For many seniors, tiny houses provide the most suitable living spaces because they're small, easier to navigate and require less upkeep. Undoubtedly, these are some factors that Josh Wynne took into consideration when designing and building a modern sustainable cabin for his aging father.
Named after its occupant, "Mike's Hammock" is a 604-square-foot one bedroom, one bath home situated on Wynne's property in the Florida Gulf Coast town of Nokomis. Equal parts sophisticated and sustainable, the cabin was built using a combination of local and recycled products such as its Southern Yellow Pine frame, which as sourced from a nearby housing development construction site.
True to its eco-friendly design, the house maintains a modest footprint with the help of a customized central air and heating system equipped with a double-wall, exposed metal duct that helps distribute air evenly throughout the space, contributing to average monthly energy costs of around $25. On the style side, the interior is clad in Southern Pine wood paneling accompanied by sliding glass doors and well-placed windows that offer tons of light and viewing opportunities of the surrounding marsh wildlife. Pitched ceilings give the illusion of extra space.
To accommodate Mike, who has limited mobility due to health issues, Wynne opted out of installing upper cabinets and used only full-extension drawers for easier access. The doors are sizeable enough to easily accommodate wheelchairs. The bathroom is also equipped with extra space for walkers and wheelchairs and features a shower with a fold-down seat and support for grab bar installation.
Due to its cantilevered design, the tiny cabin appears to float above the surrounding native Sabal palm trees. As Inhabitat notes, Wynne was careful to keep the project low impact, planting three trees to replace the one he removed during construction.
Additionally, the engineered wood that frames the roof was installed without a crane. "It minimizes impacts by utilizing trees that are younger and using them more efficiently than solid-sawn lumber," Wynne told New Atlas. Overall, the tiny house construction produced a modest amount of waste – less than a dumpster full, in fact.