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Frequently Asked Questions

Eclectic Curiosity

Renting at Big Calm

Big Calm is a tiny homestead community. That is, it is a community (or pocket neighbourhood) for those with tiny houses on wheels (THoWs), nestled in nature, with ample space around each pad. 

Big Calm is just getting started and will grow in phases over a few years. Most of the pads will be for long-term renters, with a couple reserved for guest-stays.

Rent starts at $1300 per month. It includes your THoW pad; internet; electricity hook-up (metered separately), water and septic hook-up; garbage collection; snow plowing; a contingency reserve; and access to the shared amenities. 

Some amenities – such as trails, garden, laundry, and shared tools – will be ready in 2022. Others – like the forest sauna, zen pods, solar, and a central pond – will develop over the next few years.

  1. Pre-application is now open. Fill in the Homesteader Questionnaire here.
  2. Based on that, we’ll reach out to chat, answer any questions, and potentially schedule a site visit.
  3. If you’re serious about proceeding, we’ll request to conduct background and credit checks.
  4. And if everything’s a fit, you’ll have the option to purchase a Community Membership: $5000, including dividend-generating Big Calm Inc. preferred shares (if eligible), priority pad selection, and other perks.
  5. As we approach pad completion, we’ll set a move-in date and sign a BC Manufactured Home Site Tenancy Agreement (RTB-5). There is no security deposit.
  6. Finally, we’ll coordinate the date and logistics to roll in and set up your tiny homestead!

Sign up to our newsletter for key updates. And feel free to email us with any specific questions.

Yes. Please contact us to discuss what you have in mind.

No, we do not permit tiny homesteaders to sublease their pads.

We may, however, be able to manage your tiny house as a guest-stay unit. 

Yes! We allow pets that remain in your tiny home, such as fish and birds. We also allow cats and dogs, but they must stay in your tiny home overnight, or in an appropriate shelter, for safety reasons (there are predators in the region).

During the day, cats and dogs must be supervised when they are outside. We have a zero-tolerance policy for aggressive animals.

Please contact us to discuss the possibility of bringing other kinds of animals.

All animals must be up-to-date on their vaccinations.

Not at all! 

Careers of some of those interested to date: software developer, carpenter, soil geochemist, skills coach, life sciences innovator, interior designer, wilderness guide, arts fundraiser, farmhand, yoga instructor, financial analyst, arborist, midwife, teacher, retiree, painter, power plant administrator, and entrepreneur.

Generally, if you can tow it on the highway without a special permit, you can park it at Big Calm.

Our driveway and various pads can accommodate small, medium, and large 8.5′ wide THoWs. You are responsible for arranging your own towing.

We will only be accepting homes that can easily be towed on and off of the site (including THoWs, RVs, campers and Airstreams).

Yurts that can be easily erected and dismantled will be considered, however we are unable to accept any homes on foundation.

Please contact us if you’re interested in parking something other than a THoW at Big Calm.

No, but preference will go to those that are. We encourage you to work with one of the many premium tiny house manufacturers that build to CSA Z240 MH Series, CSA Z240 RV Series, and/or RVIA NFPA 1192 standards.

Weather information for the Slocan Valley can be found here.

Winters are generally mild but can reach as low as -25°C. Summers can get into the 30s and even the 40s. We encourage THoW owners/prospective buyers to ensure their homes are/will be appropriately insulated.

Affordable housing projects are important and much-needed, but they’re also not financially feasible or profitable (at least for us) without institutional support. Our location also isn’t appropriate for the density that might be required to make it work.

That said, we hope our modest project will relieve some of the middle-market pressure on housing inventory in the area. And we’re big believers in the role that tiny houses in general can play in solving this solvable challenge. For inspiration, check out The Revelstoke Community Housing Society’s microhome pilot project, first championed by Adrian Giacca.

And for more background on our intentions, please see The Bigger Picture on Tiny Homesteads.

Living at Big Calm

Absolutely! Please let us know if your THoW has a compost toilet and we will be sure to have a dedicated humanure compost bin available for you.

Yes, power outages do happen occasionally. We recommend that tiny homesteaders have an alternative way to heat their homes in the event of a power outage (wood stove, propane heater, and/or a battery).

Over time, we hope to build out a solar array and micro-grid that can improve Big Calm‘s self-reliance in such events.

Noisy, gas-powered generators are not allowed – except for emergency use.

Check out Portable Electric’s 2K and 5K units for quiet, exhaust-free generator alternatives.

Absolutely! Keep in mind that some of the pads have better sun exposure than others and that the area can be overcast for long stretches during the winter.

Yes. We will likely have firewood available to buy on site.

Yes. We encourage tiny homesteaders and guests to educate themselves on how to safely transport, store and hook up their propane tanks. Please see FortisBC’s tips on how to use propane safely.

Yes. BBQs must remain on your gravel pad, at least a metre away from the grass and kept clean to avoid attracting wildlife.

There are levels to this question.

First, you should know that much of the Slocan Valley – particularly between Slocan Park and the Village of Slocan – does not have cellular coverage. Many residents simply don’t want it. The “No Service” is both refreshing and frustrating. Parts of Big Calm pick up a signal from the tower in Slocan. 

We are connected to the internet via Starlink. We are part of their beta launch and enjoy speeds of around 120 Mbps down and 22 Mbps up, with latency from 20ms to 40ms.

Longer-term (2023), Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation and/or Telus will be lighting up a fibre-optic backbone up the Valley. That will provide a big boost to the region.

The products we all use will be discharged into Big Calm’s septic system and ultimately our soil, whose health we want to protect.

We require that tiny homesteaders and guests use biodegradable, non-toxic products. Antiseptic and antibacterial products, including bleach, and products designed to unclog drains are especially harmful to our septic system, so we ask that tiny homesteaders and guests not use these products.

The maximum number of people in a tiny home is likely limited by space. No clown cars, please.

Fires will initially only be permitted in the designated community fire pit and only when fire bans are not in place (which is increasingly common).

Big Calm has a parking area adjacent to the tiny home community, a short walk from your front door. Aside from towing in your THoW and special deliveries, we do not allow vehicles to be parked in the neighbourhood space itself.

Planned community projects include building an outdoor gathering area and fire pit, trail building, community garden and greenhouse, and upgrading the old sauna in the backwoods. There’s no obligation to chip in but we see these projects as a great way to be outdoors, active, and social. We’d love your help!

Despite excellent mitigation efforts by the Slocan Integral Forestry Cooperative (SIFCo) and the readiness of British Columbia’s well-trained crews, wildfire is the biggest natural threat in the region (one came very close in Summer 2021). Big Calm is located within the Slocan Fire and Emergency Services area and approximately 10km from the Slocan Fire Hall. There are already sizeable fire breaks on the property and we have engaged forestry pros to implement further fire mitigation strategies in early 2022.

Caution with wildlife is advised, including care while driving on highways in the Kootenays.

Winter tires and back-up power are essentials for the colder months of the year.

There is a wide variety of wildlife (and insects) on-site, from wild turkeys and deer to bears and even cougars. Guests and tiny homesteaders should be prepared to encounter wildlife at any time.

We recommend exploring the property and mountainside beyond in groups, making noise to avoid surprising anyone, keeping trash indoors, carrying bear spray in-season, and generally remembering that we’re guests in these creatures’ home.

Guests and tiny homesteaders are not permitted to hunt on the property.

ATVs are not allowed at Big Calm. If you have an ATV that you’d like to use elsewhere, we have an outdoor area where it can be stored.

Yes. 

Va/Work/Stay-cationing at Big Calm

Yes. See our Visit page for details and booking links.

Not yet, but check back soon. We may have some options in 2023.

Not presently. 

Not presently.

We’d like to eventually – especially permaculture oriented ones, at the old cabin by the garden.

Investing in Big Calm

Yes. We will be offering dividend-producing preferred shares in early 2022 to those interested in investing in Big Calm. Check out our Invest page for more info and contact us at invest@bigcalm.ca.