425 Days in a Tiny House, but who’s counting...

Posted by Hawkins-Poe on January 23, 2020

425 Days in a Tiny House, but who’s counting...

Episode# 2;
We left this 450 sq. ft. Great Room for 620 sq. ft. tiny living… welcome back to our crazy story!

We all know this idea of "tiny house" living is a craze across the country...
Designing my last house, I was certainly focused on the opposite. Our house continued to grow with each room that I “needed” to have. I am not going to lie I enjoyed my days in 4100 sf…. But in all honesty, I am also enjoying my days in 620 sf.

East Bay Build - Episode 2
Dining Room & bar of our last home.
East Bay Build - Episode 2
vs. our dining / craft / bar / insert "everything" room

When we decided to take on this new adventure of selling and building AGAIN, my parents were AWESOME and offered up a little 620 sf cabin on their property, more commonly known as “Animal House” (GHHS class of ’97 knows this cabin well). Our first build took a total of 6 ½ months (2011) and our second build took 12 months (2016). So again, with our blissful goals in mind we accepted the invitation for what we saw as a 1 year “experience” for the entire family. Next door to mom and dad, “tiny house adventure” like all the shows on HGTV had told us would be awesome and the BIG no brainer FREE RENT!


425 days later and not a true end in sight here is what we have learned:

People pushing the “Tiny House” movement either don’t have sex with their spouse or they do not have children…. Of which I have both.
-The levels of “privacy” (I use quotations because it’s non-existent) in a Tiny House sink to an all-time decimation. It’s “tiny”- like that first day of college when you move into a room with 3 complete strangers and have to figure out a polite way to let them know you have to go #2 in the shared bathroom - “tiny”

East Bay Build - Episode 2
Spaciously designed kitchen of our previous home
East Bay Build - Episode 2
vs. our ONLY food storage in the tiny house


As the privacy levels dip, the “creativity” levels spike to highs I didn’t know existed, simply for daily survival.

- My husband LOVES to cook and I mean LOVES it…. I have tried to enter him into Master Chef (mostly so I can meet Gordon Ramsey) multiple times but for those of you that know him, know that would be his worst nightmare to be on TV. His love for cooking has morphed into my families love to eat REALLY GOOD FOOD. I have learned Zach is a cooking magician. He designed our last kitchen so that even our garbage can had its own cabinet, now his cook top is an outdoor camping burner. He has spent this last year continuing to produce chef level dinners while working on a countertop the size of most local homes master bathrooms. Like I said creativity is at an all-time high!


-Shall I continue… Let’s talk about Christmas in a “tiny house” You know that feeling Christmas Morning after the ravage of paper tearing and box opening and all of us moms think “where the hell am I going to put all this stuff” well imagine that, when your vacuum is stored next to your bed, stored next to your boots that won’t fit under the bed where your other shoes are stored. We did attempt the; please no gifts for the kids this year, we’d like to give the gift of “experience” but seriously, we don’t even have room for the package of hi-chews that Santa left in each of our stockings.


-All this being said…… I truly am adjusting and excited for the opportunity that we are in. We are fortunate that my parents still love us enough not to have kicked us out. Thankful that we are going through an experience that I am certain will teach some very positive lessons to both my children as they grow in to otherwise excessive American adults. It is my hope that this tiny house year (or 3) will impact the footprint they leave and maybe just maybe they will look back fondly on sharing a queen size bed, in a bedroom without a closet and years of all their toys being packed in storage…


-My hope isn’t just for our kids to gain through this experience… I feel as though I am becoming a self-proclaimed spatial expert. This knowledge has definitely come in handy helping my Real Estate clients. Most definitely Zach is gaining knowledge as our builder for some “must haves” in our new house… things like double pained windows (pray for us when it snows, Animal house was built in 1912), more than one bathroom, a cooktop indoors, you know…. The finer things.


-In all seriousness we are learning so much about our industry things that would not have crossed our minds in the otherwise vanilla land of 4000 sq feet.

What’s Next?

Our driveway is freshly punched in so its officially, official this Tiny House living just might, actually be temporary (I can hear my parents celebrating). It's now time to maneuver around and embrace as much of the NW natural beauty with strategically sweeping around the big old cedars, firs and maples already existing on the property.
East Bay Build - new driveway entrance

Keeping the natural beauty our trees


-Needing to stay on top of scheduling will be one of our toughest tasks. Due to the local growth, contractors are slammed. Building a one-off house, we are the little guy…. and contractors typically put us pretty far down the totem pole.

-However, we are not only building a dream home for ourselves we are also building one for my in-laws. It is our hope we can gain some clout with sub-contractors, offering 2 projects on the same location at the same time. Also making sure our building environment is easy and ready for them when they get there will be imperative for staying on schedule.

Welcome to our story! Stay tuned for more to come as we begin to actually move around some dirt! It is our hope to keep you intrigued and also answer questions you might have through-out this process… or maybe just maybe make you feel not so crazy as you go through this process yourself. feel free to ask us anything!