Resources

Overall:

  • Here are my number one suggestions to start designing/building.  This will give you an overview of all the decisions along the way and has suggestions to get started designing! There are four parts, they aren’t dependent on each other, you can just get the ones that matter for you, ‘Codes and Foundation Selection‘, ‘Construction‘, ‘Systems and Utilities‘ and finally ‘Design!‘ or get all four HERE.  More detailed info HERE
  • course images finalTiny House Scaled Component Cut outs – This is a basic set of simple (hand drawn, nothing fancy!) scaled cut outs of the most common tiny house components.  You can download, print and cut out your own needs and arrange and rearrange them in a way that works for you.  There are blank sheets for custom objects.  Available HERE, more info HERE.  Banner
  • SketchUp Tiny House Components File – This is a scaled 3D model of all the basic tiny house components in SketchUp for your use designed to help you through the SketchUp modeling process if that is something you are doing.  It includes all of the components in the MiniMotives tiny house including the stove, fridge, furniture, lights, washer/dryer unit, water heater and more!  Available HERE.

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  • Tiny House Worksheets created for PlanningTiny.com – This is a variety of worksheets I have developed through talking with others to help along the planning process.  I update these often so check back occasionally for new information!  Available HERE.
  • Ethan Waldman wrote a great book called Tiny House Decisions, it goes over all of the big questions you need to ask yourself, systems and personal experiences, it’s well researched and should help you figure out what you want to do and also WHY!

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  • There is of course MY book documenting my entire build front to back and the decisions I’ve made along the way and why.  It’s an inexpensive resource.

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On Design:

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  • Andrew and Gabriella put out a set of four ‘How-To’ DVDs which is phenomenal!  TONS of great info over all aspects of tiny in those!

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  • Drew Odom put out an e-book from tiny r(e)volutions on how to decorate a tiny house. I have had the chance to look through it, it goes over a lot of great ideas and is nicely priced for the info contained.  It has a lot to do with storage types of ideas, psychological effects of various design components etc. It’s quick and concise.  You can see download that HERE, definitely worth the money.
  • There is another book called Compact Cabins: Simple Living in 1000 sf or less, this one is great for looking at various floor plans, sometimes it’s hard to make sense of the space for me in 2D like that but it’s got a TON of plans.  It is not graphically ‘magical’ but there are some cool concepts to think about, unfortunately mostly in plan, not as much in elevation, still, is a good resource.

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  • Books like NanoHouse are great to flip through and pull ideas from. Not as much for reading but looking through for ideas at all the pictures.  I personally get a lot of ideas that way.  That one is more ‘modern’ in style, but there are others.  I am assuming you may gravitate that direction though if you like my house  .  Some other great flip through books I have got enough out of to purchase are Small Eco HousesOff The Grid Homes, and The Big Book of Small House Design.

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Codes:

  • For questions about any code issues (which may seem overwhelming in and of itself) Ryan at thetinylife.com put out a great little ebook called Cracking the Code.  There just always seem to be questions from others and that book clarifies the main issues so you can at least talk back to those critics without letting them overwhelm you with doubts like critics tend to try to do .  It’s not so much about ‘design’ in the traditional aesthetics sense but great info that is highly recommended.

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Construction:

  • For actual construction details on specifically attaching to a trailer Go House Go is highly recommended (I found this very helpful even if very technical, and not so much about the ‘design’ side as much as the necessary side of things). Depending on your area there are a lot of good moisture protection details in there too.  Dee Williams put it out and she lives in the rainy Pacific northwest, that may or may not be helpful but it’s great info to know about at least.

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  • For electrical and plumbing: First!  Ryan came out with a great E-Book specifically for tiny house electrical called Shockingly Simple Electrical for Tiny Houses, I wish it was out when I was building, it’s a GREAT resource and as always very well done!   Back in my day before that was available ;), I went down to home depot and snagged some basic wiring and plumbing books. I liked the Black & Decker ones (Plumbing, Electrical) but I’m sure any of them are great, it’s really pretty basic information that you need to know and fortunately tiny houses aren’t usually big enough to get too complex if you don’t want them to!  Ryan’s book is great because it weeds through all that others stuff you don’t really need to know for you!

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  • I suppose a good framing book would be good too but some of that is in the Go House Go book too so I would start there and then look further for any other info on king-studs/top plates etc. that you’d like to know.  The internet has some great basic guides on that too.  Again, nothing will be too complex on a tiny house, they tend to be WAY over engineered because of their small spans anyway.   A simple diagram like the one quickly Googled below can cover a lot of the basics about typical wood construction, if you’re interested in SIPs panels, metal studs or another more unique situation it is definitely worth looking that up and/or reaching out to another tiny house builder who has taken a similar path, referring back to the first link HERE.
  • Another resource I will officially ‘plug’ is the Tiny House Magazine that Kent Griswold has been putting out.  They have been running some great articles in there, I have even got to help write a couple!  .  How to make your house your home etc.  Lots of pretty pictures and ‘How-Tos’.  I’m not sure if he’s running any now but he runs specials sometimes.  I hear a lot of great feedback from those magazines.

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Hopefully those resources cover most of the big issues, I will certainly add to it over time, please let me know if you’re looking for some other resources, I am happy to suggest any leads I have followed.

 

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2 thoughts on “Resources

  1. Andrew Taylor

    I recently purchased the “Go House Go” ebook (real recently – like this morning), and I have to say I’m not real pleased with what I got for the money. (This is not a complaint directed at you; I didn’t purchase based on your recommendation, I just happened to stumble across it after I purchased the book.)

    First, the ebook is really more like a thick pamphlet. It’s about 50 pages, which isn’t much for $20. Second, it’s woefully thin on actual details. “Now build your walls using 2x4s and screws” is not a sufficient set of instructions for building stick-framed walls. I used to be a custom home builder, and I’ve been a technical writer for nearly a decade, and both of those personas cringed while reading GHG.

    I bought the book mainly for the house-to-trailer connection information (I’m just starting to design my own tiny house, and I’m having a hard time finding info on that topic), and I was fairly disappointed in the amount of detail included and the quantity and quality of photos/illustrations. After reading it, I feel like I need to locate and purchase a second book to get the required details.

    Finally, far too many times, GHG refers the reader to other publications for information. While I can certainly understand pointing readers to sources of additional information, referring them to other sources for ALL of the information isn’t what I (thought I) paid for.

    Reply
    1. Macy Miller Post author

      This is a GREAT review, thanks for taking the time to leave your comments! I can’t say I disagree with your assessments but it was one of my favorites, perhaps because I had enough of the gaps filled in before hand. I found it to be useful but it probably isn’t enough all by itself to find out what you need to attach.

      Reply

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