Four Lights Tiny House Company



Beautiful Customer-Built Weller Inspires

 

Chad Transtrum built one of our Weller models and posted the epic results on his Instagram. We LOVE his design and color choices! Chad was generous enough to let us share the gorgeous photos with our readers. Beautiful job, Chad! 

 Chad and his Weller

Chad's Weller

Weller Interior

Weller interior

Chad in his Weller

Weller on the road

Stunning colors! What colors would you paint your Weller? Let us know in the comments. 

Weller Build

To see a different take on the same Weller model, take A Walk Through a Custom Weller.

The Weller can be built between the wheel wells of a standard car hauler, so there's no need for a custom trailer. This house can also be built in your backyard on a foundation for a stunning personal retreat, workshop, or extra room. 

The Weller house plans are on sale for 50% off until the end of January! Grab yours today and build this beauty! 

Posted by Alicia Feltman — January 09, 2016


Housing for the rest of us

 

Science Buzz Cafe will host Tiny house pioneer Jay Shafer, national investigative journalist Jonathan Greenberg, and Real Estate chief community officer Cassandra Ferrera for a housing panel discussion on March 2, 2016. The topic to be discussed will be housing solutions, including tiny house villages.

HOUSING! ‘For The Rest of Us!’

  • Date: March 02, 2016
  • Time: 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Location: French Garden Restaurant
  • Price: $5. First come first served. Space is limited.
  • Speakers: Jonathan Greenberg, Journalist & Jay Shafer, Tiny House & Cassandra Ferrara, Real Estate

Posted by Alicia Feltman — January 06, 2016


Tiny House Village Update!

My plans for a village had to be put on hold for a couple years due to unforeseen personal circumstances. They'd still be on the back burner if not for my new developer-friend, Vince Rizzo . Vince is, apparently, the answer to my prayers for someone who'll take care of zoning, permitting and all the other developer-stuff I'd rather not do. 

New site, new plan

I've come up with a new site plan for the community. Unlike my previous designs, this one is designed specifically for an existing piece of land. Nothing's set in stone yet, but it's encouraging that this property has recently come up for sale and that local officials love the idea of a tiny house village in Sonoma County. That it's the same lot I identified seven years ago as the perfect location for what I have in mind, is also encouraging. The Universe conspires. 

Part of my intention with the village is to provide myself and my two little boys with a nice place to live that doesn't cost a fortune. I was, at one point, using the term "co-housing for the antisocial" to describe my vision for the complex, but some folks didn't get it. Company and solitude are most appreciated when they're not forced on us—my village design provides ample room for both. I want to live where I can disappear into my little house for days while always knowing that my neighbors are near and that they've got my back. My boys and I have been needing a supportive community, like this one, for a long time. Judging by the positive response to the idea of a tiny house village, it seems we're not alone.  

A contagious model of efficiency

For the Tiny House Village idea to spread, it will have to demonstrate how affordable, sustainable and livable a neighborhood can be. Yes, I just used two adjectives that I generally try to avoid when describing what I do. Please know that when I say "affordable" I'm not talking about unnecessarily wide streets lined with artificially subsidized houses—all clad in the same beige T-1-11 siding (I like to call beige the color of shame). When I say "sustainable" I don't mean what the word and it's correlate "green" have come to mean (i.e. almost nothing) when used to market pretty much everything. Before "green" and "sustainable" became adjectives for something and nothing in particular, they were just shorthand for "efficient". Efficiency doesn't pose affordability and quality as opposites. They're parts of the same equation. 

This community will have to be more than just a "tiny house village" too. The idea of designing a "tiny house village" doesn't excite me any more than the idea of designing a "tiny house" does. What excites me is designing a vital place where everything's there for a reason and the relationship between these essential parts to each other, and their whole, makes perfect sense. Reducing our collective idea of home (already one of the most meaningful and useful constructs we've got) down until essential meaning and utility are all that's left—THAT'S my idea of a good time. 

A Much needed alternative in a pricey area

The lot we've chosen is near Santa Rosa, California. This part of the world is as expensive as it is beautiful, so it's an ideal spot for a bunch of little houses. There's a dire need for truly affordable homes in this, and many other, pricey areas. Smaller, more efficient houses of quality fit the bill. 

About a third of the 13 acre property will be occupied by a high-density core comprised of 60 houses, a 2,300 square foot common house, a community workshop, and more than 2,000 linear feet of gently winding walkways to connect it all. The houses will range from about 100 to 400 s.f.. Each will have its own storage shed and will sit on its own 25' x 50' (minimum) parcel. A great room with a big fireplace will occupy most of the common house. A shared kitchen and bathroom and 12 small guest rooms will occupy the rest. Covered parking for more than 64 bikes and one and a half open-air parking spots per house are integral to the design. A portion of the remaining land will, most likely, be used for lower-density housing. The seven or eight acres beyond that are likely to stay as is.     

The location feels rural and overlooks one of the state's most biodiverse wildlife habitats, but it's only a 4-minute-walk from a grocery store, a coffee shop and a park. The village has been designed as urban infill so residents won't have to do much driving. 

I can't make any promises, but I'm still hoping that, in spite of all my unexpected delays, we can still break ground before year's end. 


A Unique Experience: Join Us for a 5 Day Hands-On Workshop at The Sanctuary Minnesota

Have you ever wanted to see what it's like to build a tiny house from scratch? Do you dream of tiny house living but feel like you don't know where to start? If so, then this one-of-a-kind workshop is perfect for you! This unique workshop experience is being held at The Sanctuary Minnesota, an 80 retreat that is the future home of a tiny house village. Our hosts, Bill and Brenda Campbell, have created a welcoming space that is the perfect location for this special workshop.

About The Workshop

Each day starts with an (optional) on-site yoga class & continental breakfast. After breakfast, small groups will be formed. Then, you will rotate between swinging hammers and classroom time throughout the day.

During the hands on portion, you will work on framing a Jay Shafer designed tiny house.  Tools are provided and no building experience is necessary. Our team of instructors will be there to guide you.  During the classroom presentations, we'll cover a comprehensive list of tiny house and tiny living topics, answering the most popular questions asked by tiny house enthusiasts.

The price of the workshop includes a primitive camp site, class materials, morning yoga, continental breakfast & buffet style lunch daily, and a campfire each evening. There will also be a campfire meet and greet on Tuesday 6/30.

Your Instructors

We are thrilled to bring together a wonderful team of tiny house experts to assist you in your tiny house journey. Each brings years of experience and a heartfelt enthusiasm that will surely inspire you:

Tour A Tiny House

One other treat for attendees will be to the opportunity to tour BA's Gifford-style tiny house and As an added bonus, you can win a “spend the night in a tiny house” giveaway!

This workshop is sure to be a momentous occasion and we are so excited to see as many of you there as space permits. Registration is 1200, but if you register by May 1st, 2015, you can attend for just $1,000 – a $200 savings.

Seats are limited, register here.

Note: This is not a Four Lights Tiny House Co. workshop. Jay Shafer will be teaching, but all inquiries and registration must be done by contacting The Sanctuary. Their contact info can be found here

Posted by Brett Torrey Haynes — March 04, 2015


Tiny House Survey 2015

 

A few years ago, The Tiny Life spearheaded a fantastic survey project that shed new light upon the heart of the tiny house movement. You. Many of you out there dreaming about, planning, and building tiny houses participated in the survey. The result? A better understanding of the tiny house movement by all, and this great infographic

Let's do it again! 

The Tiny House Survey is anyone who hopes to live in a tiny house, and those who already do. The survey asks questions about demographics, your house, your life and what you’d like to see in the tiny house movement.

You can find the survey HERE or fill it our below. 

Posted by Alicia Feltman — February 02, 2015


Tiny House Resolution: Getting Started

New Years resolutions give us an opportunity to take on new challenges or apply a newfound passion and energy to the goals we already have. Transitioning to a tiny house can accomplish a variety of goals at once, both personal and financial. What better time to learn from the success stories of those who have already taken the leap? Every inspiring tiny house journey started somewhere, and we want to take the month of January to explore and learn from those tiny house beginnings. We’ll be posting the stories that inspire us, the tips that we wish we knew when we started, and resources that we hope will be useful as you take the tiny house leap yourself… into a new life of personal and financial freedom. Happy New Year!

First, the decisions

B.A. Norrgard inspired us all by walking away from her high stress job and overhauling her life. She attended one of Jay Shafer’s workshops, bought the Gifford house plan (the same plan as Jay’s own house!), and built her beautiful new house with her own hands and the help of her amazing and supportive friends. She now lives and travels full-time in her hyper-efficient mobile residence. B.A. and her house will be present at many of our upcoming workshops, but if you can’t join us in person, she’s teaching an online webinar to help guide people who want to transition to tiny house living. If you’re still wondering if the tiny house lifestyle is right for you, or you just need help taking the first step, sign up for what’s sure to be a fantastic boost of inspiration and motivation!

From B.A.’s website:

Going Tiny – Is a Life Overhaul for You?

Are you wondering about going Tiny but really just don’t know how to begin? Are you feeling stuck?  Does a life change that huge sound equally exciting and terrifying?  In this first webinar you will hear how I ditched a 25 year paralegal career with suits, hose and heels and started pulling on bibs and boots in the mornings instead.  Sign up and get inspired!

Read more and sign up here!

Posted by Alicia Feltman — December 30, 2014


Just Announced! 5-Day Hands-on Tiny House Workshop in Minnesota


5 Day Tiny House Hands-On Workshop
The Sanctuary Minnesota – Ogilvie, MN | July 1-5, 2015


Ready to Change YOUR World?

This is a one-of-a-kind, never before, FIVE DAY, HANDS-ON tiny house workshop! Join us and spend the week with a power-house of tiny house personalities: the renowned tiny house guru Jay Shafer, tiny-houser B.A. Norrgard, construction professional Daniel Bell and building scientist Mark Fallin at The Sanctuary Minnesota, a scenic, wooded 80 acre facility.

Get your day started with a complimentary yoga class & a continental breakfast.

During the day we will break into groups and rotate between swinging hammers and classroom time. We will frame one of Jay’s new, not-yet-released U-House designs, and have classroom presentations covering a comprehensive list of tiny house and tiny living topics. B.A. is doing another tiny house road trip and bringing her Gifford house with her for you to tour!

In the evenings we’ll sit around a fire pit outside and have tiny house chat – bring your acoustical instruments and your tiny house community dreams!


Daily Presentations by:

  • Jay Shafer – Tiny house design
  • BA Norrgard – Transition to and living tiny
  • Daniel Bell – Tiny house construction
  • Mark Thomas – On and Off-grid systems for your tiny house
  • Bill Campbell – The Sanctuary Minnesota, a tiny house community

Cost: $1,200 | Early bird discount: $1,000 if paid by May 1st

Cost Includes:

  • 5 days of lectures, hands-on tiny house construction
  • Tour BA’s Gifford tiny house
  • Continental breakfast
  • Campfire & music at night (bring your acoustic instruments)

Additional bonus presenters, and special event details TBA

SIGN UP HERE

Watch for more details:

www.aBedOverMyHead.com & on Facebook

www.FourLightsHouses.com & on Facebook

The Sanctuary Minnesota on Facebook

Questions? Email BA Norrgard HERE

Making a big life change is scary. Do you know what is worse? Regret.


Dee & Me


Dee Williams' recently published book, The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir, is a fantastic read and a must-have for any tiny house library. I say so right on the back cover with my glowing endorsement that, essentially, says, "This book's fantastic!". Last year, when I received my review copy of the book from Blue Rider Press, my heart leaped as I read the chapter called "The Tiny House Man"... It's about me!

I've never felt more flattered. I love Dee. 

The following picture was taken of the two of us when she read from The Big Tiny in San Rafael last Summer. We're good friends, and I didn't want to distract her from her presentation, so I went incognito. My plan was to ask her a bunch of annoying questions without being identified. I guess the costume didn't work very well, because the moment I walked through the door, she waved excitedly and smiled as if she hadn't even noticed my brilliant disguise. A lot of other people just stared at me as if I were some kind of long-haired weirdo. Can you imagine? 

I asked my annoying questions anyway, and, as always, Dee didn't show the slightest hint of irritation with me. She's very patient. It seems that all my friends almost have to be.

The Big TinyAn excerpt from The Big Tiny can be read for free at the PAD website. You can order Dee's awesome book here.

Jay Austin's Beautiful, Illegal Tiny house


Jay Austin of Boneyard Studios is featured in this fantastic short film about the legality of tiny houses. The film focuses on zoning code in the DC area, but tiny house dwellers everywhere are faced with the same challenges. 

From the film description: "...Austin and his tiny house-dwelling neighbors at Boneyard Studios don't actually live in their own homes much of the time. To skirt some of the zoning regulations, they've added wheels to their homes, which reclassifies them as trailers – and subjects them to regulation by the Department of Motor Vehicles. But current law still requires them to either move their homes from time to time, or keep permanent residences elsewhere."

Read the full article from Reason here and tell us your thoughts in the comments below! 

(Film produced, shot, written, narrated, and edited by Todd Krainin. Music by Associated Production Music and Lee Rosevere.)

Posted by Alicia Feltman — October 09, 2014


BA Norrgard at the Habitat for Humanity Carter Work Project 2014


This week B.A. Norrgard is busy building houses. As some of you may already know from her recent update, she's participating in the Habitat for Humanity Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project in Dallas as they help build homes, communities and hope. More than 5,000 volunteers will build or repair more than 100 homes in one week! 

B.A.'s joy from this project is infectious and inspiring. You can follow her progress and marvel at her wonderful and generous spirit on her twitter and facebook accounts. Below are just a few of the precious moments from her adventure.   

 


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