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646 Sq. Ft. Carpenter Oak Cottage

If you’re into tiny houses I think you should also be into small houses under 1000 sq. ft. too that’s why I’m showing you this 646 sq. ft. Carpenter Oak Cottage.

When you want to live simply but want enough space to have friends and family over, or you want to be able to work from home, or even if you just want more space (for larger furniture or something), then small houses are probably your best choice long-term.

This little cottage is built in Cornwall, United Kingdom and is designed by Carpenter Oak. Inside and out, you’ll see how unique and beautiful it is below. Please enjoy and re-share with your friends below. Thanks!

646 Sq. Ft. Carpenter Oak Cottage


Images © Carpenter Oak

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Images © Carpenter Oak

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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!
{ 102 comments… add one }
  • Charissa
    April 22, 2015, 5:03 pm

    Just what my daughter and I need. It’s beautiful.

  • Bill Entrekin
    April 22, 2015, 5:10 pm

    What a beautiful small house!

  • Debra VS
    April 22, 2015, 5:20 pm

    Very nice. Well planned layout. I wish they’d build smaller houses like these in the U.S. If you don’t buy old, you can’t find anything this small.

    • Eugene
      April 22, 2015, 5:38 pm

      and old houses also cost a lot more than new houses no matter the size, buy a 1 bedroom old (vintage) cottage and you could be paying enough for a 4-5 bedroom McMansion in Canada or US.

      • Debra VS
        April 22, 2015, 5:59 pm

        I don’t think you’re right, Eugene. I’m 1st hand witness to that. Four years ago, I bought a 1-bedroom, 1 bath, 600 sq. ft. house for $26,000. It needs a lot of work, but even after I have all of the work done, it’ll still be about $60,000 total for updating and the cost of the house, together. I will have no mortgage by the end of June, as well. So, it can be done on a small income and doesn’t cost anywhere close to the McMansions in my area.

      • Cahow
        April 22, 2015, 7:48 pm

        I concur with Debra VS, Eugene. It must be your Neck O’ The Woods that old homes are more costly than new construction. I just did a Zillow search for 1-2 bedroom homes, older than 30 years, in non-posh hamlets in my area, and they range from $46K to $60K. My son, who is only 19, just bought his 2nd piece of property: a beautiful vacant lot in a nearby town for $8K. It’s 1.1 miles from the local school and already has hookups to water, electric, gas and sewer. We taught all of our kids, “God Stopped Making Land on the Third Day; Man Wants Land 24/7.” 😉

        So, “affordable” is certainly out there, just not in Manhattan or San Francisco. If you don’t mind your movie theatre being 20 miles away, one way, or the local grocery store 16 miles away, one way, it’s a beautiful place to live. 😀 And you can see the stars and deer every day.

      • JGDavis
        April 24, 2015, 4:14 am

        I bought a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath that was built in the 1950’s for $24,500. It was in excellent condition and in the States. The small older houses are out there just hard to find in good shape.

        • Alex
          April 24, 2015, 8:24 am

          Sounds like an amazing JGDavis! Way to go on that one. Most of the good deals in my area are gone now and prices have come back up (and continue rising). I’m talking about SW Florida. In 2009 there were some serious deals though (but not THAT good) 😀

      • M
        April 25, 2015, 11:08 am

        And cost a lot to renovate. This greed that created the need for largesse.

    • Eugene
      April 22, 2015, 6:03 pm

      ok maybe it is just in my neck of the woods that I have noticed it.

      • LC
        May 9, 2015, 5:12 pm

        Eugene, I agree with you. Older homes in my area are at a premium. Years ago we bought new construction because it was significantly cheaper than existing. In my area (front range rocky mountains) a small house lot within 5 miles of town runs upwards of $150k…..vacant land only.

    • alice h
      April 24, 2015, 10:38 am

      Some older houses are better built than new ones but there can also be a lot of nasty surprises. Make sure you check thoroughly before jumping on a “good deal”. Asbestos tiles, asbestos cement, lack of insulation, hidden rot, crumbling foundations, dangerous wiring, lead paint, single pane windows, shoddy plumbing and problem sewer connections are just a few of the things you might run into. A lot depends on how much it costs you to fix any or all of the above. Septic systems can also fail beyond the point where just getting a tank emptied will fix it and you may be required to upgrade to newer, more expensive standards.

      • M
        April 25, 2015, 11:54 am

        Would be nice to see septic a thing of the past or at least greatly diminished. So while some of you poo-poo THers who go “off-septic” with their sawdust they are helping the environment, conserving water, and I am sure Mother Earth appreciates it. I would applaud any builder of a house such as this one who included a composting toilet – some of which are quite fancy and not cheap! Great excuse to start a garden, the veggies looking awesome on the counter of a home such as this.

        • Comet
          March 14, 2016, 2:20 pm

          I “get” that there are people who do not want–or cannot have–a septic but–something no one seems to be able to answer for me–WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE WASTE? Where does it GO? Human waste is full of nasty stuff and I have to say composting holds no appeal—I was involved with a large scale investigation into doing that and the results were far less than satisfactory–when you can still sprout SEEDS after the high temp compost process—what ELSE is still alive? If you are burying it–where? And how safe and legal is that? Landfill? Um–no!

          Of course not all places are suited FOR a septic. But–we live in the country where there are NO sewers. So–we—and every one out here–have septics. We have lived here for 26 years and had to have the tank pumped ONCE after an incredibly wet spring and at that time we had some household “grey water” going in there after a spiteful neighbor plugged up a foundation drain pipe and flooded our house. Spiteful neighbor got Karma’ed and we again ran the grey water into the “dry well” –this includes the sink and shower water; the washer and dishwasher water and all rain that goes down the foundation drain outside but NO gutter water. And we live in the rainy and snowy North East!
          So–for US–this works well. And even having to get a back hoe out to uncover the tank–which was not located where we thought it was!!!—was not too spendy and I think we spent something like $200 to have it pumped. And we have 7 people using two bathrooms here!

          Not saying this is for every one or every location. But the septic is set up to filter the water OUT and clean it and then the water drains thru clarifying layers of earth to the aquifer. How is this bad? What you are pumping out are the solids that did not break down and possibly paper; which goes to a treatment plant that is regulated. Most failures are because of too much water in there diluting and forcing the solids and paper waste into the outflow pipes before it can break down.

          It just seems silly to say that positively NO septics should ever be used–what else are we suppossed to use here?

    • charity
      April 26, 2015, 9:57 pm

      Yea and you can’t build small either cause land comes with all these building restrictions so people can “protect their investment”. It is so aggravating that the people that are trying to do something to save the world, or at least lessen their footprint, are forbidden to do so.

    • Matt
      March 14, 2016, 12:56 pm

      I agree with you debra, in Louisiana you can find this small easily and all it usually takes is 100,000 dollars, no fear of asbestos and lead paint, and a willingness to sleep on the floor to avoid getting caught in the drive by shooting crossfire.

      I’ve made the same argument for cars. If someone where to make a simple 2 person car, 3 cyl engine, no bells and whistles and sell it brand new at about 6,000….they couldn’t keep them on the lot. Same with houses. If they built houses like this everywhere it’d get a major jump and remedying this broken housing market. Most people are becoming less materialistic and more money conscience

      • Eric
        March 14, 2016, 4:49 pm

        1st paragraph… bwa ha ha… drive by shooting crossfire so you sleep on a floor. That sounds so hilarious. And yes, I am aware that the US has issues with organised criminals and gangsta wannabes… but the image you comment made was so funny.

        We are lucky in New Zealand, there are no minimum size requirements AT ALL! Now if we could only get sane house prices back again life would be hunky dory. But no, we have a National Party government whose aim is to make the poorer even more poor and allowing immigrants, especially from China, almost carte blanche to come here by “investing” in property/business. Everybody knows they have scads of cash and are purchasing bolt holes. Money is no object to them. And a large number are members of Chinese organised crime. I believe that the US and some other “desirable” countries have similar issues with Chinese immigrants. And no, not all Chinese immigrants are criminals, but they are disproportionately represented. I can recall 40 years ago the government of the day restricted Italian construction workers who were brought in to construct a number of viaducts for the railways, were totally restricted to living in the camps, not allowed to associate with the locals, go shopping, have holiday time outside of the camp etc. All because of the (justified at the time) fear of the Mafia/La Cosa Nostra.

  • Bette
    April 22, 2015, 5:27 pm

    This is lovely, homey, welcoming, light and beautiful; a great job.

  • gale
    April 22, 2015, 5:29 pm

    You make an excellent point regarding small houses as well as tiny houses. Many can’t maneuver in a tiny house but are equally interested in less is more. This is a beautiful home and quite livable for the older generation. Keep em coming Alex!

  • Cahow
    April 22, 2015, 5:39 pm

    “When you want to live simply but want enough space to have friends and family over, or you want to be able to work from home, or even if you just want more space (for larger furniture or something).”

    BEST PARAGRAPH, EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am not single. I am not a Millennial. I can not climb vertical ladders. I have a spouse, children and grandchildren. I believe that DOORS=A Long, Happy Marriage!

    As soon as I saw that kitchen, I hollered, “We’re moving back to the U.K.!” (well, I may have yelled to myself since hubby is still at work.) LOL And of course, like the much beloved 400+ square foot house that Alex recently featured, it’s from the U.K.!

    Stellar design! THIS is how you “sell” the concept of a Tiny Home to the Masses! Not with pop-up tents, not with coffins on wheels, not with shelters with no plumbing, bathroom, or electricity…it’s THIS example that will convince someone wanting to downsize from a McMansion but still wants to have indoor plumbing and a sit-down meal without assembling an IKEA table from the wall.

    LOVE the Post & Beam construction with the bleached wood; my inner Scandinavian is giddy. As much as I loved that 400+ tiny U.K. house, I knew it wouldn’t work for us because the kitchen was too small to accommodate my double-wide Hoosier Cabinet, which I inherited from my Gran. Oodles of windows; a kinda-sorta A-Frame ceiling to appease my Inner A-Frame Geek; a door leading from the Master bedroom to a private patio….yuppers, THIS is my definition of
    a Tiny HOME, not just a house. <3

    • Lindsay
      April 23, 2015, 11:19 am

      I accidentally clicked the “report comment” button, on your comment! I am so sorry. I meant to click the comment button to tell you that your idea is spot on! I would love to downsize into a smaller home but, with 3 kids, we simply need a bit more room…and regular plumbing 😉 My husband thinks I am insane for wanting to downsize but something along the lines of this house, may be able to sway him! lol

  • April 22, 2015, 5:42 pm

    I love it! The kitchen and living/family room are a great size. I could move in today! All the windows and those large beams would fit in perfectly in our mountain area. I have a lot, can they come build me one in the US? Are there plans to buy?

  • Debra VS
    April 22, 2015, 6:04 pm

    I have a question: What’s in the loft?

    • Cahow
      April 22, 2015, 7:08 pm

      “What’s in the loft?”

      Apparently, it shall forever remain a mystery. A visit to the official website netted no additional photos, whatsoever. Even the floor plan only shows the main floor. But, for lovers of half baths + a full bath, the floor plan shows TWO loos: one for guests and one for thee.

      • Chel
        April 27, 2015, 8:37 am

        The lofts are probably childrens bedrooms with just enough room for a single bed and a small wardrobe.

  • Anna Granfors
    April 22, 2015, 6:17 pm

    This home is gorgeous, but I suspect that it’d be way too pricy for me. But yeah, 500-700 sf would be lovely. I keep waiting for an honest-to-god small house community of modest but well-built homes along the lines of Jay Shafer’s “Napoleon Complex”, but just that little bit bigger…single-story one bedroom homes, each on a small plot of land. A driveway/carport would be nice, but not essential. Actually, wheelhaus.com’s entry level home would be a good model. A fireplace, a full-sized fridge, a bathroom with modern fixtures, and a place to put a washer-dryer. If the communit(ies) were designed properly (ie., not something that a city would think of as devaluing the surrounding area) and the price was reasonable, people of all ages would be lining up to buy.

    I suspect I’m not alone in wanting something like this–the problem is, nobody’s making them. In the times we’re living in, the creation of such communities ought to be a national priority.

    • Cahow
      April 22, 2015, 7:19 pm

      Anna wrote, ” I keep waiting for an honest-to-god small house community of modest but well-built homes…single-story one bedroom homes, each on a small plot of land.”

      Hi, Anna. I don’t know your age but you describe what my Mum and her husband lived in while I was growing up. After the Korean War and the G.I. Bill, which gave returning veterans 0% Down on a home, entire bazillion-acre communities like this existed out in what used to be the Ex-urbs of Minneapolis. They were bare bone homes: no central air, no dishwashers, no luxury items. But, HUGE kitchens, living room/dining room combo, three bedrooms, one bath, full basement…and a single car garage. Sizes ranged from 600-800 sq.ft. and everyone living in one felt like they hit The Lotto. All the neighbors were young, all were poor, but ALL were happy to have a home they owned. Price? $12,500.00, complete.

      Fast forward 50 years, and that area is now a tony place in Minneapolis, complete with mega-malls and commuter train stops. NONE of the homes are what they used to be: 2nd floors added, double and triple garages added, as are add-ons, bump outs, breezeways, etc. Price NOW? $700,000 to $900,000!!!!

      So, that’s the problem. What started out simple and affordable became “jacked up” by the current or newer owners with more and more expensive items added and more square footage. The question is: how do you prevent someone who owns their tiny home from making it a MEGA-home? If someone can answer that question, we might have some new tiny home communities that STAY tiny home communities.

      • Anna Granfors
        April 22, 2015, 10:09 pm

        Hi, Cahow–as you might be able to tell from my last name, I’ve got a lot of “inner Scandinavian”, too! 🙂

        Your question about tiny vs. MEGA is why I mentioned Jay Shafer’s “Napoleon Complex”–if it ever happens, it’s meant to start off tiny and *stay* tiny. But I’m afraid that I need a little more space (and no ladders to the loft–actually, no loft, period…I’ll be retiring in about 3 years, and would prefer a single story dwelling) and suspect, as I said, that there are quite a few others who would, too. I just have to hope that something akin to communities of homes like the ones you described–bare bones-ish, with maybe a few modern amenities–begin to sprout up, somehow. There are far too many of us who lost a lot in 2008 and/or didn’t make a lot of money that need and deserve to have decent housing. It would have been and could still be a wonderful “shovel-ready” project that would create jobs for lots of people–alas, though politicians like to say pretty things, they rarely back them up once in office. (Which is why I cringed when I wrote “hope” above, even though I voted for Obama both times.) Regardless–it doesn’t have to be a government-sponsored project, just people with the financial acumen and politesse to make it happen.

      • Cahow
        April 22, 2015, 10:15 pm

        I agree 100% with your sentiments, Anna. The “Average Jane” in me wishes/demands that there be small ‘starter’ home communities built today, of which there were millions in the ’60’s. Sadly, the architect in me knows all too well the unfounded fears that municipalities have in having smaller structures in their zip-code.

      • M
        April 25, 2015, 1:06 pm

        Start with turning off the television – primary source of consumerism, loaded with subliminal messages for that very purpose. The oldies on here will remember the late night sign off of the star spangled banner. The song words were run across the bottom fading off gradually into the next phrase. When slowed down the hidden messages appear. OBEY and CONSUME and BUY are the ones I remember. You can find it on You Tube in all its glory. Point? This nation started out as a tiny home agrarian type of endeavor but through nefarious means we’ve been brainwashed and corrupted into the large house big screen SUV loving beings now seen in a neighborhood near you. To honor a concept of smaller simpler communities that don’t escalate we have to get rid of the virus of consumerism. That means just because there’s a two for one coupon in the paper doesn’t mean you run out and use it. All of those “deals” are really sales cons to get you to purchase. Buy ten coffees get the next one free. So you pay $3.50/coffee x 10 to get one “free” coffee that cost THEM less than a dollar to make. If we lived simply and comfortably with fewer excessive desires there’d be fewer malls and such taking up landspace and adding asphalt to paradise. We have to change ourselves first and recognize our gulability or else all attempts to create such small/adequate/affordable for all communities will inevitably get infected. Let’s not point fingers at those who strive to live completely off grid as they perhaps love the challenge. Neither is it our job to look down on those who prefer McMansions. As for God stopping the creation of land on the third day, apparently not as the circumference of the earth has actually increased. Let’s not limit God’s capabilities. There’s plenty of land mass here for the population now. Its just poorly utilized and poorly distributed. If everyone ate far less meat there’d be far more grain for human consumption and even more available land with much less cruelty of animals. Its possible to live responsibly and in tolerance together if petty squabbles were put aside and the need to control others not so prevelent. But that would take a lot of growing up and enlightenment on our parts and so far in our measley existance we really suck at that.

    • Cheryl Case
      April 23, 2015, 1:37 am

      Anna you’ve hit the nail on the head!

      “and the price was reasonable, people of all ages would be lining up to buy.
      I suspect I’m not alone in wanting something like this–the problem is, nobody’s making them. In the times we’re living in, the creation of such communities ought to be a national priority.”

  • alice h
    April 22, 2015, 6:30 pm

    Beautiful. I’m a big fan of covered outdoor space, living as I do in the Pacific North Wet. (missing “s” is deliberate). It’s also a great place to cook stinky food so your house doesn’t smell like cabbage and fish or whatever for weeks. Screening capability is also a good thing but that can be accomplished with “luxurious” netting drapes.

    • M
      April 25, 2015, 1:13 pm

      Alice I live in the PNW as well. What state are you located and do you have a small/tiny house yourself?

      • alice h
        April 26, 2015, 11:36 am

        I’m in BC, Canada, have a 13′ Boler trailer with partially covered deck on a Gulf Island where I part time as often as I can. I call it the Shackteau. I’m just in the process of sorting out a slightly larger tiny house which of course will be the Nouveau Shackteau. Every time I nail down a plan something comes along to knock it askew and a better plan presents itself. It doesn’t help to keep seeing so much inspiration with great ideas I just have to incorporate.

  • Jan
    April 22, 2015, 6:34 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this one!! It has it all! Beautiful, roomy, love the dining area, it is just fantastic!!! Jan

  • Martha
    April 22, 2015, 6:42 pm

    Add a handrail to the stairs and i’m ready to move in!

    • Eric
      March 14, 2016, 5:13 pm

      Add the handrail yourself. Probably be cheaper than having “them” do it at inflated prices and bumping up the purchase price on top of that.

  • Dominick Bundy
    April 22, 2015, 7:11 pm

    It’s a very nice and beautiful home. but bear in mind the more square footage. the more cost it will be . Which probably most will need to buy a mortgage..And before you know it One could be right back to square one. Where many have started from. Less really can be more. If one stays focued as to why they desired to downsize in the first. Old habits die hard.. and can be so easy to start up again.. Just my 2 cents. worth that’s all..

  • Kelly Libert
    April 22, 2015, 7:17 pm

    I am in complete agreement with Cahow’s comment. This is a perfect *home*. “Off the grid” to me means a septic system, not fermenting my waste in sawdust filled buckets for six months. 😛

    • Cahow
      April 22, 2015, 7:26 pm

      Kelly wrote, ““Off the grid” to me means a septic system, not fermenting my waste in sawdust filled buckets for six months.”

      Oooooooooo—*snap*!!! OMG, Thank YOU, Kelly, for that uproarious belly laugh you provided, for free! 😀 I like your moxie!

  • Comet
    April 22, 2015, 8:50 pm

    I have a septic and it is very cost effective-==-the initial cost is not great and the maintanence is minimal; pump it out every once in a great while and don’t put crap down there that does not belong. We also have a so-called “dry well” which can be as simple as a 55 gallon drum filled with small stones that handles our “grey water” so the septic is only handling the actual toilet waste and sink waste; the washer etc goes thru the dry well.

    • alice h
      April 23, 2015, 9:37 am

      In my area the cheapest legal septic system I could put on my hilly, densely treed property would cost about $25,000. A system on a level, bare lot would probably be about $10,000. You aren’t allowed to just build your own now, it needs to be done by a licensed septic technician. Even if you buy a place with existing septic it needs to be upgraded to current regulations when it changes hands, though the current owners can keep the old one going as long as it doesn’t malfunction. It’s one of the biggest costs of lot development in the area. The more willing you are to totally rip up everything and dig huge holes the cheaper it is, but it’s still more than what I planned to spend building the entire shack.

  • Bev
    April 22, 2015, 10:12 pm

    Imagine no loft beds and one bedroom at one end and another at the other end–that is what I would like to have. This home is adorable. Love it!

  • Karen R
    April 22, 2015, 10:51 pm

    A home for most of us is what we need to be comfortable, although there are those who seem to consider comfort to equate with weakness. Most of us want some “things,” and there is no superiority earned by having nothing.

    Personally, I need flush toilets (yes, two baths!), a washer and dryer, a first floor bedroom, and space for guests. I think most people can live happily in less than 1000 square feet but few in less than 300 (which is why we see so many micro houses for resale). The very thought of “off grid” makes me shudder!

    I, too, remember the tiny post war cottages, although I am older than you, Cahow, and was born during the huge housing boom after World War Two. A house priced at $12, 500 then would have been pretty high dollar! As you note, by the end of the next war the price for the tract home had already grown by 30-50%.

    I remember new homes advertised with a bath and a half – wow! – in the mid 1950s. But people still raised multiple children in two-bedroom homes with single baths, homes that were affordable to almost any family with a single wage earner until the sizes took off in the middle of the century and a third bedroom became the norm. Now try to find a new home with less than four bedrooms and three baths, even as family size decreases. And it will probably take two wage earners to make the payments.

    We all need to determine what we need, what we want, and builders need to build those homes . . .cities and counties need to change codes to allow them. We decry cookie cutter McMansions and praise the charm of older cottages, but we let local governments push us into huge spaces.

    I love the variety and uniqueness of England’s tiniest homes. Cornwall is my favorite place in the world and my family has returned again and again. I kick myself for not buying a small place thirty years ago when the dollar was strong and before Londoners started snatching up properties for vacations. Now land and houses are expensive, but this design is worth every penny . . .particularly if the Cornish blue dresser is included!

  • April 22, 2015, 11:19 pm

    Love the lay out and the bedroom on the ground floor. My grandchildren would love the loft. 🙂

  • Carole Sarvis
    April 23, 2015, 9:13 am

    Absolutely love this cottage, thank you for showing it. As Bev said, ‘a bedroom at each end’ would be great, especially for old joints that don’t handle stairs well but I would be quite happy to have it just as it is.

  • Dana Mize
    April 23, 2015, 1:02 pm

    If you go on the actual builders website and calculate the square footage this cottage registers around 1,344 sq ft. Where did the 646 sq ft come into play?

    • Cahow
      April 23, 2015, 5:24 pm

      Dana: I did a square meter to square foot conversion and the main floor came out at 914 sq.ft. The loft is 20 sq.M or 215 sq.ft., totaling 1,129 sq.ft. , which is pretty close to what you calculated. On loads of websites, I’ve seen them either NOT calculate the loft into the total or embrace it. I guess it depends upon how “tiny” the company wants to be perceived as being. ???

      Whatever the sq.ft., it’s still livable and pretty. 😀

      • John
        April 24, 2015, 7:02 pm

        According to their site dimensions are 11.5 m (L) x 6 m (W) x 5.5 m (H). That’s 742 sq ft for the ground floor.

      • Dana Mize
        April 24, 2015, 9:08 pm

        Don’t get me wrong, this house is just perfect!!! I have a southern education…lol…and was making sure the mathematics department didn’t completely fail me… Ha ha ha isn’t there 2 lofts?

        • Eric
          March 14, 2016, 5:17 pm

          Well you could always use New Age Maths. Aka Mr Google… ; )

    • Nicole Webb
      June 11, 2015, 12:54 pm

      I was wondering about the actual Sq footage as well. My husband and I are in the middle of downsizing to a house a little under 680 sq feet and thought this house at 646 Sq Ft looked a bit large. Is there a reason why the square footage is listed so small? Even without the lofts included, it is misleading. The house is beautiful, but not something we could duplicate in our 680 square feet. Lots of inspiration though!

    • Dean
      June 11, 2015, 9:17 pm

      Most houses and floor plans rarely work out according to their listed total length and width.
      This is because square footage can be calculated as a combination of the sq.ft. of each room in a house. Supposedly, this eliminates the space taken up by walls and doors.
      Sometimes the listed length and width of a house is an external dimension, or “footprint”, as its sometimes described as.
      Most builders and engineers I’ve talked to say to allow 1 foot for every external wall that makes up a house. Thus, a house who’s dimensions are described as 30×30, for instance, actually only has a 28×28 floor plan to work with. Now you start adding bedrooms, bathrooms, a kitchen and any internal walls that would designate those areas and the usable floor space (USEABLE – important word!) goes down even more.
      Surf some floor plan sites and you’ll see what I mean.

      • Chel
        March 15, 2016, 6:20 am

        That’s what I was thinking. Those beams are usually made from single tree trunks. Often 10-12″ square. Some are even bigger. The outside walls are equally thick. Makes for deep windowsills that only need a cushion to become a seat.

  • Mimi
    April 23, 2015, 9:22 pm

    Thank you for a great post. People’s families and circumstances comes in all sizes. I love Tiny. And I love Small. Even larger than Small can work for a group, like elders sharing space or youngers trying to get on their feet. Thank you to commenters also.

  • Dean
    April 24, 2015, 3:51 am

    Sweet! I really like how the living room is laid out.

  • Cahow
    April 24, 2015, 11:41 am

    Alex wrote, “Sounds like an amazing JGDavis! Way to go on that one. Most of the good deals in my area are gone now and prices have come back up (and continue rising). I’m talking about SW Florida. In 2009 there were some serious deals though (but not THAT good) :D”

    Hey, Alex. GREAT blog posting with regards to >this< small home. 😀

    When I read how so many people want to build tiny/small homes, inevitably, they want to build "Down South". But, then they discover Sky-High prices or water restrictions or you're sharing your morning cup o' java with rattlers, scorpions, and tumbleweeds.

    People, please! There is Land O' Plenty NORTH OF THE MASON-DIXON LINE!!!!! Yes, you'll need sweaters, jackets and mittens when the weather is cold. And you will need a furnace and insulation. But, come one, is everyone such a wimp that they'd rather over-pay for a snow-free, high priced area to avoid shoveling snow? ~eye roll~

    Here in Michigan, if you go 10 miles away from the pricey Lake Michigan shoreline, you can find every type of tiny home, possible, or if you want raw land, you can find that in abundance, too…usually with a nice creek wending it's way through your property. Even in Indiana, our sister state, there are scores and scores of itsy-bitsy tiny homes begging to be bought, that have been on the market for over a year! My husband and I will occasionally go to Open Showings of small area homes in our neighborhood to see how they stack up to what we own. They are charming, move-in-ready with at least an acre+ land. Why aren't they selling? Because the Money Crowd that comes to our resort area are looking to custom build on raw land or they want a 2015 "New Home" experience and don't want to put any sweat equity into a home.

    Future Tiny/Small Home Owners: Come to Michigan and Indiana…we have space AND jobs, up here! LOL

    • Kim
      April 27, 2015, 5:28 pm

      Shoot…I too hit report comment not comment…Dang! Alex those might be too squished together!!
      Anyway the comment I wanted to make… AMEN Cahow!! As a fellow Michigander I completely agree. We got our 10 acre piece of utopia for 16k five years ago and have already paid it off. At the end of May or beginning of June we’ll be putting our first tiny place on it. It’ll be a lovely 12×16 Amish built cabin. Once we have that we’ll be tearing apart the fifth wheel that is 31 foot long. This will allow me and the hubs to homestead and be able to sustain ourselves on even minimum wage jobs if we chose. Thankfully neither of us have those type of jobs but at 43 & 53 we want to have some level of comfort in our (hopefully early) retirement years! Dealing with a bit of snow in the winter allows for this dream. 🙂
      As a side note Cahow, what part of MI do you and your hubs call home? It sounds as if we’re virtual neighbors.

      • Cahow
        April 27, 2015, 7:17 pm

        Hi, Kim. Well, if I *wink* out of existence, it will be all those accidental “report comments” that I keep getting! ~snort~ I haven’t used that option, yet, but I know on other websites, when you hit that button, there’s still a “Yes/No” option before it’s sent to Ad-Min. Doesn’t sound like that’s the case, here. :0

        Your story about your land being paid off is laudable!!!!! You and your husband should be exceedingly proud of that accomplishment and also that you’re both well on your way toward homesteading. You’re a Shining Example of what I’ve said many a times: get your land while you’re young! Even if you choose to move elsewhere, the price you paid for it years earlier is just ‘gravy on potatoes’ as my Gran would say, if you choose to sell it.

        I guess if other’s want to Scrap & Fuss over land ‘Down South’, us Michigander’s will just ~shrug~ and smile. 😉 As we all know, you can lead a tiny house lover to Northern Climes, but it doesn’t mean they’ll settle there.

        We live in Berrien County, right by the lake. Not ON the lake mind you, but a couple of blocks from there. At night, in the stillness of this rural area, you can hear the waves on the beach. What a lovely sound, along with the Spring Peepers, to fall asleep to. z-z-z-z-z–zzzz

  • Nena
    April 24, 2015, 11:40 pm

    OMG!!! I totally love this place…….I have just begun my research on Tiny vs Small Homes vs RV. Zoning is such a issue but I think this market is the answer for bunches of people. Affordable safe housing is in a crisis for the aging population especially for those trying to remain independent and live within a budget that is gobbled up by taxing authorities, insurance, food and the homeless. Our state and local governments need to consider how this rising industry could fill a need that is only getting worse in this financial crisis of poor money management.

  • Carlos
    April 25, 2015, 2:15 pm

    Exactly my predicament right now – Do I build a tiny house on wheels or a bigger (400 sq. ft – 650 sq. ft) on land?…

    • SteveDenver
      April 25, 2015, 3:42 pm

      From what I’ve been reading and watching on YouTube, many small house decisions are made because zoning codes are archaic and not cooperative with tiny hones. For instance, in the city where I live, new stand-alone structures may not be under 620sf and attached dwellings (apartments) may not be less than 440sf. But mobile homes are exempt.

      My friend owns a piece of property in the mountains and unless she drills a well, excavates a septic system and creates an access road, she can only build what is classified as a shed, and that has square footage limitations, as well as limits as to occupancy. She placed two abandoned shipping containers on her property and they are used year-round as camping shelters. Every time she visits, there is something new in them: cook stove, solar shower set-up, camping rain catchment system, insulation and floor boards, bottles of wine. She does intend to weld them together and create access from one side to the other, as well as recessed doors and windows inside the existing security doors.
      Good luck with your project.

      • Carlos
        April 26, 2015, 7:19 am

        This is great information and it goes along with some things I have seen on websites and statements made by people selling their land and/or tiny homes or cottages. Next week, I will be going to look at some land here in Florida and hopefully find something nice to place my home before I start on the design and construction. I would truly like to be off grid but I have to get the specifics here before I make a decision because I heard there is some requirements in Florida I am not sure about just yet. I have some research to do.

        Thank you for giving me some inside information…Carlos

  • SteveDenver
    April 25, 2015, 3:46 pm

    This house has gorgeous craftsmanship. i haven’t seen methods like this in modern construction and it’s beautiful. For my uses, I would change the kitchen into an L-shape open to the dining area, I host a few big meals a year for friends and neighbors who might otherwise spend holidays and the long bleak winter months alone.

  • SteveDenver
    April 25, 2015, 3:52 pm

    The website for this builder is excellent, as is the floorplan, which shows a U-shaped kitchen open to the dining area, which might possibly be wide enough to accommodate a table for 12. http://carpenteroak.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/charman-ground-floor-plan.jpg

  • Brian
    April 25, 2015, 7:42 pm

    This super duper oak framed house is quite superb but would be difficult to build in Australia. I am aware they are readily available in the UK, we see them often on TV, but those frames are not available here. However having said all that its simply wonderful and a dream come true. I don’t want to live in the UK though LOL. Thanks for featuring this one Alex, and cheers from Australia.

  • Dawn Armstrong
    April 26, 2015, 12:48 am

    This is for Anna Granfors..If you want to downsize to less than 1000sq ft go to Ross Chapin Architects. He designs Pocket Neighbourhoods. The little houses are well designed though a bit costly. I love his work. I’m sure anyone who visits his web site will be thrilled.

    • Anna Granfors
      April 27, 2015, 7:41 pm

      Hi, Dawn…thanks for passing the info along! I’ve seen the Pocket Neighborhoods before, and they’re adorable…but again, I think probably more than I’m looking for (and definitely out of my price range). I’m thinking more along the lines of the post-war Minneapolis communities that Cahow and I were discussing above.

      But thanks again for the information! 🙂

  • stacey
    April 26, 2015, 9:31 am

    I’m not young. I am not single. A THOW would never work for me. I have to go to my job and work, not work via computer. I like to garden. The tiny house movement for me is about living within your means, living simpler. It’s not about square footage per se. I moved from a busy suburban area outside of Detroit to a rural northern Michigan “cottage” that is around 500 sq ft. Septic, well, electricity all in place, on 2 acres, for under 20,000 and paid off. Is this my dream small home? Not quite. But I had no red tape to deal with, enough land for a garden and some chickens, and it is PAID off, which gives me choices for my future. I know what it is to dream about building the perfect tiny/small home, finding land to put it on etc., but the expense of doing it that way just added up, so I sold some undeveloped land, adapted my dream and viola, I am living the dream at 42 years old, on grid and no loft included 😉

    • Cahow
      April 27, 2015, 10:07 am

      stacey: what an inspiring comment your wrote!!! 😀 Everything you wrote about mirrors our lives: we’re not young, we have a job to go to every day that does NOT involve sitting in front of a computer, we LOVE to garden, have a semi-large extended family within a 2 hour drive of our home, and hobbies that suck up a bit of space.

      We sold our large family home years ago in Chi-town, paid off our cottage in Michigan in cash and used the remaining money from the sale for investments and a condo that pays for itself by renting it out.

      Is our 1920’s cottage perfect? Pffffffttttt, not one bit. Could we dump $250K into it to duplicate the stunning looks of these higher end tiny homes? Absolutely! But, my husband and I made a “pact” that we would NEVER do anything to our cottage aside from fixing what was broken (new furnace, new roof) rather than going down that very slippery (and expensive) slope of “Improving” our cottage.

      Your personal story should inspire many of Alex’s readers. ALL the *BEST* to you! 😀

    • Kim
      April 27, 2015, 5:34 pm

      I too am inspired!! I believe you are living my dream :). You’re just a bit ahead of me at it…our plan is to be living at Longstay (the name of our lil’ utopia) in 3 years. I am 43 now…so hopefully I’ll catch up to you pretty soon! 🙂 thanks again for the inspiration!!!

  • Coreena
    April 27, 2015, 4:41 am

    Where can I find these plans? How much did it cost to build? Ideal for me!

  • April 30, 2015, 9:51 am


  • Dean
    April 30, 2015, 3:25 pm

    Re: The Fireplace.

    I notice that a small free standing wood stove appears to be in the fireplace (“fireplace”?).
    With all the space around the stove, I wonder how effective it would be to place a vent in the upper part of the chimney, but on the OTHER side of the fireplace.
    It could be placed slightly high in the loft area.
    If the other side of the loft is open to the kitchen, I wonder how effective this would be to promoting convected airflow, thus heating the entire house efficiently.
    Architects, what do you think?

  • Jeanne
    May 2, 2015, 10:25 pm

    I absolutely love this house! The floor plan is brilliant.

  • esperanza kraft
    May 8, 2015, 10:53 pm

    Alex, love this house. Where can I buy the floor plans. Could you help please.

    • Cahow
      May 9, 2015, 7:08 am

      Visit the company’s website and contact them regarding buying the floor plans for sale. Good luck!

  • Dean
    May 9, 2015, 1:13 am

    Esperanza – you can call them on the phone by dialing +44 (0)1803 732900, or you can write them on their contact page…

  • Patti
    May 9, 2015, 5:26 pm

    I have been thinking about downsizing for awhile. This cottage is beautiful and exactly what I need. I am single and soon to be an empty nester. A single income – teacher’s salary – means that a typical local home purchase is very unlikely for me. I have family land on our farm and wouldn’t have to worry about land cost. I would love to see plans for this home but would have to look into building/zoning codes in my area of central VA to find out about other costs like septic, well, etc. My brother built a dome house on the farm and my mother recently built a smaller home than the one we grew up in, also on the property.
    Is there a way to get these plans so that I could look into local builders and see if anyone is willing to build this small.

  • Virginia
    June 10, 2015, 2:07 pm

    I love the post-and-beam construction. The interior décor is delightful!

  • Sondra
    June 10, 2015, 3:05 pm

    I love this cottage and 646 is tiny regardless, just not micro ! You have motivated my husband and I to go small, our house will have a small foot print, 800 sqft 20X40 ft with a 20X20 ft loft for a total of 1200 sqft inside but smaller none the less, just looking for our property in Southern California to purchase then pull the trigger. We’ll be living in our 18ft travel trailer while we build it 😉

  • Jo Melton
    June 10, 2015, 3:06 pm

    I think this is the perfect cottage. I love it, too bad this cannot be built on LI, NY. What would the cost be to build it?

  • Betty Rutledge
    June 10, 2015, 3:16 pm

    This house is a good size. I really like it .probably change some of the layout . And I don’t won’t really high ceiling’ s . Would have a wood stove or fire place and good weather proofing. Size is great.

  • Lynnette
    June 10, 2015, 4:36 pm

    Absolutely stunning. I love the open ceiling and the loft. It puts me in mind of an A frame (my fav!)

  • Annie
    June 10, 2015, 5:47 pm

    this is beautiful

  • Sondra
    June 10, 2015, 5:56 pm

    And I quote “If you’re into tiny houses I think you should also be into small houses under 1000 sq. ft. too that’s why I’m showing you this 646 sq. ft. Carpenter Oak Cottage.”

  • Carla E. Lawrence
    June 11, 2015, 2:24 am

    Where can I go to look at all the different plans to build a tiny house, so that I can choose one to purchse the plans or to buy a kit?

  • Dean
    June 11, 2015, 3:26 am

    You know, I had to look back at the pics, but you’re right Lynette. Some of those pics do make it look like an A-frame!

  • MareM
    June 11, 2015, 6:33 pm

    This is beautiful, warm and cozy yet light and airy. Quite an achievement to attain what could be considered opposites. Alex and TH community, I’ve been reading and enjoying your posts daily. I appreciate all your efforts. Almost feel I know some of you! Greetings from Western North Carolina.

    • Alex
      June 12, 2015, 9:39 am

      Thanks MareM! Have a great day 🙂

  • Nancy
    June 14, 2015, 4:01 pm

    What a beautiful timber frame structure. Certainly not a low budget project but absolutely beautiful.

  • Sean
    November 5, 2015, 11:33 pm

    Sadly no inventory in Portland. The city is crammed with new arrivals and older small homes, any small homes, are now Air BnB.

  • Barbar
    November 6, 2015, 8:22 am

    Absolutely perfect! Now this is a livable size for me! More in this size range, please and thank you!

  • Mamie
    November 6, 2015, 8:54 pm

    I love the tiny houses they make lot a lot sence because more room lot people have more things they buy to fill all space iI don’t see point in just spending money on things u don’t need when u can use that money to vacation with your family or college money or to hhelp people in need

  • January 19, 2016, 6:46 pm

    The link shows 105 square meters for the two levels, which equals 1130 SF total living space. Still beautiful.

  • Kate
    March 14, 2016, 1:14 pm

    As ‘we’ age, often means that more space is required for wheelchairs, esp. if you desire to remain at home.
    I am currently in a private home of such a person. Wide doorways but the hall towards bedrooms seems a tad narrow.

    • Comet
      March 14, 2016, 2:55 pm

      Most hallways are not designed for wheelchairs OR walkers! They are just too narrow. When I was in a chair post surgery I found I could just squeak by in the hallway down which I HAD to go to get to the bathroom and the bedroom–but making the TURNS into the narrow bathroom involved me backing and filling a million times to get the thing turned and then I had to lean forwards and GRAB the side moldings of the doors and pull the chair thru–with ZERO room to spare. Then I had to turn the darn thing while I was using the toilet–because if i was IN it I did NOT have the clearance to turn it! If I had to be in one full time I could not live here as the place is set up.

      Also getting in and OUT of the house is a real problem! The doors to the outside have a step to the top of the stairs/deck that no chair on its own can do; then there are stairs. Altho my front stairs were custom built for me–longer run and shorter rise and a bit deeper—ya still can’t do ’em in a chair alone and even with help they are really dangerous. To do a ramp—ah–the ramp. Too steep –and this is ONLY five steps!!!—to just place a sheet of–something–over the steps; so we had to make a platform out of pallets and lay the top part of the ramp on that; turn the chair on that platform; and then go down another ramp to the driveway. Our ins co refused to pay for either a perm or temp ramp even tho I was coming home from the hospital with an amputated leg; their logic was that OTHERS WOULD BENEFIT. Then they REFUSED to let me LEAVE the hospital with out our stating that–we had a RAMP. We lied and the nice guys from the Squad jack-assed me in. I actually made a little leg-platform to avoid using the ramp; perched my knee on that and got up the stairs. All in all—it was an adventure I hope NO ONE would ever have to repeat!

      But yeah—few houses are built to accomodate the handicapped or temporary use of a chair etc. This is a growing problem tho as we Baby Boomers age and there are designs to accomodate us—but of course that is spendy also. Some places can be adapted. It’s easier to build it new I can say that. Wider doors ways; flat thresholds; no stairs; kitchen designs and bath designs–one of the BIGGEST issues I have is with MOST handicapped access bathrooms that in reality are just a fancier version of a regular shower stall—with no thought to how they are actually going to be USED. Can you reach the handles? Can you reach the shower head? Can you reach the soap! Can you move on the teensiest wee-est lil seat stuck in the farthest corner without sliding off? How cold IS that tile seat–and how slick? Will the floor outside the shower flood while you are in there? When you go in and out–how will you do that? Is there room for some one to help if needed?

      I have not been in my basement for 8 years–the steps are just tooo steep! This is half of my house—and my laundry stuff is down there. My former office is==-was—down there. When we move everything is going to have to be hauled up to the main floor for me to go thru—gonna be a big mess!

      Ah well—this life is not for sissies!

  • Barbara
    March 14, 2016, 2:29 pm

    Perfect! My idea of a kitchen, comfortable living space, and a downstairs bed and bath! It’s very beautiful, also !

  • Gabrielle Charest
    March 15, 2016, 2:27 am

    This is the first time I have viewed this house and I am totally in love with everything about it – except that it doesn’t belong to me. 🙁 As much as I enjoyed the photos I have to say that the time spent reading the comments was even more entertaining. There are some very sexy people on this forum!

  • Sara
    January 18, 2018, 3:52 pm

    Yes! But with stairs instead of ladder.

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