Category Archives: Resources

Tiny House Courses – Now Live!

‘Tiny House Design, a Comprehensive 101’  course images final

(A Four Part Series)

I put together these presentations as a way to help the tiny house community to the best of my ability.  I presented these locally and have had several requests to put them online, here they are!  These are four sessions I have made to cover some of the main tiny house topics.  I know people aren’t interested in all parts so I split them into four different sessions focusing on Codes and Foundation Selection‘, ‘Construction‘ options, ‘Systems and Utilities‘ and finally ‘Design!‘  I hope they can be beneficial for you!

Part I – Tiny House Codes and Foundation Selection

course images part 1

This is going to be a conversation around local and national code issues surrounding Tiny Houses. I will talk about the options you have both locally (to you) and nationally, focusing on the permitting process and alternative paths to legalized tiny house living.

As a part of this conversation I will explain the difference between a foundation tiny house and a tiny house on wheels (legally) and the process that each must go through. The MAIN focus of this course will be tiny houses on wheels so I will get into the considerations that will go into picking your foundation (trailer) including both new and used options.

There are approximately 2 hours of information relating to history, zoning, codes and foundations – as they apply to tiny homes. This course is formatted to provide the information relevant to you and enable you to make the best decision for yourself. 

 Part II – Tiny House Construction

course images part 2

This is going to be a conversation about the various types of construction you may use when building your tiny house. I will talk about standard framing practices, advanced framing techniques, steel stud construction and SIPs. The great thing about tiny homes is that even the most complex house is pretty basic. Even though this will be a bit more ‘technical’ information I hope it stays simple enough for those not in the construction industry.

In addition to framing options I will get into insulation types, pros/cons and tiny house specific considerations and suggestions when it comes to moisture protection, fasteners, attaching to your foundation and more. This will MOSTLY focus on tiny houses on wheels. I also hope to give you a basic understanding of tools needed for the task and important safety info!

There are approximately 2 hours of information relating to construction, insulation, glazing selection and special considerations – as it applies to tiny homes. This course is formatted to provide the information relevant to you and enable you to make the best decision for yourself. 

Part III – Tiny House Systems

course images part 3

This is going to be a conversation about the utilities and hookups available for tiny houses including pros and cons of each. I will talk about on-grid, off-grid and self contained options when it comes to water, sewer and electric as well as a basic intro to wiring and plumbing.

I will go through all the fixtures and options as far as plumbing, heating and cooling your tiny house. This will be the one where we talk at length about toilets and all the options there ;-).

There are approximately 2 hours of information relating to utilities, fixtures and systems as they apply to tiny homes. This course is formatted to provide the information relevant to you and enable you to make the best decision for yourself. 

Part IV – Designing Your Own Tiny House

course images

This is going to be a conversation about how to design your own tiny house. Fact is tiny houses HAVE to be suited for their occupants, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ but there are things to consider and think about in your daily life. I will share some of the important questions to ask yourself, some things to consider and give you some general rules and background of design to help make the appropriate decisions. Design is daunting but it’s also systematic and with tiny houses, form really does follow function, there are reasons that one strategy makes sense over others. In addition to talking about the design of the actual house I will touch on designing your lifestyle!

There are approximately 2 hours of information relating to design, materials, and processes – as it applies to tiny homes. This course is formatted to provide the information relevant to you and enable you to make the best decision for yourself. 

Some reviews of the live sessions:

“It was outstanding !!! – Macy is so full of wonderful information – Thank you for all the time you take to help others.” -Kym

“Comprehensive, informative and fun! Thank you!” – Dani

“Macy — Once again you wowed us with your tiny house series! You answered a lot of essential questions and asked us to consider some questions I had no idea I needed to think about. You are a master at instruction and even if you feel nervous talking to groups, you are a true master of communication and I thank you for giving of your time to teach us all something new.” – Libby

“Macy, thank you for a great final meeting and a fantastic series! I’m not sure how, if I would like it built for me or a more DIY effort, but I am more convinced than ever that a tiny house is for me! You did a fabulous job presenting the information in a logical and systematic way.” – Michelle

“enjoyed the class while learning much I did not know.” -Joe

“Very informative!!” -Fawn

SketchUp Tiny House Components

In the same vein as the last post, I have put together some basic tiny house SketchUp components you can download and use to 3D model your own tiny house design.  This file has all the appliances, to scale, that I have in my MiniMotives tiny house.  There are a fair amount of components available in the SketchUp Component Library for your use but I had a hard time finding tiny house specific sized appliances and what not so I thought I would put together a file for your use, if that is something that would save you time in planning your own custom tiny house.

sketchup

Designing your own home should not HAVE to entail learning all there is to know about a piece of software on top of all the things you’re already learning in order to accomplish your tiny home.  If having these components would be useful for you please feel free to download them and use them at will HERE!

If you have any other helpful SketchUp tools, resources, tutorials, classes, plug-ins that you have found for helping you navigate your way through the design process we would love to have you share in the comments below!  

For other helpful tiny house resources put together for PlanningTiny.com please visit our resource page.  If you find the information helpful please consider chipping in, even a dollar to help PlanningTiny continue to provide assistance and resources for those on their path to a tiny house, check back for more often!

 

Tiny House Cut-Outs

A great place to start when considering it a tiny house could be a good solution for you and your situation is to wrap your head around what it is you need/want and see if realistically it can all fit together in a way that seems workable.   One of the easiest and fastest ways to do this is, once you have your list of ‘must haves’ is to take some graph paper and make some paper cut-outs that are to a scale.  You can cut out all the components you want/need and quickly rearrange and reorganize them until you find an arrangement that makes sense for you.

I have taken a little time and put together some of the more common tiny house fixtures and necessities on some graph paper which you can use if it makes things easier for you. If you’d like to, feel free to download them HERE.  There are some blank sheets for you to draw your own custom objects as well.

After you have a good idea of a layout, it’s always a good idea to either build a physical model (legos can be fun! or foam core, bass wood or even cardboard) and/or a digital model (SketchUp.com is free and simple to learn).  The cutouts are great for helping you work things out in plan but you need to consider window locations, ceiling heights and roof styles in elevation too!

Banner

 

Some things to consider when designing:

  • Think of ways that space can be used more than once, i.e.
    • A pull out bed beneath a kitchen/bathroom/living space bed-rochester-retreat
    • A loft space above a kitchen/bathroom/living space                51bd1e2adbd0cb1e9300181a._w.540_s.fit_
  • An office/living/craft room in one                               06-tinyhouse-greatrm
  • Lesser used furniture that folds/hides away when not in use mirror-table-designrulz-cover-copy
  •  Raised or alternative beds                                                        ceiling-hammock-sleeping-loft-for-tiny-houses
  • Hidden storage space                                            beautiful-tiny-house-3
  • Storage up high (this can make a space feel smaller if not done well) fy_nyth_grande

For more design help see Design Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3