How-To’s by Drew Odom

One of the requests that came about during my Where To From Here? post on the Tiny House Blog was for more “How-To” information relating to tiny houses. Since I personally am more of a publisher of information and not a construction expert I did not feel I have the know how to do this myself.

A while back I met Drew Odom as he was looking for tiny house builders in the Atlanta Georgia area. He said he was getting ready to start building his own tiny home and would also be starting a blog. I have followed Drew now for some time and he has written some excellent how-to articles.

I have asked Drew to share his knowledge with us here on the Tiny House Blog. He will be posting every other week on a topic that should help all the do-it-yourselfers build tiny homes.

I would also like to invite you to share topics you are interested in learning how to do in the comment section below.

I am going to let Drew tell a little bit about himself, so here is Drew Odom.

Not ten years ago America entered into a time of adjustable-rate mortgages allowing us to build bigger, live larger, and finance more, then we ever had before. Fast forward to today when the nation is crippled by subprime mortgage crisis and home sales are down by nearly 37%. Somewhere, someone convinced us that in order to be happy and to show our successes we needed to have more stuff and more places to put it. We needed master suites alongside our master baths in our McMansions. We were led to believe our countertops must be granite and that if our heating and cooling system didn’t necessitate multiple zones we were living in too small a house. But is all that true? If our homes are smaller and our possessions minimal, are we still able to make a house a home?

What if we all paid more attention to our passions and our dreams rather than our position in the rat race? What if we traded our 2-story split level dreams for Tiny Houses comprised of less than 200 sq. ft. where you can see all of your worldly possessions simply by revolving in a circle?

Some would probably call it a r(E)volution…

In essence, Tiny r(E)volution is a media-mentary on our goal to downsize, minimalize, prioritize, and proselytize, the plight of our Tiny House as the center of our sustainable, organic, homestead in rural North Carolina.

Having been a published photojournalist as well as a graphic designer, I am much more comfortable dreaming, imagining, and planning, than I am building. But with a team of contractors and builders in my family, I have grown up knowing the difference between a ball-peen hammer and a claw hammer. Coupled with our desire to pay for our tiny house “cash on the barrel” I have had little choice but to learn as I go and do a lot of things on my own. This isn’t to say we haven’t benefitted for several great people and great resources along the way.

In addition to just our home we are also homesteaders and gardeners. We grow nearly 65% of our own food. My wife grew up in the rural south and so having her feet in the dirt is one of the finer parts to life. Far more than half of our lifestyle involves the outdoors and so our version of a tiny house involves the land around it as well. So having beautiful, healthy plants is important to us; mentally, physically, and even spiritually.

If there is going to be a r(E)volution it has to begin at home and for us that home is the very dirt beneath our feet.

We hope you will join us here every other week for an ongoing series of how-to blog posts. Some will be projects we have already walked through while others will be projects we are planning. You can also find us at our home on the web – Tiny r(E)volution or find me on Facebook or Twitter. We love talking with like minded people and sharing our daily adventures in minimalism, tiny house living, gardening, homesteading, and just living the good (and simple) life!

Thank you Drew and I am looking forward to your contribution to the Tiny House Blog, a special welcome to you!

13 Comments How-To’s by Drew Odom

  1. anotherkindofdrew

    Thank you so much for having me as a guest blogger Kent. I truly appreciate it and I look forward to having some great dialogue with others interested in Tiny House living. There is MUCH to talk about. I do have to say you are being too generous by even suggesting I am a building expert. I am just fearless to a fault when it comes to hammers and nails. And I hope I encourage others to be too!

    Reply
  2. Moontreeranch

    In addition to being a tiny house lover…and currently building my own 200 sq ft cabin from scratch. I am also a class “C” residential certified contractor in Colorado and have been building custom furniture for close to 30 years. The last 10 years or so I am owner /operator of my own woodworking and remodeling business.

    In the last year or so I have also been working as a content writer and moderator for a few home improvement websites.

    You can follow along and ask all types of questions on “Hometalk”

    http://www.hometalk.com/member/Kevin

    Some of my article are found on Hometalk’s Partner site “Networx”

    http://www.networx.com/article/sustainable-building-reclaimed-wood-opt

    You can also follow along on our cabin’s progress on my blog pages.

    http://kmswoodworks.wordpress.com/2011/04/06/trip-report-part-1/

    Reply
  3. MJ

    Welcome, Drew! Beside your other accomplishments, you have a great writing style. I’m sure we’re all going to benefit, whether we’re in the dreaming or active or already-done-that-can-always-learn-more stage.

    Reply
  4. Angelica

    Drew, your blog is fantastic! I really love that you’re laying it all out there. I think in order for the movement to progress there needs to be more sites like yours so that the mystery of the tiny house will be revealed. I will definitely be following you! Good luck!!

    Reply
  5. Sid hill

    Cool. I would like to see more videos. I hear that Peter king of vermonttinyhouses.com is a great teacher if you are learning to build. I think he has a workshop at the end of the month in Montgomery vermont. Will you have workshops?

    Reply
  6. Theresa

    I am very interested in helping I want to build one for myself but with being homeless basically myself and disabled I have been sharing your news with other disabled persons and many would like to build a tiny house. But where to begin when your on a fixed income and no resources to pull from. I would love to help what can I do? I need my own tiny house very much. thanks for the chance.

    Reply
  7. Chris

    I would like a step by step how to on building roofs, more specifically a single slope roof. I think this is a part of the buikding process that isn’t explained in depth very well. A video would be amazing.

    Reply
  8. anotherkindofdrew

    Nice to meet you Debra. I look forward to your readership and any questions you may have!

    @Mj – Bless you for those kind words. I try and approach each post as if it were a stand-alone piece. So much of what we do in “tiny house land” is based on dreaming and so we have to be sure to never let go of those dreams. They are our fuel.

    @Angelica – Follow away. Believe it or not, what you say about our blog is why we started it. It seems that so many tiny house blogs are just about waking up one day and putting up some tongue and groove on a trailer. There is so much more to it and we have to take it step by step. There is no real blueprint or success model yet so we thought we would just be transparent the whole way!

    @Sid Hill – I won’t have workshops, no. I won’t do much video either as I am a redneck hippie and y’all probably wouldn’t understand me anyway. HAHAHA. Seriously though. We received word a month or two back that a documentarian friend of mine wants to tag along during the build (which begins in August) to make a short film about the whole process. As for workshops? We live in North Carolina. C’mon by and we’ll just hang out, talk tiny houses, and figure stuff out. That’s how we live. If there is a video you would like to see though, let me know and I’ll give it the ‘ol college try!

    Thank you mats for sale!

    @Theresa – Your story resonates greatly with me. My brother-in-law are currently working on a tiny house plan that would meet code and come in under $5,000. With any luck and a solid lawyer and grant writer (if you know one, send ‘em my way) we could possibly even turn the endeavor into a Section 8 project.

    @Chris – You want a single slope, eh? I actually don’t care much for them because the pitch typically causes you to lose between 3 and 4 feet of space towards the “short end”. That sort of roof is easier to mount solar panels and has a great look, it is just one that turns me off because of the loss of space when compares to the “high side.” I don’t think I will be able to provide a video of such as I am not currently building anything with a flat roof and I am not a contractor or construction worker by trade. I do apologize.

    For anyone on Facebook…if you would like to follow us and the Tiny r(E)volution minute-by-minute please find us at http://www.facebook.com/tinyrev

    Reply
  9. bc young

    I’M IN A WHEELCHAIR AND HAVE FULL USE OF MY LEFT ARM. I’M GOING TO BUILD A TINY HOUSE ON WHEELS. BY USING CASTAWAY ITEMS AND A LOT OF PAINT, I WILL HAVE A PLACE TO LIVE, OF MY OWN, ON VERY LIMITED INCOME. SO FAR, I DON’T HAVE A CLUE WHAT TO BEGIN TO COLLECT. A SMALL, OLD MOBILE HOME BASE WITH WHEELS. HAMMER? SCREWDRIVER? WRITTEN PLANS! WHERE DO I FIND FREE WRITTEN PLANS?

    Reply

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