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Family Turns 16×52 Shed into Mortgage-free Tiny Home

This is the story of a family who turned a 16×52 shed into their very own affordable and mortgage-free tiny home on a foundation.

We bought this 16×52 premier portable buildings about one year ago and have been finishing it out since. We chose to increase the standard height as well as extend the loft across the whole building.

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Family Turns Shed into DIY Mortgage-free Tiny House

Family Turns Shed into DIY Mortgage-free Tiny House

Photos via The Happy Hermit/YouTube

Inside the 52-ft. barn-shed turned cabin.

Family Turns Shed into DIY Mortgage-free Tiny House

Exposed rafters, plenty of space for everything.

Family Turns Shed into DIY Mortgage-free Tiny House

This is quite a bit larger than a tiny house, is very affordable to build, and you can enjoy many of the benefits of tiny living in a larger structure with more space. You just need to have the land.

Family Turns Shed into DIY Mortgage-free Tiny House

Full size bedroom with enough space for a desk.

Family Turns Shed into DIY Mortgage-free Tiny House

Photos via The Happy Hermit/YouTube

VIDEO: Shed to Off-Grid Mortgage-Free Tiny House Tour

VIDEO: New Kitchen and Other Updates

Learn More

YouTube Channel | Video 1 | Video 2

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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!
{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Kurt
    December 17, 2018, 3:11 am

    Interesting; I really like the wood plank walls, ceiling, and floors.

  • L. Jory
    February 26, 2019, 5:39 pm

    At 832 sq. ft. , hardly a tiny house; small maybe but tiny, no!

    • Eric
      March 1, 2019, 11:35 pm

      But…………. @ 2 floors they have 1660 odd square feet. I’d put that OUT of the small home category. Blimey, when I was a kid (don’t ask how long ago) we lived in a 1130 sq ft house, albeit with 1 bedroom underneath, access via trapdoor and very steep stairs, which was about 144 sq ft extra. But original house was about the norm for a standard house size. So even less space than this house. Oh, and we had 5 people living there at the time, and one sibling who came back home for a few months so 6 people.

      • Stuart
        March 3, 2019, 10:30 am

        The second floor does not technically count because you cannot stand up there. It’s kind of like finished attic/crawl space that can be used for sleeping but in this case is most likely just used for storage like many attics. So I think it’s still safe to say it’s ~832 sq. ft. and still a small house…

        Not to mention how low the ceilings are on the first level compared to most traditional homes. This is a barn/shed conversion! I think it definitely belongs here. And if it was custom build, you could build up a bit higher to add that feeling of spaciousness then it would really feel huge inside.

        This place wouldn’t feel very big when you’re in it. Just take a second look at the ceilings in comparison to the windows. This is a very small house.

        • James D.
          October 17, 2020, 12:16 am

          Opinions vary but most of us would just find it interesting… Sometimes the actual point of effecting your life for the better gets overlooked but that’s really what it’s all about and not trying to figure out some sure fire way to get it done when that would never work consistently for everyone…

          We are best when we recognize our diversity, individuality, and living our own life to the fullest…

  • Angela
    February 26, 2019, 7:14 pm

    Yes! Even though this guy lives in Canada, and has a family, therefore much that I wouldn’t need, at least it is a tiny home that he lives in, not a Homes& Garden interior, but comfortable, actually, quite a bit bigger that I would need, but such a nice break from Tiny House paradise vacation homes. I like what he has done, and his plans for the future. Thanks for posting something that seems attainable to those of us wishing to do this one day.

  • April
    August 30, 2020, 1:06 pm

    My dream is to live in a tiny house… would 750 sq ft be considered a tiny house?

    • Natalie C. McKee
      August 31, 2020, 3:39 pm

      It really depends on who you ask and how many people live in one. For most people, tiny must be under 400 square feet. But a family of 5 in 750 square feet? Sounds pretty tiny to me!

    • Beckie Shackelford
      March 11, 2021, 10:35 pm

      Most people would probably say no…though I think it’s pretty small. 3 years ago I went from living in a 3400sqft Bigass Lake home, on 3 lots along with the dock and all that STUFF! Now I’m in my “Little/Tiny” 760sqft log cabin on 1 Acre with a small spring fed creek running beside my back porch. I also have a really sweet older mobile home on my property so I will be able to have someone-Eventually-live there to help me as I get older, to Remain In that Little Cabin! Sooo, while most people think My home is Not Tiny, compared to what I had (and had to take care of 😳), I wholeheartedly Disagree. Just enjoy your space, Darlin!

  • Larry Schuller
    October 16, 2020, 5:06 pm

    Applying the “Tiny House Concept” to a larger footprint is something I have been thinking about for a couple years.

    How about this idea I will build if I decide to do it?

    A duplex with 900 square foot studio apartments, ground floor and second floor. The only walls would enclose a utility/laundry room and the bathroom. All water pipes would penetrate the common walls between kitchen, utility room, and bath, so all piping (in case of leaks) would be accessible easily.

    If privacy were desired, sound-deadening floor-to-ceiling curtains would hang from fittings arrayed throughout the structure. In that way the huge studio apartment could be configured to be up to a 3 bedroom apartment if desired.

    Would it meet with condemnation as a violation of the Tiny House ethos or accepted as an interesting variant? I see this shed-home conversion as intriguing, not as a violation.

    • Alex
      October 17, 2020, 10:11 am

      I like it, Larry!

  • Shelly
    March 15, 2021, 12:47 am

    So what do you use to pump the water in your house, and have pressure? And how much Solar panels does it tak To run it?

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