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Monday, June 20, 2016

Two Cowboys on a Journey: Knotty Pine Cabins - Edmonton, Alberta

Tiny Houses Big Living

(Learn: ** Inspire: *** Amaze: * Live: ****)
(The Two Cowboys Subjective Rate-o-Meter.   )

Why do we spend so much of our time and money on things we will effectively never own? 

I am referring to accommodation and transport. The majority of our income goes into these two categories, and the taxes we pay (don't forget the taxes). The majority of our time goes into earning enough for servicing mortgage and other debt for our living and travel arrangements, while over time we have little to show for it. Most of us will never be in a position to own our house outright regardless of they payments we made. Is this the way things are supposed to be?

What if there is a way that we can indeed completely and fully own your own house: A simpler house, with less stuff and less to complicate life? What will we then do with our time and our money? I think I've found a solution with Andre and his family at Knotty Pine Cabins.

I was exploring possibilities, and while researching options, I discovered tiny houses and the tiny house movement. The tiny house movement (also known as the "small house movement) is a description of the architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in smaller homes. There is currently no set definition for what constitutes a tiny house. However, a residential structure under 500 square feet (46 m2) is generally accepted to be a tiny home. 

Smaller homes are less expensive than larger ones regarding taxes, building, heating, maintenance, and repair costs. In addition to costing less, small houses may encourage a less cluttered and simpler lifestyle, and also reduce the ecological impacts of its residents. Small houses may emphasise design over size, utilise dual purpose features, and multi-functional furniture while incorporate technological advances of space saving equipment and appliances.

Small houses may be attractive as starter homes, second homes or retirement houses. Two out of five people are over 50 with a need to answer their accommodation woes. The same goes for students and young families that cannot afford accommodation. All over Canada, there is a housing affordability problem. Is this the solution? Will the increased utilisation of tiny houses lead to the development of more land and the acceptance within communities, that there is a different approach to our accommodation needs? We don't need the half million Dollar square box we became accustomed to, as a standard home. It's not how it used to be.

At Knotty Pine Cabins, they are focused on more than gorgeous cabins. As a family owned and operated cabin building company, they've been building tiny (and big) in Alberta since 2007. They deliver fabulous cabins all over Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, and beyond. Most recently, they've started to put their cabins on wheels as Tiny Houses.

"It is just a natural progression for us," Andre said. "It makes sense that people are looking for good quality accommodations at less cost, with a simplified lifestyle." If you add to it that a Knotty Pine cabin can be self-assembled over a week, it sounds too good to be true. 

Andre mentioned that they have more than 400 happy customers each year. With that many cabins done over the last decade, Andre must be doing something right.


There is an energy and a can-do attitude when you walk into Knotty Pine Cabins. They know their stuff. Nothing is too difficult, and everything is about helping their customers. There is a solution, and Andre knows how to make it happen. The quality of construction is outstanding, and you can see that Andre and his crew knows what works, and what can be done with simple and functional designs.

What really stands out is the affordability of the structures. If this is set to the outstanding quality of the build, it is almost as if there is a catch. Knotty Pine Cabins should cost more. 

On the contrary, it leaves you wondering just how much are you over charged for conventional construction. Here is something outstanding in quality, and construction for a fee that won't break the bank, or leave you paying (and crying every month when you see your mortgage statement) for the remainder of your life.

Over the last year, Andre became a friend. His energy and passion are contagious. All that now remains is finding that ideal spot in the woods for my Knotty Pine Cabin or Tiny House.

Any suggestions?

Hendrik van Wyk
Tiny Living Enthusiast

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