Four Lights Tiny House Company

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I now realize that I’d been sleeping with a killer at my side

#6At first, I thought I was just fighting off the flu. Then, I started attributing my morning headaches and dizziness to too much libation. It wasn’t until nearly a month into feeling sick that I came to realize I’d been sleeping with a lethal heater at my bedside.

It turns out that the combination of beer, marijuana and carbon monoxide poisoning does, in fact, make for a very nasty hangover. But, considering the possibility that the CO, alone, might have been enough to kill me, I guess you could say I’m pretty lucky to have had the warning signs.

Do not install an unvented heater in a small house, or any other enclosed space for that matter. The sale of unvented catalytic heaters is, despite all the deaths and whatnot, still legal. When purchasing a furnace or a heat source of any kind, just be sure that it’s designed to draw oxygen from outside your structure and spit all its toxic exhaust back there too. There’s a good reason why some appliances are cheaper than others.

#7Styrofoam is considered a delicacy by some species

Don’t put foam board insulation or spray foam into your walls that isn’t treated to repel carpenter ants and termites. I did, and the result wasn’t good. Enough said.

Check back for Mistake #8: “Once I’d stopped living in a hallway, I could begin dating again... and make some friends”, and Mistake #9. “The Key To Designing a Great Tiny House is Not to Design a Tiny House!”

Posted by Jay Shafer — March 19, 2014


Robert Castle:

First let me say that, at the age of 60, I am enthralled by the Tiny House movement. I guess I would say it is what I have been looking for in this next “phase” of my life. Now the comment I make and have made on another blog re: adequate ventilation and the “typical” tiny house design is that, as a BPI certified Building Analyst having conducted hundreds of whole-house air infiltration diagnostics and subsequent ASHRAE ventilation calculations, we must keep in mind that one cannot make a house too tight, but one can build a tight house that is inadequately ventilated and, as you nearly fatally discovered, dangerous. Keep up the good work and keep the building science applications in the forefront as you design more incredible houses.

March 19 2014 at 04:03 AM

Diane Weber:

I can’t believe you dealt with that for a month before figuring it out and survived. My current plan is to have my tiny home powered by solar panels and have a PTAC for heating & air conditioning. For me it’s going to be a slow process, but living in a tiny home is definitely where I want to be.

March 24 2014 at 10:03 AM


I can’t find Lessons 8, 9, and 10. Were they posted? Thanks!

September 10 2014 at 02:09 AM

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