Dreaming The Hip House

Reality has to start with a dream.   I bought a house.  That was the first step of making my dream a reality.  But the dream goes much deeper.  I love the small house movement.  The house I bought is too big, 1400 square feet.  But my garage in smaller, closer to 600 square feet.  So my dream is to turn the garage into a small house: one that’s self-sufficient, economically and environmentally friendly, and hip.

The hip house project will take time and money.  I need to do some preliminary research to discover the best methods of converting a garage into living space.  One thing I want to do is make sure that it remains something that can be turned back into a garage for resale.  Nothing a pair of insulated garage doors with one narrow row of windows won’t help solve.

Turning my dream into a reality is where you come in.  I am home-improvement challenged.  I dream big, but in reality I don’t know my butt from a skill saw.  So if you can’t help out financially, you can help out with your knowledge and expertise on smart construction and green solutions.

So let me describe the building we’ll be working with:

–  It’s a stand-alone garage with a small studio attached.

–  It’s cinder-block construction.  I doubt there is insulation in the cinder blocks and there is some damage to the mortar between the blocks due to ivy growth  See Homeowner vs. Ivy Part 1.

–  It has rafters rather than trusses and will need reinforcement.

–  The roof is in fair condition, but will need replacing within a few years.  The front of the building faces south and I live in a desert, so it has great potential for solar.

–  There is electricity and a half bath with running water.  There’s no kitchen.

 – There has been wood heat in the building in the past.

Here’s the inside:

In the near future, I’ll be researching topics such as solar roofing, reinforcing rafters, repairing masonry, wood heat, best choices for insulating, small bathrooms and kitchens, and much more.  As I learn more about these topics, I’ll share them with you.  

But now it’s your turn:  

What kinds of ideas do you have for this project?  How would you turn this garage into a small house?  Make suggestions in the comment section below.  Feel free to include links to sites.   

Spring is here:  Coming next month I’ll be sharing a few of my outdoor projects.


Dan Erickson

Dan Erikson is the passionate voice behind Hip Diggs, where he explores the art of living simply and intentionally. With a keen eye for minimalism and its profound impact on our lives, Dan delves into topics ranging from decluttering spaces to decluttering the mind. Drawing from personal experiences and a deep appreciation for the minimalist ethos, he offers readers practical insights and actionable steps to embrace a more meaningful, clutter-free life. When he's not penning down his thoughts on Hip Diggs, Dan enjoys the serenity of nature, reading, and exploring the nuances of simple living in a complex world.

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