Mindful Homes Newsletter #2

Dear friends,
it’s time for another Mindful Homes Newsletter, informing you about the latest news and updates within our little operation.
  • Joop and I finished most of the work on our 9 x 4,5 m building shed, which we set out to construct only from waste materials. Except for the building wood, all materials were either retrieved from construction dumpsters or second hand sources online. Furthermore, we constructed a set of two workbenches that have the exact measurements of our side walls and will enable us to build all house and roof modules in a convenient, accessible and dry environment.
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  • Last week, Maria and I went to Austria, as we were offered the chance to help break down two houses and recycle their materials for our tiny house build. We loved the idea of giving a second life to these house components so we went there and spent a few amazing and interesting days on construction sites together with lovely people. We then got a delivery company to bring about 1.5 tons of windows, floors, walls cladding and other materials to our building site in Leiden, NL. Having played an active role in re-purposing these components for our future mindful home, we feel that our personal project has taken a gigantic emotional leap from „planning“ to „building“ – and it feels GREAT! Here a few impressions of our little tiny house field trip:
  • With many of the building materials in place, we can now start the actual construction of our first TIM prototype. Therefore, this week we will order the first batch of construction wood (2×4’s – 38x89mm) for our fold-out roof, which we will fully prefabricate in our TIM building shed. Once this is done and tested, we will move on to the wall construction right on the trailer, onto which we will afterwards lift the finished roof.
  • In order to receive a safety certificate for our TIM’s, we have commissioned a renowned Dutch engineering company to do structural calculations on our entire construction – not only for daily use but also 80 km/h travels on motorways.
  • We have slightly adjusted the TIM Stage Model page. We feel that besides the building package of Stage I, we want to give customers the chance to fully customise their homes, while having the safety of a structurally safe and sound build. Therefore, we reduced Stage II to a model that features only the trailer, the erected walls and the finished and dry fold-out roof. From there on out, people have the free choice of what insulation, sheathing, cladding, etc. they want to choose. Our TIM Stage III will still be the model that offers a fully constructed home, just without furniture and appliances, as we feel that interior design is a task best left to experts who specialise in it.
  • This brings us directly to the last point of today’s newsletter, namely that over the next few months we want to start setting up a network of external suppliers that together offer our customers the possibility to finalise the inside of their TIM’s with a small range of mindful appliances and living solutions which will have been tested by us according to their ecological and sustainable values.
We really cannot wait to get the prototype build started now and give you new updates and pictures on our progress.
Until then, all the best from the Mindful Homes team!

Mindful Homes Newsletter #1

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Hello everyone to our first Mindful Homes Newsletter,
I am very happy to announce that after many months of planning, designing and negotiating, Mindful Homes and our Tiny Impact House are finally ready to move from the drawing board to the practical phase. This means that our layout is now more or less done and we will start building the first two TIM prototypes in only a few weeks.
For now, here are some of the most exciting news we want to share with you:
  • As our TIM will not be put together directly on the trailer but constructed in individual modules, we will one-by-one assemble each of the 13 modules in our TIM building shed, which we built over the last two months in the heart of beautiful Leiden (NL). Not only will we construct the wooden floor, wall and roof parts there, but we have decided to also directly equip each module with insulation, house wrap foil, electric cables and outside cladding. This should enable us to simply put the tiny house LEGO pieces together once they are done, which will result in a much shorter production time for future houses.
  • Our custom fold-out roof, which will provide extra 50cm of headroom, has proven to be very challenging to construct, but after a breakthrough this month we are now at a point where we are super confident about its design and functionality.
  • As mentioned on the homepage, the main aim of this project is to provide affordable ways to live self-sufficiently, free from monetary ties and give people time and energy to explore their true passions and dreams in life. In order to do this, we are putting a lot of research into every component of the house, so we can find materials and solutions that are both sustainable and affordable and will open up the possibility of a home without a bank loan or mortgage. Over the last weeks many people have been asking about the price of the final TIM. Obviously it is very hard for us to give a precise figure at this stage in the project. However, what we can already say is that our aim was and still is to produce a standard TIM version for under 30.000€. We are currently still talking to distributors and potential partners about building materials and prices, but we are very confident that we can keep the basic costs of the build very low. What the final price will then largely depend on are the more technological appliances that go into the house, such as solar and wind power, water filtration, or heating. But also here we aim to offer very affordable solutions that we will either supply directly or through one of our partner companies.
  • As some of you might have seen, quickly after the launch of our homepage we changed our stage model from 4 to 3 construction phases, eliminating the fully furnished TIM version from our portfolio. We decided to do this as we feel that our main focus should really lie on the house building, rather than its interior design and equipment. The more we can do that, the sooner will we be able to simplify the building process, which will in turn lead to shorter production times and quicker deliveries of our TIMs. By offering a shell house we aim to inspire people to contribute and add as much as possible of themselves to their future houses. However, we understand that not everyone can do that, so in order for customers to also be able to buy a ready-to-move-in house, we are now planning to set up a network of professionals who share our values 100% and who we can fully trust to take the raw TIMs and give them their final brushes. With this step we will be able to offer each customer a number of different options that they can choose from to customise their homes with fair, sustainable and ecological products.
  • Another question we were asked a lot was regarding the date of the first available TIMs. According to our current timeline, our first two TIM prototypes should be roughly finished by the end of the summer. After that we want to take a few weeks to do extensive tests on them to make sure that they are ready to perform as they should. If everything goes as planned, we can then start producing customer orders in autumn of this year.
  • Amazing news for our DIY tiny house builders:
    Due to high demand, our trailer producer has decided to significantly lower the price for our Tiny House EU Trailer, which will now be available for the incredible price of 2999€ (excl. tax).
    We are very, very happy about this, as it will enable many tiny house builders from all over Europe to buy a custom-made trailer that will perfectly suit their needs.
  • In addition to the 7.20m model we have now added a 6.00m SketchUp model to our homepage, which you can download for free.
  •  We are now fully ready to process customer orders for the Tiny House EU trailers.
Should you have any questions about Mindful Homes, the TIMs or our trailer, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us – we are always happy to talk to tiny house enthusiasts!
Until the next time – all the best!
Bernie and Joop

New times – new solutions

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(source: Four Lights Houses)
The rapidly changing age of globalisation over the last two decades has enabled humans to share tremendous amounts of information and knowledge with each other. While this sudden global accessibility and connectedness has brought about many advances in sectors such as technology or medicine, it also meant that people from all over the world started coming together in urban spaces to exchange ideas with each other.
This, in turn, made the price of house ownership and rents skyrocket to such an extent that today, many people find themselves stuck with the decision to either devote a large part of their lives to earning enough money in order to pay for accommodation, or abandon the idea of urban living altogether. Some researchers and journalists have therefore started calling the young people of today the “rent generation”, meaning that the shortage of affordable homes effectively locks them out of the property market for a large proportion of their lives. Often the only way to achieve home ownership is through large financial loans, which tie their owners to financial institutions for decades.
This development, however, stands in stark contrast to the current transformation of our western society, in which people increasingly strive for mobility, flexibility and personal fulfilment during their prime years, and not just after they have retired.
Since having a shelter constitutes a basic human need, people have therefore now set out to exploring new ways of creating homes, to counteract the decreasing levels of home ownership. What this has shown is that while there is a shortage of urban housing, there certainly is no lack of undeveloped urban land. Every large city has an abundance of unused, uncultivated spaces, which could provide homes for millions of people. What is required in order to utilise these spaces and open them up for cultivation are flexible, mobile housing solutions. The ‘tiny house movement’ aims to fill this gap by offering people of all ages the possibility to live debt-free in a mobile home which can adapt to its owner’s personal lifestyle and development.
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(source: Quixote Village, Photograph by Leah Nash)

What is a ‘tiny house’?

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(source: Tiny Home Builders)
To put it simply, a tiny house offers everything its larger brothers and sisters do – just within less than 40m2 of space.
Generally equipped with a living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, tiny homes enable their inhabitants to go about their daily lives as usual, while making highly efficient use of space and resources.
As a subgroup of tiny houses, THOWs – Tiny Houses On Wheels – have become increasingly popular over the last few years. These homes are built on a trailer frame and usually kept within the dimensions of legal road requirements, thereby enabling people to move their homes freely with nothing but a strong car.
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(source: Tiny House Giant Journey)
Originating from the United States, tiny houses are now rapidly appearing all over the globe in many different shapes and sizes. With them come many stories of individuals who have chosen to live their lives differently, think outside the box and envision a new future of housing and living.
Here are just a few benefits of living in a tiny house:
          -> Significantly lower environmental impact
          -> Less costs, equals more time, equals more freedom
          -> The possibility of owning a home, while living debt free
          -> Living with less, downsizing, living more consciously and resourceful
          -> Trading in modern-day convenience for new experiences and adventures
          -> The opportunity to move freely and travel, while not having to leave home

The Tiny Impact House

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Hello world, I am the Tiny Impact House (TIM)!
As you might have already noticed, I look just like many other homes.
However, let me assure you that I am much more than just an ordinary house.
I am 100% recyclable, reusable and relovable. All of my components come from either renewable or recycled sources that can be fully reintegrated into a new life cycle and will never have to end up in a landfill or be found in an ocean.
I am foldable and mobile, which means that you can wrap me up, take me with you wherever you go and make use of my additional room height when I am parked.
I am fully transparent, I want to let everyone know what I am made of and I have no secrets about any of my components, their individual origin and composition.
I can produce my own power without being plugged into any ‘grids’ and I will keep you warm all year round.
I provide a safe shelter for those who choose to live small, self-sufficiently and with less material possessions in their lives.
I promote a circular economy, in which products have longer lifecycles and can be fully reintegrated into a new cycle at the end of them.
I can be customised, which means that you can use your own recycled or reused materials to build me, as long as they fit into my measurements.
I am the affordable solution for people of all ages, who think that there is an alternative to being stuck in a renting system or indebted to financial institutions for decades.
I aim to offer a life within a society, without being indebted to it.
I cater for those who think that current societal paradigms need to change, but escape does not have to be the answer.
I am not just a simple product. I want to be a companion, a friend, a home.
I am TIM.