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A Fire Destroyed Their Dream Home, Forcing This Couple to Rebuild

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When a fire tore through the forest outside Evergreen CO in 2012, it destroyed the 1200 square-foot home that Kristen Moeller and her husband David Cottrell lived in. Scrambling to escape, they left just about everything, saving only their wedding photos. Upon returning, only a charred totem pole remained standing. Their house, boat, and belongings were vaporized.
  • a fire destroyed their dream home forcing this couple to rebuild, architecture, go green, home improvement
They would spend the next two years displaced from their property, living at friend's houses and in an airstream trailer. When a government rebate finally came through, they started thinking about rebuilding on their property. A friend suggested they pitch to Tiny House Nation, the TV series on FYI Network so they did. Two hours later they heard back. They were approved to be on the show.
  • a fire destroyed their dream home forcing this couple to rebuild, architecture, go green, home improvement
With help from a Miami-based company, Cabin Fever, they started the process, opting for a 500 square-foot home that would cost much less than their previous house. The home is built using Cabin Fever's pre-fab units, with two "bump out"s on either side that offer a bit of extra space for a home office and washroom.
  • a fire destroyed their dream home forcing this couple to rebuild, architecture, go green, home improvement
Earlier this year, they received clearance from the zoning boards and were approved to move into their new house. The change hasn't been without its share of difficulty though. For instance, the couple shares a small office and when they're both on the phone it can be a challenge. They can't make trips to Costco to fill up on a month's worth of groceries, and their two Rhodesian Ridgebacks seem to occupy the lone couch space more often.
  • a fire destroyed their dream home forcing this couple to rebuild, architecture, go green, home improvement
But those challenges are a trifle compared to the newfound freedom their tiny home provides. It's built completely off the grid, relying on solar power for energy. Their view stretches for miles, overlooking the charred remains of trees into an expansive forest far beyond.
  • a fire destroyed their dream home forcing this couple to rebuild, architecture, go green, home improvement
Learn more about this couple's journey and check out more photos of their home below.

To see more: http://tinyhousefor.us/tiny-house-spotlight/this-couple-lost-everything-in-a-fire-and-rebuilt-a-500-square-foot-off-grid-house/

Got a question about this project?

  • Mike Meisner
    Mike Meisner Grass Valley, CA

    It is a bit small. I could probably do 600-900 with a nice outdoor space though.

  • Jim Root
    Jim Root Layton, UT

    I'm all for downsizing but why would you purposely build a home that does not meet your needs? "The change hasn't been without its share of difficulty though. For instance, the couple shares a small office and when they're both on the phone it can be

  • Mike Meisner
    Mike Meisner Grass Valley, CA

    I imagine it comes down to costs, and they were simply squeezed from all sides, though I agree with you - if I worked from home with my wife I'd opt for a little more space to keep us separate.

  • Eleanor G
    Eleanor G Littleton, CO

    I think this is the couple chainsaw artist, Rick Krupicka, carved a beautiful Phoenix Totem Pole for. I hope they post a picture of it on their yard. It is one of the most beautiful totems I've ever seen.

  • Annie Doherty

    Kudos to them both, it could not have been easy after losing all of your possessions and living with friends and in a trailer for two years. It may not just be monetary, maybe after the fire they knew what was essential and just wanted to be settled

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