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Tiny”ish” House

Living Large in a Tiny House

DEMO BEGAN 6/1/2014… we are now done (SEE FINISHED PICS HERE)… see pic below.

Tiny house Alameda, CA

Welcome to our Tiny House page – dedicated to our tiny home remodel in Alameda, CA. As of January 2013, we are the proud owners of a 500 square foot 100 year old house in Alameda, CA.  We are looking forward to an entire eco remodel that will take place throughout 2014/15.  The main house is 483 s.f. to be exact and there is a detached separate bonus building out back that is 110 s.f.  Our new wonderland sits on a 3800 s.f. lot that is fenced on all sides.  As you can see from the pic below the 38 foot driveway can comfortably fit the Airstream.

For more current photos as well as our inspirational ideas/photos, check out

Original house BELOW.

Please continue to read through this page.  If you want to see all blog posts related to tiny houses and prefabs, click the link – see tiny house blog posts.

We have big plans for this little house.  We are working with local eco architect David Burton ( who specializes in sustainable living spaces.  Some ideas we will incorporate are a vaulted ceiling, adding up to 300 s.f to the house, reclaimed hardwood flooring, rain water collection, storage in the stairs, a rolling dining room table that will fold and tuck under the stair landing, low flow toilet, building a loft-like open concept living space, LED lights, a mud room/indoor garden room, rebuilding the rotted wood porch, energy efficient appliances, reclaimed furniture made from the wood from the original house (we have to remove the roof/roof structure and most walls).  The foundation and subfloor are in great shape and we will base the footprint of the house off the current layout. In the yard, we want to create a retreat like planting extravaganza – espaliered fruit trees along the fence, rainwater collection, veggie garden, low water plants and grasses, vine trellises an outside shower and more.  We will attempt to use recycled materials as much as possible and document our progress every step of the way.

Architectural Plans


Original 483 s.f. floor plan


New 812 s.f. floor plan (first floor) – original porch enclosed to add more living space and new smaller porch added. Stairs lead to loft bedroom.


New second floor plan – Stairs lead to bedroom loft.


New 812 s.f. floor plan on property plan – Airstream in driveway.


Side view with dormer over loft bedroom.


Front and rear views with dormers added for head room above stairs and above bed in loft.


Side view with dormer above stairs for head room.



2013 – Burton Architecture creates architectural/construction plans, City of Alameda Design Review Board approval, identify construction manager and subs, save some money for construction.

June 2014 – Begin remodel process!!!!!

OTGR tiny house

Alameda is an island located in the San Francisco Bay – see below.


  1. Oooooh, this outta be good! Congrats ladies!

  2. Thanks Jen.

  3. CeCe and Brenda. Wow, your cottage is so cute. I cant wait to see the inside when your done with the remod.

    Take care,
    Beth Lynn

  4. Hey Beth – thanks for finding us online 🙂 We will invite you over for the demolition too!

  5. Hello,

    We’re interested in doing a similar project, and are wondering how you went about getting sponsors?


    • Hello Alex – sponsorship is such a large topic to discuss but good for you for moving in the direction of your dreams. Feel free to write us – info at greenrvlife dot com. You can share your ideas and we can comment. We worked with local companies as much as possible and they donated labor and materials. In return, we held open houses at their store sites and mentioned them throughout our website. But more than this we created wonderful long lasting relationships with many of them and for this we are so very thankful.

  6. It’s gonna be a great looking tiny house. Very nice!

  7. This looks so exciting; it has been fun to watch your plans evolve over the past year and now the work begins!
    Wondering what thoughts lead you to put the dining table away from the kitchen and at the entry way as opposed to minimizing the dining “footprint” by attaching it to the kitchen and then having the rest of the space (albeit, part entry way) as a “great room” concept?
    We look forward to some photos starting with demolition!

    Jim and Marsha

  8. Hey Jim and Marsha – Great to hear from you again!! Thanks for still following along. You are actually correct and the drawing is incorrect. We will either add a pull out table off the kitchen island or a drop down table off the wall somewhere so that the open area you are referring to is left open 🙂 This will allow the dining table (wherever it ends up) to be out of the way and pulled out when needed.

  9. Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring on other
    websites? I have a tiny house blog on the same topics you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would appreciate your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

  10. Hi Paket – yes this sounds good. Let’s hear more:)

  11. Your place is beautiful! I was wondering, did you have any problems with the zoning department as far as setbacks and minimum lot size goes?

    • Hi Mills – We used a local architect who was familiar with zoning and building laws. We did not have a problem with set backs or minimum lot size because we simply worked with the existing small house that was on the property.

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