My name is Eddy Boy Stencel.
I live in my tiny house by myself, it is designed as my recreational retreat and can accommodate up to 10+ people comfortably within my 10 tiny buildings/structures sanctuary. Camping Tents could also be an option for more individuals.
My main residence is in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada & my tiny house is situated on recreational space on 18 Acres of land in a wooded area near and bordering Selkirk, Ontario near Lake Erie. A creek (Stoney Creek) runs along the property line extending out to Lake Erie and near Selkirk Provincial Park in Haldimand County.
I decided to go tiny because it really fits my lifestyle and the land became available just 45 mins from my main residence in the Hammer (Hamilton). Of the 18 acres purchased, 14 acres is farmed yearly and helps pay for the taxes on the property. From living in a tiny home and my additional tiny living spaces and storage buildings all proved to be the right formula for my getaway place off the grid, chilling out and small business working location! Traveling north to Ontario cottage country, did not appeal to me! Everything that would be accomplished in spending time there would be defeated by traveling back and forth and facing nasty traffic, time consumed and emotional stress experienced. With that being said, I have always been intrigued about living in small spaces and had adopted a minimalist mindset towards living in the most efficient ways. I have always loved camping and spending time in nature and wanted a house with a cabin-like feel. I hoped that living tiny would really force me to be more mindful of simplicities in life, and to help me focus on the basic things that really matter.
I first learned about the tiny house movement on Pinterest, Tiny House Newsletters and the Internet. I was amazed, and I have always been interested in how architecture and spaces could be designed so efficiently in the most smallest of places! Sustainability was always important to me as well, and I knew that one day I wanted to live in a tiny house with land. This also proved fruitful in making the spot minimal as far as upkeep & maintenance while providing a nature sanctuary to live in.
The process is ongoing (A work in progress) and I am continually fine tuning accessories and add-ons. But firstly, I needed to prepare the land & design the layout for it to be most functional and ready for development within my vision. This was done over an 8 month period, everything from clean up, demolition, to fencing, grass seeding, replanting to deforestation and the fulfillment of my overall plan (Vision). I bought my tiny house 95% built and the wood workshop shell already completed! From the time I bought my home, to the time it was delivered to the property, it took about 8 months to prepare the stone plots for building positioning. Two of the outbuilding structures were already there but were in major disrepair and I toiled with tearing them down and starting over. But the frame structure were reasonably constructed and intact. New metal roofs and new barn board sheathing were installed to be consistent with all my current buildings exteriors. Both interiors of the first purchased buildings needed to be completed: kitchen cabinets, storage, furniture, work benches and stations to other functional requirements: electrical breaker box, lighting & multi G.F.I. hookup locations all accessible to buildings locations thru out the property. The second sleeping space was a tiny 2 floor Bunkie to accommodate visitors to the property. The Bunkie was purchased as a shell as well in the 2nd year of ownership and required insulation, paneling, electrical, ceiling tile & fans, laminate flooring, shelving and furnishings. I have owned the property now for 5 years
Originally, Ive been looked upon as a handyman, woodworker and mini contractor of sorts. I have been good at home improvements and renovation projects. I have lots of experience with using power tools and getting the job done quickly and efficiently. One of the other reasons on purchasing this property was due to conflicts I encompassed at my Hamilton residence and workshops. with my neighbors discuss and engaged Hamilton Bylaw enforcement on my post retirement business and entrepreneurial ways. So Acorn Innovations (my company/business) gained a new place to operate out of (Selkirk) without being hassled by the man approach so to speak! Woodworking, furniture repairs, antiques, collectables, small engine work and every odds and sods projects could be all accomplished without causing any riffs in my neighborhood, and in the tranquility of my country owned property. But also after realizing that doing a self-build might not fit into my timeline, I quickly found different pre- built structures online that I fell in love with and could be delivered and installed rather reasonably $ while finishing the balance of the work individually! After doing a lot of research on line: Denco Storage Sheds (North Guelph Mennonites), could and would provide me with structures that perfectly fit my criteria, and were available in different levels of completions and so I decided to buy! As for other tasks Selkirk had a plethora of contractors to access for various projects requiring heavy equipment or other special skill sets to expedite the overall process.
Finding a place to work out of was a little difficult for me, my search started out with cottage/ waterfront locations with accompanied land. But after a lot of searching, consulting and contacting real-estate people, we got really lucky and found the perfect spot. The land was previously owned by a former KGB agent from the Communist Soviet Union that used the land for cross country skiing & skeet shooting while farming 15 acres of this land. The gentleman had a 36 foot trailer and had constructed two addition outbuildings and used the land recreationally for many years while his health was good. But as he aged he used the property less often and decided to sell it at the ripe old age of 97 years. (Carl Nedkov)!
I have experienced so many benefits since purchasing my property and going tiny! It has caused me to be a lot more mindful of independence and living off the grid. Purchases: from food, to clothing, to knick knacks for my dwellings, have all been achieved through thrift shopping, garage sales and auctions. I also have had a lot of reusable left behind by the previous owners over the years: building materials, antiques and artifacts (One mans garbage is another mans treasure)! Simplifying my life has given me more clarity. And waking up in my loft with views right next to the trees are breathtaking and very relaxing! Views of my crops cultivating, (from seed to mature plants), an abundance of wildlife: deer, hawks, vultures, owls, coyotes, geese, groundhogs and fox run plentifully and are a pleasure to observe. Before going tiny, my life was more stressful. Now playing music, bicycling, A.T.V.ing, open fires, barbecue and ice cold beer are part of my daily recreational life when accessed. And the beauty of this it is only 45 min. away from my Hamilton home to my rural property. Its a totally relaxing drive while travelling on country back roads to my destination. Now, to top things off I can walk 5 minutes from my property to a restaurant, general store, bank and liquor/beer store for supplies while still living in my forest wonderland. And as icing on the cake: 10mins by bike to the shores of Lake Erie and a multitude of park trails along the scenic waterfront shoreline. What about some challenges? Something that is both a blessing and a curse is living off the grid, although hydro is available 24/7, drinking water is accomplish through holding tanks and have to be trucked in yearly. This has caused me to have a healthier relationship with technology and camping fundamentals, although it can be a little annoying, the back to basics pioneering life is quite rewarding to me personally. I also just went through a few winters, and have had some challenges with propane tanks running out, heating requirements and water freezing. Some people may see this as negative, however I see these events as fun and exciting challenges to overcome.
My tiny homes are special because they have such a warm, open feel. The windows and tall ceilings really make it feel bigger and more open than it is. We have unhindered views of the forest, fields and nature, which is really calming and peaceful. Also, I have really been able to decorate both my dwelling to fit my style with antiques and collectables!
I have many things that have continued to please me! My favorite hangout spot is the Sedated Steer (my man space and bar). It is one of the previous constructed outbuildings (which was converted into my hospitality center. Equipped with outdoor stools & service area while being totally sheltered from inclement elements). The location boosts scenic panoramic views on all 3 sides, forest tree lines, crop fields & fire pits. My favorite place is my canopied deck attached to my tiny home. This semi translucent covered area has benches & Muskoka chairs overlooking the entire compound! A great place to drink your morning coffee and text your love ones. Other elements include and are still growing a: wood burning sauna, horseshoe pit, outdoor showers, woodworking shop, Plant gardens, benches, Outhouse, rain water collection systems & ponds are all part of this recreational equation and experience.
Do research! Figure out what your non-negotiables are in a house and keep your parking spot in mind (Zoning Bylaws). Also, staying in tiny houses is a great way to get a feel for them. Actually stepping into and staying the night in different tiny houses is an excellent way to get some ideas of what kind of layout would work best and to see if tiny living is for you! Before I bought my buildings, I stayed in a lot of tiny cabins, campers and motorhomes to get ideas for what I wanted! I am constantly looking at new tiny home models through media to get new ideas of living tiny and off the grid. Remember were not here to reinvent the wheel, were here to improve on it.
Yes! My website is: www.acorninno.ca click on, Products Services, then on Selkirk Project, then hit Selkirk Gallery button on top of page to see the pictures. Until then, this is Eddy Boy Stencel saying, Who says you can not live tiny and off the grid but with Hollywood appliances?