OUR FIRST VACATION HOME AT LNP (aka; 120 sq foot love nest) It's a bit crude and awkward when one thinks that your bedroom, family room, and bathroom are all combined into one 10' x 12' box, but we have found middle ground and daily routines that work with both of our schedules. Of course, there have been some unexpected blips in these routines, but survival instincts kick in and we adjust. Knowing that our progress on the garage/apartment will someday yield a better way of life helps to maintain civility and promotes resolve. Suffice to say that there have been some challenging moments (mostly suffered by Donna; sorry dear).
Yes, the quarters are cramped, but we are constantly reminded of the positive values of our cozy shelter when weather extremes occur. Maintaining comfortable ambient temperatures are relatively easy in a space as confined as 120 square feet. The window air conditioner is a blessing during the summer, particularly since trading in our generator for utility power. Actually, being hidden underneath the canopy of the trees makes a huge difference, too, as the heat of the sun is filtered out. For heat, we installed a ventless propane wall heater. A 100 lb. propane tank is perched on a small concrete pad some 50 feet away. Unfortunately, the ventless design of this heater quickly disappointed us for 2 reasons. First, the love nest is built so tight that there is very little air exchange. As a certain percentage of the oxygen is used up by the gas flame, the built-in O-2 sensor realizes that new, fresh oxygen has not been readily replaced at the combustion zone and it shuts down the furnace about every 2-3 hours. Second, ventless heaters pour large volumes of moisture into the air. In an airtight structure, this becomes a humidity problem quickly. In the end, we abandoned use of the propane heater and brought in a portable electric oil-filled heater....a generic space heater. It works very well to keep us warm, tested in temps overnight down to zero. The electric blanket on the inflatable bed gets a top-10 billing, too. We also added a small dehumidifier. Yeah, modern conveniences for atmosphere control take up a notable amount of the leftover living space, but they are indispensible and become part of our family. We call it very comfortable camping.
Details of the actual construction