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New Pictures: Jason’s 800 Sq. Ft. Gambrel Roof Small Home

This is Jason’s 800 sq. ft. Gambrel Roof Small Home. Per your request, he sent us tons of new photos of his DIY small home that you can see below. I’ll let him tell you his story below. Enjoy!

Enjoy the pictures from construction to completion, and get a list of “highlights” and build cost at the end!

Related: Charlie’s DIY Wicked Tiny House

Jason’s 800 Sq. Ft. Gambrel Roof Small Home

Images via Jason

Best place to start: The foundation (and framing!)

Getting insulated inside. Look at all the space from the roof!

Drywall is up. Getting closer to “home.”

Light fixtures, bathroom, some appliances: Getting closer.

It’s done! Gorgeous modern home with all you could want.

Nice safety railings everywhere when dealing with the loft.

Front door leads you into the grand main room.

Living room has space for a comfortable couch!

Bathroom and kitchen are side-by-side, but don’t share germs.

Perfect spot for your TV and other entertainment.

Nice secondary loft for display and for storage.

Here’s a closer-up view of the space.

Tons of cabinets that utilize all the ceiling height.

Looking out from the kitchen to the main living area.

Super deep sink! Large refrigerator which is cool.

Lovely kitchen with modern and full-sized appliances.

Back bedroom includes a large closet and laundry space.

Add a bed over here for guests (or make it an office/yoga room/whatever you want).

Extra storage loft for guitars and seating in the bedroom.

The loft is extremely spacious. Tons of room.

Hard to feel cramped in this awesome space.

No need to duck! This is a second story more than a loft.

Super sleek bathroom. White tiling looks sharp and clean.

Awesome, large shower stall.

A home with a view! Love seeing the sun set. (Or is it rising?)

Images via Jason

Jason’s Story

Renting in Nashville is terrible and I had a dream of finding land and building my own house. I didn’t need anything large, but being 6’4″ couldn’t fit into a “tiny” space. Also, a smaller building equals a lower mortgage.

I decided on a home with a Gambrel “Barn shaped” roof. The change in pitch maximizes your ceiling height and width of the usable space. Originally, I decided to order a storage barn kit, but after researching determined that you cannot live in a Storage building in Tennessee.

So I decided to use the kit as a basis for building my home on a foundation…2×6 trusses and 2×4 walls on 16′ centers, meant my home meets all building codes and permitting was a breeze!

I did most of the work myself and all of the finishes. I decided to pay for the foundation, block, framing and drywall. But I did everything else, including HVAC and electrical! When you are the homeowner and builder you can save so much by tackling these things yourself.

My goal was financial freedom. I want to be able to cash flow future projects and now I can. There is no need to build a large home to start. Instead plan things out and you can build a small home then cash flow an addition. I made sure my “addition wall” is free of all pipes and wires, is near the electrical panel and lines up for easy addition to the HVAC main trunk line. This will greatly reduce the cost of adding on and when you factor in the interest savings by not needing a construction loan. Wow! It really adds up!

Tiny is the correct way, but don’t limit yourself to only thinking about an 8ft wide horse trailer. Build a small home and plan to add onto it as needed! That’s my way, for what it’s worth.

Related: Barn THOW with a Rooftop Deck

Highlights:

  • 800 sq. ft. total. 16×36 footprint
  • 16×20 living room with 16 foot ceilings
  • IKEA Kitchen
  • Full tile shower and bath
  • Wood Laminate flooring on the first floor and birch plywood flooring in the lofts
  • 16×16 loft
  • 4×16 music loft
  • Spare bedroom with large closet and laundry
  • Custom staircase and railings
  • Sits on 2 acres with a 20 minute drive to downtown Nashville, TN
  • $65k in total construction cost with a 10 month build while working full time

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributing writer for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She is a coffee-loving wannabe homesteader who dreams of becoming self-sufficient in her own tiny home someday. Natalie currently resides in a tiny apartment with her husband, Casey, in Massachusetts.
{ 57 comments… add one }
  • Lisa June 14, 2017, 2:41 pm

    well done! Lovely, a good conservative alternative to the extreme living in some tiny homes. I could never understand the whole thow thing unless you are sure you want to drag your house all over the country. Homes like yours are the best idea yet!

  • suzanne joffe June 14, 2017, 3:29 pm

    gee, i find this space incredibly claustrophobic. i love the extra room with the roof, but no windows? why?

    • Jason June 14, 2017, 3:47 pm

      Hey Suzanne,

      I hear you about the windows. I put in a total of 6 for my home. Price was a concern, but also utilities. The living room has four windows (2 on each side) plus the one up front that lets light into the very top of the ceiling. Back bedroom has a window per codes.

      Claustrophobic is not the case here- 16 foot tall ceilings are what I call expansive. But I will admit that my camera phone isn’t the best for showing it off… but just didn’t want to pay for a professional to bring in their wide angle lenses and photoshop tools. This home is all me, even down to the basic cell phone pictures.

      No window by the front door, because that’s where my Big screen goes. Can’t watch the game while staring into the setting sun.

      My other big consideration is that I plan to add on to my home. Really this is just the start of a much larger home that I see completed in the next 5-7 years.

      Happy to answer any questions!

      • Whitney June 14, 2017, 9:54 pm

        Jason,
        I absolutely love it! Every time I try to explain to my friends that I want a sightly larger “tiny home” they don’t get it. You get it. Granted, I’m a foot shorter than you, but I still wanted that extra head space.
        I love the finishes. Haven’t seen a home like that in Ga yet.

      • suzanne joffe June 20, 2017, 9:24 pm

        WOW, what a difference!! It’s awesome. Great job Jason.

      • Denise July 11, 2017, 10:33 am

        Hi Jason,

        I think what Suzanne was referring to was the lack of a window in the upper loft bedroom. It does make that space a bit claustrophobic from the pictures as it gives off a bit of a cave feeling. It is also a safety concern. In case of fire, and you are woken from sleep, there is no exit point and you are trapped up there. You can really see the darkness at the framing stage when you had to bring in power to the build as the insulation was put in. I was scratching my head looking at it thinking “It doesn’t look like he is putting a window up in there.” 🙁 Hmm… I know for sleeping, the darkness is conducive to sleep, but with no ventilation and heat rising, I myself would get a bit stuffy. But to each his own. One thing I really do like is the plywood section flooring. That is a great idea and looks really nice. What kind of finish did you use on it?

        The build downstairs is very spacious and the window placement makes it feel big, at least from the pictures. It does feel wide and looks to be much more comfortable than a THOW. This is a place that one can age into and that is a plus. Everything is easily accessible without feeling cramped. The finish work is well done also.

        • Jason July 12, 2017, 12:18 pm

          I had a few reasons for no window. That is the east facing wall, so didn’t want the morning sun. I built my bed with a large headboard and absolutely love my bed. Any window large enough to escape from would have been covered by the bed and any window that was wide and narrow would have been pricey and required additional framing costs.

          In the end I agree that many would have wanted a window, but I get enough light from the front of the house, as it faces west, from the single window.

          As far as it being stuffy, I did a closed cell spray foam on the roof and gable walls. There are two register vents running to the loft for cooling that I installed. For the house I installed a 2-ton package unit. I’m a bit weird but I keep it at 68 degrees all the time, even in the hot summer’s my electric bill is always under $80. So no not stuffy, but I knew it was possible, so I went about fixing it during the design phase.

          For codes, since it is a loft space and not a bedroom, window is not required. In my eventual addition process, I will make it a bedroom and a full sized window will go in.

          Hope that helps explain my thinking on it all.

          Thank you for being so interested!

    • Trish June 14, 2017, 3:47 pm

      I have to agree, lovely house, but why are there so few windows, I had a 50’s vintage mobile home with more windows than this. I can’t see how this would pass inspection for safety, no egress from that sleeping loft without using the stairs or a ladder to the main floor.

      • Jason June 14, 2017, 3:55 pm

        Hey Trish,

        Was replying about the windows, when you commented…see above.

        I passed inspections and everything is to code. The front loft aka my music loft is considered a storage area its only 4 ft wide. I just happen to use it for my instruments- the acoustics are amazing!

        Per code if an overhead area is not used full time- it does not need permanent access or railings (think attic space with a pull down ladder). I have a telescoping ladder to access it for now, but plan to install a library style rolling ladder ( they are just so pricey).

        • dana June 14, 2017, 5:24 pm

          Jason, very well done. I LOVE the plywood floors on the loft….spectacular.

          with your skills, i bet you can build a library ladder with a little hardware and ingenuity long before you decide to buy one.

          It looks like you have thought out your home very well to fit your needs…well done.

  • Penny June 14, 2017, 7:21 pm

    Jason, I appreciate your phone’s camera a great deal more than the ‘fish eye’ lens pictures. There is a much better sense of scale in these pictures. I assume you special ordered the barn kit to get 16″ OC or did you just use it as a guide only and have the contractors make their own plans? Glad thinking ahead for adding on. The utility room in guest bedroom could be a little awkward but looks like be changed up a bit when do add-on. Like the white verticals on outside. Lot of work around a full time job. Expect we’ll hear from you again. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jason June 14, 2017, 11:33 pm

      Hey Penny,

      Thank you! I do see that I could have added a few angles. Maybe they’ll let me send in to be added to this post.
      It was a bigger job than I could have ever imagined, but sitting in it right now feels so darn great!

      I used a storage barn kit from online as the basis for a on site stuck built plan. My framing and lumber cost were actually only slightly more than buying their precut full kit that I would have had to put together myself. But in TN state law bars you from living in any home meant to be a storage building. So it’s built on site and meets all codes.

      • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee June 15, 2017, 11:14 am

        Hi Jason! Feel free to send more pictures 🙂 I can always add them after the fact.

  • Nick Martinez June 14, 2017, 10:27 pm

    Hey Jason, my name is Nick and I live in Mount Juliet, Tennessee. I am currently and electrician’s apprentice working on my licence. My step rather and I are looking at land for sale in the area to purchase and build a tiny home for me. We always watch Tiny House Nation of FYI and that is really what inspired me to want to go tiny bit I do have to start practicing what I preach. I would like some advice, tips and tricks as far as how you did all the steps, what it was like doing the things yourself, the hiring process and going through city building codes. I know all that varies across states and that is a lot to touch on so just in a nut shell of course. Anything would be helpful, thanks in advance!

  • Carol June 15, 2017, 12:01 am

    I truly love the high ceiling upstairs and the extra room downstairs. The overall layout is very nice. You did a great job.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee June 15, 2017, 11:14 am

      Yea having high ceilings in the loft really adds so much!

  • Adina Hirschmann June 17, 2017, 1:35 am

    Nice job with fit, finishes DOUBLE HANDRAIL and safety railings. The music loft should have the same. More tile, going halfway up the walls, and sliding glass doors in the bathroom would finish up the look and better contain the splashes from the shower, while allowing light to pass through. The lack of a window in the bedroom loft could be made up for with a skylight, with its own shade, that opens up for ventilation. Great to see a real bed and furniture up there, with room to walk around. Considering the cost of labor and materials, in today’s housing market, yours is a bargain. Many cars cost more.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee June 19, 2017, 12:18 pm

      What’s important is that he made it to what he needed and wanted 🙂

  • john braman June 17, 2017, 10:43 am

    where can you get the plans for building this?

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee June 19, 2017, 12:16 pm

      Maybe Jason has some sketched up he could offer. He has been responding to comments, so hopefully he can answer 🙂

  • Rob June 17, 2017, 10:51 am

    There doesn’t seem to be any attic space or soffit to roof vent air flow. Is it necessary?

    • Jason June 18, 2017, 11:02 am

      Hey Rob,

      You are correct. Traditionally you would have vents going from under the eaves to the ridge vent on top of the roof to push out hot air trapped under the roof sheathing.
      But I had the whole 2nd floor and roof spray foamed. So it is closed cell and air tight, so no hot air to build up. Nothing to vent.

      It was actually cheaper for me, considering the labor of adding vents every 2 feet and running the foam chases behind batt insulation.

      Thanks for asking!

  • Melissa Curit June 17, 2017, 11:34 am

    Amazing! I love it!

  • susan June 20, 2017, 9:16 am

    Beautifully done. The loft is an actual bedroom! No crawling around. Everything you need to live a comfortable, small foot print life.

  • Meg June 20, 2017, 1:48 pm

    This is a great build! Love the dark floors with the light colored windows, the kitchen cabinets that go all the way to the ceiling, the oversized subway tiles in the bathroom, the fact that the washer/dryer is where the clothes go, all the headroom throughout the 1st and 2nd floors, the light fixture in the living room….and oh that headboard is gorgeous! Very well done Jason.

  • Steve June 20, 2017, 2:55 pm

    great looking home. Did you experience any code issues when installing sheetrock over the sprayed insulation? You noted in an earlier post/reply no issues, does that mean there is no wiring in the ceiling or walls in the loft areas?
    Thanks.
    Steve

  • Evening Iris June 20, 2017, 3:04 pm

    Great house! But I’d have to flip the lofts around. I’d need the bigger loft for 15 guitars, 6 amplifiers (including a Marshall), one Fender Rhodes 88 suitcase piano with bench seat, a violin, a viola, and one drum kit 😀 😀 😀

  • Nicki June 20, 2017, 3:04 pm

    It is beautiful, but I think I would have spiraled the staircase for more room.

  • Jason June 20, 2017, 3:41 pm

    Hey Steve,

    Electrical was run for wall plugs and lights in the roof, then spray foamed in. Rough in electrical was passed before insulation was started, per code.

    But, I know that codes for different areas of the country are all over the place. Would suck if I ever need to rewire anything, but the efficiency of the foam made it worth it to me.

    As for my music loft. I am a bassist at heart- so need for the collections that guitarists seem to acquire.

  • Emily c. June 20, 2017, 4:33 pm

    While I love looking at all the wonderful tiny houses, especially Goosenecks and and Park size. I was thinking for me, why would I need a house on wheels. I don’t plan to travel with my house in tow. I’d rather travel the country in my car and stay in motels/hotels, B & Bs or a Class C RV and stay in RV parks for a few days at a time on my travels. For actual living I like a more permanent but smaller house. Having a bit larger house as this on built on a foundation might be the better way to go for me. This house reminds me of the Park size, but wider and with a loft you can stand up right. Really like this house. Of course there would be a few tweets just for my taste, but you got me thinking what I want to do in the near future.

  • Lisa D. Lucas June 20, 2017, 6:24 pm

    Really, really nicely done. Love they way you finished the ceiling, keeping every lofty inch. Agree with all the window comments, but it’s yours. What did you use for the loft railing? Is that galvanized piping that you assembled or is it a stock product? Would love to know your estimated cost to build, if you care to share.

    • Jason June 20, 2017, 8:35 pm

      Lisa,

      I used EMT conduit pipe with connectors from keep klamp. The grid part is metal racking.
      I spent 65k total. But saved a lot with the work I did. Put a lot of the savings into the finishes, bath and kitchen.

  • Drew June 20, 2017, 10:20 pm

    Thank you sincerely for the share! This is nothing shy of AMAZING! I love the style, and the footprint is minimal at best! Love it, LOVE IT!

  • Adina Hirschmann June 20, 2017, 11:39 pm

    I was wondering if you roughed in the wiring for media (audio and video) and internet (residential gateways and wi-fi) before insulating and closing up the walls. Just curious.

    • Jason June 21, 2017, 10:42 am

      No didn’t add any ports to the upstairs. With limited walls, wifi travels well throughout the house. I did purchase Singled bulb kit. They are really cool. LED bulbs with speakers inside. They chain together and run off of blue tooth. So I have sound throughout my home!

  • Trisha June 21, 2017, 12:16 am

    I hear everyone’s comments about the lack of window light upstairs and probably would have added one on the back wall even a longer more narrow one to bring in light. I like every thing about it except one thing…. I would have moved the staircase and framed it in so that the underside of it would have been used for storage. Positioned as it is in the middle compromises the use of space on the right side
    , but I love the back laundry room and ability to hang the clothing up as soon as it is finished in the W/D!

    • Dick July 2, 2017, 6:31 pm

      Great home! The downstairs bedroom would be perfect for our disabled son.

      I tend to agree with Trisha about moving the staircase over to the wall, but remember that Jason is 6’4″! I’m 5’8″ and I honestly think I’d hit my head on the ceiling if the stairs were over by the wall.

      Jason, Cahow (an architect) doesn’t seem to hang around the comments forum like she used to, so I’ll say it for her: sell the plans! People like your home, and making blueprints available for sale (at market price, of course) would definitely help your cash flow.

  • Carol June 21, 2017, 11:38 am

    Do you have any handicap accessible? I have never seen any that are! Someone needs to! Any for rent

  • DIANNE KNOX June 21, 2017, 3:42 pm

    This is so pretty. This is the one I’love to have..Well done.

  • Glema June 24, 2017, 1:50 am

    Nice Job Jason! I like your house. It’s built well and has loads of potential left for future generational concerns. 🙂 Just what you need. I do have a question: In the foundation were you able to make a tiny basement ? Just for storage or a root cellar? It’s an idea. May God richly bless you and your little house. Thank you for sharing with us, made my day!

  • Sugni June 24, 2017, 10:58 am

    Wow nice but get some Windows and skylights in there. It’s so dark it’s like a tomb! I couldn’t live without light.

    • Jason June 27, 2017, 2:49 pm

      Sugni,

      Thanks for the comment. Many have agreed that more light would be better. I had a budget to stick too and windows are pricey. Also, I find windows limit the placement of items, like couches, bed and tv’s. Laid it out just so, just for me. I enjoy my “cave”. But when the blinds are open i get tons of light, although i understand that other would enjoy even more light.

      Thanks!

  • Victoria June 25, 2017, 11:30 pm

    O M G!!! This just replaced my 2 year favorite home by jewel!! I LOVE, ❤️❤️❤️ It! Ok Jason, where do we get the plans? Lol. I just thought of adding a slider and raised balcony off the sleeper loft :). Plus, this would add some light to the sleeper loft. Or ,can add it over the frond door to provide a covered front and replace the window with a slider. OMG! Even hubby is liking this house 🙂

    SO WELL DONE! I just might email you privately! I can’t believe how this one replaced my 1-2 year favorite!!

    Victoria

  • suzanne joffe July 2, 2017, 5:14 pm

    Hey Jason, it looks amazing!! What a big difference from the first post. Well done!

  • Nineveh July 2, 2017, 9:11 pm

    Love it! What a great idea, and layout.

  • Carla July 3, 2017, 12:31 am

    Love this house maybe I wouldn’t need 800 sq feet but the price is right. Love the lg rooms, the head space especially. Living in Texas I could maybe even try solar for utilities perhaps panels in the yard instead of rooftop. Nicely done Jason!!!!

  • Patty July 3, 2017, 12:57 am

    I like what you have done. Small is my favorite over tiny, so I like this a lot. Thanks for sharing.

  • Joyce July 3, 2017, 11:21 am

    Jason, I just LOVE your house as it is! I’m not one to have tons of windows letting in loads of light–I’ve been a night owl for my entire 64 1/2 years (according to what my parents told me)–and I think the number of windows you have is just perfect. I like that there’s a room downstairs that can be a bedroom, an absolute must for me. That wonderful loft upstairs would be where my art studio and office would be–I don’t do the kind of art that needs a north window, so not having a window isn’t even a consideration, other than that I’d have loads of privacy from outside. As a woman who lives alone, privacy is huge for me.
    Seriously great home, and I’d love to see the floor plans someday, too. Kudos to you, young man–you’re a credit to DIY men everywhere!

  • Joe July 3, 2017, 11:51 am

    Very good job. In my opinion 800 sq ft is a great size. I think I would have put that staircase against the wall and maybe have moved the window to keep the space of the room more open. I like this home very much.

  • Nysha July 7, 2017, 6:22 pm

    What an awesome house. I love the gambrel roof and the fact that your bathroom doesn’t open into the kitchen. I also like that it’s built on a foundation, so it will build equity, unlike a THOW.

    Since I’m old, I would use the downstairs room as my bedroom & the upstairs as an office/guest room. If I had the budget, I’d put a large window upstairs and some skylights, switch to a spiral staircase and add a porch/deck to the front of the house.

  • Peggy July 9, 2017, 9:06 am

    Love this plan, but would love to be albe to see the floor plans.

  • Joshua July 24, 2017, 4:17 pm

    Jason, I have been pouring through designs when I found yours and I am totally dead set on it. I would really like to set up an email with you to pick your brain about a few of the stages of the process as you experienced. Any chance that could happen? Thanks for submitting this its a total win!

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