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Tiny Home Living Q&A with Chris Schapdick

With so many people out there social distancing, I bet you forgot about those in the tiny home community?


If not then that’s pretty cool, but if so then you simply must read this blog post that features a fun Q&A to give you more info about tiny home living and social distancing.

I hope that you enjoy learning more about Christ Schapdick and learn a little something new about tiny home living today.

You’ll soon find out why I wanted to interview Chris. He ends his interview with something I’ve frequently said to my kids and family. I’m truly thankful for your time in answering these questions, Chris!

For the first time ever, I asked my audience for some questions and decided to do a little Q&A with Chris Schapdick author of Building Your Tiny House Dream and The Joy of Tiny House Living. Some of the questions below I gathered as a means to learn more about the tiny home community and social distancing, but others came from my beloved FB friends who had questions that they wanted to be answered.

I’ll start with the interview copied over from the Q&A sheet I provided my contact to get the answers from Chris Schapdick for me. I’ll then share more about his books and other information that I feel may interest you regarding tiny home community and social distancing.

Q1: What inspired you to start making and living in a tiny home? 

Up until recently, I was only spending part of my time in my tiny house in Upstate NY and the rest of the time in North New Jersey. Covid19 has made me a full-time resident of the tiny house. The house originally was intended as an affordable weekend getaway to get out into nature and away from suburban sprawl. Tiny houses are very versatile though, but  I never would have thought that pandemic isolation space was going to be on the long list why tiny houses are awesome. It hasn’t been a hardship to be in this small space for the last 6 weeks. 

Q2: If you live with your kids, how do you handle “private couple time”?

I am spending time up here with my daughter, but it’s just the two of us so ‘private couple time’ does not apply. 

Q3: How do you handle the need to keep a few weeks’ worth of food available?

There is a good amount of space integrated into the design of my tiny house. We can easily store a week’s worth of food in there (including fresh). If need be, rice and canned goods could extend that timeframe out considerably. 

Q4: How does a tiny house handle driving down the road?

I have only moved my house once since it was built 7 years ago. I wouldn’t want to travel far with it. It’s heavy (10,000lbs) and I made no weight saving consideration when I built it precisely since it was never intended to be traveled with. With a proper ($$$) truck it would be fine to tow, but that’s often one of the misconceptions of tiny houses (20’ or longer). They don’t travel well and when they do you need a really beefy truck to make it happen. 

Q5: What kind of gas mileage does a tiny home on wheels get? 

When I did move it that one time, my truck got about 7 miles to the gallon. 

Q6: Tips for making a tiny home on wheels RV approved or MHA approved? 

This generally happens at the building stage. If that’s important to you, find a builder that’s RVIA certified and your house will get the associated credentials. It certainly helps if you are financing a tiny house, at campgrounds, and from a DMV perspective. Again, for me, that was not a high priority with my house. 

Q7: What do you do for work while living in a tiny home on wheels? 

I now build tiny houses for other folks full time via my company Tiny Industrial. I also produce art objects that I sell on Etsy. Write books on tiny houses (The Joy of Tiny House Living) and a variety of other revenue streams. I bid corporate America farewell several years back and tiny houses were the catalyst for doing so. 

Q8: What is the funniest situation or question you’ve been asked while living in a tiny home? 

Toilets. Everyone wants to know about the toilet situation. I personally went high tech and got an Incinolet. It’s an electrical incinerating toilet that requires no plumbing and is really easy to use and maintenance-free (mostly). I’ve had it for years and it’s been great. It’s a bit pricey and you do need access to a power source (not off-grid capable). 

The other thing I hear a lot is people who start off a conversation with “I could never ____”. Regardless of what they think they could never do (i.e. build a tiny house, live in a tiny house, run a marathon, etc.) it’s a very limiting belief.

I think that we are all guilty of doing this at some point.

If you start from the point of view that you can’t do something, well then you likely never will. You decided that though…you made that decision without even trying or finding out more. I just don’t like it when people limit themselves that way. Maybe it comes from childhood sometimes.

I encourage people to keep an open mind though and push their comfort zone a bit. In my upcoming book (release later this year), I walk people through the process of building a small tiny house (starter home tiny house). Step by step. It’s doable for most people. It’s not that hard.

You can order either one of Chris’ books online Building Your Tiny House and The Joy of Tiny House Living. Don’t forget to show Chris some support by visiting his website to learn more about him.

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