Tiny Timber Goes Tiny


Tiny Timber has big news to share! But before we get to that let me give a very brief overview of what we have been up to the last half a year: building, building, advocating for quality affordable middle-income housing in Tompkins County, and building some more. Things have been going well for us. We have kept busy. You may have witnessed some of our homes going up on West Hill, out Ellis Hollow Road, and right outside of Brooktondale. In the flurry of operations however, we feel that we have slightly lost sight of our original concept and mission: to create quality affordable homes through innovation.

The cost of housing in Tompkins County continues to rise. Demand for housing continues to go up and the added supply to housing stock is not keeping pace. Thus, the rising cost. A large part of the issue is that the cost of new construction is expensive and even with the added demand, there is little incentive to delve into single family home construction, especially in the middle-income price range. Construction of low-income housing is made possible by grants and housing assistance. Construction of high-income housing is possible for reasons I’m sure I don’t need to illustrate. This leaves out middle-income housing. This is referred to in the housing world as the “missing middle.”

We were on a trajectory of needing continually to raise prices on our homes to viable. This is not something that we are willing to do because we care about addressing a community need and not limit ourselves to selling only to affluent folks.

So what’s the big news? Why is this preface so long?? Well I’ll get right to it. As you may have gleaned from the title of this post, Tiny Timber is going small! We are going to transition into being a modular home builder. This will allow us to provide housing to the aforementioned missing-middle that is so in need. We are releasing an entirely new set of models between 400 square feet up to around 1,100 square feet priced between $150/sqft and $200/sqft. These homes can be finished entirely in our mill and delivered to site on trailers. Very soon we will be rolling out this new line on our website so stay tuned!

We are currently finished up our first concept model as seen in the photos above. It’s just a taste of what’s to come. This Tiny Home is up for sale! The home is 330 square feet and priced at $75,000. If you are interested in purchasing the home, please feel free to drop us a line! We also have a home currently listed in Brooktondale for those who are interested. The listing can can be found HERE.

Arts & Crafts & New Garage

I think it's time to dust the cobwebs of this old blog and update y'all on what's new with Tiny Timber.  To summarize our activity over the last four months: we finished the last two homes on our Ellis Hollow subdivision, are currently working on three homes in the city of Ithaca on Hector Street, one of which is about to be finished, and will be moving on to a new Ellis Hollow subdivision in the next couple weeks. For anyone driving in and out of town on Hector Street, our homes under construction can be seen to the south up on the ridge like a big Tiny Timber beacon. The feedback that we have been getting from the Ithaca community has been wonderful and we appreciate it very much. To say that we have been busy is putting it mildly. We are currently booked through the end of the year and are working on figuring out just how to keep up. 

The last home that we completed was our final home on the Ellis Hollow subdivision. The model is called the Arts and Crafts Home. Arts and Crafts refers to a design and architectural movement that occurred during the late 19th and early 20th century. Click HERE if you're curious about it and like to be distracted by esoteric history. Arts and Crafts in this context refers to the roof line that we incorporated into the design. The roof slopes down in the front and back of the home with dormers that peek out from the top. Without further ado, here are some images of the home. These images and more can also be found on our galleries page.

I only uploaded one picture of the exterior of the home because to be honest I wasn't happy with how the photos were coming out. Ithaca looks a little bleak at the moment in my opinion. I'll upload more exterior shots once we start getting a little greenery around here. This home is the first slab on grade home that we have built and we are delighted with how it turned out. The sealant we used for the concrete gives the floor a nice sheen and radiant floors on the first level will make for some happy feet.

We also for this job built our very first two door garage! It's essentially a very small Tiny Timber house with the same aesthetic just with a pared down wall system. We now offer one and two door garages as a standard option for all our builds provided there is space on the lot. The clients for this job opted for glass front garage doors which I think look wonderful. Take a look below.

That's all for now and thank you for reading and checking out our latest and greatest. Also, keep an eye out for this sign coming to Varna soon on the corner of Freese Road and Dryden Road!


The Cottages at Fall Creek Crossing

We are thrilled to announce the release of our new website for The Cottages at Fall Creek Crossing (at www.cottagesatfallcreek.com) formerly known as Varna Tiny Timber. These homes are now officially on the market and ready to be sold! I urge anyone who is interested to peruse the new site and the listings posted on Brent Katzmann's Warren Real Estate page. We are very excited about what we have put together and hope you like it as well.  Thank you to those who have been waiting patiently for this news. It turns out that site plan and storm water management take a bit of time to iron out.

We have also significantly updated our model selection. Take a look! We added a few new models and phased out models that we don't think work as well. The "Models" tab has been changed to "Example Models" because the list of models is an ever evolving list. We don't want to give the impression that we are restrictive with model options and interior layout.

To be honest, the naming of models has become surprisingly difficult. We want to keep things as straightforward as possible in the way that our model options are organized and separated into series. There has been so much design overlap that it is difficult to categorize what we have. The easy thing to do would be to name our models arbitrary names like "The Charlotte." I'm not too fond of the idea but there are only so many iterations of cube names that we can come up with. It does make me very happy that we have a model named "Cuboid." It sounds like an 80's arcade game character.

We have posted two new galleries of completed homes on the Tiny Timber website. You can view them HERE. We are proud of the craftsmanship of our crew and the finishes on Tiny Timber homes continue to get better and more refined. I continue to be impressed by the way that our stairs are coming out. The big wooden homemade block treads, homemade railings, steel spindles, and steel stringers all come together so nicely. In the words of our fearless leader Buzz, "dude, these are cool."

There are a couple of new building methods that are also worth mentioning. Firstly, we have started doing our basement ceilings a little differently. Instead of using traditional floor joists and dry-walling the basement ceiling, we have started using rough cut hemlock beams with hemlock boards on top to create the same aesthetic as the ceiling on the first floor (see top right). Secondly, we have just started fabricating entire wall and roof sections in our mill (see bottom right). The wall sections will then be shipped to the job site to be assembled using picks and a crane. We are really excited about this change in method because we think (fingers crossed) that it will be much more efficient and save everyone time and headache. Our crew is pretty happy about it too because they get to work in the warm mill and not in the freezing cold out on the man lift. Win, win!

That's all for now. We here at Tiny Timber hope you all had a lovely holiday season!

We Completed a Big Cube & Varna is On The Way

Hello all! It’s good to be writing some news again. It’s been a little while, I know, but it’s hard to get to writing when there are so many homes to be built! Since my last post we have finished our first Big Cube and three more are under construction. We have been working hard to keep up with everything. Tiny Timber houses are the hotcakes of homes apparently. Subsequently we have brought on board an electrician and a plumber as partners in our company. We now have the capability of building a home from start to finish all with our own people. Sub-contractors? Who needs ‘em!

Here are a few images of the Cube that we have recently completed. Out of respect for our client’s privacy, I have omitted photos showing most of the interior. She needed to hastily move into her new home and situate her belongings in the house after construction was finished. Take a look!

LED recessed light

Cherry floating tread stairs

There are a couple of features we are very excited to show. The first being the recessed LED lighting in the cross beams as you can see above. We feel that this really adds some class and a nice ambiance to the space. The second being the floating tread, cherry staircase that we installed. This will from here on be the standard for the staircases that we build. As with many of our construction details, we weren’t keen on doing the traditional method of construction so we decided to do something a little different and make a unique looking style of stairs with our own Tiny Timber flair.

A couple images of the exterior:

Big Cube exterior east view

Big Cube exterior north view


Big Cube porch view

Sadly, I was not fortunate enough to spend any time in that hammock with a cold beverage but life goes on. In the image to the right you can see the long driveway that we needed to build leading to the home. We had to set the house far back on the property to avoid the wetland at the front. The road across the street is named “Shudaben Road.” So our client decided to unofficially name here driveway “Isa Road.” This is the kind of humor that we appreciate here at Tiny Timber. I very much hope she makes her own sign to stake at the end of her drive.

In other news, we are very close to releasing a full site plan for Varna Tiny Timber! We have finally received approval from New York State for the Home Owners Association. We have everything in place to move forward. We are in the process of working out the final details of the project before we list the lots and publicize. We want to have a fully comprehensive plan for which models we will use for the pocket community and which models we will place on which lots. Our intent is to create a site plan with a diversity of models. We want to incorporate models with varying numbers of bedrooms, sizes, and styles. Here is a rough sketch of what the community will look like upon completion.

Varna Tiny Timber render

You may notice that there are some unfamiliar roof lines in this rendering. This is because we are also on the verge of releasing seven or so new models and floor plans! Many of these models are designed with Varna Tiny Timber specifically in mind. Buzz continues to think up new models and expand our library. He’s insistent on keeping our friends at STREAM busy! We are continually evolving and responding to the needs of home buyers and creating homes that will fit these needs. Here is a sneak peek at the models that we will be releasing on the website soon:

It’s worth mentioning that two of these models are already listed on lots on Hector Street in the City of Ithaca. You can find these listings HERE.

Lastly, I wanted to let everyone know that we will be participating in the Green Buildings Open House organized by the Cooperative Extension on September 30th. We are excited to offer our support in raising awareness about the importance of green building. Please check it out. They will be releasing details about the homes that will be included in the tour soon. Hope to see you there!

First One Down, Two On The Way

At long last we have finished our first home! This new home is the L Large Lofted model (please view images below). There are a couple of new standard features that we tried for the first time in this home that we are very excited about. We were not happy with the way that our railings have turned out in the past, purchasing components from other vendors. So we decided to take matters into our own hands and built our own railings. They are made with half inch painted steel spindles with railings and posts that we hand milled from cherry logs that we harvested. We also used, and hope to use in the future wherever possible, barn doors for passage between rooms.

There were also a few customizations that we made to accommodate the client's particular needs. Firstly, a crawl space was built instead of a full basement because there was concern about ground water level. The home was built next to a pond. This meant that there was no need for interior access to the basement. A Bilco door was instead used for basement access and the client opted for split tread stair access to the loft in order to save floor space. For those who aren't familiar with split tread stairs please view the image below. They are twice as steep as traditional stairs and look like a fancy fire escape. Secondly, instead of having a blind corner cabinet in the kitchen, they decided to put a drawer cabinet facing the other way into the adjoined bedroom for bedroom storage. Thirdly, they decided to utilize the "dead space" above the bathroom (which is essentially attic space with very low ceilings) by adding flooring, lighting, a triangular window and a barn door to create a "fort" area for the kids. I must admit, as a 29 year old I am still a little jealous.

We are proud of what we have accomplished and work to continue to raise the bar for the quality of each new home. Frankly, I think this new home makes our office look a little drab by comparison. In the wise words of Buzz, "never make your mock-up as good as your finished product because you want to pleasantly surprise your clients."

For a full set of images please visit our new Galleries Page on our website.

We are currently in the process of building two more homes, one in Enfield and one in Lansing, and we will begin another in the City of Ithaca in the next week or two. These homes will all be Big Cubes. The Big Cube seems to be our most popular model so far. Buzz insists that we need to make new Tiny Timber t-shirts that read "I love The Cube" but so far this has not come to fruition. I've included progress pictures below for your perusal. The Enfield home is getting the finishing touches on the rough-in and we just set the basement for the home in Lansing. Our client in Enfield opted to only partition off a small area upstairs for the bathroom and a closet, leaving the rest of the space open. We think this really adds to the aesthetic of the space.

In other news, we have acquired our new Dieci machine! In a way... A month or two ago Buzz took a trip to Italy to explore new rotating telehandler machinery. We intended to use the machine as a crane, a forklift and a man lift. Buzz was happy with what he found and ordered a Dieci that fit the bill. It was sent on a freight to the U.S. and was in transit from the port to Ithaca when it got "wadded" under a bridge. In other words, there wasn't enough clearance going under the bridge and the cab of our new machine was crumpled. It went a little something like THIS.

Now we have to wait for our new machine to be built and shipped to us. In the mean time, the lovely folks at Duke are allowing us to use a comparable Dieci machine from their fleet till our new machine arrives. It has helped us out immensely.

Finally, we have been working on a new form of lighting for the first floor where there is no drop down ceiling. We didn't like the idea of continuing to use wall sconces because we don't find them to be an appealing light source. We have therefore been experimenting with embedding LED lights on the underside of the ceiling beams. This is a much more contemporary form of lighting that we think adds a lot of character to our designs. We hope to be able to implement this idea into all future homes.


That's all for now! Thank you for reading.

Quick Update

Mill-workers constructing Big Cube kits

Mill-workers constructing Big Cube kits

Spring is upon us and for Tiny Timber that means prime building season is beginning! We have brought 4 new employees onto our team to prepare for the coming months and we are excited to have them on board. They can be seen above learning the ropes building kits in our newly operational mill. We're grateful to have such skilled builders on our team.

We have been working hard to finish our first home in Hector, finish setting up our mill/warehouse, begin development on the Ellis Hollow property, and prepare the kits for the next two homes that we will be constructing (both big cubes). Our friends at STREAM have put together complete timber cut-lists for us with detailed drawings of every piece and a schedule list of piece counts. This has made the whole kit building process a breeze. Here you can see what the cut list looks like all together; it's a Tiny Timber skeleton!

Tiny Timber skeleton rendering

Tiny Timber skeleton rendering

I also wanted to let everyone know that we have one more lot available on the Ellis Hollow site if anyone is interested in joining the wonderful community out here. Below I have posted some pictures of the available lot as well as our progress on the shared driveway construction.


I will be posting pictures of the fully constructed Large Lofted L very soon to add to our homepage gallery and as always, thank you for reading!

New Listing

We have a new home listing through Brent Katzmann at Warren Real Estate. If anyone is interested please follow this LINK to learn more. We have partnered with Brent and we will continue to list new projects with him so keep an eye out for new listings on his page.

I have also added basement floor plan images to the website in addition to first and second floor to give a more complete representation of living space.

New Models!

At long last we have released our full design portfolio! Our friends over at STREAM have been working quite hard to get us these drawings the last couple months and we very much appreciate the work they have done for us. This brings our total number of models to sixteen! We have designed these different models to accommodate the various needs of our clientele based on feedback that we have received. We hope to have a suitable design for whomever walks through our door whether they are a single person looking to age in place or a young family of five.

We have organized our models into series: the Cube Series, the I Series, the L Series, the T Series, and the Vacation Home. Since there is more content than would be appropriate to put in this blog post, please visit our models page to take a look! www.tinytimber.house/models

We are also proud to announce that Stream Collaborative and Tiny Timber recently won an Award of Merit for design from the American Institute of Architects Southern New York chapter. We visited the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel last month to except the award and had a lovely evening. We were served a tasty dinner of ham and roast beef, we mingled and we presented our projects to the architectural community among the likes of Holt Architects and Chiang O'Brien Architects. I could get used to this.


American Institute of Architects Award of Merit


In other news, we have been working through the winter constructing a Tiny Timber home in Hector for our first clients. We are moving along slowly but steadily. It just so happens that construction can be difficult when weather flip flops between 45 degrees with mud and frigid windy snowstorms but we persevere! All it takes are some chains on the wheels of our heavy equipment and some good quality long johns. On this model our clients decided to go with green corrugated metal roofing instead of asphalt shingles which adds a new look to our designs and we liked it so much that we will now be offering it as a basic option. Here are some pictures to show our progress. This model is the L Large Lofted.

Our goal for 2017 was to build ten homes. As of now we have 5 homes to build on our queue. In other words we are growing fast. I think it's about time to bring a few more people onto our crew! Our goal come springtime is to have the capacity to build a home every 3 weeks. Thank you everyone for your support so far in helping us make Tiny Timber come to life and helping to make affordable and sustainable new housing in Ithaca a reality. Until next time, keep your eyes peeled for us driving through town!


Tiny Timber Truck Logo


Ramping Up

New work truck: Ford Super Duty F780

New work truck: Ford Super Duty F250

At the beginning of the week, Buzz and I drove all the way to to Lima Ohio to pick up the trucks seen above at Magnam Truck & Equipment. While we were there we serendipitously stumbled across a decal shop in the back of a gas station and deli down the road from the truck shop. We had these made up to put on the doors of our new trucks. Keep an eye out for us driving around town town! I've been procrastinating on putting them on though because it's cold outside and the application process isn't exactly easy.


Tiny Timber truck decals


We drove the Volt out to Ohio and ended up towing the car back behind the red truck. Everything went swimmingly other than the dense fog which slowed us down and the over-consumption of chain restaurant food. As a guy who normally drives a Honda Fit, towing a car behind me with a large truck made me feel simultaneously nerve racked and tough. Truth be told I'm glad to be back in my little car again but acquiring these trucks will help us stay on top of things as the springtime housing rush hits. This brings our total number of company trucks to 3. I personally think that's enough to start calling it a fleet.

We have been kept very busy in the last month listening to feedback from potential home-buyers and figuring out what works and what doesn't in our designs. We've been modifying our designs and creating new designs to accommodate for what folks need and want in a home. In the next week or two we hope to completely update the "homes" section of our webpage. We will be adding multiple new models and improving old ones. Here is a taste of what's to come. The first is a single story, 2 bedroom home. We will also be offering a one bedroom version of this home which will omit the wing on the beck side.

The second is what we call the "Big Cube." The cube design that we have already released on our website is an 18 foot by 18 foot square footprint whereas the Big Cube is 21 foot by 21 foot square footprint. This adds over 100 square feet per floor and we think really opens up the layout. We are really excited about this design because the layout is beautiful and it's about the best square footage price you can get for this size home.

We are looking into offering 3D virtual reality panoramic views of our homes as well. It's amazing what we can do with technology these days! This feature will literally allow folks to visualize how each model will look from the inside. Hopefully not too long from now we will have these to view for all of our models on the website.

Finally, I wanted to let everyone know we will be changing our pricing schematic soon. We will be changing our base price to include a finished basement. We've decided to go this route because although it does increase the cost a little, the square footage price drops dramatically and we think it's in most folks best interest to include the finished basement. Suddenly our little homes don't feel so little anymore! That being said we will still be offering an unfinished basement option or the option of omitting the basement entirely if that's what folks would like.

As always thank you all for reading and have a lovely day! Stay tuned for more!

New Design, New Office, New Stucco!

We are thrilled to release our latest Tiny Timber design. We call it THE CUBE! A brief look at our model renderings and it becomes apparent why we call it the cube. Take a look below! The footprint is an 18.5 foot by 18.5 foot square and the house has a pyramid shaped hipped roof. Not only is this design architecturally quirky and pleasing, it's also about as efficient as it gets. Building in a square optimizes the amount of interior square footage by creating the most interior space with the least amount of exterior walls. In other words, This is the best value we can provide for a home this size. We hope you like the look as much as we do. You can learn a little more about The Cube under our models tab.

We've also added some elevation drawings and made slight modifications and corrections to the other model designs and descriptions. For those interested in the existing designs please familiarize yourselves with the new information.

We are also happy to announce that our office is finally up and running! It's a wonderful feeling to finally have an official work space. I can now say with certainty that working from home sounds like a wonderful idea, but doesn't pan out in practice... procrastination be gone!

Work desk

Conference table

Anyone is welcome to come visit us at our office during normal business hours. We are located at 44 Quarry Road in Ithaca. I would recommend giving as a call first however in case we are out on errands.

Lastly, I'd like to show everyone a new siding option that we have been working on. Until now, the only option that we have had to offer is the bare hemlock siding. We know that different people have different aesthetics and we want to be able to provide for everyone's needs. So we have been experimenting. We now are offering stucco plaster siding! We apply the stucco with what I can only describe as a stucco launcher and yes, it was fun! We were testing it out for the first time on this small shed project seen below. In our personal opinion it turned out wonderful. We will be offering this as an option for all future construction.

Stucco shed

Stucco closeup

As always thank you for reading and stay warm out there!

P.S. I know a lot of folks have been patiently awaiting the approval of our pocket community developments. We are doing everything we can to get these developments going as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience. We will announce approval as soon as we can.

Wall Construction Detail and Open House Thanks

First and foremost I wanted to sincerely thank everyone who was able to make it to our open house. We were pleasantly surprised and excited that so many folks came to see what we are doing. I certainly had my work cut out for me keeping all the cheese and crackers stocked. It was great to hear all the support we had from the community. I also wanted to give a huge thanks to Mark and David of our construction team for working extra hard and putting in extra time to get everything ready. Thank y'all!

We have recently added a wall detail to our "design specifications" tab. For those who were able to make it to our open house, this is the computer rendition of the mock wall section that was on display. For those of you who couldn't make it, I hope this is illuminating. This detail acts as a great visual aid in showing how we put everything together and how our design is so effective.

wall to foundation detail

As you can see the insulation is continuous throughout, even through the hemlock beams. The copper flashing goes in and up and is taped to the ZIP sheathing keeping moisture out. No joinery is used for the siding as they are simply slid into grooves and airspace behind the siding keeps everything nice and dry.

That's all for now! I'll be posting more updates soon. Until then, here is a teaser of the latest model we have been working on to be released soon! It's a two story, two bedroom square with a hipped roof that is especially compact and efficiently spaced. 

new tiny timber model rendering

Open House Announcement

Tiny Timber Logo

Tiny Timber Logo


Tiny Timber is excited to announce a public open house on Saturday the 29th!

Location:  44 Quarry Road (off of Ellis Hollow Road)

Time:  Saturday, October 29 between 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

Everyone is welcome. We'll have our most recent home to display. We want to officially introduce our home design line to the public. There will be refreshments and snacks and informational packets about our homes and features and (my personal favorite part) stickers with the design shown above. Thank you and we hope to see you there!

New Model Renderings

Our friends over at Stream Collaborative have put together some lovely Computer generated renderings of the four models that we have so far. They really give a great perspective on how the finished homes will look and feel and allow you to visualize the size difference, More information about model can be found under our homes tab. For visual comparison, all the pictures of prototypes taken for the blog and the homepage are showing the Tiny Timber Two model design. Here are the model renderings:

Tiny Timber One single story one bedroom one bathroom

Tiny Timber Two two story loft one bathroom

Tiny Timber Three two story 2 bedroom (or 1 bedroom and loft) one bathroom

Tiny Timber Four two story up to three bedrooms and two bathrooms

Thank you as always for reading!

Tiny Timber Updates & Energy Star Testing

The grass has grown! This is honestly the most exciting part for me, when the old construction site turns green and really feels like a home. I think this calls for some Bocci Ball and grilling!

Tiny House prototypes with new grass

We've been working away out here. The third and final prototype is underway and we really feel like we're getting a hang of this process. Construction on this new house is very similar in style and floor plan from the previous prototype, just with some refinements. We did add a new covered front deck feature to this prototype which we are working on now. This will be included in all future Tiny Timber homes. Here you can see a glimpse into the deck building process.

Tiny Timber deck construction with forklift

Tiny Timber Prototype 3 deck construction

Our approval process for our communities keeps moving along... slowly but surely. Navigating the bureaucratic tedium of getting approval  takes a little time. We have gotten final approval for the Quarry Ridge Cooperative from the Dryden Planning Board and now all that is needed is state approval before we can start marketing. The Varna Tiny Timber community is still awaiting final approval from the board. Building is imminent!

We also had an Energy Star rater come do a blower door test yesterday:

Energy Star blower door test

We were a little over the allowed air exchanges for the rating but we are going to be diligent about plugging those air leaks and making our homes as air tight as possible! We want to be as efficient as we can. Our goal is to earn the highest Energy Star rating available which involves making our homes not zero ready. This means that our homes will have the ability to produce as much energy as they use by incorporating renewable energy in their design (ie solar panels). It turns out this is great for the environment and great for your wallet. In other words: win, win!

Finally, I wanted to let everyone know about the gallery night happening in Ithaca this Friday, October 7th between 5:00 and 8:00 PM. There is an architecture theme to this gallery night and there are a ton of firms showing their projects, drawings, and ideas. Tiny Timber will also be featured in the gallery displayed by our partner Stream Collaborative. It will be a lot of fun.

Thank you all for reading!

New Model Plans and Development

Hi all! Things are really beginning to come to fruition for us and we are on the brink of delving into our first real projects. We couldn't be more excited. Before we get to that though, here's a quick update on the second prototype: it's all done and looks as polished as we'd hoped! One of our favorite features of this house is a custom bridge that we built traversing the dip in the ground to the front entrance. We decided this was much more classy than leveling the land. Plus it makes it feel a little like a castle. Here are some picture of the finishing touches:

We are also happy to announce the release of many of our model floor plans! Due to a great amount of feedback we received, we have also decide to make a single story Tiny Timber home (named Tiny Timber 1) as well as a model with a larger downstairs, and a smaller upstairs loft (named Tiny Timber 5 for which floor plans have not yet been released). And for everyone who did give us constructive feedback we thank you! You can view the floor plans and look at Tiny Timber design specifications under our homes tab on our website.

In further news, we have decided to pursue another development project. We call this new development Quarry Ridge Cooperative. This will be a four home community off of Quarry Road. Here are a couple pictures of the site and the spectacular view from the ridge:

We are happy to do personal jobs for those who would like to build a Tiny Timber home on their own property. There are listed prices for the different designs under the models tab for these types of projects.

Lastly, I would like everyone to know that there are a couple more models and floor plans coming soon. Stay tuned for those! And as always, thank you for reading.


Prototype #2 Update

We keep moving along with construction and refining the way we put everything together. The siding has all been installed and slid into place. This time around we decided to do something a little different with the construction of the exterior walls. We decided to give the flashing a little flash by utilizing copper for the task (please forgive the pun). We think that this addition really adds beauty and character to our houses.

From a practical standpoint we've installed this new flashing to ensure that no moisture pools in places that will compromise the structure. We've also designed the exterior walls so that there is a gap between the wooden siding and the structural walls in order to allow airflow behind the siding to keep moisture from stagnating and leading to rot. Buzz learned this technique as a mason and is utilizing it in this context to improve the longevity of our Tiny Timber houses. We want to make sure that these house will stand the test of time.

Now it's time to move on to finishing the interior. The wiring, the plumbing, the drywall, the trim, the stairs, the painting, the wood sealing, the kitchen cabinets and drawers... fun ensues. There will be a deck and front entrance ramp too! It won't be long now before everything is completed. For now I'm just really enjoying the view.

Thank you for reading! We'll be writing again soon.

Raising the Roof on Prototype #2

Who wants to deal with scaffolding and and clambering around on top of a roof nailing shingles? That's a rhetorical question of course. It's tedious and time consuming to build scaffolding and put a roof together two stories up. So we bypassed all that difficulty by building the complete roof, trusses, shingles and all, on the ground! We then lifted the roof into place like a gigantic hat. Take a look!

With every new innovation we utilize, construction gets faster and more efficient!

Concern for Community in Varna

Recently an article was published in the Ithaca Times featuring Carol Whitlow about dense duplex developments in Varna, NY and its effect on community. It highlights how in a small town like Varna, constructing densely populated development is incongruous and fragments the sense of community and neighborly relations. High density housing in an otherwise low density area promotes a commuter lifestyle that is cut off from the rest of the surrounding community. You can read the article in it's entirety here: Varna Development Not According to Plan

As some of you may know, Tiny Timber is currently seeking approval on a development plan in Varna, The draft layout can be seen on our previous post! Working with the community and promoting community development is exactly what we strive to do with Tiny Timber. I reached out to Carol to get feedback from the community on the development that we are working on. What she said resonated so well with what we are trying to do that I would like to share her words with you:

"The first best thing about Tiny Timbers is that it is locally owned.  The company is part of our community, which hopefully implies they feel a commitment and responsibility to build positive relationships with clients through providing a welcome product.

Varna needs more homes for young professionals and families to settle in. We need a "neighborhood" where homes have a connection to one another. Whatever happened to borrowing a cup of sugar from your neighbor when you're in the middle of making muffins?  First, you have to know your neighbor! Let's not encourage jumping in the car for every little need. Let's think about sustainable life styles. People are becoming more minimalist.  They can get what they need when they need it, if they really do, and don't need to stock and store it for potential future use like our grandparents did. We don't need the houses with huge storage spaces, barns, basements and attics. And many don't want to manage that kind of stuff.  People want to focus on healthy lifestyles, good relationships and good work in their professional life. 

What we do need is to use what little land we have left to build sustainable communities for us to call home, places we want to stay in because they are well designed and fit our lives. Ithaca is a culture-rich area, full of hiking trails, concerts, dances, interesting lectures, classes and places to just have fun (lakes, streams, parks). There are many great locally-owned businesses to check out. It keeps the money in our community, helping us to grow here and make here better.

So, manageable-sized homes in neighborhoods with others can help us enjoy life. Tiny Timber can be that."

Thank you for you words Carol! We will continue to do our best to promote affordable, sustainable housing with an emphasis on community.

Prototype #2 Construction

Construction on the second prototype is underway. the first prototype used poured concrete piers to support the post frame so the entire house was above ground. We have now adapted the design to have a basement! The basement will be made from precast concrete panels. Here we have the first step in the process which is of course to dig a hole for the foundation to fit. Then the drainage pipes are put in.

Next step is to set the concrete panels into place making sure that everything is square and level. Then the concrete is poured to form the basement floor. Here is the man himself with the help of Mark and David making it all happen.

So far so good! Next, the first floor deck is constructed and the basement is back filled. From here the design diverges slightly again from the first prototype. On the last prototype the walls were assembled, for the most part, directly on site from the base up. This time around the walls were almost completely assembled separately on the ground. No scaffolding required! We then lifted entire walls and set them into place using a forklift. However, getting them to fit snugly together did take some coxing... with a chainsaw and a sledgehammer. Take a look!

We'll keep you updated on construction as it progresses! Until then, all the best.