Joe, of Homesteadonomics, who islocated out in Arizona has done a really nice job of designing, installing and living off a rainwater harvesting system for he and his family. This video gives a detailed tour of his system. The following video is a Q and A on his system.
Granbury, Texas where Texas Tiny Homes is planning to build some small luxury homes averages around 35" inches of rainfall each year. Adding a rain-harvest system to supply the water needs for our homes is something I believe is possible, but have not sat down with the county health department to confirm that. I like the concept and will be exploring the possibilities, designing a workable system and its pricing.
This shower water conservation video is by Steven Harrell, who launched Tiny House Listings about 6 years ago. His website was instrumental and inspiration in Texas Tiny Homes formation in 2012. This video features a low flow shower head that can save thousands of gallons of water each year depending on the setting you chose. We have selected six water saving shower heads in our online store.
Water conservation is so critical these days, but it’s also a requirement when living small, or off grid when water is hard to come by, and safely disposing it if your tiny and small home is not tied to a city sewage system, or if you are using a grey water filtering system. Texas Tiny Homes is looking at all the black and grey water disposal options for the new homes we are going to be build on our lots in Granbury, Texas and the less amount of water coming out the home the better. Water conserving shower heads will be an important and necessary feature in some of new home we build.
Texas Tiny Homes has a goal of offering you some of the most affordable, but also luxurious small homes in America, which is no easy task in today’s booming economy. Because of the high cost of construction, and cost of the land the average price of a new home in America is now, $368,000. New home construction has been booming for the past 6 years, especially in Texas, and because of that there is a shortage of skilled trades, construction workers and construction materials, and affordable lots.
In an effort to accomplish our “$99K Starting Price” goal in Granbury, Texas some compromise is going to be necessary, but the last place the compromise will show up is in the quality of construction, the attention to details, and the luxury features found in all of our home plans. One of the areas of compromise require smaller, less expensive lots, which we are now purchasing in older, but deed-restricted, HOA communities, located outside of the city limits. These communities do not have city property taxes,which is good, but they do not have city water and sewer.
These communities have brand-new, site-built homes, as well as older, site-built homes, along with brand-new, as well as older manufactured homes. Some of the older, manufactured homes are being replaced with brand new homes, so these communities are similar in trend to some very popular tear-down neighborhoods in East Dallas, Preston Hollow, Park Cities, or Oak Cliff, Texas. In some of the booming, tear-down neighborhoods in Dallas, there are million dollar homes being built right door next door to 60-year-old, $150K thousand dollar homes. Having said that, the lots we are purchasing are hand-picked and are the best of the available lots in each community. Our goal will provide new life to these older communities, as well as growth.
Another part of the compromise to obtain our “$99K starting price” goal is based on the size and cost of the lot, as well as how to handle the black and grey water waste (sewage). The larger the lot the more expensive they are to purchase, which is the case with most land acquisitions. Smaller lots are less expensive, but one of common draw backs to the smaller lots, especially in Texas, which came about after these communities were developed is; a typical new home requires having to purchase several smaller lots to accommodate a large, and expensive, aerobic septic system. We believe our approach will work well, as do the experts we have consulted with; including the health department of Hood, County.
Texas Tiny Homes, starting price, site-built, luxury homes in Granbury are only slightly over 600 air-conditioned square feet, and only have one bathroom, or one and half bathrooms, a kitchen and washer and drier, and were designed for one or two persons to live in comfortably, and economically. These small luxury homes do not require a typical, costly, septic system, nor do they need two lots, which make the homes much more affordable. We are not willing to publicly provide our plans for working around the typical two lots, and one large septic system requirement scenario, but will say that a composting toilet, and a grey water irrigation approach will be two of the options in achieving the $85K starting price. Composting toilets are very much a part of off-grid living around the world, and there are many models and brands to chose from that seem to be very popular with the tiny and small house movement.
The Sun Frost CS composter system incorporates a sleek interior toilet and two 55 gallon batch composters outside to finish the composting process. Food scraps increase biodiversity and actually makes the composting process more effective.
The Sun Frost CS composting system does not require a drain field or have large electrical requirements to evaporate liquids. The only electrical requirement is about 2 watts for a ventilation fan. The fan can be provided in DC for solar applications or AC for grid tied installations. Odor in the bathroom is controlled by two methods, covering the toilets contents with saw dust or peat moss and a fan powered ventilation system. Even without a ventilation system, covering the content of the toilet with sawdust has proven itself effective. For many years, a similar home built toilet system outlined in the “Humanure Handbook” effectively utilized this strategy. With the incorporated ventilation system the Sun Frost CS is even more odor free than a conventional toilet, since the odors produced while using it are expelled directly outside.
For a single user exclusively using the CS it will take about 1 week to fill the 5 gallon interior storage container. If only solid waste is added the toilet will take more than 2 months to fill the interior container.
With this batch composting system one exterior drum is filled while the composting process is completed in the second drum. The 55 gallon composter only requires the addition of a dry material, such as wood savings. Wood shavings are readily available in feed and pet stores. Effective composting requires aeration (mixing), proper moisture content and warmth. Mixing in the 55 gallon drum is easy with the stainless steel “cork screw” type mixer provided with the kit. The exterior drums are also insulated to keep the compost warm, which speeds the composting. During winter months under very cold conditions the contents of the drums may freeze. Human manure and food scraps can still be added to the drum, composting will continue during warmer weather. A scoop, provided with the kit, makes emptying the drums a simple matter. When emptied the contents of the drum smell and look like healthy topsoil.
If composting toilets are not something you would be interested in we have other options including standard type toilets that we can discuss, which will be a little more costly for you over the long run, but will not effect the starting price of our new homes. Click this contact link and send us an email stating your interest, and we will get back with you right away.