This Fourth of July weekend, we visited our barn raiser, which currently sits in a yard in Sonoma County, north of San Francisco. When we’re ready, it’ll be delivered to our build site, which we haven’t secured yet. This past week, I found a potential site on the Peninsula that sounded exactly like what we’re looking for: an indoor/outdoor setup on the private lot of a shipping company, including a parking spot and a secure storage space for tools and materials.

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Since our last post in April, Nick and I have been busy, but not with tiny house planning. Both of our jobs are consuming, and when the weekends roll around, there’s always something, as life goes. ErrandsA party. Nephews and a niece running around the house. A much-needed getaway, away from our laptops. Or simply the desire to just be.

Tiny house planning is overwhelming. I can see how this path is not for everyone, or why people might reconsider — or give up on — this dream of living on wheels. Nick has spent the past several months learning about electricity, solar, plumbing, propane and electric heaters, cooktop options, and wood stoves; gauging our daily energy usage; considering various setups; and ensuring our solar setup works. I hope Nick will elaborate on this process once all the parts are in place. One general thing I’ve noticed from our conversations is that each decision, each option we choose, truly affects everything else — especially within such a tiny space.

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One of the items on our To Do list is to stay in tiny houses when we can — to really get a feel for living and sleeping in a space of less than 150 square feet. I can daydream, pin images on Pinterest, and write about living in a cute tiny house all I want, but it’d be foolish to move forward without spending time in as many tiny houses as possible.

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The closest thing I’ve ever had to a front porch was in my second year of college, from 1998 to 1999, when I shared a small three-bedroom house with my friend Leah in Westchester, minutes from LAX. We were among a few sophomores who lived off campus, so our house became quite the regular party spot. In the beginning, we had an older female roommate — a woman in her late-twenties with two dogs and a full-time job in Hollywood — but with all the impromptu parties I threw and noise I made, I drove her out of the house after just a month or so.

While our backyard was pretty big and we spent a lot of time out there, our front porch — painted white to match the trim of the house — was my favorite place to congregate: to smoke and have a beer, to wait for friends who came over, and to watch people at the drive-through window at the combined Taco Bell and KFC across the street. We also lived steps away from the Fireside, a bar close to campus that accepted obviously fake IDs, as well as the Furama Hotel, another drinking spot. So we lived in a place that saw a lot of foot traffic, action, and mischief — all the time.

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