08/19 Tiny home an innovation

Tracy LaRose’s 250 sq. ft. house means less clutter and lower living costs.

Tracy LaRose’s 250 sq. ft. house means less clutter and lower living costs. – Photo by Marcia Love

It’s a small world after all — at least for Tracy LaRose.

The Stony Plain resident has built her dream house, and friends who drop by for a quick tour are guaranteed just that — quick.

Her home is a cozy 250 square feet, and LaRose couldn’t be happier.

“There are some adjustments that you have to get used to, but other than that it’s nothing,” she said. “I have all I need right here.”

LaRose moved her home into the Stony Plain Lions RV Park & Campground in October. The house has a loft with a bed and television, and a main floor comprised of a small living room, kitchen, laundry nook, tiny utility room and bathroom. A small deck offers her a place to sit and catch the sun.

LaRose’s goal of downsizing started a few years ago when she set out to build a home out of a sea can. However, trying to find a company that could build one for her at the time was incredibly challenging. She eventually started looking at building a tiny home and joined a meet-up group called the Edmonton Tiny House Movement. The “tiny housers” — comprised of a few who actually “live tiny” and others who are enthusiastic about it — inspired her to pursue the project.

She hired Steve Zaleschuk of Finished Right Contracting in Morinville to build her dream, which was also his first tiny house undertaking. It was completed within four months.

The house is equipped with solar panels and is capable of going completely off-grid, although LaRose’s home is hooked up to water, sewer and electrical.

In-floor heating and an energy-efficient build means the home is still very warm during the winter.

In the bathroom, there’s a full-sized shower and a waterless toilet.

Her clothes are stored in cupboard-like nooks under the narrow staircase, and she even has room for a small dishwasher in her kitchen. And despite the tiny living quarters, she still has space for keepsakes around the house to create a homey feel. Her loveseat pulls out into a bed for the odd time she has a family member spend the night.

“The thing about living tiny is, everything has a place and everything has to go back in its place,” she explained. “I don’t like a whole lot of clutter and things, so it doesn’t bother me.”

By downsizing, she’s found a new way of living large. Lightening her materialistic load has left her with less stress and more freedom, LaRose said.

“It comes down to needs and wants,” she said. “It’s just simple.”

Zoning bylaws don’t allow her to move her home onto a residential lot, so the RV park is her home for now. But as more and more people are looking for ways to save money and downsize on space, she hopes municipalities will change their bylaws — especially given the difficult financial times for so many people.

Read more – http://www.sprucegroveexaminer.com/2016/08/19/tiny-home-an-innovation

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Elaine Walker