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Convertible Spaces

An important concept and function of a tiny house is multiple uses for everything. This includes space. Being able to convert a space from a work area to a dining table or from a seating area to a bed can double the function in a tiny house. A number of building strategies can be implemented to obtain the double, triple, or even quadruple uses you desire. My favorite method is combing the design stage with the building stage by actually holding the mechanisms, brackets, or hinges you intend to use and going back and forth between paper(or computer) designs and the materials. Before permanently fastening anything, it is prudent to have a clear path of how you will get to the final product. a 3D rendering can ensure material is not wasted and will save headaches down the road.

Another method for designing and building convertible spaces is to imagine how you want the space to be in one mode (say when you want to sleep) and then imagine the same space in another mode (say when you have guests over). Next consider what it would take to change these scenes and begin breaking down that process. The most efficient method obviously is the one that requires the fewest steps while also compromising the least amount between the optimal function of the two scenes.

Favorite mechanisms of builders for implementing the movement necessary to transform spaces include hinges, pulleys, rope, hidden latches and handles(think boat design and storage), hydraulic lifts, oscillating bearings, drawer slides and drawers, collapsible geometric construction, and motion sensors.

Designing convertible spaces requires a lot of forethought and a complete understanding of the actual sizes of all objects involves. If you are not computer modeling, ensure that any paperwork you do is drawn to scale or make sure you check the full range of movement during assembly/disassembly. By drawing to scale or modeling, you may even discover wonderful accidents along the way.

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