Small Homes – Philosophy

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Have you ever held a small, live bird in your hands?

It’s a very special experience. The first thing you notice, besides that it is soft and warm, is that the bird is incredibly light! Your brain suddenly dusts off memories of your old biology classes where you learned that birds have hollow bones and very lean anatomies. This is the secret to it’s flight!

This same concept transfers to the construction of cars. If you want to build the most energy efficient car, you make it light and streamlined. And, it also applies to the construction of houses. By it’s very nature, the smaller you make it, the more energy efficient, and therefore the smaller it’s footprint on the environment. This is important to remember. Everyone knows that you can’t make a 6000 lb. SUV energy efficient. In the same way, a three or four thousand square foot house will never be energy efficient.

Smaller homes offer an energy-efficient alternative

Since 1950, the size of housing per person in the U.S. has increased to four times what it used to be.

The United States of America are the most consumptively
housed people in the history of humanity.

A little 1,000 square foot clapboard or brick bungalow in the older neighborhood near downtown uses less energy than the new 2,400 sq.ft. “green, energy-efficient” house on the edge of town. Americans have, in just a few years, become the most comsumptively housed people in the history of humanity. We need to work together to reverse this trend.

Design Philosophy

These small houses were designed with two primary things in mind. How small can it be and still be comfortable and efficient for one or two people? How small and light can it be so that the panel units can be easily lifted onto a truck and transported, and moved into place on site?

In addition, the designs incorporate a few other important concepts.

  • Simple and universal engineering so that the basic design is very flexible.
  • Non moisture absorbing building materials so that the home can be left unattended, without heat, with no damage for as long as you like.
  • A natural looking exterior that blends in with the environment
  • A full line of options that can make the home as self-sufficient, on or off the grid as you like.

All homes are inspected and approved by the state or municipality you live in and include a one year warranty

These homes are all inspected and approved by the State of Oregon, Building Codes Division  or municipality you live in,  standard building code (CABO). They come with a one year warranty standard with all new construction. All electrical and plumbing is done by licensed and bonded specialists. They were designed by Walt Quade, a designer/builder in the Portland area since 1992, engineered by Miller Engineering, and built one at a time by Taylorsmith Sustainable Construction LLC, a licensed and insured company.