117 Sq. Ft. NO Loft Tiny Home: Tumbleweed Elm 20 Horizon

Pinned on October 31, 2013 at 12:50 pm by Alex

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117 Sq. Ft. NO Loft Tiny Home: Tumbleweed Elm 20 Horizon

Tumbleweed’s New Homes and Floor Plans

I wanted to let you know that Tumbleweed has released several new floor plans and tiny house designs that you might be interested in. Now they let you choose a house design and then match it up with your favorite floor plan. In this case we’re looking at the Elm 20 tiny house with the Horizon floor plan which is a one level design. This means you’ve got a bedroom downstairs so no sleeping loft. And it still fits on a 20′ trailer so it’s easy to tow.

Is this too small or just right?

Do you like this design enough to build or buy one to live in? Or would you rather go with- perhaps- a 30′ long design instead so you can have even more space for storage, living area, etc?

I’m curious so please share your thoughts on this in the comments if you’re willing. Thanks!

More Tiny House Designs from Tumbleweed

I want you to check out Tumbleweed’s new plans page because they’ve changed quite a lot and I definitely think they’ve made lots of improvements. Check it out and let me know what you think… And which is your favorite?

If you like the Elm 20, get more photos/info on this design here.

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Jay Olstead says:

This floor plan is only usefull if the single person living there were also a 4 foot tiny person, living alone, That market is too small for most builders. The only way that it is feasable to have a single bedroom downstairs in a trailer length of 20 feet is to have adjustable rooms that move out, opening up the space. This is a no brainer, The RV industry proved this for us. Ciao Jay

Tom Zollinger says:

Why the ladder if no sleeping loft?

Agree with comments above. EXCELLENT that you have a horizontal plan!!! Sleeping in a loft is NOT feasible for most older folks & many younger ppl for that matter. However one MUST be able to move around bed both to change sheets & enter/exit bed comfortably with any kind of disability / advancing age. (I am already disabled so I know this for a FACT.) Others will learn the hard way & would be forced to give up this model as age advances. Since most ppl want these houses to (at least eventually) retire in, this bedroom design is simply not practical.

Murphy beds are the obvious simple solution to the downstairs bed problem. New ones are MUCH improved over the older incarnations! They use reliable (and affordable, readily replaced) hydraulic lift pistons, which have been perfected for the RV industry.

Agree with Jay, above, about the expanding rooms. The slide outs of the RV world are the obvious way to go. Why have you avoided offering some permutation of this design option? Surely this is an engineering problem you can solve?! Please create at least ONE design for a tip out/slide out. I believe you will experience a HUGE positive response! As was pointed out, above, the RV marketplace has already proven the public appeal of this option.

There is a huge aesthetic aspect to this issue. The hardest thing for me to imagine about these homes is the extreme claustrophobia of an 8 foot wide room! It’s FAR more pleasant visually & emotionally to sit in a room which is 10×10 or 10×12, rather than 8×10! There is a 200% improvement in the “feel” of a space with only a very modest expansion.

Since the 8.5 foot limit has been adopted solely for reasons of meeting highway size limits, why not find a way to “get around” this problem? The vast majority of your buyers do NOT intend to use their small houses as actual RVs but intend to find long term semi permanent placements for them. So why must we live forever after with this extremely limiting dimension? Surely you can find a way to help us get around this? The 8.5 foot width limitation is the single least appealing feature of the entire tiny house movement!

We DO need them to be portable to dodge building permit costs, and so that we can relocate if necessary. But on site set up need not be instantaneous. (Understandable that a slide or tip out built with conventional materials might take more effort to set up.) But ultimately, extra space is more important than precisely duplicating RV function. (And the aesthetics of the units while they’re rolling down the road is completely irrelevant.)

Also agree about nixing the porches – for reasons well articulated above. Ridiculous. Adds immensely to “curb appeal” – your little cottages *look* just darling. Except to LIVE in them comfortably that space is MUCH needed! You can always add a porch or even a stationary deck if you end up with a permanent placement for your home. But while on the road a tiny porch adds little to quality of life for homeowners but sacrifices valuable, desperately needed space!

Biggest problem for most of us in choosing one of these homes is the drastic downsizing of lifestyle required. Why not expand your market by creating homes which require less commitment to a radically altered lifestyle? The more flexibly spaces can be used (Murphy beds etc), and the more flexible (expandable) the actual spaces are (slide outs/tip outs), the greater the number of people who will be enticed to buy & build smaller homes.

Some people may feel that increasing the foot print somehow violates the “purity” of the tiny home ethos. However, the more adopters of this “technology” there ultimately are (even if some of us chose slightly larger homes) the more accepted the whole concept ultimately will become. Which in turn will mean expanded options for locations to put all different sizes of these homes. Offering more flexibility in size / space use is ultimately going to be a win-win for everyone involved in this whole movement! :)

PLEASE create PLANS for DIY Murphy beds! There is a real NEED for this info! Hardware (hydraulic pistons) to raise/lower are standard RV gear & are avail on line for Much less $$ than the Murphy bed hardware “packages”. But ppl need INFO about type to buy (weight lifted) how to install, etc. I’m sure MANY people could build their own Murphy bed w. complete success if they simply had PLANS, showing how to chose & install the hardware, wood cuts, etc I would Definitely buy plans if you sold them! I believe you would soon make back the time & $ invested if you were to research & create a package of DIY Murphy bed plans!

Murphy bed plans would also allow SO much more flexibility for ALL of your houses. Peace of mind, knowing you can *economically* install a normal bed (with 3 sided access) downstairs if needed? Priceless! Also, some Murphy bed cabinets include options for adding a flip down table (on the wall / underside of the bed) which adds greatly to the flexible use of a living space. Side mount twin & dbl beds can do double duty as extra seating, day bed style, in a main room. ALL of those uses could be added to your main rooms, IF you sold a separate DIY Murphy bed plan set. I would personally start my house build *tomorrow* by building a Murphy bed for my current apt, IF you sold a set of plans with multiple options.

Also selling a set of plans of this type would give people a chance to buy a cheaper “introduction” to your products. If they are happy with the quality of your instructions & find they are successful at constructing a bed, they would feel empowered / emboldened to embark on a larger house plan purchase. OR, alternatively, they will learn they need to buy at least the shell of their tiny house pre assembled. Either way, the DIY Murphy bed plans would be an extremely valuable initial purchase!

doc says:

the bed. love no steps to the bed. this one is just a step above living with your parents. plan on no dates and being forever single, not that that is a bad thing, just don’t expect overnight company or pets in your bed. other than that it is as most are this size, just a fine design.

home size. tiny homes are the size they are to get around most zoning laws for size of structure. if we make them larger so all of the legal encumbrances become. and this is a great size for a single person. we just cannot do it for the two of us and our four rescue cats. we rescued them, they don’t actually go out and rescue people. they’re not like superheroes. but they are cute.

tiny porches. they do not work for me either. so i will go the other way. i want one large enough to use and screen in. we want to sit, play cards, eat out in the rain, just listen to the rain, let the cats see outside and not be coyote snacks. we love outdoors, just not bugs, or coyotes for that matter.

multi-purpose rooms. they do not work for us either. so we will have a separate sleeping area. i may stay up late watching a movie while she would like to sleep. i may go to sleep, her condition may have her up several times in the night for hours. when one of you is sleeping and the other cannot, what do you do if the vouch is the bed or the bed is in the living room?

slide outs on tiny homes. don’t do it! they are not RVs. the aluminum skin and rubber seals of a trailer can be somewhat sealed up. you will not get this from standard building materials. this is a water problem waiting to happen whether rain, snow or ice, it’s coming in. just a matter of when. water and wood mix as poorly as does fire. even in the camper world on higher end models the have reverted to covering every one with an awning to lessen the chances of water damage.

aesthetics. they do matter. that is why so many fall in love with jay schaffer’s homes. they are scaled versions of a home. they look like a house not a box or a slab or a trailer. there is some pride of home ownership then that can be there. even with tiny porches and the little roofs or facades above them.

if you have the land and don’t mind the codes, building inspectors and the ensuing taxes, just build within their parameters. tiny is not a problem then. as i read our township codes the shortest wall can be 24′ the longest wall must face the road for orientation and can be a minimum of 38′. so without giving me a minimum square footage they have in fact done so. at those measurements the smallest home we can build is 912 square feet. hence the tiny house movement for many who would find that too big.

it has been said time and time again on these pages, tiny is not for everyone. it will be for us, someday, just not this tiny.

ear says:

Actually, all the traditional Tumbleweed Houses on Wheels do have lofts, including the Elm 20. (The modern-style Mica does not have a loft.) The optional dormers are specifically designed to provide more loft space. That dotted line you see at the hallway entrance is the loft line. It’s possible they would build without the loft, I’m not sure about that, but I’ve just investigated this new floor plan extensively and it is designed with a loft. (And also I think a front storage loft, although that may be optional.) That back bedroom space is WAAAY too small IMHO for even a single bed. I’d use it for a W/D hookup, closet space, and a back door mod. I agree with the other poster who commented about the porches. Wasted space. If we want decks or porches, we’ll build them onsite. I’ve even considered the RV-style attached screen porch or awning with modular panel deck, keeping the house fully transportable.

Jay Olstead says:

If you look on Youtube, you will see that we have three videos, illustrating innovative concepts that, we feel, will change the tiny home industry. At this particular time, we are still in the research and development stage of business, inventing, designing, innovative concepts that we feel are relative to the future of the tiny home industry. Furthermore, we are not building homes, selling plans, etc, focusing on specific areas where we feel the need for improvement is greatest.
We are a small blip on the tiny house radar, however, we have created some game changing techniques in current tiny house construction.
The interest in the tiny home business in Houston, Texas is not running exactly at wrap speed. We would welcome the opportunity to network with like-minded tiny house people, builders, and designers alike. As I said, It gets lonely in Houston having few with which to collaborate.
Our current projects are:
1)
Square Footage: We think outside the box, therefore, we build outside the box, resulting in an increase in usable square footage within the parameters of a specific trailer size. Our current model, The Prius, pushes the envelope of a 8′ by 20′ trailer with over 380 square feet. Additionally, this model features approx 275 square feet of wood decking. Our newest model, a classic Mediterranean model is nearing completion, built on a trailer which is 8′ by 28′, offering approx 480 square feet.
2)
Water: Our on board, proprietary, Nano Technology, Tropospheric Water Precipitation water generator. Not to be confused with out of date, AWG technology, using a compressor and freon to make water. Our system will create 30 gallons of 99.9% pure water in a 24 hour period.
3)
Hybrid construction: Our space age SIP panel technology now being tested, utilizing NanoPure thermal tested insulation in the form of a vacuum insulation panel or VIP integrated and sandwiched in between foam and 2 layers of aluminum or steel skins. These panels will have an insulation factor up to R60. The overall width will be a net of 4 inches and will be 60% lighter and 35% stronger than conventional wood construction.
4)
AC: Our home will be powered with a 12 volt, solar powered air conditioner, resulting in the need for less solar panel surface being used today.
5)
Solar: We are in negotiations with Dow Chemical to partner with us to use the revolutionary Dow PowerHouse Solar Shingles. We are also working with US Tile who has partnered with SRS Energy to use their Mission Profile Tiles(Faux clay tiles)named Sole’ Power Tiles on our Mediterranean model.
Soon, we will be offering our patent pending ” Room Roll Outs” in a kit form for builders to retrofit into a an existing home or for a future build. Our goal is to keep cost down by offering our ” RROs” in a flat pack, requiring some assembly. We will have three lengths available, and, one width of of is 4 feet. What makes our system unique is the fact that our unit does not use hydraulics or a worm gear. Assembly and installation should take two full days. Once installed, set up for each room is 30 to 45 minutes. This procedure will require two sets of hands for 15 minutes.
In conclusion, we would like to collaborate with like minded tiny home people, sharing some ideas which may be mutually beneficial to everyone . Additionally, please consider using or recommending our ” Room Roll Outs.”
Ciao, Jay

ear says:

P.S. Some of the new TT House on Wheels models do have great rooms large enough for pull-out beds or Murphy beds.

Jay Olstead says:

At Ragsdale Homes, ” Next Generation Series” of tiny homes, we are the pioneers in building outside the box. We invented ” Room Roll Outs” which add square footage to any tiny house. “RROs” come in three sizes with a standard depth of 4 feet. Therefore, in the space where there is one “RROs” the width of the space is 12 feet. Where you have opposing ” RROs” directly accross from one another, the space stretches to an amazing 16 feet. We now have three videos on Youtube, showing our first home. Additionally, our prototype is being built in a smaller package, resulting in a home that can be taken to conventions, events, etc. For more information contact Ragsdalehomes@gmail.com

The “Room Roll Outs” are precisely what I have in mind! I have been envisioning something exactly like this – width of 4 feet, and as many as 4 such extensions (2 on each side of the wheels). I have watched the video animations & love the flat roof garden, also. I want the high ceilings. I have lived in a Victorian era apt with 11.5 foot ceilings for over 20 years now & would hate to give up that height. I live with 12 large (mostly rescued) parrots & they need that extra room for hanging play stands above their cages. They are the main reason I cannot cram my household into a “tiny” house but must opt for “small” instead. Eventually I hope to have a piece of land where I can build outdoor aviaries, but until then they require safe indoor enclosures at night. (Raccoons are the primary predator worry & sadly they are not deterred by simple bird cage bars, so flip down decks are not sufficient for my needs. I require actual enclosed space.)

I hope the “room roll outs” will be affordable! I would definitely like to use this technology if it works as advertised. :)

Jay Olstead says:

Dear Alyce,
As per your discussion on our ” Room Roll Outs, ” we already have an electronic model created by an engineer, showing that our ” Room Rool Outs” work. Additionally, we have a 1 inch scale model which shows that it works. Now, our 1900s Sunday prototype house is under construction to facilitate obtaining our patent. This home is only 8 feet by 8 feet, however, it pushes the envelope with approx. 160 square feet, including one 4 ft by 7 ft kitchen ” Room Roll Out.” This home will have our first ever collaspable roof, when transporting to conventions, gatherings, etc. When uprighted, the end result is a 1 and 1/2 story high pitch roof, authentic washboard siding, enormous windows, 4,500 btu 12 volt solar ac, our proprietary on board water generator( yet to be named), solar shingles, and an example of our hybrid SIP/VIP panel(not yet available for production). I forgot to mention that unlike an RV slide out, our ” RROs” technology does not use hydraulics, or a worm gear. It is a simple manual system which requires only a second pair of hands when pulling out the unit. Set up per ” RROs” is 15 to 20 minutes, or faster. Ciao, Jay
Who is M. Ragsdale III ?


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