Access-A-Hut's Blog

December 26, 2009

Problems and solutions

access-a-hut The post below this one summarizes our journey so far. And now is a good time to think about the problems we’ve encountered–above and beyond the usual tiny home issues of planning space, getting zoning, and “dropping out” of the stuff culture to live with what we truly need–and truly cherish what we have. So here goes:

  • Lofts. Most tiny tiny houses have the bed as a loft. This makes sense, as you need more floor space and less head space to sleep. But we can’t get up to a loft. The house we ended up buying does have a nice, sturdy attic. And we do need heated storage for my macs (which play my oldest elit work). So we are cutting the attic in two, leaving part for storage and vaulting the ceiling so my tall tall love does not feel boxed in.

  • Bed space. That leaves the problem of where the beds go. Right now, it looks like they will take up about half the floor space. We are going to move in with temporary air beds (even though the contraption dumped me out last night and I couldn’t move). And then figure it out. But we have three potential floor plans (one with the beds in an L shape and two with the beds together).

  • Bathroom. We have a head start on this one–our current bathroom has no door because we had to take it off early on so I could get into it. So we are used to the idea of no bathroom door. We will have a full length shower curtain all the way around the bathroom. We are also knocking out the bathroom wall so we can have a roll in shower with a downward drain.

  • Doors. The current door is 32 inches–which gives me one inch on either side of my tiny wheelchair. (I am in a 15 inch chair–which is smaller than an adult’s, but bigger than a child’s). So we are going to solve two problems at once (maximizing light and flow through). We are knocking out 9 feeet of a 15 foot wall to give me a patio sliding glass door. This can have a lever on it that a dog can pull–so when I can’t do it, the future service dog can.

  • Oxygen compressor. The noise of that thing drives us batty from three rooms away. So we are going to build a cabinet with sound proofing andput it by MaJe’s bed. She can use the front of the cabinet to be a desk side bed (or a bed side eating tray) and the space above it we will turn into her shelves so she can reach her books and her stuff in bed.

  • Chairs and indoor access. Not sure yet. However, I am thinking: outdoor/lawn chair/wheelchair to go between the house and the car. Inside, a tiny wheeled office chair (if both of my legs are out, I can grab onto stuff and pull me along as there won’t be that much room). Then keep my regular chair in the car–parked in our gated compound. ‘

  • Litter box. Have absolutely no clue whatsoever. Maybe under the sink with a cat door?


      1. Hi
        I was looking at the part about an air compressor in a soundproof box. Most compressors generate both heat and sound. Make sure to feed in outside air and allow a way to vent the heated air. I helped my bother a few years ago build a serious sound proof recording booth. The solution for air intake and outlet was flexible plastic pool tubing that followed an “S” shape with “speaker cover cloth” at the ends. This allows the air to pass through and gives a finished look (with readily available metal bits and bobs to hold it all together. The “S” shape makes the sound bounce and reduces the noise somewhat compared to a straight vent or tube. Also, remember to put sound proofing, such as fiberglass or cellulose insulation or foam around the tubing (this absorbs sound from the walls of the tubing.

        The other trick that will help is to separate the vibration from the compressor from the box. The simple way is to get some fairly dense sponge rubber (depending on the weight you can use several large rubber stoppers for scientific glassware or some cheap hockey pucks), set them spaced far apart on the floor inside the box (again, depending on size and weight, 4 in the corners and one or two in the middle may be plenty), then set the compressor on a flat piece of fairly stiff rubber matting, that has been cut smaller than the inside dimensions of the box so it doesn’t touch the sides. Stiff rubber mats are available from office and shop catalogs as “fatigue mats” to help with standing in one place for a long time. – Mike

        Comment by Mike — June 14, 2010 @ 8:23 pm |Reply

        • These are great ideas and we are forwarding them to our new contractor.


          Comment by accessahut — June 15, 2010 @ 8:14 am |Reply

      2. Hi Again,
        On ‘chairs and indoor access’ you said that you’ll pull yourself along. That can work quite well. I did that a lot when I was in a rehab center that had a sturdy handrail strip affixed to almost all the walls in the building.

        The famous professor and architect, Alexander suggests in his most influential book, “A Pattern Language”, that nearly all walls should have a small, fixed, built in SHELF. In your case, the small continuous shelf (a few inches deep) could be made sturdy enough, at the right height, right shape, and seriously screwed into studs, so that you could pull yourself along by gripping on to the shelf. It could be a great place for art, could be done in a decorative or colorful way, provide storage, and be a gripping place all in one. – Mike

        Comment by Mike — June 14, 2010 @ 8:45 pm |Reply

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