If you’ve been following our “At Home with Green Design” series, you’ve gotten to know homeowner Lyndsey Lewis, as she’s been writing since November about the certified green home she’s building in Little Rock. Today, the experts at Bret Franks Construction (comprised of Bret and Jen Franks) talk about the process of building Lyndsey’s sustainable home. The key, they say, is in the planning.
PS- Tour Bret and Jen Franks’ own certified green home in our July 2011 issue, here!
The Whidbey, the home plan for Lyndsey’s own green home
Building a custom home always takes careful planning and forethought. Building a tiny home takes the importance of planning to another level. Then throw in Certified Green and Energy Star Qualifications, and it requires special attention to detail to make the dream a reality. In addition to the design, colors, fixtures and finishes that need to be determined, there are building code requirements, space planning, and Green points to consider.
One important aspect of planning a tiny home is to verify that the home plan and location meet the International Building Code Requirements. Bret met with the City of Little Rock Planning and DevelopmentÂ Department before construction began to confirm that Lyndsey’s Tiny Tumbleweed home plan would conform to local residential buildingÂ and neighborhood design requirements.
The design and location of the garage was also critical – not only for the aesthetics of a visible corner lot but for the storage needs of the homeowner. We felt it was important for the garage to be just as unique as the home without overpowering the diminutive size of the home. After discussing the storage needs with the homeowner (including a desire for covered space for two cars), Bret and I designed a single car enclosed garage with an attached carport – sometimes called a “lean-to”. The design was inspired by our recent trip to the South Carolina low country and incorporates space for a single car, a large amount of storage on two levels, a covered area for a grill, and a carport space for a second car which can also be used for outdoor parties with recessed lighting and a ceiling fan. Multi-purpose spaces are integral to tiny homes and their garages!
The kitchen design also required considerable thought and planning. Before the initial cabinet sketches, we had many discussions with Lyndsey about what was most important to her – from the coffee pot location to the built-in trash can (a must when you have two curious dogs living with you!). And small space appliances from GE were also determined before the cabinet design was finalized. Everything in the kitchen was scaled to fraction of inches – because every “tiny” bit of storage space counts when your building a little house.