By Randi Bjornstad
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) – Most people who come to the University of Oregon this fall to start a Ph.D. program probably will scramble to find an affordable apartment or a house to rent for the five to seven years it could take to complete the degree.
Not April Anson.
She’ll be moving down from Portland in about a month, and she’s bringing her home – her “tiny house,” to be more accurate – with her.
For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. But to the 1996 Churchill High School graduate, the 19-foot-by-8-foot structure, built on a heavy metal trailer chassis, will be home.
“I’ve always dreamed of, in some way, building my own home,” Anson said. “The idea of having a hand in creating the space you live in really appeals to me.”
Even, or maybe especially, when it means occupying an interior living space of give-or-take 130 square feet, although that’s considerably larger than the first house she “built.”
“I did have a playhouse when I was a kid,” Anson said. “It was made of cardboard washer and dryer boxes, with washcloths for curtains. It was in my mother’s garage.”
The plans for her grown-up house, on her Facebook page, show a 21/2-foot-by-21/2-foot porch that opens into a living room 61/2 feet by 71/2 feet.
Beyond that is a kitchen, on the right, measuring 4 feet by 6 feet next to a bathroom that is 3 feet by 6 feet. Up above, a 6-foot-square loft is large enough to accommodate a queen-size mattress with storage around the edges.
“In a structure this small, one benefit is that you can almost survive off the scraps from larger projects,” she said.
The final cost of Anson’s tiny house will be between $8,000 and $9,000. She will park it on a piece of family owned land, where she can get electrical service until she eventually installs solar panels. So-called gray water from sinks and shower will be filtered, and sewage will be pumped out and taken away for disposal. “My plan is to keep working, to make living in the tiny house as self-contained as possible,” she said.
As she wrote on her blog, Anson plans to live in her tiny house for the duration of her studies at the UO – and maybe beyond. “In this way, I hope to live a little smaller, leave a little (less), and learn in what ways formal study can be acted in the every day.”1 2 3 next >>