Hello

Hello everyone!  Welcome to my tiny house blog.  Building a tiny house has been quite an interesting journey that lead to public speaking engagements and cameos in two documentaries.  It also allowed me to live in California despite its insanely huge rent prices and inadequate salaries.

I took me 3 years to design and save for this house during which time I did massive amounts of research.  It took under two months to build the outer shell and another 2 years of evenings and weekends to finish the inside.  I have been living in it now for 8.5 years as of January 2019.

I have lectured at two Sunset festivals in the south bay and at the American Institute of Architects in San Francisco (AIASF) https://www.aiasf.org/page/about  

I have written for The Tiny House Blog which is Kent Griswold’s amazingly inspiring site.  His blog is what inspired me to get this project going.  Check out my article about plumbing:   http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-house/tiny-civilized-life/    (My friend Paul suggested a hilariously different title for my article on tiny house indoor plumbing and the pursuit of a civilized life:  “The continuing saga of fecal redistribution in compact living modalities”.  His title is way better and I have writers envy now.  Here is an article about a million tiny orange tiles:  http://tinyhouseblog.com/tiny-house/just-can-build-house/

I was in radio show interview, a BBC documentary and a film that was featured at the Napa Film Festival. I conducted a half hour Q & A at the Napa Film Festival on November 15th   Here is an article about the filmmakers: http://www.salon.com/2013/11/14/tiny_houses_cute_environmentally_friendly_and_sometimes_illegal/

Here is my Q & A session at the Napa Film Festival:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JjcuMPGHpQ

Reportedly the film played on Al-Jazeera. So some of my 15 minutes of fame will be on Al-Jazeera?  Whaaat?! 

In the BBC documentary I’m featured right after Jay Schaffer:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-16348594

 

If you want to see the building and planning process check out the posts listed in the column to the right.

Most recent posting is on the top.  Start at the bottom and watch the house grow.

Here is a very early picture of my house along side a more recent one. 

 

 

“Small rooms and dwellings set the mind on the right path,

large ones cause it to go astray.”  Leonardo Da Vinci

And now for a big dose of GRATITUDE!

I want thank all of you for your love and moral and technical support, your patience, inspiration and belief in me. Thanks to my brother and sister in law for helping me win the money for the very first house purchase- the hardwood floor, at the craps table in Vegas.  Thanks to all those lovely people who made me believe I could actually pull this off.  I quite literally could not have done this without you.  And thanks for not laughing at me or making me feel as crazy as I was already feeling for fixating on this absurdly creative project.  That is you Doritt, Abe and Matt  and all the lifelong friends who could see I was seriously obsessed and stubborn enough to make it happen.  Thanks to you, tiny house builders who came before, who showed me it could be done and even explained how to do it live or on the internet.  Thanks to the lovely people of Napa for not running me out of town, for letting me camp in your shopping center and to the campground folks who took pity and let me bathe. Thanks Re-stores (before you got overly proud of your stuff and started charging waaaay too much), thanks to craigslist for helping me find tools, materials and a place to park the finished product.  Thanks to all the trees and wildlife of the land that has been my home for just under a decade.  I finally got the bucolic bliss I had been longing for since childhood.   Thanks to the unseen forces for getting me through those difficult moments when I stood quietly crying in a hardware store because I couldn’t figure out what to get, and for helping me figure out how to do stuff I had no idea how to do.  

I am grateful for you all!

 

 

I guess I took old Bucky literally and built me a new model.

No more crappy, over priced, moldy, noisy, substandard, apartments, ever again!

33 comments on “Hello
  1. lornagarano says:

    Go, Cat and Pacifico! The house looks great! -Lorna

  2. Paul says:

    is that you in the white dress? I didn’t think living there would be so formal.

  3. Kaih says:

    Big Spirit, Big Love makes perfect living space! Enjoy your adventure!

  4. Karen Wise Roselle says:

    Cat!

    I just met you today at The Salvation Army and am so excited to come and see your place. It’s beautiful and I can only imagine the blood, sweat, and tears (AND LOVE) that went into it all.

    Thanks for being you, Cat…..

    Karen

  5. artist888 says:

    I am so grateful to have found you on the Tiny House blog through Facebook. Over an hour later and I’m still on your blog. You are inspiring and funny, funny, funny. I am 55 and love that you are building your tiny house at 50. I know some day I will fulfill my dream of one. Right now, I’m letting it percolate in my head and I’m obsessed with all the blogs and photos out there. Videos were where I got my first glimpse…actually NPR did a nice story on them with photos and I got hooked on different makers of tiny house floor plans. Then like you said, it’s gone viral and now you can find yurts and more. I think I will end up being the older hippie I never was when I was younger. Thank you for this great place to hangout.

    • limacatz says:

      Oh, so sweet. Thank you. It makes my heart glow to know that I have accomplished my goal of inspiring others (especially women) to take this journey of building a home. It really is a lot of work but so very rewarding. Going out to finish my deck now. If you are ever in the neighborhood and want a tiny tour come on by. Life in my gypsy wagon is so peaceful. I wish everyone the happiness I’ve found living like this.

  6. Michele Favarger says:

    Love the curved roof. I am in the planning stages of my own tiny build and have been considering a curved roof. I would love to connect with you around any info or challenges you experienced with that particular kind of roof shape. May the manifesting continue, and it harm none.

    • limacatz says:

      Yes the curved roof is one of my favorite items too. Was almost too scared to try it. ANd it was one of the biggest challenges. Probably did it wrong but it seems to be holding up so guess time will tell. Email me if you like or come for a visit. Would be happy to discuss the whole messy creative endeavor of building a house. Basically I obsessed over it for 3 years first then it just sorta happened. Single minded focus apparently works. 🙂 limacatz@gmail.com is my address

  7. eric says:

    you should put your sketchup plans up at their new site! This is a really cool design, I’d love to look at it in more detail…. awesome work!

    • limacatz says:

      I had problems with loading sketch up on my new computer so probably won’t do that. I’m not an architect by any means so not sure how helpful my plans would be to anyone else. I was seriously winging in it then hired a house builder for a week to give me advice on how to actually implement it properly and safely. He taught me how to square up walls etc as well.

  8. Marsha says:

    Cat, I LOVE what you have done, and hope I can do something similar in Ohio! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful life!
    Marsha

  9. Jeannie Delamater says:

    I just visited Cat and Pacifico this past weekend and was so inspired by their wonderful tiny home. It has a warm and welcoming vibe and it makes you feel happy just to be there. Thank you so much, both of you, for welcoming me into your home and even feeding me so well! Bonus! 🙂 Jeannie

    • limacatz says:

      Thanks Jeannie. Glad you liked the tiny tour and tiny meal. Wait til the deck is covered and there will be even more room for a visit. Bring your pals.

  10. Amazing home and great blog! I just started my tiny home and love your design.

    • limacatz says:

      It is a challenging and super fun journey building a home. I’ve been at it a year now and still not finished. It’s so cool to watch it evolve into being. Good luck with yours.

    • limacatz says:

      I so wanted to build a tiny house model like I saw on your blog but couldn’t do it. Which of course made me worry that if I couldn’t build a model how the heck was I going to build the house. Then I discovered sketch up which consumed lots of time but saved my hiney. Loved your blog. I got one of those wrist magnets to hold screws. Since i’m a girl it reminded me of the ones we have for sewing to hold pins and needles!

  11. Xtine says:

    Wow you are a true inspiration! I have been in the rent rat race for 21 years, have zero interest in getting in the mortgage rat race, and AM going to build a Tiny House Community in Upstate NY!!! You are great, thank you!

    • limacatz says:

      Awesome plan. That is the only thing missing where I live- community. Neighbors are nice and making friends who live half an hour away but nothing much in the way of community where I live. That might be the next step. Keep me posted on your process of building etc. Thanks for the positive feedback!

  12. Sessie says:

    Cat! I miss your updates & photos. How are you? Are you staying warm?

    • limacatz says:

      The winter got the best of me but I stayed warm. Will finish the shower so help me god by the time my Chiron return is exact this month! Will post new photos of all the changes then. Maybe in a week or 2. Hows all with you?

  13. mdpatrick says:

    I’m very curious about your experience of doing this in the bay area. It seems like, due to population density, the laws here are somewhat strict about allowing you to live in one of these. I’m curious about both your individual experience, and also what you used as a resource for finding out what you COULD do with respect to where to park & live in a tiny house.

    • limacatz says:

      Craigslist miracle. When I almost had shell finished I put an ad in the area I wanted to live in. I was blessed by the worlds best landlord. He’s great! In fact it allowed me to move back into my home state which I had left because I couldn’t handle the high rent for mold and leaky slum living anymore. Sonoma allows alternative living like compost toilets and tiny houses. Marin does not. But if you are on a big property well who will know? Also technically you will be a trailer not a house so rules are different. Check what the rules are for living on a property in a trailer. They are usually about 6 months or so. You stay 6 months then go away for a few days and come back for another 6 months. Remember: trailer that looks like a house is still a trailer. I call myself sustainable, classy trailer trash!

  14. Tara says:

    @mdpatrick – although it isn’t about building a tiny home in the bay area – it is about gardening – you should check out the book “Urban Gardener” – something like that – it’s about a lady who moved to the bay area and started a garden in the lot next to her, with goats and turkeys and all!

  15. Gayle says:

    Hi Cat,
    I’m interested in buying land and building tiny in the Northern California area Wondering if you’ve run into any legal situations due to your home. Are you in Sonoma County and how have they handled your home?
    Gayle

    • limacatz says:

      We rent a space and so far Sonoma seems very amenable. Nor Cal loves its tiny houses. Everyone I talk to has heard about them or seen one by now. It’s gone viral for sure. When you get a place keep in touch!

  16. Love the sweet orbs on the photo of the whole tiny house!

  17. Edie says:

    I am so happy to see the porch on your beautiful home. I think big-enough-for-sitting-and-reflecting porches are So important for homes. I also love the space for your Cat! Congratulations .

    • limacatz says:

      Yes I do believe my “southern” pals have rubbed off on me. We sit on the porch and watch the deer walk by now. Quality of life is finally here! That only took 50 years to find. The stars here are awesome too. Could definitely do without racoons however. I understand why nature made them so cute and not very tasty otherwise they would be extinct by now. They have done nothing but dig up my garden despite our efforts to stop them, for 2 months! So yes, deck keeps kitty safe from them too. Kitty loves her new house. I told her for 3 years (while planning) that I was going to build her a house so she could live in the woods. I think she was starting to doubt me. That’ll teach her. Oh feline of little faith.

  18. What an amazing journey in the tiny house world. You never know when the BBC will show up, or maybe you do!! LOL

  19. I really enjoyed your journey Would be lovely if you posted more frequently. Personally, I recently joined the Tiny House Movement and am enjoying every bit of it.

    If fact, my love is so great that i personally built a picture site dedicated to the tiny house movement. You can share all your Tiny house living pics from your building process to plans used, for the benefit of others just joining our movement and to attract readership back to your awesome blog. What do you think? I really would love to know.

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