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Tiny House Building and Living: Living Large in a Small Space

| 5/5/2011 2:59:00 PM

Samantha BiggersThis summer I am going to work on this blog a lot more. I haven't posted in awhile because my camera conked out on me, and it is hard to do a very interesting blog without a few photos. It is also time to get everything planted on the farm.

Recently I discovered that there are a lot more folks than just us building and living in small houses. There is a website called This site is for anyone interested in the tiny house movement. When people say tiny house that generally means anything under 800 sq ft.

I feel the need to write a blog explaining what we have learned on our journey building our own house. One thing I noticed is that it pays to build the darn thing yourself. Some companies are taking advantage of the tiny house movement. I have seen some prebuilt tiny houses on wheels that cost more than my 600 sq. ft. house will by the time it is finished. By the time it is finished and furnished we anticipate having about $45,000 in it maximum. For this price we able to have the following features when the house is done: 

  1. Oak floors throughout

  2. A 160 sq ft sun room with nice double pane windows

  3. A $1,000 shower

  4. River Rock Facade Underpinning

  5. A fully up to code 1,000 gallon septic system

  6. Solar hot water and lights

  7. 45 year metal roof

  8. Concrete Siding

  9. 2 x 6 walls with R-19 insulation

  10. Calico Hickory Cabinets and Bookshelves throughout

  11. 1/2” tongue and groove Pine plank walls and ceilings throughout

  12. A full water system. We were lucky and there was a well we could hook into without drilling our own

Compare that to $50,000 for 89 square feet for a Tanglewood tiny home. To be fair the price is roughly $20,000 if you buy the kit from them. To me this seems outrageous and discourages people from joining the tiny house movement. If you have that kind of money and still want a tiny house but don't want to do it yourself. I am sure that there are carpenters in this economy that will do it for for a lot less and you will be giving a local person a job.

So how did we do it?

We lived in a 1978 Holiday Rambler for almost 2 years while we got our house to the point it is at now. If I had it to do over again we would have built a nice 12' x 12' building to live in while we built the house. The RV thing can be a bit rough if you are like us and buy one that nothing works in except the gas oven. Oh well, live and learn. We made it through it and are well on our way to completing our house. We wore a lot of clothes in the winter and dealt with a lot of dampness in the winter. At the time we had no truck so I got to carry laundry about ½ mile round trip. We carried our water about 300 feet in Jerry cans. At the same time we began to get more livestock and got married during all this. For my wedding present I got Linda Lou, our first Dexter cow.

Samantha Biggers_1
6/13/2011 1:39:53 PM

I am so sorry I have not got a floor plan put up. I need to draw one out. I will post it on the blog as soon as I get it done. I wish there was a feature that let you know when someone comments on the blog!

5/18/2011 7:57:22 PM

Samantha, you're certainly right about not paying too much for your house plans. I was inexperienced, and got rooked out of quite a lot of money, because I paid almost $1,000.00 to Jay Schafer's Tumbleweed Tiny Houses for the Lusby model. When I recieved the plans, I was startled to find how simplistic they were-I expected a LOT more instructions for that much money! When I took the plans to a professional architect, he said they were only worth about $150.00. EXPENSIVE LESSON--- Buyer Beware!!

5/18/2011 1:24:03 PM

Samantha, I would love to see your floor plan. Could you possible share that? Thanks.

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