Brian and his family, like many others, have found financial relief and housing independence through tiny house living. His skill as a woodworker, mixed with some motivation for his own space, sparked a vision for a tiny house on wheels, which he and his family now call home. Read more of their story below:
Why did you decide to build a tiny house?
I decided to build a tiny house over other forms of tiny dwellings for a lot of reasons. Too many to mention, but a couple examples are space and design freedom. You get a lot more space with the tiny house platform, and the fact that I’m a woodworker and finish carpenter I liked the idea of fully designing my own home.
The choice to go “tiny” generally is a whole other question that’s quite broad, but generally speaking, we live in a very expensive part of the world, and this new lifestyle has afforded us a high degree of financial freedom and the ability to live debt free.
We found ourselves in a rental market with very high occupancy and prices and were unable to find a place. We wound up in someone’s spare room/shed with no running water so I decided to build us a house and get out of renting permanently
I live with my wife Carlene and my daughter Blossom. I would say that the biggest challenge is shifting your mindset about ownership, possessions, and success. We’ve made a huge effort to downsize dramatically, getting rid of everything we don’t need. We’ve made the decision that owning our own home, however small that may be, is more important than renting a big house, or driving a fancy car, or displaying superficial success in any way. Debt is the enemy of progress for people with a modest income, so by flipping traditional models upside down, we’re able to live debt free, pursue our interests and spend time together as a family.
We are currently parked on bare land, and I trade work to the landowner for our rent. We’re in a remote part of the woods on a small island off the coast of BC.
Can you describe your space?
Our tiny house is built on an 8x24’ custom-made aluminum trailer that I specially designed to live in this environment close to the ocean. If you count the lofts as square footage then the total floor space is 311 sq ft.
My eventual goal is to have an off-grid setup, so the wood stove is a vital part of that recipe.
How did you choose your wood stove?
The two kinds of stoves I found online that seem to fit the tiny house market - and were affordable enough to be approachable - were Cubic stoves and Dwarf stoves. My initial choice was Cubic because of the lower price and the Canadian manufacturing, but what I liked a lot more about the Dwarf from Tiny Wood Stove was the availability of parts and kits to do the installation. Those parts and their safety is a big deal and a huge selling feature for Dwarf stoves.
How difficult was your wood stove installation?
It wasn’t difficult at all, it was a satisfying experience to get the job done with no hassle and such a high-quality installation kit. All my questions were quickly answered by the tiny wood stove staff and everything turned out great.
How have you been enjoying heating your tiny home with wood?
The dwarf has been an excellent addition to our tiny home. This past year was our first winter living in it full time, and the wood stove was amazing. It is our only source of heat, and even on the coldest nights, it kept the house so warm we were able to keep our loft windows cracked for a nice little breeze.
I would definitely recommend the stove to anyone wanting to buy one! It is very well made, simple, and effective for everyday use.
Here is another great example of how the tiny house movement consists of creative, resilient, and passionate people. Brian took a situation that could have been a discouragement, but instead found inspiration for a better way to meet his family's needs. To check out more of Brian's craftmanship, you can find him on Instagram with the name @bjmacwoodwork.
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