What Skills Do You Really Need Before Building a Tiny House?

Life in a Tiny House Ebook cover

Our winner is Sarah and you will receive the book from Billy. Thank you everyone for trying!

This is a guest post by Billy Ulmer, author of the new ebook “Life in a Tiny House: Ten Inspiring Stories about How Your Home Can Change Your Life.” We are giving away a free copy of the ebook – be sure to read to the end to find out how to enter.

Are there any skills or experiences you simply must have before you begin building a tiny house? That was one of the questions I wanted to answer when I traveled all over America to visit people who built or designed their own tiny homes. I might have guessed that having a design or construction background would be the key, but several of the ten households I interviewed and photographed had only partial experience in the actual skills necessary to build a house, and some had none at all. As I asked everyone why and how they created their homes, and how living there has changed their lives, I learned that they shared more common threads between their perspectives on the world than between their prior skills.

Their attitudes on how much space is “enough,” how to handle the uncertainty of parking, and how to learn new skills were some of the quiet keys to how they successfully designed and built their tiny homes – and they may be the keys to your own tiny house journey. These perspectives, and the unique lives they helped people create for themselves, are the focus of “Life in a Tiny House,” the ebook I released last week.

Why Perspective Matters When You’re Building a Tiny Home

When I started working for Dee Williams at PAD Tiny Houses a year and a half ago, there was one thing about the tiny house movement that really surprised me. While there were tons of great, technical resources about how to build a tiny house – which trailer to buy, what kind of heater to use – there were very few resources that addressed the more human factors of the process. For instance, that choosing any kind of home is a little scary, let alone one that a lot of people won’t understand, and that isn’t necessarily legal. We like to think that we make big decisions based on cold, hard facts, but our feelings have a tremendous impact on what we do, because they determine what we think we can do.

While it seems like the top success factors involved in building a tiny house would be design and construction experience, that wasn’t the case with the people I interviewed. But many of them shared similar perspectives and beliefs about what they were capable of, how to conquer challenges, and whether their decisions were risky or safe. If you’re interested in building a tiny house, you can learn a lot of helpful attitudes from others that can help you move past the challenges of the process. Here are some perspectives that can help you live your dream.

Perspective Helps You Tackle Challenges

I’m not saying you can build a tiny house with just a hammer and a can-do attitude, but your attitude can either help you or deter you from gathering the skills and resources you need. Candice didn’t have any design or construction experience, but her confidence that she could build her house grew as she did lots of homework, took educational workshops, and met others who had built their own little homes. A valuable perspective she held was that her lack of experience wasn’t some kind of flaw – it was just the step before learning. So if other people can learn to build, then so can she.

Candice said, “I’m not crazy – I know these things need to be put together. I figure, I’ll learn. There’s a book. There’s a YouTube video. There are a lot of people who have done this before. I can learn. I’m not stupid. If they can do it, I can do it. The people who have done it make me feel very encouraged.” That perspective is vital, because if she had thought, “I haven’t learned to build a house yet, so I probably can’t learn now,” she never would have taken the steps that helped her move forward.

Perspective Creates Options

Is there any better feeling than the feeling of possibility? Like there are multiple options open to you, and you’re just choosing the best one? Perspective has a huge impact on what we think our options are. If you’ve only ever lived in a 2,000-square foot home, a 200-square foot home probably feels like another world. But living in different spaces and smaller spaces helps people realize that their life can take place in many different settings, and that they’ll just adapt to them.

Chris and Malissa Tack

Chris and Malissa Tack never felt like their 140-square foot home was really that small. They lived in small apartments in famously-cramped New York City, and according to Malissa, had visited a friend in San Francisco whose, “Apartment was a closet space – his bed fit, and that’s it. He learned to adjust.” Seeing the size of your home as negotiable is a perspective that opens up your options. If Chris and Malissa had felt that 1,000 square feet was the bare minimum they could call home, they would have had to wait until they could get a traditional mortgage. But since they had broadened their perspective on what size a home “should” be, they were able to build their tiny home immediately.

One of the trickiest issues in the tiny home community is their complicated legal status, and perspective plays an enormous role here. The people I met who built homes on wheels had many different reasons that they were comfortable in a home they could potentially be asked to move, but they all came from their attitudes on flexibility and problem solving. Aldo summed this up well, feeling that he didn’t need to solve all the potential problems of parking before they occurred, and that there will always be multiple options available: “I figured I’d come up with a solution. I didn’t need to come up with it beforehand. I didn’t seriously get concerned about that because I felt like something would work. I grew up camping. I knew that, if there’s not a camping site here, if you keep going down the road, they’ll be one somewhere.”

Candice and Aldo house

Even if you didn’t grow up camping, you can try and adopt that perspective by learning from Aldo, Chris and Malissa, Candice, and others who found reasons that a home on wheels would work for them. Changing your own mind isn’t easy, but it’s especially worth studying the attitudes of others if they have something you dream about – like a tiny house.

Shift Your Perspective By Seeing Through Another’s Eyes

Many of the people I spoke with found it super valuable to feel like they could connect and relate to others who were also pursuing tiny homes, which is a huge part of why I wrote this book. It’s easy to see a million gorgeous photos of tiny houses and still feel like actually living in one is too difficult or too risky. But when you see the stories of those who have already built and moved into tiny homes through their own eyes, you might feel like living in your own tiny house isn’t such a stretch after all.

—–
Enter to Win “Life in a Tiny House”

As a special offer for the readers of Tiny House Blog, we’re giving away a copy of Life in a Tiny House: Ten Inspiring Stories About Your Home Can Change Your Life to one lucky reader.

The ebook is a collection of stories and advice to inspire people to take action on their own tiny house dreams. It features over 200 pages of photos and interviews with people who live in tiny homes, discussing questions like these:

Why did a tiny house feel right to them?
How did they go about designing, building and moving in?
What is life like now that they’ve been living there, for between a few months and ten years?

It also shares why tiny houses aren’t as “extreme” as some might think, offers useful perspectives on how people overcame the challenges in their own journeys, and recommends practical steps to help anyone create some of the benefits of tiny house living, no matter where they call home. Learn more about the ebook at Unlikely Lives.

To enter the contest just write in the Comment Section below about how Life in a Tiny House would inspire you to move forward on your own tiny house dreams. On November 30, 2014 I will announce the winner. The winner will be chosen using Randomizer where I will enter how many people entered and it will choose one randomly. I will then contact you and connect you with Billy to to receive the book. Good luck and thank you for your continued support here at the Tiny House Blog.

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Sandy Gould - November 2, 2014 Reply

The book would help me get past my fear that I cant do this! I have been reading this blog for over a year but cant seem to make up my mind. Its not the space that challenges me, its making all the decisions alone, and wondering if I’m too old (60) to launch off on such an adventure.

Trisha - November 2, 2014 Reply

I want to live in a tiny house! …but I’m afraid I won’t be able to get rid of all my stuff.

    Angela Bretton - November 2, 2014 Reply

    I have been researching Tiny Houses for 3 years. I decided to make the transition in steps. Step one was to sell my home and physically relocate . Step one accomplished. Step two is to downsize my “stuff”. Done, but I see now I need to do more. Step three, purchase property to build on and rough out my tiny house design. Step four; research building codes, decide type of exterior construction, network with other Tiny House folks and attend carpentry and other trade workshops and classes. Home Depot and Lowe’s have free half day classes on different areas of construction. Like how to use an electric saw! I’m talking the basics! There are also classes at the junior colleges for more advanced building skills. I am searching for creative ways to get the most out of a small space. Right now I am drawing plans for multifunction furniture, storage and landscaping. I’m super excited now that I am starting to put money into the project. That is real commitment! !

Susan Greenfield - November 2, 2014 Reply

Living in a tiny house would help let go of material things I don’t need & value relationships forged on the open road instead.

Melissa De Roeck - November 2, 2014 Reply

Would love to get this book! We’re in the process of decluttering our house & lives and we’re trying to figure out how we can live simply. Would be great to get some insights, ideas and stories about how other people approached this!

Almir - November 2, 2014 Reply

It would help me chose best approach to building a tiny house.

Owen Leonard - November 2, 2014 Reply

This book would provide me more inspiration to move forward with my tiny house journey. I feel this will help me prepare for my build.

-Owen

Julianne McDevitt - November 2, 2014 Reply

I think by reading about real people with both fears and dreams of tiny house living, I will feel validated in my decision to sell my condo and purchase a tiny house. I already have the site ! I read everything I can find about tiny house living ! I could use some inspiration and courage. Thanks

Darlene Armstrong - November 2, 2014 Reply

I have long been fascinated by tiny houses. I retired this year and my husband will within 6 months. One of our main goals is to travel so we are downsizing.

Frank Dillon - November 2, 2014 Reply

I built my house in 1983-84 by myself and one friend. It is close to 1500 sq.ft. It has a loft for sleeping and the second bathroom. Main floor contains kitchen, dining,living room, second bedroom,& bathroom. Also a small utility room. Of course at the time I was around 52 in age . Now I’m 82. Still, I feel that I’m still up to the challenge.

Vanessa VanTrease - November 2, 2014 Reply

I believe that encouragement is one of the best motivators for people. This book would help me move past the “planning” stage and actually start the building stage. I have purchased a few acres for me and both of my sons and another family friend to ‘call home’. My son spent the entire summer clearing the land, by hand, enough to cut two roads into the acreage and cleared a few opening, chopped the wood up to use for heating, etc. Now we are ready to build our tiny home but the next step seems HUMONGOUS to say the least, the actual building. Send up the inspiration!

Jen - November 2, 2014 Reply

I thought my downsize journey was temporary and due to divorce.

I have kids and live in a very small wartime house.

Instead of looking for bigger, we are getting ready to fit into the space we have, go more and for me convert the house into my “empty” nest with rooms to rent.

so many times I’ve been told to go to subsidized housing but I have affordable housing, yard, garden and a pool – our own place.

So many of the tiny house plans are the same size or bigger than my house – just no wheels
and a real sized yard in the city b

Chuck Sandak - November 2, 2014 Reply

My wife and I have purchased a small tract of property and want to get back to a simple more holistic lifestyle while we still have the health and soundness of mind. We have been working for over 40 years and cannot afford nor need a big house to move to and seek alternatives.

Bonnie Ellis - November 2, 2014 Reply

Today is my birthday and I feel lucky! If I could build my tiny home, I would have the freedom I haven’t had in 3 years. It would save my sanity!

Aileen - November 2, 2014 Reply

Life in a Tiny House would enable and inspire me to be able to free me to not be weighted down with the maintenance, expense and work of my present home. I will be able to do things I would like to do; I.e., serving others!

joy neeley - November 2, 2014 Reply

I would like to live in a tiny house. I like the simple life. Having what I need is what I want.

Glenn Mouser - November 2, 2014 Reply

The goal of tiny house living is quite simple…
Given the current state the earth is enduring, tiny house living is the right thing to aspire to.

Norma Varela - November 2, 2014 Reply

I want to retire and live small

Troy - November 2, 2014 Reply

The ebook would be nice to read to continue my journey of downsizing and living simply. I am dreaming and planning to build a Tiny House on wheels. Thanks for posting this!

Chris Wong - November 2, 2014 Reply

My husband and I have been talking about what it would be like to live in a tiny house for several years now. What a great idea, to write about the emotions of the change in space, the change of letting go of so much stuff, etc. Thank you for writing this book!

Candace - November 2, 2014 Reply

I would so love to read this book! I am slowly working towards building and moving into my own tiny home. At times it is hard to keep moving forward because of all the negative reactions that people have. They think this is a crazy idea. I would love to read about the journey each of these people went through. I think it will be inspiring and help to keep me motivated.

Kerry Moore - November 2, 2014 Reply

I’ve been thinking about a tiny house for a long time. Getting rid of lots of stuff from my current (small) house has been my first step– I’d love to read more about other people’s processes.

Angela - November 2, 2014 Reply

Growing up as city people, my husband and I have always dreamed of purchasing acreage and building our own home to leave the “rat race” of corporate America. We are not rich at all, and would be happy living in a wide open country atmosphere to enjoy nature.

Cory Hagen - November 2, 2014 Reply

Getting started is the hardest part! Living in a tiny house would help us establish an affordable, permanent home that can follow us around the U.S. wherever our jobs and lives take us.

Jay Olstead - November 2, 2014 Reply

What is also needed for people to consider when planning to build a tiny home is an alternative to traditional, die hard, laborious methods of construction. Most established builders are clueless about technologies that will deliver, basically, the same end product that is stronger, lighter, better insulated, and, most important, requires less skill sets than required by conventional , old school, stick by stick methods. 700 hours, for most people, is not acceptable for the length of time required to build a tiny house. At Ragsdale Homes, we honor time tested, classic designs with a wood finish, however, that same home can be created with a 21 century approach to construction. Just because a home is clad in cedar siding and pine siding on the interior, doesn’t mean that the structure between those surfaces has to be wood studs, inferior insulation, heavier, and a weaker structure. How about a home that is 35% stronger, 65% lighter, and ” R ” 38 insulation instead of ” R ” 8. But most important, is a different system of building this home which requires skill sets that are just average, less tools needed, and a IKEA type assembly with cam locks to secure panels together instead of nails and screws. How about a floor that goes down in less than half of a day, structure that goes up in two days maximum, and interior components that can be built or purchased in a kit, unfinished, and available in modules. I know that this provokes controversy, but there has always been leaders and followers.
Respectfully,
Jay

Chris Perry - November 2, 2014 Reply

I am simplifying my life in all aspects. After having taken care of an ailing and disabled mother for over 30 years while working full time, facing 3 death in the family, facing cancer and 2 joint replacements in myself, and 2 in my husband, trying to sort through and disposing of my mother’s household items, retiring and sorting through my own household, I am reducing the chaos in our lives to a bare minimum to concentrate on bettering the quality of life. I wish I was aware of this movement years ago and look forward to entering the Tiny House community life as soon as possible.

Kim H. - November 2, 2014 Reply

I am seriously impressed, amazed and interested in the whole concept and idea of living tiny. It has given me the push to downsize my belongings and I can’t wait to keep learning more about this lifestyle. Thanks for all the inspiration and the awesome changes that are possible!! Would love to win this book!!

Kim H. - November 2, 2014 Reply

I would love to win this book.. I am amazed, impressed by the whole idea of living tiny and eagerly starting to downsize my possessions. I hope to attend a workshop in 2015 – Wish you guys would have one somewhere in Missouri!!

Ross Clay - November 2, 2014 Reply

I would like to produce a show based on this movement of “Tiny House”.
Would you please contact me. I look to discussing this further with you.
I thank you for your time in this and look to your reply.
Sincerely,
Ross Clay

Scott MacLeod - November 2, 2014 Reply

I have to much ‘stuff’ and so does my wife. We are accumulaters and don’t divest ourself unless we sell our home and move. We don’t need or use much of what we have and ‘stuff’ tends to complicate life.

We are cautiously exploring the tiny house ideal. It would compel us to pare down our possessions and also free us up to do more instead of have more.

S

Angela Bretton - November 2, 2014 Reply

What skills? I don’t have any building skills, but I do have the drive and am willing to make the necessary effort. Most importantly I am creative and commited!

Marti - November 2, 2014 Reply

A tiny house would be a means for me to live a more intentional life that focuses on people and experiences rather than material possessions.

Sue - November 2, 2014 Reply

Because of circumstances that forced me to deplete my $50K IRA in 3 years, not having savings, working a minimum wage job p-t, assisted by social security; I want the remainder of my years to be full of fun, travel & feeling part of a close-knit community. Building my tiny home–hopefully in 2 years–will afford me those opportunities.

Sierra - November 2, 2014 Reply

I’m ready to build a tiny house, but am still nervous about living in one long-term. I’m hoping this book will provide me with the right mindset to go forward with the build and help me live minimally and with intention.

MARY - November 2, 2014 Reply

Remember as a kid how we built forts made of sheets and blankets? You felt safe and serene under there just being there in your own little world….. I love seeing tiny homes and they are built for practicality too. My dream is to dream “big” with a tiny home of my own one day and I’d like to retire even at my age of 55…just me and my lab!

John Gilreath - November 2, 2014 Reply

The book would be one more tool in my box to assist me in going the rest of the way. Long story short, I allowed my life to blow up in the mid-2000’s. House (3,400 SF), wife, two kids and the dog. Poof. Slowly came back, but the start-up I joined failed after seven years, and have been unemployed for a year plus. Moved out of my condo two months ago into a 500 SF storage locker and a rented room to sleep. Now I go back to the storage locker to fetch something, and most of the “stuff” seems irrelevant. But there are memories there that I need to let go of. They are teetering on the edge. But I need to push them away…I’ve always been something of a nomad; moving from coast to coast for a job. The Tiny House movement is intellectually appealing.

jame - November 2, 2014 Reply

Since the fall of 2005, all I’ve really wanted is a chance to go home — and a way to put a house there. This might be the way.

loree lytle - November 2, 2014 Reply

The idea of starting, actually acquiring the tools and trailer is my biggest challenge. Going to take a workshop this spring to kick start my build:)
Your book features macy miller my biggest role model in this process.
Would love to see your other builders!

James - November 2, 2014 Reply

The book would help keep me motivated as I reduce my stuff and try to move towards more sustainable housing.

Catherine - November 2, 2014 Reply

I’d love to get inspired to do battle with local codes to get my tiny dream home built. It can be hard to go against the grain. Thanks!

Trisha - November 2, 2014 Reply

The idea of owning my own home has always seemed like a far away destination, only reached by the lucky few. After watching the documentary “Tiny” a few months ago, I am giddy knowing that the this far away destination is really not that far away at all. I have been reading books, am planning on attending a workshop, I have been dreaming of my own tiny home…a real home. This book would be a perfect addition to my pile of inspiration.

Nathan Edwards - November 2, 2014 Reply

It will be good for my soul

Lonna Cropper - November 2, 2014 Reply

The goal of Life in a Tiny House inspires me to move to that path because we are in our sixties, with no hope of retirement money. Our income choice has failed us numerous times, creating the need to live on savings, 401K money and credit cards for the last 35 years. That original employment choice has taught us to research ways to make the right choice for our retirement years. Debts are nearly paid off. (Yay!) and we can now work at home until we pass on. Our future Tiny Home will make our dreams become reality because we will be able to live simply, with the small income we will have. This dream includes time to truly live: to be able to help children, serve others in the community, have time to explore and travel and live our lives with self-sufficiency, financial freedom and peace in a natural location of our choice. This is the “only” way we can accomplish this dream–to build a Tiny Home.

Erin - November 2, 2014 Reply

A tiny home would allow us financial freedom and the ability to slow down and live a simpler life. I can’t wait!!

Cristina - November 2, 2014 Reply

If I win this book, it would be the first book I have ever read about tiny houses! But that does not means I am clueless about tiny houses; it has been a desire growing in my soul since 2005, to one day built a tiny home. That desire is getting stronger as a browse the Internet and see the possibilities…I have taped an area in my front room floor to start Life in a Tiny House!

Vince - November 2, 2014 Reply

Inspiring stories bring (well… share) strength to those still on the fence. One can drive themselves crazy trying to have answers to every possible problem with living in a tiny home beforehand. As a chronic over-thinker, I’m guilty of this myself! Relating to and empathizing with others whose stories ended in success will give me some much-needed perspective. The book would be great!

Cheers,
Vince

Rachel MacBryde - November 2, 2014 Reply

My brother and I used to sit together and draw plans of the houses we would have when we grew up. Now I’m 44 and living in rental property number 18, still dreaming of my own home and trying to convince landlords to accept my beautiful dogs! The tiny house movement is the most exciting development in my life at present. I just need the encouragement and support to take the plunge. Thanks to everyone for this wonderful blog and all the inspiring stories.

Sandra Hopson - November 2, 2014 Reply

It’s been my dream to buy a few acres and build a tiny house village for the whole family. Then build a few tiny barns for a couple of goats, and chickens, build a few greenhouses and live off the land. I’d love to win this book and share ideas with everyone I know.

Kathy Sheldon - November 2, 2014 Reply

Hi,

I have been purchasing books and reading as much as possible on building my own tiny home. I love to travel and a tiny home would suit me to a tee!!! I love meeting new people along the way, making some forever friends, as I continue in my travels. I will cherish reading all of the other perspectives and their journey! Thank you for all of your informative and inspiring information that you provide on the Tiny House Blog!

Truly inspired,

Kathy

Ann Jones - November 2, 2014 Reply

I am looking forward to reading your book because there is no better teacher than the voice(s) of experience. I will eventually live in a tiny house and am learning about what to realistically expect during the transition into a small space. Thanks for writing your book!

Joy - November 2, 2014 Reply

I’ve been dreaming and designing tiny houses for several years, and following as many blogs as possible, testing and learning. Right now I have a <500 sq ft. warm months cottage which I'm renovating, but it's on a campground where I can't live during the winter. Knowing that my life could change in a heartbeat in the next few years, I'm trying to prepare myself emotionally as well as financially, physically and with resources. Even though I'm a woman in my 60's I do quite a bit in the renovation department. But I'm learning my limits and how to trade and pay for things I can't do. If I find myself in the position where full time tiny house living is my option, I hope to be able to share my experiences with other women my age who wonder if they have what it takes.

Jennifer Mulcahy - November 2, 2014 Reply

The book would help me to get past the dreaming stage (where I have been for years now) and convince me that if others can do it, I can too. It would allow me to stop worrying about making enough money and allow me to live as an artist. It would help me figure out what land to buy, whether to buy a plan, how to deal with plumbing and codes and much more. Thanks!

    Steffi - November 2, 2014 Reply

    This book would help my fiancé and I find better solutions for parking and other issues that we are trying to educate ourselves about as much as possible before we are planning to join the tiny house community in summer of 2016.

Kimberley Clayton - November 2, 2014 Reply

Just reading the excerpts from the book was inspiring. I think reading people’s stories gives me so much more courage to face some of the more daunting aspects. I am only in the downsizing stage right now and I often wonder how my emotions will play out once I get to that point where I will be putting my house up for sale.

Arianne Collman - November 2, 2014 Reply

I believe this book would help me because it’s not just me i am making this decision for. My 20 year old daughter, who has Cerebral Palsy, lives with me. She is in a wheelchair, and she has other equipment and medical supplies that make it more challenging. I’d love some inspiration so i can figure out how to design our space so it works for both of us. She may not live with me forever, but she might.

    Gabe Cyr - November 2, 2014 Reply

    I’d love the book because I am leaving my 300sq foot apt, putting things in storage and won’t be back for 5 months. It’s decision time about my next step and the book could both enlarge and focus my decisionmaking. I’d also LOVE to brainstorm with you on your process, Arianne. What a wonderful challenge you are facing….need some help?

Daniel Spengler - November 2, 2014 Reply

This book would definitely assist me in getting past the shed-possessions stage and into the next major hurdle: finding a place to put a tiny house. It’s a huge help seeing stories of people that have pulled out of their financial comfort zones to pursue something better.

Kirie - November 2, 2014 Reply

When I was new to the Tiny Houses movement, about thirty years ago, I gave away my “Tiny Tiny Houses” book to an aspiring builder. I grew up in 400 square feet with an eight-person family, and “tiny” is my template. Now an elder, I want to build a tiny home I can live in and move from place to place, following the sun. Maybe receiving this book free would complete the dharma of having given my own first book away.

Mary Griffith - November 2, 2014 Reply

Right now, I’m very nervous about making the commitment to a TH. I love having extra space, elbow room, and the comfort I have in a non-tiny house. Yet, there is another part of me drawn to simplifying life in order to enjoy it even more. Maybe this book would give me the encouragement I need to keep on moving down the TH path.

Cathy McCabe - November 2, 2014 Reply

This book would help with my husband’s and my tiny house plans by gleaning from the experience of others. Logistically, a tiny house makes sense for us, but emotionally, we just don’t have the experience to know what to expect. This book would be exceptionally helpful for that.

Dana - November 2, 2014 Reply

When embarking on a life altering adventure it would be wise to look to those who have paved the way! Collect data, make decisions, and embark!
In the first stage now………

Chris B - November 2, 2014 Reply

The book would help me to transform the way I’m thinking about Tiny Houses, and, hopefully, put me in the right frame of mind as I design mine.

Molly - November 2, 2014 Reply

I need the boost of confidence necessary to move forward with this tiny house dream regardless of what other people around me think I can or can’t do.

Twila Mason - November 2, 2014 Reply

I’m so interested in building my own tiny house! I hope to get started in the next year to 18 months.

Rhonda D - November 2, 2014 Reply

My husband & I are now retired. We have downsized from a 4br/3ba house to a 2br apt. We are ready to downsize again, and this would be perfect. We want to have a place in the country. This book will help us through the planning stages. Thanks for the chance to win!

Greg Rivera - November 2, 2014 Reply

The intent is to design a foldout lightweight system of construction to increase the floor space. Besides bedroom, bath and kitchen (BBK) I need studio/lab space for artscience prototype projects. The BBK core would house the permanent utilities while the light weight walls would fold out as an origami sequence. Looking to rent land in the rural areas around the FW/Dallas Metroplex.

chad - November 2, 2014 Reply

my wife and i could live in a tiny house, eazy, but living in one as a family of four – that’s the question we’ve got goin on. we’d like to learn of other families living in tiny houses and connect with them. “homeschool bus. the world is our classroom.” this book sounds amazing, and i look fwd to tracking dwn a copy, one way or another :)thanks for sharing!

Dean Wishart - November 2, 2014 Reply

My lack of handyman skills, never having worked with much success in the DIY realm is probably my greatest drawback (and fear!) in moving my Tiny House dream from theory to practice… I need all the help I can get, so Billy’s eBook could be the shot in the arm my belief and confidence needs!

Maria - November 2, 2014 Reply

Great post, thank you! I hope the book will help me figure out how to get past the years long stage of planning and take solid steps to acquire the land/ find the site to finally build my tiny house. Thank you for this opportunity to win the book; I’m sure it’s fantastic!

Ron Clough - November 2, 2014 Reply

The book would cement the idea of tiny house living into my mind and provide further fuel to my already burning fire. I have some obstacles to overcome before building even the tiniest of homes, and I think this book would keep me going until those obstacles are cleared away. Motivation is everything, 🙂

Christina Galin - November 2, 2014 Reply

This is an answer to a prayer. Downsizing from a huge house and a family of 5 with too much stuff to think of, kids getting ready to find their own way….the time has come to start planning. We built our home and can build again. This would be for my husband, myself and our two dogs. I might try to find a way to add some kind of extension to have a photography studio/scrapbooking room too.

Dawna - November 2, 2014 Reply

I was raised a military brat and now serve myself now … I can hardly track the amount of times I’ve packed up moved and started over but everytime regardless of how big or small, opulent or simple the house was it always became a home in that moment, that space … This Tiny House Movement is all my life boiled down, all those moments, all those spaces … Into my home, my moment, my space … I can’t wait !!!!

Tonya - November 2, 2014 Reply

maybe this book will help me get past the dreaming and planning stage and cross over into the building and living stage!! I’ve been planning and designing.

Ann Hart - November 2, 2014 Reply

I’m still dealing with a mound of student debt and thought I would never have ownership of my housing ever again. I’ve been looking into the possibility of building my own tiny home, but I have TONS of questions before I can say for sure this is right for me. I hope to win this book so I will further my understanding of what it’s really like to live in one.

Amy Harpster - November 2, 2014 Reply

I would love to have this book. I am all in but I need to convince the hubby. He has alot of questions/concerns. I think this book would really help.

Connie - November 2, 2014 Reply

I’ve been downsizing my possessions for a year and need a boost to make the leap to the next steps of selling house and figuring out where to park a tiny house.

Philippe di Pizzo - November 2, 2014 Reply

My wife and I just bought our land, with the hope of building our little home next summer. Having no practical construction skills whatsoever is my greatest fear but from what I just read, my fears will be easily overcome!

Katlijn - November 3, 2014 Reply

Hi, I think the book can be a real added value because I bussy with renovating an old trailer as my tiny house, face a lot of challenges ;-), reading about how other people deal with them can only be inspiring!
Thanks

Nicole Green - November 3, 2014 Reply

I am inspired by each person’s perspective on individual growth and how adaptable everyone becomes. I feel like a lots of stress and worry over “things” and space disappear when you have limitations and maybe it forces us to focus on the big important things right in front of us. How freeing would this be?

Melissa - November 3, 2014 Reply

It would be nice to read some of the practical advice people have. Plus, I would love to have something saved on my tablet that I can refer back to when I’m doubting whether or not I could do this.

Brenda - November 3, 2014 Reply

I am looking for inspiration to turn my thoughts into action. I believe this book will do just that.

Bobbi - November 3, 2014 Reply

We should close mid-November on 3.7 acre property, with NO covenants!! We searched long & hard for a property that a Tiny House could be built. The process has started so every resource will help!

john swartley - November 3, 2014 Reply

I’ve read several articles on tiny houses, most of which discuss the design, construction and politics of them. Very few of the articles talk about what the builder is thinking and the perspective they acquired in the process. I’ve always found it very inspiring when the author of any book talks about what’s going on in their head and not just what they are physically experiencing. Learning about the authors perspective really puts myself in their shoes.

Carol - November 3, 2014 Reply

I am currently reconstructing a travel trailer to live in until i can afford to build my long term Tiny House. Life changes have made it my time to do the tiny life. This book will hopefully help me through the planning stage and into my mortgage free Tiny Home! So excited for the big move, it has been ten years in the waiting!!

Michael Cagle - November 3, 2014 Reply

Right now it is all about gaining knowledge. This appears to be an excellent additional resource.

Brenda - November 3, 2014 Reply

It would help me make my husband understand that I am VERY serious about building/living in a Tiny House once our kids are out of school. Son is a sophomore in H.S. This would allow us time to learn and/or hone our skills. Sounds like a wonderful resource! Fingers crossed!

Christian Franqui - November 3, 2014 Reply

As with any important life goal that is geared to change your life as you know it, being able to make prudent and measured steps towards that goal is vital. I hope to use “Life In a Tiny House” as a way to guide me through those steps.

Tina Kurfees - November 3, 2014 Reply

My son is wanting to build a tiny house off grid.I would love to help, but due to my health I am limited to what I can do. I may not be able to help physically, but I can do the research that is required. I need all the info I can get and this book is what we need.

Rae - November 3, 2014 Reply

It would be so inspirational and helpful to have stories of how other people did this! One of our big issues is figuring out how to make a tiny house on wheels work for a couple that is over a foot apart in height! Surely another couple has paved the way …

Laura - November 3, 2014 Reply

It’s my dream to retire to a tiny home and live off the grid – financially unstressed.

Pilgrim - November 3, 2014 Reply

This would be helpful as I move toward retirement soon. Trimming my life to just the essentials would be an inspiration to creativity and living a more compact life.

Tim B - November 3, 2014 Reply

This book seems like it would provide me with the motivation to see building a tiny house as a possibility, not just something that “other people” can do, but something I could actually do. The blog post itself gave me some hope in reading that not everyone who has built a tiny house had prior construction experience, and that is very exciting and liberating.

Todd - November 3, 2014 Reply

The book would allow my wife and I to build our small home so that we could live life. Currently with a NC teacher’s salary I will never be able to take my wife to Italy for our 10 year anniversary or take our 2 kids to Disney world when they are 6. Paying a mortgage that is over half my salary is slowly destroying my family and way of life. I don’t want to leave teaching. I love it when a student has the face (smile of recognition) of finally understanding a concept. I don’t want to leave my profession or my state. I want to live life not work to live.

Tom - November 3, 2014 Reply

While some folks say a blind leap into the unknown is an admirable quality, I side with those who value a little bit of upfront knowledge regarding the subject at hand…

r - November 3, 2014 Reply

My wife,daughter and myself have started on our to simplify our lives. We sold our 1600 square foot 4 bedroom 2 bath house about 1 1/2 years ago and moved into the upstairs of my wife’s dad’s house which not a tiny house but is relatively small in comparison. We have dreamed of building a tiny house on wheels for several years but are still dreaming. Even though we eliminated our large mortgage we still have debt and expenses related to living in an 75 yr old farm house that is well…old and inefficient for heating and cooling. So money is a major factor in getting started on our tiny house. So I guess if your book could help us to see how others have been able to build their tiny home on the cheap it would be extremely helpful. so for now still hoping and dreaming….RC

Kari - November 3, 2014 Reply

I am so looking forward to only having a small house to care for. No huge yard, barn and fences to care for. Everything in it’s place and only what I really need. The freedom will be unreal.

Diana Rogers. - November 3, 2014 Reply

I NEED this book!!!! Pushing 60 and want a tiny house. Been on this blog since it started and soooo want to build a tiny house but, like others, I am concerned about my lack of building skills. This would be inspiring enough to get me moving.

sara - November 3, 2014 Reply

I hope that by showing my husband other success stories he may be less hesitant to investigate tiny houses further. We know that we will need to build a separate workshop for our business/studio needs but our actually living space really doesn’t need to be to big. I also want to hear from families, not just couples. We have 2 kids, that changes things a little.

Marua - November 3, 2014 Reply

Hello!!! today is the first time I hear about the Tiny house movement, and I just loooooove it, I live in the south of Mexico (San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas) do you know of anyone around here who could help me build a tiny house here?? it is a very high city and in the middle of the woods… so living tiny would be PERFECT for us… thanx!!!

Sarah - November 3, 2014 Reply

I would love to read the book, in hopes it would help me push through the fear of taking on a project like this without any construction know how.

ChuckT - November 3, 2014 Reply

Yes please enter me. Loved the excerpts.

Phess - November 3, 2014 Reply

What a great excerpt from your book. While these concepts/lessons are presented as being related to building a Tiny House, they really are life lessons that can be applied to all aspects of living. Thanks for reminding me!

Jen S. - November 3, 2014 Reply

I’m dreaming of an affordable, small space to call home, and a tiny home would be a dream come true! This book would help me plan the next steps towards making that dream a reality.

Charmaine Smith - November 3, 2014 Reply

I have been vandwelling and have been playing with the idea of eventually possibly building a dwelling unit to tow behind my van, or maybe even a tiny house to sit more permanently on a piece of property someday. I have been most inspired by those who, with few preexisting construction skills, have learned what was needed and innovated and designed their homes step by step. There are so many wonderful ideas out there! Thank you for making an effort to collect them and see what links them.

Barbara Kiella - November 3, 2014 Reply

I loved reading Dee’s story. Please enter my name, and I will continue to dream of my retirement in a space smaller than my 2nd gr classroom of 38 years.

Barbara Kvistad - November 3, 2014 Reply

Your book and the experiences and insights of people who have succeeded will help me get over my disappointment in not yet finding a parking area. I’m looking for inspiration to continue my search.

Jennifer Malik - November 3, 2014 Reply

What do I think I need, but really don’t?

xanmara - November 3, 2014 Reply

When I came to the US and I knew as soon as they are built and paid for it was clear that a mortgage under these conditions was not for me. Years ago I saw a report on container houses in Spain. that idea way back to me after I’d been a little over a year. one day I read on Facebook pagi a tiny house as suggested and needless to say I fell in love.The more I read about this philosophy of life I feel more I agree with that. Because oc my status and the state of Utah is more restrictive than others States im sure my way isn’t easy but I’m sure I will be victorious. For now I have my job here but I pray over and over my company moves to other state soon where I can see my dream come true. I spend my free time checking KSL or reading stories about tiny house’owners. a shipping container: used or new build from a trailer bed, use a school bus, trailer, spare parts, my free time is devoted to find the best option that suits my economic situation but I’m sure I will have a tiny house like home, sweet home.
Life is more than working 15 years in a row to pay for your home. another 3-5 years to pay off your car and etc.

Now I’m single again but life teaches me I don’t need to like nobody. I love myself. I don’t need to enumerate the reasons that I agree with this lifestyle or why I try to eat healthy (I’m still eating candy sometimes). I dont think I’m weird only I’m particular and someday the right guy will arrive with the same particularities.

Anyways, I would like to know more about the laws here and to be completely bilingual and to make the best to help another and me too to change the rules.

It’s hard when I read about a police said it’s illegal to have your own vegetables on your yard because the grocery are losing money. The tiny house are the same: why you have to pay a mortgageto pay for a big house when you don’t need it or want it?

I had a long day at work and I don’t live where I want to live do I feel more frustrated than other days.

I would like to speak English to meet people to share our experiences to find the right way to have our tiny house so if someone want to text me it will be amazing.

I’m from Spain.

Sara - November 3, 2014 Reply

so inspiring! I love the stories of women who built their own houses, it is very empowering and encouraging! I am constantly downsizing possessions now for the dream home I have in my head that is a tiny home!

Craig - November 3, 2014 Reply

Life In A Tiny House may inspire me to complete the physical model that I have been drawing pictures of for over a year. It is a unique design, very striking… but can it really be built for the $3K goal? I continue to wonder, and draw.

Caroline - November 3, 2014 Reply

The eBook would offer the possibility of actually moving forward on this dream of having a Tiny Home.

sally smyth - November 3, 2014 Reply

I am already sold but I have a reluctant husband! I am the DIY person – he likes to say I came with my own toolkit. This might encourage him that it is something we could do no matter how limited our joint experience in building and something that would help us to be free.

Susan - November 4, 2014 Reply

I like the idea of the tiny house movement and being debt free. I enjoy and feel inspired by the stories tiny house dwellers tell and the helpful tips they offer. My husband and I have two daughters, one in away at college and the other is in 7th grade. We read, research, draw and plan, but are not quite ready to pull the trigger yet on making our own tiny home a reality. We do not have backgrounds in construction, but we have built walls and remodeled our bathroom. Reading more stories of people who have embarked on the tiny house journey and their backgrounds, struggles, & victories can only inspire us and help to bring us closer to embarking on this journey ourselves.

Tammy McCormick - November 4, 2014 Reply

Life in a Tiny House would inspire me to move forward on my own tiny house dreams because it would help me identify a foundation for making changes. Right now it just feels like a wish or a dream!

Rebecca B. A. R. - November 4, 2014 Reply

I would love to read about others that decided to build their own tiny house, even without any experience, and what motivated them to continue with the project.

J.D. Dolan - November 4, 2014 Reply

It would help me put things in order.

Becca - November 4, 2014 Reply

Life in a tiny home would help me pursue my tiny house dreams because it would help show me how other designed, built, and moved into their new tiny homes 🙂 Those steps seem scary to me now… so it would be helpful to see how other people overcame them.

Sue - November 4, 2014 Reply

over the last year, tiny houses have captured my attention. My goal is to own a tiny house within 5 years. Not sure if I am going to build it or have someoMe build It for me. Would love a free copy . Sue

Jen DiMarco - November 4, 2014 Reply

Life in a Tiny House would I believe help me to see my not only my fears and trepidation but my joy and elation will all be a part of the process of my own build. I hope it will inspire me to get my model built this winter so I can finalize my plans. I would really like to start my build sometime next year. I find that when I read or see a video of someone else’s build it helps me to understand better what my own building process could look like.
Even if I don’t win I’ll still get your book.
Thanks for doing this kind of book!

Abbie Ulstad - November 5, 2014 Reply

The past few years of my life my husband and I have focused on simplifying. Spending less, collecting less, working less, worrying less. The list goes on. We have been interested in building a tiny home. We rent a small apartment currently and would love to stop paying rent and buy a home. Out of simplicity, a tiny home would be best. It is scary though. I think that this book could help us take that next step.

Jon Johnson - November 5, 2014 Reply

I think living small really is freedom incarnated. Like a lot of people, I owned a 1500 sq ft house and spent all my time cleaning and maintaining it. Not to mention spending way too much money on a mortgage.

Living small would allow those of us too busy worrying about tomorrow to stop and start enjoying today. I don’t know about you but I’d rather be enjoying myself outside in the fresh air and doing the things I enjoy rather than worrying about how to fund manage tomorrow.

Sharon Green - November 5, 2014 Reply

I just purchased 3+ acres in a heavely wooded area of southern Indiana so that I can build my own tiny house. I’ll be retiring soon and this seemed like just what I needed to help me make the transition. doing the reseach, reading several books, having some carpintry skills and just plain loving Tiny Houses has moved me forward. I’ve already learned that there are always people who will give you information, can be hired to assist you with things you need help with, and lots of interested observers to cheer you on.

Jess - November 5, 2014 Reply

I can’t read enough about Tiny Houses, and I was an early adopter several years ago. But I am still intimidated by the idea of building it myself. That’s starting to change, as I do have SOME construction and building experience, but there are still some hurdles I need to overcome in my head! Oh, and saving up some more money is also part of it!

Lisa - November 5, 2014 Reply

Your book contains lessons about life. While I’m fascinated about all aspects of Tiny House living, I’m more interested in how this way of living is impacting people’s lives. I’d love to read your book and then pass it on to others to glean its meaning.

Elizabeth - November 5, 2014 Reply

I just wrote about needing to get rid of things before I set off to sail around the world. While I won’t be living in a tiny “house” I will be living in a tiny home on the sea. The stories shared by those in tiny homes on land are inspirational and motivating for those of us considering a life aboard.
Thanks for the great information,
Sail Away Girl

Susie M - November 6, 2014 Reply

When I was a young teen in the UK, I wanted to live on a Narrow Boat and earn my living as an Artist – as I got older and developed a life long love of motorcycling, that changed. Everyone told me that I couldn’t make a living with a motorcycle, and for too many years I believed them. I was miserable. In 2000 I became a motorcycle safety instructor – wow! very hard work – but I’ve never been happier, and – I GOT PAID!!! It’s not a year round job in Vermont, and ill health has recently put that on hold – but I did it! Now I’m working on my art again and have been following the tiny house movement for several years. I’m paring down my ‘stuff’ and living in smaller and smaller areas of the house – I finally have a tiny income again – but could be losing my present house – either way – I WILL be going tiny within the next 1 – 4 years (finances) It just makes so much sense! Plus, I love that it is portable – this country is too big and beautiful to be tied down to just one spot for too long, but packing all those boxes every time is such a pain – yup – Tiny is the way to go! Several people telling me that I can’t do that either – I’ll need help with the trailer and basic construction – but I’m not afraid of the interior, the siding, learning electrical – I’ve already learned basic plumbing – I’ll even have a go at putting the final roofing on! Your book would look great on one of the shelves…

Lorraine - November 6, 2014 Reply

I have been reading the tiny house blog for several years. I am creeping forward with constant encouragement of reading the blog. My career was trashed by the 2009 crash, and I have struggled through. In spite of all difficulties, I have purchased 5 acres in the mountains for my tiny house. I now have a new career and have designed my house. I get nervous and think I will pay someone to build it, then I think I can do it myself. I keep moving forward in spite of everything! I love the tiny houses built by women… I am both older and female and am overcoming a lot of conditioning. I would love a book… and feel most nervous about the starting of the process. Finish out I feel comfortable with. Give me foundations and roofs! I love your blog and am even hearing about tiny houses from others on occasion. I hate mortgages!

Victoria - November 7, 2014 Reply

I always love to see the journey people take to tiny living. I love seeing pictures of each unique tiny home.

Sherri Ross - November 7, 2014 Reply

I love Tiny Homes, they are cozy and sufficiently sustainable for this era. I want to build one!!!

Jayne - November 8, 2014 Reply

Inspiring! It is my dream to live in a tiny house with lake, river or ocean view.

Jeannette - November 8, 2014 Reply

I would love to read the e book and get more inspired. To bad we don’t have a tiny house movement in Europe. Maybe when we build our tiny house we can start some awareness here. That would be awesome!

LisaLou - November 10, 2014 Reply

Life in a tiny house would force me to prioritize, simplify and align with what is really important.

Eng Cheng Ferguson - November 11, 2014 Reply

Love to read about others downsizing. I have been traveling all over learning lots about Permaculture and sustainability .
Living with only a small suitcase has been very comfortable for me.

I am sure I’ll have no problem adjusting to living with only the essentials in life. I intend to find out all I can about downsizing and living the great life without overhead debt.

Alix - November 11, 2014 Reply

My boyfriend and I are planning on building our own tiny house in a year, and I’ve become obsessed with people’s tiny house stories. My real dream is to have the money to build a tiny house community. I would love to add this book to my research tools!

AC - November 12, 2014 Reply

Thank you for the articles. I am a college student thinking about an affordable living space after graduation!

Anna Miretti - November 12, 2014 Reply

I am getting married in June, and my fiancé and I are moving to a small piece of land in western NY. We are currently looking at many different housing options, and the tiny house movement is really intriguing to me. We are likely going to build small, though maybe not tiny. We are looking to make the least amount of impact on the earth as possible. We have been researching everything from underground and earth-bermed houses to tiny cabin floor plans. It would be great to read others’ stories to see the ideas and ingenuity of people like us. Thanks for this blog!

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