One Tree House

One Tree House - Exterior

This is the tale of a small home being built from one tree that fell nearby during a powerful storm. The tree was perfectly healthy too, no rot, so it was sad to see it taken down by the storm – but Nancy made good use of it. With the help of a logger the tree was cut into lumber right there on the spot and this small 450 square foot cabin was built almost entirely from the tree. Here’s a quote from Michael Litchfield’s Fine Homebuilding article:

“Weakened by a gale that had blown all day, an immense fir tree up on the ridge suddenly snapped like a giant wooden match. Its top half smacked the ground so hard that a hundred yards away Nancy felt her house bounce. That may sound like a tall tale, but it was a lot of tree.

The fir was so big, in fact, that you could build a small house from it. In short order, Nancy found a local builder with a knack for making small spaces charming and livable, swapped services with a local architect, roughed out a set of plans, and had the fir milled on-site into just about every piece of wood she would need.”

The house has a small bedroom alcove off the main living room. A small kitchen tucks into the corner of the same large room. A full bathroom shares a wall with the kitchen and laundry room can be found off the deck out back. The entire story can be found in Michael Litchfield’s book In-laws, Outlaws, and Granny Flats.

One Tree House - Bed Alcove One Tree House - Interior

Update: A quick look at the floor plan.




  1. J

    Hey there where is this tiny house? i absolutely love the idea of it! :) great work btw too! One tree? Talk about being envoirnmentally sound! :)

  2. The article just says California coast. I’m guessing up north in Mendocino County.

  3. J

    Hi, is this floorplan available by chance?

  4. It’s in the book. I’ll see if I can find it online and add it to the post. Thanks!

  5. That would be great. I’d love to see the floor plan.

  6. r

    How very cool.

  7. And enough wood left to build that beautiful blanket box, great tale and beautiful house, home.

  8. A

    I am so impressed by this tiny house. I have a goal to build one this year. I am interested in seeing the floor plan as well? Great work!

  9. r

    Nice story. Appears to be ‘right-sized’ and a very human scale. I do hope that the trees that surround it don’t topple like the one it’s built from.

  10. I just added a image of the floor plan to this post in case you wanted to see how it’s laid out.

  11. Thank you. It’s very nice! :)

  12. Great little house, but I’m wondering if one tree fell to make the house, does it not concern you the trees around the house will also fall?

    I’m only mentioning this because in Australia and in Cyclone territory where we are looking to build we have to be a safe distance from big trees.

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