Friday, November 19, 2010

Designing: Two doors, or not two doors?

Laura and I have been discussing the idea of having two doors in our cabin/Tiny House.  This design issue presents a large number of questions that must be answered before the first board is laid down.  I like the idea of having two access points but I am even more enamored by the idea of having two exits.  I have been thinking a lot about this design issue for a few weeks and I keep turning it over and over in my head because of a number of issues.

The obvious problems became crystal clear to me as I was reading a blog posted by a fellow minimalist and blogger, Ryo Chijiiwa of Laptop and a Rifle.  I have been reading Ryo for some time and was reading some of his older posts when I came across a July 16th, 2010 post relating the details of a very harrowing experience that focus the light of attention like a laser beam on this issue.

1. Security - two doors swing both ways in this area, literally, because while you can increase ingress/egress by increasing the number of openings, you also increase you exposure to potentials for vandalism.  This may not be a problem is you were planning on living in a Tiny House full time, but since we are planning something more like a storage shed/hideaway retreat kind of cabin, the extra door presents as much of an opportunity for fire exits and it does for problems by vandals.

2. Storage space - wall space will be a premium for many reasons, not the least of which is storage.  Since we are talking about a very small volume of square feet, say 120 or less, the idea of using precious wall space for an additional door seems almost wasted.  The only real recovery of this lost area is to go up with overhead storage.  If you know me personally, this is not a problem because I am 6'3" and I already have a tendency to place things above the reach of others when I store them, without thinking about the fact that Laura may not be able to reach whatever I'm putting up, simply because I can.

3. Increased cost - Adding additional doors will simply cost more unless I manufacture the door myself.  While I have begun to get comfortable with some woodworking and construction, I don't have the tools to create a nice door.  Not that I could acquire the tools and experience, but this would still require additional resources and the core concepts of this project imply minimalism, not acquisition.

I mentioned in another post about learning from others that have struggled with some of the same questions that I have come across.  I intend to incorporate some of the lesson that my online friend Ryo has presented in his blog, Laptop and a Rifle I mentioned above.  (Ryo is busy working on Hut2.0)
I think we will have two doors. I just haven't figured out how to include this in a design efficiently.  I have a picture in my head that I will be working to get into the computer via Google Sketcher, provided free from Google, when I have the time to learn how to actually produce something usable.

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