Buildings under 200 sf

Started by jraabe, July 10, 2005, 10:07:46 AM

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glenn kangiser

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin

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The solution for a bed is to have a retractable ceiling bed....
best idea from HGTV... it lowers from the ceiling.. no stairs needed!!!!
See:reno of Leslie Hoffman.. I emailed her on how to do it but she never answered.. anyone have an idea..,1785,HGTV_3572_4164802,00.html

several patents for ceiling beds...
suspended sleeping platform patent 5943714
and space saving bed 5502850.

do a google for these and you will find  a site that has the drawings...

a small great kitchen can be accomplished by using a 21" liberrer fridge..
2 burner miele cooktop and 1 drawer fischer and paykal dw below...
miele even makes a 24"oven....

all this info I used in my aprox 298sq foot  NYC apt....

If anyone figures out how to do this ceiling bed please email me....

Texan lost in cali

You might take a look at "toy Haulers" I have seen many of them with two queen size beds that electrically come down from the ceiling on a track and lock into place when they are down.


 How about Murphy beds? Could that work for ya ,    


 Good luck , PEG
When in doubt , build it stout with something you know about .


parrishnut - I have seen the ceiling bed in several Paris apartments.  Haven't been able to find it either.  By the looks of this woman's bathroom, she got most of her ideas in Paris.....


One thing I notice is that all of the buildings are very Western, with lots of space being wasted on furniture.  Here in Japan your living/dining/sleeping area are all one.  Just an open room with a tatami mat and storage under the floor, or in a closet for a futon and clothes etc.  A table folds up when not in use that's used for dining/entertaining.  A small room with everyone sitting on the floor around a table can hold 10 people easily.  Then, when everyone goes home, the table gets folded up and the futons come out, an extra futon for guest, and even a sliding door to separate the rooms is doable.  the only thing you need is a small kitchen and bathroom, otherwis all activities can be done in one room.   It's been done in Japan for years and 200feet is actually a good size apartment in downtown Tokyo!



Thanks for that information J.  Hope to see you around the forum -- you could be our official Japan representative. :)

It is always interesting to see how things are done differently in other countries.


Thanks,  I'm glad I found this forum.  VERY relevant in Japan.



I found a source of built-in furniture at Up and Away's web site.  They don't do beds yet, but are working on them.  Right now they do shelves, tv set ups and other things that disappear up into the ceiling.  You might want to contact them if you're interested in a ceiling bed.  I'll keep looking to see if I can find someone who already does the ceiling bed.


How about a hanging bed that could be tied up against the ceiling when not in use?



I'll comment...once I can get my mind from the deep gutter that one put me in.  :D



with patents!

You can get folding foam beds that fold in two (so that a queen sized one folds to 30"x80").

I'm looking for a way to set that more or less against the wall so that it's not dramatically different in height when it's opened--and it rests on a stand.

(and by the way with the Mayan hammocks you lie on the crossways, so it really does have pretty solid back support--people asleep in them don't look like the sailors in their hammocks at the beginning of Master and Commander)


Get a Japanese style futon....they fold into thirds  and fit into a closet with blankets, pillows etc.  and aren't expensive, but are very comfortable...if you don't mind sleeping on the floor.

Many people have a slighty raised floor (8-12 inches) that they sit on pillows around a table with guests etc for a living room.  Then, they put away the table in the storage below the raised floor and bring out the bedding etc.  LOTS of storages space is created by having only a slighty raised floor and it creates a feeling of a different room without walls to give a more spacious feeling.  AND it's MUCH cheaper than the hanging circle bed.  :-?



Not for me.

I remember seeing a book with pictures of real Japanese apartments (Taschen Press, I think, from many years ago, may have been worldwide small living spaces, but decidedly not prettied up for the photographer).  Four foot high stacks of papers and books, etc.  I really could empathize with that pack-rat-ism run amok.  That's what I'm trying to get away from.  

I expect that you have to be really motivated--or trained from birth--to be able to put away the table and haul out the futons.  
There is a table whose pedestal removes, the top lets down to from a (weird size, including a bit short) bed in my (200sf) trailer.  I did it once to see if it worked.  It did.  End of that discussion.

A bit more room and plenty of bookcases make more sense for me.   Especially out in the middle of 30 acres.

But I lived in Hawaii for years--quite used to sleeping on the floor, low tables where you sit on a cushion or just on the floor to use etc..  

A favorite story  :-[ from those days, at least for my friends.  Neighbor needed to borrow a screwdriver, knew I probably had one in the pile of stuff in the middle of my room.  So he came in unobserved, found the screwdriver, but while he was looking saw an record that looked interesting kind of hidden on the bottom of the pile.  So he played it, found it sooooo moving that he burst into tears.  Went looking for someone else who worked in the record store to see if she could get it for him, was told "That is your Christmas present, dummy."


Yeah, it's not for everyone, but it does save space....but with 30 is not a problem for you.  :o

I grew up on the big island of Hawaii, with no elctricity and an outhouse, with a large pond to supply non potable water and an outdoor shower.  

I'd love to go back to that lifestyle much simpler and free....someday.



What would an acre of cheap land go for in Hawaii? One that is not a lava bed!


Well, it depends on whether or not the land is "fee simple" or not.  Meaning do you own it or are you buying off a lease from the goverment which will expire eventually.  AND is the land deemed agricultural land or not, meaning you're not supposed to build on it.

I grew up on agricultural land way up in the hills so technically I never lived there...and land was cheap.

The Kona side of the big island is expensive and dry and the "prefered" side by some.

The Hilo side is very cheap, but also the rainy side.  It's a wild island with lots of hippies and ex motorcycle gangs etc.  But I suppose you could find a peaceful spot.  I didn't like it and left as soon as possible.  But land on the Hilo side, I've seen for around 20k in the country. (which I preferred)  So, it's cheap, but your neighbors might be really odd and tough to live next to so check them out first.



the 20k was for a 3 acre parcel...forgot that part.



I take that back...more like 40k-50k for three acres now.  In a somewhat remote area.  Prices went up since I left.  I wouldn't want to live there though.  There are so many much nicer places in the world with much nicer people....just my opinion though.



QuoteI found this a very intrigueing exercise but would like to point out that most of the designs posted are aimed at the young skinny nimble and able-bodied.  :D  As I am confined to a wheelchair and plus-sized into the bargain, I decided to see what I could design all on one level and as accessible as possible.  That meant NO steps, ladders, lofts for sleeping.  So here are two designs.  The first is a simple minded shed built as a pole building.

The second is a bit  more upmarket and designed
for a slab. Its a bit over 200 sq.ft with the bumpout.

This is wonderful
Feel free to send suggestions and ask questions if my drawings arent clear.  They were done on Paint and converted to gif.


(contest long over with, doesn't stop us from thinking about 200sf.)

Another person had some health challenges, btw.

Does the second design have a second story with the door over the porch, or is it just huge and gracious inside?


I have really enjoyed this thread. I have a few novice questions. Although the homes are tiny (I enjoy space manipulation) some of the plans have many corners in them. Does this not make the build harder and more expensive? and possibly more time consuming when building?

glenn kangiser

Good question and a point that has surfaced here before.  

Yes - it costs more, if you are hiring it out especially, but if you are doing it yourself, aside form taking more time, cost is not too much greater and you have the satisfaction of having what you want.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.


QuoteI have really enjoyed this thread. I have a few novice questions. Although the homes are tiny (I enjoy space manipulation) some of the plans have many corners in them. Does this not make the build harder and more expensive? and possibly more time consuming when building?

It doesn't make it more difficult, but it will take longer to build two short walls joined at 90 degrees than it would for one longer wall. It could cost more for materials if you end up wasting material by not taking into account standard material sizes.

Some people will also argue that a squarish box encloses more square footage than an irregular-shaped plan with the same exterior wall length. I'd counter by pointing out that there is more to a house than floor area. Light and views from windows, the spatial arrangement of the rooms, the exterior spaces defined by the outside walls, and exterior curb appeal are also important considerations.

As far as difficulty in building is concerned, the roof framing is the part that often requires the most head-scratching. Keeping the roof to a simple gable or shed(s), without hips or valleys or dormers, will make the house a lot easier to build. Beneath that simple roof you can have both bumpouts and inset areas for porches, allowing the one roof shape to cover both house and porch.