3 Awesome Tiny House Plans Design Strategies

Designing a tiny house is a little different than designing a conventionally sized home. The process is similar in many ways; however, the need for compact and super efficient design in a tiny home is far greater than in a home that boasts 1000SF or more. How you approach the process is important because having tiny house plans design strategies from the start will allow you to address each and every detail that needs attention. Below are 3 design strategies for creating awesome tiny house plans that we found most useful when designing hOMe, our 221SF tiny house on wheels.

BE HONEST IN YOUR DECISION MAKING PROCESS: 

-Know what you want. It doesn’t do any good to start designing your home before you know exactly what it is you want from your structure. For example, if a comfortable place to gather with friends and family for dinner parties is important to you, a space designed to accommodate this will be important. In hOMe, we have a “bar style” dining area that works perfectly for me and Gabriella; however, it means that when we eat with the entire family or if we have friends in, we have to utilize the stairs, and the living room couch in addition to the dining area to make the space comfortable for everyone. Larger sit down meals are warm weather events when we can move to our outdoor eating/hangout area. In the winter, we meet friends in town at our favorite restaurants and enjoy the benefits of not having to cook or clean afterwards!

 

-Be honest in your assessment. The answers to the question “what do I want?” will help you create the home of your dreams, but only if those answers are totally honest. Be sure to really feel into any answer you give and check in at a deep level as to how you feel when you picture yourself living in the space you are considering. Now, during the initial design process, is the time to decide if you need more space, more headroom, or easier access to your bedroom, etc. This process may takes weeks, months, or even years. For us it took years and experimenting with living in a variety of situations before we became clear on what we wanted (very little) and needed (even less).

 

-Take stock of what you intend to bring with you into this space. This includes the obvious things like family and pets, but also needs to include physical things like kitchen utensils, clothing, bathroom essentials, etc. In a tiny home, all of these items need a specific storage space. Having too much stuff will make the home feel cramped, so lighten your load as much as you can and then design your space to accommodate those items you decide to hold on to. Creating an actual detailed list of all of your essential items is helpful.

START WITH A BLANK SLATE:

-There are a lot of tiny house designs out there. Unless you find one that totally speaks to you and that you want to use “as is,” I recommend that you not try to adjust an existing design to meet your needs. It is hard enough to make adjustments to a conventional sized home design, and doing so with a tiny house design will likely prove almost impossible. This is because the design elements of a tiny home are so specific to the space in which they live. Moving or changing one element will have an impact on many others and may, in fact, make the rest of the design less functional, or even unusable.

-Starting with a blank slate allows you to get all of the details you identified in the first step, honest decision making, into your design. This eliminates the frustration of trying to make something fit into a space that was not designed to accommodate it.

-Perhaps more importantly, designing from a blank slate means you won’t be influenced by other ideas that may look good on paper but won’t actually work for you, personally. It is far too easy for our brains to get locked into an idea or a vision of a home that we have seen. If that home fully fits the bill, go for it; however, pulling together an idea for the perfect living room you saw on a blog, adding in a great kitchen space you saw in a magazine, and then trying to make a bedroom from Houzz.com fit the bill may all be too much to bring together.

USE ADEQUATE DESIGN SOFTWARE: 

-I used Google SketchUp to layout the design of hOMe in three dimensions. This was incredibly helpful as it allowed us to move a full size (to scale, that is) person through the floor plan and see where things might have felt cramped. This, in turn, allowed me to make changes to the design to improve flow, headroom, and overall spacial management of the structure.

-I had never used SketchUp before and there is certainly a learning curve for the software. I probably spent about 4 hours viewing tutorials on the web in order to get comfortable enough to start my design process. At that point, I was ready to move forward and able to layout hOMe in three dimensions. There are many different tutorials out there and everyone learns differently. I had a hard time finding ones that worked for me, and you may too, so I have included a link below to the ones I ended up using. I hope you find the following series valuable and that it helps you as much as it helped me. Here’s the link: http://youtu.be/xqcL-xPC-Ys

Good luck with your process. Again, if you find that hOMe or some other design perfectly fits your needs, then I hope you will simply move forward with building that plan. If, however, you find a plan that only partially meets your needs, step back, follow the steps above, and create the home of your dreams from scratch. You will be glad you did.

Stay Tiny, my friends…

Andrew and Gabriella

147 Responses to 3 Awesome Tiny House Plans Design Strategies

  1. Laura February 20, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    Thanks for this, Andrew! I’ve been going through the straw bale home course, but I think this is my most important tiny home takeaway so far – to be honest with what I really want. For instance, though I love the look of hOMe, I need a bathtub! Or, although I like the idea of living off the grid, I know I am miserable if my home is too cold for my comfort.

    I’m finding the whole process of moving to a more sustainable way of life requires deep honesty. Or to put it another way, you can’t take the human nature out of humans. You can’t force the desire to live minimally or frugally. It must stem from within.

    • Gabriella February 21, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

      “You can’t take the human nature out of humans”. So true Laura! Plus, I totally share your need of tub and warmth and wanted to let you know that we found solutions to both that we love. We set up a wood fired hot tub on our property and have actually kind of mastered it so that we keep it hot all the time. We hot tub at least twice per day. In terms of space heat, we went with propane after a LOT of discussion. In the end, we were honest that we didn’t want to come home to a cold house and have to wait for the fire to get it going each time we went into town for a few hours. We also invested in a heater that is way more than is needed. But like I said, I hate being cold and that would have been a deal breaker for me! 🙂

      • Laura February 22, 2014 at 10:29 pm #

        Hi, Gabriella,

        I thought the propane heater was ingenious in that I had no idea you could set one up to work with a thermostat. Not quite as off the grid, perhaps, since we can’t grow or glean our own propane, but definitely better than frozen pipes, as Andrew said. And coming home to a cold house doesn’t feel homey, for sure.

        As for the wood-fired hot tub, what a great idea! Friends of mine in Victoria, BC have a (conventional) hot tub. They said that at the time their choice was to purchase the hot tub, or a new car. When colleagues asked the husband why he chose the hot tub, in that case, he simply replied, “Because you can’t invite beautiful women over to sit naked in a car.” (And no, he was not a philanderer – he and his wife had naked hot-tubbers over most nights of the week. I miss that easy camaraderie!)

        I find it very encouraging that you and Andrew have already walked the path I am starting to tread. Thank you so much for all the information you share.

        • Erin September 2, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

          Actually you CAN “grow” your own gas – anaerobic methane generators take cow poo and turn it into compost slurry and tanked methane. You can use it for heating, cooking, anything. You don’t need too much cow poo either. I have seen a guy even powering his car with this cow power.

          • Martha January 20, 2015 at 11:15 pm #

            Wouldn’t that be “cowpoower”?
            Seriously, good suggestion; and anyone who keeps animals is always glad to have someone take away some portion if not all of the poop. This means that you don’t even have to raise your own. But all you vegans out there still need compost to build soil nutrients(see “Holy Shit” if you haven’t already read it.) and now here is another good reason to have critters. Besides, they have the nicest eyes, and ears like velvet. But I digress.
            Love the small house. So well-thought-out.

          • aikanae September 4, 2015 at 3:51 am #

            Ha-ha. Reminds me of my travels in the middle east where I’d see patties of “cooking fuel” drying in the windows. That’s an ancient system. It’s kinda funny to hear about an updated version.

  2. Kat Karena February 21, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for this. I’m at the totally starting from scratch stage. Looking at what kind of rules and regulations I have to apply to here (Australia) – but downsizing in my rental home, to start experimenting on what I can and cannot live without. Looking at all the designs to start getting an idea of what gels with me.

    Can I ask a question, what was the size of the trailer you this home on?

    Kat Karena

    • Andrew February 26, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

      Hi Kat. The trailer is 28′ long by 8′ wide. Best on your journey!!!

  3. Mitchell Henderson February 21, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

    I personally love hOMe because it adresses pretty much everything that was a concern for me making the jump to a tiny home. I just started learning Sketchup and a lot of what I end up with is near identical. Which leads me to my question of whether or not you are selling plans at some point or making the Sketchup file available at some point?

    Mitchell

    • Andrew February 26, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

      Hi Mitchell. We will be offering the plans for sale soon. Stay tuned…

      • J Michael June 21, 2015 at 11:01 pm #

        This is by far the best tiny house design that I have seen! I’m curious, 22 the site I intend to put my home on, could the layout be flipped on the trailer so that the kitchen is at the front of the trailer rather than the back? I’m wondering if the wheel wells in that different position would interfere with the design. Additionally, could the plans accommodate a pocket door for the bathroom? That would seem a much more pleasant option, especially when entertaining.

        • Andrew June 30, 2015 at 11:54 am #

          Thanks for the compliment! Switching the design would likely be impacted by the wheel wells. I believe the door ends up in a well and that makes entering…rough. 😉 There is not room for a pocket door due to the framing requirements; however, a barn style door could be used on a flat framed wall for sure. Another option would be to shrink one of the lofts (probably the main loft) to allow for the extra room the pocket door frame would require. This would still accommodate the same cabinetry as the current design.

  4. Tasha February 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    Hi!

    just a few questions!
    Is the pictures on this page from a tiny house that could be on wheels? is there a place where I could see more photos of it? I love this style, and functionality, and my hubby and I are looking to join the others in living the lifestyle of tiny-homeness. We have researched a lot of different homes, but we aren’t sure we have the skills to build one alone…
    is the house pictures posted on a home that can be purchased? please let me know!

    thanks!

    • Andrew February 26, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

      Hi Tasha. This is indeed on a trailer. We will be selling the plans as well as a VERY comprehensive “how-to”, step by step DVD on building it. Stay tuned…

  5. Peter February 28, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    Andrew,

    In your video you mention the height in the kitchen and bathroom @ 6’3″. Im 6’5″ barefoot. Is the home you build at maximum height for your state? I live in California and the max height for an RV is 14ft and the max width 8’6″. I just want to see if your design can be adjusted for my height.

    Thank you!

    • Andrew March 2, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

      Hi Peter. Our building is 13’6″ and 8’6″ wide measured on the exterior. As such, you could add 6″ to the total height of the structure and make it more comfortable for you. I believe 13′ 6″ is the maximum height in several states which is why we used it on our design. That way, people in different areas can build it as is. For you, the extra height would be great to add!

      • Joe March 10, 2014 at 7:01 am #

        Andrew, in my research I have found that 13’6″ is the max build height in all but two states. Both Alaska and North Dakota allow 14′. DOT regulations also allow trailers registered in either of those states to travel through other states, some states will require an oversize trailer trip permits when traveling through if your trailer exceeds the 13’6″ mark.

        • Andrew March 10, 2014 at 10:01 am #

          Hi Joe. That is indeed why we opted for the 13’6 height, even though we don’t have plans to move our hOMe much, we wanted to stay within the height requirements. 🙂

        • Russell Person December 26, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

          California, Oregon and Texas are all 14ft tall states. Arizona is 13’6″.

          • Andrew December 27, 2014 at 8:01 am #

            One thing to consider is if you plan to travel with your home, you will need to build it to meet the LOWEST maximum height in states you will pass through. Even if you live in Oregon, if you pass through Arizona or another state with a 13’6″ limit, you will have to meet that.

    • joseph June 25, 2014 at 11:35 am #

      hey peter how you doing?..my name is Joe.was wondering if you could share any info that you may have found for ca tiny house living?im in monterey county ca Facebook /Uknowdamryte thanks in advance

  6. kona March 3, 2014 at 7:50 am #

    Cute feet. 😉

  7. linking google plus and facebook March 8, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    Hi there everybody, here every person is sharing these knowledge, so it’s pleasant to read this web site, and I used to visit this blog daily.

  8. Mandy Odum March 8, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    Andrew, I seem to be having trouble finding the correct version of Google SketchUp. Do you have a link, or more info? Thanks for everything!

  9. Cyrus March 10, 2014 at 3:34 pm #

    Love the design… Andrew, have you had a chance to weigh it? I am very curious to know what your home weighs in at.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Andrew March 10, 2014 at 3:42 pm #

      Thanks Cyrus!

      We have not weighed it. We have a solid hunch towards weight and we are compiling some final numbers to get a more accurate estimate.

  10. Beth March 16, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    Hey guys! I am in love with your home and am anxiously awaiting your hOMe plans. I am however curious about how difficult it is to move hOMe? What type of vehicle do u have? I am assuming that because u built it on wheels it is ment to be mobile. Thanks for your time!!

    • Andrew March 16, 2014 at 8:57 am #

      Hi Beth. Thanks for your message. We have not moved hOMe since we built it and don’t have plans to take it on the road. We may move it around our land to check different building sites, but that it yet to be determined. It would likely need a 1 ton pick up truck to move it, but I’m not a truck guy, so that’s mostly a guess based on what I see dragging machinery around.

      The plans are almost ready!!! Stay tuned…

  11. Nadira March 16, 2014 at 10:34 pm #

    I really love the design of your tiny house, it’s quite clever! So, it looks like you have 2 lofted areas, is that correct? You use one as a bedroom and one as a TV/lounge area? I too am anxious to see the plans, including a floor plan view, if we sign up for the newsletter will we hear about them once they’re ready?

    • Andrew March 17, 2014 at 8:09 am #

      Hi Nadira. Thanks for your kind feedback. We do have two loft areas. The main sleeping loft is above the kitchen and the “tiny house lounge” is above the bathroom. yes, if you are are signed up to receive the newsletter, you will definitely hear about the plans as soon as they are ready.

  12. Beth March 17, 2014 at 8:58 am #

    Cool! Can’t wait to c them!! I’m looking into a tiny house for a family of 3 that could be moved possibly seasonally. Thoughts?

    • Andrew March 17, 2014 at 9:06 am #

      Our hOMe would work for a family of three as long as you are willing to share space and communicate. 🙂 It could be moved seasonly as well as long as you have a big enough truck.

  13. Justin Chandler March 22, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    So I’m a college student looking to build my own place a few years after graduating. I’ve been spending some of my time recently researching as to develop the best plan to accomplish this goal. I have a couple of questions. First, any tips on where to look for good quality material for a cheaper price? Second, how should someone who hasn’t built before take on a task like this? Third, is there any other way to build one that is transportable aside from on a trailer? Say I wanted to build a small cabin, not on a trailer, that I could transport with me in the future if I ever have to move. Is there a preferred way to do so?

    • Andrew March 28, 2014 at 5:42 pm #

      Hi Justin. Cool plan. In terms of materials, there are a few options available such as Craigslist, Freecycle, Habitat for Humanity Restores (if available nearby) and construction job sites. Believe it or not, I used to get a lot of building materials out of the dumpster at big construction sites. Mostly framing materials, but it all adds up to savings. You can also contact local lumber yards to see if they have windows, doors, and other items that contractors “mis ordered” at a cheap price.

      It is a really good idea to learn how to build before you take on a project you hope to last you a while. There are several short cuts to learning. One is to watch an instruction video that is well detailed. Tooting my own horn here, that’s one of the things we do: create instruction DVDs, and we have one coming out soon that shows how to build our tiny house in detail. The information I teach in the DVD could be used on ANY tiny house with success. Another is to read books and watch on line videos about basic construction practices. Be sure you have the basics down and a GOOD set of plans before you get started, You’ll be happy you made that time investment in the end.

      You could build a home on skids (6×10’s or so) that sits on the ground and then drag it up onto a trailer when you are ready to move it. There are limitations on width and height because it will go down the road, but it doesn’t have to be on a trailer this way.

  14. Dayna March 24, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    Wow, this is the first tiny house layout that I could really see living in. Amazing work.

    I’m in MN where get a whole lotta snow. Any advice on figuring out how steep the roof needs to be?

    Thank you for your time, signed up for the newsletter.

    • Andrew March 28, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      Hi Dayna. We totally understand the idea of tiny house living as being too small and that is why we designed hOMe to be just big enough to avoid that cramped feeling we saw in so many designs. In terms of snow, that would be up to an engineer. We engineered our building for general climates with standard snow loads, but you might need more where you live. You could do one of several things:

      1. Reduce the rafter spacing to 16″ on center from 24″.
      2. Use larger timbers (4x material) in lieu of 2x10s to increase the roof strength.
      3. Increase the slope of the roof, although this will negatively impact the headroom in the lofts.

      Options 1 and 2 will not impact the floor plan at all, so may be the best way to go. Again, be sure to check with a local engineer to get the numbers right.

    • Aaron Horne September 16, 2014 at 7:19 am #

      Hi Dayna!

      I too am in MN, I am currently in the research stage of tiny home building (obviously starting after winter here), I have done a lot of construction work and used to be a plumbing manager at Menards, I say all this so you feel comfortable with my advice.

      There are a few ways to keep the snow from building up. You can run to a home improvement store (Menards, Home Depot etc) and buy snow melting cables designed for “regular” home roofs. They are electric and come in various lengths, 50′ 100′ etc. They work rather well. The other option is to use salt pucks.

      Keep in mind you don’t have an attic either so the heat from inside the house rises straight to the roof and will help towards melting the snow. Also, the house is less than 14′ high, it wouldn’t be difficult to shovel the snow off the roof. Not like us Minnesotans aren’t used to shoveling already 😛

      If you combine this with what Andrew said then you’ll be more than fine and shouldn’t need to adjust the incline of the roof. I also believe you can raise one side of the house up by 4 inches in MN so it’s exactly at 14′. Either way, good luck!

  15. David Hall March 25, 2014 at 9:59 pm #

    Where can you buy trailers like the one you used for your small home? Why not build your small home on the ground with no trailer?
    Many cities and counties require a drawing plan of a home in order to get city permits to build. I was wondering if you had a visual plan (drawing) that could be used by other people, or do have advise on how to obtain a small home plan to obtain permission to build?

    • Andrew March 26, 2014 at 9:11 am #

      Hi David. We had our trailer custom built for us to meet our design needs. One can certainly build a tiny house on a solid foundation; however, then it cannot be moved if so desired. Most jurisdictions won’t permit a tiny house due to minimum home size requirements, so that is something that still makes living tiny difficult. We will be releasing a full, engineered set of building plans soon. You could take those plans to your building department to see what they say.

  16. Gail Kelly March 26, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    Andrew,
    Is a 10 foot wide house possible to build on an 8foot trailer. This will be pretty permanent, no towing around. Or are wider trailers available.
    How are those plans coming?
    You two are impeccable designers/builders.
    Gail

    • John March 27, 2014 at 5:03 am #

      Gail,
      The maximum trailer width allowed on roads in most states is 8’6″. That said, you could more than likely find wider trailers or have one custom fabricated at a local shop, but keep in mind any time you want to take a wider trailer on state roads, you’ll require a wide load permit, more than likely a Class A driver’s license, and possibly an escort vehicle. These are the reasons that most Tiny Home residents build to maximum 8’6″ width and 13’6″ heights; to avoid the paperwork and fees associated with the extra dimensions.

      Building extensions to the sides of an 8′ or 8’6″ trailer would be possible, but the framing required to support the structure will subtract from your maximum height to maintain roadworthiness.

      Hope that helps!
      ~John

    • Andrew March 28, 2014 at 12:36 pm #

      Hi Gail. Thanks for your kind feedback. John’s reply below is right on. Thanks John!

    • FerociousTH March 27, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

      Was think the same. The extra space would be great. I did look in to towing a 8’7″ to 10′ wide load. Permit is $10 in FL and need to have red flags on each corner. And found this link http://tinyhousetalk.com/tiny-houses-by-the-martin-house-company/

    • bob March 28, 2015 at 2:07 pm #

      It sounds like what you really want is a very “small” house (400 sq ft to around 1000 sq ft give or take a bit) rather than a “tiny” house (under 400 sq ft). Or just to build one on a foundation. I know the vast majority of locations in THIS country won’t allow such a small new house on a foundation alone on a lot, but there are at least one that does now and more communities or areas that are considering changing the laws to allow it. Read about Spur, TX and Walsenburg, CO in the blogs here on TinyHouseBuild.

      • Andrew April 3, 2015 at 9:15 am #

        It is actually MUCH easier to get a building permit for a small house (or even a tiny house) on a foundation than it is for one on a trailer. That’s because they are considered permanent as opposed to temporary. It is still not a shoe-in, but your chances are good as long as you can meet the minimum requirements for “inhabitable space.”

  17. Darlena March 27, 2014 at 10:53 pm #

    Andrew and Gabriella,
    I love your home!! I have seen many videos on tiny houses, and most of them seem claustrophobic to me. Yours seem so spacious, love the storage areas, and it is great that you have stairs. I am not a ladder climber, so stairs are a must. Storage under the stairs and washer and dryer space is awesome!! Is it possible to lower the loft floor a bit to allow me to stand up? I am 5’4″ and my knees can’t take crawling around the floor. Would it be possible to create a walkway across from the bedroom to the other loft, even if I had to walk bent over some? Thanks for sharing your home on youtube.

    • Andrew March 28, 2014 at 10:15 am #

      Hi Darlena. Thanks for your kind message. There is not a way to lower the loft floors that would work for you to stand while maintaining a reasonable head height downstairs and staying within the height restrictions for road use. You would need to lower the loft by at least 18″ to make it happen and that would make the space underneath the lofts somewhere around 4’9″. If the home were built on a solid foundation rather than a trailer, then you could adjust things easily as the foundation would be closer to the ground and the height restriction would go away. At that point, a cat walk could be included in the floor plan from one loft to the other. Hope that helps.

  18. Shannon Schjolin March 29, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    Hey Andrew! Wondering what the interior finished dimensions were on your fender boxes. We are modeling our design now and are in the early stages, just playing with interior components and floor plan. We will be doing the same as you did with the drop axles & framing inside the trailer itself. Thanks for your consideration! Cheers!

    • Andrew April 1, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

      I can’t remember the exact dimensions. They will be on the plans when we release them. other than that, I would say that I added a couple inches front and back of the tires and matched the width on the interior side of the wheels to that of the frame on the exterior. In other words, I used the same measurement that the trailer manufacturer did. On top, I left 4″, I believe, above the highest point that the tires can reach when fully loaded. hope that helps.

  19. Donna April 3, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    We absolutely LOVE your house – it is really beautiful so well done! Quick question on air quality and moisture control. We have seen that some tiny houses can have problems with too much moisture, not venting the gas combustion properly and having cooking smells linger and become an issue. We didn’t see any fans in the bathroom or in the kitchen. How do you maintain air quality – is the furnace vented outside? And, how do you deal with moisture control in general? Have you had any issues and is there anything you can share about your experience? Sorry, one more thing, I’m bug phobic – any issues with bugs getting into the house?

    Thanks!

    • Andrew April 20, 2014 at 10:34 am #

      Hi Donna. Great questions. We do have a fan in the kitchen (it is built into the cabinet so it doesn’t show in most people’s image of hOMe. It is directly vented to the exterior. We also have a fan in the bathroom that vents to the outside. Our propane heater is a direct vent heater so it both draws and releases air from/to the outside through the vent pipe. Bugs have not been an issue for us; however, we do get some inside as one does with any size home. Nothing special though.

      We are considering adding an Energy Recovery Ventilation system to the home to help with condensation. We wanted to see how things went at first, but will likely install one on the tongue of the trailer and have it vent directly through the trailer tongue wall. We may try using a plug in dehumidifier instead as our solar panels can only power so much and an ERV is an “always on” system that may draw too much against our panels. We will be sure to keep people updated.

  20. E. V. April 5, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

    The most challenging, beautiful, and functional tiny house I ever saw since I started to learn the subject!
    Perfect attitude to order, perfect implementation, … simply perfect!
    My respect!

    • Andrew April 6, 2014 at 8:56 am #

      Thank you for kind words of support. Much appreciated!

  21. Raelynn April 5, 2014 at 2:05 pm #

    Hi,

    I just started researching tiny homes and yours is my favorite design so far. You have addressed so many of the issues that make me hesitant about tiny house living. I did have a couple questions. How is your waste water handled? Since you have the composting toilet I realize you have no black water, but what about grey water from the sinks and shower? Also, roughly what did it cost to have the trailer specially made for you? I did a quick preliminary search online for a trailer that length and had little luck.

    Thanks for sharing your experience, it’s very inspiring for folks like my husband and I just starting to consider this lifestyle.

    • Andrew April 6, 2014 at 8:59 am #

      Hi Raelynn. Thanks for your message. The trailer was around $4500. That price will vary depending on your local fabricators. We provided him with the specs of what we needed and he designed the frame. We now have an engineered set of plans that have all of the specifications called out. Those will be available soon.

      We have a simple grey water system that we are upgrading in the coming weeks to include more underground distribution lines. There is a great article on grey water systems on Houzz.com. Here’s the link:http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/24548213/list/Grow-a-Beautiful-Garden-With-Ecofriendly-Greywater

      • Raelynn April 11, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

        Thanks Andrew!

  22. Heidi April 8, 2014 at 8:00 am #

    I think Donna’s asked some important questions about ventilation. It’s like the difference between our mini-van and our Prius–leave the dog in the mini-van on a winter day and there’s no problem, but leave him in the Prius and there’s dreadful condensation on the windows in no time. Small spaces need fresh air and good circulation, how did you design for this?

    Did you consider in-floor heat?

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Andrew April 20, 2014 at 10:37 am #

      Hi Heidi. We did not consider in floor heat as we wanted the visual of a fireplace inside. It could be done if one was so inclined. Electrical floor heat would not be an issue for us as we are off grid. Hot water floor heat would be a great option in the design if that was the route you wanted to go.

  23. Sharad April 13, 2014 at 3:24 am #

    Hello,

    Thank you very much for helping people to live in small places.

    I want to redesign my 500 sqft home with your help.
    I live in India.
    Please tell me how I can have your guidance for it.
    Please tell me how to start the process as totally new into this.

    • Andrew April 14, 2014 at 7:57 pm #

      Hi Sharad. Thanks for your message. I’m happy to help you any way I can. I do offer consulting work if that is your preference. Please let me know if you would like to take that approach. If not, I am happy to offer you some simple advice if that is the best approach.

  24. Donna April 19, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    Congrats on the release of the plans. I’m sure things have been very busy for you. I’m wondering if you could respond to my initial questions above and Heidi’s question too.

    Thanks!
    Donna

    • Andrew April 20, 2014 at 10:38 am #

      Hi Donna. Thanks for your patience and understanding. I just replied to your and Heidi’s questions above. Cheers.

  25. Donna April 20, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    Thanks Andrew – very much appreciated! I have to say again, your home is beautiful!!!!

  26. Vera April 26, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    Hello,

    Love your home – and especially love the flooring. What type of wood did you use?

    • Andrew May 1, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

      Thanks Vera. It is hand scraped Spanish hickory.

  27. Natalie Merrick April 29, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

    I absolutely love your home!! You are such an inspiration. How long did it take to build?

    • Andrew May 1, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

      Thanks Natalie. We love it too! 🙂 It took me four months to build hOMe from start to finish pretty much by myself, and that included filming the how-to, step by step DVD that we will be releasing soon. I have nearly 20 years experience as a professional builder, so that will obviously impact the time line.

  28. Vicky White May 4, 2014 at 2:29 am #

    What a beautiful home. I have a question about power – I saw something about solar panels and I’m wondering if you are off the grid power-wise and whether this is enough to power things like your juicer. Love that you have a big fridge for all those veggies too – is that powered by solar too?

    • Andrew May 4, 2014 at 8:12 pm #

      Hi Vicky. Thanks!

      Yes, we are off grid and our panels power everything from juicer to fridge and beyond. We have a very small system, and may add more batteries and/or panels in the future, but for now, it works really well. We have a backup generator for extended cloudy days.

      • Gail May 11, 2014 at 11:37 am #

        Hi Andrew,

        I was wondering if you could tell me about how many solar panels, and the required power source and requirements needed to run your tiny house?

        Thank you so much for sharing you and your wife’s wonderful home and life with us!

        Hopefully one day I can accomplish something similar. 😀

  29. Rich May 18, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

    Hi Andrew,
    As others have said, you’ve built a magnificent little home! I am inspired. If you would, please provide us with some detailed information about your solar set up.
    Many thanks…

    • Andrew June 12, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

      Thanks Rich. We will be putting out a blog entry soon about the solar system. It is very small (600 Watts, I believe) and works well for us. We may be adding some new panels and batteries to upgrade a bit. Stay tuned…

  30. Ari June 11, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    Hi,
    I am a Labor and Delivery Nurse and travel for assignments… my husband and I were looking at possibly purchasing your plans for him to built. He does have some building experience… we are in our 40s and want to travel now throughout the US as our children are all adults and its just us… would this tiny home be good to move every 4 months or so to different locations? Do you recommend it? Can it be parked in RV spaces? Just looking at options instead of purchasing an RV… Thanks!

    • Andrew June 12, 2014 at 12:42 pm #

      Hi Ari. It is certainly possible to travel with hOMe; however, you would need to make some changes to the cabinets so that they don’t swing open during transport. Ours are simply standard cabinets and won’t work well during travel. You would need at least a 3/4 ton pick up truck to move around with relative ease. The home is 28′ long and so would fit in most RV parking sites. It may be easier to move around in an RV, but hOMe will feel more like you are in a house than an RV. Good luck and have fun!!!

  31. Brianna June 21, 2014 at 5:50 am #

    Hi Andrew, my partner and I are beginning the journey of converting an already-existing structure into a tiny home. It stands on the ground at 13’5″, does this mean it would exceed the maximum height limit when put onto a trailer?

    • Andrew June 30, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

      Unfortunately, yes. The total height allowed in most places for an item placed ON a trailer is 14′. If you make the tiny home a permanent part of the trailer (i.e. it is not simply strapped down), then you are looking at a total of 13’6″. Sorry for the bummer news. You may be able to get special transport permit…

  32. Travis June 28, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

    When you did your sheathing did you inset your framing 7/16″ so that the sheathing was flush with the trailer or did you frame it flush and then sheath? Thanks!

    • Andrew June 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm #

      Our set up is a little different than most conventional construction as we placed the sheathing on the interior of the studs to act as backing support for our finish walls. That said, the frame is set flush with the outside of the trailer rails (once they were covered with wood nailers). You can see the entire layout and all of the details in the construction drawings. Cheers.

  33. Christy July 9, 2014 at 8:58 pm #

    Have you ever had a family of 4 or 5 try this move into a tiny house? I’m a single mom trying to figure out how to save money

    • Andrew July 20, 2014 at 9:30 am #

      Hi Christy. With small kids, it would be possible. We have two kids (almost 18 and 14) and we live in hOMe together. That said, each of the kids has their own small cabins as private space which is necessary at their age. I would imagine that some design changes would be necessary if you have 4 or 5 people living in the same space, as sleeping arrangements would become an issue fairly quickly.

  34. Am July 14, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

    Hi!
    Your design is both incredible and inspiring!
    I know you mentioned earlier that it doesn’t usually work out to change the design ( I don’t want to, it’s PERFECT). I do have a few questions though (your building knowledge is greatly appreciated by the way 🙂
    We live in SOUTH Louisiana (on the bayou) and it gets crazy hot and humid. Would it be advantageous for us to build with something like aluminum structured panels instead of a “stick frame”? And if so, would that change the layout at all? My husband thinks it would be easier to cool off (since that’s our major issue here. We only run the heater a few weeks out of the yr) and more flexible for travel. (I would imagine that a wooden frame wouldn’t withstand moving often (seals breaking and windows and doors would leak eventually) What are your thoughts on this if I may ask? – Am

    • Lara February 8, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

      I am wondering if you got a response to you inquiry Am.

    • bob February 8, 2015 at 5:00 pm #

      I am not a pro builder like Andrew here. Really do appreciate his expertise on this project.
      From what I’ve seen continuously looking into tiny houses none are really made/designed for much traveling about. Most of what I’ve seen for the tiny houses made for full time living are first houses to live in. Secondly some of them, most in the USA, are built on a trailer base simply to escape the restrictive housing codes in most areas and not really intending to make them home built RVs. If really want to move around a lot, like in a RV, then it makes more sense to me to buy an RV. I’ve read about a lot of people living full time in RVs and going all over the place. They do live the tiny life, but in a structure MADE for traveling. I would expect any tiny house to develop broken seals and popped walls if moved a lot. I lived in a MH that was moved once, half way across the country from Maine to Iowa, and had most wall panels popped and much damage to the outside. Tiny houses are more like a MH than a RV in design, just much smaller… right sized. Aluminum structured panels sounds a lot like the way RVs are built. Don’t know if you could build one that way yourself and save money over buying a RV, but it would be custom. Depending on how well the structure in insulated the heat may or may not be an issue with larger utility bills to keep it cool. Better insulation helps in both hot and cold climates. I would think insulation would be more important than being stick built or structured panel built. Just an opinion. Still learning this stuff myself. I still like the idea of a tiny house on a slab in Spur, TX 🙂

    • aikanae September 4, 2015 at 5:01 am #

      I live in AZ, currently in a mh. From my experience aluminium or any metal is not easier to cool. They sell rubber coatings for metal roofs in an attempt to prevent them from heating up in the first place. Insulation is different for high heat areas such as never insulate the roof because that will trap heat inside. There is also a heat sink from the roof after the sun goes down and temp drops outside. That can require some power to vent or end up with the hottest temp of the day at 10pm inside, i.e. big ceiling fans. In tropical areas there is open fret work at the roof line and on porches to help create a breeze. Early settlers here used vertical or horizontal cooling towers – basically big open doors at opposite ends of the home for a wind tunnel-like effect. It’s evaporation that cools. AC is a different principle and requires very dry air. Look into how early settlers cooled homes in your area before ac.

      • Andrew September 6, 2015 at 10:52 am #

        Natural cooling is a great idea an every important. That’s not an easy detail for a tiny house on wheels because of the height restrictions. Also, I am not sure if you are correct about not insulating roofs/ceilings in hot areas. I have never heard this. What I know is that the roof line is insulated and reflective coatings are often used to drive heat away from the attic space. Vaulted ceilings are harder because there is no attic space to act as a buffer. I still believe that code requires the attic to be insulated though.

  35. Andrew July 19, 2014 at 7:16 am #

    Hi Andrew and Gabriella. Thank you for sharing your beautiful and well-designed house. This is something I’ve been hoping to find for quite some time and I appreciate all of the technical information you have provided, and the high quality video you produced.

    You have answered most of my initial questions on your website but I wondered about something that I don’t think has been asked which is how do you collect and store your fresh water? Do you have a local natural source? Or is there another way you keep your fresh water topped up? Sorry if this has been covered in another post or video. Thanks, Andrew.

    • Andrew July 20, 2014 at 9:21 am #

      Hi Andrew. Thanks for your message. We have a well on our property to supply water. Once a week or so, water is pumped uphill to a 1500 gallon storage tank. From there, it gravity feeds down to our hOMe for daily use. We also have a gutter on the back of the hOMe and we intend to install some rain catchment at some point (when time allows).

  36. Teri July 24, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    Loved your design. Will you build for others? In your Youtube video you said the price was $30,000~ Is that your price for building this for others or what it cost you? Where are you located?

    Thank you for sharing this beautifully functional home!

    Teri

    • Andrew July 28, 2014 at 10:22 am #

      Hi Teri. Thanks! I don’t build for others anymore. I have been a professional builder for close to 20 years, but now I choose to teach and consult instead. The price for hOMe was for the materials and did not include the labor costs that one would need to pay to have it built for them (or the wages lost if one was building instead of working their “normal” job).

  37. Kevin Bjorke August 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm #

    Hi Andrew & Gabriella — I am really digging your design for hOMe, it comes closest (so far) to my ideal tiny house (though I would need to modify the design to accommodate my precious bicycles… I’ve never really seen that done well yet, and the stairwell in hOMe looks like it would provide an excellent framework). I work on lighting software for SketchUp myself and wrote some notes here about trying it to preview natural light in tiny designs https://getvisualizer.com/blog/tiny-houses-the-big-picture — hOMe does a really nice job I think, and I’ve looked at many (in person)! Did you design it to face a particular direction? I’m also struck by how the cabinetry is finished in black but the space still feels open. Nicely done!

    • Andrew August 7, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

      Thanks Kevin. We did not design the house for any direction in particular as we planned to park it in the shade and move it as necessary for solar conditions. Thanks again for your kind feedback.

  38. Jennifer August 12, 2014 at 7:53 am #

    Hi Andrew and Gabriella,

    I am negotiating with a local mobile home park to see if they will allow a tiny house in the park. State regulations apparently dictate that mobile homes must have a flush toilet and be built on a concrete slab, affixed with tie-downs. Would hOMe be able to be modified to meet these guidelines, do you think?

    It is so beautiful, and would meet my needs perfectly!

    One more quick question: which Ikea cabinets did you use?

    Many thanks!

    • Andrew August 16, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

      Hi jennifer. It is certainly an option to alter hOMe so that it fits the requirements of a solid foundation and a flush toilet. That can be done with relative ease, in fact, with the use of a designer and/or engineer. I can recommend a designer for you (Chris Keefe: chris@organicformsdesign.com). He did the drawings for us on our project after I designed it in SketchUp and I have worked with him for years in the field of straw bale construction.

      I can’t remember the name of the cabinets we used, but they are listed in the materials list that comes with the plan purchase.

      Thanks for the kind words.

  39. Julie August 14, 2014 at 8:14 am #

    Andrew,
    I just love it, of course. Some questions:

    My husband is having a hard time understanding why we wouldn’t just purchase an RV. What is your response when someone asks you that? I mean, it is mobile, already built and bypasses things like code etc. I mean why go through the trouble? There must be some very compelling reasons that I can give him for making the time commitment.

    Another question is, I recently stumbled onto an article on Houzz.com regarding advanced framing practices and how it uses less lumber than conventional framing. Did you use advanced framing practices when building your house? And is that specified in your building plans?

    Thanks for being a resource to all of us novices out here. You make it feel possible.

    • Andrew August 16, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      Hi Julie. That is a good question and one that I hear often. It is mostly a personal choice thing, in terms of not just buying an RV. That said, here are some other details. An RV cannot be lived in. With some jurisdictions now allowing people to actually live in tiny houses, that separates them from RVs. The insulation is better in a tiny house than in an RV. Quality; there is definitely a different feeling in a well built tiny home versus a well built RV. One feels like a home while the other feels like a temporary living situation.

      In terms of advanced framing techniques,they are not outlined in the plans as I wanted them to be easy for even the novice builder. That is not to say that they could not be used; however, you would need to make sure everything passes an engineer’s calculations if you decide to change the framing design.

      Good luck!

  40. Bill August 20, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    Andrew,

    Love HoMe but don’t think it would work for me. I really like your advise about starting with a blank slate.

    Your “be honest” statement is so perfect. I don’t honestly think my family could live in a 300- sq ft home. Something around 500 I think is the right size for us. I need a bedroom either at base level or max 3-4 steps up because of injuries.

    I have looked at longer gooseneck trailers and widening them. I know I would have to hire a trucker to move it but think that is a justified comprise. How do you feel about larger “tiny” homes? With your knowledge with these cool homes do you find my idea feasible?

    Thanks
    Bill

    • Andrew August 23, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

      Hi Bill. I think your idea is a good one, especially if you don’t plan to move it very often. An occasional move would be fine with the wide load permit, but not all the time. Gabriella and I have been talking about using a tractor trailer as a tiny home. The unit itself could be widened as well and then the whole thing could be towed with a special permit by a professional driver. How wide either of these types of homes would/could be would be dependent on the DOT regulations and cost of moving fees/permits.

      Good luck!

  41. Milo September 23, 2014 at 3:26 pm #

    Hey Andrew,

    Great design, beautiful aesthetic and excellent job on the pricing (that’s admirable thrift!)

    I’ve been working on a design for something very similar, but smaller. 8×20. I seem to be having a hard time finding a decent trailer – finding ones that allow me to use as close to 8ft width interior has been difficult. Any advice?

    I also noticed you rant the siding over the wheel wells. Was this to eek out the full interior space by building the walls right at the outer wheel well edge? It seems like most leave an inch or two of the outer wheel well exposed. Does running the siding all the way down/building to the outer wheel well allow you to access the tires if you need to change one?

    Also, how practical do you think it would be to take your design, nix the stairs and cut off 8 feet?

    Thanks!
    Milo

    • Andrew September 25, 2014 at 4:58 pm #

      Hi Milo. Thanks for the kind words. We had our trailer custom built for us as it was the most direct way to get exactly what we wanted. Our siding does indeed cover the wheel wells. It allows us to build all the way to the exterior edge of the trailer, but more importantly, it hides the wheels a bit better than other designs. We have since changed this design element for the plans that we sell as it does make changing the wheels harder…not impossible, just harder.

      If you were to eliminate the stairs and shrink the house down by 8′, it would work. It would obviously be different and you would lose the sitting area as well, but it could certainly work with a little redesign. We actually sell just the SketchUp file if you want to play with the design a bit and see what is possible to do from this starting point.

      Cheers.

  42. satchell December 25, 2014 at 4:04 am #

    I am a family of 5(3 little children n 2 adults) is wondering if a 560-600 sqft considered a tiny house for a family that size.

    • Andrew December 27, 2014 at 8:04 am #

      The size of the home is going to be specific to each person’s or family’s need; however, in my personal opinion, I would think that a home that size would be great for a family your size.

  43. misty December 27, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    Hi Andrew and Gabriella,
    Like so many others, yours is the best TH I’ve seen that has the elements I need for a house. I’m a designer too so doing just as you say and really being honest about the space we will need and how we will live in the house. The social aspect is important, a fully stocked and functional kitchen is imperative and storage, storage, storage!!
    However, the thing I love most about your guys’ design that I have seen maybe only once or twice before in all my research is that the potty is not in the dang kitchen!!! Why oh why are they all designed that way?!! Yuck. Like yours, all my designs have it much separated. I am also designing ours with a lot of floor storage. Do you have any insight as to how floor storage might be a negative idea? Some of my designed even have up to 24″ worth in portions of the house. Thank you so much for all your hard work and sharing your knowledge and ideas.

    • Andrew December 30, 2014 at 11:25 pm #

      Thanks Misty! The biggest issue I see with floor storage is that it heavily impacts head-height. I would suggest that you only add that to the plan in ways that won’t limit your headroom. Further, I have found that getting rid of excess is the best way to minimize the storage needs. We have a bunch of storage in the our hOMe, but we also got rid of most of our “stuff” that we didn’t need. We do also store some things like tools, scuba gear, and hockey gear, etc outside of our hOMe, so that is an option as well: secondary storage for the things you need but simply aren’t practical to keep inside the tiny home.

      • misty January 5, 2015 at 9:26 am #

        Thanks Andrew! Like so many sites have suggested we are doing the downsizing in stages. It definitely feels good to get rid of stuff.
        One more question, I thought I saw on one of your posts a good link for Sketchup tutorials, but now I can’t seem to find it. Can you please post that link again? Thanks!!

        • Andrew January 8, 2015 at 7:02 pm #

          Hi Misty. I’m afraid I don’t know which one I mentioned either. I would suggest doing a search on YouTube as they have a lot of options there.

        • Sarah September 5, 2016 at 11:19 am #

          Maybe this is the link you were referring to, that he posted near the top?

          http://youtu.be/xqcL-xPC-Ys

  44. Mara January 23, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    I have a question about the plumbing. When I build my Tiny House I am currently thinking of using a propane water heater for showers and hot water for washing dishes. Eventually I’d like to get a washer/dryer combo but may not initially for financial reasons. Can you direct me to plumbing resources where I can use water (I’m probably going to buy water) and hook up the tank to the plumbing/water heater? I’m unsure as to how to go about doing this. Thanks got your time!

    • Andrew January 28, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

      Hi Mara. That is something that is well addressed in RV plumbing systems. I don’t do any work in that side of the industry, so I can’t offer much help. I can say that you would need a storage tank, a pump, and the rest is simply plumbed as normal (to some extent). Perhaps others here can chime in on this one…?

  45. Mia January 31, 2015 at 10:55 pm #

    Hello Andrew,

    Like many here I am in the early stages of tiny home research. I’m hoping to figure out how to transform a motor home into a tiny home. My reasons for this include not wanting to trade my VW for a tow vehicle, traveling in the home often, and needing a very minimal floor plan with a large 8’x8′ open floor space to accommodate my great dane’s antics. My desire is to dismantle the motorhome down to the aluminum frame, move the bathroom and kitchen to directly behind the cab, then modify the existing frame to accommodate a loft. I’m wondering if you can think of any specific problems with this idea and if you have any suggestions. I think my biggest concern right now is how to build the hight up while using the existing aluminum frame. Also, does anyone have experience with attempting this kind of conversion? Thanks to all!

    • aikanae September 4, 2015 at 4:24 am #

      My brother has a camper that uses hydraulics to lift up the roof for a sleeping area when he camps. I know I’ve seen van conversions using similar systems. You might not be able to lift the entire roof but just do a section for a loft. I wondered why extensions to add a foot of headroom once the th was placed hasn’t been used in designs – or tip outs on the sides once the home was placed. An extra foot can make a big difference.

      • Bob September 4, 2015 at 5:33 am #

        Maybe it’s just me. (and just to be sure this is my opinion based on all I’ve read and observed over the years about this).

        I find I keep wondering why some people are really attracted to the tiny house movement. Is it the idea of living large in a smaller space, as is the origins of the movement? Or is it because so many tiny houses are cute?

        Building a cute tiny house, and then working in ways to make it bigger, is just contrary to the whole idea of a tiny house. It makes me think that maybe what that builder really should do is build a “small” or “medium” house (500-1000 sq ft, or 1000-1500 sq ft or so) and not build it so tiny and then try to make it “bigger.” That’s how we’ve ended up with McMansions in the first place. First there were tiny and small houses (by today’s standards), then people were convinced they wanted something bigger so they keep adding on and building bigger until (ta-DA) there’s a McMansion in the lot. Same has been happening with the RV industry. First there were tents, then campers to get off the ground. Campers wanted bigger and so trailers and RVs came. They still wanted bigger so the trailers and RVs sprouted bump outs, tip outs, and pop-up roofs. Next on the horizon if that continues is the RV with one big massive expansion that will double or triple the space to that of a medium house with attic. It’s opposition to this thinking that brought about the current small/tiny house movement. I encourage making your tiny/small/medium (or what ever size) house the “right” size for you and don’t worry about the structural issues with pop-ups or bump outs. Tiny houses are not really about making home built RVs (I know I’ve mentioned this before on other sites) as it seems so many in just recent years imply. It’s about making a house that is just the size that you need, and no bigger, that doesn’t wastefully use up the world resources, and without wasted space and filled with extra stuff that just gets in the way of living.

        BTW- This tiny house is still my favorite design. Only I would likely build it on a foundation or slab in one of the communities that has changed their codes to allow it as primary residence (such as Walsenburg, CO or Spur, TX). 🙂

        • Andrew September 6, 2015 at 10:50 am #

          Keep in mind Bob that some families want to live in tiny houses too, and tiny houses that are portable. The only way to really do that (for most people) is to have a space that can get slightly bigger when they get to their destination. Anything that drives down down the road as a tiny house on wheels will be significantly smaller than conventional houses, so the lower environmental impact of such housing is very much at play. I agree that if you don’t NEED to have a tiny house ON WHEELS, that the best solution is a foundation and a house that fits the scale of your life (when honestly inspected). I call it “Human Scale.” I think some people build on a trailer because they think that’s what they are “supposed” to do. That’s a mistake. The movement is about freedom (at some level) so be free to make the choice that best supports your actual needs. Cheers.

          • /bob September 6, 2015 at 3:15 pm #

            I do keep that in mind. But the majority are singles or couples, at least until recently. There are exceptions to everything and a family living in a MOBILE tiny house is really just living the RV life, which is the same as “living tiny” if living at “human scale” is kept in mind. And this has been happening for many many years as I found when searching RV Living. Also there are families living on boats as well. Most families wanting to live in a “tiny house” that I’ve read about are really preferring to stay put in one place. It is better in that case to simply build to the needs of the family and that might mean building a small house on foundation rather than insisting it has to be on a trailer, and thereby avoiding the complexity of bump outs or pop-ups. Anything can be done, as has been proven. But that doesn’t mean it should or is the best option for the desired outcome. My comments really come from what I’ve noticed are more and more prospective Tiny Housers who do seem to think a tiny house is “supposed to” be on wheels. It is an option to be sure, but not the best one in my mind. If I wanted the RV life I’d more likely buy a very well built (as in higher quality) RV that is designed for regular road travel.

      • Andrew September 6, 2015 at 10:53 am #

        I think it’s a matter of people knowing this option exists. Also, many tiny houses on wheels are owner built and such a mechanism might beyond their skill level to work with (or at least perceived as such).

  46. Sean February 10, 2015 at 8:30 pm #

    Hi, I love your tiny home. I’ve been looking at lots of these and I think this might be the nicest one I’ve seen yet. I’m also a builder and am starting a company specializing in small buildings in ontario, and have a question about your interior sheathing. I really like the look of your walls and am wondering how you did it. I like the little gaps between panels. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Kelly Moriarty Evans September 17, 2015 at 4:47 pm #

      Hi Sean. I really like the hOMe design as well and I live in Southwestern Ontario. Have you started your company or building Tiny Houses on Wheels yet? Also where are you located? I just started researching the Tiny House Movement and finding it hard to find good designs and builders at an affordable pricing. Any information or resources you know of would be greatly appreciated. Thanks..:)

      • Andrew September 19, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

        Hi Kelly. I just wanted to make sure you have contacted Darin at http://www.EcoCabins.com regarding our hOMe. He is building them at a VERY good price and delivering them across the US. I can’t remember what the plans are for getting hOMes into Canada. Perhaps he would deliver it to NY and you could drive it up from there? Anyway, just thought it was worth mentioning.

        -Andrew

  47. Nicholas March 3, 2015 at 6:13 am #

    Hello Andrew, I have been looking intobtiny homes since i was, maybe 11 or so, but i am 16 now and ready to start building, the only thing i can not, or dont have the money for is a trailer. Any suggestions on where to find a cheap trailer that will hold up to all the weight?

    • Andrew March 5, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

      Hi Nicholas. Thanks for your message and great foresight from an early age! Cheap trailers can be found; however, I don’t recommend it. After all, the trailer is the foundation for your home and any money skimped there will effect you later on in the build. I would instead recommend that you save your money a little longer to get the right trailer and start your house off right. Best of success to you.

  48. mikal krummel April 18, 2015 at 10:10 pm #

    maybe i missed it, but i haven’t spotted or heard you mention the storage location of your propane tank for the hOMe. on a related note, what size is it?. thanks.

    • Andrew April 26, 2015 at 10:50 am #

      Hi Mikal. our propane tanks are outside of the hOMe and are next to our “solar shed” where we house all of our solar system mechanicals (batteries and equipment). We have two 100 gallon tanks.

  49. Kathy April 23, 2015 at 4:47 am #

    Hi Andrew,
    I love your hOMe design. I was wondering if there would be enough space on the roof for the solar panels & is there a way to store water with the home to live off grid with no well & that would withstand travelling. I live in Australia & was wondering if the home would withstand being driven 11 hours to another state. I wouldn’t plan on moving it very often at all, but my family is stretched out 11 hours apart & I may move when grandchildren arrive.
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
    Kathy

    • Andrew April 26, 2015 at 10:37 am #

      Hi Kathy. Thanks for your message. I do believe that the hOMe would be fine with the 11 hour drive; however, it would be a slow trip, so count on that in your planning. In terms of the solar and water capacity, it could be done, but that too would take some planning. The solar panels would fit on the roof without issue, but you would need to make room in the house for the batteries, inverter (assuming you don’t run on DC), charge controller, etc. Perhaps a space on the tongue of the trailer could be enclosed and used. For the water tanks (one fresh and one for waste) you would have to make sure they fit under the hOMe and with adequate clearance from the ground. RVs do it all the time, so I know it’s possible. It’s just not something I have extensively researched myself. Cheers.

  50. Randall Stark April 26, 2015 at 10:38 am #

    Andrew,
    I requested a quote from a few well-recommended trailer manufacturers, based upon the hOMe design. We plan to tow the home, to fulfill sponsor commitments, and then locate it on rented (hopefully purchased) property. This information was included in my quote requests. All three returned a quote for a three-axle trailer, and ranged in price from $6,000 to $8,400, due to the weight of the “Occupied”(i read as finished with appliances and cabinetry) design. We are considering the Ecco-cabin steel frame-up for reduced weight. What other ways can we shed weight, without significant compromise to the integrity and joy of your design?
    Thank-you and Gabriella for all you do.
    Randall

    • Andrew April 26, 2015 at 10:42 am #

      Hi Randall. That price range is about right. The reality is that hOMe is on the bigger side when it comes to tiny house/RVs. As such, it is heavy. The metal frame will go a long way to reduce weight. You can also look at using more lightweight cabinetry throughout the hOMe as there is a lot of cabinetry in there. Your choice of insulation can also reduce (or add) weight. Hope that helps. Have fun and I hope you’ll send us pictures of your finished hOMe!!!

  51. William August 25, 2015 at 9:21 am #

    Are there any plans for an expansion into Alberta Canada? If so how soon?

    • Andrew August 25, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

      Hi William. I’m not clear as to what you mean by expanding into Alberta. Sorry. We sell our plans and instructional DVDs all over the world and we recently launched our fully completed hOMe sales through EcoCabins.com which could be delivered to Canada; however, the import taxes may be too high to make it a viable option. That would have to be investigated. If this is not what you are talking about, sorry for my confusion. I have a lot of threads going on at once on the blog, so it can get difficult to follow in step some times. Please let me know if you have a different question in mind. Thanks.

    • Kelly Moriarty Evans September 17, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

      Yes, I agree with William to bring your product to Canada, Ontario would be my preference. Out of all the designs and floor plans I’ve seen since my research in this past week, yours made the most sense and looked and felt the most spacious and usable. But we are on a tight budget (strangle hold…lol) and really want to be apart of the Tiny House Movement. I’ve sent an application to the first Smart Community Ontario that has formed in Kingston, Ontario. Just waiting on a reply as I wish to start a Smart Community here in Woodstock, Ontario, if the powers at be deem it to happen! Here’s hoping. And koodoos to your great video tour and tiny house design!

  52. Andrew Frame October 2, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    Please tell me what you used to clad the exterior of the house.

    Regards,
    Andrew

    • Andrew October 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm #

      Hi Andrew. We used a tongue and groove (V groove) cedar. It is smooth on one side and rough on the other. We placed it smooth side out and then finished it with a clear protective layer to stop it from greying out over time.

  53. Elaine Cioni October 3, 2015 at 8:31 am #

    Loved reading about your homes. Where is the closest to Indiana that I may see some of them?

    • Andrew October 5, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

      Hi Elaine. we only have our personal hOMe in Oregon and we don’t do frequent tours as we have had so many requests since we published our pictures. There are tiny homes all over the US though and you may be able to find someone local to you by visiting http://www.TinyHouseMaps.com. Hope that helps!

  54. Jennifer Lynn Brennecka November 8, 2015 at 9:35 am #

    Hi Andrew,
    I am an Architect student and required to design a tiny cube house with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, kitchen area, dining area, living area, and office space all in 12ft by 12ft by 12ft space. My site is 24ft by 24ft. Any suggestions or examples? I think it is unrealistic and impossible but that’s my assigned project. I need help.

    Thank you,
    Jennifer Lynn

    • Andrew November 9, 2015 at 10:55 am #

      Hi Jennifer. Excuse the pun but… you just need to think outside of the box. I couldn’t resist. You are right that this won’t be easy, but I believe it is possible. The key is to rethink what you know about spaces and to use a lot of multipurpose design. For example, our dining area in our tiny house also doubles as our desks. Our “office” is a combination of those desks and a single cabinet where we house all of our office needs. 99.99% of our office is digital. All of our receipts, paperwork, etc. As a result, we need very little space for it all. We have a large kitchen but you could certainly design a small kitchen with multi use once again.

      If your challenge was to design all of this within the IRC, then you would have an impossible task as things such as head room, minimum room square footage, etc. can make this challenge impossible.

      Good luck. Remember to have fun, think outside of what you know, and let go of your limitations. 🙂

  55. tucker December 23, 2015 at 2:13 am #

    HI my name is tucker rickard im 13 years old i was inspired by the work that u have done with the tiny houses but i was thinging i could find out how to build one thairr beautiful i know im only 13 but would love to talk
    email is wrong but i have a face book
    . thanks for your time

    • Andrew December 28, 2015 at 9:33 pm #

      Hi Tucker. Thanks for writing in! We are really happy to hear that you are inspired by our house and what we do. That’s great. We have a Facebook page that you can follow as we have lots of information on there about tiny houses, design, building, and more things related to living tiny. Check us out at TinyHouseBuild (I think it comes up as “tinyhousebuilddotcom”). Hope you stay inspired!!

  56. Sherri b March 6, 2016 at 7:23 am #

    The brand of the bathroom sink? Thank you

    • Gabriella March 6, 2016 at 5:08 pm #

      Hi Sherri! It’s made by IKEA

  57. Dean & Pam March 26, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

    WE’ve finally decided to Go Tiny House and we love the layout and finish of yours. Though I was a finish carpenter for30+ years I would want someone to do the bulk of the heavy work as I’ve 60 with a neck injury. Do you have anyone doing the hOMe style shells? It’s the style my wife really likes
    Please let us know if you know of a contractor build this style. Thanks

    Ciao

    Dean

    • Andrew March 27, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

      Hi Dean. At this point I do not have anyone building shells for hOMe; however, if you buy the plans, you are free to take them to a builder for that purpose. We have had many people hire out the heavy lifting part when building hOMe and complete only the interior finish. I think it’s a great idea.

  58. Karen Sansom April 3, 2016 at 9:11 pm #

    Hi Andrew
    I love the design of this Tiny Home. Well done. I live in Edmonton Alberta and the first issue would be finding the land to place such a home. Most subdivisions within the Edmonton area do have restrictions. I would need a little more space for the washer and dryer and a gooseneck trailer would maybe be the answer. My questions would be, and hopefully you have info or video on solar panels, off grid options, water, gas and propane information pertaining to a tiny home acreage location. Lots to think about. The ideas of being mortgage free is a exciting thought to travel and live to the fullest. Its about giving up space to be free.
    Thanks for your information on this subject.
    Karen

    • Andrew April 6, 2016 at 1:05 pm #

      Hi Karen. Thanks for your message and kind words. We cover the entire construction process of our hOMe in the DVDs we offer; however, we don’t specifically talk about solar nor do we discuss off-grid living as it pertains to the land itself. We have several discussions on the blog that may be helpful for you. I hope you find what you are looking for. If not, please let me know and perhaps we can write an article to address what is missing in the conversation.

  59. Cassandra Poulin May 27, 2016 at 11:59 am #

    Hello,

    I’ve looked into building wider than the 8’6″ road limits, and I’m aware of the paperwork and fees associated with it.

    My question is regarding to how one would physically build a 10′ home on an 8’6″ wide trailer. Can you just build over the edges? Do you need to make modifications to the trailer? Or do you need to buy a wider trailer.

    This is in reference to MINIM homes – just curious how they physically build a house on a trailer that’s less wide than the house itself.

    • Andrew May 28, 2016 at 11:29 am #

      Hi Cassandra. I don’t know specifically what Minim does. I would recommend that you have a custom trailer built to handle the wider load. Simply framing over the edges won’t be strong enough. Consider that all of the roof loads transfer down through the walls. If those walls are cantilevered over the edge of the trailer, then you would need big beams as floor joists to handle those loads, and that would eat up precious head height and would add significant weight.

  60. Susan July 30, 2016 at 11:18 pm #

    Hi, Andrew! I have a “pie-in-the-sky” request for my dream small home on wheels. I absolutely love your design, but I really do not wish to crawl on my hands/knees to get to bed, make the bed, clean the lofts, etc. I have amateur plans (made using Chief Architect) for a…(take a deep breath here and keep an open mind)…12×40 home on wheels with a…(deep breath again)…hydraulic roof. My vision is that the walls and roof of the second floor could be lowered for transport and raised once put into place. Obviously, I would need a “Wide-Load” permit and a semi-truck to move it. But, I do not plan on moving often (perhaps once every 3 to 5 years), so I’m OK with that. I’m just so tired of having to pack, sell a home, move, find a new home, unpack…I left so many hones that I love. It would be awfully nice yo have just one, that can be moved, from now on. Is this dream even possible?!

    • Andrew August 11, 2016 at 11:01 pm #

      Hi Susan. I’ll start with a quote from my engineer friend: “With enough time and money…anything is possible.” I think that applies here for sure. I do believe what you want is attainable, but it won’t be inexpensive to create. The biggest expense will be the hydraulic roof (of course) and making sure it is properly flashed an weather proof. Good luck and have fun!

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