical panel and 19 gallon water heater on the other. Directly overhead is a loft offering 20 square feet of storage, and ahead lies the main room, with a vaulted ceiling. Along the right side is the compact galley kitchen overflowing with features and utility; seven foot long butcher block countertop and backsplash,  an eight inch deep stainless steel Franke sink, a three burner gas range and oven by Amana, a Sanyo counterhigh 3.7 cubic foot capacity refrigerator and freezer, and custom cabinetry featuring shelf ledges over all four windows, two standard drawers, three toe kick drawers, three open upper shelves and four closed cabinets. The floors are bamboo planks finished in a warm honey tone, and smooth birch paneling sets off the fir beams supporting the sleeping loft sized for a queen sized mattress. The eye is drawn upward toward the octagonal loft window that fills the loft with light and opens to provide fresh air and a strong convection current for climate control. Below the loft is an office with two windows, phone and internet jacks, and three electrical outlets. Beside it is the bathroom, with a 32” shower stall, full size toilet, corner sink, triple mirrored medicine chest, and a window.
 
 

Construction

 
Every aspect of this house has been planned and built for durability and comfort. The floors, walls, and ceilings are insulated with rigid foam with a 19.9 R-value. The trailer foundation was flashed with rolled aluminum sheets and all gaps and seams were thoroughly sealed and filled. The pitched roof is a sandwich of ½ inch marine grade 5 ply roof sheathing, StormGuard high performance underlay, and 26 gauge standing seam steel panels with colorfast CoolRoof paint warranted to not crack, flake, chip or peel for a period of 45 years. We streamlined the roof design to eliminate the places where water intrusion is most often encountered as a roof ages. The entire roof is two continuous surfaces with no chimneys, roof jacks, seams (except at the top edge where the two meet) or changes in angle or slope. The siding is rough 1 x 6  tongue and groove cedar and the trim is reclaimed douglas fir, all coated with premium waterbourne finish that meets the new stricter volatile organic compound limits coming into play over the next two years.
 

Utilities

 
The electrical wiring is compliant with current NEC (National Electrical Code) regulations, complete with GFI plugs and an arc fault breaker in the sleeping loft. There are nine dual electrical outlets inside (one each in the utility closet and kitchen, two each in the living room and sleeping loft, and three in the office) one outside at the front entry and one more at the back of the house (at the front of the trailer). The wood paneling below the electrical service panel is attached with screws so it can be removed if a permanent electrical service connection or other alteration is desired. A smoke alarm with battery backup is hardwired into its own dedicated circuit, and a fire extinguisher comes with the house unmounted, so the buyer can decide on its final location.
 
The house is wired with RG6 co-axial cable throughout; each room has a dedicated co-ax and CAT5 wire run for optimum speed and the ability to use each CAT5 cable as either a multiple line phone connection or as a wired Ethernet connection to the internet. The home runs start in the utility closet; they're easily accessible and can be modified to suit different purposes. There are four wall plates with phone jacks and Ethernet outlets (the living room, the kitchen, the office, and the loft). These runs are installed to keep the communications wires as far away from the electrical wires as possible to reduce potential interference.
 
Outside, at the front of the trailer (aka back wall of the house), several covered switches and hookup ports are available. First is the switch for the exterior light that illuminates the outside utility area. Next to it is the electrical service inlet. This house requires a dedicated 30 amp 110V circuit and includes a 50’ removable heavy duty RV extension cord to connect to it. Beside the electrical inlet is the water inlet, which accepts a standard US garden hose and is equipped with a hose bib.  Then there’s a dual electrical outlet and a co-ax and combined Ethernet/phone inlet. When connected to either a telephone or Ethernet line, it will provide service to all the outlets in the house. 
 
The interior is lit with nine built in brushed nickel light fixtures and halogen bulbs on dimmer switches for the ultimate in ambiance control. Two lights are in the kitchen area, one light over the living room, two each in the bathroom and office, and one each in the sleeping loft and storage loft. All the lights, particularly the kitchen lamps over the sink and stove, are strategically positioned to fully and directly light the space without creating frustrating shadows. The bedside light has a dimmer next to it and a switch on the ground floor, so if one forgets to turn it off it’s easily done without climbing back up the ladder. The exterior offers a light on the front porch switchable from inside the front door, and a utility light at the back end of the house with a switch on the exterior wall.
 
The plumbing consists of pipes fixtures and fittings certified to meet limits on lead in plumbing parts set by the California DTSC and meets standards set by the UPC (Uniform Plumbing Code). Flexible PEX (cross linked polyethylene) tubing under the house allows for expansion and contraction without breakage in case of extreme temperatures. All exterior pipes are insulated with premium foam insulation. In the walls the plumbing is rigid copper tubing held together with premium SharkBite push-fit fittings for maximum hold, flexibility, and serviceability - they can be easily removed and reused if service, maintenance, or diagnostics is ever needed. The 19 gallon Kenmore water heater has a glass lined tank for maximum longevity and runs on a 110V circuit for ease of use, to make the entire house plug and play.
 
 
 
 

Comments

Paul Forster's picture

Hi,

I absolutely love this idea and applaud your efforts.  I had the good fortune to have seen the inside of the pictured model at several stages during construction and after completion and I was very impressed with the quality and detail of workmanship.

My initial thought about the whole Tiny Home concept was, “Just another cheap trailer.” but these are definitely not that.  They are instead a very well constructed, stick-built home that I can move to where ever I want put it.  Every aspect of it is shows quality hand work using high grade materials, not the cheap junk they install in a normal trailer.  One thought I had, after looking at the construction, was “I could probably heat this place with a Bic lighter.”

I also like the idea that I can be part of the design and build process.  I have been interested in the “Sweat Equity” concept for quite a while and this seems to be a great place for me to put my efforts.

I will be contacting you in the near future.

Paul Forster

Maria's picture

Your house design and craftsmanship looks beautiful. I'd love to see a simple floorplan to have a better sense of the layout/dimensions. 

Carol's picture

 I wonder do you know what the dry wt of the trailer is this is helpful to know if you are going to move around with it.

Thanks It is beutiful I love it!!

 

Sly Boskovich's picture

Absolutly one of the best tiny homes I have ever seen. I would buy it in a heart beat if I had that kind of cash.I will refer to the pictures as I begin building mine next month. Thanks again for sharing your master piece .


 


Sly

Karyn's picture

 Lovely little houses; beutiful craftmanship. Is there any feedback on these houses being lived in full time? Have there ever been any security issues?

Marianne Jannetti's picture

Love the new plans....looks nice but a lot of pictures of the kitchen and the outside only.  Would have liked to see more pictures of the rest of the interior.  Are you going to have these plans online soon for purchase or for viewing?

Craig's picture

I am extremely impressed with this unit and was hoping to find a floor plan to see how the interior is laid out. I think the use of the space right inside the main door for the kitchen is a much better adaptation than some other plans where it is in the rear corner and is quite compact. There appears to be a room past the kitchen area but without a floor plan it is hard to visualize how this space is laid out along with the space for the bathroom. Thank you for sharing this beautiful home with us.

Gina's picture

This is absolutely beautiful and a thoughtfully designed tiny home.  Exactly what I am looking for.  I don't see any information

about how to heat the home?  Could one install a tiny gas fireplace?  Anyone interested in doing a workshop on Vancouver

Island in Canada?

Keep up the great work.  Tiny homes rule!!

Chris Armstrong's picture

I am interested in possibley purchasing this home.  There is no description of the heating or cooling of the house.  Does it have the small fireplace that is in many of the tiny houses, or use other heat? Any provision for airconditioning?  What is the towing weight?

Very well done house... has many of the features that I have been planning for my own.  

 

Chris

Elizabeth's picture

What does it weigh?

Can you provide a floor plan?

How do you arrive at a square footage that's greater than that of the Lusby?

Can you add pictures of the different storage area interiors?

Todd's picture

Just awesome!!!  I love this concept and that have taken it to the next level.  THANK YOU!!

Ethan's picture

Hi there- I like the windows you've chosen. Can you tell me what brand they are?

J Modine's picture

I LOVE your tiny house design.  It is nice to see such a well thought home with all the quality and ease of a larger home. 

Will you be posting a basic floorplan to this home in the future?

Shea Ryan's picture

I love this model, and can't wait to see what other wonderful little homes are on the "Bungalows-To-Go" horizon!

Yours is the FIRST that I've felt would be conducive to the particular tweaks, modifications and such that my unique  circumstances would require: I'm disabled, and though not in a wheelchair full-time, my mobility is severely compromised enough tht I need a ground floor setup. The little bedroom area off the main room would be JUST RIGHT for me, enough space to put my twin electric bed, maybe a sliver of nighstand/table for a book and carafe of water. It's all I'd need. I can see opportunity in that tiny bedroom for a drop-down 'desk'/table, so I could work on my computer, or painting or drawing, while seated on the bed, and then put everything away, fold it back up aganst the wall, when done.

I love the idea of having the storage and loft 'bed' space above for guests (and storage, of course)! I have a question on this model in particular, however... does the 'square feet' of the loft and storage space count into the overall square footage? Because if they do, I might have to forego them (formally at least) and instead lengthen the design by about 4 to 6 feet, so I could have a bigger 'main' area instead. As it is right now, there is not room for a loveseat and/or easu chair, an entertainment unit and/or  and wallmount TV (living room).

Excited to see these great ideas come to life... soon it will be MY turn! ;-)

 

gina's picture

Hi

can you show me the bed and storage loft?

underneath the bungalow is there storage? and, can I put a walk in tub which is small and square where the shower is?

Carey Huffman's picture

Hi,

Your house is beautiful.  It is both simple and elegant.  My 75 year old mother is in the market for a small house/cabin/mobile home to locate on my property and I have been trying to convince her that a house such as yours would work.  However, she does not like the idea of climbing a ladder and sleeping in a loft.  With your design, she could get one of the murphy bed student desks (an example can be seen on apartment therapy) and your downstairs office would become a second bedroom.  This way, she could even have a sleepover with one of her grandkids.  Also, I would like to congratulate you on not placing the bathroom adjacent to the kitchen as seems to be the norm in almost every small house I have researched.  Not only does such a placement violate Feng Shui, but it also just seems wrong to have both of those places next to one another.  Congratulations on such a fabulous first build!

Warmest Regards,

Carey

Kim Davison's picture

Your workmanship looks wonderful! The photography is very nice, although I might recommend editing out some of the very similar shots. Have any of these actually been set up and lived in yet? I'd like to see the rest of the spaces and maybe a floor plan. I'm having some trouble visulaiing how the parts fit together.

Congratulations on producing a tiny house I'd like to own!

 

rox@roxspace.net's picture

Althought this looks like a beautiful place, I need some additional  information: dimensions of the sleeping area, more interior shots (!!!), price, and the HVAC system. It would be very helpful if you could write responses to the questions asked. I am very interested in the murphy bed idea. 

Thank you.

Roxann Souci

Denver, CO

rox@roxspace.net's picture

Gosh, I am so embarrassed. I just found the extra interior images. 

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