Margaret Chandler, better known as remargaret, and her boyfriend Zach are embarking on a unique adventure in Charleston, South Carolina. They’re not just building any house; they’re constructing a tiny house, a cozy 315-square-foot home, including lofts.
This journey is documented on their blog, the Charleston Tiny House, offering a peek into the tiny house lifestyle. I had the pleasure of interviewing Margaret via email about their experience, challenges, and dreams associated with their tiny house project.
The Dynamics of Living in a Tiny Space
“Margaret, living in such a small space with someone else, let alone a dog, sounds challenging. Have you ever shared such small quarters before, and does it intimidate you?”
Margaret: “Thankfully, Zach and I have previous experience living in a studio apartment of similar size, so we’re hopeful that space won’t be an issue. Our tiny house includes two lofts that can act as separate bedrooms, providing us with personal space when needed. We also value outdoor space as an extension of our living area. So, no, we’re not terrified, but rather excited about this new chapter!”
Location, Lifestyle, and Logistics
“Where will your tiny house be located, and what are the anticipated costs and living arrangements?”
Margaret: “We’re building our tiny house in a friend’s warehouse located in the industrial part of Charleston. She runs an architectural salvage business, which has been a boon for sourcing most of our building materials.
Approximately 70% of our materials are reclaimed, adding character and sustainability to our home. We’re steering clear of the typical sinktoilet setup. Instead, I’m keen on retrofitting an old laboratory shower/eye wash station for our bathroom. We estimate the total build cost to be around $12,000, which is essentially a year’s rent. The goal is to break even after a year, and then it’s all savings!”
Avoiding Tiny House Pitfalls
“What are some common mistakes in tiny house building that you’re looking to avoid?”
Margaret: “I’ve been scouring the Tiny House Blog and Forums, which are treasure troves of information. While there aren’t many examples of Tiny House failures, it’s more about what to consider rather than what not to do. Both Zach and I bring unique skills to this project – I have an architectural background, and he is incredibly handy. We’re hoping not to add to the list of tiny house screwups!”
A Youthful Endeavor and Future Plans
“How old are you both, and what’s the long-term plan for living in your tiny house?”
Margaret: “We’re both 26 and plan to live in our tiny house for about 3–5 years. After that, we might sell it, transform it into a guest cottage, or build around it. It’s all about flexibility and adapting to our future needs.”
Life in a Tiny House with a Pet
“Tell us about your dog and the adjustments you’ll have to make in a tiny house. Also, what’s the projected move-in date?”
Margaret: “Our dog, Ani, is an Australian Sheephound/Border Collie mix. Adjusting to a tiny house with a pet requires downsizing in many aspects. Zach has already cut down his book collection significantly. As for me, I’ve got some antique furniture that I’m not ready to part with, so we’ll use a small storage unit.
Oh, and we had to sell a huge bronze horse sculpture – no room for that in a tiny house! We’re aiming to move in by next spring. Despite the challenges, including our current rental being foreclosed upon, we’re eagerly working towards completing our tiny home. And yes, there will definitely be a garden party to celebrate!”
Margaret and Zach’s journey into tiny house living reflects a growing interest in minimalistic and sustainable living. Their story is not just about building a small house; it’s about creating a home filled with love, creativity, and resourcefulness. As they continue their journey, they remind us of the beauty of living simply and the importance of adapting to our environment. Stay tuned to their blog, Charleston Tiny House, for more updates on their tiny house adventure.