Go Back  The Hull Truth - Boating and Fishing Forum > BOATING FORUMS > Dockside Chat
Reload this Page >

Need some help designing a "Tiny Space" **Project Started**

Notices

Need some help designing a "Tiny Space" **Project Started**

Old 09-08-2015, 07:56 AM
  #1  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Houston/Sargent, Texas
Posts: 5,324
Default Need some help designing a "Tiny Space" **Project Started**

Our house on the bay is really small, about 1150 square feet, and when we have friends and their kids down, its just too tight.

I have a metal barn that I'd like to convert the front 1/3 to a small apartment. I have attached a drawing that shows the current layout. I am wondering you guys think the best layout would be. Here are some requirements and ideas we had.

1) toilet needs to be behind a closed door
2) based on where sewer line is, it seems to make the most sense to put the toilet at the bottom left side of the drawing...we would have to cut the least amount of concrete this way.
3) We are going to put a vanity on the outside of the bathroom, it doesn't need to be behind a door
3) It needs to sleep 4 people comfortable...usually that would be 2 adults and two kids
4) we don't need any sort of kitchen-ette...if they are coming to stay with us, they will be eating with us
5) need to strategically locate the window AC unit.
6) the screen door is only 28" and its framed in by two concrete sunk posts
7) we were thinking to convert the sliding barn door into a set of glass french doors to make it a bit more inviting...would also give natural light.

If I think of anything else I will post it back up. Here are current pictures of the layout and the inside of the space.

Name:  FullSizeRender.jpg
Views: 46
Size:  146.5 KB

Name:  IMG_2036.jpg
Views: 63
Size:  180.0 KB

Name:  IMG_2035.jpg
Views: 53
Size:  223.7 KB

Name:  IMG_2038.jpg
Views: 57
Size:  225.5 KB

Last edited by freedbaby; 10-26-2015 at 09:21 AM.
freedbaby is offline  
Old 09-08-2015, 08:08 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 5,159
Default

My only comment would be to add a minimal kitchenette.

Some friends of mine built something similar - converted one bay of a three car garage, and the attic area above the other bays. Small sitting area, bath, kitchenette, and bunkhouse area. Works great.

Even though they are with you at the main house, it's nice to be able have stuff in the fridge, and a microwave in the guest house.
Design59 is offline  
Old 09-08-2015, 08:46 AM
  #3  
Admirals ClubCaptains Club Member Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Lighthouse Point
Posts: 5,029
Default

Are you going to pull a permit? If so there may be some minimal dimensions you need to pay attention to for disable access. When I remodeled we had to widen some doors.

I agree with the above that a minimal kitchen (microwave, small fridge, coffee maker). Guests will likely want to have a cup of coffee or tea as part of their morning routine.

I would add a small room (lower right? and stick in a couple of bunk beds and put a window in that room. In the main area you may want to consider a high quality sleep sofa as opposed to a real bed.

Need a flat screen too. Rather than a window unit why not one of those Mitsubishi units or an in-wall system like a motel?
joe.giuliano is offline  
Old 09-08-2015, 09:25 AM
  #4  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Houston/Sargent, Texas
Posts: 5,324
Default

We are out in the county in rural Texas...I can pretty much do whatever I want.

We are really just looking to make it pretty simple. I am not sure there is room to put a bedroom. I was thinking one big room with a queen or king and a Futon that kids can sleep on.

I hear you guys on the kitchen-ette but I'm not convinced. I can always add it later. I have a spare mini fridge and an extra Microwave so I guess I could.

What do you guys think about the door situation and the general layout of the space?
freedbaby is offline  
Old 09-08-2015, 09:57 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Bermuda
Posts: 1,594
Default

So is your drawing the third you are converting or are the measurements in meters?! Assume it's a 12 x 21 space not a 7' x 12' space.

Think about the essentials - size of futon and queen or double bed. How much space that takes. A room for a toilet. What's left over? Definitely no room for a bedroom. I thought everything was bigger in Texas??!!

Your screen door is fine, but snug. Sliding barn doors are all the rage. If you upgraded to french doors that would be good for light but you don't need it since you already have a screen door and two windows, especially if it is a 7 x 12. It will also take way from wall space you could use for the beds, vanity, etc.

No problem putting toilet on the wall closest to the sewer.

How long will they spend there? Weekends or maybe sometimes a week?

Not sure how close these people are and what type of relationship you have. Just most people want some space of their own - i.e. toilet and shower and agree with kitchenette for bare essentials.
Budget is offline  
Old 09-08-2015, 10:19 AM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,741
Default

I live in a relatively small home as well, 1 bdrm, 1 bath, with loft. 900sqft. So I can understand your issues.

The space you have picked out in the garage is not too far off a typical hotel room in size and layout. Since 4 can sleep easy in that space I think it is totally doable.

How handy are you and how creative do you want to get? Customized furnishings can open up a lot of space and make it useable when you don't have guests as well as when you do. Take a peak at the Tiny homes website for some ideas. Things like murphy beds, sleeper sofas, beds in the rafters or suspended beds that can be raised up with rope and pulley when not in use to form a partial ceiling etc.

Another key to living in small homes and entertaining larger groups is including outdoor space as living space. We spend a lot of time on the deck and porch and entertain there. After all, the point of country living is being outdoors and enjoying nature. Things like outdoor showers with privacy enclosure can be cheap & easy to add, eliminate a lot of bathroom congestion and also be useful when you don't have company.

I would say you should definitely consider a shower space in the guest quarters, be it indoor or outdoors. You will need to plan for some means of heating hot water. A demand style water heater can be very compact and woork well for this type of use depending on what fuel/power options you have available. I would also second the recommendation for a small fridge, TV, and microwave/coffee maker. This is all stuff that could do double duty as a man cave when you don't have guests. Although walls give some privacy, they also chop up the space and make everything seem smaller. Some thoughtfully made and placed privacy screens that are easy to set up and take down can work well for areas outside the bathroom. Also use 2X2 or 2X3 for wall construction on the bathroom to save space.

We used pocket doors throughout our house as space savers. They work but can be costly to frame and install and can limit what you place in/on the walls so if you use them make sure you plan it out.
A ceiling at 7'3" will make things feel mighty small and confined so I would leave the ceiling open with exposed rafters.
1blueheron is offline  
Old 09-08-2015, 10:29 AM
  #7  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
bellsisland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 5,917
Default

to utilize space I would consider a murphy bed, any other option that can flip things out of the way.
bellsisland is offline  
Old 09-08-2015, 10:51 AM
  #8  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Houston/Sargent, Texas
Posts: 5,324
Default

All good questions...

Nobody will be spending more than a long weekend there, and they will only be close friends or family that will be eating all meals with us.

As for the shower, I put in a really nice outdoor shower over a year ago and everybody loves it so much, that my indoor shower has not seen ONE SINGLE DROP of water since the weekend I finished it. NO Shower in this space....toilet and vanity is all we have plans for. Everyone loves to use that shower no matter the weather...in fact, people tell me that showering in winter while it's raining outside is the closest to heaven they have ever been. My hot water heater works like a dream!!!!

As for the screen door...its a bit of a small opening and if I cut it out bigger, I would have to do away with at least one support post for the barn which is why I went to the french door idea.

I am handy, have all the tools and will be doing all of it myself, well me and a friend...with the exception of cutting the plumbing through he slab. We have a buddy who is a MP that said for a fishing trip a good meal and some beer, he'd do it for me.

I was hoping to keep this on a low budget. My thoughts were a King size bed, a Futon, toilet, vanity and maybe if room a small table and a couple chairs.

We also were thinking to extend the slab out a bit further so the french doors would open onto a porch.

Oh, yes the measurements I gave are the 1/3 that I plan to use for this "tiny space"
freedbaby is offline  
Old 09-08-2015, 11:11 AM
  #9  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 16,751
Default

If it were me? I would go on all the websites for the finest hotel type places and copy their floor planning and just "adjust" it for your size (scale it so it makes sense).

Those people spend a fortune to maximize space and provide a nice experience... they've done the work for you.

One thing I'll add: the waterproof sheet rock is definitely your friend for this job.
OldPete is offline  
Old 09-08-2015, 03:34 PM
  #10  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: South Florida
Posts: 9,119
Default

I was going to say the same thing Pete did, build a hotel room. The layout is pretty standard - it's a rectangular box, door at one end windows at the other and a bathroom and closet at the front.

I understand the outdoor shower comments, a buddy had one and I did some house sitting for him, and sure enough it was actually pretty nice showering every morning in his "outdoor" shower (basically enclosed with no roof) but why not build another one? If you are running water for toilet and sink, do it right and put a shower fixture either in or out, silly to build a place to stay without a full bath.

Knock off 5' of width for a bath and you still have 12x16 for your bedroom which is plenty.

I think the difference between this being a nice place to stay vs a bed sitting in a garage will only be $1k-2k? It is amazing what you can pick up from the home depot and lowes clearance section when you are not in a hurry to build something.

Don't sell yourself short on your ability to build this out right and make it nice, if you're going to give up the storage space, make it worthwhile. Not sure your guests will appreciate the gesture otherwise. Alternately, build it out as a man cave for you and install a nice murphy bed or two along the walls. I would kill for an "extra" 12x21 space to do what I wanted with.

My $0.02, didn't put too much effort into scale but I think it works? Down here in FL the standard 60s bath is 5' wide by 8' long.
Attached Images  

Last edited by Flot; 09-08-2015 at 03:55 PM.
Flot is offline  
Old 09-08-2015, 03:44 PM
  #11  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
bellsisland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 5,917
Default

one more thought, before you lose your current space, why not one of those inexpensive 12x16 sheds, probably get one for $2500 or less, then you could do a small loft in one end or some other setup.
bellsisland is offline  
Old 09-08-2015, 05:35 PM
  #12  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Downeast, North Carolina
Posts: 6,131
Default

Originally Posted by bellsisland View Post
one more thought, before you lose your current space, why not one of those inexpensive 12x16 sheds, probably get one for $2500 or less, then you could do a small loft in one end or some other setup.
I just sold a 37' travel trailer with one slideout for $2500. Everything worked, 2 bedrooms, bath, full kitchen, dinning area and living room. The trailer isn't road worthy, 18 years old and a simple fix leak in the roof.

I wouldn't want to give up the space in the barn, so a trailer or separate building is what I'd suggest. BTW, my house is about the same size as yours and my solution for visitors is a nice hotel about 20 minutes away.
davedowneast is offline  
Old 09-08-2015, 06:04 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,271
Default

Does the concrete sweat on those humid days just before a weather change?
willie g is offline  
Old 09-09-2015, 07:06 AM
  #14  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Houston/Sargent, Texas
Posts: 5,324
Default

Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
If it were me? I would go on all the websites for the finest hotel type places and copy their floor planning and just "adjust" it for your size (scale it so it makes sense).

Those people spend a fortune to maximize space and provide a nice experience... they've done the work for you.

One thing I'll add: the waterproof sheet rock is definitely your friend for this job.
Good idea about the hotel website. And yes to the waterproof sheetrock, already had that thought.

Originally Posted by bellsisland View Post
one more thought, before you lose your current space, why not one of those inexpensive 12x16 sheds, probably get one for $2500 or less, then you could do a small loft in one end or some other setup.
I already have the barn and I am not using all of it. If push came to shove I could always extend the barn. I dont really want to put anymore buildings on the property unless its another boat house

Originally Posted by willie g View Post
Does the concrete sweat on those humid days just before a weather change?
Not at all, but it will have to be floated...it aint level, ANYWHERE.
freedbaby is offline  
Old 09-09-2015, 07:47 AM
  #15  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
atcfris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 11,909
Default

Nice rafters, good set up to hang a swing.
atcfris is offline  
Old 09-09-2015, 08:01 AM
  #16  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Houston/Sargent, Texas
Posts: 5,324
Default

Originally Posted by atcfris View Post
nice rafters, good set up to hang a swing.
lmao...
freedbaby is offline  
Old 09-09-2015, 08:35 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,741
Default

Based on the pictures it does not appear the space is insulated. If you are going to insulate, that will likely be your biggest expense. It could also be the trickiest. Steel buildings in humid climates like to sweat.

Next biggest expense will likely be your floor covering. You could do something like staining and waxing existing concrete or putting down a colored self leveling gypcrete. If it's not more than a 1" +/- out of level, you might be able to level it up laying tile.

Other than that, sounds like you got it under control.
1blueheron is offline  
Old 09-09-2015, 08:46 AM
  #18  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Houston/Sargent, Texas
Posts: 5,324
Default

Originally Posted by 1blueheron View Post
Based on the pictures it does not appear the space is insulated. If you are going to insulate, that will likely be your biggest expense. It could also be the trickiest. Steel buildings in humid climates like to sweat.

Next biggest expense will likely be your floor covering. You could do something like staining and waxing existing concrete or putting down a colored self leveling gypcrete. If it's not more than a 1" +/- out of level, you might be able to level it up laying tile.

Other than that, sounds like you got it under control.
Will for sure be insulated...any ideas for that other than the obvious?
freedbaby is offline  
Old 09-09-2015, 12:53 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 6,430
Default

I would put a full bathroom and closet along the wall opposite the barn door. Hang your big flat screen TV on that new wall. Close off the already small door. Place the fridge and a wet bar on that wall. Make usable door where barn door is. Place a pullout couch on wall that currently has the barn door. Cut new window in that wall. Place another pullout couch on the wall opposite the existing windows. Both couches pulled out should fit side by side on this wall when guests come to stay. Find a card table that can easily be stored elsewhere when guests come to stay and place it in the middle of the room. Do this and you have a man cave that can be arranged to sleep a few guests every now and then.
Blythe1022 is offline  
Old 09-09-2015, 12:54 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,741
Default

There are many different schools of thought on insulation and what the "right" way to do it is. Truth is, it varies a lot on location, use of the building and attention to detail in application.

You don't have standardized spacing from the looks of it in your exterior walls or trusses (16" or 24" OC) which means going to a big box and buying faced insulation and stapling it up your self won't work.

My recommendation would be to take the interior paneling out. Then call a professional spray foam company to come and spray 2" of Polyurethane closed cell sprayfoam directly to the metal. Don't let them talk you into more than 2". They will try to up sell you but this stuff isn't cheap and you only need 2" You are not going for "R-value" here. You are creating an airtight envelope and preventing thermal bridge through the steel. That is all. Once this is done and the spray foam contractor has gone, you can apply whatever interior finish you desire. No additional wall insulation is needed unless you desire sound control. You can do the same to the underside of the roof if you want to leave the exposed rafters. If you have no spray foam contractors around that do closed cell Poly or Iso, you can buy a DIY foam kit from Do-It Foam.

If you are going to conceal the rafters and want a flat ceiling, first apply 6mil or more poly sheeting to the rafters with staples, then screw T1-11 to the underside of the rafters and blow about 8"-10" of cellulose insulation on top of it between the rafters. You can get the bags of cellulose at a big box and they will give you the blower free for 24 hrs. It's a dusty job but you don;t have a lot of space to do. This can also be used in the interior partition wall for insulation and sound control. The poly sheeting is to prevent the cellulose dust from filtering down into the living space and also works as a vapor/air barrier. You have now basically built yourself a giant Yeti. You can cool it with a bucket of ice and a fan.


If you only have occasional guests on the weekends, it may take a long time to pay for insulation in electrical savings. Might be cheaper to just crank the AC up for a few days and pay the bill. If you are going to use the space more, then certainly insulating is the best way to go.

My entire house is heated and cooled with a 14,000 BTU ductless mini-split heat pump. We keep it 72 or lower in the summer and about 65 in the winter regardless of outside temps. The ceiling in the living room/kitchen is 22' high.
1blueheron is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread