Our travels, exploits, and adventures

May 2013 Update

Its been a while! We’ve been really busy since January– Erin in grad school and running her biz (www.erinharner.com), Dondi at work, skiing and snowboarding, cycling, mountain biking, hiking, camping, and of course working on putting the finishing touches on our tiny home. Hope you enjoy these pics. Leave a comment if you’d like. . . we love hearing from you!

Skiing at Vail with Tyler, Sarah, Erin, Dondi, Steve, and Nick

Skiing and boarding at Vail with Tyler, Sarah, Erin, Dondi, Steve, and Nick

Skiing at Breckenridge with Ryan, Sarah, Erin, and Dondi

Skiing at Breckenridge with Ryan, Sarah, Erin, and Dondi

Dondi's backcountry hut trip with work-- splitboarding and lots of other shananigans

Dondi’s backcountry hut trip with work– splitboarding and lots of other shananigans

Dondi and Shawn (in from Seattle, WA) playing old school ice hockey on a frozen pond near Salida, CO

Dondi and Shawn (in from Seattle, WA) playing old school ice hockey on a frozen pond near Salida, CO

Dondi installing a light fixture on our tiny house

Dondi installing a light fixture on our tiny house

Cedar siding finally complete and boxed in the propane tanks

Cedar siding finally complete and boxed in the propane tanks

Front entry complete with an aspen post, Douglas fir decking, and a mint plant

Front entry complete with an aspen post, Douglas fir decking, and a mint plant

Exterior of our tiny home is DONE!!!

Exterior of our tiny home is DONE!!!

Dondi building Douglas fir garden boxes

Dondi building Douglas fir garden boxes

Garneropolis garden work day

Garneropolis garden work day

Gardens planted and irrigation installed. . . now waiting on the veggies (and the weeds)

Gardens planted and irrigation installed. . . now waiting on the veggies (and the weeds)

Erin hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park with college friends and teammates Meg and Brynja

Erin hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park with college friends and teammates Meg and Brynja

Rocky Mountain National Park's Alberta Falls in May

Rocky Mountain National Park’s Alberta Falls in May

"The Loch" at Rocky Mountain National Park-- end of May and about 3 feet of snow the whole 5 miles to get there!

“The Loch” at Rocky Mountain National Park– end of May and about 3 feet of snow the whole 5 miles to get there!

15 mile hike near Pingree Park Memorial Day weekend

15 mile hike near Pingree Park Memorial Day weekend

Stopping to smell the flowers!

Stopping to smell the flowers!

A glimpse of the High Park Fire burn area almost 1 year after the fire started

A glimpse of the High Park Fire burn area almost 1 year after the fire started

Mountain biking near Pingree Park

Mountain biking near Pingree Park

Erin mountain biking through the stream and past the eerie burnt trees

Erin mountain biking through the stream and past the eerie burnt trees

Chillin back at camp

Chillin back at camp and having some lunch

Erin and Dondi laughing about how we eat more veggies than anyone we know when camping. . . where are the hot dogs?!?

Erin and Dondi laughing about how we eat more veggies than anyone we know when camping. . . where are the hot dogs?!?

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16 responses

  1. Karen Menges

    You are both a wonder. Thanks so much for the update. You look happy and healthy!
    Love to you, k

    May 29, 2013 at 7:54 am

  2. Thanks Karen! Great to hear from you. =) -Erin

    May 29, 2013 at 10:46 am

  3. Shawn

    Sure you post the pic of me laying out to stop your shot on goal….what about my mid-air puck twist around Dondi to win the game? :P. The house ia looking good. Looks like y’all are having fun. Keep exploring!

    May 30, 2013 at 11:02 am

    • I remember that shot. The one that almost took my head off but blocked by my awesome stick skills. -Dondi

      June 2, 2013 at 7:34 pm

  4. Mark A Johnson

    Dondi & Erin
    The house is looking awesome, fantastic, wonderful, (you choose which word you like best) Always something to do in Colorado, Hope you are finding the Tiny Life to your liking, and from the photos it looks like you are being Healthy, Wealthy & Wise, Best Wishes to the both of You!

    June 11, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    • Hi Mark, thanks for your kind comments. And yes, we are loving life and having fun. =) -Erin and Dondi

      June 11, 2013 at 11:28 pm

  5. Bretannie

    Erin and Dondi I wondered if you could tell me where you guy the floor plans for your tiny house or was it all your own. My husband and I have been looking to build one of our own, and I look at yours and see the possibilities with a few changes like the office area for us would have to be bunk bed space as we have one 8 year old son and another on the way. Otherwise I love your lay out. Any info would be helpful. Great job by the way it’s beautiful!

    August 8, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    • Hi Bretannie, see the responses to Anthony’s post. We started designing and building from scratch since we didn’t find any plans that came close to meeting our needs/wants. We are both working professionals and needed separate desk space. I couldn’t wrap my head around climbing up and down a ladder to get into and out of bed (so we designed in stairs), and as a nutritionist, the kitchen was really important to me. So. . . we designed the plans from the trailer up step-by-step. We do not have plans for purchase right now but could arrange something with you if you’re interested. Please contact me through my site (www.erinharner.com). Hope that helps you out! -Erin

      August 28, 2013 at 5:14 pm

  6. Joe A

    The house looks great! I just discovered your blog yesterday and have loved reading it and looking at the construction pictures. I’m researching tiny houses in the hopes of one day building one myself. I have a few big picture questions that maybe you can help me with. 1) Plumbing related: what do you do with the grey-water, what’s your method of pressurizing the water, and how do you go about refilling your water tank and how often? 2) Does your solar system cover all your electrical needs and did you have to make certain lifestyle changes to accommodate the system, i.e. not use a microwave or get rid of TV. 3) I’m also very curious about the cost of the project. Minus the solar system, could I construct something of the same size for less than $25000 in building materials?

    Great house! Great blog! Thanks for sharing!

    August 23, 2013 at 10:34 am

    • Hi Joe- thanks for your comments! To answer your questions, I’ll do the best I can:
      1.) Plumbing: grey water is released to the ground from the sinks and shower only, water tank is 300 gallons and filled with an RV clean water hose about once a month, water is pressurized with a small pump and 2 small pressure tanks in series.
      2.) Solar: yes, our system covers all of our electric needs. we had to plug in (via an extension cord) once or twice in the heart of the winter last year but other than that its been great. and yes, we’ve definitely made some lifestyle changes like boiling water in a kettle on the stove instead of an electric teapot, being conscious of energy use, etc.
      3.) Price: YES! You could definitely construct something very similar within the $25,000 mark. Ours was actually less than that minus the solar system but it depends on how much you hire out. (ie. your labor is free but hired help is not!)
      Hope that helps. -Erin

      August 28, 2013 at 3:31 pm

  7. I just discovered your blog a few days ago during my endless search for tiny house resources. I live in Connecticut and work in real estate, and unfortunately the culture here is not particularly sustainability-conscious or tiny-home friendly (at least in the areas I work and live), so I am scouring all the channels I can to find people who have taken on the adventure of building a tiny home for themselves.

    I recently attended a Tumbleweed workshop and although the workshop was very helpful and informational, the prices for their plans were astronomical for such a small structure and I wanted to make so many changes to them that it didn’t seem worth it.

    I love the way your designed your home in terms of use of space. My needs in a home are very similar to yours, but I am concerned about building a “tiny” home that’s too big (ironic, I know). How much did your home weigh when everything was all said and done?

    Also, would you be able to share some of the brands you used for the essentials (shower, toilet, kitchen appliances, etc.)

    And one more question before I go…Windows. Due to the high cost of windows and the high volume of “knock downs” to build new in my neighborhood, I wanted to try and salvage my windows. But then I realized that they may have to be autoglass. Did you use regular windows/do you think it is safely possible?

    September 20, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    • Hi Kaitlyn, can’t believe I missed your comment. So sorry! Thanks for your kind words and glad you’re interested in building a tiny home- they are so much fun to build and live in. To answer your questions. . . our home weighs about 10,000 lbs fully loaded with all of our stuff. When we moved it last, we drove it through truck scales. Almost everything we did was self-designed and custom to our house. The composting toilet is a Sunmar and is great (no smell at all). Kitchen stove and fridge are standard apartment size appliances from Home Depot. . . no special orders needed. The bathroom sink is tiny, and was a special order. I don’t think safety is a huge issue with windows. You’re probably not going to be towing a tiny house a ton if you make it totally livable (and heavy). Knock-down windows should be no problem and the best part is you can design the windows you collect into your home design. Hope that helps and feel free to get in touch if you have other questions! -Erin

      March 23, 2014 at 9:44 pm

  8. Karina Burrows

    Are you in Ithaca now? I’d love to come see your home or drive by and take a peek! I’m in Groton.

    August 17, 2015 at 3:09 pm

  9. Ssl

    Hi, my name is Sal.
    I am very interested in your tiny home.
    Did you build it from scratch?
    I love it.

    May 5, 2016 at 9:47 am

    • Hi Sal, thanks for your comment. Yes, we built it ourselves from scratch. Explore the blog for all of the build details if you’re interested.

      May 5, 2016 at 1:11 pm

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