This is a great real conversation about what it’s like living tiny. Megan Lockhart doesn’t try to hide the things that are struggles for her and her family and she’s also great about advocating for the benefits of tiny living. We talk about the pros and cons, trials and tribulations, and the immense benefit Megan feels she and her family get from the tiny house lifestyle. Stick around after the credits to hear a bonus session where Megan shares how her builder forgot to install the furnace in her tiny house and how it wreaked havoc in their first winter!
In This Episode:
- Questions you should ask about your tiny home
- The never-ending process of tidying up
- Pros and cons of compost toilets
- Creating more spaces for children
- Tips for working from home in a tiny house
- How did the builder forget to install her furnace?
Links and Resources:
Inspired by her belief that living tiny doesn’t have to mean living small, Megan sold everything in 2021 and now resides in a tiny home with her partner Neil, 11-year-old daughter, 8-year-old son & two dogs. She lives a much simpler life and runs her business full time from the tiny on the side of a mountain. She lives on 40 acres in Golden British Columbia.
She has featured on reputable shows like The Insider, Go Solo, Dwell, and Tiny House Ideas among others. She's passionate about showing others that they can make HUGE changes – including leaving the expectations of mainstream suburban life.
This Week's Sponsor:
Tiny House Considerations
Tiny House Considerations is an 8-week interactive course to plan your tiny house with Ethan Waldman and Lina Menard as your guides. Includes:
- Weekly Lessons and Assignments
- Weekly Live Zoom Q&A Sessions with Two Pro Instructors
- Comprehensive Templates
- An Amazing Community
Learn more and register: https://www.thetinyhouse.net/thc
Megan's house is 41 feet long and 465 square feet of indoor space
It was her Airbnb before they moved in full-time
Megan believes that living tiny doesn't have to mean living small
There are two lofts so each child has their own room
The mini split heats and cools
The downstairs bedroom has a queen mattress and an ensuite bathroom
Such a breathtaking view!
Megan Lockhart 0:00
It just freezes. There's nothing we can do about it. So we do have some times where we can't use our running water.
Ethan Waldman 0:06
Oh, wow. And do you have a you have like a backup system when that happens?
Megan Lockhart 0:09
No, we don't.
Ethan Waldman 0:14
All right. Welcome to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast, the show where you learn how to plan, build, and live the tiny lifestyle. I'm your host, Ethan Waldman and this is episode 232 with Megan Lockhart. Megan lives tiny with her partner, two kids and two dogs in Golden, British Columbia. And this is just a really great conversation, a really great real conversation about what it's like living tiny, the pros and the cons, the trials and the tribulations and also the immense benefits that Megan feels that that she and her family get from this lifestyle. Megan is very honest. She doesn't try to hide the things that are struggles for her and her family. And she also is great about advocating for the benefits of tiny living. I hope you stick around and listen to this conversation with Megan Lockhart. And if you stick around until after the credits, there's a bonus session with Megan, where she shares her builder actually forgot to put the furnace in her tiny house, and how that wreaked havoc the first winter and what she's going to do about it. I was happy that Megan was willing to be so honest and share the challenges that she had working with her tiny house builder. I hope you stick around.
Tiny House Considerations is back! If you're getting serious about tiny house living, then I'd like to invite you to join me and my co teacher, Lina Menard, in an eight-week online course where you will delve into planning your tiny house from the trailer or foundation all the way up to the roof and everything in between, with a small group of students and me and Lina as your guide. This is the most comprehensive training that I offer for planning and building a tiny house and students are really loving it. You can learn more about Tiny House Considerations at thetinyhouse.net/THC. Again that's thetinyhouse.net/THC which stands for Tiny House Considerations. Class starts on October 5, and we meet every Thursday for eight weeks. By the end of the course you will have filled out your Tiny House Decisions workbook, picked your appliances, developed a budget, and potentially even started laying out your tiny house. You can learn more at thetinyhouse.net/THC to learn more and join us for the fall 2022 edition of Tiny House Considerations hope to see you in class.
Right I am here with Megan Lockhart. Inspired by her belief that living tiny doesn't have to mean living small, Megan sold everything in 2021 and now resides in a tiny home with her partner Neil, 11-year-old daughter, 8-year-old son, and two dogs. She lives a much simpler life and runs her business full time from the side of a mountain. She lives on 40 acres in Golden British Columbia. She has been featured on shows like The Insider. Go Solo, Dwell, and Tiny House Ideas, among others. Megan is passionate about showing others that they can make huge changes, including leaving the expectations of mainstream suburban life. Megan Lockhart, welcome to the show.
Megan Lockhart 3:48
Hi, thank you so much for having me.
Ethan Waldman 3:50
Yeah, you're very welcome. I'm excited to chat. Your tiny home is beautiful, by the way, I've been kind of googling pictures. And I was curious if you could kind of tell the extended story of of how how you ended up in a tiny house.
Megan Lockhart 4:04
Okay, I have a really honest and a little bit of a wild story, but I'm going to share it with you.
Ethan Waldman 4:10
Let's do it.
Megan Lockhart 4:11
So I bought the tiny house in 2019 during the Great Pandemic, and was going to move out here to homeschool the kids but quickly realized I didn't have running water, I didn't have electricity, and living here with the kids and not owning a pickup truck or anything would be really hard. So I decided to Airbnb, the tiny house, rent in the city. And then kind of got - that got old, fast. And I was like, "We have a much simpler life in the tiny house." So we dove right in full time in January. So the middle of winter which was a wild ride. But that's how we ended up out here full time.
Ethan Waldman 4:57
Wow. And so How long did you Airbnb it? And and was that you know, was was it working out for you? Or was that part of the decision why you wanted to come back to it?
Megan Lockhart 5:09
Yeah, so we had Airbnbed it for almost 18 months and it was super successful. People loved the experience.
Ethan Waldman 5:16
Megan Lockhart 5:17
They loved disconnecting, they loved coming out to the mountains and working. We had fantastic reviews, we became a super host. It was it was magical. And I can't wait to own another one.
Ethan Waldman 5:28
Megan Lockhart 5:28
But we, there were some other little pieces. I was going through divorce. The economy was doing really, really well in Calgary where we were living. And our landlord wanted to sell the house and basically said, "It's time for you to get out of the house that you're renting."
Ethan Waldman 5:48
Megan Lockhart 5:49
Yeah, it was wild. But in this really beautiful chaotic mess, I looked at it, you know, I looked at my partner and said, "We want to be out there anyways. Whoever we believe in is pushing us to go there now." So that was also the pushing factor to get us into the tiny and it never feels small. We aren't Airbnbing it anymore. Obviously we're living in it full time. But it was really, really successful. I would do it again in a heartbeat for sure.
Ethan Waldman 6:19
Nice. Can you give us - since since podcasts are not visual - can you kind of describe your tiny house and maybe talk about some of the specs like the length, the width, that kind of stuff?
Megan Lockhart 6:30
For sure. Yeah, it's big. It's 41 feet,
Ethan Waldman 6:36
Megan Lockhart 6:36
which is 460 square feet. The kids, they walk in, there's a living room. Above the living room, there's a loft for my daughter. And then there's a kitchen space, which flows into a dining room. And then I have my ensuite bathroom, which I love, which is hilarious and a tiny home.
Ethan Waldman 6:56
Megan Lockhart 6:57
That goes right into the master bedroom. And the master bedroom has a full queen size bed in it. And then above the bathroom is my son's loft. So there's two lofts, and then an area for a master bedroom. So there's lots of privacy in here.
Ethan Waldman 7:14
Yeah, so there's multiple bedrooms, multiple bathrooms, even.
Megan Lockhart 7:20
Ethan Waldman 7:22
One bathroom. Okay,
Megan Lockhart 7:23
I call it the ensuite because it's like connected to the master bedroom. And everybody kind of thinks it's the most ridiculous thing, just one bathroom. Two bathrooms would be wild and a tiny house.
Ethan Waldman 7:34
That would be wild. And in terms of your utilities, are you still off grid where you are?
Megan Lockhart 7:43
So no, we're not off-grid anymore. We are off-grid water, which is super fun. And I love it because we're very aware of our water consumption. But we do have electricity now. And the electricity is a blessing because when it's hot here, it gets super hot. And it's nice to have the lights and not rely on the solar grid. We do have solar panels too. But for the water, we haul our water in and we put 1000 liters under the tiny and we pump it in through the tiny so everything is... We go through about 1000 litres of water a week, which might sound like a lot for some people, but we're a family of four. That includes laundry, showers, dishwasher, which we're spoiled, but all the good things.
Ethan Waldman 8:38
And you know 1000 sounds like a big number. But for those Imperial fans, well not fans, but those who are used to Imperial that's about 264 gallons. So not not a terrible amount of water for, for a large number of you know, for our family. How do you haul the water? And can you talk about like, how does that work?
Megan Lockhart 9:01
So, it's kind of a cool story. I think it's a cool story. When we first got the tiny we had to go to a creek and fill a tank of water on the pickup truck.
Ethan Waldman 9:12
Megan Lockhart 9:12
But now the city actually, or the town, is redeveloping the highway. So they gave us access to free water, which is fantastic. Because they took away our creek. They had to take away the creek to redo the highway. So we get free town water. We still have to go to town. They have like a pump system where we fill the tank and then we empty, we drain the tank into the tank that's under the tiny house. And I actually posted some videos on Instagram because so many people were asking about it and I'm like, "I have to film this process". And in the middle of winter, the process sucks. Terrible. It's cold. We're out there holding the hose to drain it in. But it makes you really appreciate Every little bit of water that you do use, though.
Ethan Waldman 10:04
Now, how do you keep that water under the tiny house from freezing in the winter?
Megan Lockhart 10:11
That is a fantastic question. And because we didn't for the first little while we were brand new to the whole experience, which is part of why I love living tiny as well, because you learn so many things every day, every week, like almost every hour, there's something to learn about it. But we, the first few weeks that we were here, we didn't have the front of the tiny skirted or insulated, we just kind of thought it should be fine. And quickly realized everything freezes, like the water freezes when it hits a certain temperature, which sounds ridiculous, but it's, you know, science.
Ethan Waldman 10:49
Megan Lockhart 10:50
So we now have it insulated. And we have a door that lifts up so we can get the hose and drain the water in there. And then we have, we have a heater and a thermostat inside the, the area that the water is living in. And as soon as the inside of that area turns a certain temperature the heater pumps on and warms up that little tiny space. And it's been a lifesaver. However, even with that heating system, there are some times when it just if we're in a few weeks of cold, cold weather. It just freezes. There's nothing we can do about it. So we do have some times where we can't use our running water.
Ethan Waldman 11:32
Oh, wow. And do you have a you have like a backup system when that happens?
Megan Lockhart 11:37
No. We don't. It just is what it is. We get our drinking water from town as well. We just have bottles. But no, there's a few days after skiing or after doing things where you come back and you're like, "Unfortunately, children, we can't have showers today."
Ethan Waldman 11:58
Yep. Too cold. Are there? Are there improvements to that system that you think could like, make the difference?
Megan Lockhart 12:06
Yeah, we're we're in September right now and it is starting to get a little bit chillier in the evenings.
Ethan Waldman 12:11
Megan Lockhart 12:12
So we have gotten heated cables to wrap around things. We also skirted the rest of the tiny, so it didn't have autumn. And now that we're here full time, we spent the last few weeks putting insulation and everything. So I'm hoping this winter will be smoother. Because it it was pretty crappy sometimes last winter, but it'll be okay.
Ethan Waldman 12:40
Yeah, I hope so for for your sake. But I'll bet the heat tape will make a big difference.
Megan Lockhart 12:45
Yeah. And you know, it was interesting, because I'm new to the tiny space and the tiny world. And when I purchased the tiny home, I didn't even think of asking those questions I didn't think of asking like, "How will it do in the winter? What do I do with the water? How do I, you know, how do I skirt this? What is it going to cost you to do those things?" None of those questions came up for me.
Ethan Waldman 13:11
And so do you feel like you've You got lucky? Or do you feel like you you got the short end the short straw?
Megan Lockhart 13:22
I think I got a learning experience. So I think that... I like to, when people are part of the communities and asking questions about tiny and winter. It's very different in Canada than it is in areas of the States that don't have freezing cold winter, or long, extended winters. And I think that for homebuilders and for consumers and buyers of tiny homes, we should have some education about these things. Like we should say, "Hey, here's the climate I live in what questions should I ask? Right? And and what kind of heating sources should I put inside the tiny right?"
Ethan Waldman 14:04
Yeah, and hose are things that you don't usually ask those questions of a normal builder, but in a tiny house, it really makes a difference. And that's actually a good question. Like how do you heat the tiny house?
Megan Lockhart 14:15
Yeah, so we have a mini spit that heat the tiny, but because our tiny is so big, the mini spit doesn't reach the whole house. And then we also have electric, electric heat. And that's in each, that's in the master room and it does get pretty toasty in here. And then the mini split is also so it's heat and air conditioning. So that is how we heat it. I would, now that we're here, I would have loved to put a fireplace, like a wood burning fireplace.
Ethan Waldman 14:47
Megan Lockhart 14:48
But that's not in the plan.
Ethan Waldman 14:53
it's a it's a nice aesthetic. For sure. It's tough in a tiny house though, to have a woodstove just from the where you store the wood and how much wood you can store inside and just the mess of all that and keeping them going. It's a lot.
Megan Lockhart 15:11
Yeah. And it's, it sounds beautiful like very pretty but you're right. Right now with the two dogs the front of the house. Oh my gosh, it gets so messy. It's always messy.
Ethan Waldman 15:22
Yeah, yeah. But it cleans up fast, right?
Megan Lockhart 15:25
Ethan Waldman 15:27
That's awesome. So have you done like a video on 12 minute Tiny House cleanup?
Megan Lockhart 15:32
No, I haven't yet because, okay. It's also funny, I was listening to some of your other previous shows. And you know, it is true people always have these beautiful pictures of what their tiny homes look like on social media. But the reality is, they get really messy, fast, they also clean up really fast. But you're trying to always find things are like spots for things like, "Where should we put the winter jackets? Where should we store the dog's food?" No videos.
Ethan Waldman 16:03
Yeah. And and in terms of those storage solutions? Is it the kind of thing that like, you kind of set it and forget it? Or is it like a process like that you're always kind of maybe adding new things, taking away old things and figuring out how they how they all fit?
Megan Lockhart 16:19
It's 100% a process. And it's always evolving. I find, like blankets, and food and baking items and dog things and kids things and seasonal items. I'm always changing this tiny house. Always. And it is a little bit fun. Yeah, because you discover what works and what doesn't. And then when it finally works, something else has to come into the tiny and needs to be changed. So and then you kind of wanted the tiny to have one spot for every single item. And that's just not the reality because the seasons change, and your kids change and the dogs change and you have to move things. So yeah, always.
Ethan Waldman 17:03
Do you have any kind of off-site storage for those offseason items?
Megan Lockhart 17:09
Yeah, we do. We didn't before; we kind of had enough room when we just were Airbnbing the place. But this, we did finish a shed. And it's been a lifesaver, because we do have the storage bins that keep you know, our winter jacket and our luggage and you know, things that you're not using day to day. And then we also have a like a carport outside. Obviously it's not inside. It's outside but it houses or sees some of the equipment that we need around here like a snowblower and a lawn mower. So you do I think you need storage. Storage is really important when you're in a tiny
Ethan Waldman 17:59
Yeah, no, it's definitely important. And you you own your land, correct?
Megan Lockhart 18:06
Yeah, we own the land. So we have a I know that in the tiny home community it can get difficult to find, find spaces for it, but we do own the land.
Ethan Waldman 18:17
And is Golden friendly to tiny houses?
Megan Lockhart 18:22
How do I be how can I be politically correct about this? The town of Golden is resistant to tiny homes.
Ethan Waldman 18:33
Megan Lockhart 18:33
I'm right on the boundary of the town of Golden. So I am fortunate in that way. Because we're right across the road to the boundary.
Ethan Waldman 18:46
Okay, so you're not technically in Golden.
Megan Lockhart 18:49
That's right. So we've actually been approached by several people, like, "Would you put a tiny?" I get a lot of, "Could I put my tent up there?" And it's, and I'm not against it. I just this is my first year being here. And I want to understand more of the rules and regulations though.
Ethan Waldman 19:13
Yeah, totally. Totally. I'm kind of in a similar situation. I'm not living in my tiny anymore, but it is actually an Airbnb now on on somebody's property that I'm renting. And it's very much under the radar. So like my biggest fear is like having to move it you know, because I've got all these you know, bookings out for several months.
Megan Lockhart 19:39
Yeah, nightmare. But yeah, that's that's scary. That's risky, but it is. You have to trust the process. It always works out right.
Ethan Waldman 19:48
Exactly. Yeah. Trust the process. So when you bought your tiny house was it you know, did you buy it new kind of like custom for you, or was it a used house? Or can you talk about like the process that you went through buying the house?
Megan Lockhart 20:07
Yeah, I... So I knew I wanted a tiny house. A lot of people were like, "Why don't you go with a modular home? Or do this or this?" I was like, "No, I love the idea of a tiny home. I love the idea of being able to move it. I love the sense of freedom that it offers." And I did a little bit of research at builders. So I unfortunately do not have the skills to build a house. It's on my bucket list.
Ethan Waldman 20:35
Megan Lockhart 20:36
But I bought it custom to me. And it was important that each kid had it had its own room. It was really important when I was going through the building process that they each had their own space. Because I did purchase it knowing that at some point, I would be out here more and more. And I knew that I wanted them, you know, to be able to put their Legos or whatever they want in their own space. So I bought it new, built it custom. I got to choose all the things inside. Again, looking back, I would have, I would have changed a few things silly questions like I didn't, I assumed it would come with blinds. It didn't. This really ridiculous the weird things. When I first saw the compostable toilet. I was like, "Oh, what do I do with that?"
Ethan Waldman 21:28
Yeah, yeah. And what kind of compost toilet is it? And have you have you warmed to it?
Megan Lockhart 21:36
I'm still resisting the composting toilet. Our whole family loves going to a hotel and to get away to flush a toilet. Yeah. I don't find it, it was a little bit of a shock at first just coming from the suburban life and where everything is easy. You get flushing water and running water and all those things. It's a Separett toilet. And apparently, it's like the nicest compostable toilet you could ever have. And I do appreciate it, because we would go through a lot more water if we had a flushing toilet.
Ethan Waldman 22:15
But it's different, right?
Yeah, yeah. It's definitely different. And also, not only would you have to have water, but you'd have to have a place for it to go.
Megan Lockhart 22:28
That's right. Yeah, it's it's a big deal. I can't believe how often I talk about toilets now. But it's a big deal to have a flushing toilet. And you know, you have to put the septic, and you have to have flushing water or running water. And the pipes have to be pretty deep into the ground. And that just wasn't something that I was going to do at the time.
Ethan Waldman 22:52
Yeah, yeah. I mean, I think people should do whatever they're comfortable with. But I'm a big proponent of compost toilets myself just before the water savings and just how well they fit into a tiny house. So hopefully, hopefully over time, you'll you'll you'll grow to love it.
Megan Lockhart 23:11
Yeah, I mean, I'm adjusting. I am adjusting. I guess too, with having kids. Kids are very, very messy.
Ethan Waldman 23:21
Megan Lockhart 23:21
And I feel like I'm constantly cleaning that.
Ethan Waldman 23:26
Yeah, yeah. I feel like there's got to be it's like, it's like potty training all over again. You know, you just use the compost toilet.
Megan Lockhart 23:37
Yeah. You nailed it. It's like, the kids looked at it and said, "What do I do?" And then we've had guests come over with little kids. And they're like, "I don't know how to use this toilet." So it is it's like training, training, potty training all over again. And it's, yeah, fun.
Ethan Waldman 23:57
Yeah, so I mean, like, in my house, I actually have the like, most basic, simple version of a compost toilet, which is just the sawdust and bucket. And I think what I really appreciate about it is that it's a little less complicated to use, like, you know, there aren't two holes in the toilet, you there's just one you know, you open the lid, you do what you need to do, and you pour in some sawdust. But they do require much more frequent emptying than, than the Separett.
Megan Lockhart 24:29
So we actually have another tiny on the property.
Ethan Waldman 24:33
Megan Lockhart 24:35
Yeah, it's a log. It's a log tiny and that is Airbnb. And it's really small and it's entirely off-grid and we have a sawdust toilet. And I do I agree with you like I almost prefer how that process works. Just just, you go, you empty it. It's like it's not it's not surprising. It's not relearning things. And we have an abundance of sawdust, because of all the trees on the property. So yeah, it makes sense, s I do, I do appreciate that toilet. Again, you see toilets in a different way, when you've experienced multiple types.
Ethan Waldman 25:17
Now, are you like grinding your own sawdust for that? Or that toilet? Or how are you getting the sawdust?
Megan Lockhart 25:22
No. So we had a few projects on the property that obviously, you know, kick out sawdust. But the, I'm trying to think of the the garbage place, the dump, has piles of sawdust that you can just go and get. And there's also a mill down the street. And he has sawdust. So there, there seems to be as we where we live, there's always an abundance. And when we start falling more trees, we will ask the guy who's milling it to keep the sawdust for us.
Ethan Waldman 25:54
Yep. There was something that you you talked about earlier that I kind of want to revisit, which is like, when you were searching, or when you were in the process of buying your tiny house that other people were, were saying, "Okay, why not? Why not this? Why not that?" And you wanted a tiny house, I would imagine that, you know, a 41 foot Tiny House is pretty comparable in price to like, a small single family home in some locations. And I'm curious, you know, why, you know, what was it about tiny houses that made you want to go that route?
Megan Lockhart 26:32
Yeah, there, there was a few reasons in terms of price. And the price of this tiny is I'll just say, in Canadian dollars, it was about $160,000. And that for a lot of people, when I got the quote, they were like, "Wow, that's a lot of money. Why don't you just build a house?" Or why don't you do it this way? Right? I don't like being told what to do. So that's probably a piece of it.
Ethan Waldman 27:01
Megan Lockhart 27:02
The deciding factors were. I live in a mountain town, and I looked at getting a modular home, I did the research. And a lot of them couldn't go under the highway. We have, we have a path for the animals in the provincial parks. Okay, so it would've been difficult to get one here. I didn't want to put a foundation down. Because I wanted to be able to move the house, I wanted to be able to have a track and move the house if I wanted to. I also just just loved the idea of having less space, because modular homes are a different size. And I liked having less space. I wanted my life to be very, very simple, and free. And it felt like with a modular home or a different style of home, I wasn't achieving that freedom that I was craving. So could I have spent the money on something else? Probably. But I just love this house. And I think that it was the best decision for me and and I just love it.
Ethan Waldman 28:07
Nice. Well, one thing that you kind of mentioned when we were arranging the interview is that that you love to talk about how tiny living doesn't doesn't feel tiny when you're being really intentional about about everything that you're doing. Can you talk a little bit more about that?
Megan Lockhart 28:25
Yeah, I, I never feel like this house is small. I don't I never walk in here and think, "Holy Hannah, like I don't have enough room." And I work from home. I do everything from home, like I'm here pretty much 24 hours a day. And we have two two dogs and the two kids. And I just find that when I go somewhere, and I see something that I would have purchased before I now stop myself and think, "Do I need that? Could I borrow it? Could I rent it? Will it have a home inside my home?" And nine times out of 10, the answer's no. I don't need it. So everything in here. I kind of think like everything in this space is part of my family. Like everything and we're just really intentional with the things we bring in here. The food we bring in here, even the people we bring in here. And and I love that that's that's so different from before. You know, I had over 3000 square feet before I had a room for my studio. I had a room for the kids to play and everybody was so separate. Like, I wouldn't see my partner. I wouldn't see my kids. I wouldn't be able to find the dogs which sounds crazy, but it's true. And I filled every square inch of that house. Yeah, like, "Oh, I need something there. I need something there. Let's put this on the walls." It's like no, why am I doing that? And it wasn't intention. Oh, it was just because I think I felt I like deserved to fill the space because I had it.
Ethan Waldman 30:09
Yeah, you almost see the space? And you're like, "Well, I need I need to put something there. It's empty."
Megan Lockhart 30:15
Yeah, exactly. And I think that kind of falls into. So sort of things that are shifting for me as I live more tiny, I don't need to fill spaces. And if I am filling them, is it coming from a place of fear? Or lack? Or is it coming from a place of love?
Ethan Waldman 30:36
Yeah. And, you know, your, your kids are old enough that they I'm sure they remember life before living tiny. Was was the transition difficult for them?
Megan Lockhart 30:48
You know, I have to be really honest with you. Yes, it has been difficult for them. When we got when I got the, the tiny at first, they were little. It was two, two and a half years ago. And they thought it was super cute. They were like excited with the little spaces climbing into the loft going up the stairs. And now you know, unfortunately, or fortunately, they are making some comments. And as a parent, it just kind of pulls, pulls, you have heart, your heart. But, you know, my daughter is 11. And she does want to have people over. And my son, you know, created, which I think is cool, but he doesn't, he created in his left a separate room, like out of cardboard box and you put a little window in it. And he's being really creative. But he's like, "Mom, I just I want to get changed in here and not have everybody seeing me." So I know and, you know, you spend so much time as a parent trying to teach your kids that, you know, stuff in space doesn't matter. And then their little voices are telling me that they want stuff and space right now. So we're, we're working through some parenting things.
Ethan Waldman 32:04
Yeah. Well, I appreciate you sharing that. Because it's, it's, I know, there are a lot of parents who are considering living tiny, and there's probably an equal number or a much greater number of, of kind of YouTube hecklers and critics and people saying, "Oh, you shouldn't do that, like, kids need this or kids need that." So it's, you know, it's gotta be hard to both kind of follow your instincts on the way you want to live. But also, hearing, you know, sometimes hearing your kids complain about it having to kind of stay almost stay strong.
Megan Lockhart 32:41
Yeah, and, you know, the Internet can be a really wild and crazy and mean space, but I don't really pay attention to it too much. It's the kids. So I'm trying to remind them that they have an abundance of space. But they're not using it. Right? They have all these land, get outside go outdoors. Yeah. The entire you know, it's a playground. And, you know, we have a zipline, and we've got a gazebo with outdoor space to color and things like that. But yeah, I don't think because I do kind of get asked that question. "Oh, shoot, like, what about your kids?" And I'm like, "Well, what about your kids?"
Ethan Waldman 33:25
Do you think that that at some point, they'll want to or you'll encourage them to build build their own tiny space like a, you know, their own tiny room that's detached from the main house?
Megan Lockhart 33:38
Yeah, so let me tell you a quick story. Before my daughter's 11th birthday, she said, "Mom, I'd like to ask you something for my birthday. I'd like to build a house." And I looked at her like, what 11 year old gets a house for their birthday? And that was my initial reaction. But, you know, I don't think I'm not going to let her build a house because I also reminded her with a house comes cleaning, toilet emptying, mice, you know, things of nature. What happens if a bear comes up to your door? But I do think that this next summer, we're gonna build like a tree house with two different areas for them, and have them participate in that process. So yes, and no, I don't want them to have their own separate unit.
Ethan Waldman 34:31
Megan Lockhart 34:32
But I do think their own kind of place to go and read and bring friends might be really valuable in the next year or two.
Ethan Waldman 34:41
Yeah, yeah. I've read about that being really awesome, especially as kids kind of enter teenage years and want to kind of differentiate and have their own space.
Megan Lockhart 34:51
Yeah, it's going to be important for sure. Yeah.
Ethan Waldman 34:55
So you also work from home which is I like my tiny house was kind of designed for one to two. But I don't think I'd be able to work from there. I can't work from there. My wife is home. She she's a nurse practitioner. So she works out of the house. But like, during the pandemic, she was actually doing grad school online. And we were both home all the time. And I was like, "I can't get anything done." So how do you get anything done?
Megan Lockhart 35:27
So for the last, since we moved here, and it's, you know, my partner has been home full time with me. Which was difficult. You know, love them, love spending time together, love having a lunch. But when you're on a call, or in a meeting, you're like, get out, get out of the house, you go do your thing. Let me do my thing. I, I've been working from home for the last eight years. So I think my level of time blocking and productivity is pretty good by now. And because the tiny is a tiny, I don't really get distracted with different things in here, like I would in a bigger home. So I said, I work from, I'm on my kitchen counter right now. I'll move to the sofa in another hour, I might go to the bedroom for the last bit of the day. And I go outside a time when I work outside in in the gazebo almost every day when it's nice. So just get it done. And I do I am I do go to town, you know, to grab a coffee just to see human beings sometimes.
Ethan Waldman 36:35
Yeah. Yeah. Nice.
Megan Lockhart 36:38
Ethan Waldman 36:38
Yeah, I, that was for me, it was a major loss in the pandemic was like going to the coffee shop to work.
Megan Lockhart 36:47
Ethan Waldman 36:49
Because I really do like that location change. But I'm going to take that as a tip to just like move around the house to different places, you know, the kitchen counter, like I have, I have this office now this tiny little room that it's it's partially my office, and partially where we store like all of our stuff. So I feel like almost guilty when I don't use it as my office because it's like, we live in a pretty small place. So it's like, I feel like I should be using the office. But sometimes you got to move around.
Megan Lockhart 37:19
Yeah, when I had, I had an office in my last home, and I never used it. Because it felt like I had to be in there. And again, I think that the whole this is this is why I was drawn to the tiny home space. It's like freedom, just the freedom that it gives you in your mind. And for your work. You know, my office was like, can't go in the office close the door work. Like I don't like that. I want to be open.
Ethan Waldman 37:47
Yeah, yeah. And like, do you kick your family out when you have a call? Or like, is it just like a learning curve and just process every time?
Megan Lockhart 37:57
You know, it's, it's kind of funny, because when I was, so I recently went through divorce, and when I was in my previous marriage, I couldn't take calls, even in our big home in the office. I didn't want other people to hear me. So it was weird. And now in this tiny home, I don't I don't kick them out. I'm like, "Mommy's on a call. And you guys have to be quiet for a little bit." And they just, they do and they adjust. The dogs are the problem. They start barking while I'm working. And I'm like, stop barking. Stop talking. So no, I don't kick them out. Yep, sometimes, yes. If I ever want to kick them out, I kick myself out. And I will go to town. So I kick myself out of my own space.
Ethan Waldman 38:48
Got it. Got it. And so you go to town, you kind of remove yourself.
Megan Lockhart 38:52
Yeah, exactly. Because I also feel like that. Just if I want to kick them out, it's mostly me. Right? Like, I'm the problem. I'm working from home.
Ethan Waldman 39:04
Yeah. Right. Yeah. That's, that's one way of looking at it. You're also kind of like, you're doing the work that should take precedence over whatever what else is doing, but
Megan Lockhart 39:15
Well, that's, that is the other side of that sometimes. Yeah. But when I start getting angry about that, because again, just so honest with everybody, I do sometimes get angry when I'm sitting here and I'm working and everybody's doing things and like, what's going on? I can't concentrate. But then I'm like, "Okay, but I can remove myself from a situation." This is they're, they're known, but during the pandemic, that was pretty wild, because you're also homeschooling and trying to work and trying to create an income. Yeah, yeah. And trying to do all the things and basically nothing happened. None of those things happened.
Ethan Waldman 39:55
Oh boy. Yeah. Can you tell us about about your business? Like what what it is that you do when you're working from home?
Megan Lockhart 40:06
Yeah. So, pre pandemic, I owned a marketing company, where I supported primarily women in business, small businesses who are just starting out. And then during the pandemic, a lot of humans, women, stayed home, stopped opening businesses. It was we, you know, we stayed home, homeschooled all those things. And then I had to pivot during the pandemic, because I realized, "Hmm. Wrong niche."
Ethan Waldman 40:38
Megan Lockhart 40:39
And so then, now I work with larger companies all over. I still support small startups and authors, and you know, a lot of different a variety of people, but we come up with their marketing strategies from start to grow. And that involves, you know, their sales process is their Pinterest accounts, their blogs. So a lot of really fun things. And I love doing it, I have been doing it for eight years, I just had to pivot during the pandemic, but I sit here on calls, to come up with strategies. And our team implements the strategies. So we have, you know, remote people. And it's, it's very hybrid, and I love it.
Ethan Waldman 41:25
Awesome, very cool. Very cool. And it's in a way you've, you've created a business that can be done completely remotely and keeps you kind of in that home space where where you want to kind of stay and be intentional.
Megan Lockhart 41:43
Yeah, I love it. Because, you know, there's so many positives about being in the tiny and having the business that I've, you know, created and worked at, because, you know, I am here in the beautiful space that I had created. And I do get to also leave, because in terms of finances, this is a lot less expensive than my previous life. So, you know, a few weeks ago, we went to Dominican, and then we went to Prince Edward Island, and we were able, I was able to work and leave the tiny and not worry about the money and the maintenance, because it's not a large space.
Ethan Waldman 42:25
Right. Yeah. And that's like, I think that's the way you're doing it is the is the way to do it, which is that I don't personally think that a tiny house on wheels is like a great travel accessory. Like, it's an awesome way to live a cool lifestyle that's inexpensive, so that you can travel so you can leave the tiny house. You know, I'm particular to bicycle touring and going on kiteboarding vacations, but it's like, I don't want to take my tiny house.
Megan Lockhart 42:56
Yeah, I'm so happy to hear you say that. Because a lot of people kind of made that assumption that I was going to, like, pack up the tiny and travel in it. And and then, you know, the other day, one of my friends who lives in a different town said, "You should come here and spend some time." And I was like, "Yeah, absolutely. Like, we'll get a hotel for a few days." And she's like, "What? Why would you do that?" And I said, "Well, because for us, it's also now a little bit of an adventure to leave the tiny." Like, yeah, to get the things that we don't have in the tiny house like a TV and a flushing toilet. It's it's just nice.
Ethan Waldman 43:33
Not to mention that it would probably cost a small fortune to move at 41 foot triple axle gooseneck tiny house.
Megan Lockhart 43:40
Honestly, it's, yeah, exactly. You can't move, you can't move this easily. Plus, it's not. I mean, how would the washer and dryer, if you tow it across to go to your next destination, or you'd have to like lock everything. And this particular tiny is not built to travel. And you'd have to spend a lot of hours to get it to even if we have to move it on the property. It would be quite quite a job. Yeah.
Ethan Waldman 44:13
Well, I've really appreciated talking with you. I have a couple of kinds of closing questions. The first is just, you know, if you could give yourself advice. You know, if you go back in time with the knowledge that you have now what what kind of advice would you would you impart to your previous self?
Megan Lockhart 44:30
Do it earlier do it when you first started to think about it, just dive in. It's, it's 100% worth it.
Ethan Waldman 44:38
Nice. Nice. And then one thing that I like to ask all my guests is just what are two or three resources that that have helped you along the way that that you'd like to share?
Megan Lockhart 44:48
One of the biggest resources is the, there was a homebuilder out of Lethbridge, Alberta, who is not my home builder, and you know following her on social media and watching what she was doing and watching what she was creating was a huge resource. She got on calls with me. And then listening to podcasts about tiny home living and the real ones, not the Netflix version. That's not, that's not how it is. That's another really good resource. Listen to people who've done it. Like that's when I started listening to people who did it. I was like, "Okay, I can do that too." And then, sort of the last one is, don't listen to people who have not done it, or who don't have a desire to do it, because they're not going to see see it the way that you you envision and that your dreams are, they're not going to see it like that.
Ethan Waldman 45:42
Well, Megan Lockhart, thank you so much for for speaking with me today. I really enjoyed this.
Megan Lockhart 45:47
Thank you. I had a really great time.
Ethan Waldman 45:51
Thank you so much to Megan Lockhart for being a guest on the show today. You can find the show notes at thetinyhouse.net/232. That includes photos of Megan's beautiful tiny house, and a complete transcript of today's episode. Also, don't forget to stick around after these credits for the bonus session with Megan where she talks about how her builder forgot her furnace. But for now, I'm your host, Ethan Waldman. And I'll be back next week with another episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast.
Alright, so I'm doing a little bonus with with Megan, because we were chatting after the recording. And you told me something that that I really wanted to include in the episode about about your heat. So would you mind kind of sharing that again?
Megan Lockhart 46:40
Yeah, so when we were talking about building, building the home and what my heat sources are, one of the main heat sources was supposed to be a furnace. So we were gonna have a furnace in the tiny, which is great. But the homebuilder forgot to put it in, completely forgot. After a year, I didn't notice. And this is so ridiculous. But I thought when I was turning on the heat, I was turning on the furnace. But I was actually turning on the electric heat, which makes me feel stupid. But my partner said, "No, there's no furnace in this house." So the builder didn't say anything. And then when I contacted them, they were like, "Oh, you should have gone through the, you know, the checklist in more depth."
Ethan Waldman 47:28
So they kind of blamed you for for not for them not putting in something that that was supposed to be in?
Megan Lockhart 47:38
Yeah, they did.
Ethan Waldman 47:41
That's really crappy.
Megan Lockhart 47:42
It is really crappy. And as a as a person who's spending and we talked about the price of the home, whether it's that price, any price, you put a lot of trust into your home builder, right you do. You're like you're building my home, here's what I want. I'm paying for these things. I shouldn't have to go through and check every little thing on the sheet, which this was a pretty big, big piece of the home to put a furnace in now would almost be impossible, they'd have to rip out the entire house to find a place to put the furnace to put the ducts and all that stuff. So yeah, it's a pretty big deal. And I think, again, as a, you know, this was my first home that I built. Yeah. And I just put a lot of trust into the people that I'm hiring.
Ethan Waldman 48:31
Yeah. Yeah, well, that's, I mean, it sounds like, unfortunately, that's not the worst thing that I've ever heard about a build gone wrong. And the fact that your builder did offer you some money, even though it doesn't solve the problem, and it's not enough to rectify the situation. You know, I think that the usual builder response is just kind of ghosting clients, which is, which is bad.
Megan Lockhart 49:01
Yeah, I think I think what comes up is they just want you to not mention it, like, maybe they won't notice, maybe they won't look for it. And, you know, I had a lot of back and forth emails with the builder. And their solution was always, "We'll send you a little bit of money, we'll send you a little bit of money." And for me, it was like, this isn't really about the money. It's about the process. And I thought about it a lot. And I was like, could they improve their process? Could they actually make sure that these things aren't being missed? Because, again, it's trust and and when you're hiring a pretty large home builder. You think, "Well, they've got their poop in a group nothing's going to be missed." And, and things get missed. I didn't mention this, but there were a lot of other little things that got missed and not to dive into like a pool of negativity but yeah, you know the backsplash was missed, other things were missed. And it was just, I shouldn't have to I don't want to look for those things. It's just delivered you think you get what you pay for. Right?
Ethan Waldman 50:10
Right. Right. Well, that's, that's the ultimate buyer beware. And, you know, if anybody listening has been listening to the show for any amount of time, that's, it's definitely a theme that we've touched on a lot, which is just to if you're working with a builder, you know, getting a contract, paying them in phases, you know, based on deliverables, that kind of stuff. But, you know, this kind of adds another one to the list, which is just like, you really have to go through and make sure that they've they've done what they agreed to in the contract. And it's it's mind boggling to think that they could miss something as big as as putting in an entire system that you agreed on like the the furnace.
Megan Lockhart 50:52
Yeah, and it is it did blow my mind because it took a year for me to even notice, but also for them not to, to just respond with a quick, "Oh, we'll just send you some money." It's, it's and it's interesting to me, because it's like, why when you go to someone's website, or none of these, like reviews, aren't, I just, I just want more honesty in the tiny space and the tiny home space like real honest, vulnerable. Here's what happens, because it's important.
Ethan Waldman 51:23
Yep. It is important. Well, Megan, thank you for kind of doing this little bonus session. I appreciate your honesty throughout the interview, and especially with with sharing this one.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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