Varna Tiny Timber

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!

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.