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Charles Strong’s 8×12 Tiny House Design

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Charles Strong is sharing his 8×12 tiny house design as part of our 2015 8×12 tiny house design contest.

“I have been in the construction trade for longer than I care to think about, first as a worker bee, then got into the design end of things. I am a free lance draftsman and do mostly detailing for steel fabricators on large commercial projects, with occasional ventures in architectural design. Became interested in the tiny house concept a couple years ago when considering some options for my son’s property and my own future retirement and began experimenting with various plan concepts, even gave them a name- D’weelings Designs. I found your newsletter site while doing research and have been enjoying it ever since. The contest motivated me to finish up some ideas for submittal and here’s the results. Thanks for the push and opportunity to contribute.”

Charles Strong’s 8×12 Tiny House Design


Images © Charles Strong

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Images © Charles Strong

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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!
{ 13 comments… add one }
  • Cahow
    April 4, 2015, 2:32 pm

    A BIG “Standing O” to Charles Strong and his brilliant blueprints!!!!

    Now THIS is something to ‘write home about’.

    Mad-Crazy draftsman skills, mate! *clap-clap-clap*

  • Eugene
    April 4, 2015, 3:49 pm

    great plans, the only addition I would add is a cabinet above the toilet to store toilet paper etc… and a bathroom sink many RVs/travel trailers have very compact bathroom sinks that would foot the bill

    • D'weelings Designs
      April 4, 2015, 4:54 pm

      Thanks for the comments. These are simplified plans using conventional construction methods as a base and are meant to be easily customized as your own input demonstrates. Didn’t want to clutter things up with too many details.

  • LaMar
    April 4, 2015, 5:28 pm

    Looks good! I think I would make that kitchen table so it folds down and those chairs so they can be slid together against the wall for a loveseat. Put a TV in the shelves by the ladder. Just some ideas.

  • Mary Ann
    April 4, 2015, 6:23 pm

    Your drafting and design is excellent. But I would like to make a few suggestions. Cross ventilation seems to be at minimum, especially in the loft. There is no allocation for heat or AC in your TH. Consider lowering the bathroom ceiling to 7′ and this would give you extra room where you could sit comfortably or kneel on the loft mattress. Also there does not seem to be a fridge in your plan?

    I do like the table for 2 with a window for both to see out. And you have a reasonable size entry door. Where will you put snow covered boots and coats… a reasonable question when living in Colorado?

    I appreciate the drawings you have so skillfully compiled. But if you are considering to use this design during retirement… As a 70 year old, will you want to climb a ladder for afternoon naps or night trips to the toilet? And how do you think a lady in your life would manage it? Have you ever tried to change bedding on your knees with only a foot of space over your head?

    Based on your submission, I believe you have the skill and experience to design something to accommodate the needs of an older generation (excluding marathone runners and dare devils). Would love to see how you could use the loft for something other than bed or storage, and integrate a main floor bed.

    Thank you again for giving us the pleasure of reading “professional” quality drawings.

    • Cahow
      April 4, 2015, 6:48 pm

      Mary Ann wrote: “I believe you have the skill and experience to design something to accommodate the needs of an older generation (excluding marathon runners and dare devils)”

      LOVE your flippant sense of humour, Mary Ann! Great imagery. 😀

  • Dean
    April 4, 2015, 6:41 pm

    A HUGE pat on the back to Charles Strong for his wonderful plans. The man is obviously a gifted draftsman.
    The only things I would change is swapping the conventional bathroom for a Marine/RV style one, where the room IS the shower.
    That should give him 3 more feet to play with, right there.
    Also, he builds a huge overhang for the front, but no porch? Is he planning on doing a concrete or tile patio, instead?
    Otherwise a really nice set of plans that seems to account for just about everything.
    Nice job, Charles! =)

  • Karl
    April 5, 2015, 8:42 am

    Nice plans.
    I’d flip the bath so that plumbing is simplified and on one wall, and incorporate toilet and shower for a wet bath.

  • alice h
    April 6, 2015, 9:06 am

    I really like that roof line, looks like just the solution to something I’ve been working on. Aesthetically more pleasing than a shed roof, great functionality with only a moderate increase in materials over a regular gable roof and a lot less fuss than dormers.
    For those worried about making beds in cramped quarters, the solution for me has been a hybrid creation part sleeping bag, part duvet comprised of bottom sheet and duvet cover attached at one side or bottom. Snaps, ties or Velcro at the corners of a tightly fitted mattress cover and corresponding attachment points on your bedding simplify the process. You can use thicker or thinner blankets in the duvet section depending on weather, or none at all in summer. The top layer can be as fancy as you like or you can add another layer using more attachment points on the bedding itself, putting it together to make a single piece before going to your bed area. Snaps work better than Velcro, ties can be a bit tedious. The mattress cover should have a long enough zipper to make removal easy should it be necessary but it’s meant to stay on like upholstery. You can incorporate another duvet-like pocket on the bottom to hold a regular mattress pad, sheepskin, foam topper or whatever. Also handy as a guest bedroll with foam or self-inflating sleeping pad.

  • Alex
    April 7, 2015, 3:07 pm

    That is a fantastic design! I am planning to build an 8×12 tiny house and I may just end up using this plans. Seems to have everything I need.
    I have a question about 8×12 trailers, I thought I’d post here since you folks might have some experience. I’m having trouble finding an 8×12 dual axle trailer, would single axle be OK for this size? Also what kind of weight rating would a house this size require (for example the design above)? Found something that can hold 4,000 lbs but I’m not certain it’s enough…
    Any advice is much appreciated!

    • D'weelings Designs
      April 9, 2015, 12:01 pm

      Glad you like the plans! As mentioned in a previous reply, this is meant to be a conceptual base starting point to be tweaked and customized as the individual user may find desirable. A complete “For Construction” set of plans would include full specs on the materials, appliances, plumbing, an electrical plan, framing details and those ever important available options, as the home builders like to say. One main criteria I held to, other than keeping within the specified 8’x12′ footprint, was for the builder to be able to go to any big box home supply store and get everything needed for construction in one trip. There is nothing special required that would have to be ordered or searched for, unless, of course, those “available options” are too much to resist.
      As to your trailer question, I personally would not build this on a single axle trailer. Tandem axles units are commonly rated to about 7000 pounds or so. The weight could be reduced substantially by using metal studs instead of wood (that’s my preference anyway) and some other considerations, but there may be some issues with the overall height and overhang width dimensions when it comes to transporting the unit from place to place. I would suggest that you get as small a tandem axle trailer as you can find, there are some 15′-16’ers available at times, and use the extra real estate for storage of water, propane tanks, tools and such. Hey, a worker needs those tools! Let me know how things work for you.
      Charles Strong
      D’weeling Designs

  • April 8, 2015, 12:10 am

    Great storage in this design. I like it but would prefer stairs or a ground floor bed. I’m in my 60’s and like some wine with dinner. :-D)

  • alice h
    April 8, 2015, 1:03 pm

    I put a loft back into my design at the request of my granddaughter. It also makes great extra storage space for seasonal items. Sleeping on the main floor for me for sure. A daybed is perfect for naps, reading and comfy seating as well as sleeping. No need to convert anything other than tossing off some extra cushions at night.

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