I’ll take Adam and Eve on A Raft and Wreck ’em!

3 Oct

Dear Ronin;

Thanks to you, we’re not just dreaming about “Walden Pond” any longer. We’re actually building our “cabin in the woods” based on your designs.

Our cabin consists of (3) 20′ ISBUs placed side by side, but they each step up to accommodate the hillside. Each container rises up 8 inches from the last,  “Corten Staircase” style… We’re topping it with SIPs and SSMR (your favorite) in a 6/12 Gable roof running from front to back with a big covered porch. SPF applied to the outside of the containers is to be covered with Hardiplank.

It’s “Textbook ALEX KLEIN ISBU Building”, right?

We have some great ideas for finishing out our cabin, but we’re really stumped when it comes to building a compact, versatile kitchen that can be assembled without “rocket science”. For us, breakfast is the biggest meal of the day, so we really need this little kitchen to shine.

We (my wife and I) are going to use the cabin at first for weekends and family holidays – with the idea that we’ll start extending our stays so that at some point, we’ll live there full time.

You showed us how to build the boxes. Can you help us “fill them”?

The Mini-Microwave-Manser’s…


Dear 3M: (I’m probably gonna get letters for that one…) 😉

Your design does sound vaguely familiar. I may have read about similar processes someplace… LOL!

Love the “steps up” design. LOVE the roof plan. SIPs – Structural Insulated Panels topped with SSMR – Standing Seam Metal Roofing is (in my opinion) one of the very best ways to go. Adding SPF (Spray Foam Insulation) to your plan grants you high insulative values, a vapor barrier, a moisture barrier and even some additional structural strength. Top that with siding like Hardiplank (I absolutely love this stuff) and you have an easy to care for, highly efficient, durable housing solution that lasts for decades with very little maintenance. This combination is a “home-owners dream come true”.

Seriously though, many congrats on taking a bold leap and putting your sweat and efforts into accomplishing your dreams. The best way to realize dreams its to EARN them with good design, solid plans, hard work and dedication. I know that you’re gonna do a great job!

The best way to figure out WHAT to build, is to look at what others are actually building NOW. Then you can reverse engineer it and adapt it to your specific needs.

You could do something like this:

Okay, maybe that’s a bit too “industrial”…

Let’s step up the game, shall we? You could look at what the “big boys” are doing and then twist it to suit your needs. Case in point;

I’ve spent some time looking at these mini kitchens manufactured by a company called Mobilspazio Contract.

These guys do it right, let me tell you. Not only are their kitchens efficient and compact, they’re quite attractive. And let’s face it… in a small home, you’re gonna spend a lot of time looking at your stuff, right?

Mobilspazio Contract kitchen units are (IMHO) a great idea (or starting point) for tiny house (and quite frankly – any other small multi-functional space) kitchen designs because the entire kitchen can be concealed by selecting any of these choices:

  • sliding shutter,
  • hinged door,
  • ledge door,
  • or pocket doors.

Personally, I like pocket doors, but many prefer the shutter options. And these MC guys got their roots in building hotel and commercial furniture. Look closely at what they do and you can see that they’ve given their designs a lot of thought and then… applied a lot of detail and quality to the finished results. Good stuff, indeed.

And don’t discount the idea of using off-the-shelf cabinets (IKEA, perhaps) to duplicate these designs and then stuff them with your favorite appliances. There are ways of getting a really attractive and high-tech solution on a small budget, if you think it through carefully.

Hope this  helps.

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