300 tiny houses

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Diedricksen Brothers Tiny House Workshop in Joshua Tree, CA!

MARCH 23-24-25TH, 2018

So we hit Joshua Tree, CA after a hands-on Los Angeles workshop (at the CAFAM museum) last year, and fell in love with the place. So, we're heading back out there!

THIS (below) is the actual site where we'll build, have demos, hang out, network, and kick-back and have fun at night! Its the now famous "Bungalow In The Boulders" rental (airbnb) in Joshua Tree, run by Cary Ezell. The man is a DIY guru, as you'll see- and works wonders with concrete (custom countertops, furniture, etc).

Ever tour a bottle house? Well, you will, AND we'll be building (designing, framing, sheathing, siding, roofing, and more) a repurposed-materials tiny house/cabin in the desert WITH some conventional materials and approaches AND unconventional ones. Yes, we'll work in some recycled-material bottle work as well!

"The Bottleneck House"- ON the premises of the workshop in Joshua Tree- among other WILD structures

Building on a budget will be the theme- all while working in and discussing passive heating and cooling methods, and so much more.

Site selection, foundations, systems and more will all be discussed....  and in some cases, implemented.

The Hosts:
Derek "Deek" Diedricksen- Former host/designer/builder for HGTV's "Tiny House Builders", host of the youtube channel "Relaxshacksdotcom", bestselling author of "Microshelters", and tiny house and tree house designer. Deek's work has appeared in the NY Times, Time Magazine, China Times, the homepage of Yahoo.com, and beyond....

Palo Coleman- Mad professor of the DIY world- Palo's specialties include Japanese architectural/construction techniques, bamboo joinery, tiny house design, and lathe turning.

Cary Ezell- Cary, a design and DIY expert, will be on hand to help and to teach us concrete pouring and molding methods. Cary will also lead a hands-on bottle wall demo (something no other workshops offer!)

Dustin Diedricksen- Another HGTV host alum, Dustin, and Environmental Engineer, has built and designed numerous tiny houses, tree houses, and backyard offices for the last ten years. His specialty is also budget building.... how to not break you wallet, and your back, while constructing your future home.


We're also looking to bring a woman or two on staff for this event- more details to follow! 

A TON more details- and information regarding frequently asked questions is at the "Sign up" page/link. Be sure to check it out!

     We're also looking for sponsors- if interested- newenglandrockpress@gmail.com
(on site representation, blog coverage, mentioned in our youtube promotions (140,000+ subscribers, added to the future custom workshop full-color poster, and more!) 

Derek "Deek" Diedricksen 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Chris' $5k tiny house on wheels (a modern vardo)

So at Tiny House Summer Camp 5 in Northern Vermont (one of the only hands-on tiny house workshops in the US hosted by The Diedricksen Brothers), we had a chance (attendees and hosts alike) to tour quite a few tiny houses, campers, and THIS, tiny, tiny vardo (or "gypsy wagon")- one built and designed by New Jersey resident Chris Schapdick.


The particular Vardo was built as a show and travel model for Chris and his new venture- "Tiny Industrial"- and in this video he goes on to explain how- trailer included- Chris will soon be offering builds in the ballpark of $5000.00.

While a vardo such as this might be far smaller than most tiny houses on the scene and doesn't have a toilet or shower, it might be "just enough" for some- especially those with less of a budget to work with. Chris later mentions how their is stow space for a small composting toilet....

Be sure to check out all the custom details in this model too, from the exotic woods, to the copper-pipe assembled cabinet hardware, and the gorgeous little table and sitting space.

Its spartan, yes, but its affordable, good looking, sleek, and PORTABLE, shelter.

AND YES, SEPTEMBER of 2018 WILL bring another "Tiny House Summer Camp"- our SIXTH YEAR!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

A frame cabin built for only $700 with our plans!

     So just when you thought that a set of getaway cabin plans was already right in your basement budget wheel house (we built ours with mostly new materials for just over $1000), along comes Montana's Alla Ponomareva, who, with her partner, constructed this beauty for only SEVEN HUNDRED BUCKS!

Love it! 

Its been making the rounds on Tiny House Swoon, Curbed, Apartment Therapy, Tiny House Talk, and beyond, and due in part to not only her gorgeous color scheme and decor, but Alla's amazing photography!

You can see more of her work at http://www.allaponomareva.com

....AND, we just might be doing a workshop out her way (designing and building a tree house this summer) where you'll get to tour this cabin, AND her tiny house, in person! Stay Tuned!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

How the heck does a DRY FLUSH tiny house toilet work??

So, these "dry flush" toilets are relatively new to the tiny house world, and as of recent, I kept hearing of more and more of them being used, but there was never a video to show "just whats up?" with these units. I mean, how the heck do they work without stinking??

Well, I recently got to spend a night at the rather-darn-cool "Getaway Boston" tiny house compound, and lo and behold, they had a dry flush toilet.

While they are incredibly easy to use, I'm still not sure if I'd go this route (namely because of the plastic-based disposal bags you need to use). That said, its unbelievably simple as an install a system like this, it works like a charm, and the toilets themselves are rather traditional in their look (so as to not scare the already squeamish).

Take a look at this video.... its explains, and shows. quite a bit more....

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Monday, August 28, 2017

Finding Tiny House Land- Where and WHAT to look for?

    Lets face it, its not easy to find any town that will allow a tiny house, backwoods cabin, or a live-in tree house to be built in, but there ARE some that:

-Just don't care (and want your tax dollars per square foot and nothing more)
-Aren't staffed enough or organized enough to care
-Won't ever be able to find you (again, understaffed)
-Just want anyone new to be part of their town (spending money IN town, helping the local economy)

There are MANY other reasons as well, but those seem to be the main ones. Of course, as I'll mention in a second, this often places you in an area that is not so, er, "metropolitan". Some gun for the solitude of far-out, small towns, while others blanch at the thought.

I've found that looking into what are deemed nationally as "4th class cities/towns" are the ones most apt to have the fewest codes. Is not that they don't care necessarily, its that they can't and don't have the resources to (they might have bigger fish to fry).

Anyway, having bought "boondocks" land a few times before (and THAT might automatically place some of you out of this interest group/discussion ("I only want my tiny home downtown in NYC! (not gonna happen))), this video mentions a few things I look out for when considering inexpensive land. Remember, often times, cheap land IS too good to be true, so make sure you take your time looking into it- and certainly VISIT THE LAND, where and when possible.

A FEW QUESTIONS TO KEEP IN MIND: In no particular order.... 

Does it flood?
Will wetlands zoning restrictions hamper your plans and add in stress and limitations to your build?
Is the area a drainage basin that will receive flash floods? Is the land in a valley?
Do you get adequate sunlight?
What is the resale market of the region (stagnant? on the rise?)
Are there amenities nearby that will make your build and future tiny-life convenient enough?
Is there the possibility for electricity? Are poles nearby, or will it cost a fortune to bring in?
How much work will it take to clear space for solar panels if you want to go that route?
Do you need to build a bridge, or clear a road for access? ($$$$)
What are the nearest neighbors like and will they frown upon your plans and make things difficult?
Is there easy access to the plot? (not 1000 turns on barely passable dirt roads 50 miles off anything paved)
Is there a mud season in the region that might render the road impassable?
For materials, is their a lumber yard close enough to the land/town?
How rough is the terrain- soil, all rock? Steep?
Are there any existing tax liens on the property?

And on and on.....

The point I'm getting at is that you need to know your needs and MUST do your research.
I know too many people who too-excitedly jumped into a land purchase and later regretted it.
Don't be that person.

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Friday, July 7, 2017

THIS tiny house workshop is actually HANDS-ON!

So even though the workshop is already over half sold out (just based on past reviews, word of mouth, and people re-attending from previous years), we can now slowly unveil some of the speakers we have trekking out to the woods of Vermont to give talks, live demos, and to build alongside you.

Tiny House Summer Camp 5 (which we began in 2010) is hosted by Derek and Dustin Diedricksen (Hosts of HGTV's "Tiny House Builders" and authors of the book "Microshelters") and takes place on ten off grid acres in Northern Vermont- Orleans, to be exact.

If you'd like to sign up and learn more- head HERE

     "We basically didn't want to have anything to do with hotel-ballroom-slideshow-workshops- we just didn't feel they were inspiring or as effective. These workshops are fully hands-on and are just packed with eclecticism- from Japanese techniques, and salvage-based building, to tiny house trailer-build approaches, and MUCH more. We even have broadened the whole extended weekend with solar cooking demos (from Solavore), to daily wild edible walks and wilderness survival talks (at one particular station) from Matt Gabriel- aka youtube's "AnimalManSurvivor". At any given time there are THREE live builds too, and then demos and side focus talks and classes you can choose to attend at will. Oh yeah, its not just some wimpy 9-4 class either- we run it 9am until 10 or 11pm, when our nighttime bonfire talks and demos come to a close."     -Deek Diedricksen

As for who was just added?

Well, coming all the way out from San Francisco, we're proud to announce the inclusion of Joshua and Shelley Engberg of "Tiny House Basics"!

Joshua and Shelley are not only designers and builders, but they run a trailer building company (specifically for tiny houses) AND are tiny house dwellers. Check THEM out at http://www.tinyhousebasics.com 

Their own tiny house will be featured in the upcoming sequel-book to "Microshelters" and is just gorgeous.

If you want to be able to pick the brain of two legitimate and experienced tiny house gurus, here is your chance! You'll be camping, building, and perhaps even sharing a cocktail or two with them for a full three day weekend.

We have about TEN guest speakers and builders- and we'll be announcing more of them soon! 

Check out Deek's Book "Microshelters" Here:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

THREE Gorgeous Tiny House School Bus Conversions!


     Honestly, while I haven't stepped into a ton of school bus conversions (aka "Skoolies"), and have only featured a handful on this channel, this particular one still stands as one of the nicer ones I've seen. Having recently just returned from New Jersey and the Tiny House Festival that took place in Augusta (where I was a guest speaker) I figured I should share this one ASAP.
     From its simple yet attractive interior, to the full stove and range, full sized refrigerator, and given the fact that its all run on a solar/photovoltaic system(!), there is a lot of inspiration to be gleaned from this skoolie. Owner Michael Fuehrer and his father, the duo responsible for the rehab, did a fantastic job, as you'll see...

     School bus conversions just might be a great option when seeking a tiny and mobile life- the watertight shell of a secondhand bus is your starting point, giving you the advantage of a dry work space, security, and even lockable storage as you build.

     Not that long ago, I also had the chance to tour two other skoolies/converted school buses- both of them in the Atlanta, Georgia area.... check out these tours as well.....

And.... one of the first ones I ever set foot in (which will also be featured in my upcoming follow-up to the book "Microshelters"...

If you enjoyed those videos, PLEASE subscribe to our youtube channel here! Thanks!

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A NEW Seattle-area Tree House Airbnb Rental On The Scene....

If glamping is your thing, here's a little something that I designed, and that we built with a group of workshop students just a couple weeks ago. This tree house stands at 22' tall, is fronted with a clear wall of tuftex, features a sleep loft, and sleeps three. Its located on the "Mountain Views Bed and Breakfast" compound in Monroe, WA (run by Tracy Rice and about an hour outside Seattle) and stands next to another tree house rental, and two tiny-house-like gypsy wagons that are also rentable.

Check out the lil' video we shot while there. This one was filmed at 6am on Day 5 of our stay there, so you can hear the fatigue in my voice.

All in all, it was an incredibly fun weekend, with a great group of students and even with a few tiny house dwellers/guest who stopped by to say hello.

Our next workshop will be "Tiny House Summer Camp 5" 
September 15-17th, 2017- in Orleans, VT on Deek's 10 acre off-grid spread...
Its another Diedricksen brothers workshop with guest tiny house builders, dwellers, bloggers, designers, and more! Attendees are welcome to camp out, and we'll have talks, demos, and discussions at night by a bon fire. We'll also work on several builds all at once and each student will be encouraged to cycle through each group so as to learn as many new skills and techniques as possible!

If interested, here's the link....

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Seattle's FREE TO SEE 18' Troll Statue!?

I always wanted to visit the "Fremont Troll" statue near Seattle, and finally did! -en route to a recent Diedricksen Brothers hands-on tree house workshop we taught. The next class is next weekend, right outside Boston! Here's the link... http://relaxshacks.blogspot.com/2017/05/boston-ma-tree-house-workshop-wdeek.html

As for the troll, it was created in 1990 by an art team known as "The Jersey Devils" and has become a very popular tourist attraction in Seattle, Washington. Its 18' tall, clutches a REAL Volkswagen Beetle car, and draws in slews of tourists daily. 

Check out the tour to get the full scope on this rather funky, weird, and fun public art piece. 

File under: Free things to do in Seattle, WA

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Monday, May 15, 2017

Father and Son build a $2000 DIY Camper....

Lately I've been trying to catch up on editing the videos and tours that I've filmed, while ALSO prepping for the hands-on TINY HOUSE SUMMER CAMP 5 workshop, AND a tree house build and design workshop near Boston, MA (June 10-11th- 2017). The problem is that I've traveled so much, and shot so many videos in the last year or two, that its so very hard to get any of them done before new content is being worked on.

In any case, here's a cool little short on a father and son (Wayne, and his son Neil Burnham) that I met at the Eatonton, GA Tiny House Festival earlier this year. 

This camper, as you'll see, was built for around $2000, and more importantly, Wayne talks about the perils of NOT re-tightening your lug nuts after long-period builds. 

(AND for those interested in the HANDS-ON two day tree house workshop- 5 slots left- newenglandrockpress at gmail). This will be held in Stoughton, MA- 15 miles from Boston, MA. 

Also, be sure to subscribe to our channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/relaxshacksDOTcom/featured

Wayne and Neil ALSO showed us this cool little DIY welded rocket stove they were using while camping at the festival....

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen