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Tiny House Living: A Remarkable Journey to Off-Grid Living and Beyond

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Tiny House Living: A Remarkable Journey to Off-Grid Living and Beyond
Tiny House

Embarking on a Dream

Meet Fin and John, the proud owners of @belovedcabin, a tiny house and homestead located in the heart of Middle-Georgia, just a short hour and a half away from the bustling city of Atlanta.

Their extraordinary journey began with a simple dream – the dream of owning a slice of paradise. Leaving behind their lavish homes in Miami and London, they set their sights on creating something special in the charming landscape of Middle-Georgia.

A Serendipitous Discovery

With a stroke of serendipity, they stumbled upon a small yet promising 3.16-acre parcel of land listed on Zillow. The owner’s asking price was $7,000, but with John’s adept negotiation skills, they managed to secure it for a mere $5,000. This marked the beginning of their adventure into tiny home living.

The Sturdy Foundation

Their journey commenced with the acquisition of a 12’x30′ Derksen Portable Building, a double-lofted barn empty shed shell. This robust structure came with a Georgia State-Certified 140mph wind-load rating, instilling confidence in their ability to withstand the forces of nature. To fortify their cabin, they anchored it to the ground with hurricane straps, ensuring its resilience against any storm.

The Key To Resilience

One of the key elements in their journey’s success was their use of hail-proof, severe storm-rated, non-fade, sun-resistant polycarbonate panels. These panels came with a lifetime warranty, a 10-year hail damage guarantee, and the promise to maintain at least 90% of their light transmission. To bolster their roof’s structural integrity, they opted for 2″x4″ timber, surpassing the flimsier 1″x4″ boards used by others.

Weathering The Seasons

Their cabin is equipped with proper insulation to combat the variable weather of Middle-Georgia. R-13 insulation enveloped the walls, concealed by drywall, while foam insulation covered the ceiling, topped with painted 0.25-inch plywood. This meticulous approach allowes them to maintain head clearance in the lofts between the rafters while showcasing the rafters as part of their design.

A Deliberate Location

Choosing the right location was crucial, and they settled in AG Zone 8a, which promised mild summers, winters, and year-round growing seasons. Snow is a rarity, and when it falls, it melts within hours, creating an ideal backdrop for their lifestyle.

Sustainable Heating Solutions

Inside their cozy 304-square-foot Beloved Cabin, they have a full-house solar thermal heater and a Dutch West high-efficiency catalytic converter wood-burning stove, capable of heating an 800-square-foot house.

Their strategic positioning of the greenhouse-kitchen and greenhouse-bathroom on the cabin’s south side allowes them to harness the sun’s warmth during winter, with closed vents and dropped leaves facilitating natural heating.

Comfortable Summers

Summers are equally comfortable, with air circulation vents on both ends, full-length vents under the soffit, and the cooling shade of the tree canopy. Their proximity to a sprawling 19,000-square-acre lake ensures a constant supply of cool breezes. Their careful design makes the use of the 9KBtu AC unit almost unnecessary.

Navigating Regulations

Navigating the complex maze of municipal codes was a challenge, as each layer of government had its own set of rules. Nevertheless, their land is zoned for various out-buildings, which allowed them to expand their homestead with ADUs, she-sheds, and more. Navigating building inspections for electrical and plumbing was part of the process, but it was a small price to pay for their dream.

The Continuation Of A Dream

Their choice to live in AG Zone 8a continues to pay dividends with mild winters and year-round growing seasons. Even when they climb onto the roof to clean their solar panels, they can’t help but appreciate the resilience of the hail-proof, severe-storm-rated polycarbonate roofing panels of their greenhouse additions.

An Oasis of Tranquility: Exploring the Greenhouse Kitchen

The heart of this tiny home, a source of pride and endless conversation, is undoubtedly the serene greenhouse kitchen. Step inside, and you’ll be whisked away to a peaceful oasis, where the soft babble of a miniature fishpond harmonizes with the vibrant beauty of a thriving garden. Overhead, a charming chandelier completes the enchanting atmosphere.

The peaceful Life

Twelve years into their off-grid, self-sufficient lifestyle, nestled within their 16-acre homestead in Middle-Georgia, they now happily share their idyllic home with 4 dogs, 31 cats, chickens, and goats. With no credit card debt and a clean slate in terms of debts, they are perfectly positioned to enjoy the peaceful life they have meticulously crafted.

Their tiny house adventure has indeed been a remarkable one, filled with challenges, adaptations, and ultimately, the fulfillment of a dream.

An Income as Unique as Their Getaways

Their main source of income comes from their short-term rentals. They began with a single tiny house on wheels for rent, and over time, expanded their offerings to include a total of 8 unique stays available through Airbnb. These accommodations include 3 tiny houses on wheels, 2 geodesic domes, 1 yurt, 1 bus conversion, and 1 large bell tent on a raised platform. The passive income generated from these rentals is reinvested into their property.

In addition to their rentals, they have organized 30 tiny house festivals over the years, which likely contribute to their income. They also offer classes and workshop camps on their homestead, providing further opportunities for revenue.

If you’re interested in experiencing a stay in any of their unique getaways, you can make a reservation on their Airbnb page at https://airbnb.com/p/belovedcabin. This diversified income approach allows them to sustain their off-grid, self-sufficient lifestyle and invest in their property.

Ann Delcroix
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