Home Tiny House Projects

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SCADpad by DrewBrown404

SCADpad is a tiny house project from Savannah College of Art and Design. The primary use case they focused on was reclaiming wasted parking garage space in an urban setting. The first SCADpads will be placed in a parking garage on their own campus and made available to a few select students for housing.

On April 9, 2014 they will be hosting an invitation-only celebration and tour of these parking lot sized student housing units. I suspect more details will be made public, and I’ll post again on the design and solutions their massive team produced.

My expectations are high. These resource-rich tiny house projects seem to be really good at research & development. When you focus all that creative energy on one point, you often get a bunch of good ideas – some of which may possibly be of use by owner-builders.

Visit the SCADpad website for more details. Photos by Drew Brown, Jason Piccolo, and the SCADpad team.

Update: The SCADpad folks have announced some open house dates for the public. Visit the SCADpad website for details.

SCADpad Model

SCADpad view by drewbrown404

SCADpad on Highway by clermonthound

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The following is a guest post submitted by architect Andrey Bugaev.

This tiny house with just 18 m2 (194 square feet) of interior space is situated in the Moscow region, Russia. It has everything that is necessary for a convenient living. There are two large wardrobes in the hall. There are big wardrobes as well in the corridor near the fridge and over the bed. There is a bath that has a shower cabin, a basin and a toilet bowl. The kitchen is small but comfortable, the kitchen table is combined with a dining table.

This tiny house has a second tier that can sleep and play children. Antresol (mezzanine) is located above the bathroom and entrance area. Her area of 6 sq m. Children love this place as their own space to play and relax.


It’s really cold here in winter, the temperature is as low as -35°C (-31°F).  When visitors arrive the fireplace is started and the temperature rises to 20°C (68°F) in half an hour. In half an hour more the bed is getting warmed and ready – no matter how cold is outside. You won’t get cold in this small house for sure.

The house stands on a hill near a river. An open porch is on the Eastern side of the house. In summer when it’s sunny the porch is lit until the noon. You can have a meal in the fresh air in the afternoon, the porch will protect you from the sun.


The cabin is built on frame technology. On the outside it’s covered with specially prepared unedged planks. The planks are first brushed then covered with blue transparent paint and then white finish is applied with a pallet. On the inside the house is sewed round with organic wooden planks. All the materials used are completely organic, all the house was assembled directly on-site.


The winters in Russia are really snowy and the snow falling from the roof can harm a lot. That’s why the slope of the roof is unsubstantial, of only 18°. Given such a slope the snow won’t slip down from the roof under its own weight. Even if there’s a huge pile of snow on the roof, it’s not that bad. In this case the snow works as an isolator and mini house “Ship” becomes even warmer.


The porch goes round the three sides of the house and protects the walls not only from the sun, but also from getting wet when it’s rainy and windy. It protects the wood from destruction. Seats are built in the fence of the porch all around its perimeter.

On the both of the sides of the porch there are Actinidia plants. Those are a sort of Liana. When they grow they protect the walls of the small house from direct sunlight thus taking care of the finish. Wall gardening is not only aimed at protection. The Lianas prevent the floor of the porch from getting wet in the rain. They smell great in bloom in spring and in autumn there are a lot of tasty fruits on the branches. You can enjoy their taste sitting right there on the porch of tiny house “Ship”.

See more at ArtEcology.ru

A longer forum thread (in Russian) also shows more details for how the house was built. Try using Google Translate for other language translations.


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This is a guest post from Ally & Priyan at Palm to Palm – Alternative Dwelling Design, Build and Consult.

My husband and I have a dream of creating a sustainable micro-homestead on a tiny backyard plot.  We built this 120 square foot home on a limited budget with zero construction experience.  Neither of us had ever swung a hammer before starting and we had less than $6k in the bank upon breaking ground.  As far fetched as it all seemed, we decided to trust that anything is possible with inspiration, vision and enthusiasm.

We learned framing, sheathing, roofing, drywalling, tiling, flooring, plumbing and wiring mostly from YouTube and a few select books.  Each part of the project had a steep learning curve as we gathered the necessary tools and materials and knowledge.  I mostly had to learn the art of patience and the supreme importance of good prep work !!

We designed the shell to be simple + approachable for first time builders. And because our budget was as tiny as the house, we used as much salvaged, reclaimed, restored, discounted and second hand materials as possible.  The chronic lack of funds inspired a lot of creativity and I discovered an amazing alchemical skill for transforming trash to treasure.  The whole thing cost less than $8500 to build and took about 9 months to manifest.

What a tremendous journey to build a house!  Besides being a dynamic, hands-on education, it was an absolute joy to see our vision manifest and take shape, step by step.  The result is a gorgeous labor of love that fits our simple lifestyle like a glove.

We have plans to develop the edible landscape with recycled grey water irrigation and to build a tiny greenhouse, rainwater catchment system and matching chook house.

Having completed this project, Priyan is now interested in the creation of tiny home communities where beautiful, functional, sustainable homes are affordable and available to average people.  Such communities would offer shared utilities and facilities and create safe, legal spaces to live large in tiny homes.

To learn more visit Palm to Palm on Facebook…







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EDGE exterior 2

This small house was designed and built by Bill Yudchitz and Revelations Architects/Builders Corp. It measures just 320 square feet (not including the two small lofts).

It features a few notable systems like a butterfly roof that supplies two rainwater collection tanks built into the design as well as and geothermal heating and cooling.

On the inside you’ll see one main room in the middle flanked on one side by a kitchen and a bath on the other. Then up some ships ladders on each side you’ll find two small open sleeping lofts. In the main room is a set of tables & benches that be arranged into a variety of configurations like dining table and a bed.

Outside you’ll see large sliding doors that cover the exterior windows – locking it up securely when the owners are away.

Photos by Dan Hoffman. To see more visit Revelations Architects/Builders Corp.

EDGE interior EDGE kitchen EDGE exterior EDGE table bed EDGE floor plan

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Jeffs Cabin Greenhouse - Side Front

A few years back Jeff sent me a link to a tiny house he had built as a place to stay while building his larger home. He finished his larger home, but his original tiny house still get used by guests.

But Jeff still needed some space in the garden for tools, his mower, greenhouse. So Jeff build a second tiny house – this time with multiple functions in mind.

“I found myself needing more storage space, a place for the lawnmower, a greenhouse for wintering over citrus and starting seeds, and a guest house for the occasional times when we run out of beds and sofas here at our home in upstate South Carolina.”

The new tiny house is designed around the windows, which he found while dropping off some recycling.

“I was at our metal recycler, taking scrap aluminum and copper when I noticed several pallets of new windows.  I asked if I could buy a few. I was able to purchase all of the windows for $3 each.  They were headed for the crusher for the scrap aluminum, brand new in the original packaging.  I decided to see if I could incorporate all of my wishes into one building.”

Looks to me like Jeff achieved his goal. The mower can now park in its tiny carport, the tools hang in their tiny outdoor cupboard, and on the inside his citrus can winter-over and his seedlings can get their start. There’s even a bit of space for an extra bunk.

See more of Jeff’s projects on Flickr.

Well done Jeff! Thanks again for sharing your projects with us!

Jeffs Cabin Greenhouse - Side
Jeffs Cabin Greenhouse - Exterior 2
Jeffs Cabin Greenhouse - Exterior
Jeffs Cabin Greenhouse - Exterior 3
Jeffs Cabin Greenhouse - Shed in Wall
Jeffs Cabin Greenhouse
Jeffs Cabin Greenhouse - Interior 2
Jeffs Cabin Greenhouse - Interior
Jeffs Cabin Greenhouse - Interior Bunk
Jeffs Cabin Greenhouse - Interior 3

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Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Sink

Brian Schulz shares his tiny home with Kirsten Dirksen. It’s a Japanese design inspired timber frame home tucked into a temperate rain forest. It sits on a 14′ x 16′ footprint and is made from locally found and salvaged materials.

For example, he salvaged lumber from trees that had come down in the wintertime floods. He’d collect these logs out in the bay while out on his kayak, tie them into temporary rafts, and then come back later to bring them ashore – floating them onto the back of a truck.

Much of the lumber he milled himself, choosing to use live edge siding on the exterior for the aesthetic and to simplify the milling process. Inside the walls are covered in lath and a natural plaster that’s then covered in milk paint. Much or the timber frame are made from peeled cedar poles.

Instead of western style furniture he built a Japanese inspired raised tatami style platform for sitting, eating, or just hanging out.  One of the ideas he borrowed from Japanese architecture were tiny doors and windows that seem to go to nowhere.  These function to open up small spaces, add ventilation, and (some would say) allow energy to pass through the home.

The project began with a tiny brass sink he found in a salvage yard. He bought it knowing he had nowhere to put it but that sparked the idea to build this house. The sink drains into a planter box just outside the kitchen window.

The home’s heat comes from a old scaled-down cook stove that Jøtul was making from about the 1950s. The staircase is made from a single log he notched while it was still out in the forest. The stair log was so heavy it took about 15 friends to bring it inside and set into place. The stair railing was made quickly from tree limbs that were found just outside the house.

To earn a living Brian teaches people how to make skin-on-frame kayaks, but I doubt he’d say it’s a job. Brian seems to have found a way to live a rich life with ample time to do the things he loves – a lifestyle that is likely cheaper and might even feel more rewarding to live than what most of us would call normal.

You can learn more about Brian and his kayak workshops at Cape Falcon Kayak. If you liked the video be sure to subscribe to Kirsten Dirksen’s YouTube channel and be sure to visit her Fair Companies website for more tiny living stories.

Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Bed Loft Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Live Edge Siding Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Kitchen Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Tatami Platform Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Stairs Handmade Forest House in Oregon - Stair Rail

Update: Kirsten posted a new video with a full tour of this working off-grid farm.

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The Smallest House in Italy - Down Below

At just 75 square feet this little house, designed by Marco Pierazzi, occupies a tiny spot in an alley near Castel Sant’Angelo and St. Peter’s Square in Rome. While the floorspace was minimal, Marco took advantage of the height and built a loft layer above the kitchen/living area. A tiny bathroom is tucked into the back of the home.

The loft bed turns into a sofa during the day and a trap door, leading to a small staircase, can be lowered to increase the upstairs floorspace. But as you can see from the photos this small space isn’t just about utility, it’s decked out in fine Italian style.

The linked article reports:

“Architect and designer Marco Pierazzi saw the potential in an abandoned, one-room alleyway house just steps from Roman landmarks like the Pantheon and Saint Peter’s Square. He bought it, fixed it up, and lived there with his wife until their child was born. Pierazzi now rents what he calls the “smallest house in Italy” to friends, acquaintances, and tourists, making it a convenient place to stay on a Roman holiday.” – Yahoo Finance

See more of The ‘Smallest House in Italy’. Photos by Matteo Rossi.

Below: Front door, and only side with windows.
The Smallest House in Italy - Looking in Front Door

Below: Main living area with the table folded away. Notice the bathroom in the back.

The Smallest House in Italy - Table Down - Bathroom Door Open

Below: Now the table is out and ready for a meal.

The Smallest House in Italy - Kitchen Dining

Below: A peek down below through the loft’s trap door.

The Smallest House in Italy - Down the Stairs

Below: The loft in bed mode.

The Smallest House in Italy - Bed Loft

Below: The loft in sofa mode.

The Smallest House in Italy - Sofabed Loft

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As the tiny house movement grows it’s exciting to see so many creative people diving in an inventing new solutions to the small space challenge. The tiny house pictured here looks to me like one of those evolutionary steps that will catch on and be emulated and built-upon by others. It’s the Minim House.

If you think it looks a bit wider than most tiny houses you’re right – it is. It’s about 11-feet by 22.5-feet for a total of 210 square feet of usable space. It also has few interior walls which help open the space up. But the icing on the cake is the flexible interior layout with the movable table and roll-out bed.


The only big disadvantage to going past the more common 8.5-foot width is that in many states you’d need a temporary special move permit when moving the house.

There’s no loft. Instead they put the bed under the floor of a slightly raised space at one end of the house. This conceals the bed while still maintaining full use of the space.

Another innovation is the hidden and detachable trailer. The designers figured that since people don’t move tiny houses very often it might be useful to make the trailer a separate part held on by just 15 bolts. The house is also wider than the trailer so the wheels are hidden below and behind the outer walls.

Also included is a stealthy rainwater collection system and the house is off-grid ready. You’ll also notice that the toilet is an Incinolet incinerating toilet, so now sewer connection would be needed – assuming local zoning requirements permitted this.

This house was designed by Foundry Architects and Brian Levy, and was first built by Element Design + Build at Boneyard Studios DC. For more information and visit the Minim Tiny Homes website.

Minim House - 03

Below: You can see the rainwater collection system, and notice above how the rain gutters are totally hidden.Minim House - 02

Below: The bed is pulled out.Minim House - 06

Below: The bed is tucked away and the table is setup like a little bar. Maybe set for a party?Minim House - 07

Below: Now the table is set for dinner, seating for 6.Minim House - 09

Below: Party is over, table has been lowered into coffee table mode.Minim House - 10

Below: Time for work. Table now setup as a desk.Minim House - 11

Below: Detail shot of the kitchen.

Minim House - 13


Below: Simple wet bath with Incinolet brand incinerating toilet. The curtain keeps the water off the electric toilet and outlet. Also notice the instant hot water heater hung in plain sight on the wall and exposed copper plumbing.

Minim House - 12

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Pico Dwelling - Kitchen

The Pico Dwelling is a 182 square foot micro apartment in Seattle.  It’s the home and creation of Steve Sauer, an engineer with experience designing aircraft interiors for Boeing. The original space was a storage unit in a basement of a 100+ year old building. About ten years ago Steve bought the room as a storage unit but was drawn to the challenge of making it livable.

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Hank Bought a Bus - Interior

Hank bought a bus and converted it into a tiny house. He started the project in architecture school and used the bus-to-home transformation as his Masters Final Project. He found the original bus on craigslist for $3,000 and spent another $6,000 on the conversion. It took him about 15 weeks – just in time for his final review.

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While this building is not a home, it’s filled with inspiring ideas. Ecology of Colour is located on Ecology Island in Dartford, Kent, on a previously neglected corner of their Central Park. The building has many uses.

“Our proposal is comprised of organising a programme of events and workshops based around dyeing and wildlife; a small building that provides flexible accommodation for these activities; and planting a meadow of flowers and vegetables that yield natural dyes and beckon wildlife.

The timber-clad structure is an outdoor classroom, dyeing workshop, art studio, bird-watching hide, tree house and park shelter all rolled into one.”

The exterior is painted in a pattern of natural dyes. Inside the wood boards are left unfinished to allow a natural aging and stains that come with use. All the lumber was sourced from the UK.

The upper level has simple doors, but when closed the exterior surface blends together to form what appears to be a windowless geometric form. When open they transform the space’s function and feel.

For example on one side there are small bird watching openings that open inward and form a small shelf. On the opposite wall there are large doors that open outward that open the room with the feeling of a balcony. At the end of the room the wall opens up completely allowing in the most light. So the upper level can be transformed from dark to light depending on the needs of the current set of users.

For the tiny house owner-builder this design carries with it some good ideas.

  1. Transformable Space – As the seasons change imagine a tiny home with interior or exterior shutters that conceal glass windows behind them.  This could allow a tiny home some advantageous passive solar advantages as well as allowing the altering of the use and feel of the home and it’s role in the place it occupies.
  2. Simplicity vs Minimalism – In the video, Je Ahn from Studio Weave points out that simplicity doesn’t necessarily require taking things away – a good reminder.
  3. Alternative Finishes – So many tiny homes are finished in wood inside and out. While many prefer this aesthetic the options are endless – so explore the alternatives if you’re looking for something new.
  4. Elevate Views - A tiny home would be easier to raise off the ground than a big one, so if circumstances allow consider going up.

It was designed by the architects at Studio Weave. Photo credit to Studio WeaveJim Stephenson, and faircompanies.



Ecology of Colour - Back by Faircompanies

Ecology of Colour - Exterior Detail by Faircompanies

Ecology of Colour - Doors Detail by Faircompanies  Ecology of Colour - View 1 by Faircompanies Ecology of Colour - View Out by Faircompanies Ecology of Colour - Windows Closing by Faircompanies Ecology of Colour - Windows Detail by Faircompanies


Ecology-of-Colour-by-Jim-Stephenson-19 Ecology-of-Colour-by-Jim-Stephenson-20

Ecology of Colour - ceiling by Faircompanies

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Advocate Tiny House

The Advocate Tiny House will be created through crowdsourced collaboration. In other words you can help design it, and the Advocate Tiny House team will build it. When the house is complete they’ll use it to share the world of tiny house living with others. The finished house will be available for touring, traveling, classroom learning, workshops, rental, etc.

At this moment in time the only design decision that has been made is the size and source of the trailer. It will be built on top of one of tiny house trailers available through Tiny Home Builders. So it’s the perfect time to jump into the process. Andrew Odom from the Tiny r(E)volution is spearheading the project.

To learn how to participate visit their website, follow them on Facebook and/or Twitter.