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What’s the Value of a Tiny House Workshop?

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A few different companies offer tiny house workshops to teach people how to design and build their own tiny homes and find freedom from debt, freedom from stuff, and freedom to roam. But as the free and online resources for tiny houses get better and better, what’s the “value” in taking a tiny house workshop?

Dee Williams has been teaching tiny house workshops for years, and her company PAD Tiny Houses recently contacted former participants who have gone on to build tiny homes on wheels so they can understand how workshops help people when they’ve really gotten going building. They received a letter from Kate Goodnight, a former workshop participant who’s now partway through building her “Naj Haus” tiny home on wheels in Hood River, Oregon reflecting on her experience:

“Building a tiny house is no small endeavor. Houses don’t just miraculously stand on their own. They need to be framed just so and be protected from the elements. They need to breathe and stay warm. They need to be wired and plumbed safely. Stick them on wheels and you have a whole new set of complications to keep your house from shooting off the trailer, bits flying willy-nilly in a trail of destruction down the road. To be able to pull off building a tiny house, you need a lot of experience to draw on. If, like me, you don’t have it yourself, you need to find it elsewhere…

Photos from recent PAD Tiny House Workshops:

Dee Williams tiny house workshops

Dee Williams showing off a partially constructed tiny house at a PAD Workshop. Photo: Chris Tack

Dee Williams Tiny House Workshop

Dee Williams walking through a sample layout of her tiny house, drawn on a bedsheet. Photo: Chris Tack

While there’s a ton of information online, the workshop was what I needed to understand how to safely secure the house to the trailer, how to build a rainscreen wall, and frame the house properly. Learning about the building science behind moisture control and ventilation, and figuring out what is and isn’t important to my lifestyle needs, helped me to come up with creative design solutions like having a separate bathhouse, something I would never have considered before but now seems like a viable option for tiny house living.”

Visit PAD’s blog to read more of Kate’s thoughts on why a tiny house workshop was valuable for her. And check out upcoming tiny house workshops with Dee Williams at PAD Tiny Houses.

What do you think – is a weekend workshop on tiny house building worth it? Are you learning to build a tiny house from youtube videos and free resources, or strategically buying ebooks and DVDs? If you’ve taken a tiny house workshop, did you find it valuable?

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Billy Ulmer

Writer at PAD Tiny Houses
Billy Ulmer is the author of the Life in a Tiny House Ebook, a collection of photos and in-depth interviews with people who designed and built their own tiny homes. He is a co-owner of PADTinyHouses.com.
{ 102 comments… add one }
  • February 12, 2015, 9:27 am

    Having built my tiny house in 2011 as part of my research I attended a Tumbleweed two day work shop. It did not really add much value to my tiny house experience. It appears that PAD is doing a far more hands on experience in their work shops. I believe that is the key, information is good, there is a ton of it out there but what will push you beyond the head knowledge is hands on experience. If I were to attend a work shop today that would be my first criteria, what are we going to build together, show me, help me.

    • Francesca
      February 12, 2015, 12:11 pm

      Thank you for your comment Zboatman. I’m attending a Tumbleweed conference next week and hoping I get a lot of good information from it. The conference is expensive and I would hate to leave not having taken anything away from the experience.

      • Bill
        February 13, 2015, 2:47 pm

        I recently attended D’s seminar. I was disappointed! If you have never seen a hammer before, by all means attend.
        However if your looking for more info than you can get online, you wont get it their.
        Save your $300. or whatever she charges now and do it yourselves. D is a very nice person but the classes could have been taught in about 3 hours. Nothing she taught was carved in stone and I was left with the feeling that I paid handsomely for a bunch of hooey that was tedious and fabricated. I did meet other people in the movement their, that was nice!
        PAD is a good project but overpriced.
        Idea: Run an add in your local paper or on craigs list asking for like minded individuals to gather and swap ideas. You will probably get great results and make new friends along the way. Bill

        • Bill
          February 13, 2015, 2:51 pm

          Was Up? Are you going to edit my comment to suit your taste?
          That’s truth in journalism, Soviet style!

        • Cahow
          February 15, 2015, 3:15 pm

          Hi, Bill,
          If it makes you feel better, I checked your above post with a copy of the one that I received in Email Notifications and 100% of your words are recorded. Just thought that you might want to know that it was not edited. 😀

        • Dee
          February 18, 2015, 11:18 pm

          Bill, Ouch! I don’t think that’s a fair assessment and I would much rather have heard your feedback directly… in the form of a request for a refund or something. This way, I feel blind-sided and curious… which workshop did you attend? I don’t have your name on our register. Please email me directly: [email protected]. I’ll get you a refund. No one should have to pay for something that was less than worthwhile. Cheers. Dee

    • Cahow
      February 15, 2015, 3:36 pm

      I took the time to read all 85 responses before I added THIS one, just to make sure that the information had not been repeated.

      To All of you who desire “Hand’s On Experience”, have any of you checke d out your Home Depot or local building supply store? In Chicago, they offer HAND’S ON/DO IT YOURSELF CLASSES…for FREE!!!!!!

      Yes, you read that correctly, FREE!!! I just got done looking it up online to make sure that I was current and what they are offering right now are the following: How to install tile/bathroom fixtures/faucets & plumbing/basic electrical skills including wiring and switch boxes/drywall installation/kitchen design and cabinets.

      I’m wondering if enough of you in ONE AREA get together at a coffee shop to Meet & Greet and go to your local Home Depot or building supply store with the proposal that they offer FREE classes on building/framing/and the above classes, if they would do so?

      Also, on the Home Depot website, they have active Forums in every possible topic (didn’t see tiny houses but YOU could begin a conversation!). That way, again, you could find like minded people, meet in real life and use your combined dreams and energy to get some local hand’s on classes in your area.

      Just a random thought. Good Luck Everyone! 😀

      • barb
        February 15, 2015, 11:29 pm

        Good points, Cahow. Especially the idea to start a forum conversation.

        • Cahow
          February 16, 2015, 9:55 am

          Thanks, Barb. 😀 It breaks my heart to read so many posts where people scattered around the U.S. are trying to form a community when there’s quite possibly a community right in their own back yard! I know from personal experience when I used to moderate a popular food forum, that you can meet up with people in your area to create new REAL LIFE friendships. There were an inordinate amount of members from S.W. Michigan at this food site, so we picked a Mid-Ground area that suited most of our travel time and would monthly get together. It seems to me that the same thing could be done by starting a Tiny House Topic on a Home Depot forum.

          As I’ve stated over and over again in various threads: Businesses are in business to MAKE MONEY!$!$!$! Your local building supply place or Home Depot/Lowe’s may be completely ignorant of the Tiny House Movement and if educated to the need for Hand’s On Experience, would be only too happy to have FREE seminars with an added incentive of participants receiving a 10% discount coupon for their store. (at least that’s how I’d run it!)

          I know that at my local H.D./Lowe’s, they have a myriad of shed’s for sale and show fully developed models on their acreage out here in the country. If I were running the workshops, I’d charge the sum that I see a lot of poster’s paying ($300-$400 per person) BUT….that would entitle a lucky person to WIN the finished tiny building that the entire group worked on! I know how businesses run and know how much waste they go through, writing it off as business expenses. Even if these classes didn’t fill up, financially, to the cost of one of these sheds, the store could still take the financial loss off on their bottom line, like a spilled container of bleach.

          It just seems like a Win/Win for everyone: the store and their future tiny house clients.

      • Alex
        February 16, 2015, 12:13 pm

        That’s awesome. I didn’t know that. Thanks for sharing!

        • Cahow
          February 16, 2015, 12:44 pm

          Alex, you’re more than welcome! Being that I’m in the construction business, I thought since I hadn’t seen a single mention of this absolutely FREE hand’s on gift that Home Depot provides, that I should mention it considering how many people really seemed to need that experience. They are usually held on the weekends in my area as that’s when most people are “off”.

          I know that the two Home Depot’s that I frequent all the time are more than willing to bring in materials for me that they normally don’t carry as they want my business. Asking the local manager to tie-in classes specific to tiny homes is just another way to bring future customer’s into their store and maintain good business practices. 😀 Glad I could help anyone with that suggestion. 😀

      • Nancy
        July 10, 2015, 12:35 am

        The Home Depot idea is excellent. Lowe’s has a barn with a loft; that I think would be a great shell for a TH or maybe Micro. The idea of winning a shed is also awesome.
        I would also suggest that if you wanted hands on experience; volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. I realize that building a house on wheels is different; but the skills you learn will help with the basics and its free, not to mention you are helping someone.
        Thanks for the suggestions, I will seriously look into it.

  • Lynn Thompson
    February 12, 2015, 10:45 am

    My husband and I have lived in small space for years. We were full time RV’ers . I would include in a workshop, the personal stories of people who do live in tiny spaces. If you need your “space” it may not work, Tiny house living is not for everyone.I would suggest a week in a small tiny house to try the life style first, Also I agree with zboatman, about the show me ,help me build.

  • Trish D.
    February 12, 2015, 10:46 am

    Although I have not attended a tiny house workshop, I definitely will in the future. Seeing the process firsthand, learning about the construction, and other necessary information will give me a better understanding of what is required for a successful build. Being with like minded people and sharing their stories will also give me the inspiration to keep on this path toward tiny house freedom. When we share information, we all learn something valuable. I see it as a plus. Just wish the workshops weren’t all on the West coast.

  • Lisa
    February 12, 2015, 10:49 am

    I agree with need for hands on. Not to the point of having a tiny house completed but partial stuff. ie a single wall with an eletrical box and letting attendees wire a outlet to a switch and turn on a light.
    How to use the tools we would use.

  • Yvonne Bright
    February 12, 2015, 10:50 am

    Like me a lot of people need a more hands on learning experience.

  • Eli
    February 12, 2015, 10:52 am

    These events can be a great networking opportunity for your build. If you’re a capable carpenter and you meet someone at a local event who’s a capable plumber or electrician, maybe you can exchange services. Or, just having other people to bounce ideas off of and mutually learn through the process. Tumbleweed offers an emailing sign-up per event for attendees of the same seminar to keep in touch.

  • Jackie
    February 12, 2015, 10:52 am

    I would absolutely love to go to a tiny house workshop. However, I haven’t seen any for less than $300 (and my husband and I both want to attend one). The point of a tiny house was to save money and $300 (or $600+ for both of us) can buy a lot of tools/material. Granted, the workshop would help save some time, possibly prevent some mistakes, but the cost just doesn’t fit in with the whole idea of our tiny house (being economical and sensible). Maybe you could offer a less expensive option? Like an online seminar or something? Thanks 🙂

    • Lita
      February 14, 2015, 2:34 am

      I agree Jackie. I’ve had them come close to me but the cost is way out of my league being unsure of what I would walk away from it with. I also agree that something online would reach more, cut their costs (accommodations and travel etc), and be more accessible to the masses. I would also love to see a list of ‘reasonable’ builders in the different states. For those of us too old or feeble to build our own. Having the knowledge is one thing, having the ability is something else entirely. If they wanted to do an ‘on the road’ market… maybe they could use those to promote local builders that one could go to and hire. As well as fight local zoning laws so more ‘could’ live in tiny homes lawfully. I so wish I could find a movement in my area to join to know what I could do to help promote the change in the antiquated zoning laws we’re dealing with.

    • February 14, 2015, 11:24 pm

      I agree Jackie. I spent $250 (that was 40% discounted) on a Tumbelweed workshop, and was sorely disappointed. I sat in a conference room in a hotel with around 50 or so other people, and stared at a slide show. After the first break, I left. For me, it was a dissapointing experience, because the company made it out to be more than what it was. I believe that these workshops need to have at least some hands-on experience, and if they are not going to offer anything of that nature, then the prices need to be slashed. Needless to say, I was out $250 that could’ve gone toward my savings for my tiny home. Lesson learned!

  • February 12, 2015, 10:57 am

    My wife and I attended a workshop in a big hotel one year ago, and now run a tiny house company.

    I am a designer, builder, and educator, and we were already on the path to creating our company, so our perspective was a bit unique. We sought to A) What are others doing, and B) what would we do differently with our workshops?

    As a presenter, we found 2-days of PowerPoint in a dark conference room to be less informative and fulfilling than we had hoped. Further, other attendees seemed to seek more hands-on how-to experience and were left wanting. So, when we returned to Richmond, I started a local tiny house meetup group and started offering some free educational how-to sessions. This seems to resonate with folks in the tiny house community, and most enjoy the sense of enablement that comes from learning by doing rather than just watching.

    I’ve always appreciated the willingness of folks like Dee, Deek, and Art to share their craft in classroom environments, and hope to one day be mentioned in their ranks for our how-to seminars and videos. Until then, I encourage everyone interested in planning for building a tiny house to to assess their expected outcomes from workshops, seminars, and hands-on experiences. Then look closely at the agenda and find the right resource to meet your needs. Best to all.

    Live Large — Go Tiny!

    Thom Stanton

    • Heather
      February 12, 2015, 3:17 pm

      Thanks Thom for sharing. I’m guessing Richmond, VA? If so I would like to connect with you once my husband and I move to D.C. We hope to start building in the next year or so and we definitely want some hands-on education.

  • Nicole Martin
    February 12, 2015, 10:57 am

    Good question, and one I wondered about myself. Where in the progress of this journey is it most productive to attend a hands on workshop? I am in the very beginning stage of planning for tiny living. This year I plan to: learn as much as I can about what is vital to do this right, what I value most in a home, where I can park it, and letting go of most of my material things. My goal is to have a tiny home complete by 2017. Also, on another topic, curious how many tiny homeowners have used their own existing furniture to incorporate into their building/decorating? I have some furniture pieces I would love to recycle instead of sell. Thank you for your inspiration!

    • Nancy
      July 10, 2015, 12:56 am

      Nicole: I am in the process of downsizing Everything. Asking my kids if they wanted any of my furniture, pictures and kitchen stuff.
      I am also wanting to keep very few special pieces of furniture and reuse them in my TH. I currently live in a 1300 sq ft duplex.
      I am seriously thinking of a 14×30 barn that I can convert to a TH. Since I can live there while I finish the inside. Saving me $600 in rent that I can use for appliances and materials.
      Need to talk to building code people, and estimates on rough in electrical and plumbing.

  • Caitlin
    February 12, 2015, 10:59 am

    I’ve moved away from building my own tiny house at the moment, but I attended a Tumbleweed workshop in 2013. I thought it was very valuable as there was so much discussion about so many different topics that would not have occurred to me. If you go to one fairly close to home it is also a great resource for connecting with other local tiny housers, finding material resources, and possibly finding help for building your tiny home. I also had the chance to go inside a tiny house at this workshop and that was immensely valuable. I think it depends on the workshop, but Ella was at ours and hearing from someone who had actually built their own tiny house without much experience was very inspiring and enlightening. It was also very valuable to be able to get answers to all of my questions, and the staff and other workshop members can help troubleshoot issues. I do think a hands-on workshop would be helpful as well, after a workshop like Tumbleweed’s where they go through the steps of what it takes to build a tiny house. Without having all of that knowledge I can see it being overwhelming to just start building, and if you are building there most likely will not be enough time to discuss everything that we discussed.

    • Heather
      February 12, 2015, 3:20 pm

      I completely second everything you said! I also attended a Tumbleweed workshop and Ella was AMAZING. She is a great presenter and I was challenged to think of a ton of things that hadn’t come to mind yet. And yes, as a follow up to that kind of workshop I think a HANDS-ON workshop would be great.

  • Mr_Camera71
    February 12, 2015, 10:59 am

    I have not attended a workshop but I do find the tiny house concept fascinating. I’m a retiree with a lot of free time on my hands. If I were to attend a workshop, I’d want to go to one where I’d actually get to participate in building a tiny house. Rather than a workshop, I think I’d like to find someone in my local area who is building a tiny house and could use a helping hand. I think I’d learn more from helping someone build one rather than attending a workshop where I just listen to someone telling me about how they are building one.

  • Cahow
    February 12, 2015, 11:01 am

    Are workshops “worth it”? It completely depends upon HOW they are taught and WHAT is taught.

    I’ve taught both architecture and beginning horticulture in every venue possible, from pre-K to Senior Homes. Every good teacher knows that you MUST gear the course to the level that your audience wants to participate.

    In regards to Tiny House construction, the classes should be taught from “Just Curious” to the very intense, individual classes of framing/insulation/wiring/plumbing/finishing. And those are for On Site homes; ones that involve trailers and weight limits have their own special requirements.

    There is just NO WAY POSSIBLE for One Class To Teach Them All. I don’t know if sites like *yelp* get involved in having participants review the workshops but if they do, that would be a great place to investigate before you waste time or money on classes that don’t work out for your needs.

    • Lesa
      February 12, 2015, 12:03 pm

      I couldn’t agree with you more in what you are saying with the respect of didactic vs tactile. Besides the protocols and fundamentals of building, it posits to be an invaluable tool to actually manipulate the material and learn from ‘doing‘, coupled with a diagrammed knowledge. I appreciate the priceless continual stream of knowledge/opinion from these sites.

      • Cahow
        February 12, 2015, 1:57 pm

        Lesa: completely OFF TOPIC, but I feasted on your word choice and sentence construction! Your post was Mind Candy. 😀

  • February 12, 2015, 11:05 am

    I am interested in the idea of a tiny house, but first I would need assistance finding a builder as there is no way I could assemble one myself (I have problems chaining lightbulbs!). Do you ever refer builders? If so, then perhaps that person could attend a workshop with me. I live in San Francisco and am looking at property around the Bay Area. Thank you.

  • Randy Huston
    February 12, 2015, 11:23 am

    I am nearing retirement and have been looking for a small place to call our summer home. In 2014 we purchased a small piece of land on a trout stream with an existing cabin. The old cabin had no value so we tore it down. We built a new 16’x24′ cabin on 6″x6″ posts three feet above the ground. I found that I did not follow some county zoning ordinances to the letter of the law so it must be moved or dismantled. My wife and I watched a Tiny House video on Netflix and immediately knew what we could do to satisfy the county and when I spoke to them they were agreeable. At this stage in my career I cannot take the time to attend a Tiny House workshop..it just does not work. I know that I would reap benefits from actually being present during the construction of a THOW by seeing things that I have not thought of during my exploration on the internet. Before the end of February I will order my 24′ trailer so it can be on site to begin construction in May. The cabin I built last year turned out to be very nice so I have some guarded confidence that the THOW will be liveable when it is complete in late 2015. I thank everyone that has shared their expertise on the internet. Every time I read through articles I learn something new. Our retirement plans are to spend the summers in Minnesota and winters in Florida. I can hardly wait to grow old.

  • Bob Tierney
    February 12, 2015, 11:33 am

    We are very excited and hopeful that we may be able to ‘downsize’ and retire in a Tiny House. However, the internet gives much info, pics of dreams come true, a solid plan with a Tiny House and location seems elusive. We would very much like to attend a ‘live” workshop to turn our dreams into goals and the experience of others who have done it!

  • Shirley
    February 12, 2015, 11:38 am

    Interesting read.

  • February 12, 2015, 11:39 am

    Depending upon what is taught – I do believe that a workshop can be a great resource. Hands-on would be key. While I have a background in construction, framing, finish-out, etc… – not everyone does. A workshop would allow folks that *want* to embark upon a Tiny House as a DIY project could gain some confidence in learning new skills. For parts of the project that are beyond the individual’s skill-set (or tool availability) – then perhaps they could subcontract that out to a professional (or a friend) that does have that skill-set.

    I have (inadvertently) built several tiny houses in the past. I owned (and operated) a 1-man company that builds storage sheds. Several of these I am *sure* wound up being insulated, and the interior finished out to house either a visiting family member, or a family friend that simply needed a private place to stay while getting back on their feet financially.

  • Patricia O'Connor
    February 12, 2015, 11:43 am

    I’m not ready to build or buy a tiny home, yet, and I’m still collecting information. Online resources are helpful, but I would still attend a workshop if I decided to build or buy one. Learning how a good house is put together will help me know if a potential home purchase is constructed well. There is also building language used online that’s not familiar. With an instructor I can ask questions and get answers right away.

  • Crystal A Mourad
    February 12, 2015, 11:44 am

    I have followed the tiny house “movement”. To me more energy should be spent dealing with poverty than giving into it. Hopefully this just a passing fad because aside from learning building skills I see it as a huge waste of manpower comparable to the hippie communes of the 60’s.

  • Mary
    February 12, 2015, 11:49 am

    this concept is a good idea and lends itself to modern design well, I have not attended one of these workshops because they are mostly on the west coast and not really in my area, or anywhere close by…..but I will have one someday with the help of my son, he has been a contractor for a long time, if I can get him interested ….Thanks Mary

  • Sparrow
    February 12, 2015, 11:50 am
  • Michele Ugalde
    February 12, 2015, 11:52 am

    I have been thinking about building my own tiny house, but having trouble finding help without spending alot of money. Im a hands on learner, and would like to fine someone to help me in my area. But where to start, I live in Dallas Tx. Please email me @ [email protected]
    Thank you.

  • Aldene
    February 12, 2015, 11:56 am

    I would like to attend a workshop but am afraid that, since I can’t build right now, I would lose whatever skills I learned before I had a chance to use them. I would need a workshop that allowed everyone hands-on experience on everything taught; I wouldn’t learn much if I couldn’t perform the work myself.

    • Cahow
      February 12, 2015, 2:06 pm

      Your qualms are justified, Aldene. And lest we forget: every single year, NEW & IMPROVED construction materials are available and put to use in the trade. So, learning what’s available NOW in 2015 can be severely outdated information in 2020. Even in the year that I’ve been following Alex’s blog, I’ve seen Tiny Homes go from primitive to sheer luxury and everything in between.

      My suggestion to anyone interested in doing their own build out is to keep reading Alex’s entries, subscribe to Tiny House blogs where the person/people are actually LIVING in a tiny house, save your money for your land/trailer and when you get THAT far, look for classes that suit your needs.

  • Mardee
    February 12, 2015, 12:01 pm

    I would love to attend a workshop but I dont think they are here in Tulsa OK…….but if they do come here I would go in a heart beat….I want a tiny home and would love to learn how to build it

  • Kathleen
    February 12, 2015, 12:01 pm

    I have looked into taking a workshop, but when I checked the agenda, so much of it was focused on how to downsize. I’m already there. I live in a 650 sq ft apartment over a garage, and it is way too big. I’ve always been a minimalist, so shedding unnecessary and unused material goods is easy for me. I am looking more for a workshop that talks about the nitty gritty of building. From the comments above, it sounds like there is a variety of workshops available, and I just need to find one that fits. Recently, I listened to the third of 3 webinars hoping to skip the philosophy of living small that would be discussed in the first 2 webinars. It, too, spent a lot of time on how to live small before getting to any information I considered useful. In fact, I think I’d probably rather just pay for my builder friend to go to a workshop to learn about the specific needs of building on a trailer, if I can find such a thing. He, too, would not be interested in listening to a lot of preliminary talk about living small with less.

  • Cliff Jepsen
    February 12, 2015, 12:08 pm

    Zboatman has it right. Several years back I attended a Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop. Wasn’t worth the money. Nice folk, nice attendees, but sitting around talking doesn’t help. Probably rolling up your sleeves, making mistakes and just doing it (building a tiny house) is the best workshop your money can buy. This is a very individual educational experience. Go do it!

  • AL
    February 12, 2015, 12:21 pm

    I went to one years ago when I felt ready to actually leap into freedom but needed the hands-on knowledge to actually build. The workshop I went to, although generally interesting, left me very frustrated because I did not get any hands-on experience. It sounds as if Dee Williams is providing hands-on experience, contrary to the one I went to. If I had to do it over again, I would certainly go to a different workshop, one with definite hands-on experience (but I thought I would get that from the one I went to…). Lots of people successfully build without any previous experience or workshop, so as always, anything is possible. There are a lot of great books at local libraries and free videos on the internet, too. 🙂

  • ga
    February 12, 2015, 12:21 pm

    These workshops should serve two main purposes. To teach someone how to build his own tiny house, or to wake someone to the fact that there’s no way in hell that they could ever handle the job themselves.
    Both serve a useful purpose.

  • Sean OBrien
    February 12, 2015, 12:33 pm

    The definition for the tiny house movement needs work. The dream of debt free vs 700 sq foot homes for 165,000 dollars? Professional trained builders who for thousands will assemble your kit home vs do it yourself for so much less, it’s easy ! The scope is too broad and confusing. As far as the value of out of pocket cost seminars? “Life is pain princess…anyone telling you otherwise is selling something” ( The Princess Bride )

  • Kaapenaargitek
    February 12, 2015, 12:34 pm

    Fascinating reads, and definitely the way of the future ! I’m a wee bit remote to attend your workshops ( Cape Town, South Africa) , but wonderful ideas and fervent imagination. I work as an architect with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and we’re always looking for ways to get more housing “bang for our buck”. Huge unfulfilled backlog of housing demand here, and your website has inspired me with many ideas to design more quality with less “stuff”.

  • terry
    February 12, 2015, 12:38 pm

    No need to attend, as I have construction experience, home repair experience, RV experience, on and on ( I’m old ) . I am also more interested in a good used airstream to pull and travel with. As much as I love the Tiny concept, it’s practicality has issues, and a house purchase where I live is less expensive that new construction, even considering the more efficient size. I do know that lots of young people are interested in Tiny, and believe it would be good for them.

    • February 12, 2015, 3:19 pm

      I’m leaning toward your way of thinking but trying to find a lot where I can permanently park my RV travel trailer in St. Pete, FLA, seems to be non-existent. RV lot rents are more than a land mortgage. Suggestions?

      • Brian
        February 14, 2015, 8:38 am

        DeVora – this issue is prevalent throughout Florida esp. in winter snowbird season, for a small lot my cousin pays 1300/month for there motorhome. On facebook there are groups about tiny house discussion in Florida, being a contractor i am finding out that most counties muni’s have a minimum square foot requirement aroun 850sf and if you do a tiny house on wheels then they consider it a RV and you have time constraints on how long you can park it on a lot without a house being there already. Only suggestion i have is find someone with some land and a house that will rent you a portion of space. Good Luck

  • Karen
    February 12, 2015, 12:58 pm

    I went to a Tumbleweed workshop early on in my adventure (it was a tipping point for me- am I going to do this or not?). It was very helpful to hear Ella’s story and get an overall big picture of what this thing was going to entail. I enjoyed every second and I wasn’t really at the point yet where I would have wanted to actually build something. There were lots of details given (and I still have my book and notes that I refer to) but mostly I just needed to understand the whole concept from start to finish to see what I was getting into…and realize where to focus my research. At the workshop, I also “conveniently” met the vocational school carpentry teacher who now is overseeing the students who are building my house for me. Win-win.

  • Mountain Girl
    February 12, 2015, 1:00 pm

    I believe that a workshop that is a lecture format is worthwhile to impart knowledge but there is a definite need to have a hands on workshop as well. We are doing research now on trailers, floor plans and workshops and I am disappointed that it is over $300 and only one of us can attend. As a senior couple the cost is prohibitive paying for two tickets when we both need the knowledge and are going to be doing the work together. How about a couples or seniors rate???? I’ll even bring our lunch is that would help decrease the cost. We are going to build our tiny home regardless but it sure would be nice if we could both attend a workshop at a price that is affordable.

  • David R.
    February 12, 2015, 1:07 pm

    Yikes, please forgive the posted “test message”.
    I was on some site and wrote a one ton response that was fill of thoughtful insight and reflection. After crafting the literary work and pressed “submit”, I was told I had to sign up for Facebook.
    My opinion… ‘don’t like me on Facebook, like me in real life!’

    The value of a Tiny House workshop, to me would be incalculable, for two reasons.
    One, I suck at Math.
    Three, with tiny houses, I HAVE NOTHING TO UNLEARN!

    I don’t know what the seminars cost and for some reason, they don’t seem to be in my part of the country… along with many other progressive ideas.

    I do want to build a tiny house, but one of the earliest rules I learned to live by clearly states, “If you want something done right, find someone else to do it.” My second life rule is “if it ain’t broke, fix it until it is.”

    The carbon foot print is probably the biggest draw for me, with financial aspects running a close second.

    Along with the shear coolness of tiny houses, there is a reverse snob appeal element… not totally unlike the VW Rabbit. Yes, I’m that old.

    I have a metric ton of questions and a quarter ton of ideas for tiny houses.

    I only have one conceivable place to land this tiny house, but I have yet to have the courage to ask the landowner. On the other hand, after 31 hours of labor for my wife, HE OWES US! (just kidding of course… kind of… I think.)

    I do want ‘city services’ but just as a back up. I LOVE the concept of a composting toilet, but not sure I could get it ‘approved’. Hey, look on YouTube for “dry toilet”, which I think is fascinating, but can you put that uh, stuff in the garbage? Additionally, if you see the video, you will never eat Jiffy Pop again.

    I feel like the kids would have built in baby sitters and when the unmentionable happens to my wife and myself… they will have rental property, on their property.

    What a nice site this is.

    Be well,

  • NiQ
    February 12, 2015, 1:10 pm

    I live in BC (Canada) & looking to build a tiny house this summer in Nelson (BC) If anyone can direct me to a knowledgeable person/workshop that is either in BC or Washington (USA) I’d be most grateful. Thanks!

    • PaulaV
      February 12, 2015, 3:26 pm

      Where you are there is a company that does some really nice builds. Nelson Tiny Houses.

    • Gary Pollock
      February 12, 2015, 5:01 pm

      NiQ – You have in your own home town some of the best builders of tiny houses. Go talk to Nelson Tiny Homes. They were great to me, and offered a lot of ideas, and also said no to some of the ones I had as they felt they weren’t safe. I found them honest and credible.

      • NiQ
        February 12, 2015, 8:36 pm

        Many thanks! 🙂

  • Mary
    February 12, 2015, 1:10 pm

    I live in a small town between Chattanooga and Knoxville TN. I would love to go to a workshop. There haven’t been any in this area that are close enough for me to go to. This area is nest to the Smoky Mountains, Appalacian Mountains, and Cherokee National Forest, along with the Tennessee River. It would be a beautiful place to have a tiny/small house community. Please have one in the Athens, Sweetwater TN area. Thanks!!!

  • James Cabeen
    February 12, 2015, 1:34 pm

    I attended a Tumbleweed Tiny House workshop in Seattle in 2014. Very worthwhile, both for the technical information received and the chance to interact with so many like-minded people. I highly recommend everyone serious about a tiny home (of any kind or brand, pre-made or DIY) to do the same. Also, the $2,000 discount I was offered on the final product paid for the workshop and my travel (from Alaska!), in exchange for a refundable $500 deposit – a truly no-lose situation 🙂

  • February 12, 2015, 1:41 pm

    I attended a Tumbleweed workshop prior to starting my build, now in progress ( thetinyhousethatgrandmabuilt.blogspot.com ).
    I think that it was the perfect place to start for someone like me who have basic construction experience or for those with no construction experience. For someone with more experience, a hands on workshop would be more useful I think or perhaps just mini workshops focusing on the specialized methods unique to tiny houses.

  • Glo
    February 12, 2015, 2:02 pm

    I was disappointed when I went to a”workshop” that talked about the movement and then providen paper and pencils to make a floor plan. I wanted to actually build a small house. I needed the information on what to look for in a trailer, how to deside on a toilet (by the way after learning of humamanuel toilets that what Im choosing even for my RV)
    How to attach home to trailer, how to attach roof to house, ect…. But what I got was all talk. So I felt I waisted my $300.00 plus hotel and food and gas and expenses to talk about stuff that’s all over the web. So now I don’t go to workshops I watch videos for free and that way have actually learned what I need.

  • Sally Wilke
    February 12, 2015, 2:23 pm

    I would love to attend a workshop, but they are held too far away to be affordable. Come north in the Midwest and I’ll be there.

  • John Halley
    February 12, 2015, 2:37 pm

    While I have been part of the building industry, I have never put anything on wheels with road specs to take into account.
    I would love for one of these workshops to hit the Ohio River Valley. Living in Columbus, Ohio I know there are hunting community looking for something besides a normal RV. (My cousin for example; Just dropped 40K for a new 24 foot unit that works for three seasons a year fine. Cold hunting season is a different picture.)
    We now use a cabin that locks us into an area that we know is not prime at this time. While it was a decade or so ago, more building around it has game seeking areas away from people.
    Daughter is seeking something besides dorm room as well.

  • Jim Cook
    February 12, 2015, 2:44 pm

    Workshops are, in the main, sales programs. Find some LOCAL knowledge. Better yet, wait a while as these things will be a glut on the used/unfinished market. The only thing that could slow their depreciation would be massive inflation. I suspect that even marriage lasts longer than trailer house thrill. Build a real house to the size that fits.

  • Heath
    February 12, 2015, 2:45 pm

    Is there a tiny house workshop in ohio?????? I’d love to attend.

  • February 12, 2015, 3:04 pm

    I would go to one…but they are often only during the work week. No work, no pay. I’m a cabinetmaker, and if I don’t work I don’t get paid…if it were held on the weekend, I would likely attend witth my wife.

  • krausdogs
    February 12, 2015, 3:15 pm

    Again, what a great question Alex.
    My thoughts repeat a lot of what people have already said. I attended a Tumbleweed workshop last fall. Even with an ‘early bird’ special price the cost including travel and hotel was over $400. If I had purchased items being marketed it would have been more. I have some building experience and had studied many blogs and Youtube videos on building my own THOW. But I still decided to take this step in order to get a more comprehensive overview of what a build involves, and I wanted the chance to asked someone experienced some specific questions that I had. This part was fulfilled.
    We were fortunate that a Tumbleweed THOW was parked on site and there was a chance to see one up close–with 6-8 others for 10 minutes of so. This experience is not a normal one for these workshops we were told.
    I was also hoping that I might meet up/network with some folks who might become part of my TH community. This did not come to be. There were 60-70 participants and well more than half were from out of state (I recall 8-10 states being represented). They did end up sharing an email list but just having a list of names (I only recalled a few) and email addresses without any sense of where the person was from was not very helpful. (Four months later I have received no email from anyone on this list.)
    So, was it worth it? Kind of hard to say. I did not feel cheated afterwards but neither did I feel totally satisfied. I came away knowing a lot more about what is involved in a TH build, what the design process is like, and having a more ‘grounded’ understanding of some of the options/choices that I will be faced with once I begin. It’s hard to get this kind of depth from just reading various blogs and watching asundry videos with multiple, sometimes conflicting, points of view. Still, the $400+ is nothing to take lightly. (My wife wanted to join me but decided not to because of the cost.) I did not receive any ‘hands on’ experience, like some workshops try to include, though I did feel like my commitment to doing a build in the near future was strengthened.
    For some this step will end up being important, for others it might feel like a waste of money. In any event, I do agree that it will probably serve you best if you plan to attend when you are within 3-6 months of starting to build. Things are changing fast in this TH world.
    Hope this helps somebody.

  • February 12, 2015, 3:16 pm

    Someday, I want a tiny house on one level with a split entry so I can have an endless pool in the covered porch area. In the meantime, I’m a full-time RVer and find it challenging to find a piece of land where I can hook up my RV (water/septic) and take my time building my tiny future house. I’m thinking of the St. Pete area.

  • February 12, 2015, 3:16 pm

    I attended a Tiny Home workshop in Florida a few years ago. There were some bits and pieces that were helpful but overall I was not pleased with the presentation and the lack of hands on specifics. I am interested in attending another one but it will not be with the current leadership of the company that I attended in Florida. One plus was the opportunity to meet some others that have already built their own homes and those that were in the process. I have attached my blog for my current build and I still have so many questions. I think that right now the amount of information on line versus when I took the class is so much more and it is more helpful along with the shows and stuff that are out there.

  • Deb
    February 12, 2015, 3:31 pm

    i would love to go to a work shop but never that close to me ! I would like to see one in Calgary Alberta. And if a place to hold the work shop We have the space in the country.

  • Ralph
    February 12, 2015, 3:53 pm

    I think there is more than enough information on the web regarding designing and building a small house and living small. There is very little information on living small within the law, where it can be done and how to research all of this. Or,should people work around codes or work with them.

  • bob
    February 12, 2015, 4:02 pm

    Someday I will send some photos of a small cabin,, 8 x 40 (320 sq foot),, we built in 1973 (Long Before the Tiny Craze), on a lake Lot,, “Cedar Creek Lake”,, in Texas.
    It started as a 28 foot cargo container. We added blue siding,
    3 windows, with Shutters,, and
    two Exterior Doors,,, which included storm doors,,.

    726 Railroad Ties for a Drive,
    We put on a Pitched metal Roof, , a Fire place with the Chase on the outside, it heated the entire unit. We added a full bath, attached to the out Side, as a side room,,and with a 5 gallon water heater.
    Water Heater is for kitchen as well as bath. (5 gallons is plenty when that is all there is)..
    We Added a Central heat and Air.
    Full kitchen,
    Later we added a Hot Room (Green House to one End with Metal Roof and Storm doors on the sides, for the Open Light.
    Then we added a “Fully Covered” brick Patio, made of Old Antique road Brick,,, a Walkway in front,, and on the End of the Green Room. We added rotten Iron Gates and Fencing (for the Dogs). Then we added a 160 sq foot Vegie Garden…
    We just Love It.
    This unit is Awesome ! !.
    It is on a lot.(100 x 200 ft, with a flowing Creek in front.
    Everyone that sees it,,, is just astonished,,
    and they ALL want to buy it.
    I also added a 8 x 16 Shed for my yard Stuff.
    Dream on folks. This is IT. It don’t get no better folks.

  • Bev
    February 12, 2015, 5:16 pm

    If I were going to build a tiny home myself, I would want to attend, however, I want one made for me and am looking forward to that experience.

  • Pam
    February 12, 2015, 6:09 pm

    I would love to attend a “hands on” work shop. Although I am skilled at building, I would need a lot more instruction on things I don’t know about. My problem is, I’m a senior and don’t have anyone to help and not really sure if I’m up to tackling this on my own. Not as strong as I once was. Another factor for me is capitol to build with. Though I would love to use reclaimed materials, I don’t have the connections or resources I once did. Still, I do dream of doing this and one day, I will. I have lived in a 21′ travel trailer for 4 years and had no problem with it at all. Just want/need something a little larger and laid out different for me and my business.

  • Nancy
    February 12, 2015, 8:07 pm

    I would love to attend a tiny house workshop but……they are too expensive. They must be hands on, I don’t want to be trapped inside watching numerous power points. Would be great to build someone’s home for them over the course of a week or weekend.

  • jmr
    February 12, 2015, 8:22 pm

    I have longed to attend a workshop for years, but just can’t afford them. That’s why I need a tiny house so badly. I am poor.

  • Jeanna
    February 12, 2015, 8:24 pm

    Would love to go to a workshop but simply can’t afford it. My husband and I are planning a tiny home, even have a spot to build and set up to live. Do these workshop prices include food and lodging? I’m ok even in a tent if necessary.

  • Bambi
    February 12, 2015, 10:33 pm

    Thanks Bob (Boba) for your comments regarding the 28 foot cargo container that grew to become your home that the began in 1973….the year I graduated from high school. You gave me great inspiration that anything you begin can someday become your dream of passion IF you only believe and follow your passion…..Reality begins in our minds. Believe in Ourselves.

  • J.L. Frusha
    February 13, 2015, 1:05 am

    Haven’t had the classes, but a friend, Brad Kittel, of Tiny Texas Houses, has classes on both deconstructing and building, using the resulting materials… I think he has more gift for it in his little toe, than I do, in my whole body…

    Met Brad after driving past his place a few times, taking my son to and from Seguin, where my son is a student at TLU.

  • Jessie
    February 13, 2015, 1:19 am

    I would definitely love to go to a tiny house workshop. I would love to know how to build a home myself, and in knowing how to build it, I would know how to fix things when they wear out.

  • Nina Mustang
    February 13, 2015, 1:57 am

    I haven’t been to a workshop yet it’s hard for me getting out.but when my mom passes away I want a tiny house for me,my aunt,my cousins,and friend,and sister Julie brozovich to live in.

  • hank
    February 13, 2015, 7:16 am

    I attended a Tumbleweed workshop a couple of summers ago in Toronto. I have no experience. I had read a lot and researched a lot on the internet. I was not quite sure what I wanted to build, and what plans were best, but what I was hoping for was one source where everything was there. I think that the Tumbleweed makes a great product and is a great company, but their plans and product were not for me. I did not come away thinking that I had either been told anything I did not know or that I had got more than I paid for. But I was not dissatisfied either. I did learn was that my research was accurate, that other people were out there like me enthusiastically looking, and I did feel that I knew better where to look, what I wanted and how to collate the different resources. I know that there is going to be a certain amount of money leakage and mistakes in just becoming educated on building a house. I looked at the price as being insurance to re-assure myself that this project was do-able and within budget. I am building this summer and am presently deciding between two different sets of plans, one which cost $5 and the other which is free. I choose those plans because they are the house that I want and which I can design inside and outside to meet my needs to live and continue growing, and which, to build, fits my budget. I am not going to throw away money. I am not cheap, but I am not rich enough that I cannot afford to bleed money either. I agree and feel so similar to many of the comments above. The seminar is a big hit in cost and I would not attend a second workshop, but I am not sure that I would be actually taking the plunge this year if I had not gone to the seminar (really, the Tumbleweed workshops are seminars not workshops) and met so many people and listened to the speakers. Ultimately though, the bottom line, is that each of us must make the journey to become an expert ourselves and, feeling I needed to try everything that was available to me, I was willing to make the gamble of spending the money and attending. I have no regrets in the grand scheme of things.

    • Ga
      February 13, 2015, 12:12 pm

      You say “Tumbleweed workshops are seminars not workshops”……..

      If that’s true it’s not encouraging. You can find the equivalent of “seminars” in lots of places online these days. What’s needed is a real
      “workshop” where someone can actually “do something”.
      The attendees need to be able to try out or use some of the tools, measure something, hold something while it’s being installed, or a variety of things that are actually physical. Seminars are what we sit on our comfortable chair and watch without any real involvement.

      • Hank
        February 14, 2015, 7:07 am

        Thank you for the comment, Ga.

        Yes, the Tumbleweed “workshop” that I attended was a two-day presentation, someone talking and answering questions. It was very good in that all questions were answered fully and that the presenters (good people) were knowledgeable, but it was not either a demonstration nor was it “hands-on”. It was cerebral, informative, but it was not physical or skill-developing. It has its place, it may be what people want or it may not, but it is what it is.

        Thinking this over, the workshop or seminar aspect of the tiny house movement is one of the more expensive integers. In retrospect, I have mixed feelings about it, many positive but a few negative (ie cost and time), but here is the bottom line: now, being in the stage of costing out materials for building this year and having figured out my plan of execution, if I had to cut anything from my budget of preparation, the seminar presentation style of “workshop” would probably be the first. If a person is diligent, and spends enough time, even as a newbie, there are amazing resources on the internet and in books, that pretty cover everything that a seminar type of presentation can provide, imho.

    • Heather
      July 7, 2015, 4:53 pm

      I agree. My husband and I had attended a tiny house “workshop” 2-3 years ago. I had wanted a tiny house since Jay Schafer came into the news about 10 years ago and therefore I had been doing as much research as possible. I felt pretty confident about my knowledge for preparing to build a tiny house but wanted to know the more detailed information that was different from building a regular house. That was the same for my husband. We have some construction experience but we knew there would be different matters to learn about such as how to properly attached the house to the trailer and such, things you don’t learn with building a regular house. We gave it much debate on whether to do the workshop with Tumbleweed. We were disappointed. For us it was not worth spending the money. The only thing we learned was that we could use sheeps wool for insulation instead(which we did use). Everything else we had already learned from our research or current knowledge. If someone out there just decides to jump right in and skip all the “at home” research, then MAYBE the seminar would be helpful. Otherwise I would not waste my money on a tumbleweed “workshop”. We didn’t even get to see a tiny house(not even a partial one). To this day we have yet to see another tiny house in person :(. They taped an outline the size of a tiny house on the carpet(which we had done at home). When Jay Schafer was with the company he offered the hands on experience workshops and that’s what we thought we would be getting, not knowing that Jay was leaving the company right when we started our build journey. From my research since, it SEEMS as though Deek, Dee and Jay offer the hands on experience and more building details that are needed. I wish we could have taken one of their classes, it would have made for better memories and definitely helped in areas that we were unsure of. Taking a workshop in general I think depends on each person and their current experience as well as the amount of research they’ve done already. Overall I just would not recommend the Tumbleweed “workshop”.

  • Aceman007
    February 13, 2015, 9:10 am

    I’ve been downsizing for years now. If, I would have learned of small dwellings when I had the resources, life would b different now, but I don’t loose hope of one day having one; that being said, what I have been doing is looking at, designing the perfect space with those basic essentials that will make my life here on earth, stress free. For now, this is how the tiny home movement has n still inspires me to move forward.

  • TJ Lovelace
    February 13, 2015, 9:38 am

    I am a carpenter by trade. So for me it would be design ideas that would draw me in. Hands on would be fun but the discussion and design workshops would provide me with the most satisfaction. Someone’s you find that people just like attending workshops for the fun of that as well.

  • Marsha Cowan
    February 13, 2015, 12:01 pm

    Oooh, Lisa, that is exactly what I was thinking! The small but intricate and important little steps like wiring, connecting plumbing pipes together, how to get an exact cut from a circular saw that does not come up 1/2″ short…the tiny things that make up the big things. Good point! Figuring out and cutting those pesky rafter angles, hanging a door or leveling a window, getting that last tongue and groove board in there…all good things to know and do not take long to show and practice before moving onto something else. Having little stations set up with these little things that small groups can move from one to the other would be a great way to have a workshop! Thanks!
    On another note, years ago, when I was testing for my contractor’s license, I paid $600 for a weekend seminar specifically designed to help you take a licensing test. It was my husband’s idea; I thought if I could build, then I would be able to test on it. Boy was I wrong! I learned things in this seminar that helped me, a woman, be one of only 17% of those who passed the test the first time ( you are allowed 5 times to take it…that is how hard it is). So that seminar really paid off. Any tiny house workshop you attend will be well worth the money, but some will be better than others, and I personally (and as a builder) think the more hands on experience one gets in a workshop, the better, and especially if it is on the things like I mentioned above. In fact, if someone is willing to pay for my gas (I bring my room and board with me! Ha!), I would be more than willing to man one of these stations at someone’s workshop, and use my own tools. So my last work on workshops…yes, go to them, they are worth the money, but look for one with hands on experience in the areas that you need most. Thanks!

  • Maureen Allen
    February 13, 2015, 3:23 pm

    I’m a hybrid: adore Tiny Houses but not DIY-inclined! You’d think the South would be peppered with TH builders–lovely land, great climate–but: nope. (There are a few.)Wish y’all could target smaller contractors/builders; bet they’d love the concept, once familiar with it, and we’d gain more accessibility to Tiny Houses here. Also, for those who aren’t fans of dwellings-on-wheels, a workshop on savvy, stylish tiny homes–300-500SF, designed for slabs or crawl spaces–would be most welcome!

  • Janet
    February 14, 2015, 3:40 am

    I think work shops on tiny house building is a wonderful idea but I think that there should also be some kind of data base for tiny home builders.
    There has to be tiny home builders out there that are seeking toil make a living while helping other building these types of homes.
    Take it from me I have land in Maine but at my age I am unable to build my own dream small home.

    • David R.
      February 15, 2015, 4:40 pm

      I could not agree more. In some ways this Tiny House Movement, is a bit like the Wild West. There are few oversight bodies and we can be held at the mercy of some builder who thinks ‘sure, aren’t tiny houses easier than big houses?’

      Maybe Angie’s List or that similar service that operates for free, might be an early resource. I think word of mouth is still best, but I don’t think at this point there are enough mouths giving words.

      I guess I would go with Zack and the tall guy on “Tiny House Nation”, as I love just about everything they do, and seem like really fun guys. However, and I might be wrong… when I daydream on the “tiny house listings” site, I think I see some of the “tiny house nation” builds for sale. Yes, the sale could be for a host of reasons, I know.

      Another thought I had was that maybe a local school board can include in there Continuing Educations offering, aspects of tiny house living and building, local zoning regs, etc.

      Just thinkin’ out loud.


  • Paula V.
    February 15, 2015, 6:04 pm

    I think what I’m seeing in this discussion is what I’ve felt for awhile. There is need for informational and hands on workshops. These could go together or separate and what seems to be happening is they are more separate. Time constraints are involved there.

    There are learning curves for those who are builders but need to learn the ins and outs of building tiny on a trailer, a curve for the casual DIY’ers and then a bigger curve for the complete novices who are also just as motivated to learn but know nothing. That’s alot of hands on learning to deal with in a weekend workshop for presenters. It all can’t be taught in a weekend.

    I’m smart, a quick study, have wielded hammer, skill-saw, etc. but really never built anything more than a bookshelf. And I’m not that great with math! I KNOW with a knowledgeable buddy by my side I could do it. For me to build a small cottage, a vardo, a tiny house on wheels still requires all the same things….information, tools, and some hands on experience, oh yeah, time as well. I have wondered if what I need to do first is take a women’s carpentry course or attend a Yestermorrow course. They do have a hands on tiny house building course there albeit it’s not a weekend.

    Whatever I choose to do I really want to be able to participate in the build. One idea that would be nice is working with a visiting builder. They come to your place, you provide some mash of room and board, or they come with their camper, whatever, and then you get going. A workshop could be formed around that with other interested people in your area coming to help and learn as well. Kind of like Habitiat for Humanity but tiny house raising. There are options being fleshed out for various scenarios at least and my hope is that the “workshop” scene will get more varied and better.

  • Jacky
    February 15, 2015, 7:22 pm

    Habitat for Humanity…..they need hands on help and you’ll gain valuable hands on experience. It’s free. Win Win. Just because many of the tiny houses are on wheels doesn’t mean yours has to be. Also, don’t get so hung up on how you’re going to build it when you haven’t figured out where you’re going to put it, or park it if you plan to be mobile. Seems to me that’s the bigger issue.

    Local high schools have classes that students need hands on experience in construction, offer to buy the materials and let the shop teacher teach you and the students how to build. Thats how my Mother bought one of her first houses…the high school students built it. After she bought it they dissassembled it and reassembled it on the lot she bought in a neighborhood.

    • Paula V.
      February 16, 2015, 1:37 pm

      yes Jacky, good points. And I do tend to get hung up on details. Where I live my town ordinances don’t allow living in RV’s of any kind. But one can stay in one for a limited time on property with a house. I have two acres with a house smack in the middle in a small town. Hence still my vision of building a tiny house on my property for AirBnB (read extra income stream) and then possibly a few tiny houses on foundations on my property. So students for the tiny on trailer is possible but builder needed for the tiny foundation houses due to ordinances.

  • Jody
    February 19, 2015, 7:26 pm

    Hmmm, this has me very confused. I was looking forward for signing up for a ‘workshop’ when I get closer to my build. I don’t know if things have changed but when I started my search, they seemed to be all hands on. Most of us need that. I know I do! I need hands on! I haven’t built anything and the fact that I could go and learn how to build, what to use and all that is what I was looking forward to. I think I still will go to one one of these days. I think I’ll probably at least get something out of it. Maybe not what I thought but hopefully by the time I’m ready, I can find a ‘building’ experience. Thanks so much for this post Alex. Good one. Great responses!

  • July 7, 2015, 4:14 pm

    I too went to a Tumbleweed “seminar”. I thought that I was paying for experienced individuals to answer my tiny house questions that I still had even after reading and watching things online. (Their presenters are only people who have build from their plans. No diversity.)

    Well, was I wrong! They only wanted to sell their plans, trailers and tiny homes. I asked the presenter about securing the trailer to the tiny house so it couldn’t get stolen and she laughed and said she didn’t think it was a problem as you’d see it going down the road. This has been a big problem for people. I was also asking about alternative building materials and they just said I’d have to contact the manufacturer for those materials.

    I felt I spent the money for the seminar for them to give a sales presentation to me on their offerings.

  • July 8, 2015, 5:03 pm

    Sadly many have the same experience as LivingTiny (ourselves included) with those types of seminars, and there’s been some negative response to tiny house conventions. I have seen far too many THOW design customers come in with TW designs, only to ask for modifications that make their purchase of plans moot. Unfortunately, its easy to get caught up in the hoopla, and their seminars are designed to sell “discounted” plans at every pee break. Glad to help folks seeking build-ready solutions for a unique design that truly meets your needs. – Thom

  • Susanne
    July 9, 2015, 3:43 am

    Luckily my suspicions have been confirmed here about useless seminars, so thank you! Money saved. Clearly if the people running the workshops were honest about what they are offering-there would be a lot less customers!

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