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Grandma Turns Backyard Shed into Tiny Home

This is an inspiring story of how a grandmother named Monica turned her backyard shed into a tiny home.

Why did she do it? Because her daughter, Anna, was in a desperation situation. And she has five kids. When Monica found out they were having difficulties she started turning the shed into a lovely tiny cottage for herself. This way her daughter and family can move into her two bedroom home.

If you agree that Monica is an awesome grandmother please enjoy her shed converted tiny home tour and re-share this inspiring story below. Thank you!

Grandma Turns Backyard Shed into Tiny Home


Images © Anna Wallace

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Images © Anna Wallace


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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!
{ 116 comments… add one }
  • Ron Masury
    January 12, 2015, 1:07 pm

    Grandma did a great job, looks absolutely fantastic and is I’m sure comfortable and cozy. She (Grandma) accomplished what most of us can’t do…or won’t do! She deserves a lot of credit and I’m sure she will get a lot of applause for her efforts. NICE GOING GRANDMA!

  • Isabel Smith
    January 12, 2015, 1:20 pm

    I’m a grandma and as soon as I saw the ladder, I said, “That’s not for me!” And you can bet, that little place is either very hot or very cold — it really is a shed! But for what she is doing for her family… taking advantage of space… is a great idea. But I would make the shed the sleeping area for the mom and kids, or if the kids are older, just for them — what a great experience for them… mom and grandma close by, but they are in ”their own place” — a great sense of security during an obviously trying time. Let the adults have space to live and get strength to make a plan that brings money into their house, while the kids have a lot of fun being kids in ”their house” — Just saying, just my two cents, my opinion… 😉

    • sgmaps
      January 12, 2015, 7:14 pm

      With respect, I wonder how you think 5 children & their mother could sleep inside an 8 x 10 shed or the children. If the children are old enough to sleep there on their own, that means that they are naturally bigger & thus take up more room. Even with bunk beds it would still be questionable. As far as the stairs or ladder, I totally understand your concern so perhaps she could get herself a good futon to serve a double function. I think its a wonderful thing she has done & the inside finishes & use of furniture with good storage is great.

      • Cyndi Raper
        January 12, 2015, 9:28 pm

        You obviously failed to read the story. Grandma is living in the tiny house so that her daughter and grandchildren can live in the main house. Geez!

        • January 13, 2015, 12:37 pm

          Good grief, I’m a grandma myself and helping our kids and grand kids out is what we do. I just made an opinion of what I thought and how I would arrange it, it was not negative at all. Maybe YOU should have read what I wrote more carefully and with a little more sensitivity!!!

        • Isabel Smith
          January 14, 2015, 1:29 am

          @Cyndi — I wouldn’t say I’m ”O-fendded” as much as disturbed by so many people and their lack of the notion of fun. My children were like puppies. They rolled on the floor, on each other, on our pets, they just were barrels of laughs with their antics and activity. Kids love different things. Especially if ”its allowed” — And going thru an obvious tough patch, such as this could be, allowing some kids to sleep in the house and some to sleep out in the back yard ”dormitory” — now we’re talking fun. And lets face it, all adults, especially us over-worked, over-worried femailes need a room, a bath, a kitchen. Jesus-Approved. Take a breath!

        • sgmaps
          November 20, 2015, 12:01 am

          Interesting that this article is running again, 10 months after the original time when I commented. I did not fail to read the story Cyndi (if your comment was directed at my comment). I did understand that the Gramma was moving into the shed with the daughter & her 5 children to live in the 2 bedroom main house. My concern was that there would not be enough room for the mom & children to live in the shed on a permanent basis. It would cause a lot of stress for the 6 of them to be crammed in there, especially for the mother imho.

      • Dyala Corrales
        May 11, 2016, 8:18 am

        I think you misunderstood. The grandma moved into the shed so that her daughter could live in her house.

        • Sgmaps
          May 11, 2016, 8:54 pm

          Dyala Corrales-who misunderstood, Isabel Smith or myself? As I have already stated on Nov 20/15 I did NOT misunderstand the story, I DID understand that the grandmother had converted the shed & was going to live in that herself while her daughter & grandchildren were going to live in the main house which belongs to the grandmother. My original comment of Jan 12/15 was a reply/comment on Isabel Smith’s first comment of Jan 12/15. If everyone would take time & actually read my comment, I merely expressed respectful concern about Isabel’s suggestion that she would make the shed the sleeping area for the mom & kids etc. There, does everybody have it straight? GEESH!!!!!

    • Carlina
      January 13, 2015, 12:30 pm

      I am one of those young G’mas and I will do this for my kids and grandkids in a heart beat. Not many of us left, but we are HERE!! And yes, I would love a sleeping loft with a ladder, not a downstairs bed.

      • Isabel Smith
        January 13, 2015, 12:39 pm

        I am a grandma who prefers not to use ladders when I don’t have to because they are awkward for me. It is not a crime to express a different opinion, and it is in no way an indication of negative criticism. I simply made an observation of how I would use the little shed and that is all. It was not a negative criticism of a grandma helping her family. Good grief!!! Take the dark sunglasses off.

        • cyndi Raper
          January 14, 2015, 1:18 am

          Isabel, my comment was not directe to you and I am most sincerely apologetic you took offense. I must have linked my repy wrongly. SGMAPS replied his/her concern was that the daughter and her children were going to be crammed into a tiny shed whe, in fact, the gracious grandmother was going to be living in the tiny house and the daughter & grandchildren would be living in the main house. So very sorry for the confusion.

    • Madelyn Doesburgh
      January 18, 2015, 4:46 pm

      Bless grandma for helping out. There’s nothing that compares to being homeless. Grandma’s shed is a home to her and a blessing for her daughter. Depending on GM’s health and mobility she should be able to sleep where she wants. We, as a society are going away from the idea of more is best. I would love the opportunity to be able to help my family by doing with less. I just love what Grandma has done to the place. Wish them all well.

      • M
        October 3, 2015, 2:32 pm

        Amen. As a grandma myself I have already given much of my “stuff” to my kids in preparation for my own tiny living. If I had had an entire house to give I would have gladly. This past summer I outfitted an old ford van into a tiny house style camper. Had a kitchen with tiny tile back splash, and mounted chrome baskets filled with gourmet foods, desk area to do art, 27″ x 70″ couch bed – complete with vintage style linens that folded out to 58″ creating an area underneath where one grandchild could sleep on a fake fur covered foam mattress with forest animal print fleece blanket – the “bear cave” and the other grandchild slept in the front on a foam matt across the seat using a fleece lined space blanket with a silver windshield reflector and glow in the dark stars on the ceiling. Everyday my grandsons would say “let’s go play in the van!” My point? I agree that kids don’t need space – their imaginations fill in the blanks. So Isabel’s idea was just as viable as Monica’s. As for me, I have memories no one can take away and so do they.

        • Varenikje
          October 4, 2015, 12:01 am

          M, this sounds wonderful! What great memories are being made!

    • Eugene
      May 2, 2015, 1:03 pm

      I can certainly understand about the ladder. If I were in the same situation I would do this same thing in a heart beat. I applaud the grandma for making the sacrifice for her daughter and grandkids. Obviously the shed is too small for even 2 older kids and with the high possibility there being both male and female children both genders need privacy from the other for modesty reasons, I agree with the decision for the daughter and 5 grandkids to have the 2 bedroom house and grandma has the tiny house.

    • Nysha
      May 2, 2015, 6:31 pm

      I agree with you. The shed could have been made into a cute and serviceable bunk house for the kids & mom to sleep in, while the extra bedroom in the house made into a family room to give everyone space during the day. However, it may be that grandma prefers to have peace and privacy. I raised 5 kids & have an adult child who has 5, I love them to death, but…been there, done, that. I’d move into the shed in a heartbeat.

    • Jacintha Freeman
      August 9, 2016, 6:43 am

      Hi Isabel. I think your idea is a good one. I don’t think I would feel happy having my grandma in a cramped space like the one I see above having to maneuver with a ladder.As the daughter with the five kids I wouldn’t have felt comfortable. If it was possible a room could’ve also been added to the main house, let grandma keep her bedroom, put two/three of the kids in the shed to sleep and hang out when they want to because I agree kids would like that, and mum and the other kids sleep in the other room and the extension to the main house. Yes you want to help your daughter out but at the same time the grandmother should be considered in terms of age and mobility so I understand what you’re saying.

  • Madiha
    January 12, 2015, 1:28 pm

    What a sweet cozy home! And what a selfless grandma. Best wishes to her!

  • Christie McDonald
    January 12, 2015, 1:33 pm

    Love this idea. I need a little more room but have two questions: 1) What is in the loft-just storage or guest room for the grandkids? 2) tell me about plumbing-toilet, kitchen water, and electricity? Love the idea. I am hoping for something of 16×28′ capacity. All on one floor….I am 71 and do not want stairs…..except for storage!

    • Comet
      May 2, 2015, 12:00 pm

      Looked to me like there was a bed and a fairly large dresser at the top of the stairs—And as a handicapped grandma I could not do the stairs but I ccould see that a day bed or futon could be used—I am lucky enough to have a small house but with 7 people in it–grand parents; two adult kids; one of their spouses and two of their kids–I can def see me wanting one of these just as a Get Away for me–or the kids! Very cute and grnad ma might well use the house for the bathroom ar shower needs—-Once upon a time the kids WOULD have slept —cold; hot; rain; snow–in the loft of the BARN or a shed like this as houses simply did NOT have the room—I can show you houses here in Upstate NY from that time that have survived–the barn would have been much more spacious. In Europe the whole family would have been either in the loft or in the front of the house and the farm animals would have been below or at the back with a sloping floor for drainage—

      We in America and other First World Countries have odd notions of “space” and what you NEEd to live.

  • Kathy
    January 12, 2015, 1:41 pm

    What a great Mother …….. And Grandmother of course. But I can’t help but think of how she has undoubtedly relieved the stress and strain in her daughter’s life in such a selfless way! I definitely love her new tiny abode. You go Grandma!

  • Karen
    January 12, 2015, 1:43 pm

    If only I were rich so I could help this fantastic lady and her very blessed family . . .!

  • Rosalyn
    January 12, 2015, 1:48 pm

    I have an 8X10 shed, and this is my fantasy. No toilet? Does anyone know what provisions have been made for those middle-of-the-night trips some of us grandmothers make? Perhaps a portable camp toilet…

    • Comet
      May 2, 2015, 12:04 pm

      Don;t know what they did on this project but if you go to Walmart or any camping store and get a 5 gallon pail and a toilet seat; re-inforce the seat with plywood to cover the opening; fill the bottom with saw dust or shavings or the clumping cat litter—you are good to go. A more comfy way for most is to build a small platform under the bucket to raise it to a comfy seating height. If you hinge one side of that you have storage for TP etc.

      • Miika
        May 2, 2015, 12:32 pm

        Or, just buy a Luggable Loo from Cabela. It’s a 5-gallon bucket with its own snap-on toilet seat with lid.

      • Patty
        May 8, 2015, 10:44 pm

        Thanks, hadn’t even thought of this – doing something like a litter box! LOL! I love this little house for Grandma and her sweet heart. I’m a Grandma too; don’t know if I could do stairs, but admire the whole project.

  • Marsha Cowan
    January 12, 2015, 1:50 pm

    Really adorable little house! I like the ladder (stair?) with its wide steps. And I like the opening between the kitchen and the living room. So comfy and cute!

  • Lisa E.
    January 12, 2015, 1:57 pm

    Well, she certainly has her sweet little nest altogether! Fantastic job; congratulations G-Ma!

  • Andrea Hardy
    January 12, 2015, 2:29 pm

    now that’s a real mom! the place is absolutely adorable–kudos to you

  • Carol Surface
    January 12, 2015, 2:48 pm

    What a generous lady, and how ingenious! I wish we had been given more detail, like what part of the country this is in, what she had to do by way of insulation, plumbing and so on, to give an idea of the cost and so forth. Also, how was the original shed built? Probably not one of the sheds for sale at big box builders’ supply stores? Good luck, Monica! Enjoy!

  • January 12, 2015, 2:50 pm

    . . . doll house for a living doll!! . . . inspiring story!!

    • Debra VS
      May 2, 2015, 11:47 am

      Wonderful comment! I hope she sees it. I agree!

  • Cahow
    January 12, 2015, 3:02 pm

    I didn’t follow a single link, yet, because I’m not done crying over this touching and heart-warming story.

    God Bless this Grandma. My own Grandparent’s put me up in a travel trailer while I was at Uni. This story brought fond memories back to me.

    I hope that the Anna and the Grandchildren turn out to be as amazing as their Grandmother!!!!

  • Harriet Russell
    January 12, 2015, 4:05 pm

    Love it, it looks like a doll-house!
    Wish I could do the same, unfortunately, legally, no one can live in the small backyard house we built as a studio/storage building because of zoning, or some such. (It’s much bigger than this place, and could be comfortable.)

    • Chel
      May 2, 2015, 2:19 pm

      I can’t see a cooker or a fridge in the pictures above. It is easily described as a summer house for legal purposes. If someone is sharing their home with family members then they decide who sleeps where. And if grandma has a shed where she can go for peace and quiet, well, that’s no more than the ubiquitous man-cave.
      Renting out the main house to a separate family unit is probably what the zoning disallows.

      • Harriet Russell
        May 2, 2015, 7:02 pm

        I’m sure you’re right, Chel, I didn’t think to mention wanting it as a place to live while renting the main house!

  • Ruth
    January 12, 2015, 4:09 pm

    What I really love about this little shed is – it looks like “Grandma’s house”. You know – the pictures, the doilies, the prints, the quilts. It’s a real home, no matter how small.

    I’m hoping the publicity doesn’t get her into trouble with her city government… sheds on the property line are not meant to be living quarters in most cities.

    • Jane
      August 7, 2016, 4:39 pm

      That is exactly what I thought. Perfect Grandma’s house.

  • Barbara Wilton
    January 12, 2015, 4:21 pm

    Your the best! I pray the appreciate you for all the love you’ve shown! Love the decor too!

  • dawn
    January 12, 2015, 4:23 pm

    I am so impressed by you Monica; and your cabin.

  • Cahow
    January 12, 2015, 4:27 pm

    I grabbed this information from the link: I’m still in awe of this grandma! <3

    "Not many people understood why Monica Smith began working on her 8×10 shed in the back yard… and then they laughed when they realized she was turning it into a tiny cabin. It seemed strange that she was putting so much effort into just a shed. But it wasn't just a hobby. Her youngest daughter and 5 children lost their home. So, Monica decided to give them her own and move out to the back yard. This may be the coolest grandmother ever.

    The outside is not yet finished, but the inside is amazing! Monica didn't even hire contractors to help her complete this project. She did all of the work herself, only getting some assistance from her children and grandchildren. Monica's other daughter, Anna, said that the main house is only a 2 bedroom, which is why there wasn't enough space for all of them to live there. The selflessness of her to give up her own home so her family would have more space is so inspiring. Monica Smith, you win the Grandmother of the Year award."

    • Andrea Hardy
      January 13, 2015, 3:59 pm

      thanks cahow for the background information on this woman–agreed–this woman is amazing! so many ‘families’ couldn’t really care any less about their own. this woman is demonstrating how real families should behave and it is uplifting and refreshing to see

    • Karen Blackburn
      July 24, 2018, 6:00 pm

      My sister has recently had to find room for family as well due to loss of house. She was lucky enough to be living in a small 3 bed council house (not sure if US equivalent, house is specially adapted for disabled living and is owned by the local county council who rent it to my sister). She took in her eldest son and wife plus 3 kids, 2boys and a girl age 9-12 who sleep in my sisters old room which has an en suite, her daughter, partner and 4yr old girl share the dble bedroom, her youngest son has the single room and my sister sleeps in living room on the sofa. The house has a family bathroom as well and a small kitchen diner. In many countries it is common for families to live in small houses, a friend at college grew up in a 2 bedroom plus box room upstairs and kitchen plus living room downstairs and one small bathroom, he was one of 11 kids that was in the 1990s while my daughter’s best friend at school lived in a small house, 3 bed, 1 bath, kitchen and living room with mum, step dad and 12 siblings, this was 8 years ago. Go back 50 years and it was common for families with 12 kids to live in one bedroom cottages with mum and dad sleeping in the kitchen/living room and the kids in the bedroom (really only the attic) and many from these families went on to university and professional careers. It is modern life that insists on huge houses and separate rooms for all. I have lived in houses like this, and I have lived small, the only real difference is the amount of housework that needs doing in the big house plus how much junk and unnecessary belongings you acquire.

  • Cynthia
    January 12, 2015, 4:35 pm

    This is so sweet and I am touched just by reading about the agape type love of this mother for her family. Unselfish and not wanting anyone to feel that they are putting her out or “having to live with Mom”. Through her love she gave from her heart letting everyone keep their self esteem and get back on their feet. It seems she also got a wonderful house that is easy to keep and the thrill of having her grandchildren so close. This grandmother is smart in so many ways! Kudos Monica! You truly are one in a million.

    • Andrea Hardy
      January 13, 2015, 4:04 pm

      Cynthia–you sound JW. i would know because i speak the same language, yes this story is very moving to me too because it’s so rare to see this type of love demonstrated in the world in general even between close family members

      • Heather
        May 2, 2015, 10:21 am

        I was thinking the same thing! I automatically thought back to our most recent study article that discussed Agape love.

  • Cherrie
    January 12, 2015, 5:17 pm

    Grandmas are the best kind of people! Mine was. This family is very lucky to be so loved. And grandma. I love your little home!

  • Wendy
    January 12, 2015, 6:22 pm

    Fantastic and creative solution!!! Love this!!!

  • holly
    January 12, 2015, 6:51 pm

    That is one of the sweetest jobs I have ever seen on a tiny house. That lady made herself not just a tiny house, but a tiny home. I love it.

  • L Audet
    January 12, 2015, 7:42 pm

    Great job, Monica. What I like most about your tiny cottage is how you infused it with your personality. It looks cozy and cheerful.

  • Juli
    January 12, 2015, 8:25 pm

    Monica, I love the beautiful little home you’ve made for yourself, but even more than that, the love you’ve shown your daughter and grandchildren……now that’s truly inspiring!

  • Bev
    January 12, 2015, 8:29 pm

    Smart woman. I so enjoy looking at what people are doing with little spaces; so innovative and creative! Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  • Trish
    January 12, 2015, 8:32 pm

    May God bless you, your daughter and grand children plus make that tiny home a peaceful sanctuary for you

  • Cyndi Raper
    January 12, 2015, 9:16 pm

    Our Heavenly Father smiles when you follow the teachings of His Son!! I lift up you and your family tonight. Thank you for being such a wonderful example for your grandbabies!

  • Rebecca
    January 13, 2015, 12:52 am

    This is what family is about. What an inspiration for other families who have lost their way.

  • Ho
    January 13, 2015, 1:39 am

    This one of the best examples I have seen in a tiny house that actually portrays a person’s way of life.

  • kid
    January 13, 2015, 2:13 am

    Very cool! It reminds me of my grandparents and the little chicken coop we lived in until we were able to build our first home on the ranch. Found memories and great times.

  • Rob
    January 13, 2015, 3:47 am

    Monica, great job displaying personal treasures & keeping your own style alive! Our family has discussed using garden sheds to create an adorable tiny solar house in parents’ backyard, in order to consolidate finances, take excellent care of each other, and simply have fun doing a win/win family thing. Our city does not allow such dwellings & will not permit such a thing. If we chose to park our (dream) teeny home on wheels in parents’ driveway, oops. Also illegal. Go, Monica & family!

    • Comet
      May 2, 2015, 12:19 pm

      But yet—you can (at least here) have an endless number of people living in ONE dwelling. Now–I do live deeo in the rural cpuntryside but it is still NY. We had a situation where an old (old!) single wide trailer was being lived in by multiple people==there were something like three families in there with two older handicapped people; about 5 or more kids; and at LEAST 4 more adults. ALL of the kids were shoved in some fasion in the tiny “third” bedroom of thios old trailer. Aside from the crowding–and it is winter here for MOST of the year—the hygeine left–something–to be desired.

      The neighbors called a Code Enforcement person and was told that un less they had a child welfare situation=–=that there IS NO LIMIT on number of occupants! Yet allegedly you can only live in your RV–you know that magical house on wheeld that has far MORE space and is presumably much more well appointed and newer than THIS place is-=-you can only use that here for PART of the year. I forget what the times are but Spring to Fall is a range–then they will allegedly come and make you LEAVE. And this can be on YOUR PROPERTY!

      An irony was that the trailer with all those people had a LARGE “barn” that had been built as an equipment garage and a business by the parents of the now-owners; and the Town did not want them to LIVE in there.

      You have to wonder if any one has challenged some of these absurd laws–how can it be OK for 11 people to live in one ancient and badly maintained single wide trailer but NOT Ok for some one to sleep in a well appointed small building with running water etc? Also==would they be knocking on the door at midnight to SEE if Granny was in her night cap?

      And yes I do “get” zoning laws etc–but—when it is OK for sadistic bankers to drive people OUT of the houses they gave them loans FOR–where are they going to GO? Just one example of what is WRONG with our society.

      • Steve in Palm Bay
        May 3, 2015, 4:16 am

        Gotta agree….grandma of the decade material here. A truly self-less person here. I think all the political hacks…Democrat and Republican alike…. either want you homeless or totally dependant on them for enforcing conformity. “Homeless? Vote for us and we will give to you what you want!”….”Live in a McMansion? We will zone the less fortunate into similar enforced conspicuous consumption! “. Democracy has devolved into Uncle Sugar telling you it knows what is best for your life. Best advice is to continue to be vague about where your shed-home or THOWs is parked and minimize one’s contact with bureaucrats. Ask me how I know.

  • Denise
    January 13, 2015, 6:27 am

    Just plain, stinkin’ awesome! And obviously the ladder isn’t a problem for her, otherwise she wouldn’t have done it. Over 60 doesn’t necessarily mean feeble or out of shape. I know plenty of people who are 55+ who are in excellent shape and don’t let little things like loft ladders slow them down.

    Kudos to this lady for her selfless act. If more of us had this mentality, this world would be a different place.

    • Cahow
      January 13, 2015, 9:25 am

      Denise: regarding the ladder to the loft, I completely agree with you, in regards to THIS tiny house. Monica, the grandmother, built it with her own two hands so only SHE would know if she can clamber up a ladder or not. Plus…we have NO IDEA what age the “grandmother” is: she could be in her 60’s…or….she could be in her FORTIES!!!! If she had her daughter, Anna, at age 18 and then her daughter began her 5 pregnancies at age 18, with a pregnancy every year, Monica could be a spry and young 41 years old! Here, in S.W. Michigan and Northern Indiana, the girls still get pregnant very early: some as early as 14 years old. My best friend out here is 38 years old, has 5 children and two grandchildren. No judgement, just saying that Monica may be very young.

      And as you said, Denise, there are plenty of exceptionally bendy seniors out there that through amazing genetics, are as fit and spry as people decades younger than them. It’s all a roll of genetics and trauma to the body that allows us to move (or not move) as freely as we’d like. 😀

  • Ruth Ruddock
    January 13, 2015, 9:08 am

    Loved what Monica has done! The big thing is LOVE, of course, but the other thing I thought of right away was this: if you want to do something, just look at what this lady has done….and you can do it, too!!! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this great story.
    PS: hope Monica stays warm in winter, cool in summer, and comfy as a bug in a rug!! Bet the kids will enjoy a sleep over at Grandma’s place, too.

  • Cahow
    January 13, 2015, 9:29 am

    I do want to make mention of Monica’s decorating style: LOVE IT!!! All the lace curtains, crocheted table cloths and chintz are right up my alley! I have several crocheted table cloths that my Gran and Aunt made; they are used every.single.day. at our cottage. And our lounge sofa is also upholstered in a posh flowery chintz. I know that this isn’t everyone’s “cuppa” but it’s her’s and ours, so I just wanted to give a “Shout Out” to her on making such a cozy nest for herself. If I were one of her grand-kids, I’d be spending more time HERE than in the primary home. 😀

  • Ruth
    January 13, 2015, 1:22 pm

    For the love of family. You are a wonderful mom and grandma. Maybe you could push this idea with our government to house our homeless veterans and loved ones.

  • Sandi Berumen
    January 13, 2015, 10:04 pm

    I have to respond to Isabela Smith — It looks like she insulated the shed, she certainly put inside walls in. I know that I could not put my daughter and 5 grandchildren in a small shed. The ladder could be a problem, however, it is not a conventional ladder and I am sure she could add a railing if nec. I think what she is doing for her family is terrific and, like others have said, I hope her daughter appreciates what she is doing for them. I would think grandmother Monica would feel not quite right about living by herself in her two bedroom home while a family of at least 6 were crammed into a tiny shed litteraly on top of one another — talk about the old lady and the shoe! Monica, I say Kudos to you may you be truly blessed, it is obvious you love your family very much and want them to have a safe place to get back onto their feet.

    • Isabel Smith
      January 14, 2015, 1:10 am

      @Sandi Berumen — In my opinion, which IS NOT negative, I was only thinking of my own two children, super-active boys, and how much fun they would think it would be to sleep in a dormitory style bunkhouse in the back yard. I agree with Grandma Monica so much and I was just thinking of the ”fun factor” — something LEGALISTIC people seem to omit because they are drawing the boundary lines so DARK and THICK. One great thing about the comments my original comment has done for our Tiny House Talk is made this blog comment popular, which in web world is ”gold” — so never under estimate the power of a blog in your business as an ”easy and acceptable business way” to gain attention (search engine status) on the internet. HAVE FUN — LIGHTEN UP!!! I love what Monica is doing, sheesh!

      • eva
        January 14, 2015, 3:59 pm

        Isabel I am with you 100%. I am a bit more realistic about these kind of things. Maybe this situation will work out great but I have seen too many situations where a trusting elderly parent allows down on their luck children with families move in with very bad outcomes. If you want to help your adult children the most important thing is to make sure YOU are in a strong position yourself. If you weaken your own position while helping others eventually all of you are going to need help.

      • Rebecca
        October 3, 2015, 12:03 pm

        Isabel, settle down mija. She did it her way. You are way too invested in this dispute. Your way would be great for you.

        • Isabel
          October 3, 2015, 12:28 pm

          @Eva… exactly. You worded it perfectly.
          @Rebecca… Please reprimand someone else. I’m sick of the 40-year old plus-or-minus ”right to reprimand” — Its hard for you to believe that we are ALL adults here. Reprimanding is what you do for children; and not for long if they are bright kids, like most of our children are. After that reprimanding is just one person’s need to control another person’s expression. For me, it borderlines ”politically correct” which has, in my opinion, gotten out of control, as in calling a group of my female friends, ”you guys” and so on. Reprimanding, thank you my dear, for pointing out in your opinion, that I am too invested in a dispute. This is not a dispute. Its a discussion of living situations between grandparents and adult grandchildren and young great grandchildren. I rebuke and do not recognize you as an authority over my right to express myself Rebecca. Invest in that for awhile.

  • vonda
    January 13, 2015, 10:19 pm

    this is the cutest tiny house and the story with it is just beautiful. The heart of this woman for her family is just wonderful. may the Lord look on this family and bless them and help them.

  • Nancy Duke
    January 14, 2015, 11:39 am

    I think grandma Monica is Avery unselfish and caring person and she has some great carpentry skills. This place looks very comfortable and warm. I bet her grand kids love to visit grandma’s beautiful cottage. Us grandma’s have to stick together.you go girl!

    • Diane
      May 4, 2016, 1:17 pm

      I agree Nancy. She is unselfish and willing to sacrifice for her grand children and daughter. My own Mother would have been way too self centered and would not have put herself out for me in this way. I would like to buy her a stained glass window to put in that small opening where the wood and tape are right now. Is there a way she can contact me so I can give something to someone who is worthy of the calling of Christ to “think not only of the needs of ourselves but also the needs of Others”. I would like to be a sister in Christ to this woman and offer her a week vacation in Scottsdale for herself at no charge and I would like to buy her a window and send it back with her wherever she lives. It’s small and I think the airlines would take it on board. Or I could ship it to her. A stained glass window would be so lovely in that space. Let me know.

  • Don Woods
    January 14, 2015, 12:26 pm

    One of the most ingenious layouts I’ve seen for such a small building. It’s tight, but it works.

  • valerie
    January 14, 2015, 1:31 pm

    How awesome is that…I would do that in a minute for my grandkids too…that’s just shows how our economy is…thanks Grandma <3 you are my hero!

  • LK
    January 14, 2015, 1:32 pm

    What a wonderful thing to do! She could have wrung her hands and lamented – instead she acted. Love the shed do-ever, and love seeing love in action.

  • colleen decker
    January 15, 2015, 9:34 pm

    Cute as a bugs ear, perfect for one.. Sweet to do that for your daughter..

  • Maria West
    May 2, 2015, 9:40 am

    I’m 48 years old and in wheelchair, this is my dream to do this to a 12×32 lofted garden shed. It looks like the couch is a futon, so maybe the upstairs area is for grandkids to sleep over at grandmas. As for a toilet, it might be hidden behind a closet. As for if its cold inside, not if you install installation before you put up walls.

  • Heidi
    May 2, 2015, 9:43 am

    Great tiny house that looks like a comfy home.
    I a homeless and would really appreciate a place like this to call home.

  • janie
    May 2, 2015, 9:46 am

    This is my favorite tiny house I have seen. Not because of her reasons for creating it (though a wonderful reason), but because it feels more like a HOME HOME than any other tiny house I have seen, in the several years I have been looking at the tiny houses.

    Glad to see it again!

  • isabel
    May 2, 2015, 9:48 am

    during emergency situations which unexpectedly arise,any roof over your head beats the streets ! you never know when their shoes could be on your feet. shelter is shelter,a place to sleep,then mom goes out to work during day hours & kids go play outdoors,theyre not stuck indoors all day, the demands of living expenses is hard enough for some of us,lets get back to basics.

  • May 2, 2015, 9:49 am

    I’d want to do this for my child and grandchildren. I’d badly, badly want to do it. But, I’m not sure that I’d have confidence enough to take on a project like this by myself. Much applause to this grandma. Good for you!

  • Patricia
    May 2, 2015, 10:10 am

    This is a cute little home, I just wanted to know where she put her bed? I would be a little claustrophobic.

  • Joni
    May 2, 2015, 10:24 am

    Really I do not get the comments saying its too small, as a kid who had playhouses and tents and treehouses sleeping in this would be FUN. I think grandma did a GREAT JOB and I applaud her, I am in the process of planning a tiny house for grandkids and this is a great example. And a shed can be insulated the same as a mobile home or house so it is not too hot or cold

  • Mel
    May 2, 2015, 11:22 am

    This grandmother is awesome for doing this and she did a fantastic job! She’s a great role model for her grandchildren.
    While Isabel’s idea of putting the grandchildren’s sleeping quarters in the shed is fine for one night of “camping”, permanent sleeping arrangements for children in a shed would attract DCF like flies to dog doo. Please take off your rose colored glasses, Isabel, and see the world for how it is now and not like it was back in the 50s.

  • Marcy
    May 2, 2015, 11:55 am

    Ruth, you and I were thinking the same thing. It looks like a grandma house. I can easily picture a grandma-type-person moving around in here, having a cup of tea.

  • Debra VS
    May 2, 2015, 11:59 am

    I’m going to assume that the bathroom is behind one of those curtains. May I say that this is absolutely adorable? May I hire you, Monica, to come decorate MY small house?! I love the chest in the living room and the upper cabinets in the kitchen. The loft bedroom is also cozy and lovely. Great job!

  • Darrell Spraggins
    May 2, 2015, 12:04 pm

    Go granny, go granny, go granny, go…..it’s a 60’s thing you wouldn’t understand unless you are a 50’s or 60’s child. Great person hope you enjoy your cottage!

  • SteveDenver
    May 2, 2015, 3:54 pm

    May this be a wonderful time for her and her daughter’s family as they navigate the storm. It’s a darling little home and I hope it is bursting with joy and affection.

  • virginia
    May 2, 2015, 6:27 pm

    I’m charmed by what granny did. It is sweet and just enough for her…….how terrific she can be so close to her grandkids and family.
    I’m a granny too and would do exactly the same thing!!!

  • Tiana Smith
    May 2, 2015, 6:30 pm

    There is nothing like the love of a grandmother. What a truly selfless gesture.

  • Harriet Russell
    May 2, 2015, 7:08 pm

    Looks like a good roof for solar panels, too.

  • Ashley
    May 3, 2015, 1:15 am

    Very sweet of her. One suggestion though….that heavy older tv up high on that chest looks like an accident waiting to happen, especially with 5 grand children running in and out.

  • KC
    May 3, 2015, 2:08 am

    I would have liked to see the bathroom arrangements…

    And kudos to the Grandma for climbing that ladder for bedtime!

  • Wanda Sue Raney
    May 3, 2015, 1:21 pm

    I think Grandma is awesome to help daughter and if she is like me, she wants to help especially if her daughter is really trying to do good for her family…. I want a tiny house,easy to clean,cheap upkeep ,private,yet close to family….who needs a big house and lots of junk…Children of mine, if you are reading this….Granny wants a tiny house for Mothers Day….PLEASE!!!!
    P.S> Dear Isabel ….I hope your kids aren’t as self-centered when you get old and need help!

  • Maydra Reyes
    May 4, 2015, 12:02 pm

    I would & have done this & more for my children. This woman is a saint! Not too many people ( parents & grandparents alike) put themselves out anymore, seems like we’re a dying breed. Hats off to you.

  • Val
    May 6, 2015, 7:06 am

    Kudos to grandma for helping her child and g children. More ppl could learn some lessons in what’s right from talking/watching you!

  • Vicki P. Nesom
    May 22, 2015, 9:06 am

    Would like the dimensions of this adorable tiny house.

    I am a granny, also a working nurse, and will tell you too many people slow down after their 50th birthday. Instead, MORE effort should be spent on physical fitness, especially balance and proper nutrition (we now know the elderly need MORE protein as they age and not less).

    I would live in this for my kids, in a New York second. As for the ladder? It would be incorperated into my fitness regime. As a 59 y/o travel nurse, I ALWAYS live on the second floor and NEVER use the elevator.

  • Marta
    June 25, 2015, 11:23 pm

    where’s the stove?

  • October 3, 2015, 5:48 pm

    Can Isabel the tiny talk troll please leave the building. What is your problem with your opinion and being so defensive? And are you taking credit for Alex’s tiny talk comment section? Please don’t take credit for all of the buzz around this house because you’re not the main topic of this conversation nor are you the one who is responsible for drumming up comments on an already established website where people are already buzzing about these houses. Honestly your opinion sucks. But who’s keeping track anyway. Do you own a tiny house? I do… Calm down and let the discussion just take place naturally as we all do on tiny talk. This website is for tiny house lovers not haters. Sorry in advance to anyone if I’m being negative but this lady’s nuts!

    • kristina nadreau
      May 6, 2016, 2:55 am

      Isobel is just fine. Your comment is insulting and inappropriate, and totally lacks logic. The woman made a suggestion and it was actually a good option. so what is the problem.

      • Anthony garbarino
        May 6, 2016, 3:37 am

        The problem is Kristina is that you must not have read all of Isabel’s comments to the very bottom of the comment section. I personally only commented one time after reading a multitude of comments from Isabel that were insulting if anything to others. I completely read through every comment from top to bottom and there seemed to be a theme with Isabel. Her first comment with her opinion was perfectly fine along with her second comment but if you keep on scrolling down she suddenly turns angry on the tiny house community. By being a Debbie downer Simply because a couple of people had commented to what she had said and if you look in the other person’s comment they even apologized to Isabel for upsetting her even though they articulated the fact that that was never there intention and that she took it wrong. To which other people tried to correct Isabel on her having the wrong information on the way she thought the living arrangements were with the grandmother and her daughter and kids. If you continue to read through Isabel’s comments she becomes More and more nasty in her demeanor for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Considering the fact that there were several people chiming in To enlighten Isabelle to the facts that she got wrong of the living arrangements and also the several people who chimed in to personally let Isabel know that she is being negative and nasty. Furthermore when she decided to start taking credit for basically Alex’s website and all of the buzz around the house that people were talking about, at that point I had to chime in Because I could no longer listen to the negativity and why was she giving herself credit for all of the above on this house and tiny talk? . I happen to be a tiny house owner myself and take pride in Alex’s tiny talk. And our group does not allow that type of negativity. Of course we welcome any bodys opinion or suggestions but when people start to get nasty they are escorted off of our tiny porch. In the nicest way of course. Actually I’m a little upset at myself for being such a sweetheart about it but who’s keeping track. And you said something about there is no logic behind my last post? I think I explained my logic in the first post very clearly but if you didn’t read through the complete list of comments from beginning to end then I think you’re missing the whole picture. Nobody was agreeing with her and everybody was disagreeing with her so there is your sign. We are happy people with no mortgage and barely any bills and the freedom to travel wherever we want with xtra money in our pockets due to our smart thinking. So I’m not sure why you Are questioning me when we are all questioning you. Please read the full postings and comments before you jump to conclusions. And if you already read all of the comments and still agree with Isabel then it sounds like you have a lot of extra time on your hands to agree with people who are very negative and combative with people who weren’t even trying to fight with her. The fact of the matter is us tiny house owners take tiny houses and the fun we have with them very serious and we don’t like when people bring negativity into our world when they probably don’t even own a tiny house. That being said we are completely open To any comments suggestions or opinions as long as they are not negative. If you have been on tiny house talk for more than a couple weeks you will agree with me by see a reoccurring theme of negative people like Isabel and a reoccurring theme of tiny house defenders trying to get trolls like her off our site. The mere fact that Isabel has not replied to my first and only post I have ever posted on tiny talk speaks volumes of her character. The tiny talk troll had left the stage never to be heard from again. …. Please have a wonderful night but please don’t jump to conclusions until you read all of the comments top to bottom. And if you are new to tiny talk then you will understand that we do not allow negativity On this site and the true tiny talk people always stand up and defend Alex. The mere fact that Alex approved my first message speaks volumes of his character and I’m guessing this post will pass The sniffer test also. Build a tiny house and I think you will have a full understanding of what we are talking about. Thank you

  • Rhonda N
    October 3, 2015, 6:37 pm

    Sweet story and well done by grandma.

  • Mike H
    January 12, 2016, 5:45 pm

    This is an excellent tiny home and post, and it gives me alot of ideas! Way to go Grandma!!

  • Gabrielle Charest
    January 13, 2016, 6:19 am

    What a charming and adorable tiny house! And Grandma is teaching the grandchildren a valuable lesson: family comes first and you can have fun by sharing what you have with those you love.

  • Peter Piper
    May 3, 2016, 2:10 pm

    Like the shed/house very much, except for the TV. I would throw out the TV so fast it would make your head spin. Does anybody watch TV anymore?

  • Rev
    August 7, 2016, 11:23 pm

    I remember the smell of this place. Liniment, chicken dumplings. Available lap in the recliner, my face surrounded by comfy bosoms. Security.

    Green hutch is great.

    Situation as written:
    Granny did the work? Where were the other offspring and the grandkids!!! Somebody needs a good ear-pulling! And maybe a ‘lecture’ behind the shed! Straighten them out right now, I tell you what. Love never meant for anybody to be a doormat.

  • wendy
    August 8, 2016, 5:57 am

    This is a truely inspiring story:) What a wonderful Lady!
    I think that she has done an amazing job!!! She is a credit to us all – family comes first:)

  • Elle
    August 8, 2016, 11:24 am

    You did a great job, grandmother. The point is you are helping your family and, in doing so, taking less for yourself. That’s what counts no matter the “what” of it. It would be nice if everyone tried a little of this medicine in life including just being nice.

    If I had a personal city the name and it’s motto: JUST BE NICE.

  • Cyndi ann
    August 8, 2016, 12:59 pm

    I think this is a great service in love that Gramma did. If I didn’t rent and had a home with a shed or garage, I would do the same for my daughter just to give her a home of her own. 🙂

  • Wanda
    August 8, 2016, 2:56 pm

    Kudos to any grandparent who loves grandkids enough to sacrifice to help them up! At one time, we had a big four bedroom, 2 bath, two car garage home on a near acre. We had a fully permitted, 24’X32′ garage built on the lower portion of our property. Our son and his family temporarily came on hard times and moved into our 2nd garage. The church came in and finished the inside walls and put up a wall separating the parking section from the other side. We had a series of storage cabinets already, and we just put them side by side across the main room, to provide a separate space for the 2 boys and 2 girls. Their parents lived in the other section, which also included the kitchen. My son installed a little fire place with a pipe through the roof, to warm the well-insulated building. There was a sink in the kitchen area, with cold, running water. A hot plate was their cooking source. Years earlier, we had our property fenced and cross-fenced, so they actually had their own spacious play-yard. There was no bathroom so they used the two in our main house. During some of that time, our daughter-in-law trudged up the hill to our house to do her washing and sometimes to prepare meals, while she was pregnant with their fifth child! Unlike the grandma in your beautiful story, we kept the big house and they made-do with the tiny house. We were foster parents, so we needed the larger quarters. Since our son’s family was in and out of our home, Social Services required them to be cleared. We had five other grown sons of our own, so we found this arrangement to be very enjoyable, with kids running around all the time, socializing with our foster kids. The foster kids loved the camaraderie also. I look back on this time with a warm and fuzzy feeling. Our son was later offered a job he couldn’t refuse and they now live all the way across the country in their own lovely four-bedroom, two bath, two-car garage home.

  • Wanda
    August 8, 2016, 3:12 pm

    Addendum to my previous entry: Now that my husband has departed to be with the angels, all our sons have grown children of their own, we’ve long since sold my favorite home of all time, I am now thinking of buying my own tiny home–with lofts for grandkids visits, or course!

  • Dawn Cain
    July 24, 2018, 3:54 pm

    What an awesome woman!!! It is so wonderful to see families care for one another. I also love that even though it is a tiny house she didn’t sacrifice her own personal style. It is truly lovely and looks so welcoming.

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