You build your dream house in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The views are spectacular. You have room, privacy, everything you could ever want. Then disaster strikes. After living in your home for 10 years—nature unleashes her wrath. Two years ago, Kristen and David lost everything to wildfire. David was away on business and Kristen had just minutes to decide which of her possessions to save. She packed her car with the things that mattered most at that moment and had to evacuate. This is where Tiny House Nation steps in. Episode five is all about coming home.
Kristen Moeller and David have spent the last two years in a rental home closer to town. They made a difficult decision to rebuild on their land in Conifer, Colorado. The home that was destroyed by fire was 1,200 square feet. Since the fire, Kristen does not want to own more possessions than she can fit in the back of her car. The new home will be just 500 square feet.
Off grid challenges
Building the new home poses some challenges. To start, it is completely off-grid except for internet. A combination of propane gas and solar panels will provide all electricity and gas. Items most of us take for granted like electric coffee makers and toaster ovens are not included in the couple’s plan.
Space is another issue. Both Kristen and David need office space to work from home. Guests need a place to sleep when they visit. A full-size kitchen and bathroom are mandatory. Co-host John Weisbarth seems to think that fitting full size appliances and fixtures into this small space might be unreasonable. Apparently, he never visited apartments in New York City. There are plenty of small spaces with full-size appliances and fixtures.
A place for everyone
Twenty-foot ceilings allow for a large loft. This space is the master bedroom. Offices for Kristen and David are on the main floor. Each has a whopping 50 square feet to use. The offices convert to bedrooms when needed. David’s desk converts into a bed. He can keep his equipment on the desk as co-host Zack Giffin designed the desk to remain parallel to the floor.
Kristen is a writer and motivational speaker. She asked for desk space and a bed in her office. Her wish was granted and her office has a day bed and a desk. Both spaces have plenty of storage above the doors.
A full size kitchen opens in to a beautiful living area. The bathroom includes a corner shower, sink and toilet. Outdoors, a huge patio overlooks and amazing view of the Rockies. A fire pit and totem pole complete the outdoor area.
Key features to this tiny home project were the ability to use burned trees for part of the interior of the home and maintaining windows to capture the amazing views. The couple has to watch how they use electric appliances. Well water is 300 feet below ground and a pump is used to retrieve it. When the pump is in use, other electrical appliances cannot run. Zack and John followed up with Kristen and David after the couple had a chance to live in their home for a while. Overall, they are thrilled with their new home. Storage is still an issue, but they are working on it.