Tortoise Shell Home

Tortoise Shell Home


William and Sharon Kastrinos of Tortoise Shell Homes located in Calistoga, California, have been in the building and related industries for some 25 years. In addition William spent 10 years in manufacturing as a General Manager and Operations Manager where he studied cellular manufacturing and material handling. This is their secret to keeping our costs so low.

Quoting William:

We have built over 30 houses, and I don’t know how many additions and garages. We believe, however, there is a great untapped market for low cost mini homes. Some where people would live in them as is, some may want to expand on them later.

For instance, there are may be hundreds of lots in the $5000 range throughout lake county. Maybe $15,000 for a house, and $5000 for a lot, and someone could be saving $800 to $1200 a month rent. Quite often building permits will run upwards of $50,000 for engineering, perc tests, surveying, fees and taxes.

If you have a friend with some land, maybe they would let you live there in a mini home for a couple of years, and the money you save on rent you can put toward buying land.

As people start getting serious about reducing their carbon footprint, these homes offer really comfortable living in a very small place. Couch Potatoes, maybe they need a bigger home. Outdoor types, artists, writers, it can be a welcome change from large home living.

Maybe several people could go in and share the cost of a piece of land, and build a tiny house community where solar power might be shared, vehicle charging stations, gardening, etc. It is time to start thinking differently.

Following are current pricing for the tiny home shown in the pictures below.


Model 1: Unfinished shell
Built tortoise shell tough. Ready for the do-it-yourselfer. Includes two thermo-pane windows and an insulated door. Floor is insulated and roof metal finished.

Model 1: Wired shell
Unfinished shell, wired with commercial grade conduit, metal boxes, all rough plumbing installed,shower faucet and spout installed.

Basic Tortoise Shell Home finished .

Nice 1/4″ paneling throughout. Vinyl flooring on main level and in loft. Two base cabinets in kitchen, one wall cabinet. One cabinet in bathroom.

For more pictures and information go to Tortoise Shell Home.


  1. […] are an alternative for our Canadian neighbors who are interested in owning a Tumbleweed or Tortoise Shell Home but can’t afford to have them shipped to Eastern Canada. Built in Ford Bank, New Brunswick, […]

  2. I love the concept of the tiny house. Do you sell the tiny houses in Florida? A tiny house like that would be ideal for me once I retire from the Navy in 2 and a half years from now.

  3. You are likely aware of another movement specifically of retired women to share living space and/or live in community. Imagine one home as a studio, another as kitchen or community etc with others as single or double residency. Question per this idea:
    can you build one-story homes? Ladders and lofts are not suitable for retired women as they age.