>> BY: I.P. FREELY
I could live in a box. In fact, I could live in a lot of things. I’ve previously been drawn to living in small creative spaces (Airstream trailers, Seacans, that refridgerator box out by your curb…) and putting them in large, under-used open spaces (warehouses, junkyards). And now, I’m onto the biggest open space of all: the water.
HONESTLY, HOW IS THIS A CRISIS?
I see solutions everywhere. Especially in Revelstoke, whose history includes multiple building booms, the construction of pre-fab “kit homes” transported by rail, massive infrastructure accomplishments for hydroelectric power and the national railway, plus a helluvalot of good lumber and a general openness to people living in trailers, campers, and other small spaces. Why isn’t Revelstoke already a leader in innovative building and design?
The spring housing issue of Rev’d Quarterly. On stands now!
SEE, I CAN I LIVE A SEACAN
The current trend of tiny homes, including shipping containers, checks many personal value boxes: living in a simple way; reducing harm on the environment; building on a budget; the creativity of building one’s own domain; and perhaps most important, the ability to actually own something and not just rent. But there are several practical considerations, such as where do I put it.
ENTER: BADASS GLADYS (AGAIN)
Gladys is no stranger to Rev’d, which is why I joined her for coffee one morning. “I should rent you my carport,” she joked, when I mentioned the idea to modify a 20-foot shipping container. I proposed an exchange of toils for rent: I help with chores; she helps me get a toehold in the local housing market. We both get reasonably good company.
“I wouldn’t turn that down,” she said right away. “I’m not hard to get along with.”
TAKE IT FROM OTHER TINY PEOPLE
Britt Lowden has lived (legally, I should say) in her tiny home for four years. Number One on her list of advice, she says, is figure out what to do with your Number 2: “Research your toilet set up!” Other pertinent tips: “Do your research, read blogs of other builders for the glamourous (and not so glamourous) realities of living in a small space, and be ready to adapt your original plan many times over … Salvage as many materials as you can, but don’t cheap out on safety — electrical, wood stoves, gas lines.” I float the idea of living in a box on pontoons on the water. “I like your idea,” she encourages. “Yours is a different situation than the overall housing crisis. You’re like me. I don’t want to be in a little home community; I want quiet and weird.”