House & Home: Tiny house living with a view

  • Brandon and Kelly Fisk turned a run down 600 square foot accessory dwelling into their main home, embracing the idea of tiny house living. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Brandon and Kelly Fisk turned a run down 600 square foot accessory dwelling into their main home, embracing the idea of tiny house living. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Brandon and Kelly Fisk turned a run down 600 square foot accessory dwelling into their main home, embracing the idea of tiny house living. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Brandon and Kelly Fisk turned a run down 600 square foot accessory dwelling into their main home, embracing the idea of tiny house living. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Brandon and Kelly Fisk turned a run down 600 square foot accessory dwelling into their main home, embracing the idea of tiny house living. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Brandon and Kelly Fisk turned a run down 600 square foot accessory dwelling into their main home, embracing the idea of tiny house living. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Brandon and Kelly Fisk turned a run down 600 square foot accessory dwelling into their main home, embracing the idea of tiny house living. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Brandon and Kelly Fisk turned a run down 600 square foot accessory dwelling into their main home, embracing the idea of tiny house living. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

  • Brandon and Kelly Fisk turned a run down 600 square foot accessory dwelling into their main home, embracing the idea of tiny house living. Staff photo by Tim Goodwin—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/28/2021 2:56:53 PM

The Squantam Road property overlooking Contoocook Lake in Jaffrey was perfect for Brandon and Kelly Fisk.

The five-acre sprawl included a 3,000-foot log cabin built as a hunting lodge using trees from the property, another smaller building that had originally been used as both a utility building for boats and in more recent times a livable space, and plenty of woods for further construction.

The log cabin was in dire need of repair, but Brandon, owner of Fisk Built Homes LLC, was up for the massive renovation project. He knew it would take time, but the price tag of the property was too good to pass up.

“I think it scared everybody,” Brandon said. “For a lot of people, it’s an overwhelming project.”

As he started planning for the renovation, the scope of it became a little more clear and even Brandon, a seasoned builder, knew it was even more than he originally anticipated. At the time, the Fisks were paying both rent for an apartment in Jaffrey and the property’s mortgage. That’s when Brandon got an idea.

He would first renovate the smaller 600 square foot dwelling into a complete tiny home so they could move on to the property and then tackle the log cabin as time allowed. But it too was in need of extensive work – just on a much smaller scale.

Brandon described it as rough with a huge hump in the floor, which was rotten underneath, no stove and essentially no storage space. But he and Kelly shared the same vision for what it could become – a livable tiny home.

When you walk in the front door off the 18-foot by 12-foot porch, which Brandon completely rebuilt, the house has one big open room consisting of the kitchen and living space, along with a bedroom off the back left and a bathroom in the rear. And that’s about it.

“Tiny home living isn’t for everyone,” Brandon said.

They decided to leave the walls where they stood, but the rest was rebuilt from the ground up. It started with replacing the floor supports, installing a vapor barrier and new oak flooring. The kitchen needed a lot of work, as Brandon had to figure out how to fit a dishwasher, stove and refrigerator into the area, while leaving enough room for cabinets, counter space and etching out room for a pantry.

He moved the refrigerator to allow for a custom-built pantry, which was designed using various food boxes in order to fit as much as possible. He built all the cabinets to fit the space and got two slabs from New England Forest Products in Greenfield for the counters. They wanted the rustic look of the bark on the counter’s edge and chose two pieces that would fit the necessary 24-inch depth, not knowing what kind of maple it was. The slabs turned out to be birdseye maple and upon staining a beautiful pattern emerged.

“What they have is what you get,” Brandon said. “These two were at the bottom of the pile, but they were from the same tree.”

The counters were done in an L-shape, which doubles for their eating area, with a round Boos block on the end. There’s even a copper cut out of the Old Man of the Mountain built into the counter.

The bedroom, which is big enough for a bed and dressers – and is also home to the electrical panel – had just a 3-foot by 3-foot closet, not nearly enough for the both of them. So Brandon got a variance from the town to build a 6-foot by 12-foot walk-in closet off the left side of the house. Above the bedroom is a small attic, which houses the hot water tank.

“People collect stuff and grow to their space,” Brandon said. “This forces you to keep the things you really need.”

The bathroom was reconfigured to maximize what little space was available. The sink and toilets were moved and it only had room for a standup shower. It’s where the washer and dryer are stacked and the floor is heated to 88 degrees.

And it all adds up to the perfect way of living for the couple.

“You have to stay somewhat organized. Everything has a place and it has to go back there,” Kelly said. “It doesn’t take a lot to make it messy.”

It forces you to get creative because 600 square feet isn’t a lot.

“If I lay down I can almost touch every room in the house if I stretch out,” Brandon said.

It was definitely an adjustment going from a 2,000-square-foot apartment to just over a quarter of that space.

“At first I was like, this is it?” Brandon said. “Now I love it. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

The only heat source is a pellet stove and it takes about three pallets for the entire year.

“It’s extremely efficient,” Kelly said. “Everything is so perfect.”

The previous deck was falling apart, so Brandon completely rebuilt it, adding a pergola, and it’s where they have dinner most warm nights. He put an 18 foot stone wall in front of the deck, using stones from the property. He built a roof off the right side intended for storage and concrete stairs (with their names etched in it) to go to the side yard, but has plans to turn it into a screened in porch area after the future plans come to fruition.

Instead of renovating the cabin, Brandon plans to tear it down and build a garage, office and workshop area. Eventually, the idea is to build a bigger house on another section of the property.

“It’s funny because that log house is why we bought the property,” he said.

But for now the Fisks don’t really need more space. Count them as big fans of tiny-home living.


Most Popular


Jobs



Support Local Journalism

Subscribe to the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript, your source for Peterborough area news.


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

20 Grove St.
Peterborough, NH 03458
603-924-7172

 

© 2020 Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy