Q & A on the Tiny Tack House

Bellingham Alive: What is your background and interest in building a tiny house?

Malissa Tack:  The Tiny Tack House was our first adventure building anything of this size. Both Christopher and myself had only constructed a few projects, back in our high school shop classes. So to us this was a large scale undertaking that we were both excited to take on. We spent a good amount of time doing our research, we didn’t want to go into this project blind. We frequented our local libraries for their selection of How-To books as well as the internet for visual instructions. We didn’t feel overwhelmed, for there was an abundance of info at our fingertips. Our interest in building our own tiny house comes from the fact that our idea of a tiny house didn’t exist, and that we had to design and build one around both our needs. With my background as a 3D Artist, I took it upon myself to design a livable space for the two of us, making sure I considered all of our personal needs for the space to work properly.

Bellingham Alive: Do you live in it full-time?

Malissa Tack: It is our creative space, our backyard retreat, our personal office and private escape. It’s like we are on vacation full-time. The tiny house gives us that freedom to live happy and do what we love, everyday.

Bellingham Alive: How does it affect the way you interact and communicate?

Malissa Tack: We decided not to include a few items in our design for The Tiny Tack House, solely for the reason to force us to interact more with our friends and community. We can’t bake cookies in our home, or do our laundry, but that’s okay. Our neighbors love it when we stop by with a fresh batch of cookie dough, because it means that their house is going to smell amazing and we are always thankful for them sharing their space with us, that we frequently leave a few tasty morsels behind for them to enjoy. We feel more connected with others. Without the mindset of, I have to have my own, we switched to a, how about we share, mindset. We aren’t as busy with our jobs, since our lifestyle has become much more manageable. This gives us the time to interact and communicate more with those we love. We have gained more freedom and time, and for that we are able to give back more of the same. It has also changed the way we interact with each other. Please and thank you go a long way in a small space, and we are both very polite to one another. We both share responsibilities, which means not one person is doing a single “chore”. If he is washing the dishes, I’m right next to him drying and putting them away. If I am cleaning out the kitty litter, he is taking it out. We work more as a team in our tiny house, and because of this, our relationship has never been stronger.

Bellingham Alive: Does living in a tiny house change your view of the world?

Malissa Tack: I do believe that living more sustainable and responsibly can open ones eyes to see how we tend to consume more, without being completely aware of it. A switch happens when you become responsible for things like, how do I get water into and out of my house… and where that water will be going. Where am I getting my electricity, or how will I  heat my house in the winter. We run on Solar for 7-8 months out of the year, so we know were our electricity is coming from, during the summer months, but in the winter, we have to be much more conscious of our usage, since Solar will only give us so much. This is why we put our electric water heater on a switch, this means it’s not running all day, and in use roughly 20 minutes most days. Our showers last no more than 2 minutes, which means our water waste is much lower now. I can’t speak for everyone in a tiny house, but from our own personal experience, I would say that we have become much more conscious of the world around us, and how we affect it with every decision we make. For us, living tiny has changed our lives for the better, and for that, we wouldn’t change this experience for anything.

The Tiny Tack House thumbnail info:


Christopher and Malissa Tack

140 Sp ft Tiny House
Built on a 20’ Utility Trailer
Just over 800 man/woman hours of work
7 months to complete
Designed and built by Christopher and Malissa Tack
Designed to be on and off grid
Christopher works as a Photographer
Malissa works as a Freelance 3D Artist

"It is our creative space, our backyard retreat, our personal office and private escape. It’s like we are on vacation full-time."