A Simple Approach to Living With Less

Building a Handicap Accessible Tiny House

Handicap_Accessible_Tiny_House_Minimalist_at_Home

 

I am excited to report that a custom built tiny house will soon be on our joint family property!

I have loved the concept of tiny house living for a long time now. From the first video I saw of Jay’s Tumbleweed home, to watching Tammy & Logan’s own tiny house adventure, I have been in love with tiny houses.

I was sure that I must love them from afar and be satisfied with simply creating a Pinterest board on tiny houses. As the parents of three small children, I didn’t think tiny home living would be a part of our lives for many years to come.

I won’t get to live in it myself, but there will be a brand new, handicap accessible tiny house for my grandmother on our property in about a month. I think it’s still pretty neat to have a tiny home here and I can live vicariously through her experience. Maybe she’ll even let me borrow it once in awhile.

The Plan

In order to give my grandmother some quiet space of her own, we considered a few options. There is a nice retirement community close by, but she didn’t want to be that far from family. We considered building a small cottage on the property, but the high expense and hassle factor of all the permitting required inspired me to look at other options.

Thanks to minimalism, I knew about the growing trend of building tiny houses on trailers. Having them built on trailers avoids the permitting needed for permanent structures and the much smaller footprint drastically cut down the building costs. The builder I found for our tiny house will have it built and delivered for less than HALF the price of all the other tiny homes I found.

Making a Tiny House Handicap Accessible

Since this tiny house is for my grandmother, we ran into a couple issues that needed some consideration. Most tiny house plans use sleeping lofts and small bathrooms. Although we don’t currently need the tiny house to accommodate a wheel chair, there’s always a chance that would be a need in the future. Plus, having my grandmother climb a ladder to get to her bed every night just didn’t seem like a good plan.

What we’ve come up with is a studio style tiny home with a floor plan that is convenient now and incorporates several handicap-friendly features:

  • We kept a loft for storage but moved the sleeping area to the main level.
  • The front door and bathroom door are both three feet wide to accommodate a wheelchair.
  • The L-shaped kitchen is in a wide open area to allow easy access.
  • The 4 x 3 shower stall allows plenty of room if help is ever needed.
  • The extra large bathroom area includes space for a closet and laundry appliances which keeps the rest of the home more open.

The picture above is a rough layout of the floor plan. It’s built on an 8′ x 24′ trailer. I’m hoping to have more pictures to share during the build process. I will of course share pictures once it has arrived. The builder is working on a new website and once it’s live I’ll be sure to include it.

Tiny house living isn’t a regular topic here, but if you’re interested on hearing more about it or if you have other questions, please let me know.

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Comments

  1. I love this!!! Looking forward to future posts.

  2. Honestly never thought of using a tiny home as a get away for a grandparent. Or is this a permanent living space for her? My grandmother was too much of a social butterfly to be on her own in a small living arrangement. She lived to an age of 97. But spent everyday playing cards and drinking tea with her friends. I’ve always thought of a tiny home as weekend getaway or the living space of a young couple without kids. It will be interesting to see it when you post pictures.

    I’d love to build one and try living in it. So much of my house is wasted space. But can’t see it working for me with a 10 year old boy.

    • Faith Janes says:

      This will be her permanent living space. She does enjoy visiting her friends and spending time doing church related functions, but decided she’d rather have her own tiny home next to the rest of the family. I’ll keep you posted with pictures.

  3. Never heard of this tiny house trend before! It is intriguing. Can’t imagine myself living in one until I’m an emptynester. It’s a great idea.

  4. How is it coming with the little house? If I didn’t have kids, I’d love one for myself!

  5. I’m very interested in hearing how this goes. In our family it’s the opposite–we are looking for retirement location with several of my husband’s sibs, where we can have space the young adults can use to potentially have tiny homes. We’re hoping to have chickens, garden and so on, for a fairly self sustaining lifestyle.

  6. Hi Faith –

    I want to live in a tiny home my husband won’t budge from our 1300 sq foot house. So I definitely live vicariously through websites like rowdykittens.com too. Can’t wait to check our your builder’s website !

  7. Carolyn B says:

    Love the idea of a wheelchair accessible tiny home. Am a happy spinster free-wheeling through life and would love to keep up with this particular thread as the home progresses.

  8. Dear Faith, I found your blog through an article on today.com. I can’t wait to start reading more about your minimalist lifestyle! My husband and I have been considering building a small cottage for my disabled mother-in-law but the idea of a tiny house on a trailer seems even better and cheaper! I would love to hear more about it and see pictures. Please keep us updated!!

    • Shelle DeBusk says:

      I’d love an update with pics and a link to the web page of your builder. I’m planning a handicap-accessible tiny house for me and my husband in the near future and would love to see how others have accomplished theirs.

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