Tim Eddy and his girlfriend Hannah Fuller at The Chillderness. Photo: Tim Peare
Originally featured in Snowboard Magazine 11.2: The Transcendent Issue
Location: The woods of Truckee, California Acres: 20
Square Feet: 196
Bathrooms: 1 or 20 acres of your choice
Tim Eddy is not one to follow the norm. Whether it’s snowboarding, fashion sense or the way of life, his approach is the uncommon one. When it comes to the bounds of modern living, the bills, connectivity, consumption, rules and regulations, there are alternate routes or exits. For Tim and his girlfriend Hannah Fuller, they discovered their outlet and a bevy of newfound skills and knowledge in the purchase of land and construction of an off-the-grid mini cabin outside of Truckee, California. Inspired by tiny home creations and a yearning for simple living, the two completed their home in fall of 2013, and it’s only the beginning.
What kind of building experience did you have prior to this project?
Honestly, not much at all. I had done some really small projects with wood framing and built a couple things to ride skateboards on, but that’s it. I always wanted to learn and was interested in how things worked and how to build them, but I just hadn’t gotten around to it.
What construction skills did you pick up in creating the cabin?
It’s insane how much you will learn building a house start to finish. Even if it’s a small house with simple construction, it’s still a house. I learned everything from putting in a post foundation, wall framing, window and door installation to simple plumbing and solar electricity, wood stove installation, the science of stairs without making you trip and fall — the list goes on.
What are some of the challenges of the building process regarding permits, codes and utilities?
That has been by far the most challenging part of this experience. The county doesn’t seem to like change. I understand that it would be difficult to manage projects if they are all uniquely dealing with building and utility codes rather than abiding by the same old standards, but I think more creativity and resourcefulness could be incorporated in how we build. We are currently working with the county to compromise and find somewhere we can meet in the middle and live responsibly under the codes and permits, but also sustainably and within our means.