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Newlyweds Build 160 Sq. Ft. Tiny Home For Themselves

In this post you’ll get to tour a newlyweds’ recently built 160 sq. ft. tiny home on wheels.


The house is 13’5″ high and about 8′ wide so it’s legal to tow on public roads.

There’s also an upstairs loft that adds around 30-40 sq. ft. of livable space to the home.

So in total… It’s really about 200 sq. ft. of living space with a footprint of just 160 sq. ft.

newlywed-tiny-house

Photo Credit YouTube/Argustfest

I encourage you to enjoy the entire video tour & interview with the builder/contractor, Tory Smith, below:

Scroll below to watch the full tour & interview with the builder where he explains:

  • How his newlywed clients decided to build tiny
  • Completely narrated tour of the interior & exterior
  • Where some of the reclaimed materials came from
  • How long it usually takes to build one by yourself

Video Tour: Newlyweds’ 160 Sq. Ft. Tiny Home on Wheels

Couples & Tiny Houses

Do you ever wonder if couples and tiny houses even go together? I think they can. But we all know it’s not for all couples.

Are you a couple living in a tiny home, micro apartment or really small cabin? If so, tell us about it in the comments!

If not, would you live tiny now if your lover/partner agreed to?

Yesterday I brought the issue up about tiny houses and couples…

Should you have to convince your partner? Do you just wait until he or she is ready? Or meet somewhere in between to work it out? Read that post here and meet another couple that’s working on living tiny.


My “Lovebug” Tiny House Plans

I created my own design of a tiny house for couples a while back using 3d design software. I made an entire post about it here where you can explore the 3d rendition of the home. I’d love to read your thoughts/ideas after checking it out.

So yeah, don’t forget to check out my Lovebug Tiny House Design for Couples.

3′ Add On Porch

Tory designed a porch that you add on to the trailer after you park it that helps add more space to the tiny home without sacrificing interior space for a built-in porch.

What People Are Using Tiny Houses on Trailers For

The truth is that people are building them for all sorts of purposes, not just to live in full-time. Here are some ways people are using them right now.

  • Guest houses
  • Campground cabins
  • Permanent homes
  • Vacation cabins
  • Rental cabins
  • Hobby space
  • Business space

How Long it Took Tory to Build It

It took him 3-4 months to finish it and that’s doing it nearly full-time but completing the majority of it all by himself. And this is to completely finish the home inside and out. With all of the plumbing and electrical work done and having it set up just like an RV.

So if you were to do it on weekends I would expect for it to take a good year to complete start to finish. At least for a tiny house that can really function as a fully functional home (like this one).

Learn how to Build one yourself

If you’re considering building one yourself you can learn how to do it using Dan’s Tiny House Guide.

Plans to Build a Tiny House Like This

Dan Louche of Tiny Home Builders offers a dormer tiny house that you can build and customize to your own needs. Learn more about the plans and how you can buy them here.

If you enjoyed this newlywed tiny home you’ll love our free daily tiny house newsletter with more!

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Alex

Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!




{ 28 comments… add one }
  • LaMar Alexander LaMar September 13, 2013, 1:51 pm

    The house is a good design but I am always baffled by people putting in a wood stove in such a small house. That wood stove will require a lot of room to be safe and that is wasted space in a tiny house that wants to maximize space. Wood stoves at best burn 70% efficient and many cities won’t allow wood stoves. Wood stoves are a safety hazard no matter how small and that small stove would have to be refilled 3-4 times just to keep the place warm through the night and if you leave the house you can’t leave a fire burning.

    A better option is a 5000 BTU propane furnace that burns 98% efficient, does not require much room or pipe and propane is now cheap with so much NG drilling. Propane is a waste gas and has to be burned or they flare it off so it is considered a bi-product and a is green product if you use one of the efficient furnaces.

    Since they have propane for their cook stove and OD water heater it just makes sense to use a propane furnace. If you like watching a fire get an enclosed fire pit for outside your porch and enjoy that.

    LaMar

    • Greg September 13, 2013, 3:20 pm

      LaMar,
      After reading your book I’m surprised you’re so against wood heat. Wood has been the primary heat source of homesteaders for hundreds of years! I’m not going to argue which is better, but here are some reasons why people who choose wood might opt to do so:
      Moisture. water vapor is the primary byproduct of propane combustion. moisture and Tiny Houses do not get along, esp. ones that are built really tight. maybe if you have a small cabin with some leakage, but not houses like the one in the video. You could of course get one of the venting furnaces, but then your are not at 98% efficiency and those are super expensive! where I live, propane is not cheap. Not nearly as cheap as wood, which is nearly free for me. The act of gathering firewood is a nostalgic and time honored tradition for many. There is a much greater sense of pride knowing YOU have provided your heat source for the winter, not a propane company. Lastly, there is a psychological warmth and comfort that a wood fireplace provides that a propane heater just can’t compete with. I agree that they take a lot more work, and they will eat up a bit more space, but these are sacrifices some are willing to make for the above mentioned reasons.

      • LaMar Alexander LaMar September 16, 2013, 8:48 am

        I am not against wood heat Greg and I have a small back up wood heating and cook stove for my cabin but for these tiny tiny houses a wood stove just takes up a lot of room and a wood stove is not near as “green” as people think.

        When every inch counts in a tiny house a wood stove takes up a lot of space because of necessary clearances for fire protection.

        Moisture is easily handled by a roof vent or cracking a window and you need that same air circulation for a woodstove or it won’t draft.
        I can see having a wood stove backup for a larger cabin but for these tiny homes IMO they are a waste of space, not efficient and would be a major hassle to keep stoked as they have too small of a firebox and would burn only a few hours on a load.

        I think people should understand how they are going to use a wood stove before they buy one because they are cute.

    • Chris Harne September 13, 2013, 8:12 pm

      I tend to agree with this assessment, at least when it comes to practical terms. I’ve made the decision to use a small propane furnace in my tiny home for all of these reasons – space, safety, efficiency, and also health.

      As for aesthetics and intangible emotional reasons – I am drawn to the tiny wood stoves that I’ve seen in a lot of tiny homes. I think a wood stove is a great fit for some of the more “rustic” designs. I might also prefer the wood stove in a remote area with lots of trees, or for a house with less-than-perfect insulation.

      In 25 years – when I have a rustic tiny house in the woods, and I’ve tested my current house thoroughly with the propane setup – I’ll report back here, reviving this thread. Waaaaaaait for it….. 🙂

      • LaMar Alexander LaMar September 13, 2013, 8:35 pm

        Hi Chris, yes if a tiny house is well built with good insulation a woodstove will drive you out because they are hard to regulate. I like the blue flame propane furnaces and you can always watch those flames dance. I leave my cabin a lot and I wouldn’t dare leave a wood stove burning but propane furnaces will keep stuff from freezing even if I am gone several days at a time. I have a small wood stove for backup heating and cooking in storage but my main heat is propane and I use about a gallon a day in coldest part of winter for the furnace, stove and OD water heater which is actually cheaper than it would cost to pay for gas for my truck, chainsaw and time to cut and split firewood and no safety issues and I don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to re-stoke a fire.

        I like watching the fire in a wood stove but they are also a lot of work and must be properly maintained and carefully monitored.

        LaMar

        • alice h September 16, 2013, 5:40 am

          I think one of the reasons a lot of people want a woodstove is that it gives you a feeling of being totally in control of heating your place even if you don’t have money for propane or if there’s some kind of disaster that breaks down the propane pickup or delivery system. May or may not be totally reasonable, like you say there’s still trucks and chainsaws and whatnot involved in getting the wood. Not to mention some really filthy, sweaty hard work at times. Especially if you’re cutting firekill. Still, in an emergency you can usually scrounge up something to burn fairly close to home. In a damp climate a wood stove is a great dehumidifier too. You could have both systems so you can use whichever one is best for the situation at the time. Even though a wood stove does take up a lot of room you can set things down on or near it when you aren’t using it so it isn’t always a total waste of space.

        • alice h September 16, 2013, 5:50 am

          Just a note on how obsessive some people can be about having wood to burn, when I lived in the treeless Eastern Arctic people would bring firewood up by the container load on the summer supply ship. The pallets around town were highly prized for firewood too, especially when you went out on the land.

        • LaMar Alexander LaMar September 16, 2013, 8:56 am

          Hi Alice, I understand having a wood stove for emergency heat and like I said I have one for heating and cooking for my cabin in storage in the event propane gets expensive again but these tiny tiny wood stoves are not good for heating or cooking because the firebox is too small and would only burn a few hours between refills and not enough surface area to prepare a meal.

          For a larger cabin like mine or a permanent cabin a wood stove is a good idea and I would recommend a dual propane and wood stove system but for these tiny houses on wheels I would stick with propane as they are well sealed and insulated they can be heated for cheap.

          I just want people to understand the hassles and safety issues of wood stoves before they buy one because they are “cute” and then regret the decision.

    • Janis September 16, 2013, 4:13 pm

      I like the wood burning stoves for many reasons. If you happen to live in the woods, wood is free for the taking and clearing around your property. Secondly, I like the smell and looks of the wood burning. Seems more natural to me than using propane or gas.

      We all have our preferences and to each their own which makes them happy.

  • Joel September 14, 2013, 12:46 pm

    This is one of the best video’s I’ve watched on any subject. No loud background music that drowns out the speaker, either. Tory was very articulate, with no stammering, he was direct and to the point. Good job Tory. It was a pleasure watching and listening to you.

    • coffeewitholiver September 14, 2013, 1:30 pm

      That is the best video I’ve seen yet describing Tiny Homes.

      Re: wood stoves in a TH, that is the route I will take after moving to my very cold, mountainside property. It is very remote and heavily wooded.

      I am staying away from propane as wood will be free and readily available, plus I’ve lived with wood stoves before and am used to them.

      My home has 2 by 6 studs, and I’m using wool insulation. The floor cavity is filled with 6 inches of insulation and the cathedral ceiling will have 10 inches – all in all a warm and cozy structure, even overnight after the fire has gone out. Given the potential minus 20 degree temps there, I’m not at all concerned about being driven from the house…I can always open windows.

      I have other concerns about propane – as it burns, it gives off water vapor, and condensation build-up in such a small space is inviting trouble like mold and mildew. Another issue is getting the stuff delivered when roads are bad…I’d need a huge, expensive tank (with huge refilling bills) in order to ensure not running out and literally freezing to death. Then there’s the problem that propane will freeze in such a cold climate. So it’s an alcohol stove and wood stove for me.
      Hope this sheds some light on the reasoning behind choosing a wood stove. 🙂

      Parker

      • Victoria September 19, 2013, 9:43 pm

        I’m looking into wool insulation and am wondering if you installed a vapor barrier on the inside of the house between the wool and paneling or whatever you used.
        Can you tell me why you did or didn’t use a vapor barrier? I’m getting conflicting installation advice and really need some first hand knowledge.
        Thanks

        • coffeewitholiver September 19, 2013, 10:36 pm

          Hi Victoria,

          I chose to go with organic asphalt-saturated #30 felt paper and not use a vapor barrier. This stuff is water resistant but not water proof. I’m using it due to my desire to let the wool and the wood studs “breathe” – to all some passage of air and moisture in and out. This isn’t the way to go for every build, though.
          A very useful site with a ton of good information can be found at http://bct.eco.umass.edu/publications/by-title/housewraps-felt-paper-and-weather-penetration-barriers/. The various publications there should be a must-read in my opinion, during the design stage.

          Hope this helps you! 🙂
          Parker

        • coffeewitholiver September 19, 2013, 10:40 pm

          Drat auto spell-correcting! That should have read “to LET some passage of air and moisture in and out”.

          Plus, I’ll be using the rain-screen method of siding.
          Parker

        • Victoria September 20, 2013, 12:01 am

          Thanks for the information, I will definately be checking out the link.

          Victoria

  • Dean September 14, 2013, 10:31 pm

    As far as costs. I keep hearing $20,000 to $40,000 for a 160 or so tiny house. I find that exhorbitant for a do it your selfer. I just completed a 450 ft2 studio space including heat and a bathroom (toilet & sink with water heater). It required considerable site work, excavation, lots of concrete, permits both local and county, engineering, lots of windows & skylights, fully insulated 2×6 walls, r30 ceiling, significant electrical with a 100 watt sub panel, 4 sets of doors, raised and insulated floor over concrete slab, pine ceiling, etc etc. the only thing done for me was the excavation and concrete pour(20yards). Everything else I did myself. I spent roughly $40,000. Eliminating the site work, engineering, slab, and permits makes it roughly $25,000. Even $20,000 for a 160 ft2 tiny home seems like a lot if you do it yourself. But then again if you have a contractor spending 3 to 4 months at $50/hour you could lend a lot.

    • Jerry April 8, 2014, 11:06 pm

      The price includes labor in most cases. The man in this video built it for the clients you see at the end, so labor and other business costs are included in his pricing estimates. I’ve done a materials list for an 8×16′ tiny house. Using local prices, sale prices when available so this is lowball, I’ve found you can build a complete shell on a trailer for around $5k if you do it all yourself. Add in cabinetry, plumbing, electrical, and furnishing and you’ll be close to $10k. Add in 4 skilled workers over one month and you’ll be edging $25k. Add in the costs of running a business, and a price tag over $30k seems reasonable.

  • sophiemiaou November 9, 2013, 6:03 pm

    Well, he-LO blue eyes… is he married? I’d gladly squeeze into a tiny home with him. Wahwah. Handsome, smart AND handy with tools?

    :3

    This was my silly girly post of the day. 😀

  • Linda January 26, 2014, 4:24 pm

    Can you imagine if EVERYBODY did this? You’d need a house per every 2 people (no more than 2 can live in these things comfortably). That means we’d be building a LOT more houses than we do now! Overcrowding of houses!

  • Marsha Cowan April 8, 2014, 9:10 pm

    Most people really think through the issues of propane, alcohol, or wood use before they build, and standing in the home is different than watching it on a video where the depth perception is off. I am sure there is plenty of safety concerning the use of the stove, and not all things in the video are where they will be when in use. It’s a really nice home! Good luck!

  • Wendy November 14, 2014, 9:21 am

    Regarding the heat source, what about radiant underfloor heating?

  • Adams, Cindy November 14, 2014, 1:56 pm

    Don’t watch videos…like photos! Sorry!

  • keepyourpower April 5, 2017, 7:56 pm

    This handsome, young man has such a soothing voice. It was a pleasure listening, and viewing, this video.

  • ZACHARY E MOHRMANN April 6, 2017, 2:08 pm

    WoW….! From the frying pan, directly into the fire with both feet…! LoL…! That has to be the best example of bravery, as well as the acid test to their life together, in this beautiful tiny house…! I wish them many years of love, and happiness, as well as a lot of happiness in their new tiny house…!

  • Nanny M April 8, 2017, 6:31 am

    What a beautiful home. Especially love the door. Agree with Sophie, Tory seems like a wonderful guy. A great “catch” for his bride. Wishing them many years of marital bliss in their lovely place.

  • Nanny M April 9, 2017, 8:47 pm

    Ok, finally got it straight. It’s Tory I’m so impressed with and Joseph I wish the marital bliss in his home.

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