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Tiny House

architecture-2756145The tiny house movement is not just a fad. Although there are serious people with a tremendous passion for small home living, there are others who are looking to design or build a tiny home out of necessity.

Still others just want a smallish habitat for temporary living purposes.

Yet other people are still searching pictures galore just to find the right style or because they like the idea of having a pint-sized household.

Which one are you?

First, what is your reason for wanting a tiny home? Then read on…

– Millennials who want to get out of their parents house and live on their own

– The older generation / elders who want to size down during retirement

– Middle aged people who need a change and want to reduce their cost of living

– Young couples just starting out and wanting their own space and privacy

– People who want to get out of paying rent the rest of their lives

– Anyone who wants to get out of the rat race and become debt-free

– Individuals / couples / families that want reduced energy bills and consumerism

– College students who prefer a tiny house to shared dorm accommodations

Frugal living and thrifty folks who want to save a buck

– People who do not qualify for a mortgage or wish to stay out of the banking system

Survivalists who need a cabin/hut in the woods as an escape or camp spot or emergency shelter

dolomites-2191659Homesteaders who want to build a core house (CORE design)

Permaculturists who believe in sustainable living

– Environmentalists who wish to reduce their carbon footprint

– People who prefer cozy small spaces to large spaces

– People still looking at hundreds of photos searching for their teensy dream home

– Those who hate house cleaning and want less space to have to dust, sweep, mop, and vacuum

– Minimalists who enjoy or prefer a simple living lifestyle

– Introverts who prefer privacy

– Homeless people in need of a place to sleep and live

– Single moms/dads or parents with a small child (or pregnant / one on the way)

– Families that need a starter home so they can add on bedrooms

– Ecovillage / intentional communities who want small housing surrounding a community center

beach-2889385– DIY (do it yourself) or hobbyists or woodworkers / craftsmen who want a new project idea

– Building contractors who wish to build tiny homes for a living

– Business entrepreneurs who sell tiny houses, cabins, or log cabins on a land development

– You simply LOVE the idea of a tiny house!

– Other people…. (what’s your reason?)

These are only some of the many individuals, couples, families, or friends who are into small home lifestyle and tiny home design… all for different reasons. What motivates one person may not be the same as what drives the next. What turns you on? What reasons do you need an itsy bitsy dwelling for?

Would you build it yourself or hire someone? Would you rather buy a kit, or build it from scratch?

One man built his own little house entirely from watching and learning on YouTube videos!


garden-shed-254012Build a shed first

If you try your hand at building a shed first you can store tools and items and even “camp” in it until your real tiny home is constructed.

This is good practice, and allows you to make your mistakes on the shed rather than a real house, especially if you are a newbie or do not have much construction experience.

DIYers tend to grab a shed kit and insulate it, stub it out for electric and plumbing, and then deck it out inside.

Others, such as owner builders and people who have more time than money (cheapskates like me) tend to get land first.

Next they find free building materials to make a shed, and then locate used or free or barter for windows, doors, wood, and other building materials and store it in the shed while they build their tiny house.

Yet many people will just want to hire a builder or contractor to simply do the construction for them.

garden-shed-931508Important things you need to choose

Before you buy or build your little abode, you will need a floor plan (there are many on the Internet) and maybe a blueprint.

You will also need some land or some other location for it to sit on.

Do you want it in the mountains or forest, on the beach, or in the city, or other?

Is it in a flood zone, area susceptible to natural disasters and severe storms?

Does it need to be storm proof or earthquake resistant?

Will it have running water?

A water-using toilet or composting toilet, or other?

Septic tank or greywater system?

Rainwater barrel for collecting water from roof runoff?

Water well or city water? Will you purify your water on-site?

Electricity – on or off grid, or net-metered, or will you use passive solar, hybrid, or active solar?

What kinds of storage will you use (IKEA, specialized cabinetry or cupboards or handmade storage bins and shelving)

wood-3238640Will your home be mobile (on wheels) or moveable, or on piers or permanent foundation?

Will it have a loft or upstairs area? Ladder or steps?

How will you arrange your kitchen and provide enough top cabinet space?

Will your table be permanent or fold-up?

Will you have a Murphy bed (fold-up wall bed)?

How many people will it sleep?

These, and tons of other questions are common when folks consider all their options for their own mini-mansion or teeny domicile.


Here’s the rub… many people think about the inside and are big into the interior design and colors and features, but they sometimes forget about what style they want on the outside. Many of them don’t look like much more than an oblong box, which is sad. People often settle for this when they don’t have to.

It might behoove you to widen your options and look beyond the standard tiny house images you see online. Some of the best intimate-sized shelters come from all over the world, in a plethora of styles, colors, shapes, and are made from different materials.

Tiny house cover photo COLORThink about this…

You can look at a lot of pictures / photographs / photos or pix online or simply take a look at a photobook of tiny houses to help you decide. There are also images online but not always all in one spot.

Or, consider what type of building materials (new or used or free) you have locally may help you determine which type of home is best.

Are you into healthy houses, or eco-friendly green building materials (green home)?

Do you have a lot of rock nearby for free or cheap?

How about adobe block, straw bale or the ability to use hempcrete?

mountain-hut-3068912Maybe a brick house or stone foundation?

Used lumber that you have access to, perhaps from a building that was deconstructed?

Will you undersized residence include products or materials you can make instead of buy? (upcycled or recycled)

Will the building style be standard wood or lumber framing or post and beam?

Will it have a metal roof or shingles or thatch?

Will it look similar to a hobbit house in LOTR (Lord of the Rings) that is like a little cave house or hole in the ground, topped with a sod roof?

Is your wee habitation supposed to be permanent or temporary?

hut-2814589Will you want a mobile house on wheels, a camping cabin, log cabin, tiny house kit, thatch hut, rock house, beach house, boathouse, house on wheels, yurt, bungalow, bamboo hut, mud or earth hut, stone tower, brick house, cave house, round house, dome home, shipping container home, or mountain cottage?

It is wise to take your time with this part, and don’t just guess or settle for less than what might be ideal for you.

When you see it you will just KNOW. This is it! This is what I really love and want!

That is the feeling and sense of peace you are looking for.

Homes are a very personal thing.. tiny homes are even more personal because they are snug and cozy. Getting personal is what these small-scale cabins help us do best.

One last note…

The only thing better than a tiny house is a core house (CORE design) – more on that soon!

The only thing better than a core design house is passive solar home design (this does not mean solar electric or wind power, but rather that the house itself becomes the solar collector) that reduces heating and cooling loads and saves you in utilities for the lifetime of the house (plus if you install earth tubes it is like free air conditioning).

(click to see book cover)

(click to see book cover)

Tiny House Photobook


The black and white version (“Tiny House Photobook“) has over 300 pages. Just lots and lots of images for you to enjoy, browse, consider, to help you decide what style mini-home you want.

There is almost no text (on purpose) and that the focus is on hundreds of tiny house photos in this photo book (some call it a picture book).


(click to see book cover)

(click to see book cover)


Both of these books are 8.5×11″ in size , are the same price ($12), and are great coffee table books.

The color version (“Best of Tiny House Photobook“) has 50 pages, simply because color is more expensive to produce; however, it is also the same price as the b/w version. Nevertheless, I also packed in as many of the best photos that I could from the Tiny House Photobook.





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