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We Own a 100 Year Old Tiny House – Now What?

We chatted with our neighbors the other day and they told us that the house was originally a ticket office for the train that ran through Alameda.  The building was moved from it’s original location just a few streets away to our current site. A kitchen and bathroom were built off the back and voila – it became a house. We moved over a few items from our storage unit (desk, dresser and chairs) as well as necessary Airstream goodies (mattress, clothes, kitchen and bathroom stuff, etc) and are now living in the new abode.  The back unit is now full to the gills with the rest of the storage unit – kitchen wares, a few pieces of furniture, family items, etc. Our hope is to live here for a few months to get an idea of how we want to move forward with the remodel. Once we decide on a plan and get it approved by the City of Alameda we will move out of the house and back into the Airstream for the duration of the remodel.  Yahoo – this year is gonna be fun.

Details: 483 square foot main house, 110 square foot back studio, 90 square foot garden shed, 3800 square foot fenced in property.

Check out the before and inspirational photos below.


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The back unit (above on the right) will turn into our office/guest bedroom space.

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We hope to enclose the porch and turn it into additional interior living space.  We will build a new smaller porch off the front.

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We want to remove 2 of the 3 interior walls to create an open floor plan. We will also lift the low ceiling to expose the A-frame roofline and possibly create a loft bedroom.

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We will remove all the carpet and replace it with reclaimed local hardwood.

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The original ticket office was built with redwood and is still in great shape.  We hope to expose some of this beautiful wood if possible.

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The back of the house (kitchen and bathroom) was added once the building was moved to this location.  The slanted roof doesn’t fit with the original A-frame roof.  We will extend the A-frame across the entire roof.Image copy 2

INSPIRATIONAL PHOTOS – We have collected some ideas that inspire us as we move forward in this eco renovation.  Check them out below.

modern eichler kitchen

David Toerge Photography

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  1. I wish you luck, it looks like a cute little house and think you’ll do magic with that space! Love your inspirational photo’s.

  2. Breathtaking! I loved those inspirational pictures. I can see your vision. The house is “tiny” I guess by definition but it looks like you’ll have plenty of space. I know you ladies know how to work it out after spending a long time in that fabulous RV of yours. Big congratulations on this next chapter! xoxo

  3. Congratulations! An old ticket office? How cool! Looks like it’ll be a great project.

    We’re ironically in the opposite position as you guys — my husband and I are going to be selling or renting our 100-year-old house in Tennessee that we renovated and move in the 1965 Airstream we’re completely overhauling. We have a web design and digital marketing business we want to run from the road while exploring the US together with our three rescue dogs.

    Best of luck to you, post lots of pics, and let us know if you want any advice! We did a lot of work stripping and refinishing wood, exposing brick, and sanding down our original wood floors. We’d be happy to share some photos from our experience too!

    • Thanks so much Kristin. Good luck with your awesome adventure!!!

  4. Sweet little house! Can’t wait to come for a visit!

    • Hey Steph! Hope you and Leah are well. Can’t wait to have you and the family for a visit!!!

  5. Awesome project! This is something Trent & I would like to find. The story of it being an old ticket office is a bonus. love a story.

    • Hey Stephanie. Thanks for writing. We are psyched to hear more about the railroad/ticket office connection and hopefully get some old pics of the house in it’s original state.

  6. Cece, this so exciting! You should really start your own small footprint company!

    • Oh Robin. So good to hear from you – writing us on the blog. I love your idea of a small footprint company. Great minds think alike! I am currently collaborating with the eco cabinet guy that helped us with our Airstream (Eron). He wants to segue his business towards the small living movement and I will bring along my research, marketing and “get it done” attitude… well Brenda does too but already has a full-time job:) Our house could be a demo site for small footprint living along with the Airstream parked in the driveway. The ideas/opportunities are endless. We would love to have your lovely family down for a visit once the renovation is complete.

  7. I can tell this is going to be a great project, you two have a great sense of style. I’m looking forward to following this renovation.

    • Hey Michael – thanks so much for writing us! We are excited to take on this remodel. We are meeting with the architect very soon to discuss ideas. Cheers.

  8. I am interested to see the outcome after reviewing your inspirational photos!

  9. Great idea here – glad you aren’t building a massive house on a tiny lot… like the idea of an eco tiny house too. Nice job!

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