Tiny House Basics Workshops

PAD design workshop

Portland Alternative Dwellings (PAD) is offering two Tiny House Basics workshops this winter – one in January and a second in March. Both workshops will be focused on the challenges of going small: how to build, what’s legal and what’s practical. It’s a great opportunity to learn, become inspired, and meet like-minded tiny house enthusiasts. Plus, you’ll get to tour two tiny houses!

The workshops are taught by Dee Williams, along with the experts from Shelterwise, Niche Design Build, Tiny Tack House and Naj Haus. PAD’s workshops are packed with the information and resources you need build the life you dream.

PAD is currently running a winter sale on the January and March Tiny House Basics workshops, giving you and a buddy a chance to save $150 by signing up together! And if the two of you sign up for the January workshop before noon on December 31st (yikes only a few days away!), you’ll have a chance to win a two-night stay at the Caravan Tiny House Hotel — a $280 value, and a great opportunity to try-on a tiny house while learning how to build your own.

Buy a pair of tickets and enter to win!

Dee Williams teaching

Dee Williams on the One Question to Ask Ourselves Before we go Shopping

Dee Williams on the 1 Question to Ask Before we Shop – TINY: A Story About Living Small from TINY on Vimeo.

If you’re into Tiny Houses, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Dee Williams. In 2004, Dee sold her 1,200 square foot house in Olympia, Washington and moved into an 84-square foot Tiny House that she built herself, from scratch. Today she’s still living tiny and has become an author and major spokesperson in the growing movement to live minimally.

Merete and Dee

I met Dee in 2010, when Christopher Smith and I filmed her for our documentary, TINY: A Story About Living Small. TINY chronicles our own process of building a Tiny House from scratch with no building experience and profiles other people (like Dee) who have radically downsized their lives. As we built our house and traveled around the country visiting other ‘Tiny Housers’ we were motivated by one central question:

“What makes a good home?”

If Home wasn’t defined by space or stuff, we wondered, then what was it?

What struck me about Dee was her honest and straightforward approach to life. In many ways, this is born from necessity: Dee decided to downsize shortly after she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. Though she’s healthy and going strong today, the precariousness of her health has helped her to prioritize. While it may seem extreme to think about death every time we embark on a shopping spree, it’s true that impermanence has a way of putting everything into perspective and reminding us of what matters most.

Dee's house

Dee’s point isn’t so much that we shouldn’t buy that new pair of pumps or the flatscreen TV, but that it’s worth noticing what kind of life we are cultivating with each choice and purchase we make. It’s fun and sometimes necessary to buy things – but let’s make sure our possessions are highlighting and not hindering our connection to the people and experiences that make our precious, short lives worth living in the first place.

The above video is an excerpt of a 12-minute extended interview with Dee Williams that appears as a special feature on the DVD of TINY: A Story About Living Small. You can also rent or download TINY on iTunes and Vimeo on Demand.

TINY Film Poster Image

One Day Tiny House Construction Workshop

Sorry such short notice but if you can go and enjoy!

Join us in Iowa for a one day workshop, kicking off the construction of a 12-foot tiny house on wheels. During this day-long intensive you will frame the floor, anchoring it to a utility trailer.

Dee Williams will teach this workshop on her Midwestern home turf alongside her brother Doug, a long time builder and teacher. The productive day ends with a small bonfire, smokes and a tour of Doug’s beautiful little house!

Read more and register here. You don’t want to miss this chance to learn more from Dee about tiny homes.

Dee Williams