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SHEDsistence: The Finished Product A Year in Review

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This is the SHEDsistence Tiny House. We’ve featured this great build in the past (and even named it one of our favorites of 2016!), but it turns out there are now new, even better images of the home that we get to share with you.

The 204 sq. ft. tiny was the DIY brainchild of Robert and Samantha, an architect and nurse who spent 14 months and $30,000 designing and building their very own tiny home. They’ve now lived in it for a whole year and wrote a fantastic post about their first 365 days of tiny home living. It’s well worth a read!

SHEDsistence: The Finished Product A Year in Review

Images via SHEDsistence

Images via SHEDsistence

Video: SHEDsistence Tiny House


100% D.I.Y. design and built tiny house. Built pay check to pay check on weekends over 14 months.
$30,000.00 in materials, $0.00 in labor.
24’-0” long, 8’-6” wide, 13’-5” tall and 9,930 lbs.
204 square feet overall footprint. 180 sf of living space and 24 sf of gear storage space.
2×3 advanced framed structure with continuous exterior insulation resulting in a wall assembly that weighs less and performs better thermally.
Our biggest suggestion for someone thinking about building their own tiny house would be to budget in a proper amount of time for research, learning the next task, ordering and acquiring materials. For every hour we spent on the project site building, we spent around 30 minutes at home do all of the other aforementioned tasks that are not building.

From Samantha and Robert:

Ultimately, we wanted the aesthetic of our home to represent the lifestyle it afforded: simplicity. We were drawn to the nickname ‘SHED’ because it spoke to the simple form and a utilitarian design that we sought (noun) while simultaneously speaking to the process of downsizing and simplifying (verb).

Our design was guided by some simple parameters of necessity and function that would then let the form emerge intuitively. In order to avoid any special permitting requirements when transporting our home we chose to design within the maximum dimensions of 8’-6” wide and 13’-6” tall. This first set of constraints provided us with an empty volume to which we prioritized and represented our needs in relation to the space we had available. Both the amount of actual space required as well as the amount of time spent in each space played a role in deciding how much space these tasks needed.

Placing the loft over the kitchen made sense based on similar square footage’s and that decision resulted in the highest point of our tiny home. Spaces like the bathroom and storage areas did not require high ceilings and so a single line drawn from the high point of the loft down to the lower ceiling of the bathroom becomes a longitudinal shed roof that removes the unnecessary weight and construction costs, associated with this 270+ cubic feet of unneeded volume. Additionally, the form that emerges becomes much more aerodynamic during transportation. The final tweak to the roof line comes from the need to increase the height of the entry point into the loft leaving us with this modified SHED.

We employed some unique construction techniques including the use of 2×3 framing with continuous exterior insulation that results in a lighter wall with superior thermal performance. There are some great moments in our project that incorporate reclaimed materials like our wedge entry alcove and corrugated metal siding that spent over 50 years as a barn roof in its previous life. You may be surprised to hear that our design gives up 24 square feet (of our 204 sf total) for a special, externally accessible “gear room” to hold all of our outdoor gear, which we consider essential tools to our health and happiness.


Our big thanks to Robert and Samantha for sharing!

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Richard H Chapple Sr
    February 6, 2017, 1:38 pm

    No wonder this was voted among the best in 2016. An amazing inspiring job so very well thought out, and 97% completed as you say.
    superb use of space, wonderful open concept, so very well written information. WOW!!
    Thank you both so much for the effort in sharing your story.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 7, 2017, 7:33 am

      They did an awesome job!

  • Claude
    February 6, 2017, 3:05 pm

    Very nice job, all D.I.Y fantastic. This is the best shape to my taste, for loft headroom and ease of construction. Well done!

  • Rick C
    February 6, 2017, 5:47 pm

    $30,000 in materials and they did all the work themselves, which I’m sure took a long time.

    Sure beats spending $80K.

    I like the idea of the little table shown in a couple of pictures–in one, he’s using it for a laptop.

    Seems like a really small amount of workspace, though, which is very common in THOWs (and RVs, too), unfortunately.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 7, 2017, 7:01 am

      Yes in the video they named “him” hehe. You could also work at the kitchen table, which is what I currently do in my tiny space 🙂 Which means we usually eat on the couch haha.

  • Yvette Staggs
    February 6, 2017, 10:19 pm

    Do you have tiny houses in VA, I was thinking about getting one

  • Susanne
    February 6, 2017, 11:02 pm

    Wow! An amazing TH , and fantastic adventures y’all having! Great details, after living for one year-we need to hear that type of info more often…:) OMG adventure photos are fantastic! If we all only did that in our younger days, especially BC…..!!! ( before children!!!)

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 7, 2017, 6:54 am

      Yes it’s so awesome what they did and are continuing to do 🙂

    February 7, 2017, 7:14 am

    From what I am seeing, and from what I understand, the price to this THOW to be, I would say great Job….! Yea great job bringing it in at only under $30,000.00 USD, I think that is just fantastic….! And another example to us all that we need not spend such exuberant prices for a tiny house at all….!

    • sc
      February 8, 2017, 2:57 am

      you would double the materials price for labor if you had it done. so up to 60k to have it built. So folks can’t build their own house.
      A really nicely done house.

      • Natalie C. McKee
        February 8, 2017, 6:32 am

        Yea labor is certainly expensive!

      • sc
        February 8, 2017, 1:03 pm

        I meant to say SOME folks can’t build their own house.

  • Cyndi ann
    February 7, 2017, 2:25 pm

    Really neat, so much storage, and stairs are great. I like the lay-out and seems spacious, like this one.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 8, 2017, 6:51 am

      Me too 🙂

    February 9, 2017, 7:58 pm


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