Humble Homes Tiny House Plans

I’ve recently had the privilege of getting acquainted with Niall Burke from Humble Homes who has been designing tiny homes for about a year now and I have somehow managed not to cover his neat designs.

Niall sent some pictures from a custom plan, that Shawn Danley hired him to do. It’s a 24′ version of his McG Loft design, and features a staircase, with a space for a washer/dryer, mid-size refrigerator, and a stove. The shell for the home is currently on sale for $13,000 – for personal reasons Shawn and his wife decided that it just wasn’t the right time for them to go through with the downsize, which is a bit of a shame because the quality of the work up until that point looks fantastic.

The plans for this version of the McG Loft will be made available in the near future; Niall says he is currently working towards producing a 3D animation for the home as he thinks it’ll allow people to get a better feel for the layout.

Niall also included some pictures from another customer, Randy, who built his own version of the Rooke Haus.

Thery also have some customers who are doing a blog about their tiny houses, so a lot of these plans have already been tested and are being constructed.

Steve Wirzylo posts occasionally on his progress with the PB-63 design:

And Karen Batchelor, a Baby Boomer life coach, is hoping for a simpler lifestyle and has some really great blog posts and details about her custom plans (also to be made available shortly) on I believe she’s hoping to start construction in Spring.

Randy 9

Niall’s most popular plan is the Athru, however because it has only been released in this past month there are no pictures of it completed yet, or under construction.

Most of Niall’s designs are aimed at increasing the accessibility of tiny houses. For a lot of people climbing a ladder to a sleeping loft just isn’t a feasible option. Niall has been trying to address this issue by producing tiny houses which feature staircases, bedrooms on the first floor, Murphy beds, or as in the case of the Athru, a slide-out bed.

I want to applaud Niall in his work and encourage you to look over his plans if you are considering building a tiny home.



floor plan

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Asa J - February 14, 2013 Reply

For the 3d tour I highly recommend Photosynth!! All you have to do is upload as many pictures as you can and the software takes care of it.

Short learning curve, no special equipment.
It’s pretty much the coolest thing ever. I saw it on TED, so it must be 🙂

Molly - February 14, 2013 Reply

It’s great to see more options out there in tiny homes, not just in builders but in floor plans. It sounds like this company is addressing some of the issues that will open tiny houses to more people.

Stan - February 14, 2013 Reply

It seems to be a trend that people build shells and then decide that they want to sell it rather than finish it and move in. Often the excuse is given that it is because they aren’t in the right place in their life or things have changed. I completely understand that, but is a deciding factor the cost to finish the shell or they realize that the space is just too small? I know everyone is different, but there have been a few that once the shell is done something changes and the builders put it up for sell.

Bob H - February 14, 2013 Reply

I am not a fan of trailer mounted tiny structures, however this one is different. I think its the stairs to the loft.

Great Job

Hunter - February 14, 2013 Reply

I must say i admire Niall’s designs. so forward thinking.Such special talent is hard to find. the houses are not just beautiful to look at but so very well functional and creative in space useage. I hope many more will be forthcoming, looking forward to them.

DJ - February 14, 2013 Reply

Both of my programs to detect malware tell me not to visit the Humble Homes site. Just FYI, in case there’s something wrong there, maybe the folks running the site aren’t aware. : )

-billS - February 14, 2013 Reply

The stairs and use of space make this very appealing. I would build this on the ground in a minute if I had the necessary resources ie: cash, time and money. An elevation drawing would be great. Trying to guess the ceiling height in the sleeping space. I’m guessing 2′ on the low side and 4′ on the high? With mattress could leave little room especially if you want to have a valentines day rendezvous. As for Stan’s comment, i would guess the reason so many never complete and sell is commitment be it funds, time or desire. “On sale for $13K”? I would guess the cost to finish would equal that. And when you license as a trailer to save the money I don’t suppose you can insure it for what it took to build it. Or can you?

Todd - February 14, 2013 Reply

Well, TrendMicro ( and Symantec (Norton Antivirus) both prohibit the site: and state it is: “The latest tests indicate that this URL contains malicious software or could defraud visitors.” so someone needs to address this because I want to see the plans for that home.

    Niall - February 15, 2013 Reply

    Hey Tod, I’m aware of the problem and it has been ongoing for a while now. I just recently paid a security agency to go through the website and check that it’s clean – according to Securi there are no problems. But I’ll have to send Norton and Trend an email to see if I can get it sorted!

Bill Burgess - February 14, 2013 Reply

And the advantage over a Park model is????

    Molly - February 15, 2013 Reply

    From what I understand anything over 10 feet wide you need a commercial driver to move. So if you were wanting to move your home yourself you would want something narrower. I don’t know what it costs to move a park model but it would definitely be more than moving something yourself.

    It’s not that one is better than the other, it’s that one is better for some people and the other is better for other people. No one option in life fits all.

deborah - February 14, 2013 Reply

I’ve also wondered about this. Did those who backed out just come off a “manic high” and realize it wouldn’t work long term or did it get too expensive to continue, or was the “other half” really not into this as they thought they would be?

I know that these are too small for me as one half of a couple, but I could live in one by myself with no problem.

Adam - February 14, 2013 Reply

Same thing here DJ.

Dominick Bundy - February 14, 2013 Reply

Nice layout , but it lacks any closet space..

    Dan - February 14, 2013 Reply

    Most tiny house have very little wardrobe space. In this plan he added 4″ at the bedroom/bathroom side adding that wardrobe at the foot of the bed. The unit at the head of the bed is a storage bin unit from the original 20′ floor plan of this unit. I saw a 20’version, at roughly same stage, for sale in AZ.

    The McG loft plan I love and am thinking of that when I start working on mine later this year – early next. I do want a plan larger than the standard 20′. This 24′ looks promising, though I would modify more to maybe 30′ and increase the living area space. My major prob with most plans is the ladder to the loft and I can’t do ladders.

Mike - February 14, 2013 Reply

This is a nice original concept, but I’ll add a note of caution. Most building codes stipulate a minimum window size for egress in case of a fire.

Something to consider when designing a loft space.

I’ve used a long screened awning window alongside the mattress on both sides for cross ventilation – low profile, great breezes and just a diving roll out in case something goes awry.

    Dan - February 14, 2013 Reply

    Since these are tiny homes on trailers, building codes are different depending where you live. The McG orignal plans have skylights in the loft and living area as well as windows along the staircase.

      Mike - February 15, 2013 Reply

      The issue isn’t the codes, Dan. The issue is can an average to larger size body get out of the loft space conveniently should their exit be blocked by a fire. The tiny windows in the model presented are attractive, but it looks like a tight fit should someone need to bail out.

      Even RVs have specially designed windows that can be kicked out in the event of a fire. Tiny House dwellers deserve no less.

        Deek - February 15, 2013 Reply

        i think in many regional codes, by height, a loft like this is not counted as square footage, nor true living space, which might be the technical loophole there….you always DO want egress options though, even if its just a skylight that you can kick out…

          Mike - February 15, 2013 Reply

          OK let me be clear; When you design or build your tiny house, be sure you can get out of it by at least two ways in case of a fire. Codes don’t apply – common sense does. I mentioned codes because they’re created for a reason – they save lives. If you’re up in the loft, and something catches fire down below, you’ll want an opening in the wall or ceiling large enough for all concerned parties to exit through. That or sleep with a battery-powered sawzall.

          Gene Wallen - February 16, 2013 Reply

          Another way to solve this is to have the loft open at both ends.It needs to be addressed codes or not.

Adam - February 15, 2013 Reply

The slide out bed and stair storage under the kitchen platform on the Athru is genius and easily adaptable to modified floorplans. Very inspiring.
If it was for me, I would stretch the trailer to 24′ and put a width-wise twin sleeping loft above the bathroom as well. I would also forego the french doors since I wouldn’t want to sleep so close to cold glass in a cold climate winter.

tinyhousetom - February 15, 2013 Reply

Split ladder with 12 inch steps and 6 inch stagger climb like stairs but take up half the floor space.

Shawn - February 15, 2013 Reply

Hey all! I’m Shawn that built the shell. We had every intention of living in our tiny house but made one critical error. We underestimated the weight. Humble Homes did a fantastic job of modifying the existing plan to add 4 additional feet but with the trailer we chose to build on and our 1/2 ton truck, the 1600 mile journey just wasn’t safe enough for us to feel comfortable on the road. Note to self, Buy a bigger truck!!!
By the way, our friend had no trouble moving it to his property with a 2500 HD pickup.

Nadine - February 16, 2013 Reply

This is a plan I could probably sell to my husband. He wants to build something modest size and I agree 24′ would make it better if you were looking to put it on a foundation.
The most impressive thing to me is how well he used the area around the staircase.

Christine - February 16, 2013 Reply

I have a couple of issues with the Tiny House plans I’ve seen.
At age 61, and with knee injuries and one knee surgery already, I just can’t see climbing a ladder or stairs to try to get to bed, and even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to crawl to that bed once I got there~~
Perhaps the Murphy bed or pull out, as mentioned here, would work.

Also, these homes leave little room for creative outlets. I’m an artist, ceramics, 3-d, fabrics, and other found items.

I like seeing these lovely little homes. I especially like the idea of incorporating a full sized fridge into the design.

I’ve lived for 27 yrs in my 875 sq ft home. It just barely holds all the things I love to do.

Keep up the good work on this site! I get storage and minimizing ideas each week from the photos and articles.

steve - February 17, 2013 Reply

Like you home. Will you be posting pictures of the finished interior?

RV AJ - February 18, 2013 Reply

Yes I really like the stairs to the loft. The trouble is the loss of space. I am sure there is a clever way to make it useful but thats why a ladder is preferred.

    Sandy - July 27, 2014 Reply

    have you seen the picture on pinterest where all the risers on the stairs are drawers that pull out? that would be the perfect thing in this case.

db - February 21, 2013 Reply

great idea , as for the critics and the haters , them windows are plenty big to climb out of in a fire , if not make em a bit bigger for those who eat fast foor alot !

robbertpatison9 - February 21, 2013 Reply

Hello Friends! I would like to tell you that i am planning to have new home. Your blog gave so much of information about Home Plans. Thanks

Kristeen - February 23, 2013 Reply

I love the Athru design! Great use of space 🙂

Laura - March 1, 2013 Reply

I see a lot of comments about the ‘wasted’ space of the stairs, but with the height of the riser, the kicker (back of the stair) could be turned into pull out drawers underneath every tread. It looks like the wall the next to the stairs facing into the kitchen could have a small door like for crawlspaces (tiny closet?), or you could slide a pull out kitchen cabinet in there if you frame it right. Not wasted space at all if you look at it long enough.

Ric - March 3, 2013 Reply

If you find these a little tight check out Rich’s Single wide customs

His Picasa gallery is here;

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