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Happy New Year: 2015 Tiny House Book Giveaway


This post contains affiliate links.

1/14/15 Update: Congratulations to Brad, Robyn, Cherry, Dona, Ashley, and Jared who each one a Tiny House Book for commenting and giving feedback. And a big thanks to you too for reading and participating!

I just wanted to take a moment right now to wish you a happy new year and I want to start the year off with a tiny house book giveaway.

I’ve had another amazing year getting to share tiny houses with you and I’m looking forward to getting to be able to do that again with you in 2015. Only I want to do better. And I need your help to figure out how.

But first off, thank you so much for your support the last few years. Tiny House Talk and our Tiny House Newsletter wouldn’t be alive without you. I love and appreciate you very much and I’m excited to serve you again this year. I just need a moment of your help because I want to do better this year.

So how can I better serve you in 2015 and beyond? Please let me know how I can help you specifically in the comments below by answering some of the following questions. What is frustrating you the most about tiny houses? What is it that’s holding you back from doing what you want to do? I want to help you better meet your goals and desires in 2015.

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Just leave a comment below being as honest about whatever might be holding you back from going tiny, going small, downsizing, simplifying your life in any area and you’ll automatically be entered into a chance to win one of the prizes shown above. 🙂

So what’s holding you back?

What might be stopping you from downsizing, going tiny/small, or just simplifying any important area of your life right now?

What do you think you need help with the most right now?

This is a comfortable and safe place to share so don’t hold back. So you’re free to let it all out. The more honest you are with me the more I’ll be able to figure out ways to be the best of help.

Thanks! And Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

Alex
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P.S. This is a judgement-free zone. It’s a happy place. We’re here to help each other. Unhelpful comments will be respectfully ignored and deleted to keep this a happy and safe place.

Books You Can Win

tiny-house-talk-book-giveaway-006 tiny-house-talk-book-giveaway-005 tiny-house-talk-book-giveaway-004
tiny-house-talk-book-giveaway-003 tiny-house-talk-book-giveaway-002 tiny-house-talk-book-giveaway-001

How Can I Better Help You in 2015?

  • What do you need the most help with right now?
  • What’s frustrating you most about tiny houses?
  • What’s holding you back from doing what you want to do?
  • What challenges are you facing right now?
  • What is it that you want the most?
  • What worries you about tiny houses?
  • What kind of lifestyle would you like to create for yourself?

Just let me know in the comments below so that I can learn more about how I can help and you’ll automatically be entered in for a chance to win one of the books above. Thank you so much!

This post contains affiliate links.

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Alex

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!
{ 730 comments… add one }
  • Jennie K
    January 1, 2015, 4:00 pm

    Money! We need to make some repairs to our mortgaged home in order to list it for sale. Need to make some floor repairs, specifically. It’ll cost a few thousand dollars. So we are having to save up for it. That’s really the only thing holding us back.

    • Alex
      January 1, 2015, 4:17 pm

      Cool, thanks for sharing Jennie. Maybe we can come up with some ways for you guys to make some extra money on the side to speed things up.

    • Shelley G.
      January 1, 2015, 9:57 pm

      Love your newsletter! I definitely need to downsize stuff, but I’d love to know more about zoning laws, codes and what to look for if thinking about purchasing land for your tiny home whether it be on wheels or not.
      WHERE DO I START? ;/

    • Treece
      January 2, 2015, 8:05 am

      Maybe you should talk to a realtor, many times the repair cost more than the amount it increases the sale of the house. You might consider selling your house “as is”. This is just an idea that might speed up your plan. Best wishes to you.

  • James T Erbe
    January 1, 2015, 4:17 pm

    Finding property in a town that would be friendly to a small tiny home. Coding and such.

  • Saundra McKenzie
    January 1, 2015, 4:18 pm

    I think what is really holding me back is that I am handicapped. We don’t want a tiny house on wheels. It will be permanent so can be a tiny bit larger, maybe 300 sq ft. Just can’t figure out the handicapped part.

    • Kathleen
      January 1, 2015, 5:03 pm

      My husband has M.S. and we have had to deal with designing within his limitations. Code books are a great resource for door clearances, cabinets, sinks and toilet heights. Biggest challenge is bathroom. Hard to attain circumference clearance for wheelchair, but since I’m building a 12×16 cabin it’s all doable. Note: he uses walker, but we are preparing for the future– just in case. Good Luck!

    • gary pollock
      January 1, 2015, 5:35 pm

      This is one area I am working on with a friend who has had wheels all his life. We have taken your plans with the slide-out bed, fabricated a track system same as garage door opener, laid it horizontal, and motorized it. Made the stairs into a ramp with storage cubbies in it, and some storage in the side of the bed as well. The bed stays out part way to make a sofa, and the extra storage at the front of the bed is storage accessible from the kitchen. Kitchen is wheel-chair accessible. Bath has wheel-chair accessible toilet, and shower. Both at back of trailer. (trailer is 20 ft.) Added a 12 volt automotive chair lift for a deck on side. Door is 3 foot and opens in. Door to bathroom is a book case on ball bearing sliders, and moves easily in track on floor. Bad side, must have shore power. Maybe later he will add solar, but that’s not a plan yet. It is low, just under 11 feet, and light weight. It is being towed by a V6 pick-up. It has a 12 volt crank on the front to disconnect the trailer and level. Got to come up with better system for rear leveling jacks as these work well, but awkward from a chair. Hooking up to plumbing needs some re-design as well. Works, but difficult. It is a summer unit only. Not a full time live-in. I’m sure he’ll come up with modifications, and make it suitable for him to manage alone.
      We had a lot of stuff donated, and re-used.

      • Deborah Burkhart
        January 1, 2015, 6:02 pm

        Wow, what a great post Gary! Very inovative approach to accomodating handicap issues.

      • Marsha Cowan
        January 1, 2015, 7:45 pm

        Wow! Amazing! Anyway you can send pictures of this house? Would love to see it!

      • Alex
        January 2, 2015, 10:49 am

        Would love getting to see it too Gary! Sounds amazing!

        • Enid
          January 15, 2015, 11:25 pm

          Yes Gary please send so Alex can feature it!!

    • Andrea
      January 1, 2015, 10:21 pm

      Saundra – have you looked at this house: https://tinyhousetalk.com/fabcab-550-sq-ft-prefab-timber-cabin/
      Looking at it’s openness and all one floor (no loft/stairs), it appears that it could work quite well to be an accessible home.

      No idea of your overall budget, but I imagine that the concept could be modified to fit many different budgets. While this house is larger than the sq. footage you mentioned, you could probably downsize the floor plan a bit to suit your needs.

  • Jan
    January 1, 2015, 4:18 pm

    Money, land to build on is what is holding me back from building my tiny dream home. I pray that all changes in 2015!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 11:14 am

      Thanks Jan!

  • Miette
    January 1, 2015, 4:18 pm

    I need support on how to start the process of starting over. Liquidating and restarting a family of 5 with room for two mother in law seperate quarters. Love the idea. Homesteading! Would love the books to help with this. More information.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 12:23 pm

      Thanks Miette!

  • Suzanne
    January 1, 2015, 4:19 pm

    We just got a small piece of land. What is holding us back is the know how to build our own small home or an affordable place to buy one from

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 12:24 pm

      Got it, thanks Suzanne!

  • Lewis
    January 1, 2015, 4:19 pm

    I’m dtarting my Tiny Home in March of 2015. I’m going to build one 8×24. I just need to finish designing it. I’m so excited to get started.

  • Rachel B
    January 1, 2015, 4:19 pm

    Money right now! I’m in the works of fixing up a box truck and building a geodesic tiny dome 🙂 I love this site and daily emails for inspiration. Thanks for all you do

  • Mel J
    January 1, 2015, 4:19 pm

    I am dying to move into a tiny house…it’s just my partner and myself we are in our mid to late 50s and just want to simplify our lives…but money is the main issue as of now.

  • Kevin
    January 1, 2015, 4:20 pm

    Building codes are holding me Bank. Id rally like a Home with a foundation but I don’t know how to go about talking to the government about getting an exception.

  • James
    January 1, 2015, 4:20 pm

    Selling my current 2100 sqft house….once that happens, I am all in…

  • Shayna Hughes
    January 1, 2015, 4:20 pm

    I am still in college, but definitely planning in living in a tiny house when I graduate and can afford it! (: I am SO excited.. I really just want to live in a tiny house in the middle of the woods.

    • Linda
      January 1, 2015, 4:55 pm

      same here… but I am lots older.. and want more information about septic and water…

  • B T Babbitt
    January 1, 2015, 4:20 pm

    …working on a design that would allow me to live and work (art studio)…hopefully it’s something I can pass on to my children to enjoy…

  • Mimi K
    January 1, 2015, 4:21 pm

    The right time…between work and needing health insurance, it’s finding the right time and way to step away. Happy New Year, all, and may we continue to pursue our dreams!

  • January 1, 2015, 4:22 pm

    I’ve gotten rid of a lot in the past year. But I still suffer from “I might need that someday” syndrome. Which is horrible since I run estate sales for a living, and I see first hand all of the “stuff” people cram in every nook and cranny. I don’t want to be that person.

  • George
    January 1, 2015, 4:22 pm

    I would like to see more examples and innovations of micro living. I hope to post some of my own pictures soon! Thank you for providing this website Alex, it has been a big help!

  • Sarah
    January 1, 2015, 4:22 pm

    I’m a college student and plan to build a tiny house before I graduate. Right now two things are holding me back: 1.) finding a trailer locally has been pretty difficult and so far appears costly, 2.) Finding a place to park my house when it’s finished. I’m determined to build this house, so now it’s just a matter of getting over these hurdles!

  • January 1, 2015, 4:22 pm

    Nothing will hold me back in 2015 bought farm land with mt shasta view,
    Now time to find a trailer and start to build! Cant wait to be rent and debt free!

    • Marcy
      January 1, 2015, 6:21 pm

      Way to go, Harley. Let the homesteading begin!

      • aimee lafave
        January 3, 2015, 12:27 am

        Yayee, Harley! Wonderful! Enjoy!

        • Harley
          January 6, 2015, 12:26 am

          When i get one tiny on wheels up. Ill let others join the fun.

  • Linda Manuel
    January 1, 2015, 4:22 pm

    Waiting for our daughter to graduate high school this spring and head off to college. We are wanting a stress free lifestyle as empty nesters!

  • Chants
    January 1, 2015, 4:22 pm

    I want to live in a tiny house, but I also want to move to another country in two years. I don’t want put my heart and sweat into building something and then have to leave it all behind. That being said, I am trying to focus on downsizing and simplifying. I have even signed up for the Comet Camper downsizing e-course – it will not only help me with my quality of life now but should also make it a breeze when it comes time to move!

  • Marci Sawyer
    January 1, 2015, 4:23 pm

    Someday my husband and I will own a tiny home. I would love tobgetbsome books for ideas.

  • lindae
    January 1, 2015, 4:23 pm

    I wish there were more contractors willing to travel to build tiny houses. That’s my #1 blockage right now. Living in central New York state, there are few builders familiar with tiny’s and the unique needs of a tiny house. As far as improving the newsletter…Alex, it’s like a blast of sunshine in my emailbox every day! Not an easy thing to come up with interesting material every single day, and I appreciate it!

  • Wendy
    January 1, 2015, 4:23 pm

    The only thing stopping me from going tiny, preferably on wheels, is where to park it. I would want my own land, but anywhere I have looked into buying land, a tiny on wheels would not be allowed. A few places would allow a tiny on a foundation, but even there, minimum-sizing bylaws can be a problem.

    • TW
      January 1, 2015, 5:17 pm

      I have the same problem as you Wendy. It’s like beating my head against a brick wall. I don’t want a 600 sq. ft. home…I want a TINY home!

  • Ed Lawhon
    January 1, 2015, 4:23 pm

    Really enjoy your shared wisdom and insight. You’ve shown me a lot. I’d like more on locations for Tiny Houses for rent or purchase near Houston Texas. Thanks and Happy New Year.

  • Karin
    January 1, 2015, 4:23 pm

    Money and time….looking for the right property, but there are so many restrictions unless you move out to the county.

  • Jeanie sims
    January 1, 2015, 4:23 pm

    Waiting for my house to sell. ..I work at home…I’m a seamstress and I’m not sure if I want to include my workshop in my new tiny build, or have it be a separate tiny structure.

  • Robyn
    January 1, 2015, 4:24 pm

    lack of savings to hire a builder and lack of know-how to build my own. i’m in the process of learning so the 2nd concern is only a temporary setback! 🙂

  • Jill C.
    January 1, 2015, 4:24 pm

    We are just beginning to learn about tiny homes. My hubby and I are excited about learning more and seriously looking into this living change.

  • Melanie
    January 1, 2015, 4:24 pm

    We just need to find the right land. We have a 5 year plan to be off grid in a small home by 2020. We just want to find 10 acres, needing little land work, with healthy fertile soil for growing, all for $1000 per acre. I determined to find some!!!

  • Vicki
    January 1, 2015, 4:24 pm

    Nothing is holding us back now!! Alex you inspired me! We are losing our
    Home due to circumstances beyond our control and over
    The past 1-1/2 years, I have been looking at living smaller. We now
    Will be doing that. In the spring, we will be moving to a 500-600sq
    Ft guesthouse belonging to my father. My husband is a
    Carpenter and will be renovating. We will save
    Money, buy land with cash and build our own small
    Place. We are looking forward to being as self sufficient
    As possible.. Thanks to you we know it’s possible!!

  • Kay
    January 1, 2015, 4:24 pm

    A place to put it. I am saving for a tiny house now. I am almost to retirement age and would love to get and keep myself as simple as possible. I don’t think the money for the house will be a problem it’s just where will I keep it??

  • Gina
    January 1, 2015, 4:24 pm

    We have every intention of going tiny. We’ve another couple of years left for both our mortgage & retirement. Also, we have property in another town, but that would make the commute unreasonable.

  • Paul S
    January 1, 2015, 4:24 pm

    I get the newsletter..saw some shows and decided to live small. My only concern is my girlfriend does not appear to be on board at this time as she has an an obligation to move in with/ assist 2 children and a grandbaby…What really bothers me is I am almost down to all I need to move into camper soon to start this route in my live…She has loads of items she has trouble parting with and does not understand how I can just sell stuff…I constantly let her know my goals have changed and must find a cheaper way to live and retire as I am 57 years old…your newsletters have helped me..THANKS MUCH!!!!

  • Jeff Benner
    January 1, 2015, 4:24 pm

    I enjoy all the postings and information. I have purchased a trailer and we are considering what tiny home form we would like to build it out into for camping and a possible 2nd home location.

  • Chris
    January 1, 2015, 4:25 pm

    Pretty minor suggestion, but maybe you can spruce up your email newsletters. I like that they are succinct, but maybe some thumbnails of the homes so we can figure out where to click first, especially during busy times. I’m sure there are a few other small, but effective visual accents you can do.

  • Michelle DeReche
    January 1, 2015, 4:25 pm

    Still learning as much as I can & saving & getting organized before I take the leap. It’s so exciting !

  • S Hall
    January 1, 2015, 4:25 pm

    It seems living all the time in a tiny house here in the UK would not be allowed. So I was wondering if I could somehow rework my bedroom at home to be able to have a tiny kitchen, loo and shower. Not sure how but might be worth looking into.

  • Calvin R
    January 1, 2015, 4:25 pm

    What’s holding me back? Two things, mostly. I currently have no cash income at all. This will change in time. The other issue may be more serious. I am having trouble deciding whether I want more to live small in one place or go to a mobile life. Once the income issue resolves, I expect Greater Powers to give me a cue about which way to go.

  • Donna D
    January 1, 2015, 4:25 pm

    A tiny home for me means a little bit more financial freedom. I wouldn’t be so bothered by a mortgage and still have a domain with state of the art appendages that would make my life so much simpler. I would eventually like to build a tiny home for my mother as well so I can be near her and wouldn’t have to put her in a nursing home, she’d have all the amenities she would need inside her tiny home. So to answer your question..money, a plan, designs, basic knowledge and the pros and cons of tiny living.

  • Andrea L
    January 1, 2015, 4:26 pm

    Three things that are holding me back from going tiny..the cost of land out here in Saskatchewan..hard to find just even 1/2 acre available. Second, convincing my partner and daughter to go smaller when they still want everything..they are not of the same mindset yet. Work in progress. Thirdly, don’t have enough work to remain steadily employed…big problem too for saving any money for any improvements period.

  • January 1, 2015, 4:26 pm

    I’ve got this idea that I want to build my tiny house myself and reuse and use recycled, reclaimed, free, etc. materials. I’d like to start collecting stuff now while I continue to plan and determine my needs and I don’t have a place to keep the materials and it seems a waste to spend money to store free collected items. Of course this is partly about money and partly about the challenge of spending as little money as possible while getting the best designed space. I’m thinking perhaps I need to help someone else with their build to gain experience.

  • Brooks
    January 1, 2015, 4:27 pm

    I’m part of a family of four. No one except me really wants to go small, and downsizing to a tiny house with four people seems very difficult.

  • Rachael
    January 1, 2015, 4:27 pm

    For me, money is also a problem as I’ve been underemployed for a while after graduating from college and attempting to go back to school. I’m working on starting my own business, once I have the money to really get the splurge pieces and general supplies — I’m on my way.

    I’m optimistic though because everything is coming together slowly I think. Your site has really helped me stay inspired.

  • Karin B
    January 1, 2015, 4:27 pm

    I love this site! It’s so full of inspiration.

    The only thing holding me back is money as well! My assets are about $40, lol. FORTY, not 40K! I need a full-time job and a way to save $25-30K to have the home I want to build on wheels. But, if it weren’t for my folks, I’d be homeless altogether, so I’m thankful for what I already have. I realize that tiny home living will likely be my only way to have home/living security in the future, so I’m setting my sights on it.

    Thank you for your hard work to bring us dreamers more dream-fodder! 🙂
    Karin

  • gerald
    January 1, 2015, 4:27 pm

    Alex, the only thing holding me back is not enough time with all my ideas for tiny homes and structures. I have already built a tiny observatory (10 x 16) that the top rolls back on so my scopes can see the universe. I am a ham operator and have built a tiny radio shack to house my amateur radio equipment. The ideas just keep coming, I think if I won your book giveaway I might get a ton more ideas. Retired and loving a moment of it!!!

    Jerry

  • Patrick
    January 1, 2015, 4:28 pm

    Honestly, the biggest thing holding me back is the lack of an appropriate tow vehicle. The major appeal of a Tiny Home, to me, is that I could bail on my current location if I wanted to (along with a host of other factors, of course). Still, why invest in a unportable portable home?

  • Rebecca Drew
    January 1, 2015, 4:28 pm

    These are the best ever. The idea of living in a Tiny House would be a dream of mine forever. I am so amazed by what room you can make in such small places. I would love to live in one for the rest of my life, I live in with my dad to take care of him. He has alzimers and parkensens so he cant be left alone. So I cant work for that reason. We both just are amazed by these homes.

  • Yedida
    January 1, 2015, 4:28 pm

    I think what is holding most people back is, quite frankly – money. The idea of having a tiny house, so one does not have to pay rent or mortgage is great – but with the very high costs of some of the tiny houses, and then the cost of needing a place to park the tiny house, it is a goal that is often unreachable for those who most need it! So, what holds many people back is the lack of resources 🙁 I am hoping to help some of the people who most need tiny houses, mostly from my own pocket, but I also need some resources to do so… See what I am attempting to do: http://www.gofundme.com/39mxxw

    • Yedida
      January 1, 2015, 4:30 pm

      Sorry, made a mistake when I pasted into the “website” space. This should correct it.

    • Martha
      January 1, 2015, 6:37 pm

      I agree that a tiny home is an unaffordable and umreachable goal for those who most need it. And the current spate of tiny house shows now on tv won’t help either, as they are touting more expensive options rather than the less expensive builds often posted by Alex on this site. I do like the fact that there are some tiny houses being built in a group for the homeless in a few cities.

  • Dennis Warren
    January 1, 2015, 4:28 pm

    Spent the last 3.5 years in my 19.5 ft tipi and 120 sq ft “shack”, but at 61 years old and at 9200 feet in the Colorado mountains, and losing my tenant, I have moved back into my 640 sq ft cabin. It was quite disorienting at first, but now having a solid roof over my head and running water don’t seem quite like the luxuries they did 2 months ago! I’d still like to build a tiny home on wheels, but for now my cabin is perfect for me and my Blue Bully Sapphire. Thanks for all the inspiration, Alex, and I’ll be looking forward to your emails throughout the new year!

  • dennis
    January 1, 2015, 4:28 pm

    I could just jump right in but with my wife no way she is a material woman.iwould like to build one in my backyard just to show her how simple life could be

  • Steph
    January 1, 2015, 4:28 pm

    I love the idea of going tiny, but my hubby isn’t excited about it. I’d like to have some articles about how downsizing isn’t as awful as he thinks it’s going to be. Thanks!

  • Rosemary Miller
    January 1, 2015, 4:28 pm

    The tiny house movement intrigues me. I watch several shows on tv and read your blog. Love looking at them but not sure if I could downsize that much. Have 5 cats and 2 dogs and a husband who might be claustrophobic in that small of a space. Would love to see the insides of more places in the coming year.

    • Jamie
      January 1, 2015, 8:30 pm

      I planned for my retirement 25 years ago and now I have a 1100 small home and 5 cats. Over the last 2 years I discovered that I could go smaller and figure I could cut that in half but I own my house and over the years have filled it up. My problem is slowly getting rid of my stuff. I took an early retirement at age 58 and am looking over my options. I have been looking at land, I live in Georgia, and have to figure out how far in the country it will be safe to go. Will I ever get that cabin in the woods, don’t know but I do love planning for it.

  • sean
    January 1, 2015, 4:28 pm

    I agree we need more in micro homes say bolt on a 4×8 harbor freight trailer can someone desine one with a shower and composting toilet vardo style sticks in mind

  • Ray Reilly
    January 1, 2015, 4:28 pm

    I would downsize when the perfect location becomes available.

  • Terry Geaber
    January 1, 2015, 4:29 pm

    Time is the only thing holding me back right now! Not time to do it, but time before I semi-retire in May! I plan to move to RI for the summer, get a trailer, and get started! I have family members also excited about the idea, and had independently been checking the possibility out! I might even start a mini house business with my nephew, who is already a contractor. We shall see!

  • William Charlebois
    January 1, 2015, 4:29 pm

    I’ve thought tiny houses look fascinating for years. The biggest drawback in my opinion is the lack of closet space and storage I’ve seen in most of the designs. Also, being older, I’d like to see many more smaller houses with actual bedrooms instead of lofts.

  • Sandra
    January 1, 2015, 4:29 pm

    Insuring my tiny home. I have owned it 2.5 years and have never gotten it insured. No one will touch it. It was an old office trailer prior to rebuilding it. That serial number makes it worth $1000.00. But it ended up cost $35k to build. But no one will touch that amount.

  • John F.
    January 1, 2015, 4:29 pm

    I am looking for land. In SC it’s either 6/7 figure or very little. Yet, I have to make it fit with my family.

  • Kurt
    January 1, 2015, 4:29 pm

    2015 appears to be the year that this might actually happen. I’ve been downsizing and letting go of many possessions, getting out of debt, and saving to start a build. Logistics of where to build, how to find local support, and to be honest the courage to begin! Thanks Alex for all of your wonderful links and positive encouragement. All the best in 2015!

  • Morel Carr
    January 1, 2015, 4:30 pm

    All that is holding me back is money. I plan to have a tiny home on wheels (converted school bus) someday, hopefully in the next year. I need to start saving! What is frustrating me? My inability to save. I need a plan, and a trusted person. I can do this!

  • Elisa
    January 1, 2015, 4:30 pm

    Thank you for all the ideas, info and links. I am working on getting a big house ready to sell, and then will be looking at property on which to build. My biggest area of interest, at this point, is property on which to build. What would be recommended? How do various states deal with property, tiny houses and land use? Which states are more (or less) favorable to tiny house building? In town small house building is especially interesting to me, as I have a tiny house/cabin now, in a remote, off the grid location, but want one closer to where I work. Do you know laws and rules in Alaska for tiny house building? There are many people up here that are interested. Thank you!

  • gina
    January 1, 2015, 4:30 pm

    Money & time. As an older single person, working F/T, its tough to disassemble the life I built, to obtain the simpler life I crave in my “spare time”. Finding the perfect property for OTG living, helping my elderly parents and contining to work so I can eventually afford the debt-free lifestyle are quite the challenge. HOWEVER, I am moving slowly toward this goal. Selling and donating the contents of my condo, preparing it for sale…looking for a room for rent, in order to put my earnings toward my dream, are all in the works right now. Going it alone, haven’t yet found others of like mind in my area to build a community. I remain optimistic and am pressing on!

  • Ronda
    January 1, 2015, 4:30 pm

    I am new to your website/emails. I enjoy reading about all the different styles and looking at the many different pictures. I’m researching and hope to have a tiny house one day.

  • Lisa Marie
    January 1, 2015, 4:31 pm

    I am having difficulty finding a place to put my tiny house. I have already downsized and live in a converted school bus, but land is expensive and the local trailer park just doesn’t cut it. Hoping to find someone with land that will rent me space and be willing to let me build a cobb house. In the meantime, I enjoy reading The Tiny House Newsletter and other sustainable housing publications so that I am ready when the opportunity arises☺️

  • Canyon Man
    January 1, 2015, 4:32 pm

    I am not looking at tiny houses for me, but for my brother, who after losing two houses in divorces needs something for himself. Finding suitable land is the big problem. Zoning restrictions in his current county mean he needs to look elsewhere, but that means living away from his grown children, all he has to show for two attempts at the “good life.”
    I believe each person needs to find the place for them, not fit zoning laws, prestige thoughts of others, simply look to be happy.
    At one time, I lived in 100 square feet, no electricity or running water. I learned to rely on myself and God’s wisdom. I later became a success, appreciate a paid for small house in Arizona, retirement and try to help out others.
    I would like to use a book to try and educate others in how simplifying can open new life elements. Not everyone gets it. Tiny homes are not the answer to everyone. Living sensible is not for everyone.

  • dianne
    January 1, 2015, 4:32 pm

    What’s is holding me back is fear of making the wrong decision of downsizing. .cabin fever..letting go of attachments that in themselves chain me to the money cycle.

  • tracey l
    January 1, 2015, 4:32 pm

    Everything is holding me back. I am trying to divorce an abusive husband, and i need a place for my kids and me. I don’t want to need his financial support, and becoming independent is crucial for me. But even finding a frame to build on… i need to literally gather all things donated. I’m ready for the sweat equity, but that is the only equity I have.

  • CO Ryan
    January 1, 2015, 4:32 pm

    What holds me back is not having the money saved to start building my tiny house — but I’m working on it! This is a great website. Thanks for all you do!

  • January 1, 2015, 4:33 pm

    Money is a big hold up right now with my wages being garnished by 1/2 I am left with only $700 a month to live on. I am making payments on a rent to own shed that I am converting into a tiny house for myself. I would love lots of tip and ideas for space saving and storage. I plan on building a platform for my bed and using the space below for storage. Plus ides on where to get free stuff, materials etc. I am going to send a pic via email when I finish my comment. Right now I only have insulation and a couple sheets of sheet rock up, as the weather is extremely cold here near the Grand Canyon. I started in a tent and upgraded to a shed when the winds tore my tent apart, now in a pile.

  • January 1, 2015, 4:33 pm

    I’ve found someone to build my ‘tiny’ glass studio on wheels to I can take it anywhere. I know the cost will continue to stress me a bit because I can’t build it myself. I am also looking for examples of other people who have built artists studios in the “Shepherd’s Hut” format. And my biggest concern is what kind of vehicle (horsepower) will I need to pull it and will I be able to drive it without a lot of training? A secondary concern is are there legal driving issues I’m not aware of?

    Love your newsletter and format of information. Very extensive!

  • Roger Holcomb
    January 1, 2015, 4:33 pm

    The reason we can’t do it yet is the kids. They are teens and don’t want to move. I have property in Alabama. If I build something there it would have to be something I could lock up and secure while I’m gone.

  • Bill
    January 1, 2015, 4:34 pm

    I have always liked tiny spaces and have been an advocate of modular living. This is a great way of living but found for the price I can a modular trailer. My biggest hurdle now is my health

  • Molly
    January 1, 2015, 4:34 pm

    I’m most interested in simplicity of design and ways in which I can better use the space I have. Passive solar, sensible roof lines for heavy snow loads, open floor plans, low cost building. I enjoy seeing interior details that give me new ideas.

  • Denise
    January 1, 2015, 4:34 pm

    What’s holding me back? Money! If I had the cash I’d be living tiny now. I’ve already downsized, everything is ready. I physically cannot build myself, so I have to pay extra for someone else to. Any help with finding lenders would be much appreciated.
    Thanks!

    • elisabeth
      January 1, 2015, 4:43 pm

      I have spent some time with the Cob Cottage Company in Oregon and with The Mud Bay Girls in Vancouver and the most important lesson is the value of community in enabling people to build their homes. Can you post your location and look for volunteers to work with you on your home-raising in return for your service to them in building or repairing/ decorating theirs? We all have talents and gifts to barter. Good luck with your venture! Elisabeth

  • Mikaela
    January 1, 2015, 4:35 pm

    Money is my biggest issue. I’ll be done with my master’s in less than a year so hopefully I’ll be to find a job and save for my tiny house.

  • Jeffery
    January 1, 2015, 4:35 pm

    Honestly, its because we are nearly broke. I know that living in a tiny home is very cost effective but the initial cost of purchasing land (or the connection to rent a small corner piece of someone’s land) are what preventing us from really doing this. We are also simply overwhelmed with trying to find out the housing codes for any tiny or small houses that we would like to make. To find out anything often require a phone call or a visit in person. Being deaf and needing highly technical information makes it difficult for us to really plan ahead. I suppose a book of tiny home plans or other info would help us make some decision about some of the options that we are considering.

    I just wish that it would be easier to find someone to guide us with our plan to move off the grid to a small home.

    I’ve just been frustrated because I feels like its a circular logic that are keeping us stuck. We can’t afford to purchase a property (we are willing to move anywhere in the country (USA)) so we could build a small home to save on cost but we can’t afford this move because of the very cost that we are trying to reduce (rents and other bills).

  • Gordon Maule
    January 1, 2015, 4:35 pm

    Love the website! I’m sure this takes $$ to run. Is there a subscription fee or other way to maintain your great work? Peace.

  • January 1, 2015, 4:36 pm

    I have been following your post for a while and I like a lot of what I see. I would like to see more articles about campers being converted into full time living spaces. Used campers are fairly cheap, you already have a trailer and an exterior shell.

  • Janet
    January 1, 2015, 4:36 pm

    I have too many adult size, but not yet independent children to downsize much right now. What I’m hoping to start with is perhaps individual tiny cabins on our recreational property so each child can have a space of their own to eventually bring their own families in the future. And when the time comes, it will be the perfect retirement home.

  • Gail
    January 1, 2015, 4:37 pm

    I am a 67 year old female and on my own living on SS that amounts to very little. I have been engaged in completing a tiny house little by little. I have the good fortune of ownership of a small piece of property that is mortgage free. I have no problem with the idea of living a minimalist lifestyle and desire nothing more than to be able to live the remainder of my time quietly and as comfortably as possible in my Tiny House. A life such as this will enable me to sustain myself with a minimal amount of finacial resources.

  • Robert Rozell
    January 1, 2015, 4:37 pm

    Two things one is room for my computer equipment which I use almost daily as a designer rand photographer, and finding land close to where we live know so my wife is close to her doctors.

  • Jeffrey
    January 1, 2015, 4:37 pm

    Nothing! My wife and I have been married almost one year and already have the official plans for building our own tiny house within the next year 🙂 We couldn’t be more excited!

  • Eric T
    January 1, 2015, 4:38 pm

    Ways for you to improve for 2015:
    I especially like the technical details articles, like how to choose the right framing, or how to prepare a trailer for a house, etc. Most of your articles are just people who have built houses, which is nice, but more how-to articles would be great!

  • Maria
    January 1, 2015, 4:39 pm

    Hi Alex!
    I love your site! I think what’s holding me back most is I don’t want to go tiny – I think I’d prefer 600-900 square feet. I’m looking for a lake lot without size restrictions and they aren’t easy to find. Also, I’m basically alone, except for my pets, so it’s very intimidating for me. I would like more info on where it’s okay to put small houses. Thanks!

  • cathy moran
    January 1, 2015, 4:39 pm

    Iand & am obsessed with living in tiny house. I check my email 3-4 times daily just so can see your posts. i’m disabled with no money

  • RD Keebler
    January 1, 2015, 4:39 pm

    I am in the process of simplifying life, but not by moving into a tiny house. I am intrigued by this movement and may build a tiny house or two in the near future, but for now I am transitioning to a mid-size farm where I can hopefully be less dependent upon the grid and connect more with the earth. Tiny doesn’t have to be 200 Sq Ft, nor is there only one way to simplify your life. We shouldn’t get frustrated or procrastinate because it all seems so hard but rather take the steps that you can for now. I’m grateful for this newsletter and the ideas it shares. One thing that might be useful for many folks would be help in planning to reach their goals, a life coach, transition counselor, peer support… whatever you want to call it.

  • Anelle
    January 1, 2015, 4:39 pm

    I think that local building codes would not approve of a tiny house where we live. We are older and not ready to go off the grid, but it would be fun if we could! I believe there are minimum sizes for houses which can be built in our area. Otherwise, we would definitely try it!

  • Kathy
    January 1, 2015, 4:39 pm

    I am still in the dreaming stages of going tiny. I would love to live off the grid, so I really enjoy the pieces about solar and wind energy. I am very interested in the articles about tiny communities for homeless. I would love to learn more about making these a reality in cities. I have also read about tiny communities for aging women to be a support to one another. I am a divorced empty nester, so this 4 br paid for home has to go. I made a 5 week road trip around the west this past year, just trying to see where I would like to live. I like the idea of tiny house on wheels so I am not stuck in one place. I really enjoy reading about all the possibilities, and all the people who have made their dreams a reality. I do not imagine that I could build one myself, so I also appreciate all the connections to builders that is available through you, or also those that are available for sale.
    Thank you so much! These dreams make me happy!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 12:27 pm

      Thanks Kathy! That’s really cool of you to be so interested in communities for those in need. We definitely need more of them.

  • J. F.
    January 1, 2015, 4:39 pm

    Zoning laws and the cost of land.

    If I could afford in this area, say, a half acre and build small on it, that’d be idea. Where I live, nothing is allowed sub-600ft2.

  • RHawk
    January 1, 2015, 4:39 pm

    STUFF! Someone in our family, who shall remain un-named, refuses to give up two 12 x 20 storage units full. She (obviously) has security issues & they have gotten worse as we both age.

    The other member of this family has gotten more & more focused on a minimalistic lifestyle. Unfortunately, I do not see this being resolved in my lifetime.

  • ELISABETH
    January 1, 2015, 4:40 pm

    I recently moved into a house 2000 square feet smaller than the ones I’ve lived in for the last 30 years and the most difficult thing has been not having enough wall space for all my real treasures and having to climb over my dogs and cat all the time. The best thing is that I have all of these real treasures and my dogs and cat. I want to make my home fit me like my favorite coat and to reflect my personality like my favorite coat. By virtue of its smaller size, my home is freeing me to live a life that is meaningful to me and that is of service to others. Your site has helped me in every way on this journey, Alex, so keep on going!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 12:29 pm

      Thanks Elizabeth I appreciate that very much! Way to go! And keep it up 🙂

  • sherry
    January 1, 2015, 4:40 pm

    Sentimental attachment to ” stuff ” and the thought of disposing of it would be a huge hurdle. However, as I age less space is not only adequate but makes sense.

  • January 1, 2015, 4:41 pm

    I enjoy reading about cool details that can be implemented in a Tiny House. For instance, if one were to build a shower using a galvanized tub what are the steps on how to do it right? So it doesn’t leak, special considerations on design, etc. Other useful things I think would be for beginner’s, how to get going living tiny… as well as, doing things during different stages of tiny living…. I mean some really creative things and ways to transition into tiny living.
    An expanded resource page on your site which lists places –and– ideas for where the best priced materials can be found. Example, like links to the best places in the USA to get the right kind of trailer, small fixtures, info on re-purposing old trailers (where do we find them and what must be done to them before building on one).
    Generally speaking, I’d like to see a lot more ‘how-to’ and creative ideas and where-to-get everything. Thanks!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 12:31 pm

      Thanks Evelyn this is very helpful!

  • LK
    January 1, 2015, 4:41 pm

    I lived in a “studio” apartment in San Jose, CA that was just under 200 S.F. out of necessity. It was well-designed in the main room with lots of storage up high, but the bathroom was such a huge waste of space you could put an entertainment center in there. Overall the place was so tiny I was watching TV from the bathtub! After the cuteness wears off, and I was left putting my laptop away every time I wanted to eat, tiny became torture. I need at least 450 S.F. but don’t want a big place either. I have relatives that live in 5000 S.F. and it costs so much to heat and cool the place they are always either freezing or too hot in their castles, not to mention they are a slave to it,-always chasing the dust and dirt. The thing keeping me from doing this is where to do it? Not every place will allow you to build a little house, I don’t think. And I don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere either with dirt roads and no supermarkets. LK

  • Lesley
    January 1, 2015, 4:41 pm

    Funds! I need to sell my $1,500 sq ft house first! Planning on putting it on the market this spring. Fingers crossed!

  • Beatrice Dorsett
    January 1, 2015, 4:43 pm

    What is holding me back from building my own tiny house? Several things actually. First money is the biggest thing holding me back as I do not have the money to buy land and the building materials to build it. Second, I would not be able to build all of it myself due to a debilitating back injury some 35 years ago. Third, I love the lofts but negotiating the ladder to my upstairs bed would be quite difficult for me. However, if the steps could be more gradual even if it took the entire side of a tiny house, that would be fine with me even though I would need to have a handrail installed. Then of course, I would want storage built under the stair case. I have only seen one floor plan that is anywhere close to what I just mentioned.

    I’m already living somewhat small as I spend most of my time away from my job in a 23½’ 5th wheel travel trailer and when I am not in it, I am in a 40′ motor home. Surprisingly, my 5th wheel is far more space efficient and has a better laid out kitchen than does my 40′ motor home. However, I do a better lay out than the motor home to suit my needs. I do a lot of sewing for others as well as office work at home. Therefore I need a layout that would accommodate two sewing machine, a cutting table, a desk large enough to provide work space, a printer and at least one file cabinet.

  • Jane
    January 1, 2015, 4:43 pm

    I love the newsletter. What’s holding me back now are three things: First, I’m caring for an elderly housemate with Alzheimer’s – can’t do anything until she gets beyond my care and has to go to a home. Second, I plan to put the tiny home on my sister’s property in Mississippi – and she’s also caring for a husband with Alzheimer’s, so this probably won’t happen until he’s gone. Third, I know myself well enough to know I cannot build my own home. This leads to what you could do for me — I’d like lots more info on how to minimize cost of a tiny home (with stairs or non-loft sleeping) from a builder within reasonable distance of Mississippi. I understand paying for quality but don’t know what the options are for tradeoffs. Thanks!

  • Charity
    January 1, 2015, 4:43 pm

    I have plans for a tiny house on wheels, and am anxious to get started, but I am on a a very limited income. My biggest hold up is the financing. I don’t have the credit to get a loan, and by the time I pay my bills I am broke. I love all things reclaimed, but I have no clue where to get started due to being very new to where I currently live. Ideally I would like my THOW to be as Eco friendly, repurposed, and self sustaining as possible. My biggest fear is that I will never be able to afford to make my tiny house dreams a reality.

  • Ann
    January 1, 2015, 4:44 pm

    Health issues and thus money issues. Zoning and codes are the areas that I have the most questions about . Thanks for asking and Happy New Year.

  • Michelle McAlpin
    January 1, 2015, 4:44 pm

    A space in which to build. Ideally a shared space with like minded others and an opportunity to share tools, expertise, and to get help with the heavy lifting. Absent finding such a space, will seek a TH builder willing to frame, sheath, install windows and roof–creating a space for me to do the interior work. It will appear well before the end of 2015!

  • Patrick
    January 1, 2015, 4:44 pm

    With my eyesight being what it is, I would need to have a tiny house with stairs and a railing instead of a ladder. Maybe I haven’t been here long enough OR maybe I just missed them, but I would love to see a tiny home/small home (preferably on wheels) from a few of you here!

    Thanks and have a Happy New Year!

  • Wendy
    January 1, 2015, 4:45 pm

    We live in an old farmhouse that is in desperate need of renovations. It is much larger than what we need. I am interested in turning it into a barn and just building/buying a home that is less than 800 square feet. There are just two of us and we have limited funds at this point. I prefer to have something that is small and economical and easy to heat and not take up too much space since we only have 5 acres and want to maximize the land for growing produce and raising livestock. I get a lot of ideas from your newsletters and am still looking for that design that fits all of our needs and is within our budget.

  • LaMarr Harding
    January 1, 2015, 4:45 pm

    I am currently living in a stealth minivan. I also have a house without a mortgage, still need to pay taxes and utilities to keep it.

    My handicapped wife and son are keeping me around as a slave, That is my first problem, my second is my collections that I’m not ready to give up.

    I just can’t afford to hire help and travel full time to.

  • Matt
    January 1, 2015, 4:46 pm

    Awesome site and information Alex! Money and Space is what I am looking at. I will be working on plans and building one. I am going to place it on a site in Arizona on a friend’s property. Keep up the great work.

  • Veronica A
    January 1, 2015, 4:46 pm

    The biggest thing holding me back is trying to figure out the most efficient design. I’m older and don’t want to have a loft to have to crawl in and out of, especially at night. After living spring summer and fall in a 24ft travel trailer, I have realized that the layout is the most important factor in living “tiny”. My plan is to build an 8×20 structure. I also have a limited amount of land that I will be putting my tiny house on so deciding where to put windows and doors to get the most from the sun also needs to be considered. As others have stated, Money is also a concern. I am constantly looking on craigslist for good deal on windows and doors and other building supplies. It does get a bit overwhelming at times but I really believe this is the way to go for me. I love your site and all the ideas people have. Thank you!

  • Amanda
    January 1, 2015, 4:46 pm

    I’m having issues deciding what design would best suit my family. My son is recovering from cancer and has physical limitations(ie: no ladders, wheelchair space, & larger showers). Tiny living means space is at premium, but how would we go about blending tiny space with handicap access? Would 200sft make his life unnecessarily harder? So I guess what is holding me back is fear of making the wrong choices….

  • Lisa F
    January 1, 2015, 4:46 pm

    I would love to live tiny on either a patch of land, or on a houseboat. My current digs are about 1500sf and I use about half that. The things that stop me at the moment are that I have two teenagers who are appalled at the thought of moving, and mortified at the thought of going smaller. They are really embarrassed of their unconventional mom. The other thing that stops me is that I work about half of my hours in an expensive city. To move would require me to increase my commute significantly. I don’t know if I’m ready for a longer commute, and/or willing to spend that much more on fossil fuels.

  • dave
    January 1, 2015, 4:46 pm

    I don’t have the money right now to build one. I wish I did because I would build one in a hurry.

  • Ron
    January 1, 2015, 4:46 pm

    Happy New Year Alex! Always look forward to ” tiny house talk” mail. This is supposed to be the year for building a Tiny Hse. For my Daughter with her help of course. With all the various floor layouts, it seems that this is our biggest hurdle to nail down. We want to do the right thing that works for her the first time and have few regrets when finished and living in it. Is there such a thing as the perfect all-around layout? Cheers…..

  • stewart gerwig
    January 1, 2015, 4:46 pm

    Finding a code friendly environment that’s in the mountains of western North Carolina. Financing by the seller would be paramount. God Bless You All…

  • Dominique
    January 1, 2015, 4:47 pm

    I have truly enjoyed your newsletters! I’m Going to retire at the end of 2015 and am very seriously thinking “tinyhome” for myself. Concern would be that I am single female and have grown daughters w/2grandchildren who would want to visit. There’s alot to think about, location being one also.
    The size does not scare me, I believe that we are surrounded by far too many things and lose sight of nature and the things we have for free on earth!
    Please keep doing the awesome job with your newsletter! Thank you!
    Happy New Year to you and all who read this post!

  • Kathy
    January 1, 2015, 4:47 pm

    I looked at my first tiny house (probably today it would be called a Park home at about 400 sq ft) more than 2o years ago and fell in love. After working my way through a career and raising kids, I am longing for a simple pared down retirement home. I have designed perhaps a hundred such homes in my mind as well as on paper, so I know what I am looking for. What’s my hold up? First, a nice place to put a tiny home that could be connected to water and sewer, yet not be in a mobile home park. Second, the right floor plan with a first floor bedroom, well planned kitchen, and good storage. And BTW Alex, thank you so much for all the ideas and the work you put into helping people like me know what the options are!

  • Cindy
    January 1, 2015, 4:47 pm

    I seem to have a serious lack of money as well as knowledge and building skills! Also, I can’t convince my husband to make the switch to live in a tiny home. So, for now, I’m stuck in this 130+ year-old drafty, cold, expensive-to-heat 1800sf farm house!
    However, I think he is on board with a plan to build a tiny guest house on our property for a getaway cabin for us and for my parents (and any other guests) to stay in when they come to visit. My mother just loves to camp and loves the mountains so I know she would enjoy staying in a tiny home of her own on occasion.
    I need to learn more about actual building methods of a tiny home, what options are available as far as tiny stoves, heaters, sinks, water heaters, and other appliances, and I need to see a lot of floor plans with stairs(no lofts) to help me decide on a floor plan to suit our needs.

  • Joe Guyette
    January 1, 2015, 4:47 pm

    Property and my wife’s job. I am watching for properties all the time but my wife has about two and a half more years to work. As a teacher it is difficult to move remote and still be a teacher.

  • Nan Anderson
    January 1, 2015, 4:47 pm

    Two main issues are preventing me from moving forward at this time. The first is lack of building skills. I mean, if there was a black thumb of carpentry I would have it. The next problem is trying to track down the innovative products you hear about and attempting to do comparative analysis of your options. I’m still trying to decide on my “potty” choices for Pete sake! And at the risk of being redundant, money is an issue. All that being said, I’m determined to find a way to do this.

  • Angela
    January 1, 2015, 4:47 pm

    Time; before now but we should get started as soon as we get our trailer ordered and delivered. WooHoo:-)

  • Lorrie
    January 1, 2015, 4:47 pm

    What’s holding us back from owning a TH and traveling is my medical bills and money. It’s our dream to travel the US in a Tiny Home on wheels!

  • Alan D
    January 1, 2015, 4:48 pm

    With the death of two parents (extra boxes in the garage) and kids that occasionally need a home we’re not quite ready. That doesn’t stop me from being inspired to down size to the point of a small house. My favorite and happiest house we’ve owned was 600 sq. feet so I am pulled towards the tiny/small house movement.

  • Paul N
    January 1, 2015, 4:48 pm

    I would really love to build my own design for a tiny house on my own small plot of land. The problem is that I’m really poor, and am basically surviving week-to-week with the job that I have. It’s not a bad job, but I’ll never get rich at it.

    I try to be as frugal as I can, but it has been tough.

    For 2015 (and beyond) I’m going to buckle down and save as much money as I can until I have enough money to make my dream come true. Wish me luck!

  • Retha
    January 1, 2015, 4:48 pm

    I’m enjoying all the space saving ideas for future consideration for downsizing. All these ideas are helping me sort out what I can & cannot do without, lol.

  • Cynthia
    January 1, 2015, 4:48 pm

    This is an exciting new year for my husband and me as we are expecting our first great grandchild this month. Our family is still in our home state and due to health issues we are needing to move back there and downsize. So our biggest issue has been trying to find land that has utilities that are at least to the property line. We don’t mind putting in a septic but still that does cost and we will not do a composting toilet. Also we have to have everything on one floor plus we are getting into pet therapy and will be training our standard poodle for that so we need to have some room inside for her and our chihuahua (talk about opposite ends of the size chart!). You have had several one level small homes that I have been saving into my “Home” folder but still the land is the issue. Also due to POA/HOA restrictions we have not found anything that will allow homes under 1200-1300 sf minimum. We are in a 1329 sf home now and need a home around 800 sf or less but over 500 sf. After reading this I realize we need a lot but I am hopeful that we can find something. We don’t want to live in a park model that is in a MH park as we did that 40 years ago and it is just not for us. Some park models will do but again the property is the issue. Love the tiny/small house movement and know we could downsize without any issues since we would be close to family an extra bedroom is not necessary and most of our things are being tagged for sale during the move. So like many comments I have read we are among those with limited budgets and looking for property. Good Luck to all and may this year be filled with realization of dreams coming true. Thank you Alex for this newsletter that constantly lets us explore things outside of the box!

  • Amber
    January 1, 2015, 4:48 pm

    What do you need the most help with right now?
    I need the most help with a place to build, I think… I have a few basic tools and know where to get more, and know where to find friends who might occasionally drop by to lend their expertise and muscle… but have no place for them TO stop by. :/

    What’s frustrating you most about tiny houses?
    That I don’t have one… and that if they’re convertible, like expandable so that you have enough room for things like quilting or other crafting, most likely they won’t be weather tight.

    That, and zoning in many places doesn’t support the tiny lifestyle.

    What’s holding you back from doing what you want to do?
    Lack of land for one, lack of stable financial situation for another…. oh, and moral support as most of my ‘friends’ don’t understand why.

    What challenges are you facing right now?
    Oh boy, what a long list…

    What is it that you want the most?
    I want a red panda as a pet. BUT naw, seriously? I would love a tract of land, even a small one, where I am completely free to do whatever I need to for however long I need it.

    What worries you about tiny houses?
    I would worry about feeling clausterphobic, or becoming trapped should something happen and I’m not able to physically maneuver to safety in time.

    Tiny windows and fat arses don’t mix.

    What kind of lifestyle would you like to create for yourself?
    I would love to become a gypsy wanderer, selling my art by the roadside and living off-grid, just doing whatever the hell I want to, with my animals and myself, visiting friends when I feel like it, helping the homeless, helping the environment, just… being me.

  • January 1, 2015, 4:48 pm

    My wife and I bought an RV in October and have just begun remodeling it. (removing pull-out couch and replacing with window seat, adding more storage, etc).

    We looked intensively at building our own Tiny House, including finally narrowing down to the plans that we want. But ultimately we want to travel too much and feel that a motorhome will better suit our needs for the next few years.

    Once we find out where we want to settle, we know what tiny house we will build and will have already whittled down our possessions.

  • G.E.
    January 1, 2015, 4:48 pm

    What’s holding me back?

    Location & codes: where do I live? If I buy land how do I find out what the codes and limits are and how do I get around them?

    Lack of technical know how: all I know how to do is make tiny sketches on random scraps of paper each time I have another idea. How do I get that from there to a design with measurements? And I barely know how to use a nail gun without nailing my foot to the floor or knocking myself backwards.

    Fear of failing miserably: What if I do it all wrong?

    I want to build my own tiny home, not buy one, or buy someone else’s skills to do it for me out of fear. I want to sit inside a tiny home made of all my own choices and know that if something goes wrong, since I built it, I can figure out how to fix it.

    • Cynthia
      January 1, 2015, 7:31 pm

      For G.E. you can get the restrictions and/or codes for what you can do on most land at the city hall in the city/county you are in. If you don’t know who to ask call the city and tell them what you are needing and they will give you the correct department. As far as failing miserably, so what if you do? You will learn from that and fix it or redo it and make it better. Failure gives you the chance to expand your knowledge and experiences. You are the only one who can say you failed or not. Not family, friends, society….just you. What might be seen as failure to one may be seen as success to the one doing it. Go for it and I am rooting for your success!

  • Larry
    January 1, 2015, 4:48 pm

    Although I love the idea of a tiny house on a piece of property with trees and a garden space, with my other interests in art, books, plants, etc., tiny is just a bit too confining. It would be helpful if we perhaps had an additional different category, perhaps ‘semi-tiny’ or ‘expandable tiny’ or ‘tiny but with space to store and create just a few things’ or ‘tiny/semi-tiny/really small/small’ where we could keep, store, and use the necessities of our creative interests. I know it’s a matter of drawing the line about what’s important in the way of possessions. I use the useful/memorable/beautiful categories to determine what I have and what I don’t have. If it falls in one or more of those three, I am inclined to have it, otherwise out it goes. Perhaps categorizing by square footage to accommodate the individual differences that appeal to the tiny house crowd?

  • Cynthia Thillet
    January 1, 2015, 4:48 pm

    As soon as we sell our house in Ferguson, (yes, that Ferguson) we will be right there with you. Enough said!

  • Myra
    January 1, 2015, 4:49 pm

    I would like to see more one-level designs. They don’t necessarily have to be on wheels, either. As a retired single woman with a cat, I think I would rather use a tiny home as a “base camp” and explore from there. Of course affordability is always a big factor.

  • Kirsten
    January 1, 2015, 4:49 pm

    I love all the creative ideas for tiny houses but would like one just a little bigger to accommodate some pets.

    • Kiwi Graham
      January 3, 2015, 8:23 am

      I have a Simple Concept of an Expanding Home you litterally “Push” Out the extra rooms..So you could have doggy size zones that pushed out as well.in a mobile home like a van,bus or truck it would work compact on the road and spacious when parked up to rest.
      I would Love to develop the Concept into spacious and safe ,insulated with Solar roofing ,

  • Susan Edsall
    January 1, 2015, 4:49 pm

    First let me tell you “Thank You” for showing me all the opportunities we have. We’ve been living small in a small apartment. My husband will be retiring in 1 year and 11 months. We know it will go by so fast. We’ve decided on a house with less than 400 square feet. We also want to move south and have solar and wind turbines. So as soon as hubby retires we’re shoving it all in storage and getting a RV and travel south. We’re going to check out where we want to move too. Then when we decide it will be getting the contractor to do the home. We know what we want, but always looking at all the little options. And that is where you’ve come in. We’ve been checking out all the houses you put on and have decided how we want all the options inside and out. So a big “Thank You” for helping us. We’ll keep watching and reading, so keep showing us what’s out there and what’s available!!!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 1:23 pm

      Thanks that means a lot Susan and way to go! Keep up the good work.

  • June
    January 1, 2015, 4:49 pm

    The main problem with Tiny Houses for me is that I live in a climate that has harsh winters. These houses seem to work better in climates that have one season – the warm season. Coats, boots, hats, scarves, gloves, extra blankets take room to store – and you kind of lose the ability to include the outdoor into your living space because its is just plain cold and windy!

  • Lis
    January 1, 2015, 4:50 pm

    Holding me back? Money, primarily – if that weren’t the case, then it would be a question of figuring out where and how. Like others, legalities are a question, but there are so many differences that it really comes down to specific location – broad advice really can’t suffice.

    Design. I love the idea of small – even tiny – living, but most rely on multiple levels to maintain the footprint. Climbing ladders and stairs is in my past, not my future, so, rather than tiny, I’d need to look small instead . . . which then circles back around to what’s holding me back. 🙂
    I would love to see more ideas for single-level living and perhaps more alternative building material designs (cob/strawbale/etc).

    I very much appreciate what you’re doing; I’ve learned a lot just from browsing through and reading the newsletter entries each week. It’s pretty clear that you’re learning the “trade” of building a useful website – very quickly – so I won’t make suggestions about that, other than to say “good for you”!

    Thanks much for your time, energy, and efforts.

    • Paula JO
      January 1, 2015, 5:51 pm

      I would like to see more one-level compact homes as well. Stairs and ladders aren’t age friendly.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 1:24 pm

      Thanks Lis – very helpful feedback I appreciate it!

  • Jacque Chinnery
    January 1, 2015, 4:50 pm

    I have been following the tiny house movement for the past few years, and I was determined to downsize. So, since 2008 we have gone from a over 3000 sq. ft. home to 750 sq. ft.! We bought our little house for under $28,000 and have done some improvements and added a fence. I know that is not a tiny house, and we lived in another house that was 1200 ft. before this one. The main reason I have not gone to a tiny house is because it is too small for the 2 of us…we would get on each others’s nerves! Also, we are in our 70’s and would have to have a main floor bed. Then, too, we have a financial problem, and I was able to buy this house with a yard for cash. So many of the tiny homes were too expensive and we are too old to build one!

    • Cynthia
      January 1, 2015, 7:39 pm

      Thank you for your response as we are in almost the same situation. Your house sounds just perfect and we are looking for a house or to build a house around that size if we can find property. We are close to 70 and need a single story home as well. Love hearing about what you have done! Kudos!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 1:25 pm

      Hi Jacque, that’s great! 750 sq. ft. is a great size home for a lot of people. I think it sounds like you made a great choice. Way to go!

  • Be Scott
    January 1, 2015, 4:50 pm

    I very much enjoy the small houses, much more so than the tiny houses, especially the ones on wheels. To much like living in a trailer. I am biased because I am a large man and they are too often too cramped and delicate for my use. I have been a home builder for over 25 years an am interested in alternative building methods. I live in an 850 sq ft house now but would like to build a 20×20 straw bale house somewhere in the high desert in the next couple years. I plan on moving around a lot to teach in the western U.S. and abroad, so I just need to know where I want to settle for a while. Keep up the good work! I get lots of good ideas from your posts.

    • Cynthia
      January 1, 2015, 7:51 pm

      We used to live in Blanca, CO in the San Luis Valley and there are straw bale homes in the Valley and so much more. Property is very cheap but you generally need to dig a well and septic. You are surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountains, Sangre de Cristos, etc. If you can think it you can build it there. There are also a lot of cargo container homes, too. People are very creative in the Valley as they are isolated from major cities (2hr drive one way to CO Spgs and a couple of hours to Taos NM) and depend on each other for help. Very nice people there. Only draw back is that it is very cold and windy in the winter but the summers are to die for and the desert is very nice there. Good luck in your search.

  • Eileen
    January 1, 2015, 4:50 pm

    I’m in the process of selling my house and downsizing. After that I will begin to plan my tiny home and locate a lot on which to place it. My goal is to be completely off-grid.

  • Kathy
    January 1, 2015, 4:51 pm

    Currently working on de-cluttering and reducing possessions to fit 2 kids into our smaller home purchased as a couple. Tiny houses inspire me to keep going! Biggest challenge: my spouse who is has diverse interests and a tendency to accumulate stuff associated with each of those interests. Not sure that is compatible with a tiny house (though perhaps with a storage/studio space).

  • Louise
    January 1, 2015, 4:51 pm

    The only thing holding me back is fear of failure, I suppose. Not having the money and know how to do it all myself, being 40K in debt from student loans and never being able to catch up. It would be nice not to have to rent, and to have a tiny home to call my own. That is my dream for the future. Thanks for all of your wonderful inspiration, ideas and stories that you share with us all Alex. Happy 2015!

    • Paula JO
      January 1, 2015, 5:45 pm

      Fear and faith can’t operate at the same time. Therefore, choose faith. I also am in school and have student loans. I’m so excited about my future. Keep your head up and have faith.

  • January 1, 2015, 4:51 pm

    My Husband is holding me back, he doesn’t think we could live in such tight quarters and not drive each other crazy. I personally love the idea and would do it in a heartbeat!

  • January 1, 2015, 4:51 pm

    Alex,
    First of all THANK U!! I can’t tell you how much i have enjoyed your hard work and wonderful communications! I am single, 56, and working on some heavy health issues. I went on dialysis so much of what I can do depends on being near a center. I am thrilled at the idea of downsizing to just a precious few pieces of memorbilia and being totally self sufficient. I have done some research, and like the idea that I can take my house and live anywhere I want! I was worried that not having a mate would tie me down to pretty much a poverty level existence…but, if I can raise the money to build… i can be my own woman, go where I want, when I want! I can visit family and friends and stay in my own home and not be a burden to anyone. Being a former Realtor, I have some of the skills necessary to research CC&R’s, creative land use and etc. I wish they had loans for this kind of thing. I was interested in Tiny Texas Houses since Darby uses reclaimed woods and salvage in his houses. I like not wasting natural resources! So health first, then funding are holding me back. But I am an intrepid and courageous girl…and with prayer, I know the answers will come! Have a happy new year and be blessed!
    RobbinSuzanne

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 1:28 pm

      Hi Robbin, thank you! That means a lot to me. Darby is awesome. I’m over here wishing the best for you. I know you are getting healthier and healthier every day. Keep up that great attitude! And keep knowing that everything is working out! Happy new year!

  • Kathleen
    January 1, 2015, 4:51 pm

    Currently I need help with an affordable composting toilet. Not thrilled about bucket with toilet seat. Trying very hard to make my plans for small cabin code compliant, this is frustrating and challenging. Some of the new codes for 2015 should help. My husband has melanoma, plan to get started soon as he is well. Hopefully by March. Mostly, I want a place where I can live within my means but also in a safe and secure environment. Worried about possible smells from compost toilet. Simple lifestyle with greenhouse, raised bed gardens, relaxing front porch, cup of hot tea.

  • Charlie
    January 1, 2015, 4:52 pm

    Happy New Year Alex. I’ve always been a living space minimalist. The issues today are Education of the masses on the Legislative / Decision Maker levels, which if Good for the Movement will allow for faster expansion, or if Bad will allow for regrouping and redirection. One brick at a time my friend. Park and Village settings rather than grids. Solar, Wind, Hydro where applicable.
    Like anything worth doing, it’s worth doing right..

  • Tim Sailer
    January 1, 2015, 4:52 pm

    The main thing holding me back is the amount of stuff we have. I’m not sure I want to pare down so drastically. A timy house would have to have a large shop or garage.

    Also, seeing more deatils of the houses you show, maybe better floor plans, would go a long way to seeing how it would fit into our future.

  • Carol
    January 1, 2015, 4:52 pm

    I have a hard time finding room for my things now, I have to eliminate a LOT of stuff first.

  • Debbie
    January 1, 2015, 4:52 pm

    Money and a place where the codes will let me build a tiny house. I have lived tiny before in a rv that was 8 x 26 without a slide. I loved the layout with a full sized tub shower and the hallway way a regular sized closet an a 18cf refrigerator in the kitchen. am working on the plans now to build in june of 2015. I love living tiny.

  • Bruce
    January 1, 2015, 4:54 pm

    How Can I Better Help You in 2015?
    Continue marching on, its all good with variety and not being pigeon holed into one style or like.

    What’s holding you back from doing what you want to do?
    LIFE- recently finished doing home hospice for my dad, after he passed I am now taking care of my mom who has dementia. I am living tiny in a 07′ RV with some leak issues in the driveway after selling my home. I went from 2,100 sq ft to about 180 sq ft by my guess. I like it and I am constantly learning about utilizing the space, and I am learning about myself too.

    What kind of lifestyle would you like to create for yourself?
    TH living with a nook for my arts/crafts. I am looking at Spartan trailers and other vintage trailers, along with sketching designs for a TH that I could have custom made. I want tranquil, near water preferably but not a deal breaker, and simple living that will allow me the freedom to do or not do whatever I want.

  • Michele Keating
    January 1, 2015, 4:54 pm

    The most frustrating thing for me is the arbitrary rules governing house sizes in our county…houses must be 950sq ft or larger. What’s holding us back is that we are”illegally” living in a tiny renovated hunting cabin (400′) and don’t feel comfortable rocking the boat regarding home sizes in case it backfires on us. We could use help in finding a forum to band together to put pressure on politicians to revise the ridiculous laws.

    Michele

  • Jacquie Z
    January 1, 2015, 4:55 pm

    Money and/or land. But mostly money.

  • Ben
    January 1, 2015, 4:56 pm

    time and money, mostly time, Id like to finish my 200 sq ft house but there just is never enough time off/

  • Mark Chambers
    January 1, 2015, 4:56 pm

    So whats holding me back is finishing Graduate school, I went back to school after 20 years and in the process downsized from a 2600 sq ft House to 900 sq ft apartment. My Wife is open to the idea so far so for the next 1.5 years while finishing up school will be devoted to planning and getting rid of allot more stuff so we can make the jump to a much smaller place.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 1:31 pm

      Good for you Mark sounds like you are on the right track. Most of the time it’s a gradual process. Keep it up!

  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 2015, 4:56 pm

    What is holding me back is finding time to build and my husband is not on broad yet

  • Ramona
    January 1, 2015, 4:57 pm

    We currently rent and don’t have a place where we can start building. No land of our own and not a lot of money.

  • Melisa
    January 1, 2015, 4:57 pm

    I would love to move into my own tiny house. I don’t know where I could put it and don’t have the funds right now. I have a turtle, so how could I incorporate his tank in the tiny space? He’s land and water so he needs his filter and heater on all the time. How safe are tiny houses from being broken into?
    Thanks! 🙂

  • Therese Luman
    January 1, 2015, 4:57 pm

    One of my goals for this year is to downsize. I started getting rid of things I don’t need at the end of 2014. I can’t wait to continue and by the end of this year living in a much smaller space.

  • Cynthia Thillet
    January 1, 2015, 4:58 pm

    As soon as we sell our house in Ferguson, (yes, that Ferguson) we will be right there with you. Enough said!

    What we need help with is deciding between a 10′ and an 8′ wide home.
    Also deciding what utilities are most important and which we can do without. Do we need to get a sewer for the gray water or can it flow on the ground. Is our solar power generator enough for a refrigerator? How do we shower if we rain catch our water or when it snows.

  • Jenn
    January 1, 2015, 4:58 pm

    After six months of being inspired daily by your newsletter, we are mere months from starting our tiny house build. Thank you so much for all the work you pit into this site and newsletters. If we could get a bot more information on trailers for larger tiny houses, it would be immensely helpful. We are planning on building the Four Lights Houses’ Marie Colvin.

  • Walter Stillman
    January 1, 2015, 4:58 pm

    Time. I have the trailer! I need some free time to spend on building. I even have some materials. I have the place to put it and the tools to build it. It is on my list for 2015. Just get started!

  • Charlotte
    January 1, 2015, 5:00 pm

    Money is the only thing holding me back.

  • Ashley P
    January 1, 2015, 5:00 pm

    The biggest things holding me back are money and the fact that i have a 4 year old so. most tiny houses are designed for 1 person or a couple not necessarily for a parent/child.

  • Kimberly Alford
    January 1, 2015, 5:02 pm

    I am very addicted to tiny houses! All of the ideas and different situations keep me developing new plans to make the, “living small”, prove to be simply perfect. I’m not an architect or designer, but I dI’d discover a passion for the tiny house life. I need a full time job that I enjoy. I only work part time right now to homeschool my 10 year old son. I feel he’s ready to go back to public school now, but I seriously need to find a job that I will enjoy and that can pay the bills. My positive attitude influences my son to stay positive also. Building a home, no matter how small, is going to cost even a small chunk of change. That’s my honest delima.
    I really enjoy this site! It keeps the BIG fire burning in me to plan to go TINY one day! Thanks for your passion also.

  • January 1, 2015, 5:03 pm

    What do you need the most help with right now?
    Physical issues and living kinda in the boonies, makes it hard to find folks who can/want to offer physical help. I also really need some electrical expertise to help design my on/off grid fully electric THOW

    How Can I Better Help You in 2015?
    Find more groups that Tiny Housers can join to pool resources/ideas/help.
    Alternative appliances that can be used either on or off grid.
    More info on multi use/storage/functions in THOW under 200 sq ft.
    More info on Tiny house adaptations for physical disabilities.

    What’s frustrating you most about tiny houses?
    Not a lot of centralized info. Not a big enough local community to support those like me with physical challenges.

    What’s holding you back from doing what you want to do?
    Physical issues and lack of physical help. Not enough electrical/ physics know how. I want to build a lift for getting up and down from my lofts.

    What challenges are you facing right now?
    Getting my siding up and windows in so I am weather tight!
    Then I can start on the interior layout.
    Money. Being an almost 60 yr old, disabled widow means I live on a very tight fixed income.

    What is it that you want the most?
    A fully self sufficient THOW. I’m headed there, but it’s slow, slow, slow.

    What worries you about tiny houses?
    Where to park it once I sell my big house. Having the right technology to meet my physical challenges.

    What kind of lifestyle would you like to create for yourself?
    One of sustainability, freedom, and the ability to travel.

    • Cynthia
      January 1, 2015, 8:40 pm

      If you are looking into something to help with your disability the idea on the Safari Trek Motorcoach might give you ideas. The bed is motorized up into the ceiling in the living room. This way you utilize more living space and can have more storage too. You can see this at http://www.pplmotorhomes.com/rvs/motorhomes/safari-trek-motorhomes.htm. This will give you photos of the Trek and how the bed lowers and raises. I am not suggesting you buy a Trek but just that you can see the photos of how that might work in a tiny home. Good luck and Happy 2015.

  • Sandie
    January 1, 2015, 5:03 pm

    Unfortunately, money is the problem. And, finding some good honest contractors since I can’t do it myself.
    I would also like to see more small houses around 800-950 sq. feet. Oh, one more thing, cold climate (ice, snow, lots of changes in temp. tornados, Kansas City weather ) type of houses would be great to see.
    I love the newsletter, thank you.

    • Paula JO
      January 1, 2015, 5:35 pm

      I agree. We need more home plans in the 600-900 sq. ft. size.

      • Cynthia
        January 1, 2015, 8:45 pm

        Amen to that! I have many stick built plans in folders from cool house plans, e-plans, etc in that range but I don’t know how costly it would be. For Baby Boomers wanting to go “small” we need more ideas and since we are a large group I hope more plans in the 600-900 range show up.

  • Terrie
    January 1, 2015, 5:04 pm

    I love getting the info right in my inbox! The only thing stopping me is that my husband wants no part of downsizing our belongings. I am slowly getting rid of things at garage sales and online garage sales! One day I will have the tiny home of my dreams!

  • Sonja
    January 1, 2015, 5:04 pm

    Well what holds me back is that my father had Alzheimer’s and I live next door to his House do I need to be close. Them I’ve been helping my daughter with college expenses. So maybe funding is Part of it. Then I have a tendency to pull my back and although I want more space, a loft would not be something I would feel like climbing up and down from. Maybe one day, who knows. But I so enjoy looking at their photos and floor plans so I can dream.

  • Wendy W.
    January 1, 2015, 5:05 pm

    First of all I love your newsletter. Thanks for all you do. What’s holding me back is money, and zoning laws and guidelines.

  • Rob
    January 1, 2015, 5:05 pm

    Zoning, building codes,utility connections etc are difficulties in cresting a scalable venture. There is a national shortage of living spaces for elderly/low income singles and childless couples. Lofts are not an option for the elderly and in many areas to not conform to building codes when it comes to separate living space requirements for a separate sleeping room.

  • Dr. Gary Pillow
    January 1, 2015, 5:05 pm

    I was inspired by your column “Little House in Little Rock”, where a lady built a very cute and sensible Whidbey by Tumbleweed Tiny Houses. I have been living in my mom’s house since she died, and so, I have had the land surveyed to segment. I plan to build next door, but first I must sell my mom’s house. I have to live there a while longer, so I have rented the house out and build me a nice 122 square foot home in the garage. I love it!!! Whenever I sell the house, I am hoping to keep renting the garage for a while until I can move into my new Whidbey! Thank you for the inspirational article about the “Little House in Little Rock”. Have a blessed New Year!!!! gary 🙂

  • Lyn
    January 1, 2015, 5:05 pm

    I’ve only been receiving your newsletter for about 2 weeks. Pretty much everything is new and unknown about this. I love the idea. Here are my thoughts: first a tiny house just isnt enough space but a fully open concept small house would be so much better than a 3 bdrm house for 1 person. I’m thinking more the size of a 1 bedroom cabin with full size appliances, running water and electricity. I think more people would jump at this than the miniature house model. I’d love more useful space. Who needs all that space? Its crazy now. I’m selling my house but funding and a permanent location are confusing as well. The downsizing is already in progress. I’m good with need vs want and practice knowing when I have enough. As my sister said, she doesnt want to give up everything she enjoys/owns and live in what feels like a prison cell.

  • john mathews
    January 1, 2015, 5:06 pm

    As an “older” person with an “older” partner, we’re concerned about two things: 1- climbing up to (and down from) a loft on a daily basis, and 2- a need for “personal” space. While Tiny Houses make much sense, I think we’ll be using some of the their ideas to create a Little House instead.

  • Dr. Gary Pillow
    January 1, 2015, 5:06 pm

    I was inspired by your column “Little House in Little Rock”, where a lady built a very cute and sensible Whidbey by Tumbleweed Tiny Houses. I have been living in my mom’s house since she died, and so, I have had the land surveyed to segment. I plan to build next door, but first I must sell my mom’s house. I have to live there a while longer, so I have rented the house out and build me a nice 122 square foot home in the garage. I love it!!! Whenever I sell the house, I am hoping to keep renting the garage for a while until I can move into my new Whidbey! Thank you for the inspirational article about the Little Rock tiny home. Have a blessed New Year!!!! gary 🙂

  • Katrin Helmick
    January 1, 2015, 5:07 pm

    Hi! I really enjoy your site! As my husband and I may be leaving NYC soon we are dreaming of either buying a house or building our own. Having lived in a small apartment, we look at houses and can not believe they are so large with multiple rooms when most people live in just a few of those rooms. We are interested in building a home of our own. My biggest concerns and questions are what are the best properties to buy? One with access to utilities immediately on the property? Tear down an old house? What is the best experience of others who have built their own small home with contractors? I think I am interested in learning more about the unknown of building your own home but honestly that would not stop us either!
    Happy New Year!
    Best,
    Kat

  • Monika
    January 1, 2015, 5:07 pm

    I am in the planning phase of my retirement and reading all that I can on downsizing and living simply on the land. Thank you for your articles. I would like to read more on the outside or gardening. Also then how to store away what you have grown for the winter months. Is there a rout cellar of sorts. How do you get the foundation ready for a small home. I am more interested in smaller stay put homes than Mobil ones. I look forward to your posts for this year. Thank you. Monika.

  • Dasha
    January 1, 2015, 5:08 pm

    I’ve hours of web surfing and and now I’m ready to start designing. So what I need is a program to do the actual design with, and some specs of trailers and walls and such. I know there’s a seminar scheduled for Chicago in Sept, but thats a long way off and I’d like to get started now. So where can I get beginning design guidelines and a program or app?

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 1:48 pm

      Hi Dasha, most people use SketchUp. It’s a free design program from Google. There’s a lot of free tutorials on how to use it on YouTube. Michael Janzen of Tiny House Design has some great how to’s for it.

  • Larry hellis
    January 1, 2015, 5:09 pm

    My wife not wanting to live in a small house is one of the main factors, but you prbably cannot help with that one. We have lived in a small house (1100 sq. Ft) for nearly 30 years, and have raised three boys in it. She is resigned to living out the rest of our years here. However, I would love to at least try to build a tiny house just to get out of our rundown neighborhood.
    Another big factor, and one my wife knows, is my health. I am only 60, but have had to go on disability due to a loss of feeling in my fingers and feet due to diabetic neuropathy, congestive heart an atrial fibrillation which means my heart pumps inefficiently and I quickly tire out. Also the mefs that I take for these conditions makes me dizzy, so ladders are difficult at best.
    All of that being said, I would look forward to the challenge. I am looking over your website and I love trying to figure out how I might rework some of the plans that you send me…
    Even if I never achieve my dream of building a tiny home, I am inspired and uplifted by the spirit shown by the tiny home community…
    Please keep on what you are doing…
    Larry Hellis

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 1:51 pm

      Thanks Larry that means the world to me. 1100 sq. ft. is not too bad to manage. Maybe you can start with a little ‘shed’ in the backyard? Make it your little man cave or something maybe. Continue keeping your spirits up and finding ways to have fun/learn and I’m sure your health will improve little by little every day. Wishing you the very best. -Alex

  • JES
    January 1, 2015, 5:09 pm

    Great job, Alex, on the Newsletters. Love it! Keep up the great work. Mostly what’s holding me back is low-income due to health related issues/knee injuries. Haven’t figured out how to save up money on a limited income while still paying rent (even if it is relatively inexpensive). Have lots of ideas, and am continuing to downsize. As mentioned in earlier posts, lack of money is a big factor whether DIY building or having a tiny house built; then factor in parking or land. Best wishes for 2015.

  • JuDee
    January 1, 2015, 5:09 pm

    What’s holding me back? Location, location, location! Do to a disability I do not drive. I want a tiny home that sets in a tiny home community. Preferably one that is in a location that the year round climate is suitable for sandals and shorts! Being able to walk or ride my bike to get things (groceries, doctor appointment, etc) done independently would be ideal.
    I have seen a couple tiny house communities in the north eastern U.S. But not much more then that. I think if there was a link that would offer up information on communities, either established or in the process of becoming, it would be of great use to me.
    But if you changed nothing about Tiny House Talk, I would still read it and share it with my friends.
    Thanks Alex!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 1:52 pm

      Thanks JuDee!!! 🙂

  • Christina
    January 1, 2015, 5:09 pm

    I would like to build a tiny house myself. The things that are holding me back are money, knowing how to build, having the money to buy the right trailer, zoning restrictions where I currently live, and most of all to have a design that incorporates studio and living space without a loft bedroom. I would also like to incorporate found objects and recycled materials, while still ensuring that the house is structurally sound and elegant. I think I may be wanting too much at once, which can be emotionally and mentally paralyzing to reaching my goals.

  • Denise
    January 1, 2015, 5:10 pm

    Holy Crap! There’s a lot of tiny house people! 🙂

    Uh, the thing that’s worrying me about tiny house living is all my pets! 3 cats which I think I could make work. But I have 3 beagles too. They might have to have a nice tiny heated dog box. 🙂

    And the area that I live in. Not sure how to get started with the resources that I have here in a small town. Not any eco friendly building business stuff around here.

    Totally love the tiny house emails! They keep me inspired!

    Thank You and Happy New Year!

  • Greg P
    January 1, 2015, 5:10 pm

    I never knew about tiny homes and we feel into the bigger and bigger mentality ending up in (a really great) development in 2800 sq ft. Now, we’ve been here 7 years and we have another 4 years until we are empty nesters. Our kids want to stay in our house. We bought at the worst time (2007) and our mortgage is obnoxious. I want to throw up when I write that check each month – especially looking at how much goes to interest!!! . Okay, I’m back. I love the modern and rustic modern/Scandinavian/Frank Lloyd Wright styling. I like the mobility of a trailer but don’t see that in our future. I agree with earlier comments about more on small (800-1000) sq ft homes versus tiny. I’d also love to know about land listings where we could put our modern small home 4 years from now (FL, Gulf Coast, or most preferably I the Islands – we were married in St. Thomas, USVI. Keep up the great work! I look forward to it every day.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 1:56 pm

      Thanks Greg. And way to go for being able to hang in there with your house all of this time. Even though it hurts writing the check, I think you should be proud of yourself. By the way, I highly recommend making an additional (2nd) payment every month after the first one. Even if it’s only an extra $50, $100, $200, you might notice that if you do that 100% of the extra amount you make as a 2nd payment for the month goes directly to your principal balance! Most banks won’t tell you this. Look into it! Or just try it and see. Can shave years off of your loan and save you potentially tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  • Nancy
    January 1, 2015, 5:11 pm

    A couple of different things have been holding me back. While I love the look of the TH, due to my age, some mobility restrictions, my skill level, and my finances isn’t possible at this point in time. I have been looking more at small housing on a foundation in an area I would like to be in. Possibly a prefab building to be finished inside with an enclosed screened/greenhouse area that is also connected to my sewing studio on the other end. I want to be able to store supplies, etc. as in being prepared for emergency- not as a doomsday prepper though. I would like to be off grid with my own water and septic system so there are less bills. I am trying to be realistic with what some possibilities are but still able to build the best I can do in my situation now. Which isn’t a big home- small compared to many under 1100 sq. feet for 5 people and it will be paid for in under four years. Keep up the good work.

    • Cynthia
      January 1, 2015, 9:03 pm

      Check out Structural Insulated Panels for building. They go up in a day if a really small structure or less than a week if not too complicated. I have seen them go up quickly and examined the building after so I know how this works. They are insulated out the hilt and can withstand most any storm. My husband is a retired catastrophe insurance adjuster and I worked for him. We traveled all over the US to do the storms for insurance companies and got to see up close how homes hold up and by far the homes with very minimal to slight damage in hurricanes, extreme storms, etc were the ones made from SIP’s. They cost a little more up front but you save tons in construction labor time. These homes are so energy efficient that if you add up any cost of the panels against the labor time and utility bills you will see how much you will save. If we find property to build a small house on this is what we will be using. Good luck and Happy 2015!

  • Christina Livengood
    January 1, 2015, 5:11 pm

    I love your website and while I am working at downsizing from a 3,000 sq. ft. home to something much more managable, I doubt I will ever talk my husband into some much less than 1,500 sq. ft. See, we have our 30 yr. old son who lives with us and was injured in a accident 10 years ago and left with a tramatic brain injury and is wheel chair bond and requires 24/7 care. His needs require more than your tiny houses can afford us but I enjoy and am inspired by your newsletter. We do have plans to build tree house with a solid ramp up to it sometime in the near future. Our son was an avid hunter, spending most of his early mornings (and just before dark) sitting up in the trees during bow and gun season. He provided us with our winter meat and we want to give him back the opportunity to at least sit back up in the trees while also having a livable space for the rest of the family to hang out. Don’t know if we will get this done in 2015 but I will keep reading your wonderful news letters for the inspiration we need to do this! Thank you for this website. I already have a copy of Derek Diedrickson’s Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, ets… I have gotten a few ideas from it but always looking for more ways I can do a handicap friendly tree house…Happy New Year to You too! Chris Livengood…pronouced with a long “i” 🙂

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 1:59 pm

      Thanks Christina! That sounds like a wonderful plan for your son. I’m sure he’d really enjoy it. Keep being the great parents that you are! -Alex

  • Jo
    January 1, 2015, 5:12 pm

    Like a lot of people, money to start building. I am on disability, I have ms, and just don’t have the upfront costs. I currently have a teardrop trailer and small car that I have travelled in for a couple of years. I LOVE tiny living. I do have is, people that will help me with the build, the plans for the PAD 12ft vardo (big enough for me

  • Heather
    January 1, 2015, 5:12 pm

    I’d like to build a tiny home in my garage to begin with and then take it to the driveway when far enough along to not offend the neighbors with covenant busting “unsightly jalopy” (neighbor’s phrase) sitting in the driveway. I have a lack of understanding of so many issues, that I would say I am early in the research stage. I have basic carpentry skills, can hook up some plumbing and am scared to death of all things electrical (even end user plugging things in I use a dryer sheet in my hand in the winter). I LOVE the newsletter for ideas. I LOVE that it comes daily to my inbox and will binge read them at least once a week. I LACK an understanding about several things that I find nuggets on your page: (1) solar for electricity; (2) plumbing for septic by-pass when “home on the land;” (3) by-pass for tank for composting toilets when traveling; (4) zoning specifically for the land areas I could buy small (or larger) plots; (5) building codes and restrictions if the home is considered real property or not; (6) tax implications and other implications of a trailer (vehicle needing a tag and insurance so DMV and DOT regs), mobile home not landed (??), trailer on land (real property plus tags and insurance to move it, but now it moves into real property territory – I think); and that gray area of it looks like a mobile home you’re building in your driveway, and there’s covenants in this subdivision that says you can’t do ____whatever I’m doing___.

    So obviously I’m still very new and in the idea gathering stages. I’d like to do a build mostly myself, but am unfamiliar with professionals I can use to do things I can’t – locally, and to a professional standard that will meet the DOT or building codes – whichever or both that need to be met. I don’t want to get ripped off, and I don’t want to rely on a residential pro to do work that might need to be more suited to road.

    I think I’d enjoy a map by region or specific address of vendors people have used, kinda like a Tiny Home’s Angie’s list.

    Keep on keeping on, because the work you’re doing here and on the videos and what not is valuable. Tiny homes are catching on. Once they hit HGTV, there’s no stopping the “movement.”

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 2:01 pm

      Thanks for the wonderful ideas Heather and it sounds like you are on the right track. It definitely takes time but it’s important to have fun, enjoy, and take your time throughout the process so you end up with what you really want 🙂

  • Polly
    January 1, 2015, 5:12 pm

    What is holding us back? Not much really. If we wanted to do this now we would start. We have been fixing up a small home and are on year 15 of a 5 year plan. We have taken many steps to simplify in those 15 years. Our next step is to convert a small grainery (14′ x 20′) into a small home for our son, now age 20, to live in or for a cabin to rent on AirBNB. We are using all the great ideas in the Tiny House blogs to make design decisions. Each step gets us closer to Tiny. Happy New Year!

  • Frankie
    January 1, 2015, 5:12 pm

    We hope to be on our way to simplicity in 2015!!

  • Sherie
    January 1, 2015, 5:13 pm

    What frustrates me the most about tiny houses, is that there are so many choices. My design changes daily 🙂
    What is it that’s holding me back from doing what you want to do, is the building codes in Ontario are so backwards, nothing under 1000 sq ft, meh! in London, ON, you can not even have a standard RV or trailer visible on your property. If the neighbors complain, you have to move it. I know they are trying to start a tiny house community in Kingston, but that is too far away from my family and friends. I guess I will have to start one of my own, however the logistics of that are a huge challenge.
    Any assistance would be appreciated.
    Thank you

  • Myles
    January 1, 2015, 5:14 pm

    We bilt a 36′ Diameter Dome [950sq’! main floor] 25 yrs ago:
    Owner Involved Building:
    Small sq ft compared to most:
    aux: Sea Container[s] used for storing the excess[s]

  • frances
    January 1, 2015, 5:15 pm

    I have a tiny house but I have know to help finish it what do I do where
    do I go to get help I’m 68 and what it done please God Bless

  • CG
    January 1, 2015, 5:17 pm

    Too much stuff! Am downsizing now, but it takes time and mental willpower. Money is also an object, but time and stuff takes the cake. Will get there, however…..a little at a time.

  • Jennifer
    January 1, 2015, 5:19 pm

    Thank you for your great website and newsletter! I appreciate the diversity covered!

    As far as something I’m concerned about is toilet solutions for tiny houses on wheels. A full review on all the types of solutions out there would be helpful going into this lively in the next couple of years.

    Another thing would be as many cool, multiple-use furniture and storage pieces that have been designed it there for tiny houses, like those on wheels.

    Doing great, keep it up!

  • Kat
    January 1, 2015, 5:20 pm

    zoning. I have been living in a tiny house for a long time, but just relocated with a new tiny home to a less populated area, and am trying to navigate land use laws. Really murky, and for something as permanent as location, which can really affect life, it feels important (even understanding that it may not be possible to be 100% up to govt spec, I’d like to know if the area has history of code coming after folks, for example).

  • Joanne M
    January 1, 2015, 5:20 pm

    As an older woman who is not construction minded, I would need to hire someone to build or set up a tiny house. Code restrictions are also a challenge. Is there a state by state information site regarding where a tiny house can be located? It would be easier to full-time RV but I am an avid gardener.

  • Randy Morton
    January 1, 2015, 5:20 pm

    I’m held back slightly financially, largely indecisively with all the possible directions to go in, and a little bit of natural laziness. I think I will see something happen in 2015 though.

  • Kimberley C
    January 1, 2015, 5:20 pm

    Holding me back is mostly land and some start up monies. Now that we have built a barn on our current property, we want to build a small efficient home. Do not want it on wheels. Really working on the layout to make it good for us into retirement years. That means a bedroom on the first floor and real stairs to the second floor.
    How can you help? Just keep doing what you are doing! And give me more details before I click a link in email, as in # of bedrooms, BR on first floor, and square footage sizes. I think we will end up with 1000ish square feet but will make the most of them
    Happy New Year to you!

  • Christina Livengood
    January 1, 2015, 5:22 pm

    I would love to downsize but we have a wheel chair bond son who requires extra space for his medical equipment and so far I have not seen too many house plans (except for ones with slide-outs like our current travel trailer) that would accomodate his needs. We do plan to one day build a tree house with a ramp up to it that would give him back the joy he had spending time in a tree stand hunting before his accident. Right now, we could only downsize from 3,000 to 1,500 sq. ft. and we would need extra space in the bathroom for a rolling shower chair. I have Derek Diedricksons Humble Homes book and I love your newsletter with the inspiring stories you share….Thank You!

  • Nancy B
    January 1, 2015, 5:22 pm

    I can’t imagine where in our locale the building codes would allow a tiny house, they seem to only like bigger and bigger. What are the challenges to finding a place to build a tiny house that is not a mobile one, if you don’t own property far out in the country where no one cares?

  • Scott Blink
    January 1, 2015, 5:23 pm

    We are convinced and looking forward to building our own Tiny House!!

  • Dean Wankel
    January 1, 2015, 5:23 pm

    I absolutely love the e-mails I get from you.
    One thing that bothers me is why don’t you put interiors on the different tiny houses. The outsides look great, but without seeing the inside, it is just a picture.
    I am downsizing this year and moving across the country. The ideas are absolutely great to let me decide on what I want to build. A good size for me would be an 8 X 20 all on one floor. No climbing ladders to hurt old bones in a fall. :3
    Keep up the good work and I will be looking for more e-mails in the near future.

  • Tom Mason
    January 1, 2015, 5:23 pm

    My concern is windows. I love the big picture windows shown in some of the stories, but worry that heat losses may cancel most of the advantages of a tiny house. Could you please do a review of the effects of big picture windows and the benefits of double-pane, triple-pane and other mitigation opportunities ?

  • JanG
    January 1, 2015, 5:24 pm

    I’m waiting for an endless divorce to end, then see where I am. My ideal is to have 1-2 acres for goats and maybe a horse, and build a 500-600 sq ft small home on it. There’s a lot of material stuff to go through, but I have a pretty clear idea of where I’d like to be.

  • Nicole Newsom
    January 1, 2015, 5:25 pm

    I have a healing and teaching business that I would like to operate out of my tiny home. I have not seen a show on how to do that and I am happy to the the first on your show, if possible 😉
    You can check me out at http://Www.SpiritSenseLLC.com
    I would love to see how this business would fit in a tiny home so I can keep my career and live out of a tiny house.

  • Ms Betty
    January 1, 2015, 5:25 pm

    I live in a 1200 sq ft home and some people think it’s small but I’d really like to go down to around 200-350 sq ft because I feel lost in this “big” house. Problem is my state requires no less than 500 sq ft. I wouldn’t have a problem selling my home but then I couldn’t stay in this area due to the laws. Frankly, I’m too old to move to another state and start over there. I keep looking and wishing but even 500 sq ft is too big for me and there is no point in selling this if I can’t get what I want.

    • Heather
      January 2, 2015, 5:23 pm

      Ms. Betty, In your state, could you possibly have built on your 1200 sq. ft home’s land, a large “shed” looking structure that is permitted as a “mother-in-law suite” or a “home office?” Of course, you’d build to suit your tiny home needs from the outset, and then possibly, rent your larger 1200 sq ft home to another person or couple?

  • Deanne
    January 1, 2015, 5:25 pm

    I am all for downsizing particularly because I would rather have some good and useful land than pour more money into a larger home. I have already started the process and have been doing so by increments over the last 6 years. Moving from 2600 sq ft to 1200 sq ft and soon, I’ll be moving into an 800 sq ft. home. I think that 800 sq ft qualifies as a small house, but definitely not tiny. The only reason that I am not planning any further downsizing is because although all, but one of my five children are adults and living on their own, I still enjoy hosting holiday dinners or gatherings and going much smaller than 800 sq ft I think would curtail me from doing so, particularly since my older children are starting their own families and so our numbers are increasing. I am still interested in tiny homes plans though because I plan on turning a shipping container or box trailer into a 8 x 20 ft. temporary residence while we build our main home and then afterwords we will be using the 160 ft tiny home as a guest cottage for visiting family or friends. To make the best use of tiny homes, I would love to see more information on building and placement of an outhouse, either traditional or to house a composting or incinerating toilet!

  • Donald
    January 1, 2015, 5:25 pm

    Like a lot of people, money is a concern. One thing we are unsure of is what financing options are available. What we plan on is a trailer model, which would then suggest that we would likely need an auto loan as opposed to a mortgage, but we are not too certain of the details they involve. Another issue I personally am dealing with is trying to figure out what tow rating of a vehicle I will need. As it is a 38 foot build (yes, I know that’s large for a tiny house) and I’m drawing the plans, I have no idea what kind of total weight or tongue weight I will be looking at. These are my two biggest issues at the moment. Thank you.

  • Penny B
    January 1, 2015, 5:25 pm

    We hope to move into a tiny home after our youngest finishes high school 2018.. We might not be able to wait… We want the freedom sooner

  • Paula JO Surla
    January 1, 2015, 5:25 pm

    I’d like to go compact. “Tiny” is too small for my family. Unfortunately, I’ve had difficulty finding home plans that are space efficient. I see no reason to have extra entry ways, dining rooms, etc. I like build-ins that use the space from floor to ceiling. I’d also like 2 master suites with a jack & jill bathroom between. This search is like finding a needle in a haystack.

  • Demetria
    January 1, 2015, 5:25 pm

    What stops me is codes… Regulations… Why if you own land can’t you build a small building?!?!?! My goal is to build a tiny home between400-600 sq ft in NYC hahaha I know funny right… I would like to be able to build it on a foundation and not in a rural area … What can be done to change regulations?

  • Austin
    January 1, 2015, 5:26 pm

    Whats really holding me back in money and my obsession for motorsports XD. All my money goes into my cars and I need a place to keep my cars! One day I’ll buy a chunk of land in upstate NY and build myself a garage “home base”, and then go tiny. Happy New Year!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 2:07 pm

      Sounds like you could use a tiny house with a big warehouse in the yard. I’d like something like that too! I’d use my tiny house to sleep and play in the warehouse all day. Thanks for sharing and happy new year Austin!!

  • Bobi
    January 1, 2015, 5:27 pm

    I’m not sure where to start. I’m new to the tiny house concept but I love it. I’ve been working on downsizing my possessions and would love to go small especially on or near a rail trail but I don’t know how or where to find property in my area and I don’t know how to identify a real estate agent who would be willing to work with someone wanting to go small.

  • Ashley
    January 1, 2015, 5:28 pm

    Well mine is trifold. The first is obviously the money it costs. The second two are tied together. I both go to school and work full time. I live in a major city and both the school and my job are located in the middle of it so I wld have no place to put a tiny home. The nearest RV parks are almost an hour away so I would then suddenly have an even bigger commute and the need for a vehicle (which I don’t have now). So for me moving to a tiny house at this point in my life would actually make my life harder, more difficult and more expensive to do. All of which are the reasons people move into tiny houses.

    There is a sliver lining though, right now I’m applying for grad schools to get a masters in urban planning so that one day I would be able to make tiny homes would be easier for people at least with zoning and what not. I want to dedicate my future career to making alternative living such as tiny homes more acceptable and main stream.

  • Page
    January 1, 2015, 5:29 pm

    (1)Money – completely in love with the idea, but the price per square foot is more expensive than my urban lifestyle. (2) logistics of where to put a house on wheels, (3) not family/community friendly – I like urban living because I like having a community of people around me. I don’t want to raise my family in the middle of nowhere. For me this looks more like a empty nest/retirement dream.

  • Brenda Scott
    January 1, 2015, 5:29 pm

    My dream would be to build a small cabin from the wood my Dads barn is constructed with. That barn was built in the 30’s with lumber from a church built in the late 1800’s. So to reuse the lumber for a 3rd dwelling is my dream!

    The barn is in poor shape, and I don have the skills to de-construct the barn…safely. So it would have to be hired out…& rather costly.

    Whenever I look at the barn, I think “my house is in there..I just cant get at it!” Time is running out…

    For the website, Id love to see more on building for northern climates with sub-zero temps & 6 months of winter.

  • christoph
    January 1, 2015, 5:36 pm

    What’s holding me back?
    I am so sorry, this question came too late:
    This year my wife and i have done the step of downsizing: We moved away from a 1000 square appartment with endless storage space in the attic.
    Having bought some land with a small 460 sq feet weekend home on it.
    It was a nightmare and a juristic fight against government to get the permission to live there fulltime…
    Living legaly in a tiny home isn’t easy here in austria.
    After six months we are now in paradise: my wife and i and our two years old german shorthaired pointer dog Abby…

  • Dona
    January 1, 2015, 5:37 pm

    NOTHING IS HOLDING ME BACK! Well, winter is slowing me down some! I’ve sectioned off 18 acres on one side of my property to make tiny houses on 1/2 acre lots. Since I don’t have the funds to build the BEST…. I’ve also found Pallet houses! In fact… the first bldg I’m making is a tiny hotel, so that the folks staying there can help BUILD their tiny house, and work on their 1/2 lot to include permaculture design. I’m excited! The bedrooms in the tiny hotel are 12 X 12… the first house was going to be 12 X 24, since all my pallets are 3 X 4, keeping with 12’s makes it easier. But… the hotel will be 12 X 36. I’m getting a LOT of ridicule at work… but… WHEN IT’S DONE!!! 🙂 The possibilities are ENDLESS!

  • Janice Smith
    January 1, 2015, 5:38 pm

    The thing that is currently holding me (us) back from a tiny house is my hubby, but I am working on him!!!!! LOL I keep showing him different floor plans that I have worked up using some of our current furniture — he would definitely have to have a separate barn for all his shop STUFF!!! I am already in the process of purging! Someday ……

  • January 1, 2015, 5:39 pm

    We downsized a little over 2 years ago. We now live in our RV for 6 months and rent a very small condo for the winter months. We want a very small house of our own but there are a few things holding us back at this time:
    1. We aren’t exactly sure where we want to settle again. We have been looking but haven’t found the most ideal location yet.
    2. We would like to be within driving distance of our grown kids. They are in a location that we know will not be permanent so we would like to wait to see where they decide to settle.
    3. We still have a number of places that we would like to visit. With the additional cost of property that we own, we are not sure that we could afford both.
    We know that we will eventually (within the next few years) be living in a very small home, just not sure yet where that will be . In the meantime we continue looking for the ideal location.

  • Michael Evanick
    January 1, 2015, 5:41 pm

    When you say that you own a small home, you own a structure that is mounted on to the planet in a secure way! Slab,Foundation ,Stone and mortar. I have no problem with a small square footage home, But the structure must be permanent. Trailer,Truck, cardboard box are not!
    A well engineered smaller home is needed, and is very appealing to many more people today! There are a multitude new technologies available,(Solar, Rain water collection,etc).
    The biggest problem that we face are our local building codes,with many legal restrictions tied to land ownership! But there are ways around some of these.
    The largest opportunity available is the inner city, and what can be done with the abundance of so many wasted properties!
    Lets see what ideas we can come up with in the year to come!

    • Heather
      January 2, 2015, 6:04 pm

      Michael Evanick,

      I like your inner city wasted property idea for small/tiny homes. The difficulty is one of concentration, perception, gentrification, and who bears the cost of development? The trend where I am in Atlanta is to build mixed use structures that are bought up by investors and rented for ridiculous amounts and have too many empty units because there are no nearby groceries/produce/meat markets or Walmarts (ugh), and schools are typically horrible. Then there is the safety factor of inner cities…real or perceived…that living in the inner city brings. If you concentrate tiny homes, you end up with what ends up being low end apartments and that’s not going to pay the land price of inner city lots, sadly.

      As to the first part of your message, I am learning a lot in my research on regulations and tiny homes. What you said, “When you say that you own a small home, you own a structure that is mounted on to the planet in a secure way! Slab,Foundation ,Stone and mortar. … But the structure must be permanent. Trailer,Truck, cardboard box are not!”

      This is true in some locations, I suspect. But, it is not true everywhere, at least as far as regulations go. Perhaps you were talking aesthetically?

      Anyhow, I was researching Jacksonville, Florida and and they have trailer parks (also called mobile home parks) that allow two types of homes, yes homes, that have wheels – at least t some point in the structure’s life. They are almost exactly the same from the outside. Florida has a big concern of hurricanes and tornadoes, so all parked mobile homes have to be tied down to the ground in a secure way. They ram big metal bars into the ground usually. So they are securely attached to the ground.

      But, if a person has a structure built in the back yard, with a slab, and there is only one room – it is not a home, but a shed, barn, workshop, but not a home. Homes have a very specific definition – or so I have learned – and whether or not your structure is a home matters significantly, at least in Florida. There are tons of mobile home parks, campgrounds, and other areas where snowbirds (retirees from out of state who visit FL 6-8 months and go elsewhere the rest of the time, until they stay their remaining years – then their out of state adult kids and grandkids flood in to visit them – but I digress).

      In Florida, Jacksonville in particular, interestingly, trailers/mobile homes can be classified as trailers (personal property like a car and they need a license tag and are insured as vehicles/trailers) but people still live in them as homes. This just means they are renting the land they are anchored to, and may or may not own or rent the trailer too. They can’t take a homestead tax exemption for this type of home.

      The same exact trailer described above, placed on land the trailer owner owns, is qualified to be (RP) which means real property. The homeowner has to take off the wheels, put skirting up (although this is debatable and I still don’t know why one wouldn’t do that), have a wood or other permanent step up with a cover to keep out rain (that might be a myth, I’m still investigating). They also have to do all the tie downs as above.

      The above are the same trailer, and they are generally pulled by a semi-type truck, or a large 5th wheel. They come in single wide, double wide, and triple wide. They are about the size of a semi-trailer (or two times, or three times as wide) but are shipped in single units from a factory someplace. They are usually FULL OF TOXIC Glues, dyes, foams, and other assorted materials that are horrible for you and the environment. If you want to check this out yourself, visit a seller doing the hot summer months…you’ll smell plastic/glue/chemicals. 🙁

      Where things get tricky (codes and regs that is), is the RV Trailer (pulled by trucks) and the RV-vehical (the bus looking RVs) want to be permanent living places, but most RV parks won’t allow them, and some camper-sites require RV stickers of some sort. It’s all a strange mix of state, county, city, campground, landowner rules mixed with federal department of transportation rules too.

      There are other legal consequences that have to do with bankruptcy and personal property and primary residence homes as well, that I just began reading about.

  • Matt Carpenter
    January 1, 2015, 5:42 pm

    Thanks for the awesome giveaway Alex. What is holding me back is a few things. One thing being where to put it (land). Another is if it is actually the best move for myself and my wife. I know I want it for various reasons, but she is not on board. If I could move into a tiny house tomorrow, I would not hesitate.

  • Sharon
    January 1, 2015, 5:42 pm

    I’m trying to figure out how to make it work in the city. Apartment living is not for me, I need to be free! Thanks!

  • Lisa C.
    January 1, 2015, 5:43 pm

    For me, it’s finding a desirable and affordable piece of land. I’m not looking for a tiny house on wheels (though I think they are really neat). Rather, I would like to settle down in a tiny home on a great piece of land somewhere.

  • January 1, 2015, 5:43 pm

    we have started downsizing. this year we moved into an 800 square foot house and are looking at building a Tiny place up in the mountains. one of the things that prevents us from going “full tiny” is that we’ve often had several people living with us at time while they are in transition in their lives. we’re also considering putting a tiny house in the yarden so people who need a place to stay can be with us longer term but still have their own space.

  • Mary Sparling
    January 1, 2015, 5:50 pm

    understanding how to hook up solar wiring, is one I’m 68yr YOUNG! I will be trying to figure out how to make a slide out in the living area for for floor space, I’am fairly crippled up with arthuritis and know it will only get worse in the future (wheel chair ) all on one floor, wider doorways, money is always a problem, (social security funded), I’d have to sell my house and I’d like to keep it for more income, rent it out, or make apartments to rent…I’ve started to downsize but it’s a slow process..one apartment over my barn area is not quite finished…my oldest son is my carpenter and has been for several years now, but he’s living out of state and has limited time, but we have picked out a plan which I think would work but it must be widened to 12 feet by 20 feet which does not make it movable….so where to build here in NY or in Kentucky? lots to think about and make decisions on…I’am slowly getting some of the items I will need ahead of time a little at a time. Most of all I read all I can on this subject but the solar wiring looks complicated and the batteries are really expensive. My house could be divided into 3 apartments,the one in the barn makes 4, and there is a porch 10x 20feet which could also lend itself to another for one person, but I want to start as soon as I can my body isn’t getting younger just my mind HA HA Thanks for all of your articles and keep up the good work Mary

  • Richie Moore
    January 1, 2015, 5:50 pm

    The only significant thing holding us back is finding remote acreage in western NC, and accumulating the money to build. We are totally sold on going small. I lived a year and a half in 165 sq ft, and my friend, and now my wife, lived in a neighboring cabin 195 sq ft. We agree it was some of the best times of our respective lives. Now as a couple we want to build about 400 sq ft, and get off the grid totally, raise food, generate power, etc and prepare for the coming world events that we believe are unfolding right now. Keep up your good work. We love what we are seeing and learning.

  • Mia
    January 1, 2015, 5:51 pm

    First of all Happy New Year everyone and may your wishes/dreams large or tiny come true.
    Secondly thank you so much for this website, it’s one of my favorites, I read it daily, in the morning, to brighten up my day. It’s very inspirational.
    What’s holding me back from having a tiny house is lack of urban options for such. I live tiny now technically, I share an apartment that’s just under 300 sq. ft. It’s in an excellent downtown area of a major metropolis with perfect walk and bikescores. There is no need for a car. I don’t know of any tiny house scenarios that offer similar odds. And I don’t want to compromise a car free lifestyle.
    I’ve been very good about downsizing. In 4 years in this tiny apartment I’ve gotten rid of a lot of extraneous things. I think possession wise I’m quite ready for tiny living.
    What would be of most help now is more citified options for tiny house living and of course, always, money.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 3:00 pm

      Sounds like you are enjoying many of the benefits already associated with tiny living. Sometimes the best part of being in a studio or small apartment is having the chance to be car-free. Enjoy it Mia. Keep it up!

  • Gina
    January 1, 2015, 5:51 pm

    Aside from cost and location is having to let go of “things” Thai I don’t really need but value for sentimental and traditional reasons. Letting go is frightening but even regardless of tiny house or not it is something that needs to be done. Too much stuff, period!

  • Saint Phlip
    January 1, 2015, 5:52 pm

    Actually, I already live pretty small- 450 sq ft, on top of a barn. The difficulty I’d have with getting any smaller, is that I’m a blacksmith, and need space for my forge and associated tools, not to mention my books, My current interest, is to build a camper for my Medieval hobby, so I can go and teach smithing at various events, while minimizing my pre and post event prep. To that end, I’m wanting to build a gypsy vardo, with an awning on one side for a smithing shelter, and availability for an outdoor shower on the other.

    Ultimately, however, due to a recent leg injury, I’d like to deal with a one level residence, small, similar to the Escape, and a large garage/workspace for my metalworking and associated construction.

    Keep doing what you’re doing Allex. I’m enjoying all the ideas I’m picking up, as I get closer to starting and building my projects.

  • Kate
    January 1, 2015, 5:54 pm

    Money, but I have a plan and have been saving so I can buy land first and then build it on the land!!!

  • Betty
    January 1, 2015, 5:54 pm

    I think what is holding me back is money. The idea of having a tiny house, so one does not have to pay rent or mortgage is great but my own income is abysmal and i’m barely keeping myself from being homeless again. I have the tiny home design choosen, trying to keep the design aesthetic still and add a couple bennies like solar panels and keep the cost down still.

  • krausdog
    January 1, 2015, 5:56 pm

    Thank you Alex for all that you find and share. Know that it is valuable!
    Nothing is holding me back in particular from starting a build except time (2015 is my year). As for living tiny, as many others have mentioned, finding a suitable property is the biggest holdup.

    The tiny house movement is still quite young relatively speaking. Many people are building with very different plans and materials which may or may not work out after several years. The variations can be dizzying to a non-engineer. So what I would like to see more of is builders being honest with what has been tried and pretty clearly does not work so well/is problematic. I can only recall one woman being honest about her wool insulation getting moldy within a couple of years. There have to be other stories about similar issues. After all, the difference between tiny houses and RVs is often claimed to be ‘how well built’ they are or ‘how long they last.’

    Thanks for all you are doing.

  • Kate Williamson
    January 1, 2015, 5:56 pm

    The only things holding me back from living tiny again is my body and time! I’ve designed a tiny home on wheels, capable of off grid comfort, specifically around my particular disabilities.
    I’m a Dizzy, klutzy, gimp with far too many physicians (putting at least 3 of their kid’s through college!) living on a fixed income below poverty level. Yet plenty to live tiny! I have lived large, micro tiny, and every size in between. Nothing beats the independence and freedom living tiny brings! Being part of the natural environment instead of trying vainly to conquer her! Taking care to leave nothing but fertilizer behind!
    If I can prove to other challenged people by example, that true independence can be attained, and comfortably maintained on a fixed income. With interest, I will have the basis to start a sponsorship program for designing and building tiny homes for people whose lives will be changed with permanent personalized home. So, I need all the help I can get!

  • Hope clary
    January 1, 2015, 5:58 pm

    I have 3 houses to sell before I can build my tony house and travel with it. That’s all that’s holding me back. I need to sell at least one to get the build started then once they all sell I can leave to see the country. First stop will be ALASKA!!!!!! Good luck everyone

  • Mark
    January 1, 2015, 5:58 pm

    I love tiny homes, at this moment in my country our timber is very expensive A Grade price and is of low grade quality majority of the time. My wife is not convinced yet about going small and I have a big active family. So when it is raining and cold the tiny home will become a tiny zoo.

  • Robyn
    January 1, 2015, 5:59 pm

    Hi Alex,
    I have really enjoyed your emails! Thank you so much for your faithful service to spreading information and awareness to the Tiny House movement.
    Now that I’m in heaven watching 2 hours of Tiny House shows on FYI on Monday nights, I expect I will see you on a show soon!
    For the new year, it would be great to ask Tiny Housers some questions, such as:

    1. What are the benefits/drawbacks of choosing painting exterior vs. staining exterior?
    2. What is the yearly//weekly maintenance like for a THOW?
    3. Any drawbacks with having your French doors swing outward vs. inward?
    4. What would you suggest (for design) living with an indoor cat?
    5. Wider width: how much more is it really, to get towed?
    6. What is it like, five years later?

    I’m in the dreaming and gathering stage right now, reading all I can, watching TH videos ’til wee hours in the morning… Also have downsizing in process.
    I think it would be difficult to live in a TH while working, as I need a variety of clothes for work right now, and office space for work-related “stuff.”
    When I retire in a few years, I think it will be the time for tiny. I want it to be a magical experience of life in the trees, or near water–in my “girl fort”–with stairs to the dormer loft where I can perch and write.
    An added bonus to Tiny House living: your adult children cannot move back in!

    I have a lot of questions

  • Kathi
    January 1, 2015, 5:59 pm

    I’m not sure if I want to go completely tiny, but small. My prime concern is that I am a crafter, and I would need a little more room than a tiny house would offer for my hobbies. Currently, land is also a problem. I am several years from retirement and run my professional business out of my home. There is no land nearby that is affordable. I am postponing my small dreams until retirement, but I dream about a small house, on a few acres, hopefully off-grid with a few animals and a large garden. That is my idea of heaven! Your newsletters fuel my daydreams and I love them. If I was 25, I would love a tiny house, though. I’m always showing my daughter your posts! 🙂

  • Judy
    January 1, 2015, 5:59 pm

    I am also trying to research as much as possible before making the leap. I have a dream of creating a “Tiny House” village on my 5 acres of land. I would love to have as it as “green” as possible, for living off the grid. All of your information is very useful. Thank you for everything that you do.

  • Teresa butler
    January 1, 2015, 6:00 pm

    We are looking at living tiny down the road when all of the kids are grown – can’t wait!!

  • gary pollock
    January 1, 2015, 6:05 pm

    My biggest criticism of tiny houses is some basic safety issues. I think there needs to be some sort of access to the ground from the egress window in the lofts to the ground in case of fire.
    I have only seen one which deals with proper ventilation for indoor air quality without having to use a window. Most don’t have moisture evacuation from showers or cooking. In a wet climate as I live in, (west coast), opening a window lets moisture in, not out. I believe a fan and humidistat is necessary. Most also don’t use range hoods. With all the open area, cooking smells get in everything, especially if you do a lot of frying or grilling.
    I believe the tiny house movement was started on the premise of not being restricted by a lot of code requirements. But, I also believe there needs to be some sort of code, or even self-regulation to allow more tiny houses to set up in urban areas. Non-conforming is a sticking point with a lot of city councils. They need to meet some minimum standards, and maybe even be inspected and certified. I believe in some jurisdictions it would be quite difficult to get it transferred as anything other than a ubuilt trailer with a cargo or as an rv. Some builders are doing this, and I applaud them for it. Maybe they could put together some sort of standard to allow a home builder to get the home certified, as, I believe, the concept was designed with a do-it-yourself builder in mind.
    In spite of the criticisms, I love tiny houses, and am now working on another. I, personally, prefer 5th wheels, as I’m not able to manage a ladder to a loft as easily as I once could. (60 now)

  • Christina B.
    January 1, 2015, 6:05 pm

    Planning and dreaming stages going on right now so every help is this site has provided has been great. Money is what holds me back most often. Freedom and privacy are what I look forward to the most. I want a simple lifestyle but I also want my telly 🙂

  • Miki
    January 1, 2015, 6:06 pm

    You ask what is stopping us? Honestly, it’s the start up cost. We have the ability and knowledge to build it ourselves but dont have the land or money to start buying the materials. We don’t want to finance a tiny home either. So our plan this year is to start pulling form everywhere we can and start to purchase the materials to build the home. I would love some ideas on how to acquire recyclable materials for our home. We read about many doing that but can’t seem to “luck up” on anything that would work.
    Thank you for this blog and the wonderful information you share everyday. It is inspiring and educational. We will have a tiny home one day and you will be a huge part in making that a reality for us.
    Happy Nee Year!!!

  • Ericc
    January 1, 2015, 6:07 pm

    The greatest challenge in my mind is locating an affordable & legal landing spot for my tiny house. I am the type of person who requires an anchor which I can withdraw to if there are major interruptions in my lifestyle such as loss of income or health issues. I do not have to travel – but I do need a rock for support.

  • CV
    January 1, 2015, 6:08 pm

    Thank you Alex.
    You are a great inspiration. We have found many resources through your newsletter and really appreciate your diligence and enthusiasm. I look forward to your newsletters so much. I also thank and greatly admire the contributors who open up their lives and so (justifiably) proudly display their hard work and fantastic workmanship to share with us. My husband and I have had a long term plan which has slowly but surely come to fruition. We have moved states, have approval to build our architect designed, straw bale, off grid, sustainable home which we will commence building this year. We are now in transition and will soon commence fitting out a 20′ x 8′ container which will enable us to stay on our land while we build our “rest of life” home. There isn’t room for a loft in a container so we plan to put our bed on a platform which we can raise to the ceiling during the day and lower during the night, leaving the floor space underneath free during the day. All of our ideas for floor plans and raised beds on platforms came from this site! Our plan at present is to keep the container for accommodation for friends once our home is built. If it is excess to our needs then we will reconsider. We still have a lot to do and we are very excited about our future together here in Tasmania, Australia. Thanks for the treasure chest we get to open every time we receive one of your newsletters. We wish you a successful, prosperous and abundant year in 2015.
    Cheers
    CV

  • Shelby Solski
    January 1, 2015, 6:08 pm

    The ability to make it so that it would be usable in 50- below weather. Alex you once llisted a site from Canada that was building houses using some new superior type of insulation ( it was thin) if you could repost that it would be great. I want to build one for my daughter to take to the village to live in during the summers. Then bring it back my big concern is the moving of a tiny house I fear they make shake apart ?? I will build a tiny house I just need to get the insulation figured out 🙂 Thank Alex I love your site.

  • January 1, 2015, 6:13 pm

    We’re still in the planning stages. We need to sell the current house, downsize a lot of stuff, and figure out what we’re doing. Depending on if a current job application works, we’d be doing something on our second lot, if not, we’ll be wanting to sell it, and move several states away.

  • January 1, 2015, 6:14 pm

    One thing only – finding a place to put it. I
    Live in small Beach town I So. Cal.

    Considering tiny house on Maui!

    I want one.

    Thanks for the great info you provide.

    Lauren

  • laura tumminelli
    January 1, 2015, 6:15 pm

    I thought that when I bought my first house @1160sqft it was cozy, I know I can live smaller but land prices are sometimes more than the house and that scares me a bit.

  • Darcy
    January 1, 2015, 6:16 pm

    I have been a fan of the tiny house movement for some time now and this sight has given me a great deal of information and inspiration. I was able to make the decision to downsize to an RV. Making this decision is the first step.
    Thank you Alex and all the best for 2015.

  • gale
    January 1, 2015, 6:16 pm

    Alex I think you do an awesome job with your newsletter. It is interesting and inspiring. When we retire we want to dowsize and make life simple. We already downsized from 1800 sq ft to 1000 sq ft. I would like to see a larger closet area and more lower level bedrooms for those of us who are no longer spring chickens:) Thank you for all you do to inspire us.

  • Shelly D.
    January 1, 2015, 6:17 pm

    Fear of still having a mortgage over our heads is holding us back. As others have said, when you are looking at being self sufficient and mortgage free it defeats that purpose when a tiny home on a small piece of land ends up costing what a traditional house does. Not all of us have the talent or physical ability to build our own. Other issues are minor in comparison. We have decided to build a hobby shop for me, a small observatory for hubby and outbuildings for our farm animals (which we have now). Want to enjoy life – not clean a big house that may never be paid for.

  • Drea
    January 1, 2015, 6:19 pm

    One thing I’m always hunting for is technical info, and specifics. There are lots of lovely pictures and long narratives… how about downsizing the extra talk and folks sharing just the basics on hardware, appliances, and other features.

    Glad so many folks are popularizing this… I’ve been living in tiny cabins on and off for 15 years and finally feel like there’s enough resources out there to get started building my own next spring 🙂

  • juanita espinosa
    January 1, 2015, 6:20 pm

    I live in a cold state at least six months of the year, so would like to see how to build a community of tiny houses together, so there could be shared community space for ie books and creative space. what stops me is trying to figure out what kind of land is needed to create this kind of space with tiny houses all about..

  • January 1, 2015, 6:21 pm

    What’s holding us back is 1. Money, and 2. Disability. I’m currently living in a 28′ travel trailer and have downsized for that, but finding affordable land and navigating the local laws everywhere seems impossible. Eventually, the plan is, to make the trailer a stepping stone to a tiny house by cannibalizing the trailer for appliances, built-ins, etc, in the final stages of house-building. You’ve been keeping me inspired, so, fingers crossed! What I’d most like to find are more tiny-house communities that welcome newbies like myself lol.

  • Lynn
    January 1, 2015, 6:21 pm

    Money!!! I want to be debt free before starting this journey. Right now
    I am doing the research and learning as much as I can. I want to build
    this myself. Scary thought when you are a single 45 year old woman. Lol

  • Ellen
    January 1, 2015, 6:22 pm

    I am soo excited to get started! The challenge right now is location. I would love to find better climate so that I can utilize the outside to full compacity. Still flipping between trailer or permanet tiny house. LOVE all the information you provide!

  • Sally
    January 1, 2015, 6:23 pm

    Figuring out how to simplify my life via letting go of things. Books are very hard to cut down on…and dvds too.

  • vania jourden
    January 1, 2015, 6:25 pm

    I love your website. I love your newsletters. I love to see all the tiny houses. I dream of moving into a tiny house one day. Both my teens are interested and they both have decided that they want tiny houses themselves. We are looking for property to plan and build our houses on now.

  • Marcy
    January 1, 2015, 6:25 pm

    Holding me back? Money & lack of courage.

  • January 1, 2015, 6:26 pm

    I am super excited to start planning my mobile tiny house. I have 3 very handy brothers who can help me build and I would like to have my tiny house built by fall 2015. Right now I am in the process of saving money and visualizing my dream mobile tiny house. I am very excited!!

    Happy New Year!!!

    Best,
    Jessie Jean

  • Linda
    January 1, 2015, 6:27 pm

    Hi, Alex!

    Here’s my response to your questions:

    ◾What do you need the most help with right now?
    Getting people to speak out to their zoning commissioners.

    ◾What’s frustrating you most about tiny houses?
    What frustrates me most about tiny houses is that zoning authorities make it virtually impossible to own one.

    ◾What’s holding you back from doing what you want to do?
    Zoning authorities.

    ◾What challenges are you facing right now?
    Finding a decent price on the ever climbing cost of a tiny home!

    ◾What is it that you want the most?
    A tiny home on a piece of land off the grid.

    ◾What worries you about tiny houses?
    Safety in tornadoes and high winds.

    ◾What kind of lifestyle would you like to create for yourself?
    A lifestyle COMPLETELY off the grid.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR, ALEX!!!

  • Jennie Perkins
    January 1, 2015, 6:28 pm

    1. Have time to read all the comments!!! I would love to be able to read what everyone else has to say…But for now of course it would be $, but also the commitment of my Nephew who is the contractor and helping me built, seems every weekend he has some other things to do, but not in a hurry to finish my TH built. I would rather take my time and built it solid rather then fast built and not built well. What I find difficult is the placement of my stairs, My Trailer is 8×20, and as I am getting older, I want to make sure that it will be safe for me to go up and down the stairs. also how to be able to fit every thing that I want in a small space. What is holding me back would be more $$, but since I am not in a hurry, I was able to save at least for the shell, and once the outside is built I will take my time and budget to finish the inside. My Challenge would be, where to keep my TH once the shell is done, where to have it near where I live, then later on (Hoping in 2 years time), that my land which I purchased will be ready, for the TH. which is a good 7 hours drive north. What I want now would be the correct Truck to own that will be strong enough to tow it the long drive, and of course the drawer fridge that I so desperately want for my Tiny house, worried that it might be to deep the width won’t bother me, and I would prefer to have a drawer refrigerator, then the other types that they offer. What worries me is the final time when it comes to driving my TH from California to Oregon, about a 6 to 7 hour drive and then up a hill, where I feel that it should be better paved…worries me that it won’t make it up that slop, but thinking of other means to get it there when the time comes. lastly lifestyle? the “Freedom” to be able to live off grid, as natural as possible, and use less energy, but most of all “”””DEPT FREE”””””

  • Jeanne G
    January 1, 2015, 6:29 pm

    My husband & I came to the Tiny House movement only recently. We are currently downsizing (from 3000 sqft to 1800 sqft to our goal of 500 sqft). We were tired of our stuff owning us! And wanted a life that allowed us to spend more time out-of-doors and experiencing life. We are doing the work ourselves and are hoping to move this coming summer to our little piece of heaven in the Colorado Rockies. Our biggest challenge is only being able to work on weekends because of regular work schedule and then we have the weather to contend with on our free weekends (we are building on site which is about 1 hr away). I have found it frustrating to find a comprehensive list of appliances, heaters, and lights which would be good for small spaces and/or be used with solar. If it wasn’t for the information you provide, I would probably spend twice as much time on the web looking for info. I really hope that the Tiny House movement continues strong. Thank you for all your work!

  • Rhonda
    January 1, 2015, 6:30 pm

    Love reviewing all the tiny homes. I keep saving the ones I really like. My son lives off the grid on the Big Island in a tiny shack. My hope is that I will have a tiny house for myself on his property someday. So I really hone in on the ones that have water catchment, solar, composting toilet, etc.They are all so beautiful in their own way. Thank you.

  • Jaron
    January 1, 2015, 6:31 pm

    Right now, a reassessment of my career is holding me back. I’d love to see more stories/videos of persons who gave up a career and commute to work at home in a small place. Happy New Year! P.S. I already own the Tiny House Design & Construction Guide, so if I win, please send me Deek’s book or another. Thanks!

  • Teresa H
    January 1, 2015, 6:32 pm

    Money or the lack thereof is what’s holding me back.

  • amity
    January 1, 2015, 6:32 pm

    Kids, money and a vehicle. No really I worry about the ability to pull my home around with me. How people will respond and where I will be excepted.

  • Therese Brosnan
    January 1, 2015, 6:33 pm

    Kudos, Alex for your aims and accomplishments here. I am yet a distance from needing specifics but this site has been my unparalleled general resource. Your take-away piece from my otherwise complimentary post is an affirmation of earlier suggestions I read about refining the info filing system, or how you categorize information here. I will be sure to reappear with detailed comments or questions as ready! Best with your endeavors and for 2015!

  • mamie
    January 1, 2015, 6:33 pm

    I live in a tiny home that my husband designed but my problem is storage. I don’t have enough for linens, closet space etc. Maybe on the upstairs bedroom you could include ideas on multi-storage plans. I don’t like having to store my clothes in the living area.

  • Gordon
    January 1, 2015, 6:34 pm

    My wife and I decided to start a family, and to give them enough living space to have their privacy and comfort as they got older. Young children might think a tiny house is all kinds of fun, but young teens probably less so. We couldn’t afford a new house, so we bought a fixer-upper. So all of our money is going into that instead of a tiny house. This means that, as much as I’d like to be building it now, the tiny house must remain a retirement project for us.

  • Matt James
    January 1, 2015, 6:37 pm

    Time and money. Paying for my kids college education doesn’t leave much of either to start building but my wife and I are slowly planning our build. We would like to retire to a tiny home so we can travel.

  • Shelley Solaris
    January 1, 2015, 6:39 pm

    Zoning laws! In the Sonoma Valley of northern California, the zoning regs do not allow for tiny or even small houses. Specifically nothing on wheels, or under 800 sq ft. Banks, realtors and local governments do not want us to have options other than the status quo in terms of how to live our lives. It would (does) greatly threaten their ability to make huge sums of money off of everyone who wants to own a home.
    Until zoning laws can be changed to allow tiny/small houses, for most folks, living in a tiny home is only a dream. Living ‘under the radar’ (illegally) means living with the threat of having to move hanging over your head constantly.

  • Camille
    January 1, 2015, 6:39 pm

    Husband!! I would be happy living in the woods off off grid or traveling across the world in a tiny van. My husband worries about what his family and friends would think! Sadly he married a gypsy!

  • Ellen Munguia
    January 1, 2015, 6:39 pm

    Lack of money, and loved ones who need more space. Right now my boyfriend is in his corner of our room swooning over gadgets and photos he hasn’t seen in years. I want to go tiny, while he wants to pursue hobbies that require space. I also provide living space for several relatives at a reduced cost, and have pets. I have done lots of downsizing over the last few years, but going really tiny will have to wait until some of my current obligations have been discharged. In the meantime, I learn, plan, design, and dream.

  • Cindy
    January 1, 2015, 6:41 pm

    I have a mortgage on a little piece of property by the Kentucky River with two small houses on it (both around 1000-1200 SF), one very old which is being overrun by the hillside it is built into. My goal is to raze and salvage what can be salvaged from that house and create a pad to park my tiny on wheels semi permanently since there is electric and water already in place. My problem of course is the money to do both raze the old house with all the attendant permits and paperwork, and build the new one. I do not plan on building the whole thing myself, just participate as I can, so the build expense will be greater. I hope to sell the salvage from the old house in hopes that can offset some expense but not sure it will cover much. There is also the fact of wading through mountains of paperwork, always terribly daunting for me!!!

  • velma
    January 1, 2015, 6:45 pm

    We have 2 issues. First we can’t decide where we want to live and secondly with that we aren’t sure if we want to have a set location or movable.

  • Ron
    January 1, 2015, 6:47 pm

    Knowing were to start. Fixed vs on wheels. Finding a place to put it. How to get around or work with regulations. Which floor plan to pick. Would I need to upsize later. Do I build for that.

    That’s all the stuff I can’t figure out yet. Every time I get an idea on what I want it keeps changing

    -Ron
    Far Northern California

  • Martha
    January 1, 2015, 6:57 pm

    I love the Tiny House Newsletter and have been with it since it’s inception, or pretty soon after. Alex, I like it as it is and would hate to see it changed drastically. I’ve learned so much about what I like and what I don’t like, what is important to me and what is necessary from viewing the homes featured in the Newsletter. I probably won’t ever get to build or live in my own because of my age and circumstances, but I’ve lived in a 34′ 5th wheel trailer and now in a small mobile home, so I’ve had to downsize and live simply which is the way I love to live.

    I’m very interested in container houses and would love to hear from folks who have converted and lived in a container for a while, describing the pros and cons as opposed to the wood frame dwellings. I think you provide a good mix of rustic, old fashioned, new and modern, cluttered look as well as sleek, and also some totally new concepts from those who build in countries other than the U.S. I’d say just keep on what your doing but please don’t change the format or content too drastically.

  • SaLLy
    January 1, 2015, 6:57 pm

    Just need to figure out where, geographically, we want to live and then proceed to find land there. Cannot wait to go tiny!

  • Jess
    January 1, 2015, 6:59 pm

    My husband and I have been married 2.5 years and aren’t sure when kids will be in the picture. I’m fine with downsizing asap and investing in trying to homestead but my husband is concerned about housing children in a house smaller than what we have now (2100 sq ft), even though I am just trying to persuade him to downsize into about 1000 sq ft. And not something as extremely tiny such as a 200 sq ft trailer tiny house or something similar. He also always complains that we have too much stuff to be able to downsize. I think he just doesn’t want to give up all his computers. 😉

  • Terrie Cole
    January 1, 2015, 6:59 pm

    I plan on converting my old one room cabin into a tiny house this spring. And then, turn it into a vacation rental!!! I can’t wait. I find the tiny house movement so inspiring. Thanks you

  • Elizabeth
    January 1, 2015, 6:59 pm

    I’m in the planning stage. For me, it’s perfect mother/mother-in-law quarters. I plan to build a tiny home on wheels, most likely 8’x20′. I’m also considering building them as a business. I got a late start in life career wise as I was a stay at home mom for 22+ years. The probability of jumping into a corporate landscape and doing 20+ years to retirement is unrealistic. I’m real excited about building tiny homes. However, when researching the intense obstacles to this, it’s a bit discouraging. Especially as I have no training. Just a desire, as I love to design interior spaces. Maybe I’ll find someone to partner with on this. For now, I’m doing research and designing my floor plan. I guess the book I would love to have is the Tiny House Design and Construction Guide.

  • Heather
    January 1, 2015, 6:59 pm

    The biggest setback for me is city codes. I have nowhere to put the house.

  • Denise Stiffler
    January 1, 2015, 7:00 pm

    I will be downsizing to a tiny house within a couple of years. My circumstances will have changed by then in a way I won’t discuss on facebook. I will build a tiny house that I am designing and am looking forward to a better financial future.

  • Marianne
    January 1, 2015, 7:01 pm

    I WANT A TINY HOUSE!!!! My husband and I have recently discovered this way of life and watch, talk, search and dream of it ALOT. What is holding us back right now is where to start. We would be ready to buy the trailer, but have no where to build it or store it. We wonder how you find a place to park it when its built. Every show we have seen so far, everyone lives on family or friends land. Sad to say we have no friends, LOL, or family that have the land to park on. My dream would be to start a TH community, my husband had a grand idea to buy a run down mobil home park and turn the pads into a tiny home lots, but where on earth do you start? Business loan? Then how do you know if there would be enough interest and would Be able to rent the lots out. Have an awesome New Year Alex.

  • Lisa E.
    January 1, 2015, 7:06 pm

    Yikes! Ask and thou shalt receive! (Which reminds us to be careful what we ask for!) Nothing like an avalanche or responses; I questioned whether or not it was prudent for me to even go ahead and stick in my two cents worth. But, here goes:

    The thing that’s holding me back is the economy. I own a big, sprawling house in a housing market that is deader than a door nail.

    ( BTW: Did you know that the people who came over on the Mayflower brought nails with them but didn’t have a smithy in the beginning so any surplus nails they nailed into the front door as decoration. Why? So, if there was ever a fire, they would know where to look for those precious nails.) They liked the unique look it gave the doors (like it was quilted) and so they retained it as a style (like 1600’s MA saltboxes).

    As for what I’d like to see in the future: I’ve written about this elsewhere on TH but it bears repeating:

    I’d like to see a listings page for hardware and appliances with pictures, links, info about the products like dishwashers, toilets (different kinds; how they operate; cost of each kind, ) “on demand” products, pumps, generators, light dimmers, track and/or pendant lighting, stoves,
    trailers (different types, suppliers, fifth wheels, etc. I’ve seen so many people asking where they can get something with no reply after it that it just strikes me as a need that needs to be filled.

    These would be advertising pages, basically, and the TH folks would not be doing any order taking or shipping or anything like that. Just a place that shares REALLY important information for people in the process of planning or building their THOW.

    So often I have seen stoves or some other appliance and the post is about a TH being built on the other side of the country. Well, where did they get that thing, from a local or national retailer specializing in apartment or camping or RV-ing, or small housing? A name, contact information and ball-park costs would be divine. 😉

  • Erica
    January 1, 2015, 7:07 pm

    I’ve downsized quite a bit over the past 10 years. But, what stops me from “going tiny”?

    The thought of what NY (especially Long Island) probably has against tiny dwellings scares me. And even finding a property that would be affordable around here would be difficult. So, I guess my perceived vision on the amount of work and time it would take is one thing holding me back.

  • John
    January 1, 2015, 7:07 pm

    Actually, now that we have purchased two acres in the county all we need to do is fix up the current house, landscape a little and put it on the market. Both my son and I are going to then build each of ourselves a small unit (8x14ft) to use as our home bases while we build each of our homes and create our homestead. So, it looks like 2015 will be a very busy, but good year for us. Good luck and thanks for all the inspiring stories and pictures that helped us plan our future. Happy New Year Alex et. al.

  • Liz Rambo
    January 1, 2015, 7:07 pm

    My biggest problem is land. I have saved the money to build my tiny house. I need a tiny plot in OKC to put it on. That and staying off the zoning commission’s radar.

  • Naheelah
    January 1, 2015, 7:09 pm

    I’m not a carpenter, plummer , or electrician. I am just a bit nervous about building a tiny home myself. I am not a wimp or anything, I would just like to have either help with building or have hire someone to build one for me. Trouble is i can’t find anyone that is comfortable with building small. Someone that won’t try to take advantage of me being a single female. I have a small bit of savings and I think building it myself would be the more economic way for me to move into my dream home. But I want to do it right. I plan on building on a trailer so I can move around when I want. If there is anyone in central Florida that knows anything about either building a tiny house on a trailer or a builder that is reputable, please pass it along! I am ready to get going!

  • Lisa E.
    January 1, 2015, 7:09 pm

    PS And thank you, Alex, for all you do. We certainly appreciate your being there and bringing us the world of tiny houses. I think I speak for more than just myself when I say You Are Changing Lives Out Here! 😀
    Have a very Happy New Year from all of us to all of you at THousing!
    May 2015, be a great year for you and yours!

  • Dianne Bell
    January 1, 2015, 7:13 pm

    What’s holding me back is my finances.
    It’ll take me awhile to get on a more sound footing. And, I have
    two daughters in college and I can’t pull their home out
    from under them. In the meantime, I continue to downsize. It’s
    not hard to pitch things or donate them. Less really is freeing to the soul.
    I love the Tiny House Movement.

  • Denyan
    January 1, 2015, 7:17 pm

    First, I enjoy the newsletter so much, thank you.
    What is holding me back from going tiny?
    Timing. I have a very sick spouse, he nearly died last year. That is when I started plans to go tiny. For now, my man has rallied big time. So the time isn’t right.
    Also my current house is paid off and already small. My motivations are the ability to move, and ease of upkeep.
    I have started downsizing though, very liberating.
    I like information on convertable items, things having multiple uses. Bucky Fuller first got me hooked on that concept. It’s something I follow and want to see more of.

  • ken
    January 1, 2015, 7:19 pm

    Our grand son is holding us back after my daughter died we are raising him he is 6ft 3 and takes up lots of room one more year and we can build a tiny house I have a saw mill so the lumber will be no problem

  • Mike
    January 1, 2015, 7:22 pm

    What is holding me back is my current real estate. I’m underwater and will have a hard time selling. Funny thing is I have a fully paid off property about 4 hours drive from my current location that has a small cabin with full utilities. Needs some repair work but is livable. Just lost my job and am thinking seriously about making the change this year. Would need to find a way to be self supporting in a very rural area. 2015 is the year!

  • Steve
    January 1, 2015, 7:22 pm

    I love the idea of the tiny house movement. I am currently in the interview process for a new job which will allow me to work remote and give me the opportunity to build my own mobile tiny home, explore the country and find “the place” to park and live a simple relaxing life in the outdoors. It must be in the mountains and near water for fishing and kayaking. Then once I find the spot and “park” I will build a tiny studio where I will venture back into my landscape and wildlife pastel and drawing.

    Living my dream in a dream at this time but I hope to make it real soon. Until then I will read, look at plans and prepare for the day.

  • Myra York
    January 1, 2015, 7:22 pm

    Only a JOB and $. I have little that I own so going tiny wouldn’t be an issue.

  • Beverly
    January 1, 2015, 7:25 pm

    Lack of money for a trailer to build on. (can get recycled materials for building and do that gradually) But since I am disabled and need a larger tiny home because it has to be all on one level – trailer is the huge stumbling block. I’m already downsized, since my husband of 20 yrs ran off to become a “she”, emptying both bank accounts – which left me homeless – yes, the real kind of homeless. I now live in a rural area – so not as many resources for used building materials either. More and more, I think my tiny house will never get beyond a dream.

  • Ellen
    January 1, 2015, 7:25 pm

    Commuting distance… I found a really sweet and small place in which I would like to run retreats and be able to stay for weekends, but it is 2.5 hours away from where I work normally. It would also take a lot of money to fence it enough for me to be able to bring my dogs up there. I have done a ton of downsizing of my possessions already, and am looking for the opportunity to down size more as my last child leaves home. My business depends a lot on local community and word of mouth, so I can’t really afford yet to move into a different setting without probably having to go to work for someone else.

  • Deb
    January 1, 2015, 7:27 pm

    I teach globalization and sustainability at the college level and am always talking about the Tiny House idea. When I teach in Asia, homes are already on average at the tiny house size but my students tell me their goal is to have a BIG house to appear successful. In the USA, there is a small percentage of students which understand that larger is not necessarily better when it comes to personal space. I’ve been looking for research on these ideas of smaller living space related to culture but haven’t found journal papers on the Tiny House movement. I think if we are going to change laws and mindset we might need to get academics into the movement. If anyone knows of any articles that might be useful, I’d appreciate the links to them.

  • Ellen
    January 1, 2015, 7:33 pm

    I wouldn’t even consider trying to stuff my husband into a tiny house. And at 60 and 58 years old we have accumulated more than we need… but some things you hold onto so that you NEVER have to buy them again. Electric wok, post hole digger, etc. We have a lot of mementos from our 34 year union, but many of them are pretty small. We are not as limber or thin as we once were… so there will be no scurrying up a ladder to a loft that we can’t stand up in.

    But your website is certainly helping me to really think carefully about everything we bring into our house in the first place. I am extremely interested in house designs with a lot of unique storage. It’s making me mindful of the wasted space above dressers and below furniture that doesn’t go to the floor. So many ideas that we will probably use to have a small home built for us one day. A two bedroom bath and a half (adequate size master and tiny guest bedroom), one living and dining area, a smaller galley kitchen that will hold what we want with no wasted space. Pocket doors and sliding barn style doors that take up less room and are air flow friendly. So many, many great ideas I’ve gleaned from your website. I look forward to some day putting these ideas to real application!

    Thank you Alex and Happy New Year!!
    ellen

  • Janelle Komorowski
    January 1, 2015, 7:36 pm

    Really like your newsletters. The only thing that is annoying–and I don’t know if it can be fixed–is the popup that asks me to subscribe, even though I am already a subscriber. When I am reading on a mobile device, it is really hard to close the popup. One thing I would LOVE to see more of is ideas for tiny house furniture, organization, and storage ideas. This is my biggest challenge. I have looked at some of your links to tiny house furniture, but most is way out of my price range. Ideas and plans for building your own multipurpose furniture would be awesome! Keep up the good work!

  • Lisa Crenshaw
    January 1, 2015, 7:37 pm

    I’m not sure if my husband will ever be on the tiny band wagon with me.
    Plus sometimes I feel “silly” that I am not “happy” with a big house full of stuff that I couldn’t live with out when I was in the store. I feel very wasteful.I do feel the need to slow down and live in the monent not live to a status quo I will never reach.
    The plan is to start with just getting my possessions to the things I love and need.

  • Christopher
    January 1, 2015, 7:37 pm

    I am going to begin building this year after considering it for 5 years. The blocks that have stalled me: unclear about zoning laws, the challenges of reducing paper (particularly files and books), and how to save for this while paying rent.

    Your newsletter continues to inspire me and, one by one, those blocks have become less significant. Thank you!

  • Sarah Austin
    January 1, 2015, 7:38 pm

    I confess I’m in love with my huge bathroom and pretty good size home my husband has built for me. I also love the sprawling space for the kids. Someday when kids are gone, we won’t want so much space. I do love the idea of a tiny house as a second home. I have a favorite place that I’d love to park a tiny house. It also would be pretty cool to build one. They are def. a piece of art.

  • Dylan
    January 1, 2015, 7:38 pm

    I just can’t get rid of all my useless junk. And gathering materials has been costly and requires lots of driving.

  • Sawbuck
    January 1, 2015, 7:39 pm

    The main thing holding me back is a bundle of purely financial issues, but I hope to have this particular ship turned in a positive direction early in 2015. I am committed to some massive, positive changes in 2015!

  • David
    January 1, 2015, 7:41 pm

    With wife and I both having home offices, we might need a cluster of these wonderful structures. Difficult in one when you are both needing to make business calls. I’m an architect, and she’s a fundraising consultant who deals with high end non-profits. Perhaps a sleeper/kitchen/sitting, and two small pods for home offices.

    I don’t recall seeing connecting trellises, porticos, porches, shade structures, canvas awnings, fabric pieces, etc. that could create outdoor connectors between dwellings.

    This concept could address co-housing, with small cottages around a centralized kitchen/entertainment spot, etc.

    So appreciate what you do, THANKS!
    J. David Dacus, R.A.
    Walnut Creek, CA

  • debbie
    January 1, 2015, 7:46 pm

    Three barriers: 1)one mentioned above – capital and/or time (both seem hard to come by right now)
    2) have a young child – even the length of our apt wasn’t space enough for the crying some nights (and I was NOT doing “cry it out”)
    3) paper – do people scan all their tax returns, paperwork of life (academic records/licensing/credentialing?), and what about books? (though I could work my favorites in as the walls, i suppose – (maybe a false ceiling with cedar and using the paperwork as “insulation” but ?fire hazzard?)

    so far what I am doing is bit by bit trying to pare down and walk the walk cognitively, intentionally, spiritually, even if it’s in a large apt (1500sqft) . . .
    and yes, I have sound cancellation muffs even now that i use for the baby/toddler tantrums. 🙂

  • Jeff Jennings
    January 1, 2015, 7:48 pm

    I would like to see more floor plans. Also, at 6’4″ and older, the thought of climbing a ladder to a loft is not appealing. Maybe more innovative sleeping ideas on a single floor. TANX! for all the work you do.

  • Bill
    January 1, 2015, 7:50 pm

    Love all the articles, whats holding me back is finding some cheap land here in North Dakota. Tiny makes sense here because the less space…the less to heat in winter!

  • Linda
    January 1, 2015, 7:50 pm

    Money is also the biggest reason that I can’t consider a tiny house at present. Could never build one myself or know anyone who could help me. I’m in late 60’s and would like to travel in something I could park almost anywhere. $$$$$ is the huge concern.

  • Rafael
    January 1, 2015, 7:54 pm

    Ever since I saw Tiny house I wanted to do it. For about two years I looked into the idea. And, yesterday I sgined paperwork to buy a 1600 sq foot house. Cash in hand and regulations and my girlfriend are the major factors in why I did not go this route. But I am not rejecting the idea for the future. Hopefully I will be able to buy some land (an acre or so) and retire in a tiny house. Well here is to all that are living and thinking about it. Happy New Year 2015

  • Phil Smith
    January 1, 2015, 7:55 pm

    Really enjoy your presentations showing the clever ways that people employ and enjoy tiny spaces. Although there are some the general lack of bedroom without a loft and a suitable living room area are a drawback.

  • Scott
    January 1, 2015, 7:57 pm

    My biggest problem is convincing my wife to make the change. I recently retired from teaching and built a teardrop camper. My hope is that she will come to the understanding that we don’t need all that stuff by traveling in the teardrop. One trip down. Here’s to more successful trips in our “little lemon”

  • Lou
    January 1, 2015, 8:00 pm

    I am in the process of clearing stuff out to downsize and move into a “tiny house” or something similar. My thing is trying to be “completely” off the grid, self sufficient, using Mother Nature’s supplies as much as possible. I am looking towards solar, wind and “maybe” homebrew hydroelectric power among other things. I am wondering more about handling stuff such as sewage (mostly) and trash. I’m also looking at numerous floor plans. Though I’m ditching a lot, I still have some things I want to keep. So, I need room for it. I had an introduction some years back into miniaturizing, when I was forced to have a work shop in a couple very small spaces. A linen closet for one and a small fruit cellar – 5’x5’x4′ – I had to sit to be in it. OR rise between the floor joists. So, I am accustomed to small and can do it. I am “hoping” to be out of here and into some “tiny house” situation by summer of 2015. Location may be another thing if it is to be more permanent. Not many places around here allow such things. Big brother and “codes” are the rule of the day.

  • ShelleyMcD
    January 1, 2015, 8:01 pm

    Love all your ideas! We are not going “tiny”, but _much_ smaller than our current 2000 sf to reduce our debt load/footprint. Buying an older, existing small home, I’m looking for storage and updating ideas to make the 650 sf house more efficient on both space and energy. Unique visions, great reuse ideas, and new ways of considering space are what draw me to your page. Although, right this minute, I’m having a crisis of what stuff to get rid of entirely. May have to have some off-site storage for at least a year 🙁

  • Doug Gregerson
    January 1, 2015, 8:05 pm

    A difference in the perceived value of TH living has placed my partner of 4 decades and I at a crossroad in timing our construction of our TH. Money is always a consideration. I see the advantages of beginning with a trailer platform ready made for our house design, but the cost is prohibitive, even while arguably a great foundation for the home. We anticipate a relocation to TN/NC this summer and being one step closer to a working-retirement in our mid-60’s. The downsizing began nearly two years ago and we are sprucing up our 750sqft northern home for a spring sale. I am continuing an active education in renewable energy systems and reopening our cabinet and glass shop. With all these irons in the fire, time management and balancing priorities is sometimes the largest challenge of all. A daily visit to TL/TH blogs and links keeps us motivated to keep moving forward with our plans. Thanks for a fun, interesting, thought-provoking, and common sense venue. Best of success in the new year to you and all the TH’rs who add their wisdom, humor, and experience to this site. Gus G.

  • Rhonda
    January 1, 2015, 8:07 pm

    Would love to see more info/plans for homes that are one level. As well, info on how to get a bank to do a land/home finance.

  • Adam
    January 1, 2015, 8:08 pm

    I am being held back by two things, finding a trailer and the fact that I am a single parent. My son has stated that he will not live in a tiny house. I honestly want him to stay until he finishes his tech degree so he can focus on his education. But I am planning to buy the trailer and start, then building slowly.

  • kim pepper
    January 1, 2015, 8:08 pm

    I loved living tiny, I lived in a 30 foot RV for 4 1/2 years. It was so easy to keep clean..didn’t take days to clean just an hour or so! It was self-contained and I had a solar panel for the battery. And when everyone else lost their power I still had mine. But when my health failed I had to move to another state,so I don’t have it anymore. 3 years ago I found your website and have been reading and keeping up with all the new stuff. I really like the info about composting toilets. hopefully I will be able to return to tiny house living. Keep up the GREAT work!

  • Rita Helwig
    January 1, 2015, 8:08 pm

    Several things. As others have said money. Also as we are aging, and have health considerations, a tiny loft just wouldn’t be feasible, especially with bathroom needs at night. Also have a mentally challenged daughter who lives with us, so we need 2 first floor bedrooms (minimum). Also do sewing, canning, have plants, etc., so would need space for that. Haven’t found a plan that meets all those needs. I am working on sorting the sewing things to find out exactly how much storage I need for that and canned goods need to be stored above freezing. A nice storage room or third bedroom could work for those things.

  • Elaine
    January 1, 2015, 8:10 pm

    I think this has been mentioned before, but I would like to see more small (as opposed to tiny) houses highlighted. I think I would be a bit claustrophobic in a very tiny house. I love the idea, though and might change my mind later but for now, I don’t see myself going that small. Follow your blog daily and I’m loving the Tiny House tv series!

  • Stephanie
    January 1, 2015, 8:12 pm

    I’m literally hiding from the world behind all of the crap that I own. I have a LOT of anxiety and getting caught up in stuff is my false security blanket.
    There, I’ve said it openly. Sometimes saying something openly is a catalyst to change.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:25 am

      Thanks Stephanie!

    • JLM
      January 2, 2015, 9:00 pm

      Good for you, Stephanie! It’ll work out – start one little bit at a time and ask yourself, would this fit in my tiny house? It’s very freeing, living unencumbered. I’ve gotten rid of 12 bags of STUFF in the last four days. Make no mistake, it was emotional – some of that STUFF I’ve had for 35+ years.

  • Chesterine
    January 1, 2015, 8:14 pm

    I am looking to downsize in about 3 years and I need to know how to start. I am a widow and that’s when I can move. Please help

  • TJ Houston
    January 1, 2015, 8:15 pm

    I’ll start out with a question, then throw out some possible solutions (how I’ve dealt with) for themes I see in the questions.
    I’m still in the research and planning/gathering materials/started the trailer phase. My question is: I’ve been gathering lumber for the framing and have maybe 400- 2x4s from demolitions and teardowns (most people are interested in the scrap metal and the wood just fills up the dumpsters that they have to pay to dump at the landfill). The majority of 2x4s were framing or wall 2x4s so they are around 7′ long and I’ll probably have to cut an inch or so off each end because some have small ‘splits’ where they were nailed. So, I was going to build my wall framing up with shorter ‘kicker’ walls, using liquid nails between the top and bottom header with ring shank nails and some lag screws. I figured that, along with the sheathing, would be plenty strong enough. But, of course, a helpful (non-expert) friend said it wouldn’t be strong enough. I would like to get some thoughts on this.

    Now on to how I’ve dealt with certain issues. All the land and houses I’ve purchased in the past when getting started, I bought on contract. Generally you have to put 10% or 20% down and the contract is for 5-years. Even if a piece of land is not listed as a contract sale it never hurts to ask the seller if they would consider it. It is a win-win situation for buyer and seller. If your economic situation changes and you can no longer make the payments you can walk away and chalk up the money you’ve put in as ‘rent’. It is always cheaper to buy than to rent. The seller keeps all the money you’ve given them and they still have the land that they can resell again.
    A toilet. I currently have about an acre-and-a-half close to a river, in a hundred year flood plain. To put in a septic would cost in the neighborhood of $24,000. So, I bought a used port-a-potty from a local company for $200 and he will come and service it whenever I call him for $25. I don’t hardly use it, but in an emergency, it’s there. I’m going to take the plastic sides and roof off and mount the holding tank on a 5×7 low trailer I have and build an insulated wooden structure around it with a solar led light, a magazine shelf and a small propane heater so that when the wind sucks the air up the vent stack, I have warm air blowing by my privates.
    Don’t draw attention to yourself by blabbing to all your new neighbors how trendy you are because you’re building a tiny house to live in. Most pieces of land outside of town are zoned agricultural which does two things for you. First, your property taxes are lower, and second, you have fewer restrictions on land use. Your county zoning office will have a copy of all the things you ‘can’ do on your property, they’re free. One state I lived in had a little newspaper, my current place has two sheets of paper. My situation is difficult because I’m zoned agricultural and assessed residential, but my taxes are still low, even after putting up a 20×30 pole barn. I keep every thing else on wheels. I have two 53′ semi-trailers for storage (one of which will later be converted to a workshop) and a 32′ camper trailer. Now, technically I can’t ‘live’ on my property, or should I say can’t build a house because of 1990 setback rules not leaving me enough room width wise and I can’t have a mobile home (I don’t want a regular house anyway because they’ll tax me to death). However, it’s still ‘my’ property and I can ‘camp-out’ there any time I want. Now, as far as the ‘residential’ assessment, if I keep livestock for two years and spend $1000 a year (the cost of the livestock, feed, vet bills, etc.) I can apply for a farm exemption, which will do two things for me. First, it will lower my taxes a little more, and second I get to have a caretaker live on the property to tend the animals. (hmmm….now if I could just think of a caretaker). I’m going to get a couple goats and a few chickens, so I guess there’s a third benefit; milk, butter, cheese and eggs.
    So, I guess my advice to people is look at what you CAN do and find a way around what you can’t. Think outside of the box.

    TJ

  • Llc
    January 1, 2015, 8:17 pm

    Alex, thank you so much for providing this daily newsletter. It’s one of the highlights of my day. We are planning our TH to be started just as soon as we have the money for the trailer. My husband has experience in all areas of construction, so we will do everything ourselves. I’m so excited. In the meantime, we are reading your newsletter and watching all the videos and reading blogs to learn about what we want and need in our home. Downsizing has become an exciting adventure and nothing is holding us back! Keep the news coming!

  • JLM
    January 1, 2015, 8:17 pm

    What’s holding me back? Nothing! I have decided that a tiny house is going to happen for me. All my life I’ve liked small cozy places – Mom would find me asleep under beds as a child. I don’t have the land, or the funds, or a place to build it myself, but oh, I have the determination and excitement to make this happen. And thus, my biggest hurdle – self-doubt – has been overcome.

    • JLM
      January 2, 2015, 8:56 pm

      …And it will have a fire pit outside, dormer windows, and an Artic porch. And fudge.

      • JLM
        January 2, 2015, 8:58 pm

        Dang it..Arctic…shouldn’t ignore red squiggly lines.

  • Ron Fenn
    January 1, 2015, 8:18 pm

    I own 2 acres in both Utah and Arizona. Am concerned about total costs wit water well, septic and solar?

  • alice h
    January 1, 2015, 8:23 pm

    I’m part way to where I want to be. My land all paid up, I have very tiny 6×13 trailer that works well as basic shelter and I am debt free. I have a tiny studio apartment in the family home. What I don’t have is enough money to build the 8×20 tiny house that will be more livable long term. I’m close, but a lot depends on finding just the right second hand trailer – cheap but not needing a lot of work to make it safe and suitable. If I can find the right trailer at the right price I’ll probably be able to get started building this summer.

    The other factor is family obligations. Right now I’m home support for my 92 year old mom and also being a grandma helping with a 10 and 2 year old, plus gardener, handyperson, etc around the house. (All 4 generations share a house with separate apartments). Moving to my Gulf Island paradise is going to be a gradual process with part timing back and forth, eventually leading to full time retirement there. At 61 with some mobility issues I don’t know how long I’ll be able to live in my tiny house before health and safety concerns require a move to whatever housing comes next but I will definitely enjoy whatever I get.

  • Candance
    January 1, 2015, 8:25 pm

    where to put these tiny houses and need one that has bed down stairs because of age.

  • Kali
    January 1, 2015, 8:25 pm

    Well aside from $ for land and building, i need a two bedroom because i still have a child at home and would want a guest room eventually. Yes a loft is an option however I can not climb to keep it clean. Then there is the whole handicap wide because I do not know if my back will put in in a wheelchair in my “late” later years. ( I have already found a way to deal with storage… just a decent storage shed.) Then there is the issue of many citys, townships etc have a foundation min. and i have not come across anything within the metro burb that will go less than 900 sq ft. i think unless you out in the country or stix building code are an issue.

  • Kim
    January 1, 2015, 8:25 pm

    I love the whole tiny house idea and being outside more. In fact I professionally organize part time and am constantly getting people to downsize their belongings and wake up to the fat that they don’t need so much ‘stuff.’
    Myself…..I’m currently deciding whether I want to stay in the I’d-west or head first her west. Less humidity is very attractive!

  • January 1, 2015, 8:30 pm

    We were in the process of converting a school bus and living in it. Unfortunately there were several factors that stopped us. We have 7 children and an online business that requires a certain amount of books, supplies to run. Between these and our financial situation, we could not get enough space to go tiny. We instead are renting a 1200 sq. ft. home and striving to still stay tiny. We sold everything and are looking to live more simply than before if possible.

  • Dawn
    January 1, 2015, 8:30 pm

    What has been holding us back has been just taking that first step, saying we’re going to just do it and getting rid of all this clutter. But 2015 will be the year. We’ve been down-sizing and thinning stuff out. And we’re comitted to really doing it this Sumner!

  • Nonni Setser
    January 1, 2015, 8:35 pm

    Hi Alex! Long time email subscriber, first time commenter 🙂
    I LOVE tiny and small houses! I fell in love with the concept when I saw Tiny Texas Houses on a tv show (can’t remember which one). I look forward to the emails each morning to browse while drinking my cappuccino!
    Except for family size, nothing is holding me back! My SO is a bit of a pack rat, but I am slowly helping him learn to “Let It Go” (lol). I have been a minimalist for years, and actually own a small mobile home, which I adore! Once my two youngest stepsons graduate (in a few years) we will hopefully already own a small piece of land near his sister in MI. There is already 2 cottages on the property and they need repaired (his uncle owns the land and dwellings as of now, but he is getting older and we would like to keep it in the family). I am hoping to make this purchase a reality within the next couple years. Both cottages are older (one close to 100 yrs and used to serve as a post office) but in decent shape.
    Reading the Tiny House Talk emails has given me so many ideas and the possibilities are endless! One cottage we would live in, and one would be a vacation spot for family members.
    I am hoping that one day I can send you pics to post for fellow TH enthusiasts to enjoy, from start to finish.
    The only suggestion I have, is more photos of tiny and small houses with stairs and flushing toilets. I am not fond of ladders or compost/incinerating commodes. Other than that, keep up the good work!
    Thank you once again for the sunshine you bring to me every morning with these emails. Happy New Year and Namaste!

  • Kat
    January 1, 2015, 8:41 pm

    Thank you for doing all you do Alex! Seeing is believing and you are helping make dreams come true!
    I am more interested in single level small houses that are in a permanent spot rather then on wheels. That being said, my worries are hurricanes, termites & no ladders! This will be my permanent home (once I sell & have it built) so safety from high winds, driving rain, termites & smaller staircases is most important to me (live in the Houston, Tx area).
    I love seeing the ingenious ways that people come up with for tiny/micro/small house living. Some of the homes are almost like puzzles, with everything fitting in just the exact right position! Personally I love to see re-purposed items & architectural design elements/items incorporated into these homes. ☺

    PS-Are there any tiny/small homes out there that are multi level with only 2-4 steps separating the levels (no ladders or actual staircases)? Would soooo love to see one or more if there are!!☺

  • Neal
    January 1, 2015, 8:45 pm

    Alex you are doing a great job, and providing a service that once was given by the “county extension” offices. Government plans for small homes were available (for free), plans for small outbuildings, and good sound advice provided to rural areas through educated county agents and state colleges agriculture departments. Personally I believe the phenomenon you are covering is closer to what some of our grandparents had. 550 -750 seemed the norm after depression in some farmsteads with a great number of kids (7-8). My mother and her 6 sibling lived in a 18×20 cinder block home, in town (2 bedroom, 1 bath, 3 room total), built by her brothers right after WWII. I remember seeing it still in use in the 1960’s. Somewhere more is better has swallowed our culture.
    The newsletter is read with particular interest in the micro section as a personal interest. I would like to see coverage of living styles and application. After reading “Living 12′ x 12′ ” I have many questions I’d like to ask.
    Questions like — What were your expectations? Has the change lived up to the expectations? How is it working after an extended period? What is working, what is not? What do you wish you knew before you started? Has hobbies or other interests affected your decisions and what about the room needed for them? What happens during inclement weather? Insulation? Are the reasons this was tried still applicable (1 -2 years after)? What has changed during the time you have tried this? What challenges have been the hardest? Have the neighbors welcomed or negated the changes small dwellings make to the community? Where the heck do you store the memory stuff (pre-SD cards), photos, mom’s stuff, dad’s hand me downs you can’t part with? What do you miss? What was the change you most cherish? What will never change? What do you wish to change? Health challenges? Energy use? Money saved? With your extensive reporting on this I’m sure you can think of others I haven’t even considered.
    What about a podcast, by some stand out personalities in small dwellings on a panel discussion? Maybe regional panel discussions for those who are interested but still questioning, can attended or view. Use these to educate communities about this goal that less is more can live with the average homeowner, perhaps reducing objections.
    These are some of the things that I have an interest in. What happens after you build? Does it still drive you?
    Thanks for the newsletter. I’m quite intrigued with this concept and welcome the challenge to downsize.

  • Mark swift
    January 1, 2015, 8:47 pm

    On schedule to be debt free. Then it’s time to buy land where building codes give us ability to build: -)

  • Gail B
    January 1, 2015, 8:47 pm

    I’ve spent the last 2 weeks during Christmas and New Year making sure that my imprint on this world is lighter in 2015. Lots of things to be reused or re-purposed, mostly just getting rid of stuff I haven’t used in quite a while. Boy, does it feel good!!!!!

  • January 1, 2015, 8:50 pm

    1. Capital I am on SS disability and I don’t have the ability to build it on my own.
    2. Location I am in a metro area and I love being in metro area. I want to be on or very near a bus line. I want it on a foundation with running water and sewer.
    Keep giving me ideas that I want to include in my home when do build it and let us know of places that we can either build or place a tiny home. Communities that are friendly to the idea of a tiny home. Communities that would let a home on wheels for a mother-in-law home or a foundation build.

  • Nancy N
    January 1, 2015, 8:51 pm

    What holds me back? Lack of money
    What’s frustrating? Once I have the money, where can I build a tiny house?
    There doesn’t seem to be a place to go for clear answers on that. I don’t want to live in a trashy trailer park but I can’t afford one of the new communities that are charging high rent and are quite rural.
    Thanks Alex for continuing to offer us information on tiny houses
    Happy New Year

  • jamie
    January 1, 2015, 8:54 pm

    we struggle knowing where to begin with a family of 6

  • Mary
    January 1, 2015, 8:57 pm

    First, we’re still trying to find the land that we would like to build on. And secondly, our dream is to build a place with a community kitchen, dining area and game room and then have a couple of hallways that would connect to tiny type houses with beds, sitting area and toilet/shower. That way, we could have private sleeping areas for family members if they need a place when SHTF. Trying to come up with plans to keep this all as small as possible but big enough to be useful for canning, cooking, etc. and being able to heat it all in the winter is a challenge that we haven’t accomplished yet. This is what we could certainly use help and feedback on. Happy New Year Everyone!! 🙂

  • TJ Houston
    January 1, 2015, 8:58 pm

    This is to Rita Helwig and anyone else who may have the same concerns. Why do you feel that one space has to fit all of your needs. I don’t really think that anyone thinking of a tiny house is planning on living on the road full time. Most would like a piece of land out of town and an affordable roof over their heads with low utility bills and taxes. Use your tiny home to live in and other structures for other things. As an example, the reality of a tiny home, in my opinion, is that I really don’t think you would want to can in it because of space and moisture buildup. Moisture in a tiny home is an issue I don’t think is talked about enough.
    I’m not a believer in putting your whole lifes’ belongings in a tiny home and getting rid of everything else. I’m a tool guy, metal working tools and woodworking tools. I need many pairs of jeans and t-shirts, work boots, sneakers, casual shoes and socks. I have generators, I build things. I want goats and chickens. In short, I want a “normal” life. I just want a small, comfortable living area, low or no utility bills, low taxes (and a warm bathroom). If you build a separate shed, don’t attach it to the ground, build it on skids on concrete blocks, then it’s not taxable because it’s “portable”. Where I am I can build a 144 sq ft (12×12) structure without a permit if it is not attached to the ground. Get an old camper trailer for your sewing room, buy a 30′ semi-trailer for you canning, food storage and a chest freezer.
    Think outside the box.

    TJ

  • Pam K
    January 1, 2015, 8:59 pm

    For me, it’s not money, as much as it is to find a place to work on this. I am currently renting a townhouse, and in our area, I couldn’t find an RV park that would allow anything under 27′, even as a temp deal until I was able to build the house.

  • Graham Wilson
    January 1, 2015, 9:00 pm

    Holding me back?

    Two things – as many have said here already, it’s finding a place to put it – where the land can be used, where the local authorities allow it (I’m in the UK) and where I would want to be. Many of the THs featured are in awe inspiring locations – but I can never find such a place in the UK.

    Secondly, it would be persuading my partner to go along with me. She is concerned that we already have too little space and having lived on narrowboats for a while I understand her reservation…

  • Seattle RVer
    January 1, 2015, 9:00 pm

    I would like to see if anyone has incorporated the little house genre with the RV lifestyle. I have adjusted pretty much to a RV lifestyle, but I don’t know about hauling a user friendly tiny house behind me.

    Does anyone care to share how they integrated the two life styles?

  • Tracy B
    January 1, 2015, 9:01 pm

    I could very much see going quite small, maybe not quite tiny. I lived in a one-room cabin in northern Michigan for eight years when I was in my 20s and 30s and loved it, but I was single and went out a lot. Now I am a single mother and my daughter and I live in a bungalow in suburban Detroit. I live two miles from work and most everything I need is within a few miles, so I don’t need to drive a lot. I don’t see any tiny homes around here, so my suspicion is I would need to purchase land out of the metro area, in which case I am looking at becoming a commuter with an unhappy daughter! That strikes me as not being an improvement in our quality of life and not as green a lifestyle as I’d like. So, I fantasize about what I will do when I retire – at which point I will want something that is accessible to an older person so that I could remain in my home for years.

  • aureol
    January 1, 2015, 9:02 pm

    My difficulty is a) land is expensive, and b) my grandkids are far away and when all family comes, I need to house them. c) I am a single grandmother with 2 partial knee replacements and arthritis and could barely do any of the labor myself. Sigh.
    BUT, the idea of downsizing has delighted me and I have reduced my inventory from LOTs and LOTS to very little. All my friends are amazed and delighted. I could live in 400 sq feet easily. I am moving from a 6 BR house to a 2 BR house next week. (We had 5 kids!)
    I plan to use many of the ideas I have read about as I alter my life-style over the next few months. Rock on, you folks.

  • Dan
    January 1, 2015, 9:03 pm

    I’d like to learn more about building with SIPs–structural insulated panels. Has anybody done it–especially with Eco-Panels?

  • S Wolfe
    January 1, 2015, 9:04 pm

    THE HOBBIEST : I think what holds a lot of people I’ve talked to back (and me) is the need for a little more storage. That may sound counter-intuitive since the whole idea is to downsize. But, many of us take one hobby into retirement, or have one throughout life. Mine is knitting, so where to keep the hobby stash? Not IN the house – we’re anxious to de-clutter & give a wide-open feel to the space we do have. How have other people solved this? A built-in cubby on the exterior? a tiny, detachable shed? aconcealed mini-loft? A trompe-l’oeil?

  • Jan White
    January 1, 2015, 9:08 pm

    Money is the main reason for me, plus I am back and forth between city and country for my job. I have land, I just have to finish saving for my tiny home.

  • Jim
    January 1, 2015, 9:09 pm

    As more older people discover tiny houses, I’d like to see more on no-loft and universal design, aging-in-place houses. Also something with more architectural flair beyond just the modern. So far my favorite has been your coverage of the Mad Men star’s house. Some voids you may consider addressing are national building codes, safety as affected by design and the dangers of recycled material by things such as non tempered glass in doors before 1970, lack of safety shut-offs on old gas appliances, lead based paint before 1978, asbestos in floor tile as well as economic and efficient building techniques.

  • Great Grandma Ginny
    January 1, 2015, 9:15 pm

    Dear Alex,
    I have been following you for a few years. I love the concept of tiny houses. I myself downsized in 2008 from a 2500 sq. ft. brick & mortar home of 47 years to a 1500 sq. ft. double wide & then in to a 1000 sq. ft. single wide. I raised 4 children and several grand children. As my children & grand children grew up I kept downsizing For the first time in 70+ years I now live all alone. This house is too big for me. However, here are my reasons for not seeing my way to actually go tiny:
    1. I can’t move to far from my family (in Utica, MI) so where would I park it.
    2. In just the 5 years or so since I started following you the prices have soared. Even if I sold my current home for top dollar I would still have to take out a mortgage to buy a tiny house, even a used one. Even at my age I just don’t have $30-60,000 cash available. So the “no mortgage” idea seems to have flown out the window for me and I imagine many, many others.
    3. As a senior a loft is just not practical but I do see that this is no longer a problem, again with enough money.
    4. Lastly, I feel like my own window of opportunity has passed. Why? Because I don’t know if a 70+ year old single woman can really manage to live alone in a tiny house? Albeit, I am healthy and able but I don’t really know the answer and even if one could now, how long could it be practical?

    NONETHELESS, with all of this said, I do hope that you younger folk will keep dreaming and continue to lay the foundation for your dreams to go “Tiny,” to come true. Given youth and health you can do anything you set your minds to. Remember too, there is strength in numbers. If men like Alex, and the other leaders in “Tiny” like the manufacturers of Tiny Houses, BAND TOGETHER you can influence the powers that be to embrace “Tiny.”
    You CAN change the rules & regulations just like my generation did in the middle of the last century. We had to make the rules & regulations in order to protect people from shabby builders and slum lords. Now you can modify those same ordinances to embrace quality, safe “Tiny Houses.”

    To those who are building a business around the Tiny movement: There is room out there for all of you to prosper. Put the movement first, close ranks and fight for what you believe in. Once you have made those inroads then all of you can grow your business’s. Think about the big picture. 25 years from now you too could look back and see how you moved mountains to create an entire sub-culture; not just America but the world over. That is something to truly aspire to. May God bless all of you new pioneers. YOU CAN make the best yet to be.

  • Mary Beth Krause
    January 1, 2015, 9:16 pm

    I am living fulltime in a 20 ft travel trailer currently, and am trying to save money to purchase some land somewhere, tenn or co. Im giving myself 2 yrs to find something. It will happen. I would have done it sooner but had 7 eye surgeries in the past 2 yrs. Ill make it though! Thank you for all your ideas! Love seeing them, more than you know!

  • Lori T
    January 1, 2015, 9:22 pm

    Money of course is the main reason. Also having a child with autism who is resistant to change and very attached to items. While I seriously doubt that I will ever be able to downsize as small as a tiny house, I am still intrigued with the ingenuity and creativity of tiny homes.

  • Jonthan Roy
    January 1, 2015, 9:23 pm

    For my kids, we want to make them live close of familly and with no excess of material… the real life

  • roberta
    January 1, 2015, 9:24 pm

    I’m a disabled 63 years old on disability.I would love to move either to Alaska or northern Maine and go off grid in a tiny home about 359 sq feet. Prob is trying to save money from my disability check. If I could get a gov.loan for new home owner I would be there in a heart beat. Would give anything for peace and quiet and solitude.

  • Joy
    January 1, 2015, 9:27 pm

    I don’t need much space to live at all (eat, sleep, lounge), but I do need an art studio. I’m thinking an open upstairs to work in over a combination living/kitchen/bedroom room below. Oh, and like others who’ve commented, I need funds to make it happen. I’m thankful for all the posts that show the many ways people achieve their dreams, and thank you for highlighting truly creative builders of tiny and small and not so small houses!

  • Charlie
    January 1, 2015, 9:38 pm

    I have a couple of hold-ups: my children need to leave the nest and I need to pay off my student loans. I estimate that it will be two years before I’m ready to make the move, so I’m using that time to design a tiny home that will work for me; and, I’m also connecting with others locally that have the same interests to hopefully create a non-profit organization and build a community.

  • Susan
    January 1, 2015, 9:40 pm

    The first thing holding me back is finding a property to put my house on. I don’t know where to start, so I can’t seem to get moving. Looking for something near the intercoastal in Florida so I can kayak and paddleboard. Looking for the peace and serenity.
    The second thing holding me back is that I would like to be part a like-minded community who want a simpler life but not off grid. Activities, gardening, and companionship.
    Lastly, can I really do this? Wow are these houses small. Since this would be a retirement home, no ladders or lofts. That makes the house even smaller.

  • Peter
    January 1, 2015, 9:42 pm

    I and my family have been working our way to tiny , but two things I am having trouble with is little money and a place to build my tiny home design for two adults and two children-boy and girl. I continue to enjoy your newsletter and get new ideas everyday. I have learned to let go of the stuff we all accumulate over the years and my wife is fully right if you ain’t gonna use it in 6 months, give it up. Happy New Year and a new refreshing to succeed.

  • Bruce (Toronto)
    January 1, 2015, 9:46 pm

    Alex,
    I, as well, am just starting out on this movement.

    Can you add some Canadian content? winterizing tips? Highlight everyone’s ‘water and hydro’ stats first?
    We all understand that cities, provinces, states all will have different Home Depot-like stores, but we ALL need to get a grip on those first two survival needs, and how each listing solved that.

    Love your work here. It is amazingly resourceful, informative, and you are providing a link to a huge movement — and, as you see, it’s every civilized country trying on this kind of life.

  • karen marchand
    January 1, 2015, 9:46 pm

    MONEY HEALTH AND LACK OF SKILLS – my stumbling blocks ! you are writing about my dream – a home i can live in without being afraid of losing it with room for a garden, cat, chicens and my books – as a renter i could be forced to move any time i love your news letter n- itd

  • Renato Schaefer
    January 1, 2015, 9:49 pm

    Money!
    I need cheap solutions to implement.

  • Darcy Littlefield
    January 1, 2015, 9:50 pm

    Getting started:

    Land?? What if I wanted a semi-mobile tiny home? Will I have to buy land every time I move? What kind of spaces are available?

    Startup money and storing a home (for those of us lacking yards and space to build). Do banks treat these like home loans?

  • Jack
    January 1, 2015, 9:53 pm

    We will never get anywhere the value of our home due to the decline of property values in our area. If we could sell, we’d be in a tiny home quickly!

  • Karen
    January 1, 2015, 9:54 pm

    Hi,
    I enjoy the newsletters. We just bought oceanfront land last year. Cost is a factor holding us back. I have also been trying to figure out whether a two bedroom tiny house is possible keeping the bedrooms on the main level for accessibility reasons. I think the concept is fascinating.

  • Ad
    January 1, 2015, 9:54 pm

    What do you need the most help with right now? How to go small with growing children…..and a tight budget, no diy
    What’s frustrating you most about tiny houses? 1. Someone stole a tiny house on wheels! 2 cost-some of the models are reasonable others are so architectured they are like full blown house–crazy cost. 3. Home ownership did not work well for me-will a small house be better for maintenance and yard issues? 4. Realistic on the grid needs…plumbing, 1 1/2bath models? Laundry, clothing storage, getting dressed! Getting older-safety.
    What’s holding you back from doing what you want to do? Recent money issues, not a diy person, worries about maintenance, or getting a house to site (moving the house to start cost half the house!)
    What challenges are you facing right now?down sizing my kids…. Downsizing without paying for it….needing special furniture to live in a tiny house means buying new furniture…..all my hand me downs are not practical…or are they?
    What is it that you want the most? To downsize without spending more…. An affordable place where I’m actually gaining, not giving up… If it has built in storage that will really accommodate my wardrobe…..and that of 2 growing kids…privacy for the family when needed (many of these models don’t seem to have a place to dress, or let’s be practical be intimate with your mate…with kids around).
    What worries you about tiny houses? Hurricanes, tornadoes, nor’easters…… Are these on wheels versions going to be safe? Will I have to vacate every season? Storage for big items….bikes for example(I have a trainer so I can use it indoors….but you need floor space for that). Oh and my pets…cage space for three amazons….that can’t be folded up and stored. Safe heat and cooling when I’m not home….I never see ac in these units….what is being done?
    What kind of lifestyle would you like to create for yourself? Simple but real. I can’t quit my job, I need the right clothes and things….I can downsize a lot…but much of what I see isn’t practical for someone living ….normal, not big but fitting the expectations of those in our lives…children and bosses and cooking for a family visit…and laundry…where do these people wash….I don’t want to be inconvenienced, I want to be green.

  • Catherine Wilson
    January 1, 2015, 9:55 pm

    First of all, thank you for all the newsletters. Enjoy them lots!
    Laughed my head off at Amber’s comment about “tiny windows and fat asses”
    I’ve often looked at the lofts on your site and wondered how the heck I would get out the window in an emergency. Not that my butt wouldn’t fit; more that I’m not as agile as I used to be!!!
    I think a lot of people should take a page out of Mr Houston’s post above.

    As for what is stopping me; “life” ?!?
    I am a member of the “sandwich” generation, looking after elderly Dad and husband, and daughter still living at home.
    I am sort of living small anyways since I am staying in our guest “suite” which is about 400 sq ft. Love it. But I wouldn’t go smaller. I have had no problems getting rid of stuff I don’t need. But using the stuff I do need can be a big problem, ie; find it, take it out, use it, put it back, etc, etc. Pain in the neck. I think the key to efficient living in a small space is allowing for storage from the get-go. I would like to know how to do modular storage solutions for myself. Custom jobs are just way too expensive.

    I would also like to know more about what happens if you decide to build something that is about 10 ft wide. After looking at photos on your site, it seems to me that the extra foot or two can make all the difference between living in a bowling alley or a real room. How difficult/expensive is it to have a wider building towed?? After all, just how often do you think you will move? Probably not as often as you think or you would buy a “mobile home”.

    My other comment about your site regards the photography. Many photos are excellent, but I object to the people who use fish-eye lenses to get everything in the picture. They are too distorting. Give wrong impressions.

    Last comment: as someone who is nearing retirement age, I am seeing the prospect of many approaching problems. In order of importance; stairs, proximity to good medical care, available public transport, proximity to social activities, expense of senior “residences”, managing (eventually) living alone. I would like to see some kind of communal “tiny residences” or senior co-housing as another grass roots movement. (A large number of the posts I read to your news letters are from older people.)

    Happy New Year All!!!

  • Steve Carothers
    January 1, 2015, 9:57 pm

    I am waiting for warmer weather to start my tiny cabin build…can’t wait…

  • MIKE DUFFY
    January 1, 2015, 9:58 pm

    starting to downsize, hoping to semi-retire in the next couple of years and drawing plans for a 28ft. or so with a queen size bed on the main floor and the lofts for company. My dream is to build one to take to Alaska and build one here to live in?

  • Alison
    January 1, 2015, 9:58 pm

    At this point in my life, because of my family, I am more interested in small than tiny. I need to learn the realistic how’s of the whole thing: how to make it legal, how to maybe finance all or a portion instead of waiting until I can save enough for land, building materials, etc.

  • Scot M.
    January 1, 2015, 10:02 pm

    I have a few things holding me back, but courage (or foolishness 😉 ) isn’t one of them. Like so many others, I don’t have a lot of money. I live mortgage-free in a 1750-sq. ft. house, but currently have family members living with me who can’t afford financial independence. If it weren’t for them, I’d have sold this house in the ghetto of a Rust Belt town to a slumlord long ago. When I first agreed to buy this house, I was physically well and able to do most anything that needed. Eight years later, I’m on disability and suffer from an auto-immune disorder that leaves me exhausted almost all the time. So another thing I would need is people willing to help me out. In my world of imagination, I would buy up a school bus and have friends transform it into my Tiny House. I live, essentially, tiny already: I stay almost all the time in the top floor of a 1 1/2 story house. All I would really need is a kitchen and a bathroom beyond the windowed room I stay in almost 24/7 now. I wouldn’t need a separate bedroom and don’t want a loft, so I would just keep a recliner downstairs and sleep in it.

    I’d need electricity, though, for my computer and for lights, though I can easily see myself using LED strings so I could see where I was going at night. What I’d like to do is install a small composting toilet near the end of it and an on-demand water heating unit using LP gas, which tanks I would have mounted on racks on the back. That way I could have a tankless shower. The roof would have solar panels that I could raise like a picnic table umbrella for maximum southern exposure. Some kind of battery system would be a necessity.

    The single most important factor, though, is money. This 100+ year old house is drafty, inefficient, and costs insane money to either cool or heat. If I could get out of the utilities problem, I’d have all the money I’d need and I’d sell the house to the kids for whatever it takes to buy the bus and convert it. From there, it would just be a matter of finding a piece of land to buy up in the state I want to go to–it has reasonably mild winters and moderate summers. Lastly, though, is that I’d need to find that parcel of land where some other tiny house enthusiasts and I could locate to. That takes money I’d only get from selling the house. Catch-22!

  • Andrea Furlong
    January 1, 2015, 10:02 pm

    I’m not on Facebook so I can’t communicate with you that way. But one problem that I think will become a bigger problem as time goes on, is, where are all of these tiny houses going to go? My biggest problem is land to live on in the tiny house I want to build. Also, maybe this type of discussion group is out there and I don’t know about it, but I would like to know about the pros and cons of different things connected to tiny houses. Things like heating strategies. Also, where to find a tiny bathtub. Which compost toilets work best for people. In short, I’d like to see more information about the details of what works and what doesn’t and where to buy things that work.

  • January 1, 2015, 10:04 pm

    Just have to wait on my two 15 year old sons to graduate. I am in the early stages of planning and building our tiny house dream. We can’t wait!!!

  • Gretchen
    January 1, 2015, 10:04 pm

    Money. The incredible expense of some of these tiny houses is just silly. Way outside of what I could ever possibly do.

  • Jeff
    January 1, 2015, 10:13 pm

    I enjoy your newsletters. I am watching the movement from across the fence at the moment. Your information is helping me understand how to simplify our lives. We are not quite ready to make the change yet, but appreciate the info and ideas provided by you on a regular basis

  • SANDRA J DICARLO
    January 1, 2015, 10:16 pm

    MY PROBLEM IS MY DISABLITY __ BACK AND HEART__ NEED LARGE BATHTUB AND NO STAIRS OR LADDERS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Thor Price
    January 1, 2015, 10:17 pm

    Hi Alex Pino, I am 12 years old, and live in Ontario, Canada. I love tiny houses but the thing is since I am a little kid I can’t do much about building or buying. Later this spring my dad and I are going to extend his supply shed in the backyard of my house. Then he said “If there is room in the shed after I extend then you can do what you want in there” I am satisfied with that for now but I want to build a tiny house. Whenever I try I just can’t save up enough money to be able to build one because of the wood and supplies I need. Thank You for reading this and listening Alex Pino.

  • francesca
    January 1, 2015, 10:21 pm

    I would love some more specifics on trailers. Like, how to choose the best trailer for your meeds and so on. I would also love some more ideas on how to save money, with usi g used materials and any other means of saving money! Another thing that I need information about is the rules and regulations on tiny houses and zoning laws. I know that they differ from place to place but if there was some tips on how to get ahold of them or who to talk to in different areas that would be apperciated. Thank you very much for all the work that you do and I’m hoping for that final push in 2015 to jump into building my own tiny house. Thanks again!! 🙂

  • Deb
    January 1, 2015, 10:27 pm

    While planning my downsizing, going small (800 sq ft), I’ve been frustrated with building size restrictions, loan process for smaller houses (banks would loan for a larger more expensive house but at much more strict on the smaller ones). since this would be a home I want to retire in, being close to transportation, shopping, and medical care is important to me. It seems that you have to be way out in the country or build on an existing lot as a guest house to go small or tiny. Guest house seems contrary to the goal of a smaller simplified life. Additionally, in Arkansas there is no incentives to go solar and builders are less than excited about trying it as it is expensive with a low return on investment at this time, so trying to go off grid is just not possible financially. Still ,I hope to begin building this spring on a property I lucked into finding that meets most of what I want!

  • Kelly B
    January 1, 2015, 10:33 pm

    I really love getting the emails and looking at all that you do. I really like that it is simple and organized enough to be able to check in on tiny happenings and houses even when I don’t have a lot of time, and just have a few minutes on my phone. I appreciate the format and the photos that you include. What is holding me back? Combination of not being completely sure that it is the right step for me, since to get a tiny house (not sure if I am a builder) would be a big investment. Also the logistics, since right now where I live, I would have to switch to an over hour commute in order to be able to buy land where I could put a tiny house. So far there are accessory dwelling units on foundation legal to build, but not yet tiny sized , especially on trailers unless I move way out of the city where I would either not have a job or a long drive, which seems like it might cancel out some of the environmental benefits of a tiny house. Its also a little overwhelming looking at all the possible builders and plans. One thing that I have thought but haven’t really seen much in my searches on tiny houses, is any kind of comparison of the specifics of different companies and plans.

  • wen budro
    January 1, 2015, 10:37 pm

    What is holding me back is the cost of finding good land and then constructing the tiny house. I would like to see more information about possible resources to overcome these obstacles.

  • Karen R
    January 1, 2015, 10:42 pm

    If you ever doubt that you have an audience, Alex, this LONG list of responses will remind you that you offer a valuable service! (I am among the many who appreciate you and wish you a wonderful New Year!)

    Unless York County appeals – there is a rumor they may – we are okay to stay where we are. I think that is the major problem for many, many people – finding a site that isn’t in the boonies. Tiny Home communities need to be planned and built in every state!

    Many people can’t built their own home and find most builders too expensive (I have previously referred many people to Lil’ Lodges, because their specs and prices are excellent).

    There is a lot of emphasis on micro houses, and people either get one and tire of the miniscule space or decide against ultra tiny house living before buying or building anything. They (especially the older group to which I belong) are also frightened off by loft bedrooms, single baths, no storage space, and giving up all their possessions.

    It doesn’t have to be that drastic! We have a big loft for storage and an inflatable bed for guests. The new option of a hinged roof to allow full height in the loft would easily provide room for a bedroom – maybe two – and perhaps a half or full bath for tiny houses families.

    Our home’s main floor is a little over 400 square feet, allowing for a nice living space, a great kitchen with a snack bar, a full bath with a BIG shower, a bedroom with a bay window, and a large master half bath. There is also a stacking washer and dryer. We don’t have to go upstairs to the loft normally, but with the optional hinged roof previously mentioned, our home would be fine for a family of four – maybe more.

    I collect graniteware, quilts, baskets (great for storage), teddy bears, silhouettes; my husband collects antique toy cars, rulers, yardsticks. Even tiny houses have walls for paintings, shelves, small display cabinets – and don’t forget under bed storage. Just be prepared to keep the best of your collections and find creative ways to display your favorites. No, you can’t display 100 stoneware crocks, but you can showcase several.

    Tiny isn’t doing without, it is enjoying the best without the mediocre clutter. Go for it!

  • Joan
    January 1, 2015, 10:51 pm

    Happy New Year! I’d like to see full kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities. I couldn’t live tiny without a sink, fridge, freezer, cooktop element, oven, toilet, shower, and clothes washer.
    I enjoy your newsletter of both tiny and small homes.

  • Paula
    January 1, 2015, 10:54 pm

    I enjoy the newsletter and dreaming of having a tiny home (or maybe a 395 sq. ft. home) within the next 5 years. Affordability of the tiny home and finding a reasonable place to put the home are major drawbacks. I would really appreciate more information on ways to contact others who have land for sale at a reasonable price that allow tiny homes. Would also like to know more about tiny home communities.

    I have no problem letting go of “stuff”, but the affordability of a small home is key. I would have to have someone build it for me, move it, and then find the piece of land at a reasonable cost.

    Would really like more information on available places to put a tiny home.

  • Bev Treadway
    January 1, 2015, 10:58 pm

    What is holding me back is different goals between my husband and myself. I am the minimalist in the house. My hubby is a collector. Together we are an awesome team. While our house is not big by most standards .. 1000sqt, I would be happy going smaller. My hubby sees his collection as a link to the past. I would never ask him to change that, I have too much respect for him. He is starting to understand the concept of working within your space, however, so perhaps one day we can go smaller. In the meantime, I cull my things and do my best not to accumulate the unnecessary items, so he can enjoy the space and see the possibilities.

  • Lori
    January 1, 2015, 10:59 pm

    Just money and land – I have the will to do it just not the funds.
    It’s a good dream though and I am working toward it!

  • Jennifer Young
    January 1, 2015, 11:04 pm

    The biggest thing holding me back is finances and land. that is why a tiny house giveaway seems to be a fun way to promote and help those interested in getting into the tiny house movement. Also, many states and jurisdictions have minimum sizes in their codes. For some of us who do not want a caravan, this is important.

  • January 1, 2015, 11:05 pm

    Hey Alex,
    The thing that is holding me back to most? I’d have to honestly say it’s my depression that comes on so often. It keeps me from going outside and working on my TH, it keeps me in bed for days at a time, in fact. It has prevented me from keeping the friendships alive that would have helped me in so many ways on this journey. It’s led me to make foolish mistakes because I don’t want to rely on anyone else out of anxiety. It’s a terrible, terrible thing and I hate it.
    Oh, and it keeps me away for many weeks (or even months) at a time from sites like yours, which otherwise give me hope, and inspiration, and a feeling of community.

    Parker

  • Joe Longstaff
    January 1, 2015, 11:06 pm

    First off Sir I would say please don’t set out to change for its own sake. You have a good web site that’s been a great help to many folks myself included.
    The site seems to progress organically. the sharing of thoughts and ideas put it ahead of the rest of whats on the web, which is why you are so often re posted. As for things I would like to see that’s simple, my TH is a product of cob theology that is more articles on repurpasing found material and ideas on being frugal not cheap. Were to best invest in material and were to skimp. Perhaps articals on furniture design and building. I think a space for folks to surch out others in their area to share knowledge and tools would be of benefit. I’m a retired builder in northern Ontario and would gladly help someone trying to build their home. Please know we are greatfull for what you do.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:23 am

      Thanks Joe that means a lot to me! Blessings -Alex

  • Gordon
    January 1, 2015, 11:09 pm

    Small is beautiful. Biggest problem is zoning. Crazy how towns and cities don’t want people to have small places to live. Sooner or later they will come to their senses because people will leave for places where they are accepted.

  • Suzanna Hartman
    January 1, 2015, 11:11 pm

    Not getting started paring down my belongings. It’s a mental block, getting rid of easy stuff should be easy, but I put that off because it’s overwhelming since it leads to having to make decisions about the harder stuff.

  • Drew Nichols
    January 1, 2015, 11:16 pm

    I am a passive solar custom home builder in Colorado. I build mountain cabins and homes, mostly in the foothills of the rockies. I am interested in designing an energy efficient 500-1000 sq ft mountain home on a solid thermal mass of concrete. Mostly interested in floor plans. Would love to have one of my homes featured on your site.
    Thanks,
    Drew

  • Sharee
    January 1, 2015, 11:18 pm

    Two major issues are holding me back. I am retired and ready to travel around the United States doing family history research.

    The first issue is figuring out a transportation solution. I need help choosing one vehicle that can tow a tiny house and then be used to economically drive around without the house.

    The second issue is figuring out how to house my two parrots and two cats. I have been considering a slide-out unit for the bird cage so I can clean the cage daily outside of the tiny house.

    In the meantime I am reading everything that I can so I will be sufficiently informed before purchasing/building my tiny house. I am converting reading materials and photos to digital. Digital photos can be put into a single digital photo frame.

    An “Ask the Professional” column would be nice. The information I have seen on your site is difficult to tell who is offering answers and how accurate the answers are.

    What I like the most on the website is the photos with accompanying videos for tiny homes people have built. I appreciate the tv programs where professionals come in and help finish a project without passing judgement.

  • Parker Bauer
    January 1, 2015, 11:25 pm

    I’m held back by three primary things-my spousal unit, all my stuff and finding the right location. But I think medium term, I’m going to make it happen. Maybe not a 200 sf house but a 1000 sf with a big garage out back. Your publications are an inspiration, so thank you!

  • Michael
    January 1, 2015, 11:39 pm

    8’x 20′ is a good size and its easy to get a trailer to move them around. However, as stated earlier its not sufficient to live in comfort especially when you don’t like to crawl up a ladder to get to your bed. Physics are telling us that hot air is going up always. In a tropical climate a sleeping loft isn’t comfortable at all.
    The solution a murphy bed or one which moves up under the ceiling when not in use.
    Beside that I am wondering why expandable shelters used by military folks around the world are hardly used for tiny house living. The standard footprint of a 20′ container triples and would provide almost 500 sqft when parked.
    Bathroom and kitchen would be in the center but you would need mostly furniture which collapse when the house is in travel mode.
    I found only one company in TX doing such homes but they can’t withstand the hurricane force winds we have here in FL when unfolded.
    These are the main reasons why I didn’t make it so far.
    Thank you Alex for all the information and Happy New Year

  • Denny
    January 1, 2015, 11:45 pm

    Several things are holding me back. First is age and size. At 60 years old, 6 feet 2inches and 300 pounds I find them just a little too small. My wife has arthritis so she can’t climb stairs to a loft. However I’m sure there are a lot of people like us that would love small houses in the 500 to 1000 square foot size. I also like to have a full sized bathroom and kitchen appliances. A foundation with the option of a basement is also nice to have.

  • Cathy Andrews
    January 1, 2015, 11:48 pm

    5 dogs and 3 cats. Granted, some of them are tiny (4 lbs), but the biggest is our 72 lb greyhound.

  • Phil
    January 1, 2015, 11:49 pm

    Living in the UK we have such draconian building legislation that it is almost impossible to build without major finances. Getting land to build on its also an issue.

  • Rodney
    January 1, 2015, 11:56 pm

    Code restrictions and lack of options for a place to set my tiny house.

  • Mark Williams
    January 2, 2015, 12:00 am

    My biggest issue is getting rid of all the “stuff” that is anchoring me down. I’m drowning in a sea of possessions.

  • Michael
    January 2, 2015, 12:09 am

    Fear.
    My wife fears moving into a small space as much as she likes the idea. We live in a mid-sized cape codder with far too much wasted space. Our Master Bathroom and bedroom are the size of many tiny houses. If we look seriously at the spaces we “Live” in it becomes obvious. But she likes our house too much to move forward with the idea. We do entertain a lot and in winter that would be difficult or impossible and I do need a decent sized shop space to work in.

    Money is easy. Sell this house and we have enough to buy property near by and build a tiny house quickly.

    Someday it will happen. Until then I keep reading this blog!

  • Jeff Stevens
    January 2, 2015, 12:12 am

    I have heard that taxes are really high on tiny houses unless the are movable. ( Im guessing on skids of some sort) and was told it would have to be moved periodically. that would cause a problem with connecting to any water source not to mention a septic system. Im sure that building codes differ but do you have any information concerning this?

  • Liz
    January 2, 2015, 12:13 am

    DOWNSIZING! I have land to settle on but getting rid of 2 households FULL of 50 years’ worth of living is daunting! Downsizing! I want to do it but I’m baffled, I’m a coward, I’m too sentimental. I’ve been trained all my life to hang onto things and repair/reuse them so now even a rusty nail looks like treasure. UGH! I need a new mind-set to set me free from all my “stuff”. HELP!!! I think I will just get a Tiny House on wheels to start and whatever doesn’t fit inside will have to go. Is there a hypnosis program for downsizing blocks? Thanks so much for all you do. I look forward EVERY day to my Tiny House posts. They’re all saved.

    • lyn
      January 2, 2015, 12:45 am

      say Liz read where u have land can u not build tiny on it and rent the other just a thought sure wish I had land somewhere.

    • Dawn
      January 2, 2015, 2:12 am

      Hi Liz,

      I too am very sentimental and had to really conquer that. I also had all kinds of stuff that “could be” very useful some day. I wrote an article for another site about my own simplifying experience thus far, maybe it may help you? http://tinyhousebuild.com/how-to-live-tiny-when-your-significant-other-doesnt-want-to/ There is also a game on that site where you look at something and ask yourself if you have used it in the last 365 days…. if not… (Alex, I hope it is ok that I am sharing this!) Also check out The Minimalists website. These two guy friends have both taken some serious downsizing journeys to embrace minimalism. They have some exercises and ideas as well. If all else fails… watch “Hoarders”. That will make your skin crawl so bad you’ll be itchin’ to get rid of stuff. lol

      Dawn

      • Liz
        January 2, 2015, 3:27 am

        Dawn! THANK YOU! You’re a doll for sharing. I’ll get right over there and save for study! Can’t wait to get into it. Happy New Year!

  • The Big Guy
    January 2, 2015, 12:15 am

    At 6’8″, my clothes and things are about twice the fabric of the average person. Also, A full or Queen bed is still too small. Size is the main thin which holds me back-mine and the size of home needed to accomidate my size.

  • Mary
    January 2, 2015, 12:19 am

    I’d like to see more home ideas with creative storage space. For example, when my parents had their first tiny apartment, their bed folded up into the wall. And, more plans for a 1-level structure. As we age, accessing lofts becomes more of a problem. Thanks!

  • Boris
    January 2, 2015, 12:21 am

    Fear. Fear of letting go of something that really means something to me. Fear of change and fear of doing something different. I have been following tiny house for a while and really enjoy the idea of going tiny. Just making the jump

  • Donna
    January 2, 2015, 12:24 am

    We are struggling with finding space to legally put a tiny home that will be anywhere near the rest of our life- friends, family, job, doctors- all in town. As some others have said, the nearest RV park (that isn’t a run-down homeless hangout) is half an hour away without traffic, and has a waiting list to get in. There is also no guarantee they would accept a home-built THOW, either. Land in this area is just as expensive as buying an entire house, and you still have all the code restrictions and HOAs to navigate. We need more help with ways to site TH into urban / suburban environments, and ways to live tiny in existing urban/suburban settings (garage apartments, room rentals, shared housing, etc). Some insight into mixed use zoning would be helpful as well, since we are trying to work out of our tiny space as artists and the traditional cheap small studio loft seems to be gentrified out of existence.
    -Still looking, in Texas

  • January 2, 2015, 12:24 am

    As I am homeless and living out of my tiny old Tercel in Azusa, CA right now, the only thing holding me back is proper shelter. I’ve found a nice old RV here for $500 that needs fixing/towing — and that would be perfect for me. I have guaranteed jobs in the Santa Monica/Hawthorne area of Los Angeles and have been trying to crowdfund a $1,200 goal to have a new life here from Northern California where I had a terrible experience I don’t wish to repeat.

    After raising $400 of my goal I was able to get down here; but someone I had counted on to temporarily house me decided to back out of their promise. Then another one backed out, too, leaving me high and dry and with only $5 and change left as of today, January 1st. I am quite upset and have been asking on Facebook and Twitter for any help in finding a place to stay so I can work again and rebuild what I lost. There are a few souls who care and I thank God for them, but I’m 52 and cannot delay working any longer.

    You said to not hold back, right? Well, if I could get the rest of my goal I could purchase that $500 RV and park it somewhere until I could get it fixed up then sell my old classic Tercel for another more reliable car. I can use that RV to live in and rebuild my finances properly if given the chance. It’s a nice 1972 Winnebago Brave that I’d like to get and if I could raise the $800 left on my goal, I’d be sleeping easier.

  • Karen Olson
    January 2, 2015, 12:28 am

    Wow, so many great comments, I couldn’t read them all. A tiny home for me is my future plan so I’m trying to soak up as much as I can so I’m ready when the time comes. I can retire in 5 years and right now my sister and her family are living with me. She has been really sick since August and until she gets better moving anywhere is not an option. Those are the two things holding me back. I have been inspired by so many single women on your site that I feel it may be something I can do too so thank you to all of them. I don’t know the logistics on how to build something. I have hundreds of photos I’ve saved from different articles and know pretty much what I want but I will need someone when the time comes to make it work for me. Finding someone reliable and affordable won’t be easy but I know that if I tried to do it alone things will go badly so it is something I will need to do. I want a safe, sturdy, comfortable place to live out the rest of my years. I would like to thank all your readers who bring up the cautionary tales because without them, I would have never have thought of potential problems that may arise. I like that there are workshops and people out there willing to help so maybe by the time I’m ready I’ll have the confidence to build my mini-dream home.
    So, what can you do to help? Throw in a few state laws in relationship to small houses, find places that encourage them, notate land for sale on which you can build a small home, things like that. If you don’t though, I will still be watching out for the next brilliant idea. Your site rocks!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 4:19 pm

      Thanks Karen! I appreciate your ideas!

  • jared
    January 2, 2015, 12:34 am

    My biggest set back is construction/building skills, I need to do it myself to save on the cost and to have it custom made the way I want it instead of buying a pre-built house. I lwould love to see more/different designs and floor plans as well as some basic construction tips. I can do the wireing, pluming, it is the carpentry that is hard for me

  • lyn aliff
    January 2, 2015, 12:41 am

    I can’t seem to get the money that may be needed to get started. I am in my 60’s and still active but forced to live with a daughter and her family and it gets crowed. I would love a community in Irving Tx. then I could be close to the gkids but if moving somewhere else then so be it. I have already downsized just want the home to live in. I anyone reads this and maybe would like to share the space and the work I am willing I can still sling a hammer and tote some. I ‘m wanting to have a garden cause the fresh veggies the Dr’s say I need and living with the daughter she doesn’t understand what I need for to keep my health good. I really want to be part of the Tiny Home Program still praying that I will be some day happy new year everyone lyn

  • Dave
    January 2, 2015, 12:51 am

    Where to park it is my biggest obstacle right now. I’m not sure I want to buy land, as this will add to my cost, and likely require borrowing even more money (will probably need to borrow a little for the house itself). And I want the freedom of being able to travel, so a piece of land would be useless while I was traveling.

    The laws & regulations are incredibly challenging to understand, let alone work with. But in spite of all that, I’ll still pushing forward, and hope to secure a place to park it in the next few months, and then begin my build.

  • Sue
    January 2, 2015, 1:07 am

    I wish there was only one reason for not building a TH. I guess the main two are age and fear. Fear of the unknown and my age 56, kinda hard to build a tiny house when you can barely walk because of having diabetic neuropathy .
    Thanks for the chance to win a book of dreams !!!

  • Jennifer
    January 2, 2015, 1:15 am

    The lack of money to buy one outright and the lack of physical ability to build it myself due to health issues. I dream of this every day since I had to sell my home and am renting a bedroom now. I WILL have my tiny home one day…somehow…I love this site and it inspires me daily!

  • Vauna
    January 2, 2015, 1:15 am

    Would be nice to have resource for approximate finished weights for moveables. Can’t afford different vehicle also. Seems supply/demand has raised prices when there’s still class a, b and c motor homes and RVs … Some almost given away.
    Love your hard work. Happy new year!

  • WILLIAM
    January 2, 2015, 1:19 am

    We are currently in the process of buying a 12X30 storage building that has a small porch. It will just be me, my wife, 2 cats and a Pomeranian and we will be breeding Rottweilers when things settle. But we are currently going to be placed in GA not on a trailer although we are considering and wondering whether that is possible. My wife is a stay at home clean freak, with OCD and is an Antisocial Hermit, LOL. Whom will be going to school as soon as we can. I am a OTR truck driver. So we are not rich by any means, my income helps support a family of 6 not counting us, (my parents & their goat, her older sister, and her 2 kids & 2 dogs, and her little brother) so we are trying to figure out how to make this building into a decent home for the 2 of us to have to ourselves. we are gamers and believe self sufficiency and my wife is OCD on practicality everything has to be multipurpose. but we however do not have construction, electrical, plumbing well anything experience and don’t know where to begin. So currently i guess what is stopping us is well a guide on what to do. Happy new ear and thanks for the opportunity. 🙂

  • January 2, 2015, 1:29 am

    I am disabled and my husband is heading that way with his bad knees that need replaced , so climbing ladders and sleeping in a loft will not work for us.We also have our 2 grown sons at home, one has a job and the other doesn’t yet. So we really need a small house on one floor about 2-3 BRs and 1 large bath would do us with a walk in shower with seat. There was a house like this that was ran in the summer that had a builder. We would have to do a lot of it our self or with help from family and friends. We could not afford a contractor to do it all. It would be very functional with all types of storage and try open concept as much as possible. Where we are in WV, I don’t think solar will do a lot of good- will have to research it more. Even the outbuilding house the lady built for her father may work for our sons, for the future and let them share the costs and that would allow us to go smaller. As we have seen there are so many possibilities with tiny and small houses, I already have some of the books and when I find a plan I like, I even redraw it and give it a few tweeks of my own. Keep up those E-mails. I look forward to them also.

  • Robyn
    January 2, 2015, 1:37 am

    Alex, your newsletter is the one I open first when I see it in my inbox.
    I get excited at the possibilities.

    My own journey is slowed by upfront costs.
    I’ll start with stealth van living, but one day hope to have a self built cob house.

    My concerns are how close I can be to a town that I can work in as a massage therapist (licensing, so I’m limited to a state) but still afford property.

  • Barb
    January 2, 2015, 1:44 am

    Hi, we’re gearing for 2017 when we retire. I agree there need to be more floor plans for 500-900 sf homes. We plan on 550 sf and have several ideas already. Also like to see more space saving ideas. We need to have a single story home due to health restrictions. Find that what costs are shown are usually way up there. We plan on living simply, not orange crates exactly but certainly, not marble tiles, stainless steel appliances, etc.. Love to see substitution hints regarding cost saving; this type of flooring would cost $?? as opposed to $?? for this kind of flooring.
    Only other thing I can come up with needing is a hand to hold throughout the adventure. Thanks

  • Matt
    January 2, 2015, 1:55 am

    Looking to downsize in 2-3 years, but 200 sq ft is not an option. 500-1000 would be better for wife and I and over the next 2-3 years I plan on selling, recycling, giving away or just plain throwing out the accumulation of my 46 years on Earth. It’s the ‘stuff’ that’s currently in my way right now, but I am going to begin The Purge in 2015.

  • Dawn
    January 2, 2015, 1:59 am

    Alex, I love what you send out! Keep it coming! I have ideas…

    An “Angie’s List” of where to buy plans, hire a person/company to build you a tiny house.

    A legal page online with links for each state and local county so that folks would know who to contact to get all the ins and outs on the laws. An ongoing list of places where it is legal to build or park a tiny house that the tiny house community could keep updated would also be very helpful.

    I would love to see companies who build these working together with other companies when needed. For instance, I want a metal frame as it is lighter, and roll out rooms for a wood tiny house which another guy makes (Ragsdale?). Lots of affordable options for multifunctional furniture like murphy bed/sofa. And Rich the Cabin man who does the stand up loft, heck yeah! lol I see things from different builders that I would love to put together but I don’t know how or if it would even work together, and if so, who would create the plan and actually build it. Providing a forum where interested planners and builders and customers could all put their collective heads together would be awesome!

    More information on the practicalities of living off grid. Can you do it in a colder winter climate? Can you have a running shower or a bath? Options for safe drinking water?

    Land owners who are looking for tiny house tenants.

    Advice and experience from tiny housers that have been or are where you are thinking of going lifestyle wise. I would love to live in a tiny house, but my 22 month old son was diagnosed with moderate autism three days ago. He is going to need many hours of in home therapy for years. Is that possible in a tiny house? I feel stupid asking, but I am still learning about autism. I have my own health challenges so I am working further on simplifying my life so I have more energy to focus on my son.

    Finally, some online groups perhaps through this site in areas around the country. I live in Madison, WI and would love to meet by computer like minded person(s) to talk about tiny houses.

    I know it’s a long list Alex, but like I said, you do a great job and ya did ask for it (the list).

  • Nicole Vlachoyanni
    January 2, 2015, 2:01 am

    I am living in Europe, in Greece. Here, the laws are difficult concerning tiny houses. They are not allowed here, as in the US. That is biggest obstacle holding be back at the moment. Another thing holding me back would be the storage place. I would need more storage place. How could I store all my stuff that I need? I do handicraft that I sell on eco markets and would need it for the materials.

  • Cheryl Smith-Bell
    January 2, 2015, 2:13 am

    Well, after being fired[down sizing], and no good prospects turning up, and being of an age, to retire, I will be doing my best to purge and down size belongings. I have a small house, at the edge of town, that needs repairs, so am always looking for good ideas to make it more efficient. So I am looking to build my skills to be able to do my repairs/remodel with not much help. Lots of good ideas here, and I sure hope to maybe someday move farther out. I have a city block[1.3 A and half of it is horse pen. I use the #2 BR at my art studio, and it is full! Old Texas farm house, bad floor in kitchen and very few cabinets, very small closets and bad windows, so, much needs doing, and I’m slowly getting the tools I’ll need gathered up. I have already purged a lot of clothes, and still have more to get rid of. Any of your books would be very welcome. Love this site. Keep up the good work. What works for some will not work for others. There is room for all!

  • jules
    January 2, 2015, 2:19 am

    We just sold our 1700 sq. ft. house and are now living in a 600 sq. ft. apt. It has been extremely liberating to downsize!! Some days we are absolutely ready to start building a small house on wheels; and then the issues of ‘Where can we put it?’, ‘How to insure it?’, ‘Where can we get a good 10ft wide trailer?’, ‘How do you fasten the house securely on the trailer?’, ‘How much insulation are we going to need?’, ‘This is a big project for us and what if we were unable to finish it?’ ‘What if it takes us 3 times as long to finish it than anticipated?’, ‘What if we run out of run out of money?’, ‘What financial institution can we turn to for a loan?’, ‘What if we actually achieved our goal? What would we do then?’, ‘What would we do with all this new found freedom?’, starts to seep in. I know…… Breathe. We are living our intention of living more purposefully and respectfully, and that is enough for right now.

    Thanks for your website it’s given us many hours of discussion and enjoyment. We appreciate the openness you provide to the newbies and the richness of details of the ones who have already finished their dwellings. We love that you provide links to further the discussions of issues you have presented.
    Have a bountiful New Year!!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 4:17 pm

      Great questions Jules thanks for the feedback! -Alex

  • Peter
    January 2, 2015, 2:23 am

    Hi, I want to build mine on a trailer and am concerned that my ’95 half ton doesn’t quite have what is needed to haul it. Especially around B.C.’s steep and slippery roads. Would you reccomend a dually? Also looking for ideas for power and storing water in the winter. Thanks!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 4:11 pm

      Hi Peter, yup, you’d probably want a bigger truck if you’re going to want to move it around a lot but it also depends on how big you end up building. Good luck man! -Alex

  • CJ
    January 2, 2015, 2:39 am

    Like many others, money is an issue. Would love to see builders and owners getting together on tiny homes at a reduced cost. Love the idea of communities coming together on projects too. Learning how to build while volunteering would be nice. Also, how to live small with children.

  • Michael
    January 2, 2015, 2:49 am

    Deciding were to relocate is our biggest hurdle at this time.

  • Janet D
    January 2, 2015, 2:59 am

    A couple things are holding me back. I’ve only been researching a few months, but I live in MN where state code says a home must be 800 sf. It’s been hard to find cities that have exceptions & I’m not up for being off grid at this point. Also, unlike many, I’d like to be in town or very close. I like city living where things are within walking or bus or rail distance. So zoning is an issue.
    Also having survived a tornado, I want some underground shelter…or maybe the whole house underground with a wall of windows (sort of walk-out basement style). Haven’t seen any little houses that take that topic into consideration!
    And of course, money is an issue. Isn’t it always?
    Love looking at all the great homes and am constantly inspired. Thanks Alex!

  • David E. Davis
    January 2, 2015, 3:08 am

    If you could have a bartering bulletin board page with search functions (i.e. geographical area, type of help needed, type of help wanted, etc.), maybe more people with complementary resources and difficulties could link-up. Ex: help someone with land but no materials link with someone who has materials but no land, or someone with experience but no money link with someone who has money but no experience. It could also help those wanting or needing to trade up or down in size, accessibility, or geographical location. It would also be nice to have a link to a map that people could search by layer or color code for tiny-friendly zoning, good visitable examples of tiny homes, tiny homes for sale, courses offered, innovative projects for homeless or veterans, etc.

  • sabra
    January 2, 2015, 3:09 am

    waiting to retire and decide a the right place to plant myself

  • January 2, 2015, 3:46 am

    What’s holding me up and trying to weave through the legal and coding issues, and permits. I have a friend who wants to sell me land, but since having a home has never been on my radar, I know nothing of digging a well, or having a septic tank. I probably would want a composting toilet anyway, but still.

    I guess what I want the most is a step by step guide on how to build a tiny home on a piece of land. The steps need to include checklists and where to find information. Things like, “Go talk to the county about permits” doesn’t help me much, because I don’t even know what county office to go to.

    I’ve been dreaming of a Yurt, actually, and love the circular design.

    Thanks for asking!

  • Michael Cassettari
    January 2, 2015, 3:58 am

    I absolutely love getting my Tiny House Newsletter and haven’t deleted a one of them so I can search them for any nuggets of information or ideas. That being said we have committed to eventually build and proudly occupy a tiny house. I think we are leaning towards using shipping containers.
    Our challenges seem to be much the same as many of your respondents to your challenge query; Land, space and money.
    I think initially we can obtain a container. At that point I have a steel box. That is when the $$$ start adding up. I would imagine liability prevents you from providing DIY pointers/instructions on things like electric, plumbing, HVAC, solar energy systems, welding etc. I know I just said a mouthful but my wife and I plan on doing all these things to save $$$ and complete our home sooner so we can sell our mortgaged home ASAP!!
    These things may be helpful to a small segment of your followers but it seems to me it answers many of these folks $$$ issues if they could cut down on their labor costs much like the sweat equity shows we see on TV..
    Michael

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 4:09 pm

      Thanks Michael I really appreciate the honest feedback!

  • Greg Chandler
    January 2, 2015, 5:43 am

    Getting in agreement with my wife and then moving forward and doing it!

  • Doug
    January 2, 2015, 5:52 am

    Help convincing folks that this is the way to go. It’s down to me and my wife, the last boy is off to college, she “can’t imagine living that way” – Plus I would need to convince my boss to allow me work-from-home, which would be in FL vs. VA. So i think “convincing” is what I need help with 🙂

  • Jim Hill
    January 2, 2015, 6:30 am

    Hi Alex, and, like so many others, thanks. Everyone seems to have some very good ideas. I am in the situation where I can, and will, build my own version of a small (<500 sq or so) but I could use advice and help on the systems side of the building trades. Plumbing, electrical, foundations, etc. that sort of thing.

    Thanks again!

  • Pamela McCreary
    January 2, 2015, 6:32 am

    The area I live in stops me. I would like to move and find the perfect location in WA State.

  • sacramentoman
    January 2, 2015, 6:46 am

    Last year my partner and I decided we were going to make a change in our lives in 2013 we purchased some property and we looked at buying a tiny home but the cost was crazy expensive so we purchaed a 12 x 32 ft office trailer and summer 2014 we started doing repairs and changes to make it home sept 2014 we moved in the we are totally off grid (no power, gas, water, septic) sometimes no cell phone ove time we have added solar and water tank were not contractors or builders we have also started a small business because life cost its a slow process but fun and rewarding we used to live in the city and while selling most our items and moving we get better relaxation and peace. We came back to visit for the holidays and found our selves home sick needing the quiet and comfort of our off grid life. What keep you from a tiny house you keep you and the uncertainty of something new and different. My partner and I are working on a plan build a few more on the property for vacationers. Happy new year future tiny home owners

  • Ron
    January 2, 2015, 6:56 am

    I love the TH concept but immediate plan is to build several rental tiny cabins on my property, a tiny campground. Major hurdle is understanding & ensuring that I meet the local codes, mainly pertaining to structure dimensions, safety, & septic. Despite the wealth of info here, I find little useful info on these topics. I’m currently trying to understand the applicable details of the International Residential Code as well as NYS septic requirements. From what I understand in NYS, composting toilets provide little, if any, benefit since grey water must be treated the same as black water. Septic is therefore a major hurdle.

    I live near Amish and they can build quality sheds at $10/sf. I can’t build cheaper myself, so getting a “shed” from the Amish with a few modifications and then doing the rest myself seems the best route to a TH.

  • Sheila L
    January 2, 2015, 7:14 am

    We are in “planning stage” and looking for acreage around Townsend, TN to build! Looks like we will be building a small house, on a crawl space, around 800-900 sf. Delimma? I am a crafter – I sew, quilt, and make jewelry. Can you give me creative storage/work space ideas?

  • Kimberly
    January 2, 2015, 7:25 am

    My son is just getting to an age where he wants to have friends over all the time. He wants more room to play…

  • jan huey
    January 2, 2015, 7:28 am

    It’s having a family of 4 with 2 babies under 2. If if were just my husband and I, we wouldn’t mind a tiny house. However, we need to think of space for a growing family. Also, school zones. We were thinking of a small 500 sq foot home but then the kids would here us while they were trying to nap. Not sure how a family of little ones do it. May have to wait a few years until potty training and basic life tasks can be met.

  • David H.
    January 2, 2015, 7:28 am

    Awesome suggestion from Dawn, would be very helpful to a lot of people who are considering this! Many of us also are burdened with the money issue and land to undergo this venture. Love watching “Tiny House Nation” on DIY, as you can really pick up on some great ideas.

  • Devon Carter
    January 2, 2015, 7:47 am

    I am disabled and in a wheelchair. I work part time, am saving for land. I want a small cabin and landscaping that is wheelchair accessible. I’m trying to get as many resources as I can to guide me in the process. Would love it if you can help.

  • José Valente
    January 2, 2015, 7:59 am

    Resolvemos alguns problemas de saúde de nossa filha, o seu cão a viver numa cave em Inglaterra, com a compra de uma pequena casa em outra cidade.
    Em Agosto de 2014 passamos nossas férias trabalhando e alterando a casa para dar mais qualidade de vida ao casal e ao cão. Agora vivem mais felizes.
    Mudaram de cidade, vida, empregos e com a inspiração da tinyhouse, aproveitamos muitas ideias. Fiz maravilhas e agradeço a vossa ajuda. Partilharei fotos da remodelação. Happy new year 2015.
    Nota: Esperam um/a bébé. Terei de fazer alterações num quarto novo, mas… É por uma boa causa.

  • Kid Cardona
    January 2, 2015, 8:19 am

    I currently live in China, but l am from Texas. I have land in Texas and when l am done traveling every where l want to go, l will settle down on my ranch. I am looking at all the ideas that are presented here. I had commented before about including photos with your articles that only have video. Changing browser’s does not help. All in all l think this is a great site, the news letters are really good to read and l enjoy the different ideas for homes out there. Happy New Year every one.

  • January 2, 2015, 8:21 am

    And Happy New Year 2015 too!

    I live in GA and am very interested in downsizing to smaller living. I’ve considered purchasing land in surrounding area near Macon, GA or South of Macon and wondering about compliance to small home living will be acceptable.

    Most of the emails I’ve received were catering to out West and North of USA. I forgot, I did see where a lady was living in park near Orlando, FL, but still would be interested in knowing about State of GA . Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.

  • Vanyel Kane
    January 2, 2015, 8:24 am

    Please delete my old comment as it won’t let me, and it really needed editing first.

    Firstly, love this website. I’m quite new to it all so I have plenty to learn

    Now to the reason I can’t do tiny at the moment:

    I don’t have the money or the room to put it anywhere.

    I will definitely be incorporating room for my books, closet and a no loft bed. Many people’s idea of ‘ a lot of books’ is no way near how many books I have and NO I will not get rid of them as they are quite important to me.

    I work in the centre of Sydney, Australia there is no affordable caravan parks that I can get to the city easily

    I work in an office and no I cannot survive with ’30 pieces of clothes’ and some rather intersting people have stated around here. If I wore the same thing all the time, it would get commented on negatively fast. So automatically I need a causal and a work wardrobe. Then I like to cosplay which means more clothes

    Lastly I don’t have the experience to now what would work best. I want to stay in a tiny hotel or 3. The. See what works for me. I have no idea, for instance, if my sensitive nose could handle a composting toilet etc, there are so many things to consider before I commit.

  • Terry Lauzon
    January 2, 2015, 8:35 am

    Need to sell our large home first then try and find property that we can build on. The biggest challenge is to try and get rid off all the stuff and downsize to a smaller home. Thanks for all the links and tips this past year.

  • rachel
    January 2, 2015, 8:55 am

    What held me back for years was a habit/addiction to accumulating and buying so many possessions. I have learned of the cost of that in many ways and spending so much time selling things and letting GO. I understand less is more with things owned and with homes as well. Some people will find a tiny 10×15′ or 10×20′ home to be ok and thats’ fine. I find those spaces seem to cram posessions in every nook and cranny with very little wiggle room to even move around. Efficient use of any space and environmentally responsible building is the best way to go. I find 2000, 2500 or 3000 sf homes are way too big for most people if they admit it. I like more space than a tiny home. I prefer about 850 s.f. but not so i can have more things, i just like un-cramped well-designed and open spaces. I do have plenty of sports toys like a bicycle, kayak(s), trampoline and rowing machine—it is nice to have the space for these and yoga room as well. namaste’, rachel

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:54 am

      Thanks for sharing Rachel! Namaste! -Alex

  • Kristine
    January 2, 2015, 8:59 am

    My spouse. He isn’t ready to let go of the stuff, not yet anyway. I’m working on him though. We are slowly donating and recycling or selling the extra stuff. Yay!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:52 am

      Thanks Kristine! Maybe there’s somewhere in between you guys can agree on. Like a small house. Or tiny/small with a barn or shed.

  • Ray Boze
    January 2, 2015, 9:05 am

    My wife has a lot of stuff. Aside from that money to build one and the time to do it.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:52 am

      Thanks Ray!

  • Dawn DeVinney
    January 2, 2015, 9:09 am

    We are in the process of downsizing. Holding us back would be saving the initial money to get started and to buy property. We are renters and currently have 2 adult children in the home. 1 fresh from college & 1 after divorce. We are actively ‘de-cluttering’ and finding that we like the idea of ‘less is more’.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:52 am

      Thanks for sharing Dawn!

  • Sarah
    January 2, 2015, 9:10 am

    What’s holding me back?
    Right now, timing. Have just started my own business and want to stay put for the next little bit… And the youngest of my teenagers won’t be ready to launch for 5 more years. Fortunately, this is an opportunity to plan and learn and get ready!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:51 am

      Thanks Sarah!

  • Barbara Boyd
    January 2, 2015, 9:10 am

    A place to park your tiny house is problem #1 for me. I would build the small shed if I could find a place that I could afford the land in the Houston area and would allow you to do it. Problem #2 is the cost. I am not a builder so I would have to pay to have it done.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:51 am

      I hear ya, thanks Barbara!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 11:06 am

      Thanks Barbara!

  • Carole Anne
    January 2, 2015, 9:11 am

    Hi! For me it really is the financial issues that are slowing me down. I am looking to start a small business on etsy soon in order to be able to work from home when the time will come for the tiny house. And for the laws I mostly find informations for the US and since I’m in Canada it’s not the best. Since I would like my tiny house to be 10′ wide I’m trying to find the license information and price for an oversized trailer and I haven’t yet. But I’m hopeful to overcome all that and join the tiny house community someday!!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:51 am

      Thanks for sharing Carole!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 11:06 am

      Thanks Carole! I know how frustrating the laws/zoning can be but we’re slowly but surely making progress.

  • Brian
    January 2, 2015, 9:15 am

    Dang! Talk about scrolling for 20 minutes just to reply. LOL A good thing I suppose. For Us it’s about money. We’ve found the perfect place and have taken ideas from several plans to build something around 500-600 sq ft. Not exactly tiny but with one child still at home far awhile yet and wanting to keep security for both kids available, it’s logical for us. My only question would be the build. I’m not exactly a construction worker, more like a graphic artist. Happy New Year to you!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:51 am

      Thanks Brian!

  • Kimberly Finn
    January 2, 2015, 9:19 am

    I have been paring down my belongings in an attempt to “live smaller”. I already live in a 1000 sq. ft. home, but I could do better. My difficulties are that I have a large family that like to visit (including my husbands four brothers and sisters and their families), I have a very strong attachment to a few family heirloom furniture pieces that mean the world to me, and I have some physical challenges that make me wonder if a smaller home will be feasible. However, I love the multi-function furniture and the built-ins that make the tiny house so functional and I would love to incorporate them in my sort-of-tiny home that I currently live in. I love seeing all of the ideas you have in your news letter! Keep up the good work! Happy New Year!

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:58 am

      Sounds like you are doing good already Kimberly! Keep it up! Family’s important to me too. Happy new year and thanks a bunch for sharing!

  • Bekah
    January 2, 2015, 9:34 am

    Support and start up finances is what’s holding me back currently. I have access to a trailer and space/tools to build, but no additional money to get started. My favorite design is probably that of Alex Lisefski of the tiny project. I’ve been accumulating ideas on Pinterest and would love to attend the course offered by Mariah on downsizing even though my current apartment is only 600 sq. ft and the one before that was only 400 sq. ft. My biggest concern is what kind of job I could have living in a tiny house and how often it’s feasible to move it? Keep the content coming. I find that if I look hard enough my questions are always answered somewhere.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:57 am

      Thanks Bekah- I appreciate you sharing! 600 sq. ft. is a great amount of space in my opinion. Not too big and not too tiny. Keep it up!

  • Rhonda
    January 2, 2015, 9:45 am

    Just scrolling through all the comments I realize there are some really great ideas and many of us are connected in our desires for simple living as well as some of the challenges in getting there. I didn’t read them all so I’m sure my comments will not be unique.

    There are several factors holding me back. Very first – I have to get my husband on board with the idea of LESS is better! He’s one of those people that likes his “treasures” of old stuff picked up from flea markets, yard sales, dumpsters, you name it! Plus he doesn’t do change very well so no matter the benefits, he has to mull it over for a good while. Then once I got him to even start to lean towards a much smaller home, we have some fixes to make to our current home just to be able to sell. While we’d hope for a small profit it won’t be enough to fully fund a small home. So I’ve been trying to convince him the way to go is an idea that we’ve seen develop at a homesite not too far from our home.

    We watched someone start with what appeared to be a garage kit. You could tell they were living there once it completed because the grill was set up with lawn chairs sitting around. Shortly thereafter they built onto garage and now it looks like a small home. And finally a few months after the home was completed, they built a separate garage; this one seems to actually be for the vehicles.

    I’m curious if anyone else has built or seen it completed in steps such as this.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:56 am

      Thanks so much for sharing Rhonda!

  • Denis
    January 2, 2015, 9:48 am

    I am a believer as I have transitioned from an old farm to 1850 sq ft house to a 650 sq ft seasonal cottage. While I greatly appreciate the benefits of down sizing, the need for storage and a second place for guest to sleep has me hesitant to shrink further, unless I use a separate structure for these purposes. I love to see other’s solutions to shrinking their needs for living space.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:56 am

      I hear you Denis. I think 650sf is a great size for a lot of people. Not too big and not too tiny. I agree with you on a separate structure for storage and maybe even play around space to build things, etc. Or if you have relatively big toys to store like kayaks, bicycles, canoes, boat, cars, 4 wheeler, etc.

  • Bill
    January 2, 2015, 10:00 am

    I enjoy and look to learn from all the information you disseminate. What I miss is the inclusion of a shop in the tiny houses. I understand this can double or triple the size of a tiny house but I suspect there are many people like me. I want room for a table saw, band saw, drill press, tool boxes of hand tools, and a motorcycle (a motorcycle fits well into the concept of tiny living).

    Thanks. Keep at it.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:54 am

      I hear you on that one Bill. I like to have room to play around too. I always think a separate garage/barn/shed would be perfect on the property.

  • Lynne McFall
    January 2, 2015, 10:00 am

    What’s holding me back? I don’t have a place yet to put it (and build it).

  • Mike
    January 2, 2015, 10:05 am

    How about gumption? Or moxie? That or maybe actually deciding on what way to go – tiny house or bus conversion (both have their up- and down-sides, though I’m leaning towards bus conversion).

    When I last considered going the tiny route, I figured I’d give myself 5 years to pare things down, come up with a design, save up the money, and get everything finalized. That was a couple months ago, and while it’s still a nice thought, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to. I’m slowly working on getting rid of excess stuff and/or items that are no longer needed (which is a good thing), closing out hobbies that I no longer have interest in, etc. But the relationship I’m in now won’t work when down-sized that small (she wants more sq ft/storage space, I want less crap in my life).

    I’m still keeping things in mind and checking out new designs for ideas that I could go with, but that’s all it is at this point – an idea. An idea of freedom. Something I can fall back on in case I ever get the urge to escape from my life and decide to start over (working in a career I hate just to pay the bills, not having a purpose, etc).

  • Trish
    January 2, 2015, 10:23 am

    Hi Alex,
    I thoroughly enjoy Tiny House Talk and all the valuable information that it supplies the readers. I’ve learned so much, but as yet, I have not found “thee” TH of my dreams. There are elements of different houses that I really like, but I still haven’t figured out how to put them together in one plan. I am retired, debt free, and live alone (except with a spunky 4 legged girl). The other dilemnas are whether to go mobile or build on a foundation, and where to settle. I have family in MO and NY. As with many other comments I’ve read here, I also have a limited income. I have been downsizing for the last 5 years in preparation to change my lifestyle to one of complete contentment which, I feel, a TH would give me. I realized some time ago that “things” own you, you don’t own them. We have to clean them, insurance them, and pack them up when we move. We lose time, energy and cost in the process. Years ago a man who had a big beautiful home on the California coast lost it to a landslide. The reporter asked him how he felt and his reply was: “I feel free now.” That impressed me. I sincerely hope that the laws in this country change for the better, and TH becomes a standard in our society. We should have the freedom to live as we wish regardless of size. Happy New Year Alex.
    Trish

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 10:50 am

      Thanks Trish, happy new year!

  • Gretchen Hofer
    January 2, 2015, 10:41 am

    How Can I Better Help You in 2015?
    ◾What do you need the most help with right now?
    New to this whole idea. I don’t really know much about all of it, but really want to simplify and downsize. I love the idea, simplifying, and concentrating on who/what really matters in life. I like decluttering the junk and focusing on really living.
    ◾What’s frustrating you most about tiny houses?
    Sounds like a lot of people are building their own. My husband & I don’t have building skills like that. I don’t know where to find the materials or even where to begin or how to do it. I wonder if you purchase land, find a contractor and then build it, if it would still be something feasible.
    ◾What’s holding you back from doing what you want to do?
    Besides what I mentioned above, we have children whom we promised we wouldn’t uproot from their school until they graduate. That would be 2.5 yrs. from now. I guess that gives more time to plan for the future though.
    ◾What challenges are you facing right now?
    Cost and not wanting to uproot my children. My husband & I are into this simplifying/downsizing idea, but I don’t find our children to feel the same. They like where we live. It’s not a big house we live in now, so I guess going smaller would seem too tiny to teens.
    ◾What is it that you want the most?
    I want to treasure people. I want to have quality time together. I want to enjoy nature. I want to take away selfish and greedy desires to live simply and thankfully.
    ◾What worries you about tiny houses?
    The thought and pictures seem great, but I worry that I wouldn’t be able to get rid of enough of my ‘stuff’ to fit into one. I want that to me my goal, but wonder if I have the drive to do it.
    ◾What kind of lifestyle would you like to create for yourself?
    One that doesn’t depend on spending all earned income on the house and upkeep. One that is pushing away from what society says is norm and trying to keep up with the Joneses. One that even might be off the grid and just “getting it” as far as what’s important in life.

  • January 2, 2015, 10:44 am

    I want to go tiny in the worst way but I live in a small community and don’t know the zoning laws. That and the cost involved. I know it will be less than living in a conventional home, but with no savings, I don’t know what to do.

  • Winifred
    January 2, 2015, 10:46 am

    I’ve been living in a 400 sq ft studio apartment for 13 years. Many of the tiny house examples have more room than my apartment because they have access to the outdoors via a deck or porch, or an actual yard or piece of property. It’s been a struggle living here at times because I have many areas of interest, hobbies or pursuits, that need space to accommodate. Sewing is the main one which needs a lot of table space – not just sewing but patternmaking as well. If you have things in progress all the time, it is really not practical to put it away while you’re working on it. The flat pieces need to be handled carefully and stay flat. There’s no “away” to put them – they need to go on another table. My fantasy would be living space above a large open workshop. That would accommodate the work and also provide security by being up off the ground floor. I’ve seen a few carriage house type arrangements that gave me a thrill 🙂 Right now I hope I recently solved this by renting a separate 200 sq ft art studio space.

  • Kathleen
    January 2, 2015, 10:50 am

    Hi Alex,
    Thanks so much for sharing your journey and for creating a way for those interested in the Tiny House Movement to connect and learn. I have been wanting to build a tiny house for a while now. It would be the perfect fit for me. I have downsized twice over the last 5 years and so when it happens, will be an easy transition. There is only one thing holding me back from moving forward with a tiny house and that is I live in a part of the country where the movement has yet to “take off”. That wouldn’t be a problem except I’m finding it difficult to find a place to build. I live in Charleston SC. Any advice on how to go about searching for a small piece of land to purchase or rent?
    Thanks,
    Kathleen

  • Monti Knazze
    January 2, 2015, 11:00 am

    I genuinely appreciate the great variety of tiny homes that you continue to shed light on. I am in the process of building a tiny home of my own on a city lot, so I would really love to see a section devoted to urban tiny homes and dealing with municipal red tape to cut through zoning requirements and other situations that are unique to establishing small residences in urban settings.

    • Alex
      January 2, 2015, 11:07 am

      Great idea Monti- thanks for sharing!

  • hal
    January 2, 2015, 11:15 am

    I love reading tiny house talk, I just hope that with the dawning of the new year that I can find a piece of land where I can build the tiny house of my dreams

  • Mike Trenshaw
    January 2, 2015, 11:24 am

    Land is what holds me back right now. I am looking for some acres not too far away from the city so that we can continue the majority of our current lifestyle. I will say, however, that while I am waiting on that, I am going through our ‘stuff’ with a renewed emphasis on slimming down! Letting go of the crap I’ve been holding on to is making it a much less congested life for me, and will only help when it does come time to move into my tiny dream.

    Thank you for all the newsletters and inspiration!!!

    -Mike

  • Rebecca
    January 2, 2015, 11:38 am

    My biggest challenge in one word is fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear that I would spend all this money to discover that I don’t like tiny living. Fear that I won’t be able to find some place to park it. Fear that I will get too old to live in it ( think steps). Just fear itself.

  • Wolf
    January 2, 2015, 11:43 am

    We haven’t decided to live in what I’m going to be building. We’re older and have accumulated a lot of stuff and have always planned on leaving it to kids and grandchildren. Only, they don’t want it, and I refuse to sell valuables at a yard sale. The proceeds from TH builds and sale of our stuff will be our only income/savings for retirement. Don’t have a mortgage, but have 38 acres and a mobile home. It doesn’t get any easier with age – does it?

  • Lucy
    January 2, 2015, 11:47 am

    My husband.

  • Josh
    January 2, 2015, 11:49 am

    Love the site & especially the email links!

    Money is probably the first hitch in our build-to-be, but having te goal of a tiny house is actually making it easier to prioritize a budget for saving. What’s really been hard is figuring out how to draft a construction-worthy design. I know the basic floorplan I want, but how do I translate that into real life dimensions to make sure it’s all doable & all the materials still fit? Sketchup is not as easy as I thought. Also, I’ve been curious about roof slope angles and why nobody seems to use an extra low slope, like 1:12.

  • Jon N.
    January 2, 2015, 11:51 am

    Alex, first off thanks for the great blog. My wife and I are currently renting and love the idea of a small (but not necessarily “tiny) home, where we hope to start our family. As a city planner I have a keen interest in the zoning and building codes which often limit structural standards and placement of tiny homes, particularly trailer-mounted tiny homes classified as RV’s, and I suspect a lot of people run into ordinances and building code issues in undertaking the transition to tiny housing. Some info on the nitty gritty experiences people have would be great. I would love to see the options opened up to allow such units as secondary on private lots, such as for young singles/couples on a friend’s or parent’s property, but many archaic zoning ordinances, the same ones that have to be help up by city staff such as myself, are holding them back. I’m currently laying groundwork in the city I work for to be ahead of the curve on tiny homes. I would also love to see more options for affordable small houses, maybe prefab, that are within financial reach of more people but still incorporate design elements that an owner would be proud of. It seems the prefab small house options out there tend to skew more to the ultra-modern and expensive, or the very basic rambler designs. I’m happy to see the small house movement gaining more traction, including the multiple TV series on FYI and HGTV. Looking forward to a great 2015 and seeing where tiny homes go from here!

  • Michael Kaiser
    January 2, 2015, 11:52 am

    I think honestly aside from the money, the only thing holding me back is the lack of builders in the Midwest, or at least Michigan in general for me. The most beautiful designs I have seen seem to be from Oregon and the like, and I know delivery would tack on much more money. I like the guides for building one myself, and would love to do so, but I don’t have the time or really an enclosed place to build to avoid the unexpected weather that Michigan has. My other concern is hearing that Michigan is one of the harder places to get approved for a tiny house. Anyways, I used to think that I always wanted the McMansion, or some crazy huge beautiful house, but I’ve started to realize that I have always really wanted a small well thought out home, so tiny homes are perfect for me, and I’ve seen quite a few models that have almost fit perfectly, so when I design my own I will combine the best of them.

  • Dotty
    January 2, 2015, 12:31 pm

    I’ve watched with aww for the past few years regarding the tiny house movement. For 7 years, myself and 3 childred have lived in what we thought was a small home. We came from over 2500 sq. ft. of living space, into 1172 sq. ft. 4 bedroom. With the help of friends, we gutted, renovated as best we could on a very low income. While doing so, we completely opened the entire living space, to make it seem not so small. Over the few years, we’ve downsized all furniture. We have 2 peninsulas, making any amount of cleanup a breeze. Seating at the one we call an island, dividing the kitchen from living room, also eliminating the need for a table. The house seems spacious now and quite comfortable. The open floor plan is key. This home is 150 years old. Need I say more? We’ve done much, and its never-ending. But and however, this old home sits on 6 acres of beautiful land with a gorgeous running creek. It is my intent to build, not as much smaller, but certainly efficient. I looked into Amish built buildings about 2 years ago, and figured that I would like 24×24, 2-story (or maybe a little smaller). The structure itself was about 26K, and would come in 2 pcs. Financially, I just can’t get there yet. The foundation, a well, septic, permits & zoning may be pretty costly. Back to the structure… it comes with x-amount of windows, stairs, doors, with a metal roof, etc., and can be built to your needs. It’s my intent, that with an open floor plan, I can heat with a pellet stove, letting heat rise to the upstairs, perhaps like ‘it used to be’. With an open, square home, heat wouldn’t have to turn corners. I wish someone would want to build my home for their advertising needs. That would be a wish come true!! I love what you’re doing Alex!! Thank you!!

  • skip
    January 2, 2015, 12:34 pm

    Married 40+ years, 3 kids, toooooooooo much stuff.

  • Dawn
    January 2, 2015, 12:40 pm

    Presently, I can only cite lack of information as the thing that’s holding me back. But in truth I’m in a very comfortable place and I am trying to get as much info as possible to help me make wise choices. I will retire in 8 years and would like to have my “tiny” ready to go on the day I retire. The questions I am trying to answer run the gamut for prospective tiny home owners but, I still need some more info regarding where my family members will land in the next few years. This is important because I would really like to live close to my only sister. In the meanwhile, I will try to learn more about the building codes in certain areas, and generally suss out which states are most friendly to tiny home people. I have a place to store any materials I find this early on that may be useful in the build. I also have begun my downsizing efforts in small but easily manageable steps. (And I’m amazed at how much stuff I have that I do not need or use!) So I will continue to educate myself on all manner of things, from solar power, to building codes, while I pay down my debts and wait for life to unfold a bit more.

  • Ahkku Gaica
    January 2, 2015, 12:47 pm

    What is holding me back?
    I guess the biggest thing is money. It feels like I have been saving forever!
    Then I need to look for a tiny house friendly environment. Been thinking of moving back to Idaho where you can hide in the hidden valleys and no one even needs to know that you are there.

  • Chelsea Z
    January 2, 2015, 1:01 pm

    The only thing that holds me back is good ol corrupt money. I’ve been downsizing/eliminating excess for about a year now. I’ve purged and purged some more and slowly more and more is gone to the point that its at that hard stage of I’m really attached to this but do i need it? Unfortunately I live in Florida where living is obnoxiously priced and getting by is almost impossible unless you have some “big” magic money making job. But most options are minimum wage which is what I’m stuck with currently and that means IF i’m lucky I can put away $50 a month. That isn’t getting me anywhere as far as building is concerned. But either way I still think and dream about my little chunk of woods with a simple dwelling every day. I make it my intention during my yoga i do at home every morning to visual myself in my tiny perfect place. I’ve started making all my own products, so I no longer buy anything but the bare minimum from stores and if I have to buy its as organic as possible. This helps save a little more and it also makes me that much more self sufficient when my tiny place finally comes to fruition. =) I wish all the best luck to everyone out there who wants to live a happier and simpler life!

  • Amanda F.
    January 2, 2015, 1:02 pm

    I live in an urban area that is difficult to find decent housing….I’m worried about giving up my sweet lease deal only to find in 6 mos/ 1yr that living tiny really isn’t for me, or that I don’t like the trade off of living remotely to be able to live tiny.

  • Matt the Lad
    January 2, 2015, 1:35 pm

    There are two fears that I have that prevent me from seriously contemplating radical downsizing, interestingly enough both surrounding my familial relationships:

    1) I fear that my partner and I, who hope to have kids in the future, will build a home that is unable to accommodate a growing child, as their needs evolve from the infant stage to teen-hood. I would love to see an exploration of how families deal with changing dynamics in a small home environment.

    2) Having the move to a smaller place damage my relationship with my partner due to feeling trapped! How does one deal with the need to be apart (while one reads and there strums on the guitar / watches TV etc.) within the confines of the home – especially in colder climes (South-Eastern Canada, where we hail from) when one typically does not spend much time outside during the winter months?

  • January 2, 2015, 1:52 pm

    I receive your emails along with other good intentions. My question remains on the insulation of plumbing for those living in northern Minnesota. Our temperatures can get mighty cold during the winter. If I was to build a tiny house, how can one do so without the fear of your pipes freezing. Running water for cooking and a shower would be needed. I will have a composting toilet of some sorts. Mobility throughout the summer and early fall would be nice. Any ideas?

  • John
    January 2, 2015, 2:16 pm

    I’m 6′ 5″.

  • Mike
    January 2, 2015, 3:07 pm

    Money and finding the right small home to build. I like the way a small home utilizes all the space. I am a family of three with a 2 year old daughter. May be an addition in the future. I also like the fact of being self contained. Happy New year. Think of all the new tiny homes that will be built this year.

  • Marlene Boychak
    January 2, 2015, 3:15 pm

    My challenges for downsizing in 2015:
    Process of downsizing, cataloging, selling, donating our stuff.
    Where to locate a tiny house.
    Where to buy land without restrictions.
    What size tiny house, small cabin, or house would fit my family.
    What type ( container, stick built, prefab ) of tiny house is best.
    Selling my house in a slow market.
    Any help would be appreciated. I am so overwhelmed.
    Thanks

  • Teresa Taylor
    January 2, 2015, 3:15 pm

    I am going to be getting divorced in the near future & have been a stay at home mom homeschooling my teenage son, have two large dogs & 3 hethan cats. I want a tiny home but not one of the teeny tiny ones. I love the idea of the lofts because that leaves more living space below & will need stairs rather than a ladder since I have medical chronic pain illnesses & getting too dang old to be climbing a ladder. I’d either want storage stairs whether drawers, cubicles, closet space behind the steps unless I can find spiral stairs compatible with a tiny house space. I’ve seen on Tiny House Nation where they made the kitchen island with pet crate in one which I will need something like that since I have to crate my cats when I am not home to keep them from tearing the house down unsupervised. I’m like a child in a candy store looking at all the ideas & they all run together. I have an idea what I want for certain but any ideas not only on design but what I can get for a price without a mortgage to worry about while starting out. I am all for off the grid ideas as well which saves on energy costs…solar, compost toilet, rainwater, etc.