Off-Grid Octagonal Tiny House, Greene County New York

This octagonal tiny house was a design build project of Third Floor Corporation. It has field built cross laid laminated beams as wind bracing. The roof is both insulated and vented. It is heated by a small wood stove. The electrical system is a direct wired 12 volt direct current. The photovoltaic collectors power a marine grade electrical components and devices such as might be found on a small yacht.
The house was designed as an isolated a writer’s study. It is about one half mile from the nearest hard surfaced road.

Off Grid octagonal cabin PV solar, with wood heat. Greenville NY.
Off Grid octagonal cabin PV solar, with wood heat. Greenville NY.

12 thoughts on “Off-Grid Octagonal Tiny House, Greene County New York

  1. Jess January 4, 2017 / 10:07 AM

    Hello, I was wonder if you know what the building codes in Greene County, NY say regarding tiny houses. Are there size restrictions for full time living structures (or other important details to know?) Any information you might have about this would be very much appreciated. My future husband and I are considering buying a piece of land near where I was raised in Greene Co. to possibly build a small home to live in year round. Thanks so much! 🙂

  2. doctorstructure January 4, 2017 / 11:13 AM

    Hi Jess,

    In my experience the building department in Greenville was not difficult to deal with. I am not sure in what town or municipality you intend to build. Most of the building codes are written by the state, but they are administered locally.

    I am not aware of any specific minimum sizes, though there are other kinds of codes that relate to space. These are such as clearances in a kitchen, clearances around heating appliances, ceiling heights, fire egress, stair rise and run ratios, etc.

    How small is small to you? Is your plan to house a couple only? Would you want a room for guests?

    My year round house is about 900 square feet. It houses me comfortably but my office has to double as a guest room from time to time. I recently built a small house for a retired woman at about 1400 square feet. This was quite adequate with two baths a guest room an office space and an eat in kitchen-dining-living room.

    The tiny houses that I have done are less than 200 square feet. But these are one room situations and typically are not fully appointed in terms of amenities that one might expect in a full time year round house for a couple to share.

    I have never had difficulty with building inspectors as long as the work was well designed, clearly drawn, respectful of zoning concerns and impact on neighbors and as long as I was forthright with the building departments and open to discussing plans prior to the start of construction.

    Please feel free to get in touch with me directly by email or give us a call at 914-263-6148.

    • Jess January 7, 2017 / 9:55 AM

      Hello Again!

      Thanks very much for your thorough reply, I appreciate it. The town of Greenville is actually our ideal place to build, if we chose to go that route.

      We’re looking for more of a “modestly sized” house (at about 800-1200 square feet, max) than a “tiny” house. Your place sounds ideal, as we’d like a minimum of two bedrooms (I have a home-based business, so I need a spot to work and store my merchandise.) I’m big on cooking, so we’d probably want to have a decent sized (or just have a decent amount of work space and storage) kitchen, and a living room big enough for the basics: couch, TV, maybe an armchair. Serviceable bathroom, maybe a half bath too, if we can swing it.

      I think the main issue we’re running into looking at conventional housing for sale is that we’d like more than an acre of land, and a lot of the houses we’re seeing with more property (in our meager price range) are mobile and manufactured homes. We’d really like something with decent craftsmanship that will last decades, and a lot of light coming in. Those are the main priorities in terms of design. I love vintage homes, anything before 1975 is fun, but of course those can fetch top dollar (unless they need renovation beyond our current abilities.)

      Right now I’m still in the research stage, since our current house hasn’t sold yet. But with what I’m seeing available on the market for the past year, and our budget, I’m keeping an open mind as to our options.

      Thanks for your insights, Doctor Structure! I will definitely take down your contact information, should we decide to build once our current home sells. 🙂

      • doctorstructure January 9, 2017 / 10:09 PM

        Jess, If you put a 600 Square foot plan 20×30 on a foundation that allows for a full basement and add a second story. This is an efficient structure to build. You can even add storage to an attic. I look forward to hearing from you when the time comes.

  3. Jamie August 8, 2018 / 3:52 PM

    i love ;your structure My husband and I want to build near Cairo NY a cabin inexpensibly, 1 room, kitchen and bathroom Your structure is awsome. Do you have the plans

    • doctorstructure May 31, 2023 / 4:18 PM

      Laurence, I built this some years ago. It is 12 feet across the opposing parallel sides. It is a true octagon, so symmetrical. It was built to be an office for writing, So does not have kitchen and such.

      • LDF June 1, 2023 / 12:34 PM

        is it possible to visit it and see it? We are in Saugerties

      • laurencefrommer June 1, 2023 / 12:36 PM

        is it possible to visit and see it? We are in Saugerties

      • doctorstructure June 2, 2023 / 1:33 AM

        I would have to ask the owners. We finished up work there over a decade ago, and no longer have routine access to the property.
        We can custom build any form that you could contemplate.

        I am working on major projects and also have a property in Red Hook. Saugerties is not too far.

      • laurencefrommer June 2, 2023 / 1:39 PM

        ohhhh I thought that you yourself were the owner..

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