Jay Shafer's New Small House Book - Tiny House Blog

Jay Shafer’s New Small House Book

Jay Shafer is offering Tiny House Blog readers an exclusive chance to get his new book almost two weeks before the official launch date of April 1, 2009. The book can only be bought through the Tiny House Blog, it is not even available till April 1 at the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company web site.

If you want to be one of the first to own this beautiful book buy it now! The price is $36.95 and worth every penny in my humble opinion. I have my own personal copy right now in front of me and can’t put it down. Here is more about the book:


The Small House Book

Jay’s new book called The Small House Book is an accumulation of his knowledge and his story, plus his portfolio of his designs. The book is 7″ x 7″ in size and about a 1/2″ thick, 197 pages of Jay’s personal experiences.

Jay shares with you what it is like to live in a diminutive home, how to meet codes, and how to design small spaces that work.

Jay says, “I live in a house smaller than some people’s closets. My house meets all of my domestic needs without demanding much in return. The simple, slower lifestyle it affords is a luxury for which I am continually grateful.”

A few endorsements:

  • “A visionary designer…” – Catherine Halley, Domino Magazine
  • “…guru of the small house movement.” – John Blackstone, CBS Sunday
  • “…part of a new generation of cutting-edge designers.” – Aric Chen, Paper
  • “…instant curb appeal.” – Bethany Little, New York Times
  • “…one hundred square feet of bliss.” – Thelma Gutierrez, CNN
  • “…a monument to life pared to its essence.” – Dan Weeks, Living Room
  • “…built to last.” – Craig LaMoult, Chicago Tribune
  • “…an efficient use of every inch of space.” – Cheryl Corley, NPR
  • “…astounding…” – Oprah Whinfrey, The Oprah Winfrey Show
  • “…extraordinary attention to detail.” – Hannah Bloch, New York Times
  • “…an inspiration…” – Christopher Solomon, MSN Real Estate
  • “…designed to last a lifetime.” – Julie Martin, BBC News
  • “Move-in-ready gems…” –Denise Gee, Better Homes & Gardens
  • “…a testament to discriminating taste”. – Carol Loyd, San Francisco Gate

Check out a few of the pages from the book below and than click Here to get your own copy today.

Thank you Jay for your inspiration and for the opportunity to share this with the Tiny House Blog readers…Kent Griswold (Tiny House Blog Publisher)










Buy Now

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The Small House Book by Jay Shafer! - Coming Unmoored | Coming Unmoored -- Life in a Tiny Floating Home - March 18, 2009 Reply

[…] The official launch date of Jay Shafer’s new tiny house book is April 1st.  However, for the next two weeks you can order an advance release copy via TinyHouseBlog. […]

The Small House Book by Jay Shafer - March 18, 2009 Reply

[…] Books. Easy AdSenser by UnrealThe official release date for Jay Shafer’s new book, The Small House Book, is April 1, 2009 but you can get a copy now exclusively through Tiny House Blog. The price is […]

EJ - March 18, 2009 Reply

Looks interesting.

Too bad tho that Jay’s house has been photo-shopped into so many backgrounds…

    Kent Griswold - March 18, 2009 Reply

    Yes, Jay likes to do that and I think he especially likes the one on the water. He does have a lot of original non photo-shopped pictures in this book as well though.

Christina Nellemann - March 19, 2009 Reply

It looks like a great little book! I will be getting it soon. 🙂

J.D. - March 19, 2009 Reply

Everything produced by Jay Shafer is over-priced and over-rated.

Antic - March 19, 2009 Reply

Seems very expensive for what is basically a sales brochure for his business.

Kent Griswold - March 19, 2009 Reply

This book is way more than a brochure, it really is a brain dump of Jay’s experience, plus his knowledge of design and approach to building tiny houses. Don’t pass judgement to quickly if you have not seen and read the book.

J.D. - March 19, 2009 Reply


I agree. I should reserve judgment until I actually get an opportunity to read it but then again…Jay’s previous Book was nothing more than an expensive pamphlet which contained no exclusive information, tips or photos at the tune of $20.

I love your Blog Kent and I share your enthusiasm for Tiny Homes. The radical truth, however, is that Tumbleweed’s has been running on fumes.

If a Tiny House enthusiasts wanted to read a “How To Book”, there are more worthy alternatives such as Les Walkers’ Magnum Opus or an actual Cabin Manual complete with free plans; hence the word “free”.

If someone wanted a survey of the Tiny House Movement, they could just as easily navigate through a bewildering array of websites such as yours or Michael Janzen’s.

If an aspiring Tiny Home Builder is interested in learning about the delicate intricacies of actually designing and constructing one, they could see Peter King in Vermont for a tiny fraction of the cost or visit Kevin Rose’s site Building Gypsy Rose.

So, what exactly are prospective buyers getting out this updated edition again?

Kent Griswold - March 19, 2009 Reply

Hi JD – thanks for your kind words and opinion. I agree a portion of the book is a revamped portfolio, etc. with a couple new plans included. However, included in this book is much of the information I learned at one of Jay’s workshops, and it is presented in a very professional way and has not been in any of his previous books to my knowledge. This book is a real book with 197 pages full of good educational information, plus lots of pictures for those who enjoy that type of presentation.

Can you get the design and construction information somewhere else? Yes, in fact the post I did today on hammers gives an example of that. A book on tools and how best to use them and only $19 through Amazon. If you want to learn learn about framing, plumbing or electrical, don’t buy Jay’s book as you will not learn about those things in it.

I’ll admit Jay got me really interested in the tiny house movement early on and many other people as well. I work with Jay on occasion and sense he lives close he is among the several people in the area I communicate with about the tiny house movement. So maybe I’m a little bias. You decide.

I am also a big fan of Peter King and Kevin Rose to just name a few and I hope we see many new faces out there in the future.

There are many options out there and Jay is just one of them. So find what works out for each person and go from there. I was offered the opportunity to let people see the book early and I took, but I am not here to force anyone to buy it.

J.D. - March 19, 2009 Reply


Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe you’re perpetrating a fraud on the unsuspecting public. I believe you’re simply doing a favor for a friend, as you should. And you come across as a person of some integrity.

I think Jay is skilled at making the most out of small spaces. However, I am just not inclined to believe that this “skill” justifies his high asking prices for various products as many people on his blog have recently pointed out.

We tend to fairly compensate professionals in our society based on credentials and experience. When I asked a number of professionals–Architects and Builders–on what their assessments were of Jay’s Homes, their comments were consistently the same:

“They’re pretty cool but no way is that thing worth that much money!”

That said, Jay’s contributions to the Tiny House Movement as a PR Person may be greater than his contributions as a Designer.

There are many positive things happening in the Tiny House Movement thanks to your diligent reporting. I think many outfits
approach the market with the wrong business models which explains why it hasn’t really taken off yet despite the opportune conditions.

Kevin Rose can build a Tiny House at a fraction of what these companies are asking for. Michael is on the way to building a model completely out of free stuff. Unless Jay and others like him can offer homes and plans at a more reasonable rate, these companies will fall by the wayside because they are doing a lousy job at identifying the target market.

lellewynn - March 19, 2009 Reply

kent, i just love your site! You have such good information and topics, i stop in every day just to see what’s new. As for this discussion about jay and his booklet, you don’t have to defend yourself or jay to anyone for any reason. if people don’t like the book, they don’t have to buy it. Jay has inspired me to make my own tiny house designs and i’m very grateful to him. i don’t own his book yet but i hope to in the future. You just keep doing what you’re doing and pay no mind to negativity. Saying no never got anybody anywhere.

Kent Griswold - March 20, 2009 Reply

Hi Lellewynn – thank you for your kind words and I’m glad you enjoy the blog. I enjoy publishing it and finding people who are living the tiny house lifestyle. I have met some really cool people along the way and plan to meet more in the future.

It’s good to have all angles and opinions and I appreciate JD stepping in and saying what he thinks. We may not agree on everything but hopefully in the long run a good discussion will help the tiny house movement grow…Kent

EJ - March 20, 2009 Reply

I actually returned Jay previous “book” as it was a series of over priced booklets with no new information.

Interesting perspective on photo-shopping. I see it as lying or at least stretching the truth, others may see it as being creative. While some people might love the cover “cool house on the lake” I wonder about wind, access, utilities, why no way to walk around the house etc. Practical things. To me it becomes a silly, intellectual exercise in who can fool around most convincingly with image manipulation.

    Kent Griswold - March 20, 2009 Reply

    Jay is an artist at heart and loves to photoshop and spends hours perfecting it. I agree about the floating home, I hope you can swim! 🙂

New Tiny House Book from Jay Shafer - March 23, 2009 Reply

[…] The book is available starting April exclusively on the Tiny House Blog. […]

Randy - March 27, 2009 Reply

A tip of the hat to Jay regarding his new book. I understand it represents an enormous contribution of time and energy to the movement we all love – small houses, but … there’s that big old but … $36.95, in these economic times, is just not a wise book to price ratio. I support Jay’s work wish him well and would otherwise buy his book to illustrate my support, but times are hard and my funds are limited and, respectfully, I just cannot justify that price.

Donna F - March 28, 2009 Reply

In regards to Jay’s book and it’s hefty price…

Perhaps we could convince our local libraries to buy a copy of it, then we could all just go check it out and read it for free…but not at the same time! =-)

M. Troy - April 9, 2009 Reply

I bought the “pamphlets”. After this post I’m going to buy the book. Soon, I’ll be purchasing plans for the Fencl. In about a year I hope to have those books on the shelf in my little house. It’s MY choice. Plans, books, a house that suits me, easy upkeep, and low utilities for under $30k. If I were to focus on this “high” price I wouldn’t notice the untold $10’s of thousands the banks alone would be making off me. Yes, I choose VALUE. Hmm, maybe I’m the one ripping off Mr. Shafer.

Test Post | Tiny House Journal - April 16, 2009 Reply

[…] The Small House Book by Jay Shafer See and read more here…Or […]

Nurudeen Binuyo - July 17, 2010 Reply

An access to Jay’s book would be excellent to learn from; as this movement is indeed a breakthrough.
More than this however, I wish I could get on the train with Jay if he wouldn’t mind having me as an apprentice.
For me, this new approach makes a whole lot of sense and it is worth the “tiny, little” spending.

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