From Dean Dowd on March 16, 2011 in Green Remodeling
With a bit of imagination and a lot of design ingenuity, Derek Diedricksen achieves the impossible: micro-shelters for less than $200. Talk about being resourceful.
One particular structure, aptly named the Gypsy Junker, makes up for its scant square footage (24 square feet to be exact) with a surprisingly workable design. But this is actually the larger of Diedricksen’s models. The Hickshaw is a sleeper structure measuring only 2.5 feet wide by 6.5 feet deep. Another structure, named the Boxy Lady, stands only 4 feet tall.
Despite the differences, however, all of Diedricksen’s unique designs have one thing in common: use of materials that, to others, look like trash. The Gypsy Junker is made out of shipping pallets, storm windows, and castoff kitchen cabinets.
The Boxy Lady also uses a series of pallets, plus a striking stained glass window by artist Stephanie Atlee. Other design touches include a porthole window constructed from a front-loading washing machine, and a metal door-turned-countertop from the same washer.
Most of the structures also have a transparent roof to give views of the treetops and eliminate the need for artificial lighting. The Gypsy Junker, shown above, also has a heater that runs on vegetable oil.
For Diedricksen, building microhouses has been more than just a hobby—it’s a fascination and a lifestyle to complement his carpentry background. He self-published his own instruction book titled, Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts, and has been working on a YouTube series called, “Tiny Yellow House.”
But when asked why he only builds tiny structures, Diedricksen sets the record straight: “I have only so much yard space and my wife is only so tolerant.” Enough said.
Via Curbly; Photos by Erik Jacobs for the New York Times