Tiny Houses

6 August 2014


A site plan on paper is good, but getting a feel for the location of our tiny house on the actual site is even better. So, one lovely, sunny morning, we trundled over to 223 N. Atlantic Avenue, site plan, measuring tape, stakes and string in hand. First we measured the width and length of the site and found it’s corners. And then, as accurately as possible (but with a fair amount of guesswork) we staked the four corners of our tiny house.


And finally, we tried to estimate the height of our tiny house, to understand its relationship to its neighbor and to the street.


In a few short hours we discovered some important things.

1.  Minim is taller than we thought it would be. The site slopes up from south to north, so at the southern end, Minim’s floor could be between one and two feet above ground.

2.  The large tree at the back of the site is not ours, although its heavy branches hang over it. We are going to have to set some money aside to prune it.

3.  We need to think long and hard about how Minim meets the sidewalk. Minim’s facade is bare and uninviting. How can we give it some sexy “street appeal”?

4.  We hate the idea of giving up the side yard for a parking pad, but off-street parking is required in the City of Pittsburgh, and we are committed to following the zoning code.  We’re going to explore alternative parking surfaces that will make that pad usable as green, outdoor space since we are sure that not all tiny house owners own cars.

5.  223 N. Atlantic Avenue is a lovely place to be on a sunny, summer day.



  1. Jack Osgood said on

    I’m really happy to see more info posted about this project as I hope to begin building a tiny house of my own in Garfield in 6 to 9 months. Is the Minim going to be constructed on-site or will it be constructed off-site then placed on a foundation? Does not pursuing a variance for the off-street parking requirement mean that funds will have to be spent for a curb cut at the street?

  2. BrianTH said on

    Not sure of your budget or concept for the parking pad, but I just wanted to mention that we just used the Eco-Tek permeable pavers for our driveway, and it is a lovely product.

  3. admin said on

    Great paver! Thanks for the lead Brian.

  4. admin said on

    You’ll see much more information quickly now. We waited a long time for our survey but have that in hand now. We don’t know yet if we’ll construct on or off site. We’ll be pricing both. And yes, not pursuing an off-street parking variance does mean we have to provide a curb cut.

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