The Owner-Builder Network

A Tiny House on a River Island

Sauvie Island Portland OR – Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Built: 1940
Renovated: 2009
Area:  50m2 (540 sq. ft.)

When the owners bought this home in 2008 they decided to try to live within the existing footprint.  Step 1 was to design the interior for maximum efficiency.

A Tiny House on a River Island

The owners also wanted to recycle as much as possible.  Here is an except from the owner’s blog:

“The house is an interesting experiment in reduction and reuse not only because it is only 540 square feet or because it was remodeled using nearly exclusively reclaimed materials, but because the building itself is now being recycled for the fourth time. It was first built in the early 1940s as part of Vanport Village; a quickly erected development built to house shipyard workers. When Vanport Village flooded in 1948 this particular little house was floated down the river to Sauvie Island, where it became the goose-check station. Years later it was remodeled to become a rental house.”

Aiming for self-sufficiency, the couple built a 1,200 sq. ft. greenhouse in their first year and run chickens for meat and eggs.

Could you live in a small house like this?  Many of us could be debt and relatively care free if we were prepared to make the same decisions Jessica and Yianni have made.

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