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Couple’s Backyard Shed to Cottage Conversion and Tiny House Community Dreams in Kentucky

Linda and her husband wanted a place to stay separate from their kids when they visited family in Kentucky, so they jumped at a good deal on a shed shell and then spent one very-rainy summer living in the shed and converting it.

Now Linda has inherited some land and is interested in renting some of it out to others wanting to go tiny! Right now it’s just an idea but you all can comment and discuss your interest in her thoughts and see where it leads. Also, enjoy their progress photos below.

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They Took this 12×40 Shed and Made It a Home

Couple’s Backyard Shed to THOW and Tiny House Community Dreams 4

Images via Linda

Here’s their finished farmhouse-chic kitchen.

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Images via Linda

A compact coffee bar.

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Images via Linda

Linda, up in the loft bedroom.

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Images via Linda

The now-finished living space.

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Images via Linda

A look at the house from a distance.

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Images via Linda

Super cute all dolled up for Christmas.

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Images via Linda

Here was the shed in its original colors.

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Images via Linda

A bit of dirty work getting it together.

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Images via Linda

That first summer it was a construction zone.

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Images via Linda

Living room mid-conversion.

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Images via Linda

Kitchen mid-conversion.

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Images via Linda

Painting the ceilings took some time.

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Images via Linda

Grandkids enjoying the loft.

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Images via Linda

The bedroom at the beginning.

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Images via Linda

Not fancy at this point, but functional.

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Images via Linda

They made a cute living space here.

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Images via Linda

And now — wow! What a bedroom.

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Images via Linda

Linda, painting away in the loft.

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It was a very muddy summer!

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Images via Linda

Linda’s story:

Our journey started, in 2018, we needed a place to live while we were in Kentucky visiting our kids for the summer. I don’t believe anyone house is big enough for two families. So I’ve always liked the idea of tiny houses, so we got a good deal on a 12 x 40 shed. So we bought it had it moved to my kids backyard it was only the shell. So let the work begin. It was a very rainy summer I think it rained 40 days, I thought we should be building an ark instead of a tiny house.  So we started with the electrical the plumbing the insulation and then adding the walls the ceilings my husband and I did the majority of this work ourselves we hired a plumber and electrician of course. We shiplap all the walls and framed in the bathroom and our bedroom.

We actually lived in it while we were building it. That was really hard. I would never live in it and build another one. So we are still living in it when we are in Kentucky we are wanting to have it moved to my dad‘s property that we inherited.

We would like to put it on VRBO and open the property up to more people that needs a place to put their tiny homes. Would love to know how to put our invitation to rent spaces from us for tiny homes. I love the idea of a tiny home community. We have around 13 acres not all of it is usable but we probably have room for 10 to 12 tiny homes.

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Lindi Turnipseed
    April 5, 2022, 4:32 pm

    I LOVE the idea of having a tiny village. I have been looking for a place to put a tiny house. Would you contact me as to where you are?

  • Renee Mann
    April 5, 2022, 4:38 pm

    Looking for a place for to build tiny house

  • Susan
    April 5, 2022, 8:16 pm

    I am interested in tiny house living and places/ locations. Yours sounds great. Send info/specifics please. The property location was not mentioned.

    • Linda Cole
      April 8, 2022, 11:45 pm

      We are just in the planning stages working with zoning would like to keep your information and contact you when we have a little bit more to offer

      • Kaci
        April 29, 2022, 9:20 am

        Wow, what a charming home you’ve created! I’m interested in learning more about your plans to develop a small tiny house community.
        I also want to express my condolences about your dad, Linda. I bet he’d be real pleased to hear about your plans for the land he passed on to you.
        I understand you are still the planning stages. Can you please share your contact information? Thanks!

  • April 5, 2022, 8:45 pm

    I think the tiny house community on your father’s property is a great idea as long as it stays within reasonable financial reach.
    And allow for privacy between the houses so it won’t become a trailer park.
    I love the concept of tiny homes; cozy, manageable and affordable.
    Good luck with your next adventure!

    • April 7, 2022, 12:28 am

      Very nice tiny home. Would love to have more information about which state this will be in and basic rules you will have. Any amenities? Small dog allowed? Time frame of availability? Costs? TIA

  • Deborah Bryant
    April 6, 2022, 7:59 am

    I am interested. Ive lost all my family and a tiny community thrills me. I’m retired and lonely. This would be a dream come true. I would need to know how to get around to financing since cant pay cash. Where are you?

  • Jeana A Riley
    April 6, 2022, 9:01 am

    Great idea about the tiny house community! In addition I had been planning to convert a shed to a tiny house. Where are you located in Kentucky or are you planning to do this community? Please get back to me with information thank you!

  • Barbara Barber Sanchez
    April 6, 2022, 9:14 am

    Where is this community going to be?
    Please email me info.
    Thank you

  • Stephanie
    April 6, 2022, 9:17 am

    I’m very interested !!

  • Stephanie
    April 6, 2022, 9:18 am

    I think this would be a great opportunity !!

  • M
    April 6, 2022, 9:54 am

    Where in Kentucky?

    • Sharon Pesante
      April 12, 2022, 4:08 pm

      I would love a tiny house. I’ve been looking for 4 years to find a place I’d want to live. Affordable too. My daughter just moved to Velarde and I would love to own a home on wheels so I could visit. I’m interested in your space!

  • Latonya D Tate
    April 6, 2022, 9:59 am

    Hi I have been interested in Tiny homes since the beginning. I love your Tiny home. I’m wanted to get on build in the back on my house just to get away. Love the idea of Tint homes. Enjoy it!

  • Lisa Souza
    April 6, 2022, 11:06 am

    A tiny home community sounds wonderful. I live in Connecticut and would love one here but unfortunately zoning will not allow. Best of luck to you.

    • James D.
      April 6, 2022, 1:40 pm

      Yes, Connecticut is extremely unfriendly towards tiny houses. However, they were considering adopting the 2018 IRC update that would add Appendix Q, AKA the tiny house building code, for houses on foundation that are 400 Sq Ft or less.

      There just hasn’t any been any updates on that since 2020, so presumably put on the back burner until further notice, but what has been introduced and is effective since Jan. 1 2022, is accessory apartments — such as garage apartments, in-law suites or “granny pods” — will be legal to build and rent to family or other tenants in residential and single-family areas.

      Though, the new law also offers an “opt-out” provision, which allows towns to not utilize the law after a two-thirds vote from the zoning commission and legislative body.

      While the law also stops municipal zoning regulations from establishing minimum floor area requirements that exceed proper safety code and helps prevent overcrowding. It also requires regulations to provide for varied housing opportunities and further the federal Fair Housing Act, while also protecting “historic, tribal, cultural and environmental resources.”

      So, basically, depending on the area and specific local municipality, you might be able to do some sort of ADU arrangement with a tiny home, for at least foundation structures.

      But for THOWs, you’ll still be strictly limited to RV parks, etc.

      • Brenna Hasheider
        April 24, 2022, 11:27 am

        Very interested. Have a shed conversion in Iowa ready to move.

  • Chad
    April 6, 2022, 12:22 pm

    It depends on what county you are in here in Kentucky. I’ve been researching this type of thing as a way to expand my real estate company and would love to help out if I can. You’ll probably need to have your land zoned as a campground, as many tiny houses are on wheels and considered RVs.

  • Alara
    April 6, 2022, 1:38 pm

    I’m interested. Keep me updated. Thanks Alara 4258903985

  • Gigi
    April 6, 2022, 2:13 pm

    I would love to know more about this potential tiny home community…

  • Julie Ann Quintana
    April 6, 2022, 10:42 pm

    The size of their home is mobile home specs, not “tiny home” specs.

    • James D.
      April 7, 2022, 2:05 pm

      No, this is just a DIY shed conversion and there’s no exclusive spec, it’s just an example of a structure designed around what is the usual upper limits of what can be reasonably moved along the road and highways system under oversize/overweight regulations.

      Case in point 12×40 is one of the common size options for commercial sheds, among other things you can find with those dimensions, including some cabins, cottages, house boats, barns, etc.

      So there’s no actual distinction, as anything can fall into this size range that may need to be moved at least once, regardless of whether it’s intended to be something like a mobile home or a permanent structure that will be placed on a foundation.

      Besides, “tiny homes” is a generic term. It basically applies to any type of really small home, opinions just vary, as it depends on the baseline comparison, and the difference and threshold between small and tiny. So there really isn’t a specific spec for a “tiny home”…

  • Angela
    April 7, 2022, 1:26 am

    I’m interested! I’m a nurse looking to move with hubby when he retires next year. Where are you located? I’m in California but would be interested in going out and looking. Thank you

  • John
    April 7, 2022, 1:58 am

    Small groups of people can accomplish amazing things. I have time and energy and interest. Where is the property? I am a retired carpenter and CPA.

  • Gail L. Van Luvanee
    April 7, 2022, 4:40 am

    I am interested, too. Would you be able to send me more information to my email address? Can you include the plans and dimeentionss. I’m disable and would need to plan for accessibility, but i am also a residential designer/drafter so i could design for those myself ……… and help you with anyone else who might need them. Oh, i have a FB friend who does something along the line of what you are wanting to do ……. don’t know if you’d be interested in getting feed back from him.

  • Deborah Lynn Hicks
    April 7, 2022, 2:40 pm

    Hello, this is exactly what I’ve been looking into so I can stay in KY to visit my new grand daughter. I love the tiny house concept and I’ve been looking for some land to put a tiny house on. Please let me know what part of Kentucky your land is in. I’m excited to hear from you. Take care of thank you, Deborah

  • Sharon Kniola
    April 7, 2022, 5:49 pm

    Love this idea. I have been following tiny homes since their beginning talk. Would love your information on where in Kentucky and will it not have looks of campgrounds but a bit upscale. I loved camping in my younger years with kids but moved on. Please keep me informed.

  • Virgie Yazzie
    April 7, 2022, 6:22 pm

    My son has been looking for a tiny house. I am interested in getting a house for him. Please
    Contact me…

  • Yevonne
    April 8, 2022, 9:48 am

    This is a great idea. I am disabled and can’t afford a typical home, It has been a dream of mine to build a tiny home in Kentucky. My son and granddaughters live in Brooks.

  • Erica
    April 8, 2022, 6:30 pm

    I’ve read about tiny house communities in the Northwest like Seattle, northern CA & Oregon I believe. Maybe contact one for info on your next steps. I know personally I’d love to build a tiny house & live there full time. My son is grown w/a family of his own. Hubby & I don’t need much. Plus I just adore them. Congratulations to you guys.

  • Vickie Jones
    April 8, 2022, 7:19 pm

    I’m very interested! Please feel free to reach out when you have decided to open a tiny home community, thank you.

  • Florence
    April 8, 2022, 8:26 pm

    Wonderful idea I love it great job. I admire everything about it

  • Pat Lawton-Worthy
    April 8, 2022, 9:50 pm

    So totally into this amazing concept! I’m in Kalamazoo Michigan and stuck with difficult zoning but here I am with 10 acres, retired from health care and have always dreamed of a little tiny home
    “community “/neighborhood right here. I think it could be magical!

  • Janet Pierce
    April 9, 2022, 2:06 pm

    Good work. I live in Kentucky in a 320 sq ft. ‘very conventional’ tiny home…no wheels, legal, (since zoning changes here). I’ve lived here since Sept 1, 2020 and am very happy. I’ll be sharing some pictures soon. Your ‘live in while building’ was adventurous, for sure. I have a good friend in TN who has gradually added to and made her ‘shed’ into a full time living space. She started out using it as a place to have her quilting next door to her house. Her two daughters and two granddaughters live with her and she’s pretty much let them take over the main house while she added bathroom and kitchen along with a mini split and lives in her shed full time now. I enjoyed seeing your pictures. Thanks, janet pierce

  • Linda Baker
    April 9, 2022, 9:47 pm

    Wonderful conversation, this size makes it livable – hope you are able to make your dream come true

  • Lindi Turnipseed
    April 29, 2022, 11:23 am

    Interested in your Kentucky project. And would you share a floorplan of your tiny? I’d like to see your layout! Please contact me.

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