Access-A-Hut's Blog

August 30, 2009

Question posted to Denver’s New Code

Filed under: Zoning and laws — by accessahut @ 3:54 pm


We are a disabled couple and are planning our future now. We want to stay together and we want to have our cat, Cipher, and our dog, Kate, with us. But we both have severe health issues and we will probably need caretakers. We do not want to move into an institution!

The most reasonable solution for us is to build a tiny house (8 feet by 20 feet). If we are healthy, we can live independantly and not have much to take care of, so we can keep the property looking good. If we are not healthy, we could move into a caretaker’s backyard as an “accessory dwelling unit.” This way, we could have a caretaker and still maintain our privacy and dignity. By having a movable home, we pay once to customize for our particular disabilities and do not have to re-renovate a place each time we move. This way, we can customize a house to last us for the rest of our lives.

This house will be built to serve us for our lifetimes–and for many generations to come. See a potential picture at We would like this home to be portable (e.g., welded onto a flat trailer or building a foundation but allowing the home to be relocated). This would provide the planning flexibility we need in case we need to move to a caretaker or … This tiny house would be a real house–not a flimsy RV. We would spend our time crafting it and use the best materials (we can afford the best because we are going to be so small).

Further, we would have only 100 pounds or so of landfill waste instead of the 7 tons of waste for an average house, and we would produce about 900 pounds of greenhouse gases during a winter instead of the 18 tons for an average house (see statistics in Shafer, J. The Small House Book, Tumbleweed Tiny House Company 2009). We are committed to help create a sustainable Denver and believe that this house–and others like it–can pave the way to lower energy use and better air quality in Denver.

We need a house that:
Is easy to take care of
Has a low to zero carbon footprint (to contribute to sustainable living)
Has easy access for a caretaker to provide medical equipment and needs.

See our thoughts so far at


1) What is an accessory dwelling unit and what is the minimum size for one? Would a log cabin or tiny house such as Tumbleweed or Tortoise shell homes ( qualify?

2) Where would we be able to build our tiny home in Denver?

3) What does Denver’s new code provide for others in our situation who, for whatever reason, choose to live in a beautiful, well crafted tiny home? (The tiny home movement is gaining momentum as it provides an easier way of life that is sustainable and leads to lower energy use and tiny carbon footprints).


Denver’s new zoning map

Filed under: Zoning and laws — by accessahut @ 3:32 pm

Denver’s new code would allow a 3,000 square foot lot (so that is like 30 by 10 feet–or a half of a classic lot). So a 155 square foot house on that would have a lot of lawn room… (I love to garden, but I know I can’t do much more than about a 100 feet of garden space as I just don’t have the stamina or physical strength)…

However, Denver’s new map shows where we might have “accessory dwelling units” (granny flats, mother in law apartments, carraige houses)–and we have to figure out if a tiny house would qualify. Then if it did, we could still park it in one of these places–and get our caretaker or assisted living there. But this is an awfully small area of use…

We can do this in 20 feet

Filed under: Configuration and space ideas — by accessahut @ 11:27 am

And we can have a desk for MaJe as well…And we put a murphy desk on the door so MaJe can have an eating/desk space over her bed:
20 foot floor plan

Glide home

Filed under: Configuration and space ideas — by accessahut @ 11:09 am

There is a Glide manufactured home place that uses “glide” doors to cover one full wall, behind which is storage, but when closed, the doors look like a wall.

A moveable foundation!!!

Filed under: Configuration and space ideas,Zoning and laws — by accessahut @ 11:08 am

Our brilliant friend had a great idea. Build out a semi-moveable foundation. This would be heavy (maybe cement? Maybe ???) but would be built out on 3 sides–large enough to fit the wheels of the trailer. (We could add a few mid-wheels for strength while the structure stayed there). Then put in a drywall/crawl space entrance for the 4th side. Put all the electrical, battery, water, sewage, etc. there (would we need sewage with a compost toilet?). The top would be a removable cover with struts for load–we’d have to work this out with an architect or a builder–. The connections would be in the floor of the trailer–connected so that they could be disconnected from the foundation inside the trailer.

Then when we are ready to move, just 1) disconnect the connections/fittings 2) remove the drywall 3) wheel out the trailer and 4) remove the top of the foundation and then determine if we would need a foundation in the new place.

The trailer would still be self contained, but we would have a foundation that might meet building codes…

===I googled “movable foundation” (the internet makes so many things possible–an exponential using and providing knowledge that makes Moore’s law seem pessimistic!):

Someone has a patent for a semi hinged foundation

August 28, 2009

zoning and building woes and rethinking

Filed under: Zoning and laws — by accessahut @ 9:05 pm

All the metro area cities prohibit us from living year round in an RV and a tiny house on a trailer is classed as an RV.

Denver building code demands a minimum of 600 square feet for a house and a minimum lot size of 6,000 square feet or 3,000 square feet–unless it is grandfathered in. THere are 25 foot lots sometimes, and if you could prove a house was on that lot then you might be able to build on it. We saw an ad for 1900 square feet that claims it is grandfathered in and we will look at that.

But we don’t want to be in an area that pops and scrapes as our taxes would go sky high.


The Tiny House tips on zoning are unhelpful.

But the small house living ones are pretty good.

Other cabin ideas

Filed under: Configuration and space ideas — by accessahut @ 8:55 pm

I kinda like the but I really like the because the curved roof is cool and we could do windows. These both mean giving up the trailer idea. We can dissasemble the curved roof one so it could be moved.

I really love this design for a stable house: Like living in a Japanese shrine. 121-320 sq ft at $19,000-45,000

August 27, 2009

We got the small house book

Filed under: Configuration and space ideas — by accessahut @ 5:51 pm

And it looks lovely. Our friend said — but this is not accessible. We know. Believe us. We know….

We are probably riding the second wave of these tiny houses–with foreclosures and other troubles, many folks are probably looking at something like this…

August 26, 2009

Door folding desk?

Filed under: Configuration and space ideas — by accessahut @ 11:00 pm

Could we put the second door right by MaJe’s bed and then rig a table/desk coming out of the door? hmmm…

August 25, 2009

Things to think about

Filed under: Configuration and space ideas,Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 9:07 pm

From Green Tenant’s blog

If you’re seriously looking for a tiny house, carefully consider your options.

Does the design I’m looking at meet or exceed building code requirements where I live?Don’t know, but this is gonna be weird.?
Can I share facilities to reduce duplication? Not really. We want a self contained unit we can take to our caretakers or live by ourselves. And neither of us can walk to get to shared facilities.

Can the design be clustered to reduce exterior wall/ceiling space? hmmmm…we do want a separate unit for maximum flexibility for our lives
How much land will I use? Am I using part of my land for something other than housing?Gotta find a place first!
Is mobility more important than environment? Yes. A BIG YES!
How much space do I need to live?Depends on the configuration…
Is my family likely to grow? No. We love our nieces, but we are too weak to handle kids
Can my house expand to accommodate that?No, but we can expand/use space to accommodate most medical issues.

Next Page »

Blog at