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The Weller Tiny House: 115 Sq. Ft. Gabled Cabin

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Today I wanted to show you Jay Shafer’s Weller tiny house design.

It’s a 115 square feet gabled cabin designed to be built on a 7′ x 16′ trailer.

This home embraces classical geometry which Jay and his Four Lights Tiny Houses are famous for.

What I like best about it is the traditional craftsman bungalow style.


This isn’t the most inexpensive tiny home because it’s a quality designer house but it’s still made to be affordable to ordinary folks like you and me who might want a lot of styles to go with their future little house.

Lounging Area


Micro Kitchen

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Another thing I really like that you might also enjoy is the fact that you can use any of Jay’s component furnishings for little houses in this design and any of his other designs.

Up to the Sleeping Loft


Cozy Sleeping Loft with Skylights


Ladders to Sleeping Loft


Quality Door and Hardware


Dickinson Marine Heaters for Tiny Cabins


Weller Tiny House Floor Plan

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The Weller would cost you approximately $18,800 in materials to build yourself if you wanted a completely furnished version of it on a trailer. But remember that this estimate does not include paying labor. If you built it on a foundation instead of a trailer it would cost around $15,300. (Source)

If you only wanted to build the shell on wheels (unfinished) it would cost you around $12,700 in materials. Without a trailer, it would cost around $9,300. (Source)

“The “furnished” house plans include a bathroom of 21” W x 53” L; a great room of 6’ x 6’ (avg.); a  54” x 46” kitchen and a sleeping loft of just 75” W x 96 ”L  x 33” H. Like the Gifford, two skylights over the pillows make the loft feel much bigger. There’s a dining nook and a stainless steel fireplace by Dickinson Marine. A twin-sized bed provides space for a (presumably) single occupant to sleep downstairs. A sleeping loft provides ample sleeping room for 2 guests (not to mention the fold-out sleeping chair in the great room for another one).” (Source)

Learn more about how you can use Jay Shafer’s component tiny house furnishings to complete this home’s interior.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 44 comments… add one }
  • Cahow
    August 19, 2013, 12:22 pm

    The Pluses:
    LOVE the stainless steel details! N.I.C.E.!!!
    Layout is cute and feels open and airy.
    Nice nod to Craftsman-style bungalow.
    Very creative use of hooks and magnets in kitchen. 🙂

    Not even on my BEST days in my youth, could I have navigated those twin FIXED IN PLACE ladders! No hand-holds, no grippy surface on the stair treads…someone must need to be one nimble bunny to clamber up and down those treads. I don’t remember the exact website’s name but it was something like “Sticking it to the Man” and it was an actual preacher who ran the site and was making a tiny house. He fell down his loft stairs onto some furniture below and showed the photos of his injuries on his site. OMG! How this man even has the courage to even attempt that loft ladder again, I don’t know. And honestly, I don’t know if he did attempt it again.

    I normally don’t like to leave negative comments but I can’t think of one person in my life that has the agility to climb those ladders and half of our friends are under 40 years old. I admire and am envious of anyone that nimble.

    • 2BarA
      August 19, 2013, 2:17 pm

      This house is very attractive, as a showpiece. However, in terms of
      practical living, it is cramped. The bathroom is claustrophobic and
      how does one make up the beds each day and change the sheets weekly?
      And those ladders!!! Not for me, thanks.

    • Laura Arnold
      August 19, 2013, 2:25 pm

      I was wondering if those stairs were movable. I figured I would use them as tiny shelves, but would have to put up guards. But then how will I get up there? I guess get another ladder or stairs (if they would fit).

      • Cahow
        August 19, 2013, 8:20 pm

        Laura: Nice thought, using those impossible stairs as shelving. Just running a nice stainless steel rod at the mid-point would keep things from tumbling off.

        We have a loft bedroom in our 3 bedroom condo we rent to students. I bought a wicked cool “ladder” at Home Depot for the tenants to get up and down to the loft. It opens up as stairs with nice grippy treads and a handrail along the side, but folds up lickety-split when they need to. Quite a handy and nice ladder; we also use it to wash our interior windows and ceiling fan blades. It’s called a Step Ladder and if you look online, you can find them in all different heights. Hope that helps you. 😀

        • Laura
          August 19, 2013, 9:00 pm

          Thanks! I will look into that!

    • July 22, 2014, 4:24 pm

      Rock climbers would have no problem. Seeing many of the ‘Ninja Warrior’ Shows, I believe many such athletes could also navigate double ladder stairs with no problem. I would rather have stairs or at least an adjustable ladder.

    • October 2, 2015, 11:57 am

      Bah. Those vertical ladders aren’t so bad! My wife and I did a ladder like this place odes for three years in our tiny house. Saved a tremendous amount of space. I’d not let a ladder like that overshadow the nice craftsmanship and cool design. I rather like the plan!

  • LaMar
    August 19, 2013, 1:34 pm

    Well, I think everyone already knows what I am gong to say- but that won’t stop me lol!

    I think Jay has some wonderful designs but the prices are way out of reach for the average small home builder and most builders are looking for inexpensive easy to build designs that can be modified several ways.

    $10,000 isn’t much if you include a brand new trailer to haul it on and that is the biggest hangup of having one of these homes on wheels.

    For that price I could but an acre of land, build a cabin like mine and install water and a septic system for a permanent home.

    I appreciate what Jay is tryng to do but I just don’t think that is the direction most people are looking for and we need to focus on inexpensive, owner built, easy designs with lots of variability and function and off grid designs.

    That is just my opinion and maybe other people have different ideas!


    • RLK
      August 19, 2013, 3:44 pm

      Yeah LaMar… I’m with you 100%. The idea of permanent mobility is interesting… but it imposes unfortunate limitations in the designs. And they’re not Cheap either. Your ‘Simple Solar Homesteading’ approach seems far superior to me. Also… the ‘$1,400 cottage’ idea seems like a good departure point as well. I really like ‘Habitek’ Bunk House design (but self build) as well. So I’m with Cheap land, that won’t have a hog farm effluent pond, or slaughterhouse, spring up next to it, and is within 3 hours drive of a reasonable sized city… paired with your ‘Simple Solar Homestead’ design seems to make way more sense and only costs only HALF what this deal does ! These ‘Four Lights Houses’ guys (Jay Weller ?) and you should combine forces on a design. THAT would be something…

      • August 19, 2013, 6:54 pm

        Personally, I like the Blog Alex puts out. There is such a variety of ideas for everyone the pick from. Individuals may choose what they like, learn ways to conserve on money, new versus used, hired built or self built, local land price versus cost of mobility, etc. I get emails from sister blogs and fully enjoy learning what is available. Not every post suites my taste and some items are too expensive. Still these blogs help me “Dream” and finds some ways to incorporate a few new items into my lifestyle.

        • Cahow
          August 21, 2013, 7:42 am

          Joyce: Here-Here!, regarding diversity on Alex’s blog!!! To me, it’s Christmas Morning with each one of his blog postings. Most of the traditional-looking tiny homes on wheels I ~yawn~ over but the pods/caravans/conversions of vehicles + odd-kookoo “finds” that people turn into homes…MAJOR bonus!!!!

          I equate Alex’s blogs and pins to be akin to dining at a Swedish smorgasbord: there’s ALWAYS something for someone to dine upon. 😀

    • Cahow
      August 19, 2013, 4:38 pm

      Hey, Lamar. I have the deepest of admiration for how you choose to live your life. I’ve visited your website, seen all your youtube videos, LIKED them, commented upon them, and for YOU and others, it’s a grand idea.

      You wrote, “I appreciate what Jay is tryng to do but I just don’t think that is the direction most people are looking for and we need to focus on inexpensive, owner built, easy designs with lots of variability and function and off grid designs.”

      You’re a smart cookie. You know that there are dedicated websites specifically for Off The Grid lovers, but even within that community, there are so many variables. I belong to an off grid website, to learn from them. I’ve met some wonderful people on there who know who I am and don’t judge me for learning from them, even though I’d never become an off gridder, again. Some use solar, some are tied to electric. Some have 5 gallon buckets for waste and some have a septic. Some have satellite and internet, others go into town to use that service. So you see, even within the off grid community, there are so many choices.

      I personally enjoy Alex’s Shot Gun approach of offering all kinds of alternatives, from micro apartments in Manhattan to 100 sq.ft. wheeled homes in the mountains. I learn from everyone and I’m guessing that quite a few of Alex’s fans learn a lot, too. Whether they design their own home, find inspiration in Laura’s postings, or find a keen place for sale that someone else lovingly created, it’s all good. And I love the comments that people have; I end up taking notes on half of the blog postings Alex creates, just on the comments of others.

      As for myself, if I were single, I’d have someone else build it for me. Why? Because I’m in the trade and a one year project would end up being the Never-Ending Project because of revisions. (LOL) It took a frickin’ year for me to plan the flowers for my wedding (please DO laugh!) because I was doing the designs and got the materials at wholesale, so of course, I had to come up with a bazillion alternatives! Oooo, did I drive myself bonkers! And then, of course, there’s the people who don’t know building skills, have no friends with building skills or their age or a handicap prevents them from building their own tiny home. So, I feel that people like Jay and his ilk provide a service for those folks not as talented nor handy as yourself.

      But, as you wrote, this is just my opinion and I do so adore other people’s different ideas! 😀

      • LaMar
        August 19, 2013, 5:00 pm

        Thanks Cahow and I agree we need lots of variety and examples of tiny homes and some people are not builders but still would like one of these homes.

        I guess I am from a different generation and background and have a hard time believing anyone would spend $60,000 for a tiny house they could build for $10-$20,000.

        I also love seeing new ideas and unique designs. I just wish more of these designs included passive and alternative energy features.


        • Cahow
          August 19, 2013, 8:33 pm

          Well, LaMar, I think you and I are from that same generation of being Proud of Doing It Yourself but sadly, there’s very few Millennials that have that attitude. My eldest daughter, who’s getting her PhD at Uni right now, makes a tidy sum of extra cash by DOING what her flatmate’s and friend’s refuse to do: FIX THINGS! She was in her flat, repairing a broken zipper and hemming up a pair of trousers years ago when her mate asked her, “WHAT are you doing!?” Seriously, the girl hadn’t a clue that zippers, hems, or holes could be repaired by ANYONE other than a tailor! Word spread and now my DD has non-stop business at Uni from both females and males who take their most mundane sewing needs to her. Secretly, she tells me that she “…can’t understand the mentality of these friend’s who would rather toss a pair of jeans then repair them!” She clears over $10,000.00 in her spare time, doing what comes normal to you and I. She’s also been known to wield a handy screwdriver and wrench to repair loose doors and leaky faucets.

          It’s that whole lost generation of people who the Baby Boomer’s gave birth to: hire people to cut the grass, plant the flowers, paint the walls, walk the dog and care for the kids. Hey, they put money into MY pocket and DD’s so, we can’t really knock them, can we? (LOL)

          Who would buy a $60,000.00 tiny house? A person selling a $500,000 house, that’s who. Or, someone who’s living at home, banking all their bucks and then having a turn-key home with zero worries or fears for quite awhile. It’s a point of pride for them to BUY; they look down on doing manual labor as do their friends.

          Off topic: I really like how cozy your own home is, LaMar. And your wicked refrigerator magnet collection. 😉

        • LaMar
          August 19, 2013, 9:00 pm

          I was homeless and jobless when I started my cabin and homestead and most of the people I help are in a bad situation just trying to survive so I guess I am a bit touchy when it comes to tiny houses and house plans being advertised for so much money.

          I can remember being laughed at when I told people I lived in a 14×14 cabin and I was called a few names and now to see people that have plenty of income wanting to live in small houses kind of amuses me.

          I think it is just a fad for those people but there will always be people that need inexpensive houses and off grid designs so that is who I will focus on helping.

          Have a good one Cahow!

        • Cahow
          August 19, 2013, 9:07 pm

          LaMar: My already high opinion of you just jumped a few more points.

          Bless you for your convictions and follow-through, LaMar, and keep fighting the good fight. So many people need your knowledge. I hope you make a ton of money on your book!!!

        • Laura
          August 19, 2013, 9:20 pm

          Whoa now, Cahow! I feel like that is a commentary on my generation and me. And just because I can’t put together a whole house doesn’t mean that I don’t take pride in making things or fixing things myself. I mean I am not a strong guy, obviously, but I have fixed my own leaks and sewed my own hems and holes. In fact, where is UNI? I could use the extra cash! 🙂

          Also, if you hadn’t noticed, the DIY thing has been extremely popular for quite awhile. I would say this generation is bringing back the pride. Part of me would love to do a project like that, but part of me has to be realistic. If I want to have something that doesn’t fall down on me, I can’t do it myself. I may do part of it, but definitely not all by myself. Personally, I like to get a few hours sleep at night. 😉

      • Laura
        August 19, 2013, 9:07 pm

        I agree, I am single and wish but don’t have the building skills or time to take on such a project. But there is always the possibility I could save up for something like this. I must admit that design isn’t my optimum choice but it has a lot of qualities I like. I adore the window seating and hope that if I ever get a tiny house that will be one of the most important aspects. Although I doubt I could fit in that bathroom! Only lengthwise, proabably! 🙂

        Right now I have a tinier kitchen then most of these tiny houses and with a little ingenuity, it has worked out quite well! So, I know I don’t need a lot of space there. And I love the little back room with the bed. I would try to find a little fold up bed so that it can double as a small office.

    • Emme
      August 20, 2013, 8:51 am

      LaMar, the question is, where can you find land for that price where you can legally build a small or tiny house within a decent commute to a good job? I’ve found lots of land I can build on, but not within 30 minutes of a decent job. That is what is stopping me, and based on the comments I have read on many tiny house sites, that is what is stopping lots of people. Also based on many comments I have read, that is why many people choose to build on a trailer, so they can have a home close to their jobs or their families, because it is illegal to build a 14×14 cabin near them.

      • LaMar
        August 20, 2013, 9:05 am

        Yup finding affordable land for small homes with few building codes has always been a problem. I think most of us doing it own our own businesses or have online businesses.

        So if you have to work for someone else a house on wheels parked on someone elses property might be a better option.

        People looking for land should try Colorado, Arkansas, Wyoming and look on Ebay, craigs list, web land auctions and try the tax sales.

        I am not against houses on wheels (I have several designs) and I just want to see them made more affordable and sustainable with alternative energy and easier to build for DIY and more adaptable so they can be a permanent home if wanted.


      • Cahow
        August 20, 2013, 10:28 am

        Emme: I think the “30 minute” or 30 miles one way desire on your part is what’s killing your dream. We live in rural Michigan and commute to Chicago for our company, a 90 mile one-way trip. From Chicago, going toward Michigan, at the 30 mile mark you’re in HIGH SUBURBAN COUNTRY and it’s not until the 60 mile mark (or 3/4 hour travel time) that you begin to hit farm country. Then, as soon as you pass farm country, you then begin to hit the Uber-Pricey resort towns of Indiana and Michigan that cater to mega-wealth and weekenders heading to Lake Michigan.

        So, if you’re looking for a very nice paying job and not just an entry level Subway/Walmart/McDonald’s job, those are pretty much located in large urban/suburban areas with nary a trailer park nor open land around. I don’t begin to pass trailer parks on my way to Michigan until the 45-50 mile mark and they are NOT someplace that any decent person would want to live! Sadly, these are the trailer parks that give trailer parks their bad rap.

        Tying into LaMar’s suggestion, if you knew someone who lived in the suburbs that had a very large lot (1 acre or more), you might be able to contract with them that you offer a service (lawn care?) in exchange for parking your mobile tiny house in their back yard. But….be aware that if they have neighbor’s that don’t cotton to this idea, you can be snitched on and that ends your stay. This happened to our neighbor in Michigan. He has two acres and had two small mobile homes on his property that he was renting out to single ladies. His neighbor got wind of it and turned him into the sheriff for “suspicious behaviour, unreported income, and running a ‘commercial space’ in a non-commercial area.” Now, I don’t know WHAT was going on back there and I’m not going to spread rumours, but the ladies left and now the trailers sit empty.

        • Emme
          August 20, 2013, 10:09 pm

          Cahow, interestingly as a social worker I actually make more money working in a rural/small town area than I do in a city, because the need is so great. There is no way you will get me near a big city! I love the prairie. Still, in all the rural areas I have looked at there are still county building codes prohibiting a tiny house.

          I cannot imagine a commute like yours. I’ve commuted before up to an hour each way, because I knew it was just for a year, but it was still hard. I figure the more time I spend commuting the less time I have with my family or to actually live my life, so I am a stickler.

          Also, as a social worker if I were cited for living in an illegal situation I could lose my license. I love working with the seniors I serve, helping them to stay living in their homes as opposed to a nursing home. To risk never being able to be a social worker again is not worth it, in my opinion. So I will probably end up with a 600 square foot house. I don’t see it as “killing my dream” so much as a willing compromise in order to be able to serve and better my community. I’m always on the lookout though…..I spend too much time I think looking…….

        • Cahow
          August 21, 2013, 7:53 am

          Emme: I REALLY enjoyed reading about you and your life. Thanks so much for sharing and also best of luck in finding that little slice of Heaven in the Country! That’s fantastic that you don’t have to be submerged in the urban lifestyle to have a great paying job!

          Just a sidenote: I don’t know your age or physical ability but I do know several personal friends who are desperate to have an able-bodied person help them maintain their property. You might want to place an ad in Craigslist or a rural paper where you trade your time/labor for space for a tiny home. My friends are good and honest people and I know they’d jump at the chance to have someone help them; they are on the verge of selling their properties because their body no longer allows physical labor.

  • alice h
    August 19, 2013, 3:49 pm

    The biggest problem I see with longer term living in these very cute houses is that a narrow end door limits your floor plan and you waste already limited trailer length on less useful unenclosed space. A side entry might limit your porch options but it gives you more possibilities for open space and storage inside. With two ends for built-ins that leaves more space for a central open volume that even if not functionally part of the other spaces contributes visually to a more spacious feeling. Lining the built-ins on either long side makes a more of a hallway with tiny “rooms”. You already have limited space, why break it up into small chunks that close off your space? A ground floor sleeping area is nice but can be handled in other ways than attempting to make a shrunken version of a larger house plan just for the sake of a separate bedroom. If you make a built-in cupboard bed along one end wall you end up with about the same amount of bed space but it can be used for sitting during the day rather than be a permanently closed off area. Couples might prefer the separate sleeping area so one can stay up later or whatever but a cupboard bed can be closed up too.

    It all comes down to individual preference so I’m sure lots of people prefer the cute little end porches. I like sitting out on the porch a lot, but there are other solutions for a small covered outdoor sitting space. So, overall, I love the look but the layout doesn’t work for me.

    As far as price goes, definitely out of my range but probably reasonable for others.

    I love the look of these tiny houses but the functionality is more important to me. A little sitting area and next to the door is less useful than a full length built-in couch across the entire end wall that you can also use as a bed.

    • LaMar
      August 19, 2013, 9:13 pm

      I agree Alice and putting a door in the end reduces useable space. I have tried several designs and I always come back to functionality over style to maximize space and that means put the door in the side. There is a reason RV builders have come to that same conclusion.

      You can always attach a temporary porch to the side of the house when you get where you are going.


      • di
        September 19, 2013, 10:06 am

        LaMar, you always seems to have the best answers when it comes to logic and common sense. Always glad to read your posts!

  • Charlie
    August 19, 2013, 6:09 pm

    I’m an old fart but I like it because I can sleep down stairs and leave the loft for grandchildren. As far as the money goes, I already have the land so it seems a much cheaper version can be built on a foundation using plywood or particle board etc. As much as I love the way Jay’s houses look with the quality finishes, it seems you could do this on the cheap by going to Craig’s list for windows and even the kitchen sink. Abandoned barns could also be a source for timber and siding with the owner’s permission of course. Since the house will be stationary, sheetrock will suffice for ceilings and walls if necessary and a roll out floors look pretty good these days. I recently saw a floor I swore was unfinished wood, but it was a roll out floor from Lowe’s or Home Depot and it even had texture. I had to get down on my hands and knees to verify that it wasn’t real.
    If I was going to build it stationary, I would change the floor plan by adding porches to both long sides along with a front and back door greatly increasing the livable space during part of the year any way. 115 is awfully small for a man and his mastiff after all.

    • LaMar
      August 19, 2013, 9:17 pm

      Hi Charlie, if you have an old camper you can recycle all your cabin furnishings from that. I got my sink, water tank and pump, cabinets, shower base, wiring, plumbing, lights, furnace and OD water heater for my cabin for free from my old camper and they are the perfect size for a small cabin.

      I have two big dogs that sleep inside in winter. I keep the lower floor cooler for them and I sleep in the loft but my loft is full size so I can stand up in it.


      • di
        September 19, 2013, 10:09 am

        That’s a great solution!

  • libertymen
    August 19, 2013, 8:35 pm

    Frankly 18K for a place this small is a bit too much.?
    seriously.What are you trying to accomplish here?
    mobile living?
    Cheap living?
    trailer living?
    Eco living?
    i dont think it accomplishes any of these,
    Mobile homes are cheaper.
    campers are cheaper and move.
    Its not really green.Takes a big truck to move it.
    Its just a gimmick to sell overpriced mini homes.

    • Cahow
      August 19, 2013, 9:04 pm

      This is a neutral statement. Many are commenting on the perceived high cost of $18,000. or $180/sq.ft.

      Do any of you subscribe to Tiny House Listings? I’ve seen tiny houses with NO LAND listed at this price all the way up to $33,000.00 for less than 200 sq.ft.!!!! The most expensive tiny house listed was selling for $33,000 for 89 sq.ft. or $371/sf. Now THAT’S expensive! LOL

      I’m merely mentioning this because on Tiny House Listings, it seems the sky’s the limit with pricing tiny homes.

      • Laura
        August 19, 2013, 9:31 pm

        Oh yes! I have seen the prices on tiny house listings! People are just taking advantage of the whole tiny house movement. It is pretty disgusting. Some of the houses are too!

        In the end, I will probably have to hire a friend, if I want to get my house made. Luckily, I have a lot that are builders! It might help that my dad was an architect too. Hmmmm….

      • Janis
        September 16, 2013, 4:44 pm

        The big problem is MOST of us will not pay those prices to have our little home built. As a 66 yr old woman, single, retired, I will find someone to do the basics for me and then I am going to paint, ceil, and do the interior myself just to not have to pay the prices being asked. I realize it takes a lot of time to build these but like it has already been said, because of the new idea, the way this has bloomed, some builders are just taking advantage of the market.

        I live on my retirement and I have to do what I have to do before I am homeless.

        Best wishes always.

    • LaMar
      August 19, 2013, 9:24 pm

      Ok here is what I think is happening.

      These homes can be built for a whole lot less even using very good materials than stated but if you tell people a house only costs $5-$10,000 to build they think it is too cheap and won’t last and they expect a house to at least cost as much as a new car.

      So some designers are intentionally inflating the price to interest people with more money and trying to make them look like luxury purchases.

      Get a material list for the shell and I will bet most of these homes come in under $3000 not including the trailer and that is how much I base my cabin designs on for materials and then if you want to put more money into finish work and better appliances you can.

      Just my opinion!


      • Laura
        August 19, 2013, 9:47 pm

        Lamar, I can understand how these houses could irritate you. I find the prices quite steep for what they are, but then the builders and designers have to make money some how. Truth is there is some greed involved. But one of the reasons, I like the whole tiny house movement is because it provides opportunities and inspirations to provide affordable housing for the poor and hopefully housing for the homeless. I have seen some great videos on youtube on utilizing things like recycled pallets and shipping containers. It is quite amazing.

      • Cahow
        August 20, 2013, 10:14 am

        LaMar: I feel that you’re bang on in great part, regarding bumping the price ^UP^ to reflect quality. Now, not in ALL cases, but in many cases I believe it to be true, too. When I read buzz words in adverts like “…join the Tiny House 1) craze; 2)wave; 3) mania; 4) hot trend…” that signals to me a marketing scam that is focused on people with BIG bucks who want a little hidey-hole to call their own.

        On your theme of “justifying the cost”, this is a true story, told to me by my husband who was a camera buyer for Montgomery Ward at that time. Back in the late 60’s and ’70’s, when film cameras were pouring out of Asia, the cameras wouldn’t sell compared to American cameras. Often superiour to American cameras, what focus study groups found out is that the ASIAN cameras had a lighter weight, compared to the American counterparts. All the Asian companies like Nikon had to do was add “false weight” to their products and !BINGO!, they began selling like flapjacks! The stupid customers equated ‘Weight=Quality’ and that’s that.

        So, you’re bang on when you stated that ‘Price=Quality’ and a sucker is born every moment. I look at it this way: Better THEIR money than MINE! (LOL)

        • LaMar
          August 20, 2013, 10:41 am

          I have seen this develop over time and when I started designing it was mostly for people without a lot of money and showing them how to reduce costs because that market was under-served and after the economy collapsed there was a huge interest in small affordable homes and homesteading and the survivalist movement was booming.

          Now I see a new trend that is younger people, single and divorced and no children couples and retired people that have money but they don’t want to or can’t buy a big house because of bad credit or fear of another collapse and you have more interest in climate change and being more responsible for your green living and carbon footprint.

          This is a new emerging market for small home designers and is a niche to be filled and they will expect high quality and more expensive small home designs and plans.

          That is why I think we need to include more alternative energy into our small home designs as that is a perfect combination and that will also encourage more rural off grid homesteading as well as urban small housing units.

          We are seeing some big name designers now trying their hand at small home design with some interesting results but I still think you need to live in a small home to understand how people use that space.

          So we need designers to fill all those niches and designing small houses will probably never be a big money maker but it certainly is fun and helps people.

          I was just contacted by a Parliament member from Tasmania Australia that is looking for small alternative energy homes for their booming tourist trade so word is getting out and demand is there and I think it will increase as more people see the economic value and green value of small home living.

          Now we just need to get states to change property codes so we can more places to allow small permanent and houses on wheels.


        • Cahow
          August 20, 2013, 11:47 am

          LaMar wrote: “Now I see a new trend that is younger people, single and divorced and no children couples and retired people that have money but they don’t want to or can’t buy a big house because of bad credit or fear of another collapse and you have more interest in climate change and being more responsible for your green living and carbon footprint.”

          I agree with you, 100%. In fact, many of Alex’s Tiny House Pins (once you follow SOURCE) lead you to some amazing Tiny House communities springing up along the Eastern Seaboard. Yes, they are pricey ($250K to $500K) but they are 1) Green and 2) Establish a reawakening of Community with sidewalks, front porches and Community Centres.

          Now, realize this: the folks that are buying these homes are very wealthy 401K folks…my clients. They are selling $1M to $10M dollar homes so the price point I listed is chump change to them. They want to downsize yet still be in the hub of the art/social/golfing community.

          But, every little bit helps, right? Going Green is GOOD and reducing your carbon footprint is GOOD and employing many people in the construction trade is VERY, VERY GOOD! So, I don’t fault them for what they are choosing to do in downsizing.

          What I wish heartedly, LaMar, is that all these massive abandoned lots in Chicago, Detroit and other highly urban centres could be rezoned to allow a wonderful and thriving tiny house community with price points that are less than $50K. Have a healthy grocery store, allow “victory gardens” to resurge, sidewalks, community centre, library….sounds like Heaven, to my ears. <3

  • LaMar
    August 19, 2013, 9:47 pm

    After a little research I found that Dickinson propane furnace designed for boats. Good looking unit but they want $800-$1000 for one and they are only 700-10,000 BTU.

    For about $200 you can get a blue flame propane furnace that is 99.8% efficient and will save you a lot on the expenses.

    Procom and Mr. Heater are both good brands and you can find them on Amazon.


    • Emme
      August 20, 2013, 10:13 pm

      Thanks for the resource. I plan to be off grid whenever I eventually build, and I never really liked the price of those Dickinson stoves.

  • dave
    August 21, 2013, 7:00 pm

    Tiny houses are expensive for multiple reasons. It doesn’t cost a lot to add interior square footage to a house, the cost is in the walls and roof. That seems obvious once you thing about it. Plus, paying anyone to build something for you is going to double or triple your cost. Most people interested in tiny homes lack the building skills to actually build one. Not that you need a whole lot of skills, and those skills can be easily acquired.

    Trailers are always going to be cheaper, especially used ones, and have essentially the same square footage, but…are trailers, with all the inherent downsides, such as: shoddy materials, heating up like a metal box cause it is a metal box,etc etc. Tiny homes will always be more beautiful, cause they are HOMES, especially Jay Shaffer’s, cause he is…a designer, not just a “this is a 120 sq ft box now live in it” kinda guy.

    There is no perfect solution, although LaMar comes close. If you can find someplace it is legal to build a set up like his I’d say that’s the best option out there. Problem is that living like LaMar is going to be increasingly hard in the future, Uncle Sam and his cousin local government don’t make any tax money off of tiny home dwellers, and now they can use Google Earth to troll their areas for “illegal dwellings”. This will force many people to look at the van dwelling, full time rv lifestyle as another option to break free from modern societies death grip.

  • Pam Demas
    July 22, 2014, 1:54 pm

    I have been reading comments from this website for several months now and love it. At 66 I want to down size but only to about 800 sqft. My husband would not agree to smaller. Our problem is we are trapped in a mortgage that we may not be able to break even due to the economy going south not long after we purchased it and it has turned in to a money pit that has to be repaired before it can be sold. Also with housing mess in the last few years, bank no longer are willing to sell you land unless you put down a large amount of money and have no other debt. The lending laws are much stricter than they were 5 years ago. I am still hoping to have 4-5 acres with a small house, garden, chickens, etc. Keep your ideas coming, they are very helpful.

  • Glema
    October 2, 2015, 9:49 pm

    Use fitted sheets 🙂 They come in gorgeous colors now and when a blanket and comforter is put together one can roll it up to your chin while in bed, place it over your head behind you, then roll it out as you move out of the loft! TADA!!! hehehehe bed’s made hahaha! Nice job Jay. I like the ladder with hand rails that fold down against the ladder itself when not in use and one can either put it on the ceiling or against the wall behind a chair or whatever is convenient. God bless and happy trails! Seek solutions and things will come to mind 😉

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