Video above explains the tiny house movement.

“The true value of a home should be measured by the happiness and security it brings rather than by its size and cost.”

– Michael Janzen

Welcome to Tiny House Design. To follow my growing personal interest in tiny houses and living light I decided to start a blog to capture the things I find. I suspect more and more people will catch onto this new/old way of thinking, see how much sense it makes and begin to adopt some if not all of the ideas.

In a nutshell, tiny houses give you back freedom in the form of time, money, and peace of mind. Why? How? Simply because they cost less to own, clean, heat, cool, etc. The less money you spend on your home the less you have to earn or the more you keep in the bank. The less time you spend cleaning and maintaining your house the more time you have to for the things you like to do.

It is a hard transition for more people to downsize though. Our ego’s get tied up in our homes, cars, and possessions. In fact the idea of voluntary poverty (so to speak) is so foreign to most American’s that it’s no wonder most of us live and work most of our lives to have more stuff. We’re just incredibly focused on obtaining and having more stuff it’s hard to break free.

This blog is simply going to focus on making the mental transition to living lighter and smaller. I’ll also post ideas I have for house design, hence the name. I’m not an architect but I am a designer and who knows, maybe someday, when I have enough time, I’ll go back and get a Master’s in Architecture… just for fun of course. But for now I’ll draw tiny pictures of tiny houses and post them online. :-)

Michael Janzen

21 Comments About

  1. stephanie reed

    I spend my time doing the exact same thing: drawing very small livable house plans and wondering if I will ever get to see some of them built! I believe in what you are writing and doing. Thanks for posting your ideas!

    1. Michael Janzen

      Thanks. Yeah it’s fun to dream and visualize these tiny house… and even better to blog about it. Nice to be able to share and so many people post great feedback and ideas.

      1. Ember Leona

        These little homes are great. They would be awesome if zone commercial residential and were built to code where I live. I think you could make flower shops trinket stores and other ticket vendor type booth storefronts.

  2. Wiley Robinson

    This is a very cool site. I have 5 acres of land out in the desert and have been trying to design a small house/cabin I can build cheaply to put out there.

    There are other reasons to build tiny houses other than living light and it’s hard to find many plans or ideas for them.

    Keep it up, it’s a great site.

  3. Courtney

    I have been obsessively researching tiny homes for the past six months of so. I love finding new sites, looking forward to exploring your site more.

  4. Alan McRae

    Marvelous small footprint homebuilding website! These tiny homes are an escape pod from the corporate gulag. If your soul is dying in your cubicle, then maybe you should think small and create your way to real freedom.

  5. Mike Switzer

    Cool houses, totally cool concept…I’m wondering if it is possible to contact Potluck Community in North Carolina?? Do they do any open houses, tours, talks…anything?? They are not listed on the ic.org website (Intentional Communities…COMMUNITIES Magazine). I’d really like to see what they’ve accomplished and talk with them since I live only about 45 minutes away. Thanks. mike

    1. Mike Moore

      Hi Mike,
      I just discovered your comment. Don’t know if you’re still interested, but as a resident of Potluck Farm, I’m willing to fill you in on all the details. If you are, let me know, and since you’re fairly close we could arrange a visit.

      Mike Moore

  6. Jana Burgess-Henry

    Great website. I stumbled on this today and can’t stop reading. I’m interested in building a few less than 120 sq ft “houses” on my property in the Sierra foothills in No. California. Are there any of your building designs up in the Sacramento, Chico, Nevada City vicinity that folks might be willing to allow me to see?
    Thanks for the great designs.

    1. Michael Janzen

      Thanks Jana,

      None of mine. One fellow is building one (8×16 solar house) down near Modesto.

      Jay Shafer lives over in Sonoma County and has a regular open house just about every month. Jay’s houses (Tumbleweed Tiny House Company) is the most well known homes and very very nice. You’ll also Tortoiseshell Homes and Little house on a Trailer over in Sonoma County. So it might be worth a drive over to their neck of the woods to get a close-up look.



  7. Delmy Jeffrie

    Fantastic blog, many amusing details. I think 6 of days ago, I have viewed a similar post.

  8. Jim C.

    I dream of this. How liberating. Love it. Look how much time and money we spend maintaining our yards, homes, and then have barely and time and money to do much of anything after we finish work.

  9. Richard

    I can see how tiny houses would work great for myself.I have always thought we have house that are to big with led lighting very easy to go off grid and still have all conveniences. I live out side most of the time. By spring time hope to have one built.Once I get started I will start posting on build. I have 25 plus year in remodels and building homes A project that I am looking forward to doing Very nice site

  10. Stephanie

    what program are you using to do your floorplans and designs? for a total novice what would you recommend? a free progrm would be great :)

    1. Michael Janzen

      I’ve been using Omnigraffle – which is actually kind of like visio for Mac. You can also use sketchup by drawing in #D and then viewing the drawing from the top in parallel view.

  11. Lori Stephens

    Hello, tiny house folks! I see that other people are also interested in the idea that I’ve been mulling: finding or forming a “tiny house village” in Northern California. Does anyone know of an individual, or group, that is moving forward with this idea?

  12. Nick @ Livin' Lightly

    Love it! Thanks for this awesome resource – love all the inspiration!

    Our little family downsized to a 178 square foot vintage Airstream. We absolutely LOVE our small intentional space! Now we ironically have more, “space” for what truly matters!



  13. Victoria

    Hi Michael,

    I live in County of/City of Sacramento and I’m trying to find out what code enforcement might apply to a tiny house on wheels. 24 ft trailer parked in a SFR side yard viewable to the street or even street parking. Do you have the 411 on this? =)


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