How do I find a place to park a tiny house?  After two years of talking with thousands of people about tiny houses at our monthly open houses, workshops and conferences, that is the most common question I get asked.  Therefore, as Boneyard Studios has started our quest for the next location where the Matchbox and Pera houses will move later this fall, we realized that we should be documenting the process of searching for new space.

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Exploring DC’s alleys

Thus far it’s been an exciting, although exhausting, endeavor as we’ve been having multiple meetings a week with vacant property owners, homeowners, city officials, and community organizations.  Friends and a real estate agent have been sending me ideas for properties.  Of course, most of these leads will not become our next location, but it’s still been fun to explore the city’s alleys and vacant properties and start paying attention to spaces that I have previously never noticed.  As a geographer, I can’t neglect to bring mapping into this quest, so we are also working with a GIS student who is doing an analysis for us using city databases of vacant and blighted properties and alley lots to help narrow down the properties we consider.

Private lot with a shipping container and truck

Private lot with a shipping container and truck

 

The potential properties are everything from backyard space to vacant, very urban (and visible) properties to huge lands that have yet to be developed.  The ownership varies from private homeowners to developers to city-owned property, all of which will affect what we can do with the space.   Both Jay and I have a preference to partner with the city and/or a community-driven organization/business, and we just had a great meeting discussing this possibility and some potential properties. As we continue with this search for new space, stay tuned for posts on the process.  To the extent that we can share our process publicly, we will and hope it can serve as resource to others, both individuals in the tiny house community and to organizations in other cities who are working on similar initiatives.  And, of course, if you have ideas for locations or would like to chat with us about partnerships, please send us an email.

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Lee, The Houses
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Join the conversation! 18 Comments

  1. What kind of characteristics are y’all looking for? I’m a software/web developer looking to build my own tiny house and I’d love to find a way to programmatically find suitable locations.

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  2. This may seem weird, but we found our space on Craigslist. I posted an ad for exactly what we wanted, and a couple months later got a random email, and that’s where we are now parked.

    I also found our rental house this way. They were both a shot in the dark, but we found exactly what we want for both houses!

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  3. How do you get around ‘legal’ issues for year round dwelling?

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  4. Thank you for paving the way. What truly needs to happen is for building & zoning codes to get updated to include tiny/small homes. Please continue to keep us posted w/ your progress!

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  5. […] On Friday, we had the privilege of joining the actors, playwrights, production crew, and the friends and family of Pinky Swear for a lovely dress rehearsal, hopping from set to set for a wonderfully diverse collection of plays, all developed by local female writers. I can’t really offer an impartial review, of course—how could I not absolutely love seeing the Matchbox transformed into the lovers’ cabin of “Josie, June, and Death,” or be more-than-a-little moved by the break-up taking place in the Minim House’s “For Emma” as we come to terms with a tiny house break-up of our own? […]

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  6. […] Update your bookmarks, tiny house folks! In keeping with the non-profit nature of Boneyard Studios, we’re now at boneyardstudios.org. You’ll find all the content since the start of our little tiny house project right here at the new site, plus lots more content coming about tiny house design, tiny house living, and of course, our search for new space. […]

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  7. This is the main issue I have. Due to local regulations (western Canada), I’d have to either go rural or a mobile home park to go tiny. A friend has recently had a tiny house built and her travel park location will cost more than a one bedroom apartment in a more convenient location. Plus the cost of the loan for the house.

    I’d love to go custom-built tiny – am already in a 230 sq ft studio – but it’s not yet practical.

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  8. Great idea. What are you doing with the poop? Permitting? So many questions!

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  9. We would also love to find a space in the city for a tiny house. Please keep us posted about your progress. And when you do decide a spot, maybe you can share the runners-up with those of us also looking! Thanks–and best of luck with your search.

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    • Hi Jody, We just had a meeting with others in the area who are interested in space. We will all be corresponding via private Facebook group about our respective searches and sharing information. Feel free to email me at lee@boneyardstudios.com and I can send you the link to the group

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  10. Like Jody, I am interested as well. What is the best way to get in touch and get info? I found a public group on FB and messaged that. Not sure if that is the right one or best way.

    Thanks in advance!
    Jenny

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  11. Can you send me the link as well? I am interested in a getting a tiny home, but have no idea where to park it?!

    Thanks!

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  12. […] our search for new tiny house community space continues into 2015, we’ve spent a good bit of the past six months meeting with city officials, […]

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  13. […] landlord-tenant law), but Lee chose to move her house to a friend’s backyard until we could find space for a new community. We hoped that the harassment would end there, yet a week later, just hours before our final tiny […]

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  14. I am sorry things broke down with Brian so I will post here also. I would like to speak with those who are Boneyard about a Tiny Home Community. I do have property that would work.

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