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Last week I got to talk with Marc Hyman who builds custom tiny houses in California. His company’s name is Custom Cabins. Enjoy the interview, ask questions in the comments, and visit his website.


Alex: Can you tell us a little history about yourself and what got you into the world of tiny houses?

Marc: I moved to Santa Barbara from New York City almost 20 years ago. I had gone to law school in New York City, passed the bar and disliked urban living.

I came to California for a friend’s wedding and I was sold on the great outdoors and sunshine. I discovered the amazing back country real estate that was priced very cheaply because there were no utilities in reach.

This was way before the off-the-grid movement but I was always looking for a way to make those remote places livable.

I’m talking 20 acres of high desert or Sierra land for $20,000. I always thought, what a bargain there has to be a way to live there cheaply.

Fast forward 10 years later, I got into real estate as a licensed agent. Prices in Santa Barbara were going through the roof and once again I got to thinking about living in a beautiful place without all of the expensive trimmings.

At the same time, one summer I needed extra space in my house in Santa Barbara where visiting teen age cousins could sleep since all of the bedrooms in the house were full.

So I decided to build my first cabin to house the summer visitors. The structure had to be spacious, affordable, and well designed.

Custom Cabins - Tiny House

Photo credits: Marc Hyman

I learned a lot that year about small house designs and that first cabin got me hooked.

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