Tiny the Texas Way


This is a 12’ x 26’ tiny house we call the Painted Lady because of the 6 colors she is painted with. It has a great layout with a Murphy Bed and an upstairs loft for a bed as well. The full kitchen has an under counter Sub Zero fridge/freezer. The glassed in shower had 1890’s circa galvanized interlocking roofing shingles and a river rock floor. The house has front and back porches with a split air conditioning system that is nearly silent and cools the place with high efficiency. It also has a built in couch that can double as a spare bed as well.

We are promoting the merits of Pure Salvage Building techniques by creating livable, sustainable, healthy and beautiful tiny houses. I want to share what I have learned and show that our 99% Pure Salvage designs, construction techniques, and principals can be applied throughout the country. Once you experience a Pure Salvage Tiny House, you'll know why it makes perfect sense to Build the Future from the Past.

While the forests may be gone, the lumber that came from them is still waiting to be saved and reused. These troves of superior resources are readily accessible in most areas that had a big populations in the last two centuries. The structures await the taking for now, much of it virtually for free, such that we can use the Pure Salvage Building concept to fuel creating solutions to American employment shortages. We can do this by salvaging the houses, buildings, and barns it takes to build a whole new generation of houses.

Nearly 99% of the materials we use to build a Tiny Texas House were created in this country, helping make this housing concept a significant solution to import/export imbalance issues as well. Admittedly we do use new electrical parts, plumbing, nails, screws, and insulation materials that are not salvaged, but more than half of them are American made too. In some cases, there are no domestically made alternatives.

Consider buying a used tiny house. Like an RV, tiny houses on wheels depreciate. Sometimes you can get a great bargain from someone who tried tiny living and decided it wasn't right or ran into trouble with zoning. You can find used tiny houses on Craigslist, eBay and Tiny House Listings. (Note: if you find a house you like on Tiny House Listings, it's best to search the web for another source for responding. From my own experience and that reported by others, the contact form on this site may never reach the recipient. Try searching Craigslist or use Google image search instead.) Be sure to inspect the house before buying (some are very poorly built) and find out the status of the title and registration before you commit. Prices often drop from the first listing, so unless you really love the house, you might do well to wait a couple of weeks and watch it.

In most towns, a building permit isn't required for a structure of 120 square feet or less. However, these small structures are considered sheds or workshops. Full-time living in a tiny building is generally not allowed. Some people live successfully "under the radar" but it's risky. A grumpy neighbor or diligent official could make your tiny life untenable.

To be a legal residence, a structure must be built in accordance with local building codes. Most states have adopted the International Residential Code for One- and Two- Family Dwellings. However, there is great diversity in the specific versions. Scroll down to see the US map. In addition to the IRC, a state, county or city may have additional codes that must be followed. Rare exceptions do exist. This book, No Building Codes, written in 2010 by Terry Herb, provides information on areas where building codes are absent or rarely enforced.


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