Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tumbleweed Tiny Houses

A huge trend of tiny houses...

Tiny houses.  It's a growing trend in homes, and I absolutely love this whole idea.  I have been interested in small houses for many years.  It is interesting how people will often gravitate to the smaller, more intimate rooms in a very large house.  It is these small spaces that are more inviting, more comfortable.  My thought was, "Why not make a house much smaller and full of small spaces?"  Then I came across Jay Shafer.  He is making small houses a reality.  While I don't plan on living in a 100 square foot house as he does (or did before he got married and is expecting a child), I am not going to live in a 6,000 square foot house either.  I don't think under 1,000 square feet is unreasonable by any means... in fact, it is on the border of arrogance and naiveté (Marie Antoinette-"let them eat cake"-style naiveté) to think we deserve more, especially when we take into account how the rest of the world lives.

Now don't get me wrong.  If you have the money and the desire, you can go ahead and live in a 6,000 square foot home.  I think it is a waste of your money.  I think it is a waste of your time and energy and resources to build and maintain it.  I think it will take you away from the more important things in life.  But if that is what you want, then go for it.  If you will be a slave to your home, either in debt or time or because you have too much stuff, then I say it is a bad decision.  But please don't confuse desire with need.  We do not need a large home.  We may like it, but we don't need it, and just because we can doesn't mean we should.  I'll get off my soapbox now.  Back to the really cool tiny houses...

From the Tumbleweed Houses Website:

I’m Jay Shafer, author of The Small House Book. Twelve years ago I designed and built the tiny house that would later become known as Tumbleweed. I’ve been, designing, building and inhabiting little houses ever since. I’ve built a dozen with my own hands and created designs for hundreds of other folks. My small houses and ideas for efficient living have been featured on Oprah, CNN, and in Natural Home Magazine.

I’ve shared my vision of living small by creating The Small House Book and Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Today, I lecture across the nation on small house living and design. All of my home designs are tried and true. I’ve traveled 7,000 miles across the country in one of my tiny houses. To my knowledge, no one else has been doing it longer and no one else teaches workable designs teaching people how to design and build along the way.

Viva la Tiny Revolution,
Jay Shafer

Here is a fun video where Jay Shafer takes us on a tour of his tiny home.  Please note that, as he says, the homes he designs have many more amenities (like proper plumbing) than this home he is living in now.

Check out his website where there are photos and floor plans of these tiny houses.  I find it very inspirational!


  1. I suggest you maintain the cleanliness and always spray pesticides in these kinds of houses. They're made of wood and they're prone to pests, that's why you need to do what's necessary.

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  2. hello..good point i think these days most of s confuse what we want with what we need, and although we know that we still deny it. In my opinion, I think we can all live in a smaller house and live with it, and at the same time help someone poor or needy find shelter or at least some food, with the extra money we spend for no reason.

  3. The writers arrogance is astonishing. Whatever way another person chooses to live with their own money is their own business. Living in a shoe box does not make you a more enlighten person nor does living in a larger house make you a "slave" to your surroundings. I know people with very large homes who do wonderful things with them. Like housing 20 adopted and foster children. You've made a choice or change in your life you, cool. But don't make it this us against them set up, or this holy than thou soap box standing movement. If you feel this could benefit others, well you catch more flies with honey than hubris.

    1. Noone can foster 20 kids, that's called an orphanage, not a home.

  4. @Anonymous 4 26 13: Who suggested housing 20 adopted or foster children in a shoebox? Aren't you disallowing the writer to have a personal preference? If you step back and rethink, you will realize your offended tone speaks for itself. Defensive posturing is a pointless endeavor and ignores global realities. The majority of people need to rewire thinking and adjust to doing more with less for the sake of all our futures. -- C.S. Colvin aka

  5. I love the idea of a tiny home and the amount of money it must save a person when they live within their means. I really enjoyed this article! I think the most frivolous thing a person can do is surround themselves with huge collections of stuff that really serve no purpose other than to brag to society about what they can afford. A tiny house is humble, in my opinion.

  6. much more tiny houses in 'we the tiny house people':
    enjoy ;)

  7. If one is not an architect or engineer, how can one get help with remodeling a tiny house?

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