A Workshop Designed Like a Tiny House

by Kent Griswold on February 28th, 2014. 4 Comments

We believe tiny house workshops should be like tiny houses: small, intimate, and designed to your individual needs. That’s why a couple of the professionals involved in building houses at Boneyard Studios put together a tiny house design workshop for the DIYer who wants more technical information and planning materials for their tiny house build. Our first workshop this past fall was a success and a lot of fun to put on, so we are redoing it again this Spring at Howard University. Find out more details about the workshop and watch a video from our past workshop. Check out our photos and materials from the past workshop below and see why I, Lee, was motivated to help design a workshop with these professionals after my experience building a tiny house.

DC Workshop





Throughout my tiny house project, I have realized how much building requires project planning, understanding major decision points in the process, and a knowledge of building code and materials. I didn’t fully understand how one decision impacted another or what building decisions and techniques were unique to tiny houses. I had naively bought into some of the promotional materials in the tiny house world that claim you can build a tiny house with just 14 tools or that make it seem like building a tiny house is simpler and easier just because it’s smaller than a regular house. Our experience has been the opposite: a tiny house actually requires more planning, and a pretty thorough knowledge of building science, health and safety, and codes (International Building Code, RV code (ANSI/RVIA), and city code and zoning) in order to build a structure that is safe, durable, and is an efficient use of space. Come learn with us again this spring!

March 29-30, 2014 in Washington, DC

Location: Howard University
(two blocks from the metro, one mile from downtown and one mile from Boneyard Studios tiny house community)

We believe tiny house workshops should be like tiny houses: small, intimate, and designed to your individual needs.

Join us this spring to gain the technical knowledge and the planning tools to start designing and building your small house project!

*Workshop limited to 30 participants to allow one-on-one time with architect and builder.


Big Ideas, Small Spaces: A Tiny House Design Workshop from Julie Espinosa on Vimeo.

Build a Yurt!

by Kent Griswold on February 27th, 2014. 16 Comments

Build a Yurt Workshop

Local Living Ventures group in Canton, New York

The group has brought me in to teach a 3-day workshop where we will install a 20′ yurt for the members of the group whilst concurrently building a 10′ yurt from scratch to encourage students to build their own. Yurt building, camping, food, art projects, and long term off-grid living discussion will all be present for this weekend of camaraderie!


Come help make this thing happen! You will learn about the history, uses and realistic expectations for yurt living, and “how-to” build one yourself!

There are lots of projects that need helping hands – planning, building, decorating (beautiful arts project for Mongolian designs!) and much more.

Join us to create beautiful, sustainable, and move-able housing we can all love!

A full weekend of camaraderie, Date To Be Announced. It will be late in May

Construction Supervisor is master yurt builder Steve Reed of Surely Yurts

  • Two levels of participation:
  • Camping on site, meals provided: Amount to be determined
  • Day Tripper rate: Amount to be determined

Please indicate your particular skill level with construction, arts, etc. (all levels welcome!) and your dietary and camping preferences.

Go to this link to register and scroll down.

Surely Yurt

February 27th, 2014and filed in Announcement, Yurts
Tags: camping, Surely Yurt, Workshop, yurt

Tiny House Building Workshop Deals

by Kent Griswold on January 30th, 2014. 11 Comments


Tumbleweed Tiny House Company has a long lineup of workshops that they are offering around the country in 2014. In the workshops you will learn the essentials of what’s needed to begin your tiny housebuilding journey. This includes the tools required and also majorly-important things like learning how to attach your tiny house to the trailer.

You’ll be provided with comprehensive, detailed information on tiny homes (from A to Z) that you can’t learn anywhere else—and you’ll get to meet many other like-minded people in a fun and engaging setting. Tumbleweed has taught 1000′s of people and have used their questions and feedback to make this two day event answer hundreds of questions you didn’t even know you have.

For five of the workshops Tumbleweed is offering a 25% discount on the admission price…

Here is a list of the workshops and links to signup for each. Each of them carries a 25% discount until tomorrow so you need to act fast. (January 28, 2014). If you are reading this after that time, Tumbleweed will be offering other workshops close to you in the United States and Canada.

Tumbleweed Workshop

Photo: Tiny House Giant Journey

Build Tiny Workshop

by Kent Griswold on October 23rd, 2013. 6 Comments

by Jennifer Edwards

Here is the update on the Build Tiny Workshop last weekend. Despite the fact that it rained the WHOLE time, it was a great experience. Robin did a great job executing her vision of a very hands on, cohesive workshop, with a perfect sized group for the project. I can’t wait for the next one!

Everyone pitched in with the building and had a chance to learn new things. As if it wasn’t already a great experience, there was the feel-good aspect of knowing this home would be towed down to Charlottesville upon completion as part of a start up project serving homeless and low income families. Meals were provided by Build Tiny right there in their home on Two Filly Farm, which allowed for constant opportunities for networking, comparing and troubleshooting plans, and overall tiny house conversation around the table at meals.

the group

Meals were also insanely delicious (think chili, the best cornbread you’ve ever had, and warm coffee and cider after day of working in the rain…yeah). This also kept momentum going on the build, which was especially important considering the weather. If everyone didn’t know how much weather can impact building, they do now. Even though everyone was a real trooper and pushed on through it, rain management puts a damper on timelines.

cutting wood

Luckily, there was space inside the barn and everyone just got cozy and made it work. However, being inside the barn made it so that we could not raise the walls if we wanted to be able to actually get the tiny house out. So for the finally day, a tarp system was constructed and the walls went up!! Rain or shine!

cutting wood in the rain

Larry Herbst, a master cabinet and furniture builder, came out to show some fine carpentry in working with Lee Pera on on her tiny custom cabinets for her tiny home at Boneyard Studios. Lee, co-founder of Boneyard Studios, offered ongoing feedback and conversation related to a wide variety of tiny house related issues, everything from managing builders, to managing zoning codes, and managing your sanity and relationships while building. Steve Newbold brought his lovely DIY tiny home out and we all got to watch the process of putting in an AMAZING bathroom door on wheels out of a beautiful piece of art that has been bounced around amongst his friends and finally found it’s perfect home.

learning the trade

Robin Hayes and Tony Gilchriest are not only fantastic builders with a ridiculous amount of experience and knowledge, but very effective instructors. They made a well-oiled machine of a building team out of their pupils in no time! I’m attaching a bunch pictures for you as well. Due to the rain, it wasn’t exactly the easiest to photograph, but you can get the idea. Hope you are well and enjoying the heck out of life!


working on the floor

cutting wood


subfloor completed

preparing studs


teaching 2

walls ready to go up

first wall up

walls under tarp

walls up

hard workers