From Texas-sized 2 Tiny House For Three
My dad has graciously decided to allow us to build our tiny house on his property (as well as having acted as First State Bank of Dad for our low simple interest loan for the Amish Barn Raiser… THANKS DAD!!), and today I went out and snapped pics of the areas that I thought would work. I’ll post them with captions below.
My initial thought has always been to back the house down the neighbor’s driveway (they have a great flat drive with no trees or overhangs to navigate that flows directly from their wide open acre on my dad’s more landscaped and treed acre), across the septic field (ack!), and down the long side of Dad’s property along the tree line that divides his lot from two other neighbors. That way it’s out of view of the main thoroughfare (though his house is fairly rural anyway, and their only caveat was that we can’t actually live in it once it’s done) and generally out of his way, too. After finding a quite low hanging branch blocking part of that original path I realized we could just put the house perpendicular to Dad’s fenced veggie garden instead.
I snapped photos of the path we’d have to traverse to get the house into that location, and they’re posted here in order from the view of the neighbor’s driveway, then across the septic field (we’ll have to put boards down just to be on the safe side, especially since gophers have become an issue back there, too), and then stopping behind the garden.
1) View of neighbor’s driveway coming off the street and onto Dad’s property. Have to navigate around the tree line a bit, but no biggie.
2) Would back up across the septic field on boards to reduce likelihood of sinking in, especially with the gopher problems.
3) The final resting site behind Dad’s vegetable garden, though it wouldn’t stick out that far.
4) Another view of the final site looking toward Dad’s house from the spot I had originally thought of until I saw that low branch on the left. C’est la vie!
This spot seems like a logical choice in that it’s out of the way and more secluded from the street and the neighbors due to the tree line running along side the property (and the old compost pile is still there, so maybe we can start that up again while we’re living there, too!), but on my way back up the the house I had a thought pop into my brain as I passed under the trees right along the back fence area where my dad hung a swing and built a big sandbox for R.A.D. I snapped a quick pic mostly because the shaded area is just so pretty and green this time of year, but it also gave me the notion that we could potentially park the house there instead with a little rearranging. It’s closer to the big house, which means shorter walks with tools and extension cords, but it would block the view out of the house and over the 6 acre pond all the neighbors share. It would also be visible from the road at a few different angles as well, though not horribly. Anyway, feast your eyes below!
Oh but the shade… the SHADE! Anyone who’s had the (dis)pleasure of spending a summer in North Texas is nodding their head and smiling as I nearly wax poetic about how AH.MAY.ZING. having access to any form of shade is during the regularly 100+ degree late spring through summer and into early fall in Texas. Another upside is that the backwards drive down the neighbor’s driveway would be much shorter (though it would require a tighter turn), and this part of the yard faces due east. The house itself would block a large part of western setting sun, and with the swimming pool just a few feet and a chain link fence hop away we could easily cool off if it got ridiculously hot outside. I can’t count the number of times my dad would jump into the pool mid mowing when I was growing up before hopping back on the tractor to finish the “back 40” or stepping behind the push mower to finish the grassy ring around the pool. Ahh…. it sounds refreshing already!
When I mentioned this to my dad his only concern was about R.A.D’s swing that is dangling from the lone surviving huge oak tree (it’s mate, along with the even bigger one that once graced the front yard, died from a fungal infection years ago and was chopped down into mulch and firewood), and my suggestion of moving it to the lower but still sturdy one in the foreground (can’t recall the species off hand) was met with a smirk and grumblings about it not being high enough for the boy to get the good, looooong, high swinging motion he loves so much. Hey, at least my dad has the boy’s entertainment at heart!
We looked out the back patio window, though, and all agreed the swing wouldn’t have to be moved if we just parked the house to the north of the oak tree rather than completely in between the two trees smack dab in the middle where the swing is hanging. That’s what that red line in the photo indicates: the back end of the house would line up with the oak tree, and the rest would jut out toward the neighbor’s house still shaded but just not as thoroughly. Without measuring I can’t say this for certain, but I’m fairly sure only the trailer tongue would be left poking out past the fence line, and with the several year drought still in effect Dad said he wasn’t all that worried about seeing the low level pond out back anyway. He said he’d relocate the kiddo’s sandbox a little, and the hammock can easily be slid under the other trees, too. I’m thinking we could set up a work table closer to the foreground of the photo since the garage is on that side of the house, which will make running extension cords and schlepping tools back and forth much easier, too. Noice!
Since it’s Dad’s house I told him to think about it and decide which would be better for him, because frankly I’m just happy we have a free place to build period! Add to that my dad’s VAST array of tools and his own various structure building skills and knowledge (I’ll have to post a pic of the 2-story play house he built for R.A.D sometime), and we should be in great shape for our build!
Now we just have to get the dang thing from CO to TX! 🙂