Tiny House Resources

Excellent Websites

Tiny House Listings

Here you can post/view other listings of tiny houses for sale around the United States.

 

Tiny House Parking

Built a tiny house but not sure where to park it? Have land available and would like to rent it out to a tiny house? This website has a map of all the places tiny house parking is available, and also lists where people are looking for land to buy/rent. A great resource!

 

Local Tool Libraries

Want to build a tiny house but don’t have the tools needed? What better way than to use a tool library! Tool libraries are popping up all over the US, and this site provides a map so you can find one located near you. Tools available usually include hand tools, power tools, yard equipment, camping gear and more. Their inventory is always changing as they receive donations/purchase more tools, so if you don’t see the tool you need, check back later. An excellent resource!

 

Tiny House Swoon

Need some great ideas? Tiny House Swoon is a curated page full of user-submitted photos and stories. This page is a good resource for learning more about tiny houses and seeing what other people in the community are working on.

 

Freecycle 

Freecycle is an excellent resource where people offer free stuff they no longer need, or post stuff they’re looking for. We received a lot of free scrap wood for our tiny house build through Freecycle.

 

Exchange Tree

Exchange Tree is where members use goods, skills, and knowledge as currency to trade with other members. This is a GREAT resource for tiny house builders who are looking for work on their house. For example, maybe you’re a licensed electrician who needs help with plumbing. Perhaps you can find a plumber who needs your skills in return, and now you have a licensed electrician looking at your house essentially for free.

 

Tinyhouseblog.com

This site is run by Kent Griswold and is an excellent source of tiny house news. Not only does he produce Tiny House Magazine, but his newsletters provide an abundant amount of information on what’s happening in the tiny house world. He’ll post entries by other tiny housers about their experiences (one that I remember in particular was by a woman living in a tiny house boat that delivered pizza to fellow boaters), and but also builds of yurts, cob houses, and more. If you’re going to subscribe to any newsletter, I would recommend this one.

 

Books

Lloyd Kahn’s Books:

Home Work $22 paperback on Amazon.com

Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter ~$20 on Amazon.com

Tiny Homes on the Move ~$20 on Amazon.com

Shelter $23 on Amazon.com

Lloyd Kahn is an original. A home-builder by trade, Kahn has been building dwellings for over 50 years. However, Kahn has focused the majority of his career on alternative buildings made of just about anything under the sun: stones, cob, tree stumps, earthships, driftwood, lightweight concrete, straw-bales, geodesic domes, glass bottles, homes built on bikes, and much more. His numerous books chronicle the amazing stories and photographs from home builders across the world. Each book is treasure trove of great information and ideas, and each showcases simple and beautiful homes alike. Kahn’s books are a must read for any one with even a passing interest in tiny homes, but the real strength of his books are the stories of home builders with little-to-no experience who made their own homes with their own hands. Alternative and back-to-earth builders will find more than enough to keep themselves busy for years to come.

 

Tiny Home Design and Construction Guide 2nd Edition by Dan Louche

Ebook: $19.99

Paperback: $29.99

On of the few how-to-books for tiny homes on the market, Dan Louche’s book covers the basics in designing, framing, and building your own tiny home on wheels. Reviews of this book are overall positive and his second edition contains more content and illustrations than the last. The major advantage of this book is that it explicitly covers tiny homes on wheels, and contains professional advice that will prove more than useful in the long run.

 

The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams

~$11 Ebook (kindle format)

~$20 Hardcover from Amazon.com

When do-it-yourselfer Dee Williams was diagnosed with a terminal heart condition at 41 in the early 2000’s, she felt the weight of her life strike her like a ton of bricks. Life was too short to be worrying about work, mortgages, and possessions. Instead, craving family, friends, and freedom, she built one of the first portable tiny homes by herself in a friend’s driveway. This memoir is funny, sorrowful, heartfelt, and genuine down to the last page. Dee’s experience of discovering tiny homes is as much spiritual as it is practical, and I would recommend it for anyone seriously interested in tiny homes.

 

Go House Go by Dee Williams

$20 Ebook

Go House Go is a great resource for first time tiny home builders, and professional contractors alike. Dee owns her own company called Portland Alternative Designs (PAD), and while this book does specifically cover how to build houses like those offered at PAD, it takes a more generalized approach to building tiny homes on wheels, including discussions about physical stresses, tool selection, installation tips, and sound building advice for people with various levels of experience.

 

Cracking the Code by Ryan Mitchell

$15 Ebook

Zoning is still a major issue for tiny homes. ADU, RVIA, ASTM, IBC… What is all of that anyway? Ryan Mitchell sets out to explain the basic issues and techniques used to zone tiny homes, and how you can use this knowledge to find a place to legally park your house, find loans, get credit, and even get insurance. While legally tiny homes are still in a gray area, this book makes the legal landscape more easily navigable for do-it-yourselfers.

 

Shockingly Simple Electrical by Ryan Mitchell

$20 Ebook

This book covers basic electrical concepts like circuits, volts, watts and explains practices used by real electricians. While you should still consider at least talking to an electrician about your project, this book offers the basic techniques you need to wire your house. You can save a bit of money using this book if you want to wire your home yourself and have a professional look over (and sign off on) your work.

 

The Joy of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo

~$10 on Amazon.com

Japanese writer Marie Kondo is a professional tidy person. She owns a Tokyo-based consulting business designed to help her clients let go of their possessions and put their lives in order using a simple technique: if what you own sparks joy, you keep it. If not, there is simply no room for it in your life. Her book challenges its readers to seriously consider the objects we have in our lives: are our possessions enhancing our lives? How would our possessions feel knowing their owners stuff them away in a closet eight months out of the year? Would they be happier and better cared for elsewhere? An enjoyable read, an every-day exercise in mindfulness, and a packed with critical information for anyone considering living in a tiny home.

 

The Humanure Handbook by Joseph C. Jenkins

$18 paperback

There’s a reason you’ve heard a lot about those composting toilets that seemingly all tiny homers use. The reason is this book. Jenkins was just an ordinary Joe: he had a few kids, a wife, a garden, a home. That was until he started thinking about toilets. A little bit too much, probably. He was amazed to realize that people essentially do their business in drinking water, and how that polluted water is becoming a huge environmental strain on our oceans, our health, our landfills, and our economy. Curious, he started collecting information on what we could do to curb the problem. The result is a thoroughly researched, clever, funny, and shocking book about humanure that will make you feel uncomfortable using a flush toilet ever again. This book offers common sense practices for re-using and recycling our waste in responsible ways that will actually be more hygienic, safer and cleaner than using a septic system or a traditional flush toilet. Yes, I said cleaner, safer, and more hygienic than a flush toilet. Think about it.

 

Tiny House TV Shows

Tiny House Nation: Building experts John Weisbarth and Zach Giffin travel across the United States to design and build tiny homes for people from all walks of life. On FYI Network.

Review: The houses they build tend to be on the larger side of tiny, but they come up with some really creative storage solutions tailored to the individual’s lifestyles and needs. My favorite part of the show is the “two months later” scene at the end that updates the audience on how the home owners have been adjusting to their new home, and also what modifications they’ve made. It’s really telling to see what is useful for people and what is not. (For example, a table that is located in the back of the staircase and takes a few extra steps to access is not as easy to use as the kitchen table for laptop work.) We’ve used a lot of these tips in our own tiny house build.

 

Tiny House Hunters: (Not to be confused with Tiny House Hunting on FYI network.) Prospective tiny home seekers are given three homes to choose from based on their needs (large kitchen, modern/rustic feel, within their budget, etc.) They then select the home they wish to purchase. On HGTV Network.

Review: Like Tiny House Nation, the most interesting part is seeing how the people have adjusted to their new home and what modifications they have made. It’s also interesting to see different styles of tiny houses. However, the show considers a tiny house to be anything under 600sq. ft, rather than the normal 400sq ft., so this may not be the best show for people who prefer smaller houses. Overall it’s an interesting showcase of potential homes on the market right now.

 

Tiny House World: This show features tiny house buyers throughout the world who are looking to downsize their homes and find the perfect home to fit their needs. On FYI Network.

Review: This one is very similar to Tiny House Hunters, but instead focuses on tiny homes world-wide. It’s nice to witness the movement outside the United States and learn more about what tiny living means in other countries.

 

Tiny House Hunting: Not to be confused with Tiny House Hunters on HGTV, Tiny House Hunting is very similar in style in that it follows potential tiny house buyers who are looking for a tiny home to fit their lifestyles, families, and careers.

Review: See Tiny House Hunters. They are very similar, only this one is on the FYI Network.

 

Tiny House Builders: The host Derek “Deek” Diedricksen travels around the world to a diverse array of locations to build tiny homes out of reclaimed materials. He often incorporates the natural environment into his builds, making it one of the more earth-friendly shows. On HGTV Network.

Review: This show is original in that Deek builds tiny houses out of salvaged and repurposed materials. He also has a very fun and lively personality, which adds to the entertainment value of the show. It’s always interesting to see what he comes up with. He also has his own channel on YouTube (located here) where you can see more of his original creations.

 

YouTube Channels

Kristen Dirksen, Fair Companies: Kristen Dirksen travels around and films not only tiny houses, but small alternative dwellings. Her focus is more on self-sufficiency, simple living, DIY, and more. Her house tours and documentary-like exposés are very in depth and provide an excellent look into alternative living.

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/kirstendirksen/featured

 

Tiny House Giant Journey: In 2013 Guilliame and Jenna decided to quit their jobs in Los Angeles, build a tiny house, and travel across the United States with their new house in tow. Along their journey they stopped at tiny houses across the US and Canada and interviewed their owners/occupants. This is a great source of tiny house ideas, and to see what it is like to live in one.

You can find their YouTube Channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/tinyhousegj

And their website here: http://tinyhousegiantjourney.com/

 

Relax Shacks: Derek “Deek” Diedricksen is known for creating inventive tiny houses out of salvaged materials. He creates creative houses and offers money-saving tips by repurposing materials. He also hosts workshops on tiny house building. Additionally, he has a show on HGTV called “Tiny House Builders”.

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/relaxshacksDOTcom/featured

Website: www.relaxshacks.com

 

Dan Louche: Owner of the company Tiny Home Builders, Dan posts tours of his existing tiny homes, some simple how-to videos for tiny homes on trailers, and some promotion for his business for those interested in working with him.

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/000000Dan000000

Website: Tinyhomebuilders.com

 

Tiny House Listings: Part of TinyHouseListings.com and TinyHouseParking.com, this channel features different tiny home owners across the world giving tours of their tiny homes, both self-built and professionally built. This channel is great for the variety of homes it features, as well as the different methods involved in building them.

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/tinyhouselistings

Website: tinyhouselistings.com

 

Living Big in A Tiny House: This channel is very similar to Tiny House Listings in that it showcases different homes across the world, but the difference is the producers travel to peoples homes to interview the home owners and tour the home at the same time. There is also a short how-to series attached to this channel in some of their earlier videos.

 Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/livingbigtinyhouse

 

Founders of the Small/Tiny House Movement

Henry David Thoreau: in 1845 built a 150sq ft. cabin beside Walden pond for under $30.

Lloyd Kahn: A home builder devoted to building in line with basic, natural principles: a door, a few walls, a roof. His books chronicle simple home building techniques that fit the human scale, and are made out of simple resources and materials. His book Shelter is considered an inspiration to many home builders.

Lester Walker: One of the first users of the phrase “Tiny Homes” in reference to a type of house. Published Tiny Homes: Get Away From It All.

Sarah Susanka: An architect who published The Not So Big House in 1997. Her design principles emphasized smaller, more communal and less complicated living spaces. Her designs still reflect a return to simplicity and proper scaling to this day.

Jay Schafer: An architectural student by training, in his spare time Jay began doodling floor plans for the most efficient, smallest space he could imagine– something that could meet all of a person’s basic needs. This project actually started out as a way to waste time for Schafer, but in the end, he developed a set of plans for a 96 sq. foot house that he ended up building and living in for several years. He went on to found the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company with a few other like-minded people. Schafer later parted with Tumbleweed and founded Four Lights Tiny House Company in September 2012. Schafer has written a book called The Small House Book that delves into the housing crisis and attempts to explain the current affairs of home building in relation to tiny homes and McMansions.

Dee Williams: A west coast handy-woman and home-owner who was leading a fairly normal life in a fairly normal home until at age 41 she collapsed in the aisle of a grocery store from what later turned out to be a terminal heart condition. Shocked by the reality of her condition, Dee decided she needed to change her life’s priorities, and quick. After seeing Jay Schafer’s tiny home for the first time, she realized that building a tiny home was exactly what she wanted in her life. After meeting Jay, she set to work designing and building her own home in her neighbor’s driveway. Dee went on to speak extensively about the tiny home movement, in TED talks and books. She later founded Portland Alternative Dwellings with a few friends of hers, and now builds tiny homes for a living.

 

 

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