PEOPLE AND PLACES

PEOPLE AND PLACES

Thursday, March 19, 2015

TRAILER HOMES LIVING LIFE ON THE MOVE VS LIVING INSIDE A BEAUTIFUL HOME

 

 

 

Living life on the move! Meet the couple who quit their jobs to travel across the US in a $30,000 wooden house on wheels

  • Jenna Spesard and Guillaume Dutilh decided to ditch the daily grind and raised funds to build their mobile house
  • Home consists of a double bedroom, living area and a small bathroom, with a limited kitchen area
  • Couple have racked up more than 12,000 miles and are hoping to raise more funds through travel journalism

A couple from the US have quit their jobs to go travelling around North America in their very own house on wheels.

Jenna Spesard, 28, and Guillaume Dutilh, 30, decided to ditch the daily grind to build their mobile house so they could take in all the sights the US and Canada have to offer.

The couple, who previously lived in Los Angeles, spent around $30,000 (approximately £20,000) kitting out their 20-ft long house - which boasts a double bedroom, living area and a small bathroom.

Scroll down for video

Jenna Spesard and Guillaume Dutilh get to take in spectacular sights like this of New Brunswick in Canada after quitting their jobs

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Jenna Spesard and Guillaume Dutilh get to take in spectacular sights like this of New Brunswick in Canada after quitting their jobs

 

The kitchen area is minimal but allows the couple to make their own meals The stairs in the house are unconventional yet artistic

It may be limited in amenities, but the kitchen area (left) is sufficient, while the stairs in the house (right) are unconventional, yet artistic

Couple travel across the US in a wooden house on wheels

Jenna, previously an executive assistant, and Guillaume, a former industrial engineer, have racked up more than 12,000 miles in the tiny house and are hoping to raise more funds through writing and photography to keep them on the move.

Guillaume said: 'Living in the tiny house is liberating - the whole experience is so unique and life changing.

'I never thought we could quit our jobs to pursue travel journalism, yet we made it happen and it seems to work.

'It's partially thanks to the tiny house but not only that, it also changed our life for the better.'

The couple managed to complete the project despite having no building experience

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They showed off the tiny home in the middle of New York City

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Despite having no building experience the couple completed the project and showed it off in places such as New York City (right)

Guillaume Dutilh and Jenna Spesard, pictured with their dog Salies, decided to ditch the daily grind and build their mobile house

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Guillaume Dutilh and Jenna Spesard, pictured with their dog Salies, decided to ditch the daily grind and build their mobile house

Guillaume added: 'We use less water, less electricity, less propane and we own fewer clothes.

'We eat healthier, we go outside more often, we stay in more often - our carbon footprint is half of the one from the average American couple.

'We offset it even more by opening our house to thousands of visitors and promoting minimal living online and through workshops.'

He said the tiny house has changed their lives in many ways and they believe they are better off living life on the move. 

The couple initially hoped to build the mini house in three months but ended up taking a whole year.

Despite the delay, the pair are thrilled with their creation and feel it has completely changed their lives.

The framing and sheathing process for the house took longer than the three months the couple originally scheduled it for

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The framing and sheathing process for the house took longer than the three months the couple originally scheduled it for

Guillaume said: 'We felt both excited when we started the project.

'I tend to make a decision without thinking too much about the consequences, which is both good and bad, so I never felt stressed about our decision.

'We had put a lot of thought into the project and figured it had good chances at being successful.

'The build process was a steep learning curve - I thought it would take us three or four months to complete but in the end it took a year of work.

'Looking back at it though, we feel it's still a pretty good achievement for two people with no build experience.

Despite the delay on the construction of the house, the pair are thrilled with their creation and feel it has completely changed their lives This photo shows the house near the beginning of the construction process

Despite the delay on the construction of the house, the pair are thrilled with their creation and feel it has completely changed their lives

'Getting the house on the road for the first time was a little nerve-wracking.

'We knew it was built solidly, but still, we built it and we knew nothing when we started.

'But any doubts disappeared very quickly as we started accumulating the miles.

'Now we are six months into our trip and have covered over 12,000 miles.'

 

 


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Tired of the high cost of rent and determined to live mortgage-free, web designer Alek Lisefski turned his attention away from cyber space to build his very own solution.

The 31-year-old has constructed a trailer home at an upfront cost of just $30,000 but with it measuring just 8ft by 20ft, he has needed all his creative abilities to maximise the limited space.

Aptly naming it The Tiny Project, Alek set about building the home in Iowa before towing it all the way to Sebastopol in California, where he now lives with his girlfriend Anjali Krystofiak and their dog Anya.

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Small, but mighty: Web designer Alek Lisefski has built his very own trailer home that measures 8ft by 20ft for just $30,000... and now doesn't have a mortgage

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Small, but mighty: Web designer Alek Lisefski has built his very own trailer home that measures 8ft by 20ft for just $30,000... and now doesn't have a mortgage

Alek Lisefski with girlfriend Anjali Krystofiak and their dog Anya

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A view from behind the tiny mobile home

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On the move: Alek Lisefski with girlfriend Anjali Krystofiak and their dog Anya (left) outside their home which he constructed on a flatbed trailer to avoid building rules

Resourceful: Alek said he used a trailer to avoid maximum square footage requirements that most municipalities have in place for permanent structures

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Resourceful: Alek said he used a trailer to avoid maximum square footage requirements that most municipalities have in place for permanent structures

Enjoying the great outdoors: With no rent or mortgage to pay, Alek says he will be able to prioritise his funds on health, leisure and travel

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Enjoying the great outdoors: With no rent or mortgage to pay, Alek says he will be able to prioritise his funds on health, leisure and travel

'I think tiny houses are one way in which the next generation will be able to overcome our country's current economic disparity and ever-rising housing and land costs,' Alek said.

Finance is another critical aspect of home-owning and without having to pay rent Alek will be able to prioritise his funds on health, leisure and travel.

'I'll be forced to spend more time outdoors, in nature and engaging with my community.

'But I also couldn't possibly spend $100 a month to heat the place, like I do with my apartment now. He explained that although tiny houses can be built on a foundation, most people choose to build on a flatbed trailer to make the house mobile and to avoid maximum square footage requirements that most municipalities have in place for permanent structures.

Alek is not alone is his idea - smaller sustainable housing is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States and around the world as a means of affordable living.

 

 

Compact: Alek's design background is evident and due to its tiny size he had to be incredibly resourceful with materials throughout the house

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Compact: Alek's design background is evident and due to its tiny size he had to be incredibly resourceful with materials throughout the house

Tiny and tidy: Alek believes living in such a small space will force him to live in a simpler and more organised way

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Tiny and tidy: Alek believes living in such a small space will force him to live in a simpler and more organised way

Creative: The house is sustainable with all the necessary features and appliances you'd find in a standard home

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Creative: The house is sustainable with all the necessary features and appliances you'd find in a standard home

Proud: Alek named his idea the Tiny Project, an innovative design allowing him to live a simpler and debt-free life because he was able to fund all the costs upfront

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Proud: Alek named his idea the Tiny Project, an innovative design allowing him to live a simpler and debt-free life because he was able to fund all the costs upfront

Growing trend: Smaller sustainable housing is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States and around the world as a means of affordable living

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Growing trend: Smaller sustainable housing is rapidly gaining popularity in the United States and around the world as a means of affordable living

Labour of love: The house took Alek seven months to build and he worked most evenings and weekends entirely by himself

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Labour of love: The house took Alek seven months to build and he worked most evenings and weekends entirely by himself

'Building on a trailer means the house is considered more like an RV and does not need to adhere to the same permits, codes, and rules associated with building a normal home,' added Alek.

'I hope this little house can inspire others to choose a similar way of living.'

He has moved into his new home permanently with his 25-year-old Anjali and their pet dog.

'I live with my beautiful girlfriend, Anjali, and our angel of a dog, Anya. Go ahead and say it: that's a lot of "A" names.'

The house is furnished with sustainable blue-stain beetle-kill ponderosa pine throughout the ceiling, walls and loft floor.

Age of austerity: Alek estimates that he spent $30,000 on the house including all of the tools, materials, stainless appliances and furnishings

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Age of austerity: Alek estimates that he spent $30,000 on the house including all of the tools, materials, stainless appliances and furnishings

Space-saving: He utilised every opportunity for storage, building shelves and fold-away cupboards above windows and doors

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Space-saving: He utilised every opportunity for storage, building shelves and fold-away cupboards above windows and doors

Alek used high-end stainless appliances including a marine-style propane range, propane on-demand hot water heater and compact combo washer and dryer unit

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Alek used high-end stainless appliances including a marine-style propane range, propane on-demand hot water heater and compact combo washer and dryer unit

A birds-eye view of the bathroom: Alek says he has a passion for the visual arts, the great outdoors, architecture and all things natural and beautiful

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A birds-eye view of the bathroom: Alek says he has a passion for the visual arts, the great outdoors, architecture and all things natural and beautiful

The Tiny Project is a sleek, efficiently designed, sustainable house on wheels with all the necessary features and appliances of a normal house. The house took Alek seven months to build and he worked most evenings and weekends entirely by himself.

'I had more help towards the end with interior finish work, in order to speed things up to get it done before winter. The total process, including all of the research, planning and design took about a year, he added.

The house has a passive solar design with 10 windows and a glass front door to ensure that optimum light can shine through.

'I'm a web designer by trade and have a passion for the visual arts, the great outdoors, architecture and all things natural and beautiful.'

Charming: The house is furnished with sustainable blue-stain beetle-kill ponderosa pine throughout the ceiling, walls and loft floor

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Charming: The house is furnished with sustainable blue-stain beetle-kill ponderosa pine throughout the ceiling, walls and loft floor

Smart: Alek said he had help towards the end of the project with interior finish work in order to speed things up to get it done before winter

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Smart: Alek said he had help towards the end of the project with interior finish work in order to speed things up to get it done before winter

Home comforts: Once the house is parked in permanent location, he plans to add solar panels and water collection to make is as self-sustaining as possible

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Home comforts: Once the house is parked in permanent location, he plans to add solar panels and water collection to make is as self-sustaining as possible

Without the added costs of labour, Alek estimates that he spent $30,000 on the house including all of the tools, building materials, finishing materials, nice stainless appliances and furnishings.

Alek's design background is evident and due to its tiny size he had to be incredibly resourceful with materials.

He explained: 'All it needs to operate is an extension cord and water hose from the main house on the property where it's parked.'

Once the house is parked in permanent location, he plans to add solar panels and water collection to make is as self-sustaining as possible.

Alek said: 'All the home needs to operate is an extension cord and water hose from the main house on the property where it's parked'

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Alek said: 'All the home needs to operate is an extension cord and water hose from the main house on the property where it's parked'

Alek's main priority was to build a tiny and practical house.

He believes living in such a small space will force him to live in a simpler and more organised way.

He utilised every opportunity for storage, building shelves and fold-away cupboards above windows and doors.

To maximise space, Alek used high-end stainless appliances including a two-burner marine-style propane range, propane on-demand hot water heater and compact combo washer and dryer unit.

 

 


 

 


 


 


 


 


 

 


 

 


 

 


 


 


 


 

 


 

 


 


 


 


 

 


 

 


 


 

 


 

 


 


 

 


 


 


 


 


 

 

 

 
4 3 2 5 1

Situated in the heart of the pretty riverside town of Chabanais and a short walk from the river Vienne you will find this rare hidden gem of a property that has the definite wow factor. Beautiful original features such as oak flooring, a spiral staircase, exposed beams, coloured glass doors and exposed stone work adorn this grand house with spacious light rooms.
GROUND FLOOR
The hall way with original tomette floor tiles leads off to:
Living room with 2 sets of French doors that lead into the garden plus another 3 sets of windows make this room a bright and spacious living space. There is an open fireplace , polished stone flooring and a lovely oak staircase leading up to one part of the 1st floor.
Kitchen with fireplace, some units and doors to garden.
Library/dining room with open fire and built in bookcase.
WC
Hand crafted spiral staircase in oak twists its way up to the first and second floors with a backdrop of exposed stonework.
FIRST FLOOR
In the round tower part of the house is Bedroom 1 which has a fireplace and view of the garden.
Bathroom
Bedroom 2 has a marble fireplace
Bedroom 3 also has a marble fireplace
Bedroom 4 with a fireplace and 3 sets of windows over the garden
Bathroom with bath, hand basin, shower and basin
WC
SECOND FLOOR
Bedroom 5 is again in the tower part of the property and features a stone curved wall
Bedroom 6 overlooks the front of the property and has a sink and bidet
Bedroom 7 overlooks the garden
Bedroom 8 could easily be split back to 2 rooms as it is huge and has 2 doors. This is a beautiful room with a stunning exposed oak vaulted ceiling
Bathroom
The wonders of this property go further once you step out into the rear garden where you will find an amazing former furniture making factory built in stone of approx 400m2 over 2 storeys with some beautiful features. This would make a fabulous 2nd house to possibly rent out or for family and friends.
The character and mature garden is totally enclosed and private with a 2 metre high stone wall.
Box hedged rose beds and fruits trees make this a truly blissful place to sit out and is a very good size considering the location. Huge double gates with covered parking allow access into the rear of the property with enough headspace for a camper van or truck.
The property does need some decorating work and probably the electrics and kitchen/bathrooms updating but overall it is in very good condition with potential to be a great family home, B&B or gite business.
Within 7kms from the lakes of the Haute Charente with its man made lakes with beaches for swimming,45 kms Limoges and 60km from Angouleme.
Properties in this location, this size and this price don't come along everyday!

DPE : The energy estimation cannot be produced owing to a lack of appropriate data that conforms to the "arrêté du 15 septembre 2006 relatif au DPE".

Location in France

The Charente department is home to over 340,000 inhabitants and is located in the south-east of Poitou-Charentes. The countryside offers a unique and varied environment for walkers and mountain bikers from rolling hills in the east to a flatter landscape in the west. The northern area is wild with deep forests and peaks reaching to over 1000ft. The Charente has long relied on agriculture to fuel its economy. In the 18th Century, however, the department started mass producing its infamous Cognac drink, which proved extremely popular with people from all over the world.
The department is very well situated for expatriates looking to purchase French property here, with great roads down to the Charente and the Channel ports just a short days drive away. The department has access to Poitiers, La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Bergerac and Limoges airports, all within 2 hours. Furthermore, in the centre of the department you will be able to fly from either Gatwick or Stanstead direct to the Angouleme Champniers-Brie airport .
Angouleme is a small yet cosmopolitan city, with a fairly dynamic feel about the place when compared to the neighbouring Dordogne or Haute Vienne. It hosts a lot of events such its vintage car racing (the Circuit des Remparts) which takes place in September , the cartoon festival in January and a great music scene which just seems to get better every year . Both Cognac and Confolens have annual festivals which attract tourists to the area.
The Charente has an immensely varied countryside bordering 5 departments, famous for both its Cognac vineyards in the west, and its Limousin beef production in the east, which in terms of scenery are worlds apart. The valley of the Charente River meanders down from Ruffec in the north through Angouleme onto Jarnac and Cognac. Confolens in the East of the department is situated on the banks of the majestic River Vienne, this area being known as the Charente Limousine, and is extremely popular with expatriates because it looks and feels like the UK. The south of the county which borders the Charente Maritime has a much better climate but less undulating scenery.

Virtual Tour

CHABANAIS
Dept
Charente

Floor
0 M2
Plot Size
2070 M2

Bath
3
Bed
9

 

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10/10

     

Situated in the heart of the pretty riverside town of Chabanais and a short walk from the river Vienne you will find this rare hidden gem of a property that has the definite wow factor. Beautiful original features such as oak flooring, a spiral staircase, exposed beams, coloured glass doors and exposed stone work adorn this grand house with spacious light rooms.
GROUND FLOOR
The hall way with original tomette floor tiles leads off to:
Living room with 2 sets of French doors that lead into the garden plus another 3 sets of windows make this room a bright and spacious living space. There is an open fireplace , polished stone flooring and a lovely oak staircase leading up to one part of the 1st floor.
Kitchen with fireplace, some units and doors to garden.
Library/dining room with open fire and built in bookcase.
WC
Hand crafted spiral staircase in oak twists its way up to the first and second floors with a backdrop of exposed stonework.
FIRST FLOOR
In the round tower part of the house is Bedroom 1 which has a fireplace and view of the garden.
Bathroom
Bedroom 2 has a marble fireplace
Bedroom 3 also has a marble fireplace
Bedroom 4 with a fireplace and 3 sets of windows over the garden
Bathroom with bath, hand basin, shower and basin
WC
SECOND FLOOR
Bedroom 5 is again in the tower part of the property and features a stone curved wall
Bedroom 6 overlooks the front of the property and has a sink and bidet
Bedroom 7 overlooks the garden
Bedroom 8 could easily be split back to 2 rooms as it is huge and has 2 doors. This is a beautiful room with a stunning exposed oak vaulted ceiling
Bathroom
The wonders of this property go further once you step out into the rear garden where you will find an amazing former furniture making factory built in stone of approx 400m2 over 2 storeys with some beautiful features. This would make a fabulous 2nd house to possibly rent out or for family and friends.
The character and mature garden is totally enclosed and private with a 2 metre high stone wall.
Box hedged rose beds and fruits trees make this a truly blissful place to sit out and is a very good size considering the location. Huge double gates with covered parking allow access into the rear of the property with enough headspace for a camper van or truck.
The property does need some decorating work and probably the electrics and kitchen/bathrooms updating but overall it is in very good condition with potential to be a great family home, B&B or gite business.
Within 7kms from the lakes of the Haute Charente with its man made lakes with beaches for swimming,45 kms Limoges and 60km from Angouleme.
Properties in this location, this size and this price don't come along everyday!

DPE : The energy estimation cannot be produced owing to a lack of appropriate data that conforms to the "arrêté du 15 septembre 2006 relatif au DPE".

Location in France

The Charente department is home to over 340,000 inhabitants and is located in the south-east of Poitou-Charentes. The countryside offers a unique and varied environment for walkers and mountain bikers from rolling hills in the east to a flatter landscape in the west. The northern area is wild with deep forests and peaks reaching to over 1000ft. The Charente has long relied on agriculture to fuel its economy. In the 18th Century, however, the department started mass producing its infamous Cognac drink, which proved extremely popular with people from all over the world.
The department is very well situated for expatriates looking to purchase French property here, with great roads down to the Charente and the Channel ports just a short days drive away. The department has access to Poitiers, La Rochelle, Bordeaux, Bergerac and Limoges airports, all within 2 hours. Furthermore, in the centre of the department you will be able to fly from either Gatwick or Stanstead direct to the Angouleme Champniers-Brie airport .
Angouleme is a small yet cosmopolitan city, with a fairly dynamic feel about the place when compared to the neighbouring Dordogne or Haute Vienne. It hosts a lot of events such its vintage car racing (the Circuit des Remparts) which takes place in September , the cartoon festival in January and a great music scene which just seems to get better every year . Both Cognac and Confolens have annual festivals which attract tourists to the area.
The Charente has an immensely varied countryside bordering 5 departments, famous for both its Cognac vineyards in the west, and its Limousin beef production in the east, which in terms of scenery are worlds apart. The valley of the Charente River meanders down from Ruffec in the north through Angouleme onto Jarnac and Cognac. Confolens in the East of the department is situated on the banks of the majestic River Vienne, this area being known as the Charente Limousine, and is extremely popular with expatriates because it looks and feels like the UK. The south of the county which borders the Charente Maritime has a much better climate but less undulating scenery.

Virtual Tour

CHABANAIS
Dept
Charente

Floor
0 M2
Plot Size
2070 M2

Bath
3
Bed

     

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