How to Build A Tiny House: A Tiny House Building Guide

Plumbing, screws, zoning codes, roofing…there is so much to consider when deciding to build your own tiny home. In Ryan Mitchell’s How to Build A Tiny House: A Tiny House Building Guide, you will be covered. This simple and easy to understand book provides even the most novice with a practical guide to building your own tiny home. Being a novice myself I found Mr. Mitchell’s book easy to understand and enjoyable to read. There is a conversational style to his writing that makes one feel he is talking with you at the dinner table—not that you are reading static text.

The book is divided into three sections with each discussing key areas to tiny house building. The first section lays groundwork with fundamental knowledge and skills. The second section is devoted to the actual build and the third section is reserved for reference material that you will need when creating your tiny abode. The introduction to the book gives an overview of the author’s experience with tiny homes. I was excited to learn that the reader is always provided with free updates to the book—that is a key component when dealing in an area where information can change rapidly. Safety is also covered in this section with a list of common sense safety rules to follow while on your build. 

Each section gives a very through explanation of the critical components in easy to understand language. I appreciated the author’s recommendations for what tools would be worth purchasing new as opposed to buying used or borrowing. Knowing that can help in the budgeting of your build. In addition there are color images provided which I am a huge fan of. It is so much easier to see and understand an image when it is in color. Mr. Mitchell also provides a few brand recommendations for a select number of tools—again helping the reader to know when money is worth putting on the table.

Sections 1 and 3 should probably be read first before beginning to build your tiny home. These sections provide information on general construction, building tools and materials as well as the practical and legal concerns that you will need to consider when designing and building your tiny home. The activity on tracking your room usage in your current home is a fantastic idea on how to begin planning your tiny home space and there are also some thoughts on whether to purchase home plans or completely design from scratch. 

Section 2 is divided by the chronology a person would follow in actually putting their tiny home together. I think one of the nicest things about this book is that you really feel like you could read a section then go put that part of your house together…then read the next section. It makes the reading feel more manageable and relevant.  You don’t feel at all like you need to memorize steps before you can go on. It really is a very practical book and once you get into this section you are into the actual build having done research in the sections 1 and 3. 

All in all I think that this is an exceptional book that anyone looking to build a tiny home should purchase.  There are a number of keys, tricks and tips that can help a novice from making costly mistakes. The reading is light and easy—even if you aren’t familiar with construction or building terminology. There was a lot in this book that I wouldn’t have thought about before reading that all on it’s own makes it worth getting a hold of. As the author says, “Building a tiny  home is a very rewarding experience, but it also will be one of the hardest things you will do in your life.” It seems a good idea to have a helper along the way, and this book certainly fulfills that.

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review by jennifer meyer

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