Interview with Tiny House Owner: Justin Gibbs

 
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Two summers ago, we had the pleasure of meeting Justin - he and his partner had just come off the Appalachian Trail and moved their new tiny house to Vermont, right into town! Justin had Tiny House Crafters add gables into the roofline and help remediate their humidity and condensation issues. We became fast friends.

In fact, you might start to see more of Justin around the blog and on Instagram as he will be working with us on our builds this summer! 

Welcome, Justin, and thank you for taking the time to answer my tiny house questionnaire. 


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Why did you go tiny?

Strides towards financial freedom with an understanding of fiscal responsibility; these elements blended with a desire for more independence in how we choose to live.

Where did you get your tiny house from? 

It was purchased off Craigslist from a man moving to Seattle. The original company that built it is Tiny Green Cabins in Minnesota.

(Looking for a tiny house that's ready to buy? Check out Tiny House Listings!)

How long have you lived in your tiny house? 

3 years.

Who lives in the tiny house with you?

My partner Danielle, and our dog and cat, Luna and Samson

Where is your house parked and how did you find your parking?

The Taylor Farm in Londonderry, Vermont. Dani and I made a list of farms in southern Vermont and started calling them. Four calls in, we found our place.

(This story might sound familiar, I use it as an example for unconventional ways to find tiny housing in my Parking Guide. I'm so impressed by Justin and Dani’s resourcefulness!)

(Psst! You can visit the Taylor Farm to take winter sleigh rides, buy fresh milk and Vermont smoked gouda, partake in wood-fired pizza parties throughout the summer, pet lots of cute farm animals, and just maybe catch a glimpse of Justin and Dani’s tiny house and their awesome gardens!!)

How are your utilities set up? 

We have grid-tied electric. No plumbing, but we have traditional plumbing access at the main farmhouse. There is a propane four burner and cooking oven set up inside tiny house. A cubic mini wood stove is our heat source during winter.

(Here’s a link to the brand Justin and Dani use)

What have you learned in going tiny?

Plan, plan, plan. Also, be brave enough to let plans go when necessary. Understand your purposes and end goals in going tiny. Your primary moves, secondary, and ideally, final moves. Having a clear knowledge of these things will guide all other aspects of what going tiny will mean to you; both in building and living. Tiny might mean something very simple at times, like living in your means and being thankful for what is right in front of you. It can mean limiting what you bring in to your life, in order to focus on what is more precious to you. For me, I find that largely to be my time. I find my time overall far, far more precious than my money.

What are your long-term plans for your tiny life? 

Land ownership and continuing to live in our tiny while I build a larger house for our family.

What would you tell someone who is thinking of going tiny? 

Come have a cup of coffee and let's chat.

(I think he means it, guys! Let me know if you have a question for Justin. Justin and Dani and true inspirations for tiny living.)

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Thank you, Justin! I look forward to seeing you at the lunch table.

One thing I want to address is how different Justin and Dani’s story and lifestyle may seem from what you usually see throughout the blog. Most of my time is spent discussing complex utility conundrums, yet you might have noticed that Justin and Dani don’t have very many utilities at all! Truly, tiny living will be different for everybody. You may be the kind of person who wants a lot of luxury, modern amenities or you might be comfortable living more rustically. Or you might be somewhere in between!

Honestly, long-term-wise, there is no right answer for your custom utility system and it simply depends on how, when, and what investment it will take to get you there. There is no wrong way to live in your tiny house. 

The best thing about Tiny House Crafters? We build completely custom, so don’t hesitate to reach out if you want us to help build you a simpler tiny house like Justin’s. 

In the meantime, check out our winter utility guide:

Part 1: Maintenance, Propane, and Electricity
Part 2: Fresh Water Access, Gray Water Disposal, and Blackwater Disposal
Part 3: Insulation, Humidity, Condensation, Mold, and Wood Stoves

And our off-grid utility guide:

Going Off-Grid in a Tiny House

And, of course, let me know if you have any questions! Or jump right in and:


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Hi, I'm Kate and this is my Tiny House blog! For more than five years, my partner, Anderson, and I have been learning how to build tiny houses for the New England climate. Through much trial and error and of course, our wonderful clients, we have learned many building tips and tricks for designing utility systems and staying warm and dry all winter long. If you are looking to design and build a tiny house, please stick around!