Tesla-Inspired Micro Tiny Home — It’s All About First Principles! (Part 2)

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In part one of this series, I described how the Tesla Cybertruck–inspired Micro Tiny Home was designed for a number of specific purposes. It was kept small to maintain heat in the winter and keep the costs as low as possible so that others can build new versions.  The design will be iterated and improved upon over time. Before going into further detail on the design, this article will share the backstory of the gentleman very much looking forward to living it in. His picture below has been taken out of focus to protect his anonymity.

Alekz Londos, the creator of the project, described the gentleman and his situation as follows:

“It is for a disabled, 59-year-old homeless man who is living on the sidewalk downtown Santa Cruz, California. Sadly, he is confined to a wheelchair; one of the wheels is broken with the bearings falling out. He is very nice, genuine, respectful, and polite. He explains he doesn’t want to live in the homeless tent camps because he doesn’t do drugs, doesn’t want to be around drugs, and since he has COPD, he is very concerned about contracting COVID-19 and dying. This structure will help protect him as cases surge and also keep him warm, dry, and safe through the winter months. It will provide him with privacy, dignity, and security he deserves.”

We have already raised enough to build one Micro Tiny Home for the gentleman. Currently, we have set the short-term goal of raising money for an improved version that should be cheaper and easier to construct based upon our mistakes and input from others. So, keep the suggestions coming.

It is important to note this Micro Tiny Home was designed because current laws are allowing people to shelter in place. If this was not the case, the Micro Tiny Home would be at risk of being seized. That may be the case in the future, so this project is not without risk. However, with COVID and winter in full swing, that risk is most acceptable.

Getting back to the design of the Micro Tiny Home, the entrance is just big enough to stand in crouching, but the back end will be a much tighter fit — though, there will be a shelf for personal items. The lumber is sustainably harvested and certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

According to spruce.com, “The FSC certification is considered the ‘gold standard’ designation for wood harvested from forests that are responsibly managed, socially beneficial, environmentally conscious, and economically viable.”

The simple rigid insulation was chosen because it is regularly available at your nearby hardware or building material store. It is easily cut to shape with a razor blade.

Here is a straightforward material list with cost estimates for the project, which can all be sourced at a Home Depot or another hardware store.

Cost estimates:

  • 3 4’x8′ plywood — $150
  • 3 4’x8′ insulation — $90
  • 10 2″x3″ boards — $35
  • 2 hinges — $5
  • 1 door handle — $5
  • 1 lock mount — $10
  • 1 lock and key — $10
  • 1 air vent — $10
  • 2 boxes of screws — $10
  • 1 gallon paint and brush — $15

All of these products, including FSC sustainable lumber, can be purchased at Home Depot. Home Depot is not currently sponsoring this project, but we will solicit the company for help after the publication of this article. If you know of any companies that want to help sponsor more Micro Tiny Homes, be sure to mention them in the comments.

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Kurt Lowder

I am a jock turned wannabe geek. I fell in love with science later in life thanks to the History Channel show the “Universe.” Having taught middle school science, I strongly feel Astronomy should be taught every year because nothing excites students more than learning about the cosmos. I became an avid cleantech fan because it gives me hope about the future. My wife, my dogs, and I live simply because we love to travel the world backpacker style.

Kurt Lowder has 58 posts and counting. See all posts by Kurt Lowder