Stunning Self Built Tiny House On Wheels

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The newly completed, beautiful, and self built Ferris tiny house!

It’s my pleasure to introduce you all to Daniel Ferris. He emailed us a few weeks ago to share the great news that they have completed their tiny house build and in the process we realized we live in neighboring towns! Since that email, we have actually had the chance to meet in person (we both went to the last Tiny House MeetUp group here in the Rogue Valley). We are thrilled to have another tiny house family down in our parts.

Daniel and his wife Holly are amazing role models for the tiny house movement: once they decided to go tiny, they worked tirelessly to make their dream a reality. They really wanted to raise their daughter in a tiny house and to have a minimalistic lifestyle so that they can have the resources to do the things that they want to do (and not get stuck in the hamster wheel). Hope you enjoy their story and find it as inspiring as we did!

Please introduce yourselves

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Ev in her tiny house bedroom

My name is Daniel Ferris and my wife’s name is Holly Ferris. Our lovely daughter’s name is Evolet Ferris. Holly and I are both graduates from Brigham Young University — Idaho and currently reside in Medford, Oregon. Evy is majoring in destruction and laughter. I have a background in health science and biology and Holly has a background in fine art illustration. So all design aspects of the build went to her while I let her know what was and wasn’t possible from a construction standpoint. We are 33 years old and our daughter is a little over 2 and a half.

How did they idea of tiny house living come about for you guys?

The idea was born out of a desire to become financially fit. Or to say, self reliant more than anything.

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This is a truly practical and comfortable living room

My biggest desire has always to been to give Holly the option to follow her desires and not have to do a job outside of the home if she didn’t want to. For a while prior to having our daughter grace us with her presence, Holly focused on her art and illustration. Doing fine art work for galleries and illustrations for magazines. We started to focus on finding an agent but that was put on hold as Evy came about. I guess we are fairly traditional. We both agreed we were not overly thrilled with the idea of day care and wanted Holly to do the most difficult job known to mankind: become a HOME MAKER! Well to do this  meant me being the sole income provider for the family.

I do not make a large amount of money but we do make enough to meet our needs. Well the issue came about as we rented our first house. Not an apartment but a house. We wanted to prepare to buy a house and do the traditional 30 year loan deal. Realization dawned on us at that time. This was NOT for us. We absolutely did not want to spend over a third of our lives paying off a place and never having any extra income to do anything else with our lives.

We contemplated and tried all sorts of ideas on paper, but nothing really popped out to us or sounded all that appealing. Holly came across the tiny house movement and started researching. She told me about it but I dismissed it fairly quickly and didn’t think a second more of it. As it so happened she came across your website and video tour. That was the video that changed my thinking. Ideas started to flood into both of our minds of where to go what to do, what was possible, etc. A door had been opened and we decided to take a peek.

Why did you decide to build it yourself? Did you consider hiring it out?

They have a full sized kitchen in their tiny house too

Full sized kitchen

The building process was an easy decision for me. I knew it would be difficult and a long process as I didn’t have 100% of my time to devote to it. But I am not one to just shy away from something just because I am not an expert. I grew up around tools and did a plethora of different jobs that were all related to construction.

I am a DIY fan and believe more people need to just jump in and do it. There are a few things I had to hire out, ( i.e. the electric rough in, some plumbing and the flash hot water heater) but I was there the entire time they were, learning and helping. Or pestering some times I guess. Oh and the HVAC system for the mini split. I did everything else.

You have a 2 year old daughter. Do you have any advice for others that want to live tiny with young ones?

We havent been in the house long. In fact it has only been a few days now, but it feels like home. I was worried that I would feel cramped, and concerned that our daughter would have a hard time adjusting, but other than feeling like she is a little more clingy than normal, it has gone very smoothly. She loves her new room. Even though its small she is having a great time with it. Time will only tell how things go as we grow up in the home but living with a toddler in a tiny house is 100% doable.

What was the build process like for you guys?

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Can you believe this is a tiny house bathroom??

The build process has been a long one. One year almost on the dot to be exact. I had my father available to help with some of the heavy lifting and Holly has been a trooper coming out almost every day during Ev’s nap and working with me or doing side projects to get things ready. It has been a labor of love and sacrifice. But one year of sacrifice for the two of us has been well worth it. One thing that also helped during this build is the experience from all the random jobs I had growing up. I helped roof my parents’ home, I helped wire my brother’s house, I put in tile floors, I cleaned new houses and apartments for my father in law, I worked on repairing decks and refinishing them, I helped my brother in law build his house from scratch, and on and on. There was never any formal training but I gleaned information as I grew up and for the things I didn’t know I was able to learn from Andrew’s videos and you tube.

How did you balance your time with building, work, and being a family?

Balancing time has been the most difficult this year. I wanted to go play with Ev, take her to the park, go to kids’ time, etc. but Holly was the one who took the driver’s seat on that to give me the time I needed to work. That has been the hardest sacrifice in my opinion. The loss of sleep, bloody fingers, crushed toes etc. wasn’t that big of a deal. That is just a part of construction.

What was the best part of your build?

View from the living room

View from the living room

The building process is funny. It goes through stages if you build it yourself. You will get excited about a phase and will go full steam ahead and then as you near the end of it you just can’t wait to finish it, and you start thinking how exciting it will be to move on to the next step. So your desire to finish dwindles as you near the end of it and you find your productivity wanes. You then subsequently do the same thing over and over again. Well at least that is my personality when it comes to building. For the projects that were short lived though it was a breeze. I could power through them and it was very rewarding to see it finish so quickly.

Where is your tiny house parked now?

Years ago my parents put in an RV pad for my grandparents back when they thought they would travel a lot so there was this nice RV pad in the back just waiting for someone to utilize it. At first we were going to build off-site someplace but my father and mother offered and it couldn’t have worked out any better. They have probably wanted to kill us a few times over this past year but it has been a blessing to have access to all of the tools right there on site.

What are the dimensions of your tiny house?

It’s 28′ long x 102″ wide. We are over width on the trailer but I am not worried about it. We don’t plan on moving it very often and I am a freight broker so I can grab someone to come in and tow it and I will pay for the permits and movement cost. If we had planned to move it frequently I would have narrowed it down to the legal width.

Do you have any advice to people wanting to make the move to tiny but don’t know where to begin?

Holly working at home

Holly working at home

Making the move to tiny was an easy adjustment for Holly and I. What worked for us may not work for you but here are some ideas: Make a list of what dreams you have, what excites you and then make a list of what the hurdles might be that get in the way or reaching those dreams. Start with the first hurdle whatever it may be and then move to the next. Our first hurdle was finances. We approached that one from several different angles. We made calls, got rejected in some areas, but finally wrote up contracts etc. That was a tough one. From there we moved on to deciding whether to buy a pre-fab trailer or to have one custom made. And on and on. My advise comes from Nike’s slogan: “Just do it”. Stop dreaming about it, stop hoping something will present itself, stop wishing a miracle will happen and just do it. You will find miracles present themselves as you move forward. Its like driving in the fog. You can only see so far ahead of you but every inch you move forward, more road will present itself in front of you.

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A picture of the castle Holly grew up in

Thank you again Daniel for being so willing to share your beautiful home with us! One thing I simply HAVE to add to this story is that Holly grew up in a castle. And when I say castle, I mean CASTLE. Her family thinks it’s a bit strange that she has chosen to live in a tiny house but they are fully supportive.

What about you? What has your own tiny house build been like? What obstacles keep you from achieving your tiny house dreams? What interesting place did you grow up in?

We would love to hear your story in the comments below!

 

Below is a slideshow of the Ferris tiny house

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63 Responses to Stunning Self Built Tiny House On Wheels

  1. Deanna December 16, 2015 at 5:10 pm #

    Love this! Will they share or sell these plans?!!!

    • Daniel Ferris December 17, 2015 at 5:43 am #

      Well the plans aren’t drawn out on a computer unfortunately. My wife and i did the good old fashion draw it out on drafting paper, erase, cut out, tape, replace again and re-draw till we figured out exactly what we wanted;) So there are not any specific plans for this build. Maybe down the road if there is enough interest I can collaborate with the Andrew and Gabriella and we can put some official plans together.

      • Shawna December 17, 2015 at 3:46 pm #

        Hi! You both have done an amazing job! I too live in Medford and am 33yo! I am currently saving for a tiny house while living with my mom :/ I have two amazing children: Colton 7, and Sophia is 2! Colton is beyond excited to contribute ideas and to actually help build our tiny house. I love that this will bring us closer together as a family… Literally haha! When is the next tiny meeting for the Rogue Valley? I would LOVE to meet other enthusiatists in the area to gather ideas, suggestions, advice and most important SUPPORT!

      • Daniel Ferris December 18, 2015 at 10:17 am #

        Also we used the Morrison’s plans and then altered them to fit our needs. We found their plans and their DVD VERY helpful in the planning process.

      • Deanna December 24, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

        I would definitely be interested in these plans before summer 2016 as I will be buying the trailer this spring. Even a snapshot of your drawing would help. Tell your wife she can pick out anything from my jewelry boutique at http://www.deannacharles.com for free in exchange for an emailed high quality photo of your design that includes measurements. Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful home!

      • Che Vaughters December 31, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

        I absolutely love the design of your tiny house! I would be very very interested in the plans of your tiny house as well. If it isn’t too much trouble would there be a way where could purchase the design as soon as possible. I definitely think you have enough interest in these designs. Lol With the help of Andrew and Gabriella I think it is worth everyone’s interest. I am very anxious about getting started as soon as possible. Thank you so much and I love your tiny house so much!

        • Daniel Ferris December 31, 2015 at 5:25 pm #

          Thank you! 🙂 we are loving it. Feels perfect for our family. My sister can do drafting but I have to put together a bunch of measurements first for her to draw up any plans. Then we will have to revise and make sure everything looks right, then revise probably a couple more times till we feel it is worth putting out to the public. The plan is to do it, but it might take some time to complete. Doesn’t make it any easier that she is in Idaho either, so that slows the process down also. For now the best bet for anyone who is wanting to draw up anything similar I would recommend buying the Morrison’s plans and DVD set then adjusting them to what your needs and wants are. This is what we did prior to our build. Their plans are very comprehensive and worth the money. Let me know if you have any questions:) Thank you!

          • Che Vaughters January 1, 2016 at 9:19 am #

            I was planning on buying the Morrison’s plans very soon just to have the overall layout of the plans but I did like how you tweaked yours and had a few questions if you don’t mind me asking. Would it be possible if we emailed each other?

      • Donna Jaster April 7, 2016 at 9:40 am #

        Good clean lines! Nice, Nice! would like the plans : )

      • April Smith January 19, 2017 at 6:33 am #

        Hi Daniel! I’d love to see a rough sorts of the floor plan for your THOW. I’m trying to sketch mine out right now and finding a larger home to take ideas from is tough! We have a three year old and would love to have another child as well, so there are a ton of features here that are great for us!

  2. Charles & Crystal December 16, 2015 at 5:28 pm #

    Looks Amazing! We happened to see this home from the street one day and stopped in as they were working on the build. It turned out beautiful. Me being a 6’4″ guy i was surprised by the head room in the kitchen. Would love to stop by and see them again now that its complete.

    • Charles & Crystal December 16, 2015 at 5:41 pm #

      Question, where can we get more info on this tiny house meet u group in southern Oregon you spoke of in this article?

    • Daniel Ferris December 17, 2015 at 5:56 am #

      Well its not a 100% done, but it is very livable. I have a fair amount of touch up and trim work to do but we might be able to accommodate a tour down the road. I will try and make the next tiny house meeting, so we might be able to meet up there and work a date and time out.

  3. Lola December 16, 2015 at 9:52 pm #

    Looks great. Love the bathtub, what the dimensions and who is the manufacturer?

    • Daniel Ferris December 17, 2015 at 5:44 am #

      its from signature hardware. Great resource for a lot of stuff. Great prices there to. Its a 51″ long tub.

      • Tan June 18, 2017 at 8:05 am #

        Hi Daniel!

        Love the tub also! What material is it made of? Great job on the layout!

  4. Scott December 17, 2015 at 4:12 am #

    Love that house! Any more pics or floor plan?

    • Daniel Ferris December 17, 2015 at 5:50 am #

      I think Holly and I will take a video here soon of the place and get that up for people to see. I still have a lot of small finish work to do though, so i want to finish up a few things like the base boards touch up paint etc. before I do it.

    • Daniel Ferris December 17, 2015 at 5:53 am #

      As for the floor plan, we might try and put something together digitally down the road, but I did not have the professionally drawn up. As stated up above we did it the old fashioned way with drafting paper. We utilized the plans from Andrew and Gabriella and then revised from there to fit our needs, making sure to keep the structural integrity in the process.

      • Ang December 17, 2015 at 8:22 am #

        I happen to know someone who can help you draw up the plans… 😉 Looks like you have some interest. So awesome! So proud of you both!

  5. Ang December 17, 2015 at 8:23 am #

    Did you get a washer/dryer in there?

    • Daniel Ferris December 17, 2015 at 10:18 am #

      we do have a spot for it in the bathroom and plumbed for it in the corner just to the right of the tub or under the stairs there. We just haven’t put it in yet as we don’t have the money to purchase it yet. We spent every penny we had. But long story short yes there will eventually be one in the bathroom.

  6. Kori December 17, 2015 at 9:25 am #

    How inspiring! I get an error about half way though the photos: “Image not found: https://tinyhousebuild.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/House_14.jpg.” Thank you!

  7. Eva-Maria December 17, 2015 at 11:25 am #

    First, Thank you for sharing your story Daniel! Second, a big thank you to Gabriella and Andrew. I absolutely love tinyhousebuild.com! The stories that are shared here continue to inspire me as I continue my personal journey towards tiny living. I wanted to reach out and share my interest for design plans as well! I have recently moved back to the Portland Metro area from Denver, Co. I had the amazing opportunity this year, while living in the Denver area, to go to the Tiny House Jamboree! Does anyone know if there is a “tiny house ” group meeting in the Portland, Or Metro area? Daniel, Is there a youtube video of your tiny house? Much Appreciation again for sharing! Happy Holidays!

    • Daniel Ferris December 17, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

      no video as of yet. I have been holding off till I finish some odd and end things like the bead board under the stairs, the base trim and touch up paint etc. There will for sure be a video though down the road. Once we have it done i’ll post it and let everyone know.

  8. Joseph December 17, 2015 at 1:50 pm #

    Hi Ferris Family,

    Very nice build! Looks like a PRO built it,really!

    So what is the legal limit on the width? 8′?

    Thanx Guys for sharing.

    Joseph.

    • /bob December 17, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

      Most states where I’ve read it the max legal width to tow without special wide load permit is 8 ft 6 in., or 102 inches. That would be for the entire width including anything that hangs out beyond the walls… like any roof overhang or vents or door knobs or trim, etc.

      • Daniel Ferris December 17, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

        that is correct. legal width in all states is 102″ so if you are even an inch over you will need to buy permits. Typically if you factor in around 65$ per state that is a safe bet to cover the costs. If you go to wide depending on the state you will need an escort. They generally charge around 2$/mile but most people don’t build that wide, so you shouldn’t need to worry about it. Our house with the overhang of the roof line is probably around 10′ wide or so. Nothing to crazy. I have plenty of contacts being a freight broker that I can contact to move when we are ready so i was not overly worried about building a little over width.

        oh and thank you. I put a lot of effort into it. There are plenty of mistakes that I know of and I am sure a professional builder would find them without taking to much time, but I don’t mind.

  9. clayton December 18, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

    may I ask what you have invested in the home at this point without hours of building, just cost? I am dreaming big of this right now. Also where did you get your trailer? thank you

    • Daniel Ferris December 18, 2015 at 6:10 pm #

      about 50k. I am not the best at tracking, but that is a good ball park figure. The trailer was custom built by Levi in Grants Pass, Oregon. He did a great job. http://ltcustom-metals.com/contact.html here is a link to his website.

  10. Kim W. December 21, 2015 at 9:36 pm #

    Really enjoyed all the photos of your tiny house– looks like you did a terrific job drawing up your own plans and executing it all so nicely. I did want to mention to you, as you do some of your interior finish work–your white interior door is installed upside down (the wider rail is normally the footrail, the narrower is the top rail). I only notice because we used to have a custom door business, and have built a lot of doors. I am really impressed that you got so much accomplished in just one year.

    • Daniel Ferris December 28, 2015 at 5:45 am #

      You know I never even noticed that till you pointed it out! 🙂 lol. Cant flip it now with the holes in the door, so I will just have to live with it.

  11. alicia December 22, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    Woohoo! Great job. This looks amazing! The idea of building a tiny house is so intimidating to me. But I am fascinated by the idea and the pics look so gorgeous. Great to see this family is settling in to their new small space.

    So inspiring!

  12. amanda December 23, 2015 at 6:02 am #

    Wow! By far my favorite tiny home design/ layout I have found. I think because of the bathtub and the stairs! I have been looking for a plan for almost a year now. I really hope you sale these plans that would just be amazing. Do you have a blog or website ?

    • Daniel Ferris December 28, 2015 at 5:48 am #

      No blog or website. We do plan on doing a video of the place down the road, and we are looking at possibly drawing up official plans, but we haven’t put anything in the works yet.

  13. Alup Siutan December 24, 2015 at 10:08 am #

    Very eye-catching design! What did you use for the finished walls inside? Also, do you know what the aprox. weight is? Looks heavy! Great job Ferris family!

    • Daniel Ferris December 28, 2015 at 5:58 am #

      We actually did 1/2″ dry wall for the interior walls. We like a balance of wood and modern materials to help give a modern feel to the old refinished pieces we put in. Many are afraid to do dry wall due to the possibility of cracking when you move the house, but cracks are a breeze to repair. If you move frequently though, I wouldn’t recommend it. As for the weight. We haven’t taken it across the scales yet, but I am thinking we are around 14-15k lbs. Its got some weight to it. Again we dont plan on moving it frequently.

  14. Che Vaughters January 10, 2016 at 12:26 pm #

    I have another question for you if you don’t mind. What kind of changes did you make compared to the Morrison’s design? From the looks of the pictures did you change the kitchen to the opposite side and have the bathroom the larger space in your design? Also, what is the type of roof that you have chosen to used instead of the shed type roof?
    Thank you for your time.

    • Daniel Ferris January 11, 2016 at 5:50 am #

      Changes… A fair amount. The door is in a different location, we made the second loft come out 8′ instead of (I believe the plans call for 4-5′) 5′. We also have the stairs going up in a different location. There is a fair amount we changed in order to make it work for our needs. But that is what tiny house building is about. Everything is custom. You have to utilize every square inch you can. Oh and yes the kitchen is reversed and slightly different as well. We did a standard gable style roof in place of the shed roof. Its a very shallow pitch though, basically a dormer style all the way across. This gave us the head room where we wanted it. Really what we did was we took the plans that we purchased from the Morrisons and drew them out and started to cut sections out with an exacto blade and moved things around, re-drew the plans once we had a new idea etc. It took a while. In fact we took the time while the trailer was being manufactured to hammer out the plans each night. The beauty of buying the plans from the Morrison’s was it gave us a solid starting point to work from and a safe layout that I knew was secure.

  15. Lindsey January 23, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

    Hello, I was wondering about how much did you guys spend to build the house. It looks amazing.

  16. Skee February 3, 2016 at 6:39 pm #

    Great Job. The one thing that we were concerned about is we did not want it to look (No offence to anyone) Hippyish. You gave us some wonderful ideas. How long is it? Thank you for sharing.

    • Daniel Ferris February 5, 2016 at 5:37 am #

      Thank you. It is built on a 28′ long trailer.

  17. Barbara February 4, 2016 at 7:24 am #

    I LOVE your beautiful home! Congratulations on a job well done. Where did you find your wall plate storage? It fits so beautiful into the décor of your home.

    Barb

    • Daniel Ferris February 5, 2016 at 5:35 am #

      Oh well thank you. we bought the metal part from World Market if I remember right. We made the would pieces.

  18. John C February 9, 2016 at 4:05 pm #

    This story says the house is 102″ wide (under: What are the dimensions of your tiny house?”), but I believe your house is actually 10′ – 6″ wide, correct? Love the house 🙂

  19. J'nette February 24, 2016 at 4:54 am #

    Great Job. Great reasoning for doing it! The bigger the home the more stuff we own and tend to forget it is the relationships and good memory’s we should fill the home with.
    From an old hippy who owns a park trailer who scares her children to death with it!!

  20. Wendy February 24, 2016 at 10:38 am #

    Great job! Is the toilet a compost or a traditional type?

  21. Amanda April 25, 2016 at 3:55 am #

    I live in the Rogue Valley as well and am working on plans to build. Do you have any tips on finding a build site in this area? Currently we live in an apartment and cannot build here. Your place is beautiful.

    • Daniel Ferris May 18, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

      Hi Amanda- Not really sure what you could do- maybe contact some different construction businesses to see if you could rent out some tools/and a location from them? That is definitely a hard obstacle to work through.

  22. Paul May 2, 2016 at 11:06 pm #

    Wish you posted a picture of the exterior of the house but great job on the build

    • /bob May 3, 2016 at 5:22 am #

      The very first photo at the top of the blog is the exterior of the tiny house.

  23. Catalina May 3, 2016 at 8:52 pm #

    You’re home is just stunning! Was wondering what the size of your long beautiful windows are?

  24. Daniel Ferris May 18, 2016 at 2:43 pm #

    Thanks! The windows are 5′ by 2′

  25. Mickey Bales May 26, 2016 at 9:38 am #

    Great job. My husband and I was honking about a tiny house but didn’t know if it would be suitable for seniors. I’m 69 and my husband is 70. We want to move closer to Medford to be close to hospital and Drs. Do you think a tiny house would sensible for us to do. Like the fact it can be moved if need be.

    • Cassandra Poulin June 21, 2016 at 8:16 am #

      If you don’t have a lot of stuff (or are willing to let go of a lot of stuff) and build one without a loft, and have a place near the doctors to put it, then I think it’s a great idea!

  26. Mickey Bales May 26, 2016 at 9:58 am #

    Guess I should proof read before sending lol

  27. Viv June 11, 2016 at 5:14 pm #

    Any laundry facilities?

  28. Cassandra Poulin June 21, 2016 at 8:14 am #

    Hello! I’m very curious as to how you physically built a 10 foot house on an 8.5 foot trailer. I want to do the same thing. It sounds like you just built a floor that is 10′ wide, and put it down on top of a 8.5′ trailer, leaving about 8″ of overhang on each side. Is that correct? Did you have to do anything else, structurally, to ensure that it was safe and structurally sound? I have nearly zero construction experience, but I want to build my own tiny house, (about 10′ wide) on an 8.5′ trailer, and I’m just not sure how to do so, physically.

    Thank you for any insight!

  29. Shelley August 6, 2016 at 8:46 am #

    Gorgeous…love that you invested in upscale finishes, fixtures …. Well, everything! Would you mind adding a pic of the floor plan?

  30. Amanda August 14, 2016 at 6:42 am #

    Hello –
    Can you please tell me where you found the wire hanging dish rack?
    Thank you much!

  31. Addie September 1, 2016 at 7:33 pm #

    Self-built?! How did this tiny house build itself? Amazing! 😀

  32. Angela May 25, 2017 at 5:19 pm #

    Your home is beautiful! Could you tell me where you purchased the hanging plate racks? Thank you!

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