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Thread: Building a Cabin or Tiny House

  1. #1
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    Building a Cabin or Tiny House

    Anyone here have build their own cabin or tiny house (want to keep it simple and keep the house under 1000 sq ft/2bd/1, 1 1/2 or 2ba most).

    Interested in hearing someone w/exp building in Hawaii but like to hear from other parts of the country/world for ideas and inspiration.

    Like to hear things to consider e.g. design, man hours it took, help you needed or DIY preparation e.g. learn how to read plans, basic contructions skills, material search... before you started the project.

    Just took a basic contruction class just recently, and learn things (more to learn of of course) such as use of Tyvek house wrap, don't design a house with the water heater far from the output e.g. shower; will take you longer to get heated water; of course now, there the on-demand hot water tank/system.

    Also simple car port ideas for the Land Rover (can't forget that) and storage for tools.

    Anyways, I am open to hear stories especially on the Big Island of Hawaii (BI).

    Also I don't have a contruction work background, mostly DIY and volunteer work for helping build low income housing during my younger days. In my own house, remodeled kitchen e.g. ripping old cabinets, floor, designing the layout I like, and putting the new counter, cabinets, sink, basic plumbing and some electrical work. Like to hear how you prep yourself for the project.

    Probably will hire an electrician next time - I seem to never learn that I should turn off the power at the source/fuse box first; shocked my self a few times. Lol.

    Also have done some easy projects like install put a wooden deck, wooden fence around the house, and putting hard wood floor.

    No much experience with foundation, framing, windows and roofing. Also no exp with water catchment system, septic tank and solor powering; will need to look into this more.

    My wife and I bought a small buildable lot on the Hilo side small town called Pahoa; 30 mins from the airport; lots of outdoor/nature activities to do.

    Plan is to build a tiny house with a large Lanai; keeping it simple; car port for our Land Rovers. Watch catchment system, septic tank, and combo electric (avail in the area) and solar. Propane for heat (no much needed - it's Hawaii after all) and cooking.

    Like to hear your stories for inspiration and/or ideas for me to consider. Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by RonCT110; 11-10-2010 at 08:48 AM.
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  2. #2
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    congrats on the dream coming closer to fruition, Ron! sounds like you've got a good idea going. you know, i've seen some of those HGTV shows on pre-fabbed homes of the +/- 1000 sqft variety - literally put 'em up in a day or two. might be info for the kits at hgtv.com.

    i like your idea, but my cabin would be in the mtns - perhaps yurt-like with a wood stove and an elk-carcass sleeping bag...

    good luck!
    1993 D110

    Nothing beats watching a "dude" wrestle chairs while losing his battle with gravity.

  3. #3
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    Since the temperatures hardly vary at all in Hawaii, they do very simply construction:
    Single panel walls -
    No insulation -
    No heating -
    No air conditioning -
    - All you need is to keep the rain off your head.

    At least that is what the three homes that I lived in over there from 1950 to 1953.
    Ron/Rocky - '04 Discovery S
    Usually found somewhere in Lyon, Pershing, Churchill, Lander, Humboldt Counties..

  4. #4
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    Ron, I haven't built in Hawaii but have a fair amount of building experience. We should chat on Friday. I've you stop by, I'll show you my summer house that's almost finished. Here's a photo of it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It's a cabaņa for the pool we'll probably never have.

    Sounds like you've heard the simplicity of building in Hawai'i but I didn't hear mentioned that making your house safe from bugs is a real challenge there.

    Granville aka Gran or Granny
    '06 LR3 SE7 V8
    North California Wine Country
    http://home.comcast.net/~teacupfarm/index.html

  5. #5
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    Granny, very cool! Looks like it should be built in someplace named "Cape......." something!
    All sold a while ago

    1995 RRC LWB - LT230, $G Front Bumper


    1960 109" 5 Door Station Wagon w/Deluxe Rolled Bonnet with Spare Recess. Frame off restoration. PO setup 289 Mustang with D60 rear end with chromolly inners. Recently moved to Sacramento awaiting a place to finish the restoration.

  6. #6
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    House looks great Granville.

    What's the square footage of your cabana w/o the Lanai (porch), and w/the Lanai?

    Now I have to stop-by Friday to check it out.

    Our plan is to leave the East Bay @ 9am, and should be in Leggett in 4 hours for fuel stop or top-off before we make our way to the Usal Rd/Loast Coast.

    A lil detour @ of your place before we get to Leggett would be great. Enrique aka DiscoChef from Mexxis for example is interested in meeting you/stopping by your place.

    Also re: bugs, I've just started reading about specific considerationgs in Hawaii including bugs (terminte problems) in Hawaii, and it's a serious problem; open to tips/tricks. Thanks!

    Talk to you soon.
    Last edited by RonCT110; 11-11-2010 at 01:42 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Bugs? Naaaa...never killed me, although "house centipedes" really scared my mom...

    I am really bummed the talk of the Robinson Crusoe treehouse has already been taken off the table...Excellent view and fresh coconuts way up high in that palm tree.....
    It's about people and the Land Rovers that own them.
    01 DII : 95 RRC LWB : 88 RRC SWB

  8. #8
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    Granny,
    That cabana looks incredible! Hope you do eventually put a pool next to it.

    -Chris D.
    Chris D.
    "Alabama Red" MUDY_OVL
    '95 DI

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GriffSC View Post
    congrats on the dream coming closer to fruition, Ron! sounds like you've got a good idea going. you know, i've seen some of those HGTV shows on pre-fabbed homes of the +/- 1000 sqft variety - literally put 'em up in a day or two. might be info for the kits at hgtv.com.

    i like your idea, but my cabin would be in the mtns - perhaps yurt-like with a wood stove and an elk-carcass sleeping bag...

    good luck!
    Mark, thanks! I have look into pre-fab.

    My wife and I actually saw a Yurt in Oahu as we were driving up the coast to visit a friend in the North Shore. Did not get to see the inside but parked a close disance just to have a look at the exterior and the catchment system the owner had setup.

    Stove inside was fired-up; I call tell w/smoke coming out of the roof pipe vent and can hear the noise of plates clunking and people inside talking about dinner (about that time of the day also). Just looked out of place in Hawaii; certainly perfect for the mtn like you said.

    in Hawaii. I was joking and said I like the pole; perhaps we can invite your female friends and watch them p; funny, we can folks inshadow cast on the cathe folks livings we can see the folk
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky112540 View Post
    Since the temperatures hardly vary at all in Hawaii, they do very simply construction:
    Single panel walls -
    No insulation -
    No heating -
    No air conditioning -
    - All you need is to keep the rain off your head.

    At least that is what the three homes that I lived in over there from 1950 to 1953.
    Thanks Ron for sharing that; I do want to keep it simple.

    Saw this one built by a local company in Maui; simple design with solar panels:





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    1990 White RRC - Dedicated "Trail Rig"

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