Charles Finn, Writer And Tiny Home Builder, Finds Freedom In 'Living Little' (PHOTOS)

03/12/2013 04:35 pm ET | Updated May 31, 2013
Lynn Donaldson

Meet Charles Finn. A writer at heart, he's had quite a journey to make his passion the priority. In order to have the time (and the money) to do so, he roughed it out in the woods of British Columbia for ten years and lived in an 8 x 12 micro-cabin in Montana for another five. Finn tells us 'a full-time job was out of the question', so he gradually cut down on expenses by trading a car for a bike and going without electricity or running water. Now, Finn lives in a slightly larger house in New Jersey with his wife while maintaining his micro-cabin in Montana. And when asked about his time in a tiny home, Finn tells us he enjoys and finds freedom in 'living little.' He's even made it a point to help others do the same by building micro-cabins on commission.

Named after literary figures (after all, his self-reliant customers would probably look up to Thoreau, so why not name a model after the author) and different species of native woods, the homes combine a high degree of function with a certain degree of whimsy. Each of the 8 cabins he's built approximately cover 96 square feet, give or take--a detail that, according to Oregon Live, makes it easy to transport the house on a trailer or moved to a permanent foundation. And keeping true to his own experience of 'living little,' the cabins don't have running water or electricity.

His favorite aspect of micro-cabin building? Well, it also happens to be the hardest stage of the process: finding and preparing his materials. Finn spends a large portion of his time culling reclaimed lumber (usually from his local deconstruction company Heritage Timber) and reviving the wood. By salvaging old planks, he can use a higher quality of wood without impacting budget. And since the dimensions of each plank is different, each finished cabin is completely unique.

Finn wrote a book, Wild Delicate Seconds, and also serves as the editor of High Desert Journal, a literary and arts publication dedicated to the people, places and issues of the American interior west. For more information on Finn, you can find him on both his personal blog and professional website, A Room Of One's Own.

Charles Finn

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