I have a trash burner that I got for a song, and it is in storage, waiting for the time when I can install it in my own house. Right now I am looking at a floor plan that is 20×20, including an partially enclosed porch. It still seems a bit *big* LOL for me… but it will include a good amount of space around my wood stove. I have a book called “Rustic Retreats” where the little houses in the book are right up against the walls of the houses… I just cannot wrap my mind around that… I am one that thinks out of the box! but I am real tongue and cheek about wood stoves and wall space… any thoughts on this? Then I would have more floor space… or I could make the house even smaller and save money.

I do not want to entertain the idea of propane for all of my heat because I can heat my house for free.. or for a bit of money by driving the tractor around the farm and gathering downed limbs that my dad will not use for the stove in his house, and by cutting up pallets and also will trade my family for wood and/or use Craig’s list to go and pick up free firewood [we do this a lot] that homeowners in town do not want. I am planning on having propane heat… just for emergencies only when I am sick or my back is out. I really like the trash burner because it has burners on top. Any ideas? Has anyone else looked at this book?

Is 20×20 too big to put on skids? I need the house to be portable. I am fortunate in the fact that my neighbors who are in sight of where I want to build have someone on their property living in trailers and if I make the house on skids, I completely doubt they will cause trouble. Besides they all really like me. Some days I want to scrap the whole idea and get a school bus, but then I think that a house will be a better idea if it is on skids.

I have a mobile home on my property that someone gave me. I am using it to store my tongue and groove oak flooring that I did some work for in trade. There is enough, I am sure, to do the floors in any small house I build. I have also thought about using it for shelving and even for interior walls… maybe, maybe not. Also, the mobile home has four windows that are large, that slide open, and have the frame for screens. I have a “thing” for fresh air and cross winds, and I hope to use them for some passive solar. The mobile home is 12×60 and there will be plenty of 2×4’s for construction when we de-construct it.. also roofing and I could use the paneling for part or all of the interior walls.

The place I have chosen to build will be hard to have for passive solar though. There are trees to the south, and to the west. I would rather have it there, because for most of the year it will be hidden from the neighbors and I like the thought of privacy. Part of the reason I am choosing it is that there is an existing building there that my brother and I are in the process of salvaging. If I want, there is lumber there. The building is nearly one hundred years old and because an oak tree was scraping off the roof, it has deteriorated to the point to where it is leaning into the side of the hill. We are salvaging the siding and so forth to replace siding on my mother’s house, but there should be lots of siding left over for my house [I hope] but then, if I have just painted plywood or osb, then it won’t look as much as a house but more like a shed or barn… I have decided to call it the “summer shed” and we have been talking about building a camp ground there. Then we can just tell people it is the camp kitchen or a shed we store our camp stuff in or? ┬ájust to have something to tell people. One of my neighbors calls her new house an office for her greenhouse business.

I have a camp trailer here that I lived in for two years… it is 7×12 and has a small kitchenette in it. I am thinking of salvaging the kitchen out of it. It has a dry sink, a “nice” propane stove with oven, and a small counter. Just my thoughts.