The Cost To Build A Tiny House: hOMe Reveal

Many of you have asked us in recent days the cost to build a tiny house, in particular hOMe. Before I go into the details, I want to be clear that prices vary from region to region. This is true for both labor and materials. As such, the cost details may be slightly different for you than they were for us; however, the final outcome will be reasonably close, whether you live on the East Coast, West Coast, or somewhere in between or beyond. Furthermore, the tips about how to keep your costs down will translate into savings no matter where you live.

receiptsSo far the only time that we have felt that hOMe was a bit too small was when we laid all of our receipts out next to each other. We could build another tiny house out of just the receipts! Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but there were a lot of long skinny pieces of paper and a LOT of numbers to crunch to get these totals. I’m not looking for sympathy (okay, maybe a little sympathy), I just want you to know how much went in to getting the two numbers that follow.

So, drum roll please……………………

I’m going to give you two different numbers to describe the cost to build hOMe. Both of these numbers are material costs only and do not include any labor costs because we built the entire thing ourselves. The first includes everything except the cabinetry and appliances. After all, you may want to choose different finishes than we did. That number is $22,744.06 (yes, we literally took it down to the penny). This equates to roughly $65/SF. The square footage used to calculate this number is based on the total square footage; i.e. it includes the loft spaces.

The second number is the cost to build hOMe exactly the way we did with all of the details included. This includes everything in the previous number plus all of the cabinetry and appliances, even our $1400 throne (read composting toilet). That number is $33,089.72 and equates to roughly $95/SF.

SO LET’S TALK ABOUT WAYS TO SAVE MONEY. I’ve outlined the top three ways to keep your budget in line below.

• BUILD IT YOURSELF. This seems obvious, but not everyone considers taking on a project like this themselves. I have been a professional
Andrew buildingbuilder for roughly 20 years and I can tell you from experience that paying someone to build your house will likely double the total cost. What’s more, I have been teaching hands-on construction workshops since 2004 and have personally taught well over 1200 people how to build their own
house. With the right resources and guidance, building one’s own house is well within the grasp of most people. Over the years, I have seen many people with little or no building experience step up and successfully build their own home. I have seen this again, and again, and again. We wholeheartedly believe that building shelter with one’s own hands in embedded deep in our DNA and allowing this inner knowing to come to light is an amazing experience. The sense of accomplishment that comes with building one’s own home cannot be measured in words. It is something that breathes life into the heart of men and women alike and will be an experience you never forget.

• CHOOSE YOUR MATERIALS WELL. Finding the right materials at the right price can go a long way to keeping the budget in check. There are many places to find killer deals these days from Habitat for Humanity retail stores and used building material retailers to big box stores like Ikea. The key here is to know what you have access to and incorporate that into your design. For example, if you find a bunch of high quality windows at a second hand retailer for an incredible price, buy them and then set them aside for your build. You can now incorporate those window sizes into your design. We did this on Terra’s Lookout and got all four of her windows for a steal. In the case of hOMe, we designed the entire layout around the Ikea cabinetry that we knew we wanted to use. This allowed us to use “off the shelf,” available sizes and drastically reduced the cost of our cabinetry from what we would have paid in custom cabinet work.

• GET CREATIVE/BE RESOURCEFUL. Some building materials are expensive and it may appear at first glance that there is nothing you can do
about it. In some cases this may be true; however, in most a creative solution can reduce costs significantly. Case and point: we really wanted hOMe to have interior panel boards like we had seen in Dwell Magazine and on Houzz.com but the panel systems that are used in such designs are a fortune. We came up with a creative solution to use a material called Ironply which is a substrate for vinyl flooring. Also, instead of an expensive panel attachment and spacing system, we simply used 16d nails to provide the proper gap, according to our design layout, around each panel. The Ironply Iron Plyitself was attached with construction adhesive and finish nails to keep things simple. Here’s another example. Need an off grid, composting toilet system but don’t want to pay $1400 for the one we have? Why not use the “lovable loo,” a simple composting toilet system that literally uses a 5 gallon bucket and a toilet seat? Here’s one more. Loft ladders, such as those used in private libraries, are beautiful yet expensive. We created the ladder for our secondary loft (the tiny house lounge) by demolishing the unnecessary pieces of a folding attic access ladder. A little stain and some structural hooks installed into the back of the remaining ladder section and we had our access. We anchored a short piece of black pipe (typically used for gas service lines and very inexpensive) to the wall and that became our rail system. The whole thing cost less than $150, looks great, and provides the function is was designed to serve. We could have built a ladder from scratch; however, this project was much faster, and it was fun to demolish something to create something new. With enough creative and resourceful thinking, you can bring down your costs significantly on many aspects of your build.

My last word of advice is to know where to cut costs and where to spend money. Some things are best left alone. For example, structural elements of the home should not be compromised in order to save money. You may also choose to spend money on specific finish details such as cabinets, siding, and/or appliances. The important thing is that you get your budget in line BEFORE you start building. Know what your budget limits are for each line item in your construction estimate and give yourself a contingency fund for unforeseen changes. Stay tuned to TinyHouseBuild.com for an upcoming article on how to estimate your construction costs so that you can save as much money as possible on your build.

There are, of course, many ways to save money when building a home. We’d love to hear ways that you have done it on your own projects. Feel free to share your ideas and/or ask questions below in the comments section.

 

 

331 Responses to The Cost To Build A Tiny House: hOMe Reveal

  1. Trevor Gay February 10, 2014 at 5:51 am #

    I can’t say enough how highly i think of your design and build. I’m in the design stage and feeling glad that my girlfriend stumbled across your site.

    Do you have water storage? Do you have any details on how much power is required to run your house (modestly) on solar?

    How soon are you expecting to put out your plans for sale? By far my absolute favorite tiny home design.

    Many thanks for so many informative answers to everyones questions. You two are awesome!

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 10, 2014 at 11:44 am #

      Thanks for your kind words Trevor. Very much appreciated. We have a water storage system on the property (1500 gallon storage tank that is gravity fed down to the hOMe site). We connect to the water system on the side of the home. We can move the house and connect to another water source via a hose connection if we choose.

      We will be putting out a video blog post in the near future about our solar system and the details of how it works, what it draws, and what it is capable of. Stay tuned…

      We hope to have the plans available for sale in the next couple of months. We are working with our friend right now (a professional designer) to draft up the construction drawings. I built the house from a Google SketchUp drawing I created so there were no official building plans during construction.

      Thanks again!

      Andrew

      • Heather April 22, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

        Do you have issues with your holding tank or water lines from your holding tank freezing or burtsing during cold winter months? Also, where does your water drain to? From your shower, sink, faucet?

        • Andrew
          Andrew May 1, 2016 at 10:35 am #

          HI Heather. Our holding tank is a land based tank up the hill that holds 1500 gallons so even though the surface of the water may freeze on really cold days, the majority of the water stays unfrozen. Our water lines are run under ground and are insulated where they enter the house. We have never had an issue with them freezing. Also, we used PEX, so burst pipes are VERY hard to achieve with that material because it can expand so much.

          We run our grey water out to the meadow below us and use it to water some of our oak trees.

    • dennis fountain February 2, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

      Would. Like to know about how much a 650 sq foot tutor home may cost

      • Andrew
        Andrew February 9, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

        Hi Dennis. You will need to provide a lot more information to the person quoting you on the cost to build. They will need to know quality of finishes, material choices, location of build, etc. I can’t provide you with that information, but someone who is actively contracting will be able to once they have the necessary details. Good luck.

  2. Rob Myran February 10, 2014 at 7:03 am #

    Hi Andrew. I only recently signed on to your e-mails. I like the fact that you are addressing the costs of building. Too many companies show outrageous costs and don’t emphasize that you can build from everything from recycled/re-purposed stuff to marble floors 🙂

    I recently go to view a build in progress by a young couple with a 9 month old baby. They started well with a new good quality utility trailer and built it with a large percentage of scrounged materials including recovered cedar siding from a 100 year old farm house. The only downside to their build was it looked to being built excessively heavy. For a place that will rarely be moved and then not too far, it is OK, however if one will be moving fairly often and may be going cross country, weight is a real issue. Perhaps you could address weight saving in one of your articles.

    Cheers, Rob

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 10, 2014 at 11:46 am #

      We will certainly be putting out some details around cutting down weight concerns in a tiny home in the coming weeks/months. It’s a big deal when traveling in the home, as you mention. Thanks for your thoughts Rob.

      • Enna December 8, 2015 at 12:51 pm #

        Need help with tiny home building in canada would like some advice please

        • Andrew
          Andrew December 8, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

          Hi Enna. What help do you need?

    • VSTanley February 21, 2014 at 5:33 am #

      So you will need a big truck too.A gas hog.
      They call this simplification?

      • Trish March 15, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

        Perhaps one could be rented only when it is needed for moving.

      • Andrew
        Andrew March 16, 2014 at 10:16 am #

        Agreed. We made a conscious decision not to buy a truck to move the hOMe as it would be more expensive than our house and something we rarely use. As Trish points out below, if we want to move hOMe, we can rent a truck for the day (or several days depending on where we are going) to do so.

        • Scott March 25, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

          Do you know how much it weighs?

          • Andrew
            Andrew March 26, 2014 at 9:13 am #

            Hi Scott. We are compiling final weight numbers and should be writing a post about that soon. Stay tuned…

        • Chris Cordova April 23, 2014 at 8:10 pm #

          Andrew,
          Excellent point. If you were to move hOMe, a Rental truck seems best (say a twenty to twenty-four footer). You would have plenty of cargo space to store solar or water implements, plus the truck itself would help to cut down on wind exposure to hOMe while in transport.

          I too would like to know more about the solar panels you are using on home. I live in a warm climate and would have to install an AC unit. I realize I may need a generator backup.

          • Andrew
            Andrew April 25, 2014 at 8:40 am #

            Based on the weight of hOMe, a 3/4 ton pick up will be enough to move it (a new model at least), but a rental truck may be a good idea for the wind exposure (as you note) and the fact that you don’t have to BUY a new truck!

            AC requires a LOT of power in general, so it is hard to run on solar. That said, it can be done. I would suggest you contact the great folks at Backwoods Solar in Sand Point, Idaho for help calculating your solar needs. they are awesome!

          • Michelle July 8, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

            Hey Chris, you know depending on the area you could rig up a swamp cooler (only works if you live in a dry area) to cool you. They can run on a simple solar system and you could dedicate a small system to run just that so it won’t be accidentally turned off if you happen to use a bit more power on a given day. Hope it helps!

      • Aubrey July 1, 2015 at 7:27 am #

        Are u going to be driving your house around everywhere u go?!? Geez, BORROW a truck or RENT one when u need it.

  3. Janine February 10, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    Thanks for the breakdown on construction costs. I too am in the design phase of my tiny home project. I bought my windows on Kijiji for $75 (four 3′ x 5′) windows; my door ($50); shower base ($10); bathroom flooring ($20) and wainscotting ($24) from Habitat for Humanity. I will be milling my own lumber with trees from a friends place, and will purchase plywood new. Calling in some favours and will get either a very deep discount or free spray foam insulation. I bought a 1975 travel trailer and demolished it to use the frame. I paid $250 for the trailer and got a propane stove and oven; double kitchen sink, bathroom sink and other odds and ends as well. I will be building my tiny home, with help from friends and family. Having plumbers and electricians as part of my team is going to save me money as well. I enjoy researching and finding deals for my tiny home. I know milling my lumber will take a lot of time, but it gives me pride knowing that I can accomplish it. I will put on my pink hardhat and start work as soon as I can find the trailer under all of our Ontario, Canada snow. Keep sharing your journey!

    • Hazel February 11, 2014 at 6:51 am #

      Janine, being buried in Ontario snow too, I can imagine how much you must be looking forward to spring! I’m impressed at your obvious commitment to reuse materials; it takes longer to source what you need, but as you say, so much more satisfying. Dismantling an old trailer for parts as well as the trailer is such a good idea.

      Do you have a website that we can follow? It’s so encouraging to hear of a fellow Canadian building a tiny house. I know of a woman near Kingston who has built one and another in Montreal who has started. Our dramatic winters sure slow the pace of the build but it does give you time to think about design and to gather materials. Good luck to you!

      • Kat May 8, 2014 at 11:38 pm #

        Hello!

        I was just reading these comments and see a couple Canadians commenting, how cool!

        I haven’t found much for a Tiny House community in Canada…

        My partner and I are from Ontario and are starting out build in 5 weeks once we arrive back there.
        We’ve been living/traveling in our 6′ x 9′ trailer through the US and Canada and are heading back home to start building.

        We will document our build.

        We’d love to keep in touch and our blog is http://hobohemians2013.wordpress.com/ , if you’d like to follow along with our build.

        Kat 🙂

        • Janice January 11, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

          Hello fellow Canadians!!!
          I have just recently given some serious consideration to this lifestyle and am happy to see fellow Ontarian’s already in the process.

          Where are you guys building Kat? I have never built anything in my life and would be grateful if I could lend a hand to you so I might learn how to do some of these things or if I should look at having it built for me.

          I will be sure to follow your blog anyhow.

          Jan 🙂

        • Linda September 24, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

          Hi Kat, we would so love to live in a tiny house, but loads of questions. How much does the one you’re building weight, what do you pull it with? Don’t you need to buy a lot or where do you put it and where are you building it? is it mobile? We’re in Ontario too, Wasaga Beach, could move, love southern Ontario, Port Dover etc. If we decided to sell our house we could afford to buy a pick up truck, would love to have one again anyway. Thanks

        • jo May 30, 2016 at 12:23 pm #

          Hi Kat – the link to your blog goes to a blank domain page. I would love to hear more about your building experience!

      • Fred Huzel January 3, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

        Hi I also live in montreal Canada and would love to build this same house we see on this site . But does it support 4 seasons and our cold climate ?

        many thanks

        • Andrew
          Andrew January 8, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

          Hi Fred. If I were to build it in the colder Great White North, I would increase the wall thickness to allow for more insulation or I would use SIPs. Also, the rigid insulation is hard to get tight in the walls and you may want to either use batt insulation or Icynene spray foam (an industry favorite but one with chemicals that are “questionable” in my mind). A 2×6 wall thickness would fit into the overall design if you opted for that.

          • Janice January 11, 2015 at 5:49 pm #

            Thank you Andrew, the insulation requirements were also on my mind.

            Have you heard of the soy based spray foam option? A gentlemen from BC had mentioned it on one of his sites.(TinyAcornHouse, not sure)

          • Andrew
            Andrew January 18, 2015 at 2:55 pm #

            Hi Janice. As with everything, there are decisions to be made and trade offs to be had. The “soy based” insulation is a bit of a misnomer. In fact, those insulations rarely have more than 3 or 4% soy ingredients in them and are mostly chemicals. They do a great job of insulated; however, if there is any problem in the combining of the two components of the mixture during application (clogged line, bad ratio settings, etc.), off gassing can and will occur. So, if you can get it done well by a reputable company who stands behind their work, it can be great. If you can’t get a solid commitment from the contractor, then I would be weary.

      • Rubi October 1, 2015 at 3:53 pm #

        Hi, does anyone know how I can contact the lady in Kingston, ON. Maybe you could pass my email address on to her?
        Thanks

        • Andrew
          Andrew October 1, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

          Hi Rubi. Hazel seems to be the one to ask. I have forwarded your email address to her.

    • Troy February 15, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

      What size was the trailer you used and what mods were needed? I am interested in going this route for my build.

    • Robert September 8, 2014 at 6:52 am #

      Janine,
      Hello. I am looking to network with Canadian tiny home builders, owners or those just curious. My eventual goal will be to develop a platform specifically for Canadian’s to support and share with one another as it related to time houses/living in Canada.
      At this point, I am just determining the need and interest of such.
      Should you be interested in networking with, please email me at robertleonardo@gmail.com

      • Dani October 27, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

        Is there a blog or website for Canadians to refer to now? I love what Andrew has taught me but I need more information with dealing with the cold. I’ve been doing some research for the past year and would love to hear from more Canadians. I am located in northern Alberta and will have to deal with freezing temperatures for at least 6 months a years!!

        Also I’ve been thinking of using a goose neck trailer with king pin for more length. Call me “crazy” but I’d like to incorporate a small garage type area to house a quad or two (needed for work). Figured this could add more of a loft area as well. Anybody else had this thought or heard of this being done? Thoughts or links would be appreciated, as I am greatful for more learning tools!

        Thanks.

        • Andrew
          Andrew November 5, 2014 at 12:53 pm #

          Hi Dani. Please let me know if you find a good resource for Canadian builds. I have other friends who would love to hear more about that too. The gooseneck is a good idea and yet it will present its own challenges as well (as everything does).

          • Ashley February 4, 2015 at 11:16 am #

            Hello Andrew,

            We love your home! We are looking at building our own and are leaning towards a gooseneck. You mentioned it could present its own challenges. Do you mind sharing your thoughts on that? I just want to make sure we are seeing all the angles to determine the right fit for us.

            Thanks so much!

          • Andrew
            Andrew February 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

            Hi Ashley. Thanks for loving our hOMe. We love it too!!! I have not actually built a version on a gooseneck, so I don’t have specific warnings for you. I just know, after 20 years as a professional builder, that everything new has hiccups and challenges. A simple example would be that the bathroom window would look out onto the gooseneck. I wouldn’t want that, personally, so would need to make a change. Making that “simple” change could have a domino effect on the rest of the plan. I guess the best advice I can give is to think long and hard about the differences between the gooseneck and a standard trailer and do your very best to anticipate any potential issues. In the end, as long as you are flexible and willing to address issues when they come up, you will be fine. The more pre planning you can do, the better. Best of success to you!

        • Mike November 25, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

          Like Dani I too live in Canada’s colder climates in Saskatchewan. I am currently designing my own tiny home to be built on a 28ft gooseneck trailer with an 8ft storage/garage on the tail end for my bike and side by side.

          I plan to use as much reusable and recycled materials I can and to make my home a combination of stand alone and hook up to services.

          Weight will be an issue and I will address that in different ways during my build.

          Stay tuned folks cause this is going to be a blast 😉

          • Mark August 1, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

            Hello, I’m curious if you can tell me what part of Sask you are from? I live in Sask also.

          • Chad February 26, 2016 at 2:51 am #

            Hi Mike,

            Just moved to Sask. How is the build going? Any trouble with the laws here? Thinking of building my own tiny house.

        • BreeAnna June 26, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

          Hi Dani,

          I was wondering if you ever went through with this project? We are getting our process started and are hoping to start building in the spring and have also wanted to use a goose neck as well to add some storage on the back.

      • Jen February 25, 2015 at 4:07 am #

        My husband and I have been interested in building a tiny home for about a year now. We love the idea of shaking off the “cultural norm” of owning a 3000 square foot home that will take half our lives (really the majority of our adult life) to pay off. We want to LIVE — a real life that has meaning and is not just one steady stream of mortgage payments.

        We also live in Canada (New Brunswick) as some of the commenters here, and have been investigating the reprucusions of our cold Canadian winters.

        I would love to connect with some fellow Tiny Home builders here in Canada. Email me at jennie_brown@hotmail.com to connect and talk about Tiny Homes 🙂 Also, if any of you have a blog or website, let me know. I’d love to show my support and join/read it.

    • Yanik.O May 6, 2015 at 6:12 am #

      Hi Janine!

      I hope this message finds you well. I’m from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada which sees 80 degrees celsius in year-round temperature fluctuation (-40 to +40) and I want comfort. Your path seems to be the one I’m taking, though I haven’t made any purchases as I’m putting together a presentation for friends and family so that they can see what I need and I can in turn leverage their connections.

      Trailer – you bought and older one – did rust seem to be an issue? With an aging population here getting rid of their toys, I think I can find one, but my hesitation lies in the fear of having something that isn’t strong enough of will rust out.

      Heat – how do you heat your place? I’m uneasy with propane for environmental reasons and wood seems like a lot of work. Have you checked out alcohol sourced heat? I need advice on these 🙂

      a part from that, my sketch up design seriously resembles Andrew’s.

      Much love,

      • Steve LeBard October 10, 2015 at 12:05 am #

        Great site – very informative. I read through all of the posts to date. I’d like to suggest that folks building any tiny house install fire & carbon monoxide detectors as early as practical in the building stage – stay safe. For interior finishes folks might also want to take a look at cork. It’s a great product for many application, and it’s beautiful. Harbor Freight is a good option for inexpensive tools – if you build post haste the warranty will probably cover your building time. And you can sell them when your through on craigslist to recoup most of your money.

    • Elena June 19, 2016 at 11:33 pm #

      where did y ou get the travel trailer at?
      what web sights did you get them

      • Andrew
        Andrew June 24, 2016 at 7:48 am #

        We had our trailer custom built for us in Oregon. There are several places you can consider. http://www.TinyHouseBasics.com is one such place. Let them know we sent you and they will take extra good care of you.

        • Marc November 20, 2016 at 8:50 am #

          Hello could you email me information on this design. I live in Alberta Canada and want to start looking at starting one of these. Thank you

    • Laura June 28, 2016 at 9:54 am #

      To Janine: or anyone reusing a travel trailer: craigslist has so many and its tempting to be sure. BUT… question: did you determine the load and weight restrictions? Many rv’ s are significantly lighter than tiny homes. I’ve wanted to try the same thing due to cost but worry on these ancient rv’ s that the weight limits won’t be clear. Is there an easy way to find out if tags are missing?

      P.s. I’ve seen 2 youtube tiny houses on reclaimed rv trailers. I was worried for both of them since they both built what looked like heavyTHOW’ s and they made no mention of checking load ratings. Both trailers looked pretty light duty…..

      • Andrew
        Andrew July 1, 2016 at 10:36 am #

        I could not agree more. RVs are NOT the same thing as tiny houses when it comes to many aspects, weight being a major one. Do not skimp on your trailer. It is the foundation of your home and an undersized trailer will cause all kinds of problems moving forward. Further, it is more than just the axle ratings. The steel itself must be designed to carry the loads you will place on it (i.e. the house). Be sure to buy the right trailer friends. 🙂

  4. Elsie Gilmore February 11, 2014 at 8:38 am #

    Will you be selling the plans for this home?

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 12, 2014 at 1:47 pm #

      Hi Elsie. Yes, we will be selling the plans and a comprehensive, step-by-step instructional DVD as well. We plan to release both in the coming months. Stay tuned…

      • mariah February 20, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

        Love your floor plan and the design…..as well as the cost….thank you…now if I could just find folk interested in an old fashioned “barn raisin” I’d be in business.

      • Maja March 23, 2014 at 1:35 am #

        I greatly look forward to the plans & DVD. Will you also include a list of the brand & model of cabinets, appliances, windows, & bathroom vanity?

        • Andrew
          Andrew March 28, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

          Thanks Maja. We will be releasing that information in blog posts in the coming weeks. Stay tuned…

          🙂

  5. Kim February 11, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    We are completely taken with your build. Everything from the design to the quality of your work to the details of the interior is really beautiful and so well done. Love the video you just put out about it.

    We are currently building a single story 12×20 weekend cabin with a shed roof on 12 beautiful wooded acres. We have incorporated 9 windows to bring in natural light and make the cabin feel spacious. Eventually we will build a permanent home on the same property that connects to the cabin with outdoor decks from both buildings.

    Thank you for sharing your talent and knowledge. We will definitely be following your articles.

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 12, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

      Thanks Kim. We appreciate your kind feedback. Good luck with your project(s)!!

  6. Carole February 11, 2014 at 10:16 am #

    I am 63 years old female and thinking of building a tiny house like yours. However, I think I need to build it on a slab. It would then be a permanent construction. I would love to go with the trailer option but I also live in the Ottawa Region in Canada which is very cold. My only issue is how to get water during the cold season without it freezing. With the wind, it can go down to -40 celsius.
    Really, this is the only thing stopping me right now. I plan on using reclaimed materials as much as I can since I only have a budget of $40,000 for a piece of land and the building and finishing costs.
    Am I dreaming awake or is this possible, I wonder?

    • Hazel February 11, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

      Hi Carole, I’m the same (young) age and live in eastern Ontario. The concept of tiny living is so sensible at our age, don’t you think? Declutter, downsize, enjoy experiences instead of stuff! Our society really hasn’t dealt with the middle years of living very well, after the kids and before the nursing home!

      You’re so right that up here in the frozen north we have more to consider when building. I’ve found other simple, permanent, one floor designs that would work for a single person or a couple.

      By-laws and building codes are an issue too with minimum size requirements as well as septic and water.

      I’m so happy to hear of more Canadians building tiny homes…near Kingston, Montreal, Saskatoon, and now you in Ottawa.

      I would love to chat more if you respond here.

      Cheers!

      • Carole February 11, 2014 at 9:46 pm #

        Hi Hazel,
        As you say, nice to know there are other Canadian from Atlantic Canada who are interested in downsizing. If I lived in a warm place, I don’t think it would be so difficult to do. But here we have long winters which complicates water set-up, plus the size of our home. If you can spend at least half of the day outside, the size of the house can differ a lot. But here, we’re stuck inside longer than we are outside. I would love to buy one or two acres of land, with some tree on it, and raise chicken. And grow a healthy garder with permaculture and raised beds, etc. etc.
        What are your dreams and where do you live

        • Robert September 8, 2014 at 6:56 am #

          Carole, Hazel,

          I am looking to network with Canadian tiny home builders, owners or those just curious. My eventual goal will be to develop a platform specifically for Canadian’s to support and share with one another as it related to time houses/living in Canada.
          At this point, I am just determining the need and interest of such.
          Should you be interested in networking, please email me at robertleonardo@gmail.com (Ottawa)
          Thanks!

      • Darren Park February 14, 2014 at 6:35 am #

        Hello there.

        I’m also living in Ottawa. I really love this design more than any other tiny house design that I’ve seen. The only changes I could see myself making are moving the door to the middle of the bathroom wall, and adding a full width fold down deck as seen on the molecule tiny houses. Great work both of you on such a beautiful home!!!

        To my fellow Canadians on here please send an email if you’d like to share ideas/finds/discuss.

        darrenpark22@gmail.com

        Have a great day, and thanks again for sharing your beautiful hOMe.

      • Peter M April 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

        Hello Hazel and Carol, and Fellow Canucks,

        It is with great excitement that I came across the plans for this tastefully and functional designed tiny home.
        I am wondering if any one here has got building apporoval to build on a trailer bed or on a block foundation and what additional winterising would be required to be functional in our great canadian winters. I’m in the greater toronto area, and have been considering the option of tiny home living which would allow me to do more of the things I love with is hike, snow shoe and xc ski in the winter and bike and hike in the summer.

        Pls email me at panache4u2@gmail.com would love to connect with fellow Canadians that are considering downsizing and making a tiny home a reality.

        Regards,

        Peter

        • Kat May 8, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

          Hello Peter!

          So nice to see so many Canadians posting here, I got excited!

          My partner and I start building in 5 weeks, we are from Kitchener Ontario and wont be returning home until late June, after what will be 8 months of traveling the US and Canada in our 6′ by 9′ trailer, the tiny house will be an upgrade in size, haha!

          We’d love to keep in touch!

          our blog is http://hobohemians2013.wordpress.com/ and we plan to fully document our build!

          • Robert September 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm #

            Kat, I just looked at your webpage. Excellent. Thanks for sharing!
            I hope to be starting my Canadian Tiny home this Winter, next Spring at the latest.
            It is nice to see more Canadians doing this. We are a bit behind the times.

          • Gil Snyder March 28, 2015 at 11:38 am #

            Hi Kat
            We’re almost neighbours, my wife and I live near St. Jacobs ON. We are planning to build a 24′ model this year, hopefully starting in May. I have been in the building industry for 30 years and am looking forward to getting started.I am self employed so have only eves and weekends to source and build the tiny house .The water is also a concern for us.we would welcome any suggestions . We are looking to the RV systems for solutions.
            It’s awesome to see our fellow Canucks catching the vision.

          • Laura May 24, 2016 at 7:29 am #

            Hello fellow Canukistanians and fellow Ottawans,
            With regards to the water, hubby and I were planning a rainwater catchment with an indoor tank that we can refill from a garden hose as necessary. External pipes freezing is only an issue if they stay outside; if you connect the garden hose to a tap inside a permanent structure, fill your tank, then return the hose to a heated area (e.g. a basement) there should be no issues with freezing. Garden hoses aren’t “food grade” so we’ll want to flush the hose before each fill and rainwater is probably preferable for regular use, but even in winter we should get some melt off the roof, especially if we install PV on the roof. I’d appreciate any thoughts you might have.
            Best,
            Laura

        • Lisa January 25, 2015 at 9:13 pm #

          Hi fellow Canucks!

          I also live in Eastern Ontario (Brockville) and have been dreaming of building a tiny home! I would love to learn from others who are building!

          Can anyone address the issue of where to put the tiny house? I would like to buy a small inexpensive lot, but I understand that these tiny houses on wheels wouldn’t be allowed.

          I think it would be great to have a group of us all supporting each other in our builds!

          I have no building experience whatsoever (I’m a middle-aged female) but I have will to learn!

          Lisa

          • Andrew
            Andrew January 28, 2015 at 4:13 pm #

            Hi Lisa. This is a very hot topic and one that many of us are working on. Things will change in time, in fact, they have already begun to change in some locations. It’s just a mtter of getting the right information in front of the right people.

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 12, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

      The budget will be tight, especially if that includes land costs. I don’t know what the costs are in your area, but that is something you will have to consider closely. In terms of the water, it is easy to bring in if you build on a slab. Simply bring the water up through an internal wall through the slab and make sure the portions that are outside of the building are buried below frost line.

    • Ashley Burke September 1, 2014 at 8:06 am #

      Hi Carole,

      I’m a reporter at CBC News Ottawa. I’m working on a TV story about the Tiny House trend. I’m interested in chatting with you. Can you send me an email at: ashley.burke@cbc.ca or give me a call at 613.875.5164 when you get this.

      Thanks,
      Ashley Burke
      CBC News Ottawa

      • Carol Adolphe April 21, 2015 at 9:35 am #

        Hooray!! Finally some interest and promotion in Canada. Just so I don’t have to retype, the following is an email I sent commenting on building a Tiny House in Canada to Robert and Jennie.

        Hi, I just read your post on Tiny House Build. I live in Mission, BC. I have bee researching tiny homes for over a year to learn as much as I can before I start building. The biggest obstacle is finding a place to build it and a place to put down roots in it. I’ve love to talk with others who have the same dilemma or who have solved it.

        I want to build a tiny house for three reasons:
        1. I love the concept of using every square inch and the organization required.
        2. Finances – I’m a senior on a very “fixed” income and want to live in a “nice” place that has my personal tastes in style. I also want to be rent and mortgage free.
        3. I am extremely sensitive to odours, particularly all kinds of smoke. I’d like to find a place to live that minimizes those issues. That may take me to colder climates in Canada.

        I’d love to be part of a Canadian tiny house site, internet and/or community, so feel free to put me on your contact list and let me know how I can become involved.

        Looking forward to the challenge.

        Please feel free to contact me. I have a lot to learn about this “trend”.

        Carol Adolphe
        carol.adolphe@gmail.com

    • Frank January 29, 2015 at 12:33 pm #

      Greetings Canucks!

      I’ve been pondering the same quandry as yourselves, tiny houses in the cold… I have now built two really small buildings using straw bales. First, if you stick to 1 story, the bales themselves qualify as the structural element, instead of needing post and beam construction, or two by fours. They are also extremely good insulators. I don’t have the exact figures in front of me, but depending on the orientation of the bales you’re talking 50 to 60R! If you include some other elements in your plan, such as south facing glass in copious quantities, earth-bermed East, West, and Northern walls, and even earth-bermed roof, you’ve got an easily heated structure that most anyone can build, that should do really well in the Great White North.

      I am presently working on a Sketchup drawing of an Earthship-style house made of shipping containers, tires, logs, etc. I’m considering several options. Fitting myselves (me, the missis, the misses, and a son or two) in a tiny house at this point wouldn’t be very feasible, but an alternative house design might be better than what I’ve got now.

      • Andrew
        Andrew February 2, 2015 at 1:36 pm #

        Hi Frank. Great stuff, although the reality of a straw bale wall is actually R-40 (or so) for a two-string bale and R-50 (or so) for a three-string bale. I’ve been teaching people how to build straw bale houses for many, many years and I love them. They are an amazing way to build. Not so great for houses on a trailer though! 🙂 For anyone who is interested, you can learn a ton about straw bale construction on my other website: http://www.StrawBale.com. Stay warm!

    • Sherie Otteson January 2, 2016 at 10:21 pm #

      Your situation sounds familiar. I am 60…not alot of money and will have to this basically by myself. I, unlike you, will have to fight the heat…I live outside of Redding, Ca. I want to travel in mine! Go and stay several months, then find the next place to paint. I am an artist…want to travel paint and see the United States and experience the people in their own territory. Hope your build went well and you are enjoying it now!

  7. Laura February 11, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    Andrew and Gabriella, I hugely appreciated that you shared these costs! Maybe the dream my partner and I have of building our own home isn’t so far off. And I LOVED the video of hOMe posted on tinyhouseblog.com! (http://tinyhouseblog.com/yourstory/home-video-tour/ for those who want to check it out) I was glued to my monitor throughout and will show it to my partner tonight.

    I admit I would want a bathtub, myself, and my partner’s bad knee wouldn’t permit him to kneel to get in and out of the sleep loft. Nonetheless, I find all these details fascinating, including those of the shed-style roof – I’m 5’11” and need head room myself. All things to keep in mind when we build our own home, right? Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

      You’re welcome. Glad you liked it!

    • mirageseekr July 25, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

      I am having some of the same issues with the loft concerns. I have decided to raise the kitchen floor and have the bed pull out from under it as an alternative to a murphy bed. Otherwise I probably won’t be seeing much of my 6’4″ boyfriend.

  8. Jim February 11, 2014 at 5:40 pm #

    Hello! I posted the below comments on the blog site you have your video. Not sure if you will see it so I am also posting here 🙂

    This is the best video I have seen yet on showing and explaining the insides of a “Tiny House” along with why you both made the choices you did. Thank you! As my wife and I go through the “Can we do this” process of moving on the the tiny home lifestyle, this video has set my mind at ease.
    It would be nice if you can elaborate the same way on your power/water/waste management. Are you completely off the grid? Do you have to truck in your propane? You do not have the washer/dryer setup under the stairs. Do you have one somewhere else? Finally, what made you chose the pitch in the shed roof design? Was that an obvious or is there room to change it? Could a flat roof work? Sorry – so many questions but very excited from this video.
    Hurry with the plans!

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 12, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

      Thanks Jim! Lots of great questions. We will address each of these in the coming days/weeks on our blog and in our newsletter. We have a lot to do with finishing the post production on the instructional DVD and getting the plans complete and ready for sale, so we are taking little bites of everything else right now. We have plans to do a video on the solar system and we will add the waste system to the list along with the other questions you have. Thanks for the input!

  9. Saki February 15, 2014 at 10:55 am #

    Do you have any plans to release a more detailed breakdown, similar to your accounting of time spent building hOMe, where each you post the cost for each component? That would be so incredibly helpful.

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 16, 2014 at 10:12 am #

      Maybe Saki. We have not really broken it down that way and that may be too much work for us to figure out from the receipts as we often bought materials for several different jobs at a time. I’m not sure we have the free time to reorganize those details.

  10. Patrick February 15, 2014 at 11:23 pm #

    A fantastic resource! I really like your design ideas. Finally a tiny home that actually looks liveable. Thank you so much for being so generous with your insights and for sharing your experiences.

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 16, 2014 at 10:13 am #

      Thanks Patrick!!

  11. Troy February 15, 2014 at 11:41 pm #

    I will be building this type of home for myself to live and my daughter when I have her on weekends. I really would like to know more informatiin on the trailer that you used. I’m in the stage of finding one and would like to repurpose a travel trailer like one of the other people commented on. So how long was the trailer? What was the weight rating on the axles? What was used for your stabilization. I’m so worried about the trailer.

    I live in Texas and the main concern is AC. Where would you put one and what size?

    The house you built looks so calming. Can’t wait to hear more and see planes.

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 16, 2014 at 10:18 am #

      Our trailer was custom built, and not terribly expensive. I believe the total cost for the trailer, including delivery, was about $4000. It is 28′ long (the actual buildable portion, not the tongue) and 8′ wide. We have two 8,000lb drop axles. The trailer is set on four stabilizer jacks, the tongue jack, and wood stabilization is added under the wheel wells when parked.

      I am not sure about the AC. My guess would be that an RV style would be the way to go I believe they mount to the roof. A regular home unit would be to big and a window unit (used in apartments, etc.) would be unsightly. You could also use a version of the more modern, wall mount units. There are definitely options here, so it could be done.

      Thanks for you kind input.

      • Greg Schroeder May 3, 2014 at 9:14 am #

        Hi Andrew,

        My girlfriend and I bought your plans and intend to begin our own tiny home project in July. In the meantime, we’re trying to get our ducks in a row and order a trailer. A SoCal manufacturer quoted us $9800. Any chance you could offer us some guidance or perhaps connect us with your manufacturer? Even if it’s shipped from Oregon, I suspect buying from your guy will save us considerable dough.

        Thanks,
        Greg & Mikal

        • Andrew
          Andrew May 4, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

          Hi Greg and Mikal. Our guy’s name is Levi and his number is 541.660.7553. Please let him know we sent you over. The frame is slightly different on the plans than the one he built for us as the engineer boosted things for those folks who will be driving down the highway (which we do not plan to do).

      • Robert September 8, 2014 at 7:00 am #

        Andrew,
        What was the motivation in the updated drawing to go tri-axle?
        I am looking at costs (and space) and keep going back to a tandem when seeking quotes.

        Cheers,

        Robert

        • Andrew
          Andrew September 8, 2014 at 1:03 pm #

          The biggest decision was based on the feedback we had gotten from several folks who are building hOMe that the cost to build the trailer as originally designed was expensive. The triple axle has helped to lower the cost to build the trailer as part of an overall, cost effective, redesign.

          • Robert January 26, 2015 at 9:55 am #

            Thanks!

    • Paula March 25, 2014 at 2:48 am #

      Here is some information on AC units for tiny homes. http://tinyhousetalk.com/top-5-air-conditioners-for-tiny-houses-on-wheels/

    • Hope Henry April 4, 2014 at 8:44 am #

      I live in Texas, too…you can find rv a/c’s on Craig’s List…some, I believe, run off 12v…making them more sensible for a solar setup. If you need the axle ratings, you can get them online for most rv’s…intact rv’s have that info on an attached plate, empty weight, hauling
      capacity, etc.

    • Jennifer April 6, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      Finally! A concern about AC! I will be moving back to Texas and want to go the tiny house route. I love all the windows in hOMe but, want them all to be openable to get cross breezes in the summer to try to reduce AC usage/cost.

      • Andrew
        Andrew April 20, 2014 at 10:29 am #

        Hi Jennifer. The good news is that all of the windows in hOMe are operable except two of the top windows in the front. They most certainly could be made operable if you wish; however, you may not need them to be with all the other ones that are.

  12. Marcelino February 17, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    My wife and I fell in love with your home and decided to do an equal, only on dry land. We live in Brazil and we are forming in the architecture. What are the dimensions of the walls and as we have access to the project plan?

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 17, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

      Thanks so much. We will be releasing the full construction drawings in the coming months. They will have all of the details you need to build the home and you could simply place it on a completed foundation to avoid the use of the trailer.

      Thanks again for your kind words.

      • Wes February 26, 2014 at 7:02 pm #

        Hey Andrew when you put up the panels on the wall what did you do about the gaps? did you fill them with anything?

        • Andrew
          Andrew February 26, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

          Hi Wes. If you are asking about the interior panels, we left the gaps. We wanted the space to create the architectural detailing.

          • Wes February 27, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

            Oh okay so it is open to the wall cavity and insulation? Doesn’t stuff fall in the cracks?

          • Andrew
            Andrew February 27, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

            Sorry for the confusion. The 1/4″ plywood is attached over a surface of 1/2″ OSB. That provides the backing and stops anything form falling into the cracks.

  13. Michael February 18, 2014 at 12:59 pm #

    What a beautiful home and concept – I’ll be on the look out for those plans when published!

    I am interested in understanding in any thoughts you have about project cost variability as it relates to less expensive options for building materials. As one example, you cite the $1400 composting toilet and that there might be a cheaper option. Very cool! As a counterexample, you probably couldn’t save on OSB. Are there more things where you choose a kind of expensive option where a less expensive option might do? Would it possible to build this for, say, 20% less? Any thoughts appreciated!

  14. Deirdre February 20, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    I absolutely LOVE this idea! My parents own two acres of land and already have a nice home there. However, they are getting older and need someone nearby. PLUS, I love to travel and do not really need a huge home – single and no kids. Also, I am interested in solar power, but I would likely tap into their water supply. I like the idea of a composting toilet, but I am not sure if I would go that route.

    I would love to build the home myself with the help of family and friends. How can I attend a workshop for this?

    • Christopher February 20, 2014 at 9:50 am #

      I must say, that I am most intrigued by your due diligence and look forward in seeing the up and coming blogs and plans/DVD. And most of all, any future possible workshops, near the greater Pittsburgh area. Please keep me updated.

      • Gabriella
        Gabriella February 21, 2014 at 9:49 am #

        Thanks Christopher! Stay tuned to our newsletter or come back and visit us from time to time for upcoming info. 🙂

      • Andrew
        Andrew April 25, 2014 at 8:37 am #

        Just a quick note to let you know the plans are now available…in case you hadn’t heard. 🙂

    • Gabriella
      Gabriella February 21, 2014 at 9:51 am #

      Super Deirdre! Sounds like this lifestyle would be a great fit for you! Especially as a single person hOMe will feel huge. It feels big with two of us in it full time. I love the idea of composting toilets and I am keeping an open mind to ours but we haven’t quite mastered it yet. I finally understand the allure of flush toilets! We don’t have plans to offer a workshop this year but likely next year we will put one together for building tiny houses. 🙂

  15. VSTanley February 21, 2014 at 5:31 am #

    So after spending from 23-33k plus your time you have what?
    I assume you didnt borrow for this.
    Say it takes 6 months for amateurs to build this.
    If in their spare time,. it will take longer.
    Is that really a good investment? $ and time wise?Not really.
    The compost toilet and granite countertops seems an odd choice.
    I like the plan but the whole idea of downsizing is negated by the really high cost.
    Its like having a small yacht to live on.With all the negatives.

    • Gabriella
      Gabriella February 21, 2014 at 9:48 am #

      Thanks for connecting VSTanley! Sounds like it wouldn’t be a wise investment (time and money wise) for you. For us it made perfect sense since we had the time and resources to do it. But to each his own. The countertop is a cheap off the rack counter faux material. Someone could easily build hOMe for at least 10k less with using different finishes. These were the ones we wanted and we love them.

    • Candice November 3, 2015 at 6:44 pm #

      I am not sure how this is not a good investment…. home ownership is taking money from one pocket and putting it in the other, rather then renting and it going into someone else’s. Not everyone can afford $200,000 houses and even if I could there are so many other things that money could go towards. A home for $30,000 I’ll take it! Not sure how getting a mortgage works for this kind of thing, if there are issues with insurance if you build it yourself. So I agree that it is somewhat challenging when you don’t have the money already in the bank, but I will definitely be looking into all the resources possible, government grants possibly? who knows.

    • Sherie Otteson January 2, 2016 at 10:43 pm #

      VSTanley…have read some of your other posts. Are you always this negative or has it just been a bad day? I think the whole idea of downsizing is wonderful. Leaving less footprint and learning to live with less…just what we need. Doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t have high quality things. It is our choice, and yours!

  16. Brenda February 21, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

    Love love love this plan and the spaciousness of this home.
    So glad I stumbled across your website.
    I live in Halifax Canada and would love to connect with the other Canadians who love tiny houses amd wrote comments here.
    Bmwinhalifax@gmail.com is my email.

  17. R.A.L. West February 22, 2014 at 10:33 am #

    Beautiful home Andrew! Seen on Tiny House newsletter this morning. It is, for me, the most elegant and functional one I’ve yet seen! Inspiring! Question: no where do I see any specs on insulation, what did you use? and in what region is your house? (vis a vis winter cold and summer heat). I need a bathtub 🙂 and I guess would consider a hot tub arrangement of some kind outdoors. (Wonder if those foam portable ones from about 20 years ago are still on the market….would be good if one did wish to move the house. I will browse around.) This is truly an elegant and functional house that I can envision living in. Probably would still need an additional studio space; but even so like the idea of the tiny space for ease and efficiency of day-to-day living. Sincere thanks for your work, documentation and inspiration! I will be interestes in your plans for this house when you publish them. Happy Day!

  18. Dan February 22, 2014 at 1:01 pm #

    Hi Andrew and Gabriella,

    My hat is off to you two on the amazing home you built for yourselves! 🙂

    I’m not sure where to signup for the newsletter, so if someone could direct me towards the correct webpage, it would be appreciated 🙂

    I’m near Hawkesbury ON, Canada, and understand the concerns posted early about cold weather. With the snow accumulation in this neck of the woods, a shed type roof seems a better choice here than a flat roof.

    I just recently started looking in mobile homes, and to be honest don’t really know much at this point, but having said that, this is the 1st mobile or semi-mobile hOMe i’ve seen that I am seriously considering. I love the layout and design!

    For the metal framing of the trailer, would it safe to guestimate about 10-15 years before corrosion becomes a big issue? Any suggestions on what can be done to improve the lifespan of the trailer frame, especially if it will be stationary for a long time over ground/grass?

    When I retire in a few years, I’m also interested in having something that I can pull from here to Alberta at least once a year, as the family is out there. Thank you for mentioning two 8K axles. I hadn’t considered that! Someone had mentioned above (or the other page?) about a third axle. I’d like to have a water tank onboard, to hold enough for a few days supply for two people (~60 Gallons). Tank would need to be slightly heated (to stop freezing) due to our winters. Would having a third axle (near the front?) cause a big problem with the design or strength of the trailer structure? I don’t recall ever having seen a 3 axle trailer before, so I don’t know where it would go! lol 🙂
    I guess I’ll have to also think about adding a propane tank onboard for heating and the kitchen stove. Yuck, more weight. lol

    Though I’m sure it is explained well, I’m having difficulties understanding how the underside of the home is insulated, and that it doesn’t fall off when pulling the trailer. I understand there is insulation on top of the cross members, which are flush with the top of the beams going lengthwise, but I get the impression there is also insulation under the cross members? I’m very much a visual type person, which sometimes for me is a big drawback lol 🙂

    I’m looking forward to when you guys have the plans for sale, and also details for the solar energy.

    All the best,
    Dan
    P.S. to the other Canucks, or any others who call the artic weather home, hi! 🙂

    • Robert September 8, 2014 at 7:11 am #

      Dan,
      I am looking to network with Canadian tiny home builders, owners or those just curious. My eventual goal will be to develop a platform specifically for Canadian’s to support and share with one another as it related to time houses/living in Canada.
      At this point, I am just determining the need and interest of such.
      Should you be interested in networking, please email me at robertleonardo@gmail.com (Ottawa)
      Thanks!

    • Robert September 8, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

      Dan, Insulation will not fall through the bottom of the trailer as it will be placed tight between the cross members and the bottom of the trailer will have steel flashing or other road resistant material securing and protecting everything from the underside.

  19. Dan February 22, 2014 at 1:05 pm #

    Just figured out how to get on the mailing list. Sorry about that!

  20. James February 28, 2014 at 12:36 am #

    What vehicle do you use to move the hOMe around with? Is it able to fully tow?

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 28, 2014 at 9:10 am #

      Hi James. We have not moved it since we built it. It would take a 1 ton diesel pick up at the very least. Being it is so long, the turn radius and the ability to go up and down transitions in slope will be the biggest challenges.

  21. Catherine Wilson March 11, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    Hello Andrew and Gabriella;
    I am another Canadian who would like to congratulate you on your tiny home design.
    This is a design that I could finally see myself living in and not feeling claustrophobic.
    I especially appreciate your choice of windows, as I believe that the horizontal ones will provide more daylight. I live in Western Quebec and am also concerned about insulation values and freezing. Since you have building experience could you tell me if there was a particular reason why you chose not to use SIPs in your structure? Also, up here solar heating would not prove cost effective. If you had to choose a different alternative to solar what would you choose?
    Thank you for taking the time to tell us all about your build.
    Looking forward to seeing your plans!
    Catherine

  22. Andrew
    Andrew March 11, 2014 at 8:29 am #

    Hi Catherine. Thanks for your kind words. We chose not to use SIPs for two main reasons. First, I have extensive experience with traditional framing and less with SIPs. I wanted to work with something I am familiar with.

    Secondly, being that we were making a DVD to teach others how to build hOMe, we wanted to show something that anyone could tackle. SIPs are not common to many people whereas framing is.

    Our heat source is actually propane. We have a propane stove near the entry way that heats our home. The passive solar design helps to augment the heat, but is not enough for the primary source. You can see the heater in some of the photos in the gallery.

    Cheers!

  23. Mollie March 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    Hey Andrew,
    Where did you get your trailer? I am thinking of going with Kaufman Trailers, but am still looking into other sources for a trailer as well. I would like to buy a used one but I am wary of those.

  24. Andrew
    Andrew March 11, 2014 at 2:03 pm #

    Hi Mollie. We had ours custom built for us by a man in Medford, Oregon named Levi. Hi phone number is 541.660.7553. If you call him, please let him know you heard about him through us. We are trying to inspire him to make trailers for as many of us tiny house folks as possible!

    • Mollie March 12, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

      Andrew,
      Will he deliver to other states? I live in Illinois. Also, what are your thoughts on using a used trailer?

      • Andrew
        Andrew March 13, 2014 at 11:47 am #

        I’m not sure if he would deliver to Illinois. You could certainly ask him; however, I think it would be more cost effective to find a local shop that can build one for you nearby. I’m not a fan of a used trailer. As the foundation of the house, I want it to be designed to fit the loads it will be carrying and a used trailer may not be up to snuff.

    • Sherie Otteson January 2, 2016 at 10:58 pm #

      Is Levi still in Medford? I live just outside of Redding, Ca.

  25. Destery March 21, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    Andrew,

    I’m curious as to what cabinets from Ikea you used? I absolutely love them!

    • Andrew
      Andrew March 21, 2014 at 11:13 am #

      Thanks Destery. We will be putting out a “material detail” blog post in the coming weeks with that information and more. Please sign up for our newsletter to make sure you see the blog or just swing on back in a couple weeks.

  26. Ravi March 23, 2014 at 12:32 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    I’m considering building a tiny house, but I’m not sure if I’ll ever move it. Why did you guys decide to build on a trailer?

    In general are tiny homes built on trailers for the sake of mobility or to skirt around overzealous building codes, overpriced building permits and insanely expensive property taxes in places like the PRC (Peoples Republic of California) where I live.

    Really looking forward to the release of your plans.

    Best regards,
    Ravi

    • Andrew
      Andrew March 28, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

      Hi Ravi. Great question. For us, the desire to live tiny did not jive with the building department’s idea of what the smallest structure to be considered a home actually is. We don’t want 600+ SF, so we would not be given a permit to build our hOMe. We opted for the trailer so it is a “temporary structure” which we can move and indeed use as temporary housing if they have issue with it.

      Some folks build their homes to move them around; however, I think the majority of us are interested in simplifying our lives and lowering our living expenses as a primary driver of the trailer concept.

  27. Gretchen April 3, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    My question is about tools — does your cost factor in needing a table saw or nail gun or anything like that? I don’t have any power tools except a small cordless drill. What tools did you need for this project?

    Thanks for all the info!!

    • Andrew
      Andrew April 4, 2014 at 8:53 am #

      Hi Gretchen. Thanks for your message. The cost does not include any tools as everyone has different amounts of tools in their possession. The list of tools you will need is pretty standard. We will have a full list of required tools in the upcoming DVD. For now, plan on things like a circular saw, table saw, miter saw, framing nailer, finish nailer, compressor, drill, power screwdriver, jigsaw, and other standard construction tools. You can rent them as necessary or buy them if you plan to do other work in the future. Of course, with a tiny home, there isn’t much space to store all those tools! We have a 10×12 storage shed for ours.

      • Gretchen April 4, 2014 at 10:58 am #

        Thanks for the reply! This is what I figured. It would be nice for a beginner like me to have recommended specific tools (i.e. brand/model) that are cost-effective but also good enough quality.

        Thanks again for all the info!

        • Andrew
          Andrew April 4, 2014 at 11:04 am #

          That’s a tough one. I’ve always been the kind of person who buys quality tools. They cost more up front, but are a much better value in the end. For example, I may need to replace my Milwaukee Worm Drive Mag 77 Skil Saw this year. It will likely cost me $200 for a new one. I am replacing one that is over 15 years old. Not a bad $200 investment, especially since I used it in a construction company all those years…it has seen some hours!

          • Gretchen April 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

            I agree completely! I would much rather buy tools that last. So I should have said, “quality tools that are worth the cost” rather than cheaper tools that are good enough.

          • Andrew
            Andrew April 6, 2014 at 9:03 am #

            I’m a fan of Milwaukee Tools for drills, drivers, skil saw, sawzall. I have a DeWalt miter saw and table saw. I also like Bosch for routers and jig saws, more fine crafted tools.

  28. Brian April 8, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    Hi Andrew!
    My wife and I are thoroughly impressed with your build and are in the planning phase of our own tiny home journey. We live in South Florida, so, understandably, there will be a significant amount of changes we may need to make to the home, to make it suitable for the weather. Also, we’re attempting to create a home that can comfortably fit us both, as well as a little one (or maybe two!) that is on the way.
    That said, I see that your plans are publishing in 9 days (exciting!) and since we are going to be making changes, I was curious; Will you be offering any kind of consultation help with this as well? If so, what would you charge? We would also be happy to publish our building or work in any way to document our plans/build, so that it might be a profitable resource for your site.
    We have ideas already for different materials, such as heat- and impact-resistant windows, and have figured out other trades and compromises we can do to get by better down South. However, the elegant solution for a space for a kid’s bed, maybe two, still eludes us. Even some pointers with this would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks for all your documentation, I’m looking forward to the plans!

    -Bri

    • Andrew
      Andrew April 20, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      Hi Bri. Thanks for your kind feedback. Hopefully you have had a chance to purchase the plans. The good news is that they come with (or you can buy as a stand alone) a fully editable SketchUp file, so that should help you make the changes you need. I am not planning on offering consulting at this time as I have enough “irons in the fire” as they say. I’m sure there is a way to get what you want in terms of sleeping arrangements, it will just take some creative visions. Best of success to you and I would love to see what you come up with! 🙂

  29. Shad April 25, 2014 at 12:10 am #

    This house is amazing! My wife and I really want to build one ourselves and as such we are planning on buying the DVD. Any ideas on how close the DVD is to being released?

    • Andrew
      Andrew April 25, 2014 at 7:53 am #

      Hi Shad. Thanks for feedback and excitement! We are aiming for the third week in May for the DVD release. The plans are available now, just click on the hOMe Plans tab at the top of the page. 🙂

      • Kristen May 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

        Hi Andrew. Will the DVD be built into the plan packages or will it be offered as a separate item? I am asking because I am considering purchasing a plan package soon but do not plan on building for a year or two (so I could easily hold off to avoid choosing a package without the DVD). Thanks.

  30. Sarah April 29, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    I just had to comment after watching your video, I think your home is amazing! Really opens my eyes on what one really thinks is “necessary” in life. I currently live in a 2100 square ft home and after watching your video I think, why do we have all this STUFF? I have this overwhelming feeling now to do a major spring cleaning! 🙂 I congratulate you both for living your life the way you want, and in the home that makes you happy. You guys did a fantastic job!!

    • Andrew
      Andrew May 4, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

      Hi there Kristen! Thank you for your interest in hOMe! The plans will be offered separately. 🙂

    • Andrew
      Andrew May 4, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

      Thanks so much Sarah!!

  31. George April 29, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    The small unit is fantastic and has always been an interest of mine. I have always thought that turning 100 acres of land into a self contained subdivision of small affordable homes would allow a couple, of any age, to have pride of ownership at an affordable price. The unit you built is on wheels and I would think is set up with lights etc. for towing? What is the approximate weight and can it be towed on a highway if needed? We live in northern Ontario Canada and have very cold winters, would this be a problem with pipes freezing or is this unit set up for a warmer climate. Do your plans include the building specs for the trailer bed? Great job and well done.

    • Andrew
      Andrew May 4, 2014 at 8:04 pm #

      Hi George. Thanks for your message. The hOMe is designed and engineered for highway speeds and the trailer details are indeed in clouded in the plans. The walls are thin in our design as our climate is relatively mild. We built the walls with 2×4 construction; however, there is room in the layout to increase the walls to 2×6 which is standard for us here in most of the US. Your vision sounds great. I wish you success with seeing it come true.

    • Robert September 8, 2014 at 7:13 am #

      Dan,

      Should you be interested in networking in regards to tiny homes in Canada, please email me at robertleonardo@gmail.com (Ottawa)
      Thanks!

  32. Kevin May 1, 2014 at 10:12 pm #

    Thoroughly enjoyed the half hour spent watching your video tour of hOMe. Just a thought…but I wonder whether a variation would be possible, such that the stairs would lead to a “landing” corridor in the main bedroom loft (that would also unfortunately create a framing alteration that would affect the kitchen area below the said corridor). An advantage of this would be able to walk upright in the loft and have the bed above the kitchen as you have constructed. Not sure if I’m making my point clear. Either way, you’ve piqued my interest with you design.

    • Andrew
      Andrew May 4, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

      Hi Kevin. That would be possible; however, it would drastically reduce the space in the kitchen as a result and we prefer to have our space there. It doesn’t bother us to have the loft height as is, at all.

  33. Sarah May 3, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    Hello,

    I’m actually from canada and as far as I know I wouldn’t be able to just park a home on wheels anywhere without purchasing the actual property and paying taxes every year for that property, now I don’t know how it was when you built your home but does the cost you’re stating on this website include those kinds of costs (if there were even any to begin with)? I haven’t explored this site fully but so far I haven’t seen anything about it.

    • Andrew
      Andrew May 4, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

      Hi Sarah. The costs given are for the trailer and the hOMe itself, but not for any land or tax costs associated with the structure.

  34. Arlene May 7, 2014 at 7:30 am #

    Hi Andrew and Gabriella,

    Thank you for all you’ve shared. And the heart you put into every aspect and questions folks ask.
    My hope and dream is to simplify and live in harmony as you have. Have you any input as to what part of the country are most embracing the tiny house movement in regards to zoning and code compliance?I live in Florida and that’s such a tall order here. As Gabriella mentioned, I still want to do right and be conscious of others property value but don’t truly want to take on city hall. This USA is a big site to choose from.

    • Andrew
      Andrew May 8, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

      Thanks Arlene. I wish I had some solid data for where best to build tiny; however, I’m afraid that I don’t know the answer to your question. I think the best thing to do is to talk to the local building authorities and see if they have concerns about tiny living. If they do, ask what they are and see if you can create positive solutions to those issues. Like anything new, change will take time to set in. It’s important that we all do what we can to influence that change to be positive and supportive for all parties involved.

  35. Jake May 7, 2014 at 4:10 pm #

    How do I find information on your workshops availability? I’m confused. is it online?

    • Andrew
      Andrew May 8, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

      Hi Jake. I have straw bale workshops that I am leading now (www.strawbale.com). I do not currently have any tiny house workshops scheduled. Stay tuned…

      • Jackie January 8, 2015 at 7:27 am #

        Hello. I am not sure but did you say you are from Kitchener Ontario? Is there. A phone number I could reach you at. I had some questions about this model and I also was curious if you are able to be contracted to build me one? Thanks.

        • Andrew
          Andrew January 8, 2015 at 7:01 pm #

          Hi Jackie. I am from Oregon, not Ontario, sorry. I’m not contracting builds; however, you do have a couple options. One is to purchase the plans and build the hOMe yourself and the other is to connect with Darin at EcoCabins. They will be building hOMe and delivering it to locations all around the US and Canada (I think they can deliver to Canada as well). Here’s a link to learn more about that option. Darin is a friend of ours, so please let him know you heard about him from us. He will take especially good care of you. 🙂

  36. Kat May 8, 2014 at 11:47 pm #

    Thank you for posting these details, it helps seeing peoples end cost and budgets.
    Looking forward to posts about solar and budget breakdown!

    Kat 🙂

  37. Jessie May 14, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

    Might be a silly question!

    Obviously you can customize your tiny home however you would like it, but could you make it longer? I know in the video you said your bathroom is bigger because you took some room out of the living room, but that is just a SMALL bathroom. Nothing else in the house felt that small. Is there a way to extend the house even a few feet to have a bigger bathroom?

    Thanks!
    Jessie

  38. Andrew
    Andrew May 15, 2014 at 6:52 pm #

    Hi Jessie. Not a silly question at all. You can add some length to the trailer as needed; however, there are some issues that arise. The first is that the trailer stars to get difficult to move around without “bottoming out.” It is long, as is, so adding more to it would make things interesting to say the least. You will need to check in with the department of transportation where you live and plan to move the hOMe for maximum trailer lengths. Each state is different.

    The good news is that we changed to a new (and WAY better) composting toilet that is much smaller. That makes the bathroom feel much more spacious as the original one was gigantic! We are also installing a glass shower door which will make the shower feel bigger as well.

    • Lynsee October 14, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

      Hi Andrew,
      What kind of toilet do you have now and why is it better (other than size)?
      Love your hOMe, btw!

      • Andrew
        Andrew October 15, 2014 at 12:34 am #

        We have a Separett. It is a Swedish company and is very well made. Smart design. Does not smell. Very functional. We love it. Gabriella did a full video review of it on the website. I think you will find it if you search for Separett.

  39. Lyndsay June 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm #

    I’m curious, do you think a tiny home is possible for a family of 5? 2 adults, 3 boys

    • Andrew
      Andrew June 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

      Hi Lyndsay. That would be interesting to say the least. Much, if not all, will depend on your willingness to communicate clearly and authentically.I think it would be a huge gift for the family, but not everyone is able to rise to this challenge. The space is certainly small, and sleeping quarters would be something to identify early on as well. I imagine the secondary loft would need to be made bigger to accommodate for extra space.

  40. Mark Livingston June 10, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

    Great place! So far I have built a jon boat from nothing to include: a live well with aerator, a deck, storage, saddlebag configured cooler and dry storage bin, running lights, casting seats fore and aft and so much more.

    I am now working on a conversion van (2001 Ram 1500) 5.9 liter v-8 (sucks gas but it’s like driving a cloud). Removed the carpet and am putting bamboo flooring in, as well as cabinetry. It will have a western cedar roof liner when completed. Did I mention the $3k stereo system?

    I wanted to take the second row captain chairs out as well as the third row bench/sleeper seat and frame up my own custom bed, but everyone said, “You’ll kill the resale value.” That and ,”What are you going to do, live in it?”

    I ponder what the resale value of a Ram 1500 van is anyways… and yeah, maybe I will live in it.

    Point is this, I have built a boat and soon to be deluxe conversion van. So, what’s next?

    I was thinking of getting a utility trailer and decking it out, like you did. Question is, is yours portable, or is it built to stay at its location?

    Thanks for the reassurance that I am not completely crazy, or alone.

    Mark Livingston

    • Andrew
      Andrew June 12, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

      Hi Mark. Your projects sound great! Forget what other people of the resale value. SOMEBODY will love it!

      Our house is designed to be fully portable. You would need different cabinets as ours was not built with the intention to move (designed for it, just not part of our reality), and thus the items would fall out during transport.

      Keep having fun with it!

  41. Tono M June 11, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    Hello Andrew and Gabriella,
    You have crated something really special! I hope more people see your design and begin to understand that less is best.

    I’m not just speaking on the size of the home. We Americans are consumed with hoarding things, and lots of things (cars, clothes, gadgets, ect…

    Your video is proof that you can be just as happy in a smaller environment with less clutter.

    I’m interested in joining you.

    Tono

  42. Tracy June 12, 2014 at 7:10 am #

    I was very interested in this idea but I would never be able to build it myself which would double or triple my cost. I would probable be better off just buying a mobile home.

    • Andrew
      Andrew June 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

      Hi Tracy. Sometimes the simplest answer is indeed an RV or mobile home. If you can find a way to build it for less, the custom hOMe build is really amazing! I would expect the cost to double with the added labor.

      • Jacque June 19, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

        Hi Andrew and Tracy
        I have been seriously considering this journey to build a tiny house(and I smile because I have absolutely no experience building anything) but the desire outweighs the lack of experence.
        I did a quick search on RV’s and if you have to finance at all you’ll end up paying 2-3 times as much in the long run for someone elses idea of comfotable living.
        I’ve dipped my toe into this ocean and looking forward to what I can be proud to say I built with my own hands. One step at a time will get me there and this first step wasn’t as ard as I thought. I will keep sucking up the information and moving forward!

  43. Marie June 12, 2014 at 6:35 pm #

    I live in quebec where winter is heavy! It is a good moove to expect built a tyni house ?

    • Gabriella
      Gabriella June 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

      You would likely want to increase the insulation. A good option for doing this would be to add at least 2″ of rigid foam insulation to the walls and ceiling. You could even change the rafter design to use thicker lumber (that would allow you to decrease the height of the rafters so you can add rigid foam). In all, it is certainly an option for your colder climate.

  44. Marie June 12, 2014 at 6:39 pm #

    Last question : do you rent a land or you buy it?!

    Thank´s again 🙂

    • Gabriella
      Gabriella June 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm #

      We bought our land. Some folks place their tiny homes on existing properties as “ancillary units” in the back yard.

  45. EUGENIA MCALLISTER June 12, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Okay, I love and need this for myself. Do you build to order?

    • Gabriella
      Gabriella June 14, 2014 at 7:47 pm #

      Thanks Eugenia. We don’t build them to order; however, we offer the plans for sale as well as a 6 1/4 hour DVD set on how to build it. Hope that helps.

  46. Lisa June 22, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    Hello my name is Lisa and I’m from Germany!
    I totally fell in love with your tiny house and the design. My boyfriend and me thinking about to build such the same but the rules in germany are really tight…
    I have a question, how do you drive with your house or is it standing on one place all the time? Which type of car are you using for moving the house? I mean it weights 6 tons and here in Germany is it not allowed to drive with so much weight on the streets with a car so I’m a little confused about that…

    • Andrew
      Andrew June 30, 2014 at 12:18 pm #

      Hi Lisa. We don’t drive ours around at this point. If we did, we could use a standard 3/4 ton pick up truck to successfully move the hOMe. Hope that helps.

  47. Mike June 25, 2014 at 6:57 pm #

    Can SIp panels be used?

  48. Denise June 28, 2014 at 4:39 pm #

    I absolutely LOVE this design. It is the best tiny home design I have seen so far. I especially like the staircase since I worry about using a ladder as I get older. I also like the modern feel of the design. I like the log cabin look so many tiny houses have, but I agree that the lightness of this design makes it seem bigger than all the wood. And the dark wood floors, so chic!

    Thanks so much for sharing in such detail everything about this project. It is going to help so many people with their future builds.

    Denise

  49. David July 8, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    Good blog, love tiny houses, and yours is a great design – my favorite so far.
    BUT, don’t you agree that for the average person (without 20 yrs building/design experience like you), it would be next to impossible to build that tiny house for $23k?
    IMO, someone like that would be better off buying a 30′ 5th wheel travel trailer, otherwise they will need to hire out most of the labor and completely blow the budget.
    Thoughts?

    • Andrew
      Andrew July 20, 2014 at 9:33 am #

      You raise a good point David. It is not easy to build something on your own without experience; however, it is not impossible. I have been teaching people how to build their own homes for almost 10 years and even those without experience can do it with the right education and enough time. If you had to hire out the process, the price would likely double (at least) as labor is expensive. We offer an in depth DVD that teaches all of the details of building hOMe and additional hands-on workshops would be a great starting place. If those are not options, or if one doesn’t have the time to complete the project, then an RV would be a good alternative. Of course, living in an RV is restricted with black and white regulations while tiny home living is still considered a bit of a grey area.

  50. valerie mcouat July 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    Sorry if I missed this, but what sewer arrangements are used for these homes?

    • Andrew
      Andrew July 20, 2014 at 9:33 am #

      Hi Valerie. We have a composting toilet and a grey water system. Each jurisdiction is different and, unfortunately, very few will allow for grey water systems and composting toilets at this time…even as our water becomes more and more scarce.

  51. Josh Stientz July 15, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    Hey guys! I am a contractor/ builder in Oklahoma city, and I’m a huge fan of the tiny house movement!! In a nutshell, I’m thinking about building and selling affordable tiny homes on wheels!! Any idea what kind of market there is for this sort of thing? Of course I can deliver anywhere in the US. Id appreciate any ones thoughts on this. Thanks!

    • Andrew
      Andrew July 20, 2014 at 9:26 am #

      Hi Josh. I think there is definitely a growing market for this. We hear from people all the time who are interested in having a tiny home built for them. We also work with contractors to build our hOMe for other clients as well by licensing our plans to the contractor. If you are interested in this, shoot us an email at info@tinyhousebuild.com so we can talk about it more.

  52. Remy July 19, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    Hey, I hope to start building in a year and I was wondering about companies who finance the build for construction of tiny homes. Even though my goal is to be financially free, I’m young enough to have the bulk of the home paid off at the same time as my car. I’ve tried traditional banks like JP Morgan Chase, Well’s Fargo and Bank of America as well as local credit unions. No company, yet, has told me they offer the kind of financing I’m looking for. Do you guys know of any place else I can try? Please and thank you:)

    • Andrew
      Andrew July 28, 2014 at 10:14 am #

      Hi Remy. I don’t have any specific banks that I know of that fund tiny house projects. I do, however, have an email I’d like to share with you from a woman who recently received funding for her tiny home project. She has some good details to share with everyone here. Here’s how she did it…

      =====
      1. Excellent credit! (we have something similar to your fico score)

      2. Zero bad debt. My credit cards are at a balance of 0 and I have no other loans than a car loan.

      3. Built up a line of credit and had minimal balance). (I have a 10,000 line of credit)

      4. The max number of years for borrowing from a bank for personal loan is 5 yrs. I was only able to borrow $20,000 for this reason. That made my monthly payments just under $200 bi-weekly. I will use the loan plus the line of credit for the build.

      5. My other option was to ask a friend/family member to either co-sign the loan, sign over some of their home equity, or they take out the loan and you pay them back adding 2% interest so it has an investment return for them.

      * the way they calculate it here (according to my understanding) is they take your monthly income and your monthly debt payments (mortgage/rent, property tax, heating, water, loan payments). These payments cannot exceed 40% of your monthly income. If your loan payment fall within that 40%, you will get the loan.

      During the day I work at a high school as an educational assistant (working with kids with learning difficulties). I fell in love with the idea of living in community a few years ago so the last three years I have lived in two different senior homes. I am on call at night in case of medical emergencies. In exchange I receive a room (12×12) and meals. I LOVE it! Because of this, I have no living expenses so that 40% for me was next to nothing.

      So I would say, I am in a very unique situation. I would also add that it may depend on your relationship with your bank. I’ve banked with the same bank my whole life. No other credit cards or accounts. They liked that loyalty. The manager heard about my project and wanted to meet me and shake my hand. He fell in love with the project.

    • Faith April 22, 2015 at 3:33 am #

      Hi Remy,

      I hope all is going well for you! If you are still looking for a solution for financing a tiny home or its construction, you may find this article useful. I have never used this tiny house loan service, but I am hoping to build one in a couple years and in all of my research, I’ve come across this same service recommended by a few people as a very good alternative to traditional bank loans.

      http://tinyhouseblog.com/announcement/are-these-tiny-house-loans-for-real/

  53. Matthew July 21, 2014 at 8:18 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    I really like your design. Thank you for all the information. My goal is, in about 2 years, to be living in my own tiny solar off-grid cabin. I want to buy several acres of land somewhere in the U.S. and put the cabin on a foundation. I want to get really creative with the design. REALLY creative. I’ve been playing around with SketchUp. Unfortunately I have zero building experience, but I want to learn it all, acquire tools and build with help from some friends/family. This is going to be a lot of work, but it’s totally worth it.

    I will be 30 this year. I am recently divorced and I have a 30lb dog. My student loans are outrageous. Fortunately I have a great IT job and I work remotely (I can go anywhere and keep my job which is super awesome). I really want to do this so I can minimize my bills, get these loans paid off, help out family financially, travel and enjoy life. I want to get away from it all and live peacefully with nature. A simple, less stressful life.

    As a builder, can you offer any advice for a cabin on a foundation? There’s so much to think about. I don’t want to be connected to the grid (electric, water, septic).

    Thanks and take care!

    • Andrew
      Andrew July 28, 2014 at 10:20 am #

      Hi Matthew. I love your desire to step out of the rat race. Great plan. Simplifying things is so important and will (in our experience) make your life so much more enjoyable.

      In terms of what advice I would offer, there is much I could say. I have been building for around 20 years and so exactly what technical info I would offer, I’m not sure where to start. Some ideas would be to watch vides, read books, practice on small projects, volunteer on building projects (Habitat for Humanity, for example) to get some hands on experience.

      If nothing else, follow your dream and bring it to life!

  54. Judy Pratt July 25, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

    Hi! We are trying to have a 28 foot trailer made and are wondering about cost. We live in a rural area and the price estimate we got seems rather expensive to us. Wondering if you’d share what your trailer itself cost and where did you have it made? Thanks!!

    • Andrew
      Andrew July 28, 2014 at 10:16 am #

      Hi Judy. The trailer can be quite expensive to fabricate. We are working right now (literally) with an engineer and a trailer manufacturer to bring down the costs. We hope to have something to report in short order. Please stay tuned…

  55. Bryan Franz July 29, 2014 at 6:38 pm #

    Hello Andrew! I stumbled across your build on YouTube. I love your design and ideas. My wife and I are seriously contemplating jumping into the Tiny House movement. Surprisingly, this was her idea. I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. My wife and I are starting a small business, so a lot of changes are about to happen. I look forward to learning more about your ideas and I hope I can contribute some as well. Thanks for what you do!

  56. Robin July 29, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    Hi there,

    I’m working on different creative financing methods for the Tiny Home and your design is my favorite so far. If I purchase the plans from you do you have a problem with me contracting another Tiny Home Builder who is RVIA certified to do the build for me? This opens up significant finance and insurance avenues.

    Robin

  57. Pam July 31, 2014 at 11:32 am #

    Great article on the cost estimation subject. I am trying to pin mine down before jumping all the way in on my project. I found this App and it gave some really great results Great article. “Tiny Home Estimator App” https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tiny-home-estimation/id898952318?ls=1&mt=8

    • Andrew
      Andrew August 1, 2014 at 9:58 am #

      Thanks Pam. I’ll have to check out the app. It looks, from the preview, that it could be very helpful. The biggest question I have (without having looked beyond the preview of the app) is whether it allows for adjustments based on location. In other words, building costs in San Francisco are much higher than they are in rural Iowa, etc.

  58. Robert R.H. July 31, 2014 at 3:28 pm #

    Hi,

    i must say i am highly impressed. I´ve got my Degree in Graphic-Design and Architecture. Currently Employed as an Architect. And founding my own Company.

    I allways loved the idea of less is more. But with your Design and Way of Living your Living Proof that my Way of Designing new Buildings isn´t wrong. -> You couldn´t imagen my Professor in the University; “more Space is better”… and so on. They gave me quite the hardship.

    Well, I am in fact working in the Moment on how can i downsice my own way of living. Its really is difficulter than i expected it to be. -> Healthier, what are my needs?
    I am quite struggling with it.

    How do you manage? How long did it take you to get where your are now, with that kind of thinking and living it?

    Has it been different in your early days? where you allways living in a small place?

    Thanks for such a great work and opportunity for providing the plans.

    with best regards from Stuttgart, Germany.
    Robert

    Architect in Training
    Graphic-Designer

    • Andrew
      Andrew August 1, 2014 at 10:02 am #

      Hi Robert. How strange that professors still push the idea that more space is better. I guess for the average home buyer, that is still true; however, I expect to see that shift dramatically in the coming years. Good for you for forging your own path. That’s not easy to do in the face of people calling you crazy!

      Our transition to tiny was relatively quick. We noticed how much time, effort, and money it was costing us to live large and we decided we wanted out. We sold most of what we owned and took a roughly 5 month trip to live on the beach in Mexico in a tent trailer. That trip help solidify our desire to simplify our lives. We have been taking steps in that same direction ever since.

      We had lived in a 2000 SF (or so) home and our transition was challenging, yet inspiring at the same time. We have lots of our stories in the blog. I encourage you to read through, especially the early stuff during our trip to Mexico. Hopefully it will inspire you as well.

      Cheers!

  59. Stephanie August 1, 2014 at 9:36 am #

    Love hOMe! I live in BC and I’m looking at relocating to Newfoundland and the idea of a tiny house perched above the ocean makes my heart hurt I want it so badly. I’m in my mid 30s and would be doing the build on my own ( never done anything like this before, kinda scary! ). I’m debating doing the build here in BC ( where I may be able to get some help from friends ) and transporting cross country ( would need to rent a truck ) or starting from scratch in Nfld and crossing my fingers it doesn’t take me 10 yrs to build on my own! I wish there were workshops to learn basic construction skills out my way etc. Maybe one day! Where are those TIme Life home improvement books when you need them!

    Looking forward to more hOMe updates!

    • Andrew
      Andrew August 1, 2014 at 9:53 am #

      Hi Stephanie. Thanks for your message. I would suggest that you build it once you get to Nfld as it is a large structure for towing and would take some serious trailer skills to master for such a long trip. The good news is that there are some ways to learn how to build. For starters, we have a 6.25 hour, 4 disc DVD set that teaches you how to build hOMe. We have made some changes to the design to make it easier and less expensive to build since we filmed the DVDs; however, the skills presented are the same.

      You can also volunteer for builds with Habitat for Humanity or other non profit building entities. You get to learn skills and contribute to your local community all at once.

      We are trying to figure out a way to create a workshop scenario that would walk someone through the process so they could do it on their own. It’s hard to figure out how to present all of the information needed in a week or so time frame (my usual hands on workshops for straw bale construction are 7 days) as there is much to teach/learn. I’m open to ideas of how you think you would benefit from a workshop and how you envision it happening…

      • Stephanie August 2, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

        I have another question for you that popped in to my head last night…where do you do laundry? Sorry if this has already been asked and addressed.

        • Andrew
          Andrew August 2, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

          We designed into hOMe a space under the stairs that allows for a washer/dryer combo. That said, we have opted to place our washer in our solar shed (where our solar system electronics are housed) as it gives us so more space inside. We hang our clothes outside to dry.

    • Robert September 8, 2014 at 7:20 am #

      Stefanie,
      Should you be interested in networking in regards to tiny homes in Canada, please email me at robertleonardo@gmail.com (Ottawa). I am evaluating a need for a social platform for Canadians with interest in tiny homes.
      Thanks!

  60. Josh August 13, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    Andrew,
    Quick question in an earlier post you mentioned a video concerning the solar panel system that you used specifically, that was back in Feburary and maybe im not seeing it or you havent posted it..if not when cause i am curious as your home has everything i would want in my future tiny home as far electricity use goes. Also in your overall cost was that system included?

    • Andrew
      Andrew August 16, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

      Hi Josh. We have still not come out with the video for the solar system. We wanted to live with it for a while before we discussed it in detail. That has proven to be a good idea as we had originally undersized the system and are in the process of upgrading its capacity. I promise we will get a video out soon… Thanks for your patience.

      The cost to build hOME does NOT include the solar system.

      • Bob January 12, 2015 at 11:14 am #

        Any progress on the Solar System video?

        • Andrew
          Andrew January 18, 2015 at 2:49 pm #

          Not yet. We are so busy with some other things and have not found time to do it yet. In the meantime, I highly recommend the folks at Backwoods Solar in Sandpoint, Idaho. They are very helpful.

  61. Jewel Pearson August 18, 2014 at 9:37 pm #

    Hi, I’m considering purchasing your plans and have a few questions:

    1) Does the materials list include information regarding the your appliances?
    2) I see on your blog where you provide information regarding building with Iron Ply, is that type information also included in the construction plans?
    3) I understand that your TM is basically stationary, but am assuming the building plans utilize materials for the person who may plan to move their TH. Is that correct?

    Thanks!

    • Andrew
      Andrew August 23, 2014 at 6:00 pm #

      Hi Jewel. My answers are below.

      1) Yes, the materials list includes information on the appliances.
      2) All of the details you need to build the house are on the plans. They are “professionally complete.”
      3) The plans for hOME are for a project that will be moved and is engineered for road travel.

      Cheers!

  62. Shane August 22, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    This truly is one of the best designs I’ve seen. I love the interior layout and look I could live very comfortable in that house with no issues…

    • Andrew
      Andrew August 23, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

      Thanks very much Shane.

  63. Chey September 2, 2014 at 7:28 am #

    I’m so excited about my future. My initial plan was to buy a tiny vintage trailer and live in it when I retire in 8 years. But now I’m thinking of creating a tiny village to rent out…

  64. Chey September 2, 2014 at 7:38 am #

    I have a question, if I bought land and put a few of these on it, how does the plumbing work in these tiny houses. Is it like a trailer, motor home?

    • Robert September 8, 2014 at 7:47 am #

      Here is what I have learned.
      All plumbing can be set up with traditional on grid sewage systems, off grid, or a combination of. Largely it will depend on location and lifestyle.

      Black water (from human waste) can be dealt with a few ways. Common is a composting toilet. There are a few types to pick from. From as simple as a 5 gal. bucket to an engineered self contained system that composts within the toilet, or below floor. These are safe, clean, odorless and do not use the precious finite resource of drinking water to flush!

      As for grey water, there are recovery and filtering systems for reuse. It can be flushed to a number of reserve systems or mulch-filled basin.
      It is vitally important to know the municipal laws and how not to disturb nature when handling any waste water! There are many resources out there. Here is just one, http://oasisdesign.net/greywater/misinfo/#matter

    • Andrew
      Andrew September 8, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

      It can be done as in an RV with tanked systems or it can be attached to a standard septic/waste water system. It could also be installed as a grey water system with a composting toilet. Many options are available…

  65. Jerry McIntire September 2, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    Nice design! I love the stairway to the master loft.

    Did you think of using SIP panels for the roof? Seems like it could be a single panel with perhaps one framing member needed as a center beam.

    • Andrew
      Andrew September 8, 2014 at 1:33 pm #

      Hi Jerry. We considered SIPs. One could likely do the entire roof without any support beam at all. We felt that it was best to stay with a design that was easy for everyone to build as SIPs can sometimes be hard to source, depending on your location. SIPs could actually be used for the walls as well if one was so inclined.

  66. BJ September 6, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    Can you provide a spreadsheet line item budget?

    • Robert September 8, 2014 at 7:26 am #

      If I may offer my thoughts on this… The best thing to do is buy their plans package. They have the materials list with it to which I was then able to edit a bit and take to various vendors for quoting. Prices of material may vary in different areas and even material availability may have to be dealt with.
      This is the best way to get a a line item budget that is tailored to your own home design.

      You will not be disappointed in the plans package!

      Cheers!

    • Andrew
      Andrew September 8, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      Hi BJ. That would not actually be as helpful as you might imagine. The cost of labor and materials varies so much from region to region. It is best to simply take the materials list that comes with the plans and price the items locally.

  67. Pete September 7, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    A truly great design! I have been looking for months and keep coming back to yours.
    A few quick questions:
    1. How do you keep the water line from the well to the house from freezing (especially at the inlet)?
    2. If you were going to place an interior water tank in your hOMe, where would you put it?
    3. Has anybody built with your plans and then shared pictures of any changes in materials (more variations in materials, possibly more chances of getting reduction in cost)?
    4. Did you have any health concerns with using “engineered products” like the underlayment, OSB, etc? I have used OSB as a subfloor, but sealed it well to keep the Mrs. happy. Would like your opinion.
    Thank you for everything.

    • Andrew
      Andrew September 8, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

      Thanks Pete. My answers are below.

      1. We have an insulated water line where it enters the house. Between the well and the house, it is buried a minimum of 18″ deep (the standard for our area).
      2. There is not a lot of room for an interior water tank. If you are talking a small drinking water tank, then in the corner of the kitchen behind the wine rack (next to and slightly behind that is) is where I would put it. That is where we house our water filtration system at this time.
      3. I have yet to see any photos of a finished hOMe design other than the one that was heavily changed and used in the Tiny House Nation show.
      4. I am not a big fan of OSB to be honest. That said, we we not able to source any “green and healthy” panel material in our area. I would suggest that you look to see what is available and go with the healthiest option available that fits in with your budget.

  68. Nathalia October 26, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    Hi Andrew,
    I want to build a tiny house up in the mountains.
    Would you recommend this?

    • Andrew
      Andrew November 5, 2014 at 12:56 pm #

      Sure Nathalia. You may have some different wind and snow loads to deal with, but a tiny house can handle all of that as long as it is built and designed well. Have fun!!!

  69. Traci October 29, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

    My city will allow me to build an accessory until without a permit; and place it in my back yard. However, the structure must contain 200 sq ft or less of floor space. Are there any recommendations that you would make to reduce the size of your home so that I can have one built in my back yard. Any suggestions would greatly be appreciated.

    • Andrew
      Andrew November 5, 2014 at 12:49 pm #

      That’s cool Traci! Being that the house is roughly 8’6″ wide, you could take 1′ off of the kitchen and that would save you a little more than 8 SF bringing the total down to 199SF. If you have 10′ height restrictions, then you would have difficulty as our building is 13’6″ tall and you need that for the sleeping lofts. If you had to stay below that height, you would probably be better off starting with a blank slate for a new design.

  70. Jay October 30, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

    Hey Andrew, I found an eco friendly SIP manufacturer in NC (uses sugar beets in the insulation process) and had the very same idea you mentioned in the comments about using one large SIP panel for my roof on my 8×24 trailer tiny home. You mentioned no need for supplemental roof support other than the sip shell (might try to order one panel for each side as well).

    How does a flat roof drain on a tiny home? I’m in Northern VA; at what span would middle supports be suggested?

    • Andrew
      Andrew November 5, 2014 at 12:47 pm #

      That’s great Jay. I have to defer to the manufacturing company on the SIPs span as that is totally dependent on how the panel is built, the expected loads in your area, and the strength of the core, etc. They can surely tell you that. In terms of the roof, ours is not flat, it is a 3/12 which drains very well. I am not a fan of flat roofs at all as they drain to the lowest point which might be into your house! Even a “flat” roof in typical construction has at least some prescribed slope to help direct drainage. You’ll also note that roofing manufacturers recommend using their materials on slopes of no less than “X”, so you would need to make sure the material you plan to use will work with the slope you intend to build.

  71. Florie November 7, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    Your home is perfect. How much do you think it would cost (with all appliances, etc.) to have it build. I am too old to do this myself!

    I live in SoCal. Thinking seriously about moving into a tiny home, if I can find a place to put it. Mine would not be moved.

    Thanks,
    Florie G

    • Andrew
      Andrew November 11, 2014 at 10:47 am #

      Hi Florie. Thanks for your kind words. I have some good news…we are currently working with a manufacturer who will be building our hOMe and offering it for sale at a VERY reasonable price. Of course “reasonable” is a relative term; however, I know what it takes to build a home as I have been a builder for 20 years and the initial price estimates are very favorable indeed. Would you like us to put you on the advance notice list for more information about the hOMe availability?

  72. Megan November 11, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    First off, thank you for the elegantly functional plan!

    Second, how feasible is it to build this with a shipping container? One motivation is that I’d prefer a flat roof as a rooftop deck, if possible.

    Finally, can this plan get a RVIA sticker if someone RVIA certified helps just a little? If not, will most states’ DMV inspections find that this plan meets standards for titling and insuring it as an RV?

    Thank you for any help. I’m planning on building starting in the next month if I can get a trailer that soon. Excited! Please keep posting your useful tips. 🙂

    Megan

    Oh, and the website is my hodgepodge of tiny house ideas, resources, pictures, and tidbits, on Google Drive. Sorry, it’s not very organized at the moment. I’ll add to it as time goes by, then once brainstorming starts to ebb, I’ll organize it in OneNote.

    • Andrew
      Andrew November 12, 2014 at 11:34 am #

      Hi Megan. Thanks for your message. I imagine that hOMe could be built with a shipping container, assuming they come in the right size for the current floor plan. I have not built with them before and what I have seen makes sense; however, building with shipping containers has its own set of challenges (extra condensation, breathability, etc.). My understanding of the RVIA certification is that the entire house has to be built in controlled conditions and by a facility that is able to certify. It cannot be a little help here or there. Each state’s DMV is different and how they permit tiny homes is different as well. Typically, you can get a certificate of origin for the trailer and then get that trailer licensed with the DMV. What goes on top of the trailer may not be certified as an RV (the DMV doesn’t do that) but if the trailer is legal and the “load” on top of it meets road standards for width and height, then you should be just fine.

  73. autumn November 19, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    well hey there lol.. love everything about yu..the houses are cute too:)

  74. Lyn November 29, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    From what I’ve seen so far I love em. Only watched a few of the shows but I would move in a heartbeat. Never been a materialistic person so I think I could be very happy in one. Being an older person, not crazy about going up a ladder, have you ever made one with a murphy bed(when down) and a table(when up)? I have thought about this idea to save space. Can the owner be involved in the design or are there just certain floor plans. I would rather have more living room space and a smaller kitchen. I loved the airstream trailers back in the day because they used every inch of space for some clever use. Keep up the good works Love it!

    • Andrew
      Andrew December 4, 2014 at 2:53 pm #

      Thanks Lyn. We are actually working on a version of hOMe that will be smaller and may include a murphy bed on the main level. Stay tuned…

  75. Alberta Bookkeeper December 1, 2014 at 12:17 am #

    Thank you for revealing this good plan.

  76. Kainen December 5, 2014 at 3:30 am #

    Amazing design, thank you very much for the information this will kickoff my planning stage for my tiny house build, i am sure the prices of material skyrocket once they make land here in hawaii wish me luck
    and thank you again

  77. Kaitlynn December 9, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    Hi,

    How much did it cost for your trailer and where did you get it made? My boyfriend and I bought your largest set of plans and I started watching the DVD and I love everything. He is 6’3″ which makes things a bit more difficult though. We plan on starting next January.

    Best regards,
    Kaitlynn

    • Andrew
      Andrew December 27, 2014 at 8:59 am #

      Hi Kaitlynn. We had our trailer custom built by a local manufacturer; however, we have made significant changes to it in order to make it less expensive for others to build and more efficient for road travel. As such, our pricing is not really relevant anymore. We have spoken with many people who are building hOMe and the trailer price seems to consistently range from $6000 – $9000 depending on location and the manufacturer.

  78. Kathy W December 17, 2014 at 8:43 am #

    I so love this concept & glad I found it on Facebook! I’m also a Canadian (Alberta) & winter may be the biggest issue.
    As I was reading other comments – I started thinking of all the 5th wheel trailers we had viewed this last summer (we were going to purchase one). A person could do a design similar to that concept also. They are self contained; some have bedrooms (or bunks for kids); winter camping is a matter of skirting the 5th wheel. One downside is that the propane tanks are small.
    If a person could figure out how to do the “slides” on 5th wheels – that would be awesome!! More width when needed!
    Also – I don’t know how to start the conversation, but these hOMes could be used for low-income housing; winter shelter for the homeless – without taking up a lot of space.
    Keep up the good work!

    • Andrew
      Andrew December 27, 2014 at 8:50 am #

      Hi Kathy. There is a guy in Texas who is using the slide out technology in tiny homes. I don’t have his contact information with me, but you may be able to find him with some internet searching. Agreed about the use of tiny homes to help with those in need of housing. There are some folks working on that angle as well. In terms of the winters, I think with the right insulation envelope that you would be just fine. You may need to incorporate more insulation than most, but you could use SIP panels, or thicker walls and floor to get the right level of insulation. Keep in mind that such a small space heats up quickly and with the right envelope stays warm for a long time.

  79. TJ Houston January 4, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

    Hello Peeps,

    I sent a question in a while back to the ‘contact’, but I’ll bet you guys are inundated with mail, so I’ll try again here.
    Basically what I asked was: I’ve collected several hundred 2x4s from tear downs, but they are mostly from stud walls, so are around 7′ or so, and I’ll probably have to cut about an inch off of each end. I’m assuming that my wall stud height will be about 9′ thereabouts. So, I was going to make the height up with two shorter walls, with liquid nails between the headers, ring shank nails and some lag screws. I figured that with the interior and exterior sheathing it would be plenty strong enough. Of course, I then had a non-expert friend tell me it wouldn’t be as strong. I was wondering what your thoughts on this were.

    My second question has to do with the trailer frame. I’m making mine out of I-beams from a mobile home frame and a couple of heavy duty (electric braked) axles I took out of another trailer I had. I’m going 35′, and like you, will be keeping it parked on my land unless I have to make a move. I saw that you had some concern about bottoming out on a hill. Looking at it now, would you move your axles back further? I’m trying to figure out how to do a slide axle safely. I plan on putting ‘cleats’ under the rear frame, heavy angle iron in a “V”.

    TJ

    • Andrew
      Andrew January 8, 2015 at 7:09 pm #

      Hi TJ. I am no trailer expert, so all I can do is offer an opinion there. In general, the axles are placed at a 60/40 ratio for the overall length with 60 being towards the tongue. As things get longer, that makes the turning radius hard to work with and it adds a lot of weight to the tongue. You may want to speak with an expert about this to see what the best and safest solution is.

      In terms of the framing, it is always best (in my opinion) to go with full length studs; however, you can still use the shorter studs and build a sectional wall. Be sure to get a tight bond between the two plates where the wall extends. It sounds like you are on the right path for that. You may find it hard to find ring shank nails that are long enough to make a solid connection. You should use 16d nails for that connection. Angle them in different directions to help hold tight. After that, be sure to span over the joint with your plywood so that it does not become a pivot point in the wall.

  80. Chan Soo January 7, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    Hi, I’m trying to figure out how to get myself a tiny house. A company called Tiny House Co. north of Houston, http://tinyhouseco.com/ , offers shell at $12900. After checking several websites explaining tiny house cost, it seems rather low. Are you, or anyone reading this, aware of this company or, as an expert, have a feeling about the price range? Would appreciate any input. Thanks.

    • Nova Panel February 3, 2015 at 10:08 am #

      Hi Chan Soo, from far north I am not aware of this company, but I believe any price is possible. $12,900 is amazingly low though it is subject to a lot of factors, e.g. size, shape of the building, performance of the materials used – you may pay attention that the R-Matt Plus 3 has R-value of 12 which could be only good enough in the southern region. Would suggest you to contact them for details.

      I am working on the pre-fab panel for building at even more competitive price, in coastal British Columbia we can provide pre-fab panel for easy assembling at US$65 per sqf, including R22 semi-finished wall, floor, roof, excluding doors, windows, internal fittings and appliances. That is US$10,400 for a tiny home in 8 x 20 x 12. You may visit http://www.nacsi.ca for details, or email me at biz@nortunecorp.com

      • Bob February 4, 2015 at 5:45 am #

        Tiny houses come in at all price ranges. Tiny houses made by a company or contractor for you will usually cost more. But those made by the owner using their own sweat equity can cost a lot less. One example at the very low end of that scale was in our local news last night and posted on g+ last week and was built to be lived in here in central Iowa, with below zero°F temps so well enough insulated, for $489! 160 sq ft main level with sleeping loft. Built by students as a class project but could be lived in instead of the dorm.
        The local news: http://www.kcci.com/news/no-mortgage-no-rent-building-a-house-for-less-than-500/31075046

        And the Tiny House Blog article: http://tinyhouseblog.com/announcement/students-build-tiny-home-489/

        They collected most of the materials from items being taken to the dump!

        I would still spend a bit more to end up with something like hOMe with all the features of any other house, just on a more “right sized” level.

        • Gabriella
          Gabriella February 5, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

          Thanks Bob!!

      • Chan Soo March 11, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

        Thank you for your replies! I found that the biggest problem (at least for me) is finding land to place a tiny house… It seems it’ll be a while until I can do what I want in this matter. Still, appreciate your inputs. ^_^

  81. Robert January 26, 2015 at 9:59 am #

    I had posted in this thread some time ago about wanting to connect with Canadians, as many of us have been found on the great resource that is tinyhousebuild.com

    Several people have contacted me over the last several months, thank you.

    I did not want to post here again and hog the thread, but thought I best do one more post to let fellow Tiny House (and other sustainable housing) Canadians aware that Tiny Home Alliance (Canada) has launched Dec. 2014.
    http://www.tinyhomealliance.ca

    Cheers!

  82. Simmer February 2, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

    Andrew
    This is great post very informative. I am fascinated with tiny homes. thank you for your straight forward and interesting commentary.
    Simmer Dougherty

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 3, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

      Thanks Simmer!

  83. Kerri February 4, 2015 at 10:49 am #

    I love this home and I’m really interested in building it for my two children and me. My one concern is that I live in tornado alley and I’m really nervous about a house on wheels. Do the plans come with the option of a permanent foundation or would that conversion be possible?

    • Andrew
      Andrew February 4, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

      Hi Kerri. Thanks for your feedback. The plans come with a way to brace and anchor the home on wheels; however, it is set up for homes outside of tornado alley (or at least I didn’t specifically plan for that. You can certainly add additional bracing to the hOMe or you could build it on a permanent foundation. The plans don’t show that option; however, any local engineer or designer could create an appropriate foundation plan for you and for the hOMe. Best of success.

  84. zach February 7, 2015 at 6:52 pm #

    hey andrew I’m fairly new to the tiny house idea but from all the ones I’ve looked at yours is by far my favorite. the only problem is i dont have to much building experience and thats what mainly is holding me back. my father framed and remodeled houses for many many years but he doesn’t really want any part in this. so i want to ask you how i should go about this and where i should start financially and mentally cause this is fairly large project.

    • Andrew
      Andrew March 5, 2015 at 8:14 pm #

      Great question Zach. Right from the start, the emotional/mental aspect is very important. Make sure you are ready to live a tiny sized life. There are many ways to go about this. I would recommend that you watch my TedX talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYhtKE-oEEM) and also check out the many stories about down sizing on our blog. From there, get some hands on experience building by volunteering at Habitat for Humanity or something similar. In the end, it’s about believing in yourself, what you want, and that you CAN do it!

  85. Steven February 9, 2015 at 4:10 pm #

    Hey there Andrew; Im a 21 year old guy looking to build his own tiny house with the help of my father whos a carpenter/builder of 35 years. I figure I’ll be set for the building portion, but I have a few questions regarding changes that I’ve thought of.

    First of all, I’, 6’3 and as a result I think the kitchen would be a bit of a squeeze for me. How difficult would it be to steal a few inches from the loft area (I dont mind it being a tad tighter), and add that downstairs? I’d think it would be just a matter of moving the ceiling/floor up a few inches during construction.

    My other questions mainly relate to water/heating. What would you estimate propane costs each month to heat the place without solar power? Where is the propane kept, and would this be viable for year around heating? I live near Vancouver, BC so our winters are not as harsh at the rest of Canada. Secondly, until I buy a small piece of property and get water lines in, whats the best way to provide water? An external tank like you have may be possible, but the risk of freezing is still there in the winter. Is there a water heater in this home? I have no purchased the plans yet!

    Any help regarding these questions would be fantastic; this home is the perfect combination of form and function I’ve seen while deciding what I want to build.

    • Andrew
      Andrew March 5, 2015 at 8:07 pm #

      Hi Steven. Thanks for your interest. You could certainly steal some headroom from the upstairs loft as long as you don’t mind losing that upstairs space. Ver simple change.

      In terms of water and propane, you can bring the water in through insulated lines (that’s what we do) and just monitor things to make sure the weather doesn’t win! Propane costs vary depending on the weather. We use it to heat and to cook and to heat our water. When we are not using it for the heating, we do really well. The house as we built it has 2×4 walls. If I could make a change for colder climates, I would go with 2×6 and would use batt insulation. The rigid foam is hard to cut perfectly and as such, there are air gaps in our home that I am not thrilled about. Our climate is mild enough that it’s not a big deal, but BC would be a different beast. Hope that helps.

  86. Robert February 12, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

    Hello Gabriella and Andrew! I guess I’m a little late to the party. I plan to build a tiny, rent a spot next to a house and have electricity coming from the house via extension cords. Rent would be $200 max plus utilities until I can afford to buy land. My only issue here is that I live near Niagara in Canada and I’m not sure how I would go about getting water in this situation. From the garden hose it would just freeze right? And even running it from inside the house, the portion that would be between the house and my tiny would still freeze up. Is there a solution to my problem? The only thing I can think of is to sacrifice space in my hOMe for a water bag like they use on boats. Any Ideas are greatly appreciated!

    • Robert February 12, 2015 at 12:41 pm #

      Silly me! My dad recommended that I use a heated water hose! I didn’t know that was a thing haha! I’m all set. Thank you anyway, I love this site!

      • Bob February 12, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

        I would still be sure to NOT use a regular garden hose even heated, but instead opt for one of those special (heated) RV hoses (usually white, but certified for drinkable water supply to a RV) to be sure it provides clean water and continues to provide clean water.

        • Andrew
          Andrew February 12, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

          The heated water hose would work (it’s important to get the potable water hose as Bob suggests); however, if it were me, I would build an insulated connection between the house and the tiny house. The heated line requires power and that costs money and resources. An insulated box, if built well, will provide the insulation without any daily costs.

          On another note, you cannot simply use extension cords to power the tiny house. The loads will be too high and you will run into problems doing it that way. Instead, install a new double breaker in your panel and run a larger line, most likely 50amp line/breaker. Check with your electrician as to what he/she thinks is best; however, stay away from the regular extension cord idea.

  87. Donna Chavarria February 18, 2015 at 11:53 pm #

    HI Andrew, Love your tiny house,, exactly what I am looking for, can you put me on your hOME Availaity list-I am looking for a tiny home like yours, I need someone to build for me. I absolutely love the moderness and simplicity. Also, do you have prices for something about your size.
    Thank you so much. Donna Chavarria
    714-815-5251

    • Andrew
      Andrew March 5, 2015 at 7:56 pm #

      Hi Donna. You can get your name on the list over at http://www.EcoCabins.com. Be sure to tell them you came over from here. We just rolled the first house off and it is in transit as we speak! Very exciting. There is more information there about pricing, etc…

  88. TJ Houston February 22, 2015 at 7:20 pm #

    Hello guys,

    I tried contacting you through your “contact” page again, but I’m starting to think that it goes to the north pole, so I’ll try here.

    I want to order your cd set, but I have two questions.

    I don’t do plas-TEEK, so can I send a money order? If so, where do I send it? I found your p.o. box LLC address once, but can’t seem to locate it again.

    With the 25% discount, does that bring the total to $44.98? Any other charges?

    Thanks,

    TJ

  89. Mirene February 24, 2015 at 10:50 am #

    Hello, love your design! Could you give me your thoughts on how you could use the seating bench and dining area to make it a pull out, as in the designs for pull outs on campers? This would maximize living area without compromising road regulations. How much extra space do you think could be gained from doing this? Also would it work in colder climates with insulating? Can it be done?

    Thank you!

    • Andrew
      Andrew March 5, 2015 at 7:48 pm #

      Hi Mirene. There are companies that can provide that type of design. You are talking about “slide outs” and they work in all climates; however, they are not as well insulated on the side walls. I am not an expert in them by any means, but I know it can be done. Not sure how many square feet you would gain, but it would be the width (I believe 6′) times the depth (I believe 4′ would be the max based on the current design).

  90. Ray Daniels March 16, 2015 at 11:17 pm #

    Hi, was wondering if anyone has used a wood cook stove in stead of propane kitchen cook stove?? Wouldn’t that cut some propane expenses down a bit?!

    • Andrew
      Andrew March 20, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

      Hi Ray. Wood stoves can be great; however, they may not be legal due to the transport of the home. You will need to check with codes about that. If you don’t plan to move the home much, you will be better off. If you plan to move the home, even a little, you will need to confirm that a wood stove is acceptable. At the very least, you will need to firmly attach the unit to the floor. Good luck.

  91. Jon & Elizabeth Benson April 3, 2015 at 1:57 pm #

    Hi ..Andrew and Family … I fall in love with your house and designed tiny house. My husband Jon he as experienced as a builder ; we going to make your tiny house for us to live in …Andrew your tiny house it’s so beautiful and as everything we need ..
    Our mortgage it’s so high and we can’t paid our house 2 store … But I am not sad ..because I found your video for your tiny house 🙂 … We will start building soon ..
    I just want to highly Thank you … To post your house in you tube .. That it’s how I found you ,, also we will get the DVDs. And sketch plan as well .. I am so happy ..because we have 2 dogs shitzu and 1 kitty Siamese .. So we can live happy ..
    Thank you ..from the bottom of my heart ..
    God bless you
    Jon & Elizabeth Benson

    • Andrew
      Andrew April 3, 2015 at 3:40 pm #

      Thanks so much for your kind message.

  92. Rick April 5, 2015 at 5:27 pm #

    Andrew, my wife and I are very interested in your tiny house design – great video! We will be ordering your sketch-up design. We have no intention of hauling our home about, but want to build “on wheels” to avoid permanent structure regulations. I am interested in modifying your plans to make the trailer 10 foot wide. In South Dakota, we can haul a 10 foot wide trailer on any two lane road without a pilot car, just a small fee for the permit. So, I can get the basic trailer custom built and legally get it on my property for tiny house construction. Thanks for the inspirational video!

    • Andrew
      Andrew April 6, 2015 at 10:43 am #

      Very cool Rick. I hope you’ll send us photos of your progress…

  93. Jeannie May 17, 2015 at 6:36 pm #

    Hello Andrew and Gabriella.
    I have a few questions for you. First, can I buy just the trailer from you for now?
    Second, can I have a house partially built and then I do the rest myself? Third, will you be having any workshops in Albuquerque, NM anytime soon? Fourth, do you know of any people in New Mexico who have a Tiny House that we could tour to see if we think we could live in one or to get ideas from? Fifth, what materials could we use to make the home lighter in weight? Thanx for all your help and kindness!!

    • Andrew
      Andrew May 31, 2015 at 2:57 pm #

      Hi Jeannie. We don’t sell the trailer alone at this point. We are working with a company (www.EcoCabins.com) to create options for folks including trailers, shell systems for owner completions, and complete hOMes. We are close, but not quite there yet. The material we use is lightweight steel framing and that cuts down on weight by a large amount. I don’t have any connections in New Mexico, nor do I plan any workshops there in the near future. You might try some of the Facebook pages to see if there are people in your area whose homes you could tour. Good luck!

  94. Justin May 25, 2015 at 10:54 am #

    Beginning stages of building a tiny house (legit beginning, dont even have the frame design down) but im thinking similar to yours ( sq feet and somewhat similar design) i will have a lot of personal material possessions that are very expensive in the house, is it possible to install an alarm system of some sort? Or maybe a lock that is finger print recognizable? That will accommodate 2 finger prints?? (mine and my girlfriends) i am thinking either sliding glass doors for the side (which will be the front technically like your placement of the front door) or just 2 doors that open out with glass to give openness to the house and so i can easily fit my road bike through with no troubles 🙂 any advice is appreciated.

    • Justin May 25, 2015 at 10:55 am #

      also forgot to mention that i will probably want to learn how to build this because i dont want to spend double just having someone build it for me 🙂

    • Andrew
      Andrew May 31, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

      That is all possible (assuming the technology for fingerprint access is available. You could always use a coded entry if not. Keep in mind that the more glass you have on the home, the less wall space you have inside and the more risk for breaking during transport.

  95. Jeremy June 3, 2015 at 1:44 am #

    Hi, I was looking to use your build because it is beautiful, on of the best I have seen. However I am big on traveling with my home. My question is would your build be okayor safe to travel around the US/Canada until we decide to settle down in one spot?

    • Andrew
      Andrew June 7, 2015 at 10:18 am #

      Hi Jeremy. You could certainly travel in hOMe as it is designed for that use; however, it is a large structure and may be overwhelming to drive around a lot. I LOVE our hOMe, but I would be a bit stressed driving it all over the place for years at a time due to the size. Who knows…maybe I’d get used to it!

  96. John July 8, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    What is the wall covering on the interior surfaces?

    • Andrew
      Andrew July 8, 2015 at 8:51 pm #

      Hi John. It is 1/4″ finish plywood over 1/2″ OSB sheathing. We spaced the sheets 1/4″ on all ends before fastening.

  97. Lindsey August 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm #

    I am so inspired by this!! I am doing research now to begin my own!! Beautiful job!!

    • Andrew
      Andrew August 6, 2015 at 8:56 am #

      Yay for inspiration! Have fun!!! 🙂

  98. Lee Hardy August 14, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

    Do you make a tiny house and give them to people that really need a place of their own . They have no way to buy a place of their own . They cant afford one on their income .

    • Andrew
      Andrew August 16, 2015 at 7:42 am #

      Hi Lee. As much as we would love to offer free housing to those in need, we are not in a financial position to do so at this time. If you have ideas of ways to fund such a vision, I would love to hear them. It would be great to be able to offer that as there are many people in need out there.

  99. Jordan September 7, 2015 at 4:38 pm #

    Hey there, read through all the comments but did not see where you addressed what you do with your grey water. I am curious to know how, if rv type hookups are used to connect to a septic, you would keep them from freezing during the winter. I hope to have a home similar to yours in the not too distant future, am currently living in a tiny motorhome, and I love it, but it’s not practical to stay in once the weather turns cold, hoping that I will not encounter similar problems in a colder climate even with a THOW. Thanks in advance, love your beautiful home, fantastic use of space!

    • Andrew
      Andrew September 19, 2015 at 7:37 pm #

      Hi Jordan. Our grey water runs into a homemade sand filter before it is distributed onto our property (watering our trees). We have never had issues with freezing, but I can’t be sure how it would do in your climate. The only real standing water would be in the P traps of your plumbing as the rest runs out into the sand filter.

      Andrew

  100. Rene October 1, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

    Hi Andrew,
    Came upon your site and love your hOMe. It seems so straight forward and efficient. I am wanting to get your DVD /plan Package but a couple of questions. You have your home on 5 acres, do you have access to any city/county lines for possible power, internet or just go all off grid?

    Also, I am looking to go with a little longer trailer, few more feet. It is possible to incorporate that into your plans, correct. Just do math?

    Please advise. I too am looking at Oregon, Northern CA (quake fear though). Somewhere where no a/c is needed.

    Thanks,
    Rene’

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 1, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

      Hi Rene. We are totally off grid on our acreage. If you wanted to hook up to grid tie utilities, that is totally possible too. In terms of making the house longer, you could do that, but keep in mind that design in a tiny house space is difficult as every inch is so carefully calculated.

  101. Tommi Grace October 3, 2015 at 3:35 pm #

    I am very interested in building my own tiny home. I love your home, I love the kitchen and bathroom is so big. And I really love, love, love the stairs to the loft. I live alone (or at least no other people). I have five dogs, one of which is a 110 lb Dog Argentino. I feel the space will still be just fine for me and my five dogs. However, I want to build one on existing land and I don’t want it on a trailer. What kind of foundation do you recommend? What is an approximate cost difference for the foundation and septic system? And how would I get electricity to the house?

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 5, 2015 at 4:12 pm #

      Hi Tommi. The foundation would need to be designed to meet the soil requirements of your area. Th most common options are a concrete slab foundation and a stem wall foundation with a framed floor. There are pluses and minuses to both options. There are other options as well, depending on what is legal in your area. Septic costs vary greatly by location as well. You would need to talk to your local code enforcement agency to see what is required and then get a few estimates from local contractors (or build it yourself if you prefer). It’s relatively straight forward to do if it is a standard system. Electricity costs and process will depend on your local situation as well. If you bring in land power, the local power company can tell you exactly what you need to do in order to have them drop power to you. If you plan to be off grid, then that is more hands-on. I would recommend contacting the great folks at http://www.BackWoodsSolar.com for help in that realm.

  102. Rod October 8, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

    Andrew

    I want to do a tiny house build in Central America (Panama or Honduras) on a very small island. I am planning to have a few friends to help out with the buuilding of it and paying them by allowing each person to use it one or two weeks out of the when I am traveling as a way of repayment.

    If it goes well I want to do small artist retreat of a total of 3 or 5 cabins.

    But I would like to try and build in pocket doors possibly. Do you see this as feasible or not a good idea?
    I’m an artist, but have a background in HSE and I am trying to fiuure what’s my best option for waste (toliet and black water) on a remote location that makes sense. Any ideas would be incredible.

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 12, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

      That sounds great Rod! I love the idea of repayment through use. Pocket doors can save space in terms of the door swing for interior doors; however, they require a thicker wall to accommodate the door sliding inside of it.That may or may not be worth the effort in the end. If you measure the overall thickness necessary for a sliding door (surface mount) versus a pocket door, you will have a better sense of the value. It may be a great option.

      In terms of waste. If you don’t have access to a waste station, then a composting toilet will be your best bet along with a home made grey water system. There are videos on line about how to make a grey water system and we strongly recommend the Separett Composting Toilet (see the video review on our site and on YouTube). I would suggest getting extra buckets with the toilet and simply composting in the buckets as it is the cleanest and most self contained way to manage the waste.

  103. Mila October 19, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

    Seeking all Canadian tiny home builders and enthusiasts! I am in the infancy of my project, and would love to touch base with my fellow Canucks!

    I’m on the West Coast, in Vancouver. I would love to take my tiny home on a tour of Canada and figure out where I might want to put my roots down; what I mean by that, is where do I want to buy a wee plot of land, to grow veggies on and call home while maintaining the ability to uproot on a whim.

    I LOVE this site, and am eagerly reading everything I can get my eyes on haha

  104. Helena October 24, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

    We are converting a garage into a grannie flat, but are having trouble finding small appliances for it.

    Do you have a list of places in Canada (Ontario) that I might contact for information.

    Space is, of course limited, so we need to work all the angles possible to fit all the necessities into flat.

    Thanks, I hope you are able to help us.

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 25, 2015 at 10:12 am #

      I would suggest looking for appliance specialty stores. Places like Home Depot, Lowes, and other big box stores don’t specialize in appliances and so will likely not carry what you need.

  105. Candice November 3, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

    I am in love with this way of living, with your design, although I have two boys so I will probably put a safety railing up on that secondary loft space so I keep my two boys alive an well 🙂
    I know everyone’s build will be different but I was curious how long it took for yours. I apologize if that has been asked 57 times already…
    Thank you so much for the inspiration to build myself too!!

    • Andrew
      Andrew November 4, 2015 at 8:41 am #

      Hi Candice. I believe it was about 4 months to build it from start to finish. I did all the work myself and Gabriella filmed the entire process (which took some time off of the build schedule). That said, I have been a professional builder for 20 years, so I had a head start. 🙂

  106. Taylor November 17, 2015 at 9:53 am #

    I love your design, by far the most “liveable” for me personally I have come across so far. I just have a few questions; I have access to some land so if I built a tiny home I would want it to be a more permanent arrangment vs. being built on a tralier. That being said, how would that change the design/pricing? Thank you so much for really making this seem like an achievable dream.

    • Andrew
      Andrew November 25, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

      I think that most people who want to live tiny should consider building on a foundation over a trailer as most don’t actually plan to move the house in reality. Anyway, that’s another conversation for another time. There would be a change in the design in terms of how the hOMe attaches to the foundation and the foundation design itself, but it would be relatively minimal. The cost would likely be about the same as buying a custom built trailer in the end, depending on concrete and labor costs in your area and how much excavation would be required.

  107. madison November 24, 2015 at 8:40 am #

    how much wood?

  108. connie December 28, 2015 at 7:29 am #

    Hi there,

    What are the options in Ontario once you have your tiny home? Where can you put it? I see nothing on this very important point?

    Looking forward to anyone who can help me. I work in Toronto so I am willing to travel up to an hour, I just have no idea what my options are…anyone have any advice or information?

    • Andrew
      Andrew December 28, 2015 at 8:44 pm #

      That is a challenge everywhere Connie. The answer is not straightforward either. In some locations, you can park it in an RV park, in others, as an ancillary unit behind a full size home, in others, it can be a stand alone on land, and so on. You really need to connect with people locally to see what your options are. I always recommend that people try for what they want most because the more we all do that, the more likely it is that we will see change in the current restrictions. We are currently working with our building and zoning departments here in Oregon to legalize our tiny hOMe. There are hoops to jump through, but it’s not terrible so far! 🙂

  109. Patrik March 12, 2016 at 9:39 pm #

    You are an inspiration, Andrew!

    I am in the planning stages, and I make a practice of being ACTIVELY and outwardly grateful. You have caused me to leave a comment when I otherwise might not, simply to tell you thank you for everything you do.

    Keep up the good and important work!

    Patrik Hendrickson
    San Francisco, CA

    P.S. I’ve purchased a couple of the items from your resource center, too, so thanks again for that!

    • Andrew
      Andrew March 15, 2016 at 11:16 am #

      Thanks for connecting Patrik! Wishing you success and joy. 🙂

  110. R March 26, 2016 at 10:31 pm #

    Hi Andrew –

    I am thinking of purchasing your plans (the full package) and either building this myself (as I have a year off from work coming up, with pay) or getting local builders to do so. The only thing I see that may be problematic is that we live in Australia, and a lot of the information I have read on your site appears to be for US/Canada. I wonder, can the plans (eg electrical system) be converted for Australian standards?

    R.

    • Andrew
      Andrew March 27, 2016 at 11:58 am #

      Thanks for your question. We do sell a set in metric, so that is a start. In terms of the other details, that is something that you could easily adjust on the plans yourself. For example, the electrical details are drawn to typical construction plan standards and simply show locations for outlets and fixtures. The details of the wire routes, etc. are determined by the installer. I don’t think you will have any issues (other than the issues all of us in the TH movement experience) using these plans in Australia. In fact, we have sold many sets there in the past. Hope that helps you decide. Cheers.

  111. Andrew May 6, 2016 at 7:55 pm #

    I am considering buying a customized tiny home as I simply don’t have time to build one myself. However there is one thing that is stopping me from doing so and that is the uncertainty of whether if it is a great idea to own one if you have a family. I have a wife and a child. We are hoping to have another kid in couple years. So, my question is: is it possible to live comfortably while providing them a space to call their bedroom while keeping the concept true (500sq ft but open up to 700sq ft). If it is possible, please tell me how…

    • Andrew
      Andrew May 9, 2016 at 3:55 pm #

      Hi Andrew. I think that is a question that each individual needs to answer for themselves. That said, I know of many people who are living tiny and have a family. Consider that “tiny living” from the US perspective is what pretty much the rest of the world does as their norm. It’s not as crazy as our large house owning American neighbors would have you believe. To me, it’s about finding the right “Human Scale” for your family. What size home is right will be something you will need to decide together. I suggest you start small and then add on if you need to at a later date. If you start too big, you will find ways to fill the space, whether you need to or not. Hope that is useful information.

  112. Yunfeng June 1, 2016 at 3:59 am #

    Hi,Andy, I am very interested in the DIY house and just bought issue40 as trial run. And keep on your excellent work. Well done!

  113. jaydip July 22, 2016 at 11:37 pm #

    respected sir.
    my self jaydip. i am student study in b.tech civil engineering in gujrat(India). i want to help for salter to provide tiny house in there area but problem is that the soil is full contain of salt , salty type soil so what can i do to choice proper material . i wait your ans sir.

  114. Sam August 15, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    Greetings from far Russia!
    I have a question on the use of bottom house in territories such as Russia, where very cold winters (-30 C).
    Maybe there is some kind configuration?
    Thank you!

    • Andrew
      Andrew August 16, 2016 at 1:58 pm #

      Hello Sam. I would suggest using SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) for your build to maximize on insulation value. You can stop any thermal bridging (heat loss through framing members) this way as well. Probably the best approach for your climate.

  115. Michael August 26, 2016 at 6:42 pm #

    Andrew…any advice for building one of these houses down in a hotter climate?

    I live down in Central Florida and instead of having the problem of keeping things warm in cold winters—-our winters are mostly cool and sometimes “cold” with the coldest temps going down in the low 20s–but that is only a relative handful of times each year.

    We have the issue of most of the year—like it has been this summer— most of the year it is very hot down here. So far this summer we not stand at having well over 40 consecutive days with highs well into the 90s (with the heat index being well over 100) and the lows only going down to the mid-70s at night. We will not break this heat until at least mid-October.

    We also have issues of little things like Hurricanes. Even though I am inland with the Gulf side being closer to me than the Atlantic side—the Gulf is about 30 or so miles off to my west, so—any suggestions as to constructing one of these houses in Hurricane country?

    We don’t get storm surge this far inland, but we do get the high winds and heavy rains when they do come through the area.

    Now–I as I am envisioning my plans—I will not be building my house on a trailer frame if I can do so per zoning rules. I plan to build a series of small, individual structures, over time, on a platform raised up on deep sunk pilings—with the final look being along the lines of “The Dogtrot” style, which was what the first white settlers did here, looking at what the Seminoles and other native peoples did.

    This falls under a style of architecture known down here as “Florida Cracker.”

    This is a manner of building structures that worked well down here for the times we have not only hurricanes, but just some very heavy rains, mixed with the fact that much of our land down here is basically reclaimed swamp land.

    Now–the area I am looking at buying a plot of land out in the countryside not far from where I currently own a house in a huge development. The land down here has long been used for agriculture, namely orange groves, cattle grazing or raising and training of horses.

    I want to build my house, using as much reclaimed and salvaged material as possible, that even though brand new and made as energy efficient as possible, looks like it was built in the time of the novel “The Yearling” by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. Her homestead is now a Florida State Park, just a little over an hour north of me.

    When it comes to the construction of Tiny Houses—there is little guidance for those of us down in places like Florida, away from temperate climate zones.

    Pretty much all the information I find, is for people building these houses in places like California, Oregon, Canada, Minnesota or Upstate New York.

    If you do know of any info about some modifications for those of us looking to do this in sub-topical or tropical areas?

    Also, what are your thoughts on insulation values for these areas to keep them cool. I am going to have central A/C, but will look into putting solar panels up on that top roof structure and use that energy to power A/C units.

    I do figure that by having an overarching roof structure above the roofs of each individual “module” that will eventually make up the “house” will help somewhat in keeping the separate units cooler.

    Thanks

    • Andrew
      Andrew September 5, 2016 at 11:09 am #

      Hi Michael. There are lots of folks building in Florida, both on and off of trailers. It is always easier to build on a foundation than a trailer. In terms of what you would need to do to make it safe for hurricanes, wind, and rain, that is all spelled out in the IRC code that is available to you on line. You can contact your local building department to find out what version they are currently using.

      In terms of insulation and cooling, there are options out there and you need to decide if it is more important to you to focus on insulation or environmental issues/indoor air quality. For example, you could use spray foam and get a high R value per inch but risk poor indoor air quality or you could lower your R value and go with a more natural material and less health risk. That’s a personal call.

      I would certainly suggest considering a mini split system as they are ductless, easy to install and operate and they provide both heating (for those few days you need it) and cooling.

      Andrew

  116. Sharon Parke September 25, 2016 at 9:05 am #

    I would like to build a tiny home beside my son’s home on a slab. I would use the water from his well and septic attached to his tank. Would you recommend heated floors. I’m 67 year old female living alone. Ontario is allowing secondary suites for family. Is there anyone in the Ottawa area who you would recommend to build this for me.
    As I’m living on a tight budget.I would finish inside by myself only require the outside, electrical and plumbing completed. i have some experience with dry walling and finishing. i would purchase kitchen and bathroom from Ikea.

    Thank you in advance

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 5, 2016 at 8:55 pm #

      Hi Sharon. Glad to hear of your plans! I don’t have anyone I can recommend in your area for the TH build. Sorry. Heated floors can work; however, if they are thermal mass floors, they will be heavy. You may want to stick with radiant panels for the floor. Good luck!

  117. Anala September 28, 2016 at 12:32 am #

    Hey Andrew, and Gabriella~! : )
    I met you out at the Tiny House Conference in Portland a couple of years ago.
    It’s always nice when someone exceeds your expectations or idea of who/how they are when you meet them in person . . . rather than the opposite! ; ]

    Question: wasn’t there a place somewhere on your site, where you detailed how much each thing cost you? Perhaps I’m mixing it up with another build, but somehow I’d thought you had done so.
    Anyhow, I’m specifically wondering how much your custom trailer cost you —
    As well as, trying to get a sense of how much more $ it might reasonably tend to be, to have a 10′ one custom built, rather than the 8.5′ standard.
    I’d be grateful to hear about anything you know / can share !
    Thank you,
    Be well ~ !
    ~Anala

    • Andrew
      Andrew October 5, 2016 at 8:40 pm #

      Hi Anala. Nice to hear from you. I don’t think we ever broke it down dollar for dollar. We put the total price out there, but I didn’t spend the time to write each line item down. To be honest, I can’t remember what we paid for the trailer. I will say that we managed to make some changes to it to make it less expensive but that it is still a big item price tag. Best of luck/success to you.

  118. Jalisa Brown November 3, 2016 at 1:02 pm #

    hey where are your classes and how much?

    • /bob November 4, 2016 at 5:31 am #

      Go to the top of this page and click on the menu bar item “Workshops” and you will be taken to a page with all the details you want to know about where, when, and how much for all currently scheduled and confirmed workshops offered. If it’s not listed on the right side of that page then it is not established or confirmed for place and time yet. 🙂

  119. Babu C.Daniel November 11, 2016 at 1:24 am #

    Dear Andrew, I am an Indian named Daniel, I have gone through your site and you are helping people to build their own small homes, It is a wonderful helping nature, God bless. In India I have build ed five homes, but materials we used here is different, we use concrete materials and make strong houses. Any way I want to tell you something, my son and family stays in Ontario,Canada, we are planning to buy a small home with back yard, or buy a piece of land and make myself a small home, I need your help and advice and friendship. If you reply me, do it on my email.

    God bless you
    B.C Daniels

  120. Corinne December 4, 2016 at 10:53 pm #

    Hello, again, Andrew and Gabriella!

    I am about to purchase a trailer and have a spot all designated for my build. However, the build site can only be accessed via my parents’ very steep driveway… Is there a max grade that would be feasible for hOMe to be towed down that you know of? Have you ever had issues, heard off issues, or could you foresee issues? That was a lot of “issues” 😉

    Thank you again for all of your help!

    • Andrew
      Andrew December 5, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

      Hi Corrine. Glad to hear you’re moving forward. How exciting!!! I don’t know of a specific grade where towing hOMe becomes an issue. I think that’s more about your comfort level with towing a large trailer. That said, hOMe, when complete, is pretty “big” and heavy, so you’ll want to take it very slowly. I think that as long as you go slowly, and have a level of comfort driving a trailer, you’ll be fine. Good luck and have fun!!!

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