Build Your Own Tiny House in Los Angeles

by Kent Griswold on February 26th, 2012. 28 Comments
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Hi, I’m about to begin construction on a tiny house and I’m hoping to find someone in the Los Angeles area who wants a chance to build their own tiny house at reduced cost, and, if needed, to have someone (me) to team up with, lend each other a hand, or help guide them along.

I’ll be using SIP construction, which is ordinarily quite a bit more expensive than stick-built construction but much faster, much easier, much less work, and a lot more “green” (better insulation properties, less weight, and less consumption of natural resources).

However, I have a one-shot opportunity to get some SIP panels at a heavily discounted price (around the cost of doing a stick-built house!), but I need to buy the whole lot, which is twice as many panels as I need. If someone wants to split the order with me, we can each save a ton of money, labor and time. A tiny house built with SIPs could be put up in a weekend, whereas stud framing takes most tiny house people months of weekends and evenings. I’m talking about a house that’s at the exposed plywood stage; ready for siding, plumbing, electrical, windows, etc. Youtube has lots of videos showing how SIP construction works and how quick and relatively easy it is compared to stick-building. Here’s one I found:

As a bonus, if the person wants someone to team up with, or guide them, I’m knowledgeable about construction and very experienced at building things. So if the person doesn’t understand construction, or the ins and outs of building with SIPs, or even feel confident in how to do a project like this in the first place, I’d be happy to help. If they lack resources, I have all the power tools required (and then some), a garage workshop, and a half acre backyard with room where someone could construct their little house while I’m doing mine. I offer this assistance for free, partially because I strongly believe in helping others, empowering people to do things they think they can’t accomplish, and making new friends; and partially because I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get my SIP panels! :)

Visit my blog here: tinysunhouse.wordpress.com

Thanks,
Chris
tinysunhouse@gmail.com

28 Responses to “Build Your Own Tiny House in Los Angeles”

  1. April says:

    Chris! I am very interested! I live in Los Angeles and have been plotting how to build my own tiny house for years, but of course lack of land, tools, expertise, and money have slowed down my progress. I am very excited to speak with you!

  2. Liz says:

    Great cooperative spirit!

  3. teairirra scott says:

    Hi I am interested as well. I really want to build a tiny home and I live a short distance from los Angelas and I have a bit of income to invest not really much but probably enough.

  4. i am interested as well. i am designing a guesthouse prototype, and i can use the sips with your knowledge. please let me know how i can contact you, or i can email you at the gmail address.

  5. Hey,
    We’re lookin to build a guest house in our backyard under the avocado tree. It would be an add-on to our tiny 1920′s garage. How can I contact you?
    marcus@5gyres.org

  6. ... says:

    Oh man, so many replies from folks who can’t read. Additionally I think it’s important to note that to frame without using sips does NOT take long on a tiny house. A framing air nailer, and a second set of hands and you can frame in a weekend.

  7. Rgregor says:

    No, if that were true then all these tiny house builds that take weeks or months to frame, would be done in a matter of hours as you claim.

    Oh it is *possible* for two very skilled people with lots of experience to frame a small house in a weekend. But 99% of people building a tiny house will NOT accomplish that, not by a long shot!

  8. art says:

    Congrads for moving in the smaller direction. Sips are a good choice particularly if it will be mobile. Here is a link to my tiny sip house.
    http://tinysiphouse.blogspot.com/
    happy to share information if yo need.

    • kotobide says:

      Great looking build Art!!

      Ive been looking for examples of self built sip tiny houses for some time ive searched long and hard online for people using these.

      Ken if possible I would love to see more of these if not Art’s tiny house build here ont he site.

  9. Will says:

    Excellent post!!! Have been interested in SIP construction for many years….Chris, PLEASE keep us up to date with your endeavor. SIP’s DO have better insulation qualities, not only to the weather but sound as well.
    Art, Thank you for the link to your blog. I’ve become a follower!! Your concise planning shows great thought. Please continue to document your project.

  10. zh4k says:

    Stop trolling Rgregor

  11. Rgregor says:

    Sorry, I think I was not clear. i was responding to the person who said it takes a weekend to frame a tiny house with stick framing. I bet not one tiny house has been done in one weekend. I know it CAN be done but I doubt it has been. Tiny house people are DIY, not experienced contractors.

    I’m certain just about anyone could raise a tiny SIP house in a day or two though with a little help and a plan. I have studied them thoroughly and seen many videos. They are pretty neat!

    • Carolyn MVaussies says:

      You do have to think about that these are being built mostly on a trailer for the road at SOME point. They need to be put together with 3=4″ screws & or bolts, NOT a Nailgun. That take a long time at a lot of times you’ll need to predrill the hole too, or you get a split, & that holds nothing.

  12. Mike Main says:

    HI…exactly where in Los Angeles will you be located? It’s a big place…I’m in North San Fernando Valley and could maybe lend an occasional hand if nearby. Good luck and keep us posted.

  13. Rain says:

    Why is everything awesome always on the west coast? I need to get my act together and get out west. Minnesota never has anything good happening… no one is ever here doing anything good.

  14. Surley Liettle Cerley says:

    How great of you to offer this. If I was in Los Angeles I would be on it. Cooperation on buying sips and other materials in larger lots than one tiny house requires is brilliant. Here in the gorgeous softly rolling hills of Kentucky it is difficult to find others to share with, but I plan to try. This will work out fabulously for you because you have been so generous and smart.

  15. Debra says:

    This is really valuable content, thanks for sharing!

    Keep us up to date- I really like the SIP process.

  16. Darryl says:

    Hi Chris,
    I would be interested in helping out if you could use another pair of hands. I also have all the tools required so let me know. I certainly would be interested in building one for myself on your property, too. But obviously there are questions which would need to discussed.
    How much is the SIP package you are looking at purchasing to split? And what size tiny house would it be sufficient for (x2)?
    Anyway, let me know.
    Darryl.

  17. Larry says:

    Chris,
    Great way to build homes
    we have a web site mostly dedicated to building with sips.so we know its a great way to build.

    -Larry

  18. Dale says:

    Larry, how do I sign up for your blog site concerning SIP design and future notifications on your progres? I am having a model designed by my draftsman at the moment and want more information as to any particular SIP companies you reccomend for custom work. In Virginia here – so regionally would be helpful to cut cost of delivery of those SIP’s to my localtion. Bless you for offering to us your first hand experiences with this concept. As far as I know – it’s the absolute best design for ALL small house projects! Cheers.

  19. Larry says:

    Dale,
    Glad to see you are using SIP’s
    we use premier sips they are located in the pacific northwest. I will look into some sip manufactures in the Virgina area. As far as the blog and forum go to the sign up page and register.I have an area of the forum dedicated to SIP’s.
    If you go to our web site in the blog section we have some video’s on sip’s along with sippa its a trade association with some great deal of information.

    -Larry

  20. Ericka says:

    Hey!

    This sounds great. I wanted to know what you and the other Los Angeles folks thought about finding a small plot of land in residential L.A. on which to build a tiny house.

    This is the part that I can’t quite figure out. Any help appreciated!

    Best,
    Ericka

  21. Dee says:

    The one LARGE advantage to SIP’s that I don’t see mentioned is the R factor, 3 5/8 is a r-28, SIP’s also have a race built in for the running of your electrical wires.

  22. Nick says:

    I hope all is going well Chris! I am searching with CL right now to find someone in the area who will let me start construction and build my own house this Summer. I would much rather leave UCLA with a degree AND owning my home. But it’s Not looking good. I am searching the West Side where I work and Topanga, but so far little interest! I may have to move up north like everyone else after graduation.

    I hope all is well with your progress and if you are interested in sharing the land with anyone, let me know. I may be up depending on the location. As we all know who live here, a commute makes a difference! I am searching for a place to set my roots and stay here, but if I cannot find a place here I can afford and want to live, LA like many other places I have lived around the country will soon be a memory.

  23. Zelda says:

    Hi, I’m trying to find out info on building a tiny house in Los Angeles. Are you still involved in your project? Can you email when you get a chance?

  24. Eva says:

    Very good article and great project but Is still possible to find a good price land to build in los Angeles

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