Hey Everyone! We are Robert and Samantha Garlow, a husband and wife team that designed and built our 24’ THOW on weekends, paycheck to paycheck, over the course of 14 months. This project became a testament to what belief in yourself and trust in each other can achieve when applied to a shared vision and we now have everything we need and nothing that we don’t; an equilibrium that is incredibly liberating. This journey has been an exercise in minimalism in which excessive material possessions and the time and effort required to acquire, store, clean, organize and eventually sell or discard them is minimized and our time is spent doing more meaningful things.
The idea of a tiny house aligns closely with many of the underlying principles we believe in, including reducing our ecological footprint, but the conversation was ultimately kick started by our interest in saving money and increasing our option for mobility. For the past seven years we had rented apartments while borrowing the money needed to acquire our educations and we were ready to make a change. The thought of buying a house and acquiring more debt in the form of a mortgage while trying to pay off six figures worth of student loans was a huge red flag. A brief joke about building a tiny house evolved into reality when we realized that it would help achieve all of the goals we were currently pursuing while sparking a new sense of excitement in us.
There were other things of interest, including the firsthand experience and knowledge gained by taking on such a project combined with the ability to apply my formal education (architecture) to a unique real world scenario in which we would be experiencing both the positive and negative consequences of our design first hand. We also saw it as a fun challenge; another opportunity to spend a lot of time with each other, toiling away at a communal project and learning even more about our strengths and weaknesses along the way.
Our unique roof profile was a result of our interest in reducing the unnecessary weight, energy costs and construction costs associated with over 270 cubic feet of unneeded volume in certain areas of the house and also lends itself to a more aerodynamic form when transporting. We applied some innovative construction techniques to our home by combining 2×3 advanced framing with 1” of continuous exterior insulation to create a lighter wall assembly with better thermal performance than that of a standard 2×4 wall. We used 100% reclaimed siding including re-milled walnut and salvaged corrugated metal from the roof of a 50 year old local barn.
We also wanted our THOW to support our outdoor lifestyle so we built a dedicated area adjacent to our 180 sf of living space to store the tools and equipment that allow us to do what we love. We now life full time in our tiny house base camp on wheels in the center of the Pacific North West and spend our time thoroughly exploring the deserts, mountain tops, coastlines, rivers, thermal waters and forests of this incredibly diverse corner of our country.
Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to explore our home and maybe even toss us a vote in this friendly contest!:)
If you would like to learn more about or D.I.Y. Tiny House on Wheels, we invite you to explore some of our resources below:
Our E-BOOK: BUILT WITH OUR HANDS: A D.I.Y. Tiny House Memoir
We were drawn to the nick name ‘SHED’ because it spoke to the simple form and a utilitarian design that we sought (noun) while
simultaneously speaking to the process of downsizing and simplifying when used as a verb. We have included some photos of us building our tiny house below!