Pin It

The Question: Can You Live in a Tiny House? 

click to enlarge the-question_tiny-house-560x419.jpg
With a pricey copper drip edge, cedar shingles, and Pella windows, 32-year-old fiddler Aldo Lavaggi’s Gold Thread Tiny House measures 105 square feet. The Woodstock native’s artsy cottage on wheels—his senior project for progressive Goddard College in Vermont, famed for “plain living and hard thinking”—seems the ideal education for Lavaggi as he sheds two-thirds of his belongings and adjusts to domestic life in a space akin to two California King mattresses.

An eclectic mix of reclaimed and high-end materials, Lavaggi anticipates an August move-in and, final cost of $25,000. Built in a factory space at Sun Dog Solar in Chatham, winter’s big project was a handmade front door. Bed’s a futon loft with two dormer windows above the kitchen. Seven feet long, the kitchen has pocket counter space for food preparation and a quiet, energy-efficient Nova Kool refrigerator. Plans call for a folding dining/work table and pull-down guest bed. Propane fuels the heating and cooking. Although electrically solar powered, a computer and stereo are backed up by a 12-volt battery bank.

“The rubber won’t really meet the road until after I’ve lived in it for a year,” Lavaggi admits. “But choosing to live in a tiny house shapes me into letting go of certain habits.” Less stuff also means more time to volunteer; Lavaggi previously worked with the developmentally disabled.

The allure of green simplicity and no clutter has sprouted a network of tiny-house enthusiasts. Environmentalists laud the minimal demands on resources and land. Uses range from freestanding homes for elderly parents to weekend retreats or offices. Less costly than a practical new car, they’re gentle and inexpensive to maintain. One must: an “anything” drawer or basket for order.

Lavaggi’s house sits on a $2,000 trailer, easily moved since it’s off the grid, with a self-composting toilet. But the son of a builder and a fabric artist (his mother owns Laughing Bear Batik in Saugerties) won’t use his home like an RV. “I’d like to live on a farm in the Northeast and barter farm labor for rent,” says Lavaggi. He’s already had offers.

And as for laundry? “Well, I’m hoping for proximity to a larger house,” he says. “Otherwise it’s the laundromat.”


RESOURCES
Aldo Lavaggi’s blog www.goldthreadtinyhouse.blogspot.com

Yes Wee Cabins (www.yesweecabins.com), based in Vermont, sells a finished eight-by-eight-foot solar cabin for $36,000. Specs include a bathroom with 32” shower, double kitchen sink, instant hot water, clapboard exterior, and metal roof.

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company (www.tumbleweedhouses.com), based in California, markets plans, kits, and delivered homes.

m-ch (www.microcompacthome.com) is German architecture professor Richard Horden small-dwelling ode to aviation design and Japanese tea houses. The lightweight 85-foot aluminum cube costs about $53,200 delivered.

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Meet the New Loft

    New York City may have a lofty tradition of unconventional live/work spaces, but the Hudson Valley does not. That meant that Ken Rabe had to be a pioneer, and explain to banks what his vision was. And as the old joke goes, a pioneer is the guy on the trail just ahead of you with the arrow on his back.
    • Oct 1, 2015
  • Stroke of Genius

    Philip Howie and Sasha Chermayeff in Catskill
    • Nov 1, 2015

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Women in Business Luncheon @ Villa Borghese

Women in Business Luncheon

Thu., Dec. 8, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. — Hudson Valley Magazine hosts its 3rd annual Women in Business Luncheon to...
60+ Hour Entrepreneur Training Program @ SUNY Orange

60+ Hour Entrepreneur Training Program

Tuesdays, Thursdays, 6-9 p.m. Continues through Dec. 8 — If you have an idea for a business, some experience in the...

View all of today's events

Latest in House Profiles

More by Jennifer Farley

Hudson Valley Tweets