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Adam Rasmussen’s Tiny Two-fer House Design

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Adam Rasmussen is sharing his amazing tiny two-fer house design as part of our 2015 8×12 tiny house design contest.

I love how this design incorporates outdoor space in its design. In a place where I live, like Florida, I think this would be awesome.

Please enjoy Adam’s simple yet incredible tiny house design and re-share it with your tiny house friends using the social and email share buttons below. Thank you!

Adam Rasmussen’s Tiny Two-fer House Design


Images © Adam Rasmussen

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Images © Adam Rasmussen

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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!
{ 47 comments… add one }
  • Cahow
    April 3, 2015, 5:14 pm


    Once again, a Tiny Home that ONLY works in Ca./Fl./Az.

    I guess the rest of the Globe needn’t consider living in a tiny house if it requires a ceiling, insulation, a heat source or walls.

    • LaMar
      April 4, 2015, 4:49 pm

      Hi Cahow, did you know that if you use foamular rigid board insulation you can get over R18 in a 2×4 wall like shown in this design? Most houses built before 198o only had 2×4 walls with R13 insulation and were built all over the country including very cold areas. A small house such as these designs would not need more than R13 if they are well sealed because there is such a small space to heat and I only have R13 in my cabin walls and R19 in the ceiling and I live in the high mountains with -20 temps and have never been cold at my place.

      • Cahow
        April 4, 2015, 6:10 pm

        Hi, LaMar. GREAT to see you back here, again. Your insight is missed and sorely needed, pal! 😀

        Yeah, I was aware of the R18 but I’m glad that you mentioned it for those not as savvy as yourself or anyone else in the Building Trade. I’ve lived in very old buildings with 0% insulation in them: just the brick outer wall, studs and the lath that plaster was applied to. Winters must have been a lot kinder back then, because NOW, those homes actually have ~frost~ on the walls during the Polar Vortex’s!

        Speaking to this design and my frustration with it only being applicable in exceedingly balmy climes, can you even imagine waking up to 3′ of snow outside, -40 windchill, and then having to go OUTSIDE to access the loo???? Mind you, I know that the latrine area could be roofed and insulated, too, as the kitchen area. But, this design is predicated upon having the DECK as the egress to all areas, like a hallway in a traditional home. If everything was enclosed for environments that have wild swings in temperatures, the uniqueness of the design would be moot.

        I do think that it’s a fun-spirited design…for Florida or Hawaii or Texas or whatnot. But how “hard” is it to design a home for minimum environmental factors vs. a comprehensive design that can be used globally in ALL environments? Last night, our temperature was 27 degrees above zero with hard frost on all surfaces, hardly the conditions that a pop-up camper, box on wheels or this place would be suitable for living in. THAT’S where my frustration comes from: tiny home living shouldn’t ONLY be for Floridians, et al.

        Great seeing you, LaMar. I’m proud of you and how far you’ve taken your philosophy and knowledge to the world. 😀

    • April 6, 2015, 8:52 am

      I, too see a lot of tiny homes designed for So Cal like this. I live in western Tn and we break 7 degrees most winters, but R13-15 is great here because the cold doesn’t last long. But I would never consider going outside to the restroom in winter or RAIN of which we often have an over abundance.

      While we are on the subject, we also don’t have access to those huge window walls that are 10′ high that fold back and leave a huge exposed open corner of the living room (that are often on this site). Those are probably really pricy and not practice for normally priced homes/tiny homes.

    • Megan
      April 6, 2015, 3:25 pm

      I live in Central FL & there are some days (granted, only a few) that I wouldn’t want to go outside to visit the restroom! Unfortunately, it’s not always 90 degrees outside. 🙂

      • Steve in Palm Bay
        May 20, 2015, 5:48 am

        Like Megan, I too live in Central Florida (along the East coast). Generally, we are more often hot than cold here. This Winter our low was in the high 20s at dawn….but by noon we are in the 60s or 70s. And even then, unlike the Winter of ’10-11, it was exceptionally mild.

        I actually like the general concept of this layout. I would want the privy to be more private and have a back wall. And perhaps a roof overhead…as our rain in Summer is overly abundant. My 2 Euros worth would be a single roof stretched over the entire project with lots of ventilation up near to the soffit.

        From the sketch, it appears the shower water just hits the flooring…not good…but perhaps that is just omitted in the diagram.

        Also, the skeeters here will eat you alive at dawn and sunset from May thru October…perhaps some consideration should be given to screening in the entire deck.

        All in all, I like the potential for this…if adequately tweaked.

    • Melissa
      April 7, 2015, 8:25 am

      While this design also wouldn’t work for me in Canada, I think the great part of seeing others tiny homes is to draw inspiration, and take some of their ideas to use in my own. I would love to use a deck like this to connect my future tiny house with a second tiny structure for my daughter as she gets older. I have have a friend who may want a tiny house, and we thought it would be excellent to share a lot and connect our homes with a deck featuring a shared eating area and hottub (which I would happily use on all but the coldest winter days )

      • May 18, 2015, 1:11 pm

        I agree with you, Melissa, I in large part use all these emails (showing Tiny Homes) as inspiration. I pull one idea from this one and another idea from that one. I might possibly set up a composting toilet and outdoor shower even in West Tn just for the pure enjoyment of showering and pooping outside, but you’d need one inside also for “those” days, which for me are very close together. Just like riding a motorcycle to work, anyone can do it, but if you have to look professional when you get there, helmet hair is not really appropriate… same as using an outdoor potty, rain will mess up the best of work outfits!

    • Virginia
      May 18, 2015, 10:04 am

      Right you are! Add Hawai’i to the list. Of course, even they can have cold or rainy days.

    • C
      May 28, 2015, 2:26 pm

      Az?? NOT good for us here is AZ where is is 110 + degrees almost everyday, with a low of 80 degrees, for 6 months out of the year (sometimes it cools down to 108). Gettting heat stroke and/or a sunburn while using the bathroom doesn’t work for us.

  • April 3, 2015, 6:01 pm

    Well I’m from the freezing North East but I love this design. Not for this area, of course but it would be a fun weekend home for warmer areas. Might just convince me to buy a piece of property in a warmer place not too far away. 😉

  • Comet
    April 3, 2015, 6:03 pm

    Was that REALLY the best you could do CAHOW???? Surely this is not FOR everyone—and nasty snark is not really called for here.

    There actually was for about 25 years a lovely house here with two cubes and a “breezeway” between the two of them—enclosed of course—off set and on a hill overlooking a beautiful river. These were built of some natural wood that aged and looked fab—and were INSULATED and had CEILINGS and a HEAT SOURCE. Now they expanded a bit and it not as attractive but to ME they were the PERFECT design. And we live where it gets to 45 BELOW ZERO.

    • Cahow
      April 4, 2015, 10:11 am

      “Was that REALLY the best you could do CAHOW????”

      How’s this: I really like the colour of the units and chairs. LOL

      Sorry to disappoint you, comet. But, I’m entitled to NOT gush over every blog posting, just like everyone else HERE. And if the home you’re referring to was posted here, then I’d gush, especially if it was INSULATED, had CEILINGS, had a HEAT SOURCE, and could be lived in at 45 BELOW ZERO. I was expressing my exasperation with the current amount of tiny homes featured on this blog that are ONLY livable in idyllic conditions.

      • Jonnie
        April 4, 2015, 5:06 pm

        Or for the young, not the older, nor those with limited mobility. I am of the later group.

      • Ro
        April 30, 2015, 8:37 am

        Gosh Cahow, do you have your very own blog? Do you post your very own ideal tiny homes? I can only imagine that the blog we are on is from a particular point of view that is, gasp, not yours.

        • jake
          May 18, 2016, 6:04 pm

          Cahow’s comments are fine. Actually they are quite helpful. I’m observing, not defending. Some designs are not fully thought through an dim grateful when others note things I miss. However, this design was submitted for a contest looking for “the best” and most creative and space efficient 8′ by 12′ cabin/tiny house design. This design is quite creative, but the toilet and shower are not housed. I’m not saying they have to be in order for someone to live. I’ve lived with a match, poncho, canteen and trowel, which were all housed in my backpack, but that’s not a house. And if the visual barrier for the toilet and shower count as housing, then the square footage also counts, which bumps the design over the 106 sf limit for the 8×12 contest. So, high marks for creativity. For that we thank the designer, and we thank Alex for sharing. But the design gets lower marks for housing. For that we thank Cahow and others for sharing. I try to learn, and I’m grateful for exposure to both creativity and discipline.

  • alice h
    April 3, 2015, 7:35 pm

    Oh man, this would be absolutely perfect with a greenhouse built around it! Little pavilions surrounded by lush greenery, 3 or 4 season use depending on location. Like the opposite of a snowglobe.

    • treehouse in paradise
      April 10, 2015, 2:57 am

      Oh, Alice. That would be so wonderful. A real oasis.

  • Cynthia Taylor
    April 4, 2015, 10:57 am

    Love it. Is there an induction cooktop in the food prep room? I would add solar panels on the roof for electricity. I would add a combo washer/dryer under the counter and replace the composing toilet with an incinolet and a third building for my piano. It would be a three for. I would add tap flow beehives on the deck where all you need to do is turn the spigot for the honey and plant a meadow for the bees and butterflies from which to feed.

  • LaMar
    April 4, 2015, 4:55 pm

    Interesting design! Good use of outdoor space to make up for less interior space. Similar concept as a dog trot cabin. I would liked to have seen more detail on how you located the appliances assuming you have them in the eating area. Probably not a great design for colder climates with an outside shower but could be enclosed and insulated.

  • Marsha Cowan
    April 5, 2015, 4:42 pm

    I love it! Just as it is! I love the way the outdoors is incorporated into the design, yet there is much privacy without compromising the views. My tiny bus only has a tiny bit of 1996 insulation in the walls, but I made it through a winter here in AZ where the temps at night plunge into the teens, and I don’t even use the heater at night…just turn it on in the morning. The space is small, so heats up wihin a few minutes, no problem. This design is not meant to be for full time use, I am sure, but
    I could sure do it, as could a few other people in this blog. It is not about traditional building, it is about building what you want, where you want, and how you want. Its about living fully, in whatever style you choose, and we applaud those who have the creativity and wherewithal to try something different. I love it!

  • Susanne
    April 5, 2015, 5:39 pm

    Lovely design but I too would prefer the shower/toilet area to be enclosed…
    Ok Lamar-question-what is your idea though (temp.???)that you consider comfortable when it’s -20 outside? Just curious! 🙂 in those temps. what is the average temp. the TH would be with the R numbers under 20? When we have seen a lot of numbers much higher, I thought that’s what we were aiming for…. No idea….:(

  • Paula
    April 6, 2015, 1:52 am

    One advantage this “two-fer” offers is avoidance of a building permit. In most of CA you can build a shed this size without a permit. Subsiquent sheds must be at least 6 foot distant, and cannot be attached to eachother. Of course, you’re not supposed to live in them full time….. 😉

    • signalfire
      April 9, 2015, 1:10 am

      I’ve been looking (very closely) at code requirements in San Luis Obispo County – you can’t build any size shed at all unless there’s already a permitted house on the property. Dunno about other places, but most are likely to be the same.

      • BSanders
        May 19, 2015, 3:42 am

        I too have trying to reserach SLO county zoning. What have you been able to find?

      • Larry
        May 31, 2015, 1:18 am

        When I was traveling in NZ & AU 25 years ago they had these caravan parks. A few were the trashy parking lots like we have here for RV parks but many had a central house or common building that everyone could access. Then placed around the property were various types of smaller habitable structures for sleeping and relaxing in. There were tents, manufactured buildings, travel trailers, small cabins and cottages many of which were portable or temporary in nature. The trick is finding a property sufficiently large enough to add your tiny home or three next to an existing serviced structure. Assuming there is no parking laws preventing trailer parking. 😉

  • Sue
    April 6, 2015, 3:23 pm

    Love it! It’s a happy looking place, covers all the needs, and has an interesting design. A tiny house doesn’t have to suit every place on the globe to be viable or every individual or family. This is a keeper, in my opinion!

  • Christine
    April 7, 2015, 9:05 am

    This is just silly. Who cares if it has great colors, nice deck chairs, etc? The bathroom area is see through AND no covering. Please, never get ahold of a bad meal that ends with a local variant of Montezuma’s revenge during a rain storm. This looks like it was designed by a 5-year old. smh

    • Cahow
      April 7, 2015, 10:03 am

      Christine: I got the BEST laugh from your post! Rock on, Christine. 😀

  • Penny Lowe
    April 7, 2015, 9:22 pm

    Love it, I could live there. I am struckturing my own ‘Tow-fer Tiny House’ & it’s almost complete. I will be sending in pictures & video soon. My two-fer consists of a 30 foot class RV & a 9 x 23 ft. commercial office trailer. The trailer is built on the heavest trailer frame there is The trailer fram is made of the same steel bridges are made from. I won’t be pulling it anywhere, but it won’t
    flip over eatber. I’ll keep you posted on the completion of my Tow-fer Tiny House.

  • Elle
    April 9, 2015, 1:35 pm

    Yep, definitely a ‘mild weather’ concept but very nice. However you could easily connect these two THs and have a very nice sitting area and entry. A french-door or sliding glass door would make a nice rear wall in the sitting area, and it would nicely divide the eating and sleeping areas for privacy. The eating and sleeping areas could be designed to double as more sitting/office/guest space when not in use and of course, the enclosed sitting area could double as sleeping quarters for guests. I can picture these connected and like the way it would create an overall curved design rather than a rectangular-lego affect.

  • Elle
    April 9, 2015, 1:42 pm

    …and oh yeah; put the potty on one side or the other and enclose it!

  • treehouse in paradise
    April 10, 2015, 2:51 am

    I really love this little “summer house” idea. Very clever.

  • Brend
    April 10, 2015, 11:52 am

    I love the sense of humor with the room names. “Bare all” is great!!! Loved that.

  • Bill Sexton
    April 29, 2015, 9:41 am

    I have been following the tiny house stuff for several years now and have to say this is a perfect example of simplicity. It covers all the basic needs and with very little changes/additions, could adapt to almost any climate. Do the naysayers here actually live in a tiny or do they troll the forums spreading their a cheer?

  • Denise
    May 7, 2015, 3:35 am

    This is really creative and clever. While I couldn’t see it for full time living, it would be great in a secluded camping spot somewhere up here in the Pacific Northwest in the summertime. The San Juan Islands would be perfect.

  • SteveDenver
    May 18, 2015, 10:59 am

    The thought that comes to mind is FOOTPRINT. This works if you have plenty of space and no neighbors.

  • Linton Tomlin
    May 18, 2015, 11:46 am

    I really, really like this. Can anyone point me to more like this that are separate rooms but connected? What I’d like to see is something like this but with a common roof as protection from the elements and a BIG fireplace for common cooking, socializing.

  • Tammy
    May 18, 2015, 3:01 pm

    I love the presentation of this one! It’s hysterical AND I like the layout!

  • Jan
    May 18, 2015, 4:48 pm

    Well,,,, as part of the original Jesse James gang, we have formed our own private website on Facebook, my Mom, the oldest daughter, made to quit school in the 8th grade to stay home a work, she said they always had outdoor toilets, even in the winters of Minn. and she slept in a screened in porch, waking up with frost in her eyelashes, heated bricks on the wood stove, wrapped in newpaper at the foot of the outdoor beds. She so inspired me to appreciate what I have,,, no outhouse , sleep inside. But this came to mind,,, a shower right out in the open with no roof or? burrrrrr,,,, Maybe a chamber pot? inside……. I am in CA. and I see this as a beach area camp out place to spend a weekend at most.
    Janice James– there were 13 children all related to Jesse! I am a fifth cousin. I enjoy all of these Tiny homes on this site, my favorite place to look at~on line~!!! Thanks Alex.

  • Mary J
    May 18, 2015, 9:51 pm

    quite a cute little set up, guess it would work really well for a beach th. but not so great for either hot or cold zones. I can see the bathroom area being closed in and being placed along the back wall with front as a connection between kitchen and sleeping and that would make for a great little th.

  • Richard
    May 19, 2015, 10:04 pm

    And for other, lighter forms of insulation try owens corning RA series or fiberglass panels 701 & 703 as well as roxul. All can be had for 2″ depths or less and most are 3.5-5R per inch.

  • Rich
    May 19, 2015, 10:40 pm

    What I appreciate most about this design is that it is NOT a shoebox and that the spaces have been labeled by function instead of room names.
    For us hearty northerners all it would take to make a comfy little house out of this vacation cabin would be to enclose the north wall of the “bare-all” and build a “comma-shaped” greenhouse of sorts connecting the spaces like the “earthships” of the 1970’s. Heck in the right location it could even be bermed on the north side, a small version of Frank Lloyd Wright’s solar hemicycle of 1948 🙂

  • May 18, 2016, 1:38 pm

    Ohhh Yeah, I Like that Too. Asymmetric cut of the Decomposition of the space, bright and colorful environments bring me back to the Style of Rietveld and Mondrian. In Small it is Nicely Articulated.

  • Saga
    May 18, 2016, 3:37 pm

    I love it. Sure it would only work in warm, dry climates, but I love the playfulness of it.
    And the separation of the different areas is inspiring. One could build a extremely tiny house with just a bed and a camping cooker, and a compost toilet outside. And then add buildings/rooms as savings allowed it.

    • Steve in Palm Bay
      May 20, 2016, 6:58 am

      More than a year from my original comments, but Saga, I still like the concept, but agree, that as built it is only going to work for a dry climate. I still think though, that with perhaps a single wide overlapping roof (and screened it!), this could work in Central Florida. Very (sub)tropical! Sorry Cahow, just can’t abide in the frozen north. Am a true Florida Cracker.

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