Tiny House Book Giveaway – 6 Tiny House Books!

I’ve picked six books to give away. Some are packed with photos & drawings, others packed with real life stories and DIY info. On December 1, 2014 I’ll randomly select a winner and ship these brand new books off to them.

Upon entering you’ll be subscribed to the Tiny House Design & Living email newsletter. We’ll never share your email address, name, etc with anyone; and you can unsubscribe any time. One grand prize winner will be selected. Open to U.S. entries only.

  1. Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter by Lloyd Kahn
  2. Tiny Homes on the Move: Wheels and Water by Lloyd Kahn
  3. Humble Homes, Simple Shacks… by Derek Diedricksen
  4. The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir by Dee Williams
  5. Tiny House Design & Construction Guide by Dan Louche
  6. Tiny House Floor Plans by Michael Janzen

How tiny is too tiny? …An Excerpt from Tiny House Decisions [Book Giveaway Has Ended]

The following is a guest post by Ethan Waldman and an excerpt from the guide Tiny House Decisions: Everything I Wish I Knew When I Built My Tiny House, by Ethan Waldman.

If you are interested in building your own tiny home, this guide will walk you through each and every process, step by step, and ultimately help you build the tiny house that’s right for you.

Make sure you read until the end to find out how you can win a copy of Ethan’s new book.


What should the overall size be?

A lot can be said about the overall size of your tiny house. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to this: The smaller it is, the harder it’s going to be to live there. I know, that’s a bold statement, but think of it this way:

When you build a tiny house that you intend to live in, there’s no question that you are going to have to get rid of a lot of stuff. Most or all of your furniture will definitely have to go. Giant wardrobe? Forget it. Large specialized appliances? Find a different home for them.

Regardless of how big or small your tiny house is, you’re going to need to downsize. However, you don’t have to go as micro as possible. You can have a tiny house that’s still livable. A foot or two might not make much difference in a traditional house, but in a tiny house, it can be huge. Having a slightly larger 22-foot tiny house could mean the difference between you being able to have a kitchen sink of a usable size or not. Or it could mean the difference between being able to have a guest sleep in your “great room” or not.

You’re downsizing either way, so why not make your house as livable as possible?

In the end, this is just another one of those trade-offs we talked about back in the Introduction.

Pros of a Bigger Tiny House

The bigger your tiny house is, the more storage space it has.

When it comes to tiny houses, you may be required to put quotes around the word “storage.” However, you’d be amazed at how many creative ways you can sneak storage into a small space.

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For instance, my main seating in the tiny house is a long structure that we called “the bench” during construction. Because my house is long, the couch is long — over 8 feet — and big enough for a guest to sleep on. And what’s underneath? “Storage” space! I have baskets with felt pads on the bottoms so they easily slide in and out under the couch.

Here’s another example: I like to cook, so I made storage space and functionality in the kitchen a priority. Despite the fact that I’ve been living in my house for over a year, I still have not filled up all the drawers and cabinets in my kitchen.

Some may consider empty unused space in a tiny house to be a bad thing, but I do not. The process of moving into the house and living there has never really felt limiting to me. I know that my house has room for me to expand into it.

Your house is more “livable.”

My tiny house is definitely on the larger side of the average tiny house on wheels. However, the 21 feet of interior space enabled me to include things like:

  • a bathroom with a separate shower and toilet (no wet bath)
  • a double kitchen sink and ample cabinet and counter space
  • a 3-burner propane range (including an oven)
  • an 11-foot loft with two closets and room for a queen-size mattress

I’ve seen other tiny houses that include such luxuries as a washer/dryer combo and even a tiny bathtub.

Cons of a Bigger Tiny House

You’ll need a bigger (and more expensive) trailer.

As I said earlier, my trailer was over $4,000. Trailers have weight capacities; most are 7,500 pounds. When you move up to the 10,000-pound capacity trailers, you add at least $1,000 because they require completely different (bigger) axles, more powerful brakes, and a heavier-duty hitch.

It’s more difficult to tow.

Tumbleweed estimates that its 89-square-foot Epu weighs just 4,700 pounds when empty. That is towable by most medium to large pickup trucks and large SUVs. However, a tiny house in my size range weighs close to 10,000 pounds, which is towable by only the largest pickup trucks on the road — trucks which would be highly inefficient and impractical to own.

You’ll spend more on materials.

It takes more materials to build a bigger house, and materials cost money. For instance, consider how many windows you’re going to want. My house has 12 windows. If it were half the size, I could probably have gotten away with four or five windows total.

On the flip side, building a very tiny house — one less than 120 square feet, in my mind — will yield you the opposite of the pro/con list above. Such a house will be easier to tow, need fewer building materials, and require a less expensive trailer. However, you’ll end up with a less “livable” space with less storage.

My Decision

Despite the fact that it is heavy and difficult to tow, I would not make my tiny house any smaller. I’m so happy every time I use the kitchen, and every time I move around the house without bumping into anything. I definitely wouldn’t change that. For me, the trade-offs of a slightly larger tiny house are worth it.


That was one small excerpt from over 180 pages of Tiny House Decisions. Waldman’s guide presents all of the choices you’ll need to make in order to go tiny, along with the pros and cons for each. This is truly a valuable resource!

Enter to Win the Complete Digital Edition

Ethan is giving away one copy of the complete digital edition of Tiny House Decisions to one of our readers. This includes the book, 2 hours of interviews with tiny house experts, and 12 video system tours from Ethan’s tiny house.

To enter the contest simply leave a comment below and tell Ethan why Tiny House Decisions is the perfect resource to help you go tiny. One comment will be chosen by Ethan at random on November 24, 2014.

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Light Box Walls for Your Tiny House, and a North Carolina Workshop

The Light Box

“The Light Box”- a tiny house on wheels that was group-built at Deek’s hands-on building workshop in November.

The following is a guest post by: Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Hey all, I just wanted to share with you a few photos of a translucent wall I built in a three-season tiny cabin on wheels, that I’ve dubbed “The Light Box”, for obvious reason. By doubling a layer of this white Tuftex roofing, and leaving an air void in between, I could effectively create a somewhat insulated wall, but for my purposes, I don’t yet need that. Also keep in mind, small spaces are VERY EASY to heat, and this cabin, without the loft, is only 45 square feet in size- TINY!

Anyway, this is the front wall/window (very cost effective) of a tiny house we worked on at last months’s Relaxshacks.com Tiny House Building Workshop in MA that I hosted (we have another HANDS-ON one coming up in North Carolina too, which I’ll mention below). The overall idea was to make this front wall almost art-like at night when illuminated, and the reverse during the day, when light came into the small space and lit the interior. The roofing is affixed to a 2by6 frame (the supports also serve as a ladder to the loft) with hex-head, neoprene-washer, screws, and they’re beyond easy to drive. I’ve never seen a “light box” wall like this before, but was inspired to try it out after I used this type white poly roofing on an A-frame shelter/tree house I recently built for an upcoming DIY Network show that I’m now hosting, designing-for, and building for. I’ve also been very busy sketching, designing, and building, for an upcoming follow-up to my book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks“- if you have cabins, forts, tree houses, tiny houses, or playhouses that you built, or photographed, I’d love to see them and possibly include them in the book- email hidden; JavaScript is required.

Anyway, the wall has worked out, and I like it so much that I plan on using this same approach on a tree house I’ll be building for someone down the road. With a material this light, in tree house applications, you can actually pre-build entire wall sections of your project, and then single-handedly hoist them up to you platform. This saves a ton of time, not to mention avoids some dangerous aerial work.

As for the other workshop…..   April 26th-28th – Wilmington, North Carolina – Three Days of HANDS-ON building, guest speakers, a trip to a tiny house most likely, demos, campfire discussions, and much MORE! www.Relaxshacks.com has all the sign-up details. We’ll also film some of this build for Make Magazine and my youtube show “Tiny Yellow House”.

Steven Harrell of TinyHouseListings.com and TinyHouseSwoon.com is also co-hosting this event….AND We just added tiny house dweller/builder Laura LaVoie as one of our guest speakers (MANY more to come!).

We’ll all be building a small 100 square foot guest cottage together, and trying some new, funky, unusual, and daring designs and approaches- I can’t wait! Click HERE for workshop sign-up info.