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Rich Daniels, of Rich’s Portable Cabins in North Powder, Oregon is here to share some wisdom regarding tiny house building standards and safety issues. Since I think his concerns are valid and very important for the future of tiny homes I’m sharing it with you below. Please pass it on.

Wanted to just take a moment to show my appreciation for the Tiny House forum you have created and add a note of concern that I have. I truly enjoy seeing all of the Tiny living spaces that people create for themselves, it is great to see the marriage of art and ingenuity. My concern has been and continues to be our transition as a community into mainstream living.  Fighting the decades long belief that bigger is better and trying to have city, counties and states recognize us as a viable legal living option.  Those who build Tiny Homes for resale should be vehemently aware of this situation and there is where my concern begins.  Although many of the designs I have been seeing lately on your medium are brilliant in many ways, some if not all are lacking the safety features that all manufactures must conform to.
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Below you can see one of Rich’s tiny houses on wheels built to standards inside:


Images © Rich’s Portable Cabins

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In this post, I get to show you the basics of how to build a tiny house on wheels.

The Brevard Tiny House Company is working on their second project called Robins Nest.

This is a tiny home on a trailer with a deck built right over the tongue of the trailer (a feature that I really like).

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Ever Wonder How a Tiny House Is Built?

It all begins with design. In this case, the team at Brevard Tiny House Company develops a scale model to work with their clients and better meet their needs.

Robins Nest Tiny House Model

All Images © BrevardTinyHouse.com

If you ever wonder how these tiny houses are built from the trailer to the framing then you’ll enjoy getting to see it all come to life below:
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If you’ve been wondering how much does it cost to build a tiny house you’re in the right place.

Designing and building your own tiny house is a great way to create a mortgage-free lifestyle fast.

So it’s no wonder that you’d be interested… But the question is, “how much?”

And since I receive lots of questions every day on tiny housing via email, Facebook and Twitter…

I decided I’d start answering them in public so we can all benefit.

And to encourage discussion (and connections) in the comments below.

Question: So How Much Does it Cost to Build a Tiny House?

Whimsical Caravan Tiny House by Rogue Valley Tiny Home Construction 0023

Image © Rogue Valley Tiny Homes (See The Rest Here)

Received from Courtney S. on our Facebook (thanks for the question Courtney!):

“Hi, I’m interested in building a tiny house and I was wondering about pricing? Thanks!”

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In this post you’re going to learn how to design and build your own version of a tiny house to scale.

This is a great way to play around with different ideas you might have before you actually start spending lots of money building your home.

It allows you to work out kinks and try out different concepts after you’ve gathered ideas for your future tiny house before you ever buy any of your materials.

And one of our readers, Dan Paquette, is going to show you exactly how to do it step by step in the video below.

How to Build your own Scaled 3D Tiny House Design (VIDEO)


What you’ll need before you start:

  • 4 1/4 inch styrofoam sheets
  • Marker & pencil
  • Tape measurer

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In last week’s article on passive solar design for tiny houses I briefly mentioned advanced framing and SIPs—two alternatives to conventional 2×4 stud framing.

Well, it turns out there are a lot of alternative framing systems out there. Why would you use one of them to build your tiny house?

In a lot of ways, conventional 2×4 stud framing is pretty awesome. This technology makes it possible to build houses quickly and cheaply. It’s flexible and can be used to create a wide variety of structures, including tiny houses. And it’s based on a standardized set of dimensions with which most other building products are compatible.

But conventional framing has some weaknesses, and the main one is that it’s not terribly easy to seal and insulate well, so it’s not very energy-efficient. That’s one of the five big factors we’d look for in an ideal framing system for a tiny house:

5 Factors for Framing Tiny Houses

  1. Insulation. Does it provide good thermal insulation and few air leaks?
  2. Strength. Can it stands up to the rigors of transportation, high winds, etc.?
  3. Weight. Is it relatively lightweight? (Sorry, concrete, you’re out!)
  4. Cost. Is the additional cost (if any) justified by the benefits?
  5. Ease of construction. Can it be built quickly, and is professional installation required?

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UPDATE: I recently added a newer video tour of when Dan held his open house. Check it out right here.

This Monday I drove up to visit Dan over at his Dad’s where he is building his second tiny house on a trailer.

This time he created a new set of plans that he’s using for the home and you’ll see how awesome it’s turning out in the video we created while I was there.

Fun with sugar sand

When I got there I was greeted by a friendly dirt road and I thought “oh no problem”.

But a few blocks down it got worse.

This is what I was facing

Again… I had gone too far. So I turned around and you’ll have to watch the video to see what happened next.

Driving down a dirt road

The little house on a trailer

I was really impressed with the house and how fast they have been putting it together. Currently, they’re waiting on windows so that’s what’s holding them back.

Here’s a shot of the progress while I was there on Monday.

Dan's Tiny House on a Trailer Project Part 2

Video length: 12:11


If you enjoyed this video post do me a quick favor by leaving a comment and sharing it with your buddies.

See you next time!



Have you ever thought of building your own tiny log cabin in the woods?

When I found this guy’s videos on Youtube I was pretty excited. He has built at least two really small log houses in the woods using materials within 100 feet of the construction sites all by himself. Imagine doing all the notching yourself along with shingling your own roof with materials you found. That’s what this guy did with the help of some power tools. He even made his own flooring which you’ll see in a minute (if you can stream videos). Both projects were done as a one man show, that’s part of the reason both houses are so tiny.

Don’t miss other awesome stories like this – join our FREE Tiny House Newsletter for more!

How to Build Your own Tiny Log Cabin

Tiny Log Cabin in the Woods

The first cabin project was more of an experiment which took a total of 100 hours of labor. This one used 5 fir trees, some saplings, a bag of screws, mortar, concrete blocks, thick poly, and a zinc strip for the roof.

It sits on 4 big rocks for a foundation and the floor is made out of dirt. He used a half notch for its simplicity using a hand saw, an axe, and a mallet. Here, check out the progress in the video below…

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If you were to start building your own tiny house right now, which of Tumbleweed’s designs would you pick?

The reason I’m asking is that I just talked to Steve from Tumbleweed Tiny Houses and he graciously asked me if I’d like to be apart of the Orlando, Florida Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop and of course I said yes!

I am even more excited than I was the other day when I found out that I was featured on the Sunday cover of the Real Estate section on the News-Press where Jay Shafer, Kent Griswold, and Gregory Johnson were mentioned. How cool is that?

Tiny House Talk in the News-Press

That’s our awesome little dog, Louie, in our apartment that we just moved into. It’s a 600 square foot place (we went up from 500) and it was a relatively easy move because we just had to go downstairs (same apartment building). I’ll tell you all about it later if you care to know.

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Do you think you can build a tiny house? This 15 year old kid is doing it right now.

His name is Austin Hay and he’s actually 16 now and a sophomore in high school (but still!).

He started building a Tumbleweed Fencl tiny house because he wanted to downsize, be good to the environment, and to make a financially smart decision.

On his web site he says, “I have started to build a tumbleweed house to show adults and peers that one person can help the big picture. I think its important that we keep this one world we have healthy.”

If Austin is doing it, you can do it too. With a little motivation (think about living pretty much mortgage free) and some leg work: building plans, construction site, and a place to park it when finished.

You could be well on your way too. What’s stopping you? Tell us about it in the comments below. You don’t have to register, just click here to go to the comments.

15 Year Old Building a Tiny House

Photo Credit Austin Hay, Visit his web site by clicking here.