How to Build a Tiny House

Learn how to build a tiny house with these step-by-step instructions — from clearing the building site to finishing up with trim.

January 2015

By the Editors of Skills Institute Press

Backyard Sheds and Tiny Houses Book Cover

How to Build a Tiny House Like a Pro

Good things do come in small packages — just ask internationally recognized small living expert, Jay Shafer. Ranging in size from 100 to 120 square feet, Jay Shafer's DIY Book of Backyard Sheds & Tiny Houses (Skills Institute Press LLC, 2013) features beautiful small houses can be used as guest cottages, art or writing studios, home offices, craft workshops, vacation retreats or a full-time residence. Whatever your building goal, this book will teach you how to plan and build your structure from the ground up. The following excerpts from the fourth chapter, "How to Build a Tiny House," walks you through each step of the decision-making and building process.

You can purchase this book from the GRIT store: Jay Shafer’s DIY Book of Backyard Sheds & Tiny Houses.

Cutting Down Tree from Building Site
Foundation on Poles
Masonry Piers
Building the Frame
Clearing the Building Site A Foundation on Poles Masonry Foundation Piers for Stronger Supports Building the Frame
Building the Walls of House
Laying Wood Floors
Erecting a Sloping Roof
Installing Trusses to Support Roof
Building the Walls Installing Wood Floors
Building the Roof
Trusses to Support the Roof
Applying Sheathing
Installing Siding
Instaling Window
Hanging the Door
Choosing and Installing Roofing Materials Choosing and Installing Siding Installing Windows How to Install a Door Jamb

Hanging the Door

Finishing Up With Trim

How to Hang a Door

Installing Trim Around the Door


Reprinted with permission from Jay Schafer's DIY Book of Backyard Sheds & Tiny Houses: Build Your Own Guest Cottage, Writing Studio, Home Office, Craft Workshop, or Personal Retreat by Jay Schafer and published by Skills Institute Press LLC and Four Lights Tiny House Company, 2013. Buy this book from our store: Jay Shafer’s DIY Book of Backyard Sheds & Tiny Houses.

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