Introducing Bungalow to Go - Tiny House Blog

Introducing Bungalow to Go

Guest post by Paprika Clark

There’s a new tiny house company in town, and our name is Bungalow to Go (

Hi, my name is Paprika Clark, but a lot of folks call me Pepper. Although I only named it a few months ago, I started my house design company in spirit when I noticed an ad for a new subdivision in the newspaper at the age of six. Next to an elevation sketch was a floor plan. I couldn’t take my eyes off it. The rooms were named. I could recognize an overhead view of a toilet, and the distinct round burners on the stove in the kitchen. I created a three dimensional projection in my mind and walked around “my new house” picking out my room and figuring out where we would put our couch. It was magical and I was hooked.

I started drawing my dream house then and I’ve never stopped. In the beginning they were huge and often strange, with lavish impossible features. Ponds with lily pads, indoor pools, waterfalls, tree houses, cave complexes, three story libraries with enormous rolling ladders, fireman’s poles, secret tunnels, maze gardens, green roofs, greenhouses, orchards, fire pits, dance floors… my houses had it all.

They’ve been a shifting collage of everything I love; alternative architecture, living close to nature, living an energetic movement filled life, making things from scratch, using local and natural materials, and enjoying life to its fullest.

Stumbling on Tumbleweed

While doing marketing research about five years ago I ran across Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. I had seen plenty of alternative architecture by then, but designs that took dramatic steps toward sustainability seemed too difficult and expensive to approach because of bureaucratic barriers and the cost of real estate, permitting, and construction. They were just too big to fit in my life. Furthermore, while I’d like to say looks don’t matter, in truth they make a huge difference as to whether a house will ever get permitted and built. An earthship home, for example, can be aesthetic and amazingly green, but the idea and the look is very different from the typical house, and scary or unappealing to a lot of people (although I like it). The Tumbleweed idea struck me as an amazing solution that had real potential to be both truly green and accessible to more people financially and aesthetically than anything I had seen before.

Later I came back to the Tumbleweed site and pored over every floor plan and imagined how I would live in one, where I would keep things, what I would own and what I would get rid of. All pure fantasy for a busy working mom with a big family. Eventually, I signed up for the workshop in Sebastopol. There were about 20 of us that day under a soaring tree next to the orchard where Jay had his tiny house parked at the time. We sat in the shade taking notes (I still have mine!) and talking about how to build a tiny house. I could never have imagined that years later I would speak at a Tumbleweed workshop to a group of 80!


Quite some time passed after the workshop before I was able to take some tiny house action. My seven person family is multi-generational and complex. We have two kids, several pets, and a lot of hobbies and trades amongst us – we take up a lot of space. I had very specific ideas about how to interpret the tiny house experience and I desperately wanted to design and build one, but I knew we couldn’t afford to do it just for ourselves. We didn’t have a true need for it, we couldn’t fit in one, and it wasn’t something I could justify – unless I made a business of it. I knew in the long term what I really wanted was to develop a whole community for tiny houses, so when I had the opportunity to invest, I decided to start by building just one.

Developing the Bungalow to Go Style

One thing Jay and Tumbleweed have done is create a unified image of the ideal tiny house exterior; it’s the essence of house-ness in its shape and proportions. It looks like the classic drawings of houses made by children across the world to represent home – regardless of the shapes of the houses they live in. His exterior forms have become the icon of the tiny house movement, so at some level every tiny house exterior is judged by how it compares with Jay’s designs. The interior, on the other hand, is where the world of tiny house building holds potential for a million interesting variations – with parameters so personal there’s almost no wrong way to go. I went with my instincts and made every choice as if I were going to live with it forever.

In touring Jay’s tiny house and looking at endless photos online of his interiors and others, I had developed my interior design parameters; I wanted a bigger stove with an oven, I couldn’t live with metal walls in my bathroom, and I wanted something other than tongue and groove on the walls. I love natural wood, but the horizontal bands on every surface seemed like it would be too much visually, and I wanted to see something more smooth and restful. I also wanted certain built-in “real house” conveniences; more electrical outlets, lighting with wall switches, ethernet/phone jacks, a triple mirrored medicine chest, the ability to take a ten minute shower, and cabinetry with a solid feel, smooth action and adjustable shelving. For each of us the priorities are different; every individual has their own unique preferences and values. For me, over the long haul these interior comforts were a more important investment for my dollar than upgrading the windows to aluminum clad wood.

A Bountiful Beginning

I was blessed in my journey with several important gifts; great neighbors, a bigger than average yard, a circle of friends in various building trades, a supportive spouse who could both help the construction process and back me up by caring for us domestically while I devoted my time to building my company, and my meticulous next door neighbor with 30 years building experience who was looking for work. My small business and marketing classes grounded me in start up fundamentals, while my background in landscaping prepared me with some important tools as well; drafting, plan reading, some general construction knowledge and experience of how complex projects get done. In August of 2010 I took a deep breath, shook hands with the neighbor on a deal for his labor, and bought a trailer.

Over the following months we worked together at least a little bit every weekday (and some weekends). I researched every purchase exhaustively and still the house came together with amazing speed at first. We framed it up, got the exterior finished, put the roof on, and then in early October I ran out of money for several months. I worked on other projects and used the down time to spin my mental wheels doing ridiculous amounts of research on everything I still had to buy. In late January we started back up again, and the last items on our punch list were finished this week. The project has been visually complete since around June, but there was a long list of subtle tweaks and additions right at the end, and by then we were starting on our second house so our attention was on that for a while.

Where We Are Now

The journey has been thrilling and I’m very happy with our progress so far. Now that we’ve been in business for about 15 months, we’re ready to sell our first completed house, a variation on the Tumbleweed Lusby plan. We’ve hosted a couple very well attended open houses at the Windsor Farmer’s Market to satisfy local curiosity and to generate a little awareness of the tiny house concept in our neighborhood.

Our second tiny structure is a more budget conscious interpretation and the exterior is almost finished. A buyer could have some influence on what goes into the interior if they wanted to commit to it at this stage, and it will be priced more affordably, depending on options possibly as low as $30,000.

Hide Tiny House at Windsor Pumpkin Festival

This fall I was invited to speak briefly about my company and my house to the audience at the Tumbleweed workshop in Santa Rosa. It was an honor to talk to such a great group of people, and a delight to be able to surprise the audience by saying I had my tiny house in the parking lot for everyone to tour. Excited people rushed out to see it, and I had a wonderful time talking to different folks from all over as they waited in line to get inside.

Since then, I’ve been talking with Steve Weissmann of Tumbleweed and have agreed to present workshops for them. My first one is scheduled for March 24-25 in Asheville North Carolina ( The next will be in Phoenix the 21st and 22nd of April, and after that I will head to Santa Fe for workshops on May 5th and 6th. I feel privileged at the opportunity to meet and support the tiny house community through these workshops and honored to be joining some of the most creative and influential members of the tiny house revolution, Jay Shafer, Dee Williams, and Deek Diedrickson.

Guitar Duet on the Porch at Sonoma Academy

At the Santa Rosa Tumbleweed workshop I also met Erin Axelrod of Daily Acts (, who invited me to teach a session on alternative housing and bring my house to show to students at Sonoma Academy (, a local college prep high school. That was a wonderful time, and the students could not get enough of the tiny house. At one point, there were about 12 sophomores sitting in the sleeping loft chatting with each other at close quarters! When it came time to give them an overview of sustainable housing choices we had a lively discussion, and the kids asked challenging and intelligent questions that gave us all inspiration and food for thought.

Students Gathered Around at Sonoma Academy

I look forward so much to meeting more people in the tiny house community and seeing what the year ahead brings. The need for feasible solutions to our housing challenges is undeniable, and the voices for alternatives grow more numerous and insistent all the time. Someone, somewhere will be the first to achieve a legal, sustainable, itty bitty house community. A tiny house trailer park, if you will. Perhaps 2012 will be our year!

View some new interior photos at a recent Tumbleweed blog post.

Pepper Talking to Students at Sonoma Academy

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Joe D - January 11, 2012 Reply

Tongue and groove pine for siding? Water problems ahead…

    Jeff H. - January 11, 2012 Reply

    Crystal Clear, without question that its Cedar siding.

    Irene - January 13, 2012 Reply

    what would you suggest as an alternative? The house can be customized to an owner’s preferences, and I don’t know much about the waterproof value of different kinds of siding. What do you think would be more effective?

Wendy - January 11, 2012 Reply

This may be very interesting but I could not get through it. This is way more about the author’s personal journey, family, wants and needs, than the actual house and what it brings to the table. even your name, who cares if some people call you one thing or another.

I want to learn about houses, not to get to know the author as a person and learn about her dogs.

    Heather - January 11, 2012 Reply

    Wendy, one of the reasons that I’m so interested in tiny houses is because of the freedom that they could bring and to have the ability to do more of the things that I love. One of these things is to spend time with people I care about and people who share my values. I like hearing about the journey that has brought people to where they are!!

    Shea - January 12, 2012 Reply

    I am dismayed at your feelings, Wendy, on the above reader contribution, because, she, just like you, or I, is one of US, this online ‘community’ of tiny-house-fans and lovers, and she said it perfectly, early on: there is an iconic ‘look’, a ‘house-ness’ if you will, to the tiny homes at the ‘pioneering’ of this movement, but once one gets to the ‘interior’, it’s ALL ABOUT THE OWNER/RESIDENT, their specific needs, wants and wishes, their dreams come to life in all the little desk cubbies, corner shelving, arched doorways, full-size vs. mini appliances, single room or several cozy spaces, etc.

    Every ‘tiny house’ we read about is defined by the very special person who built/designed/acquired it and made it ‘their own’.
    In fact, one of the VERY reasons many of us are wanting to downsize, bring everything into perspectives of living with what we need in order to live the LIVES we want, is because we yearn for ‘community’, for the time to spend on getting to know our neighbors, our own families and friends, better… even the ‘small house community’ Pepper speaks of is a vehicle for this IDEAL: a place where we will be ‘where we want to be’, and perhaps surrounded by friends and family and be able to be supportive for each other, a microcosm of a neighborhood of sharing and sustainability…

    But then, I’ve forgotten, I guess, about the few people who want a tiny home for its green functions and efficiency of space, to be nestled in an isolated area, away from the madding crowd and cities (and towns), away from other people, period.
    There’s that, I guess.

    But for me, I’m in love with the tiny home idea, and I’m in love with the PEOPLE who are in love with the idea… it’s why I’m HERE. 😉
    And I wish there were MORE time in our (my) lives to get to know ALL of you, not just to read about the nuts and bolts of building/dwelling in a particular ‘tiny home’, vardo, cabin, etc., but to hear about HOW and WHY you choose to live thusly!
    Maybe there needs to be TWO daily sections here (sorry… poor Kent! lol), one with the ‘factual’ articles of floorplans, building a sun oven, getting permits for a 250 sq. footer, etc. and another for general ‘readers share’ stories…?
    But if people go to ONLY the ‘nuts and bolts’ area, they will be MISSING OUT ON A LOT of valuable info shared in those ‘personal’ stories…

    I WANT to smile when reading about you and your husband sharing your tiny with three cats and two dogs (give me their names, please!), I WANT to nod my head with admiration and/or empathy when reading about how you juggled full-time going-back-to-school while working to pay the bills WHILE managing to build your own tiny AND on the shoestring budget so many of us are familiar with…

    Pepper, THANK YOU, for sharing your story with us! I’m GLAD I know you better now, who you are, and what you do, especially in relation to your increasing involvement as an ‘evangelist’ of sorts, for the ‘tiny house movement’!
    Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your sharing of your WONDERFUL story here!

    I think I speak for MOST of us, in that we enjoy and appreciate hearing from others, even when ‘conversation’ drifts from the house’s particulars to a partner’s strange sleeping habits or a pet’s twilight years or the challenges of a particular class or job or day…
    You GO, girl! 😉

      Catal Huyuk - October 4, 2014 Reply

      YES!!! You said it. Thanks

LMackey - January 11, 2012 Reply

@Wendy — at the very top of the article is a link to their site providing you with exactly what you wanted see…. combine that with what you might learn about the people behind this little company via this article and who knows — for someone looking to have tiny home built for them, knowing about both the project and the owners might be important to someone.

JT - January 11, 2012 Reply

Love this style of Tiny Homes. Wish there were some Indoor pictures .

    Kent Griswold - January 11, 2012 Reply

    Pepper just sent me these but the other day I went with her and Tumbleweed and they did some great indoor shots of her home with a professional photographer. You can view some of these pictures here:

      grant - January 11, 2012 Reply

      Nice design layout! It seems to me that a wrap-around awning (with door of course) can be placed around the front porch. This would turn the porch into a “mud room” in the winter or rainy season.

Deek - January 11, 2012 Reply

I enjoyed it actually- the backstory stuff as well. Thanks for the mention too Pepper- I look forward to meeting you in February.


    Shea - January 12, 2012 Reply

    Gosh, Deek, I just LOVE that you are able to communicate so well with one or two sentences!!! Me? I guess I’ll have to wait and watch for the Dale Carnegie course on “How to Speak and Write Eloquently AND Concisely”. … 😉

Donna - January 11, 2012 Reply

I agree with Deek. Pepper’s story is as important as the product she has produced. As we try to downsize in this country it is vitally important for those not appreciating the tiny house movement to at least understand the individual behind the home. If they are ever to be accepted in a normal neighborhood or town we must learn the beauty of the conception of the home from the person that built it. Her work and life is inspirational.

    Pepper - January 11, 2012 Reply

    Thank you Donna. When Kent invited me to write, I tried to share a bit of the reasoning behind yet another tiny house company, rather than just a sell sheet for the house (I’ve already done that elsewhere). I appreciate your kind words.

Pepper - January 11, 2012 Reply

The siding is tongue and groove cedar with a low VOC “natural” stain and clear top coat. More detailed interior shots with captions can be found here:

@ Deek – love your videos and I can’t wait to meet you in Seattle!

    alice h - January 11, 2012 Reply

    Wow, absolutely marvellous and it would be a total joy to be at home in that space. Out of my league financially, sad to say, but so are a lot of things. Totally made my day to see those photos and think that such a thing is possible. The craft room, oh the craft room! I can see my treadle sewing machine in there, room for the spinning wheel too, and tons of fabric and supplies up in the storage loft. Love those toe kick drawers, great idea.

      Nerida - January 11, 2012 Reply


      Great to see another artsy crafsy person trying to cram in thier collection of fabrics and sewing machine etc.

      I’m a quilter which takes space and storage. Having spent the last 12 months working mainly on accommodating the quilting I think I am almost there. It may just take a foot or 2 more than the general ‘tumbleweed’ allows for but I’m pretty sure its doable.

      Spinning wheel? hmmm got that one on your own for the moment.

      Nerida 🙂

        alice h - January 11, 2012 Reply

        Well, the spinning wheel was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up, got it for $13 at the thrift shop, just had to put it together. It was still wrapped in New Zealand newspaper from 1978. The island I part-time on is full of sheep and goats so it’s a good fit that way, but not for my 13′ Boler trailer. It’s amazing what you can pack away in here though, especially after some customising.

    bruce - January 14, 2012 Reply

    looking at the interior on picasa, where is the shower located? is it in the bathroom or in one of the closets near the front entrance?

      Pepper - January 16, 2012 Reply

      The shower is in the bathroom – look at the Lusby plan to get the general floorplan – my changes are mostly to the interior finish and selection of appliances, so the floorplan stayed pretty close. Note that the front left closet in my houses holds the water heater and service panel and one shelf. It’s more of a broom closet in my house.

et - January 11, 2012 Reply

Please tell us how you’ve overcome bureaucratic barriers and amended building codes so that these tiny houses have become viable, legal living spaces!

    Bob H - January 11, 2012 Reply

    Most likely its classified as an RV. Thats how they get around code.

      Pepper - January 11, 2012 Reply

      This one is not classified as an RV, but since it’s on wheels it’s not legally defined as a house either. It would theoretically be legal to park and use it exactly as one would use a travel trailer.

    Pepper - January 11, 2012 Reply

    To your point et, steps are being taken to create “viable and legal” tiny house living spaces but it’s certainly not an overnight project.

Jeff H - January 11, 2012 Reply

I loved this post, everything about it. And look and those beautiful hand railings!!! Great story.

When and where in Seattle is the get together?

Thanks for sharing.

    Pepper - January 11, 2012 Reply

    Thank you! Deek and I are referring to the Seattle Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop presented by Dee Williams. We’ll both be attending to observe her masterful presentation to prepare ourselves for teaching our own Tumbleweed workshops in upcoming months.

ani B - January 11, 2012 Reply

OH MY GOSH! The house is perfect and the story is entertaining! I love that house. I can see it personalized in my mind…
Now where can I come up with 30grand… hmmm…

BTW- Was that Santa Rosa, as in FLORIDA? As in down the street and I missed it?

    Pepper - January 11, 2012 Reply

    It was Santa Rosa California, so no, not in your neighborhood. Thanks for the compliments!

Chris - January 11, 2012 Reply

Good looking well constructed, but the cost…
She stated that the next one could be constructed for as low as 30 thousand dollars.
That isn’t cheap, in today’s real estate market here, there are hundreds of existing older homes available for much less. I have been a working Carpenter for 40 years, and there are ways to do this for much less. 30 thousand is still a fortune to many. Would like to see more resourceful use of materials, recycled, ect.
It is a high quality finished product she has created, but how many can you sell at that price?

    Chuck - January 12, 2012 Reply

    I agree the craftsmanship is great but at almost 50k for this model it is hardly affordable.

    Even at 30k its on the high side for what the materials come in at.

    Bob H - January 12, 2012 Reply

    I agree Chris, but this is about 1/2 of what a tumbleweed house would cost. Do not forget profit, nobody works for free.

      Bob H - January 12, 2012 Reply

      I just looked at the price on the web site. WOW over $300/sq.ft.

      et - January 12, 2012 Reply

      Profit is the money left over after expenses have been paid. Wages are expenses.

        Gene Wallen - January 12, 2012 Reply

        Building a tiny house is one thing, selling it is something altogether different.

    Jack - January 12, 2012 Reply

    +1 Chris. It would be nice to see just 1 person get into tiny house building who is not looking to gouge the customers. I can’t figure out how a movement that started out with the idea of trying to save people money turned into $300 per square foot houses. It’s BS.

      cj - January 12, 2012 Reply

      Agreed. I don’t want to pay extra for someone else’s journey.

      Bob H - January 12, 2012 Reply

      Scott at Slabtown offers great looking sturtures that are much lower (per sq.ft ) priced. Or go to Lowes or Home Depot price out wood, you will be surprised at how little it could cost.

      Irene - January 13, 2012 Reply

      I don’t think the author has the intention of “gouging” anyone, and has put a lot of time, effort, and detail into this home. It costs about the same as a Tumbleweed, but with more attention to detail. I think it’s beyond the pale to accuse the author of attempting to “gouge,” and it’s a shame you feel the need to say so.

      The home is beautiful. I’d like to see photos of the bedroom/office. The photos on the site showed a lot (color scheme gorgeous) but not that room.

        Jack - January 14, 2012 Reply

        Irene, I’ve been a general contractor for 25 years and if a picture speaks a thousand words, so does price speak a thousand words. If it walks like a duck… Does overcharging have a better ring than gouging? Is that not beyond the pale? Tumbleweed is doing the exact same thing and really started what seems to be a trend of the $300 per square foot tiny house. Virtually anyone is cheaper than Tumbleweed so saying she is cheaper than Tumbleweed means nothing IMO.

          Ann E Mouse - January 19, 2012 Reply

          If you “have been a general contractor for 25 years” then it should take about 30 seconds to realize that cost per sq foot doesn’t scale down linearly. Put another way, the reason a 4000 sq ft McMansion costs less per sq foot than a smaller home of similar quality is because the costs for the expensive items – kitchen, bath, heating, plumbing, electrical, is balanced against a huge amount of very low cost empty space. Going the other way, you could stack up all the expensive crap you need to make a home even marginally livable into a 1 sq foot stack and say “omg, that is a $18,000 per sq foot house!”

          With tiny houses, unless you are building 10-12 in a row identical copies, your cost per unit of everything is higher because you are buying in small quantities. You have an 8×18 interior but it will take your crew maybe 10-20 times more time to do the paneling for that space than for a 12 x 16 bedroom with 1 window and 2 door openings – obviously, a good 2 person sheetrock crew could hang 100s of sq feet of sheetrock with no openings in a few hours, but you’re trying to compare apples to oranges. Even still, everything I have read and see from projects for moderate homes shows cost per sq foot between $80 and $250 (the low end is not something you’d find in the SF Bay Area) and in Sonoma the below link found the _median_ price per sq foot was $200.

          This is without discussing the cost per sq foot of travel trailers or RVs.

          If you are using non-illegals for the labor and buying the materials and appliances in small quantities I don’t think this is in the gouging/overcharging range; I think it is in the pay for materials in small quantities, pay non-illegal labor wages and then maybe make a small profit when all is said and done range.

gmh - January 11, 2012 Reply

I read about you and saw your pictures on the Tumbleweed site a few days ago. I love how you incorporated a full oven (gotta bake cookies) and an OFFICE in your design! :-> (It’s like someone took a Tumbleweed and made it smarter… like a woman!)
Once my kid goes to college, and the dog dies, I will look into getting myself a Bungalow To Go just like this first one. The details are just what I want. Well, except for laundry facilities. How come no one has invented disposable/recyclable clothes yet?

    Shea - January 12, 2012 Reply

    A few years ago I found some interesting info on a COUNTERTOP washer/dry unit, by Haier I believe… it would wash and dry about a day’s worth of clothing (for a single, a pair or two of jean, pants, a blouse or tee, some undergarments, a towel… not much, but if one just did their daily dirty clothes every evening, they’d have no problem)… and all in a counterspace area the size of a small microwave! I’ll have to look for it again, but the W/D solution IS out there… 😉

      gmh - January 12, 2012 Reply

      Thanks- I knew someone in the Tiny House world would have some ideas. I will look into it!

      cj - January 12, 2012 Reply

      Haier is junk made in China. Fashioned to work like the well made Italian designs; it will not work long. Learned by my own purchasing error when I bought the washer that also dries.

    Dennis - January 12, 2012 Reply

    First: Pepper, what a nice story. I smiled all the way through.

    Next: Washing. I have room for a washer and dryer, so haven’t done much research on the topic, but I have a friend who lives a few miles off teh pavement in Humboldt Co. with no electricity, and washing clothes was a problem. We packed his dirty clothes in one of those white plastic 5-gallon buckets with a tight lid(I got it free for asking from Togo’s) with water and laundry soap. We bungee-corded it in a front corner of his pick-up bed and left it a couple of days. The bouncing and shaking of the drive into town did a great job on cleaning the clothes. He changed the water for fresh and gave then a couple of days for a rinse. They were nice and clean. If he wasn’t going to be driving, we came up with Plan B (my design, he built it). We put a couple of rockers on a box the bucket would fit snugly into and attached it with a dowel to his rocking chair. Now he can sit on the porch and rock and do nothing and call it “busy doing the laundry”.

    Attaching and removing the lid was a pain, but you can get a replcement lid from Sportsman’s Guide – the name escapes me – for about $7 that snaps on permanently and the center section unscrews. That made it easier.

    No clever ideas for drying – just a line, a rack in teh bathroom, or as Rick Steves says, “Clothes dry pretty quickly if you’re wearing them.”

Nerida - January 11, 2012 Reply

Another one who likes the ful story (and the house). Nice to know it isnt a fly-by-nighter who simply plagerised someones elses idea and whacked a copy up in weekend and turned it into cash cow. A lot of thoght and research has gone into to this.

Goog luck with the venture Pepper.

April - January 11, 2012 Reply

Pepper, your tiny house is beautiful! I really liked the story of your company, building affordable homes AND creating jobs, you go girl! Looking forward to your future creations.

DanO - January 12, 2012 Reply

Pay no attention to Wendy or anyone else who makes “Just the facts, Ma’am comments. Your post was well written and charming. Most of us like to see the people and creatures inhabiting theie tiny houses and that personal touch.

As for Wendy’s post – frankly, it was rude. But there are engineers and there are artists and they seldom see the world the same way.


    Bob H - January 12, 2012 Reply

    Well put DanO

Paula - January 12, 2012 Reply

Pepper-I adored reading about your journey. It was as important to read as the details of the house. As another poster mentioned, I too smiled all the way through. I’m pleased to know one of your workshops is in Asheville, NC, only 15 minutes from me. I will really have to consider taking this workshop if only to begin learning about building which I’ve wanted to do for awhile. Blessings on your new business venture.

Randy - January 13, 2012 Reply

Great story, nice little house, enjoyable read! Thanks, Pepper!

Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural - January 13, 2012 Reply

Great article! I enjoyed the personal journey. It’s a nice change.

David - January 14, 2012 Reply

I thought that this movement was all about building the house yourself. Tiny houses should not cost more than $10,000

    Shea - January 15, 2012 Reply

    It is, but it’s about OPTIONS, too. I like reading about everything from the portable ‘quickie’ shelters to the backyard shed-converted-to-a-guest-room, and the polished, more upscale models (translation: expen$ive, in comparison)like these (above) and Tumbleweed.
    It’s precisely BECAUSE of the extremes I am challenged to dream up something ‘better’ (as in, MY cup of tea: something frugal yet well-constructed, efficient yet comfortable), so, in fact, being made aware of the brutally basic on up to gilded lilies should help us all find our own ‘perfect’ little place on the barometer! I say, for those who can downsize and do so ‘very well’ (as in, spend more money), let them.
    In the end, the smaller footprint is the same, and that DOES matter, doesn’t it?

    alice h - January 15, 2012 Reply

    I wish people would stop callng it a movement and limiting it to one particular view. It’s a spectrum, with extremes and stops at many points along the way. It’s about what works for you and not being limited by what works for someone else and lots of inspiration from many sources, even some that may not be obviously related.

      Shea - January 20, 2012 Reply

      Your last line:
      “It’s about what works for you and not being limited by what works for someone else and lots of inspiration from many sources, even some that may not be obviously related.”

      Sums it up perfectly.
      Almost verbatim what I said,above, in the post prior to yours.
      The ‘only’ real rule, of course, is that the home be smaller, as efficient in space as possible (whether covering the basic needs of a single, a couple, family or senior/disabled resident). In defendse of the phrase, ‘tiny house movement’, however, I’ll explain it best in my own words, what makes it ‘okay’ as an all-encompassing’ catchall title…

      The word ‘tiny’ comes in as an implication that the lifestyle we HAD was too big, excessive, wasteful – and that going ‘tiny’ is, in fact, simply ‘righting’ things, best exemplified in choosing a ‘tiny’ house (in comparison to what it WAS) to move ourselves, and new lifestyle of “less is more”, into – hence, the word defining the process and progress: ‘movement’.
      Tiny House Movement.
      There is no perfect description/tag/title/name for any given process. There is only what ‘most’ people can identify with and understand in general, and that will catch the attention of others in a way to make them ask questions.
      ‘Smaller House Movement’ just doesn’t have the ‘extreme’ and almost-absurd snap to it, you know? 😉

        alice h - January 23, 2012 Reply

        Yeah, I know what you mean, and though “tiny” is OK and “house” is OK, there is something annoying to me about “movement”. There have been so many “movements” that just make too narrow a groove in their rush to posterity.

    Mandy - February 7, 2012 Reply

    Really? What about people who are not able to build their own home? Are they not allowed to be a part of “your” movement?

    Silly me, I thought it was about creating a home that was right for you.

    I used to come here every day. The last few months I have only come a few times because I got tired of all the negativity and anger from people. I guess I should not have come back. I don’t want to be a part of “your” movement David.

Eva - January 14, 2012 Reply

I’m still waiting for some ideas (in combination with the ones in my head) for non loft sleeping. I had a loft in my house in 1997 in NC, and it was a pain to get down the ladder, especially at night, or just to get a drink (going up and down with a glass of water is a chore) i would suggest the loft for other usage, like storage (summer/winter), or no loft and skylights. more lights make a place look larger. I went to a shed place and wanted to get a feel of size – 12 by 20 made me feel good. 8 by 12 is really really small. 8 by 16…better. Skylights would really help!

    Irene - January 14, 2012 Reply

    Eva, this house has another room that is not visible in the photos, but it is either an office or a bedroom. There IS a downstairs bedroom in this model.

    Pepper - January 19, 2012 Reply

    Hi Eva! Bar none, the most requested design; a ground floor bed plan for those who don’t want to climb a ladder every night. Here, this one is for you Eva:
    And yes, I have another one in the works that involves no steps at all.

    You should also check out the enormous wave of responses to the 2012 Design Challenge post on The Tiny House Blog a few weeks ago;

    Shea - January 20, 2012 Reply

    In another topic, I submitted a pair of links to images (which are actually full-blown ‘pages’) of one of my new ‘non-loft’ tiny house designs…
    I have more, but I’m working on translating them to digital image format via Sketchup (and Illustrator) because they currently exist as original pencil sketches in my pocket Moleskine ‘squared’ journal, and they would look TERRIBLE scanned in and simply enlarged…

    SO the first of my ideas/submissions is here:

    (lower quality JPEG)

    Or (higher resolution):

    These are my ‘first’ that I’ve ever shared… hope they don’t look too amateurish… 😉

    Where ARE we supposed to submit our design ideas to, anyway? I posted this earlier to “2012 Design Challenge” topic, where others have also done ‘submissions’ or sharing of their non-loft floor plan designs…
    (Kent, are you aware of this? Was that where we were to submit our posts with designs? Is there another topic or process for this, where people could go and see ALL members’ designs in one topic/place?)
    Confused, yes, I am…

      Pepper - January 23, 2012 Reply

      Nice plan Shea! I like the layout, and the graphics look really snazzy too.

Luke - January 26, 2012 Reply

This is what I would love to see too.

“Someone, somewhere will be the first to achieve a legal, sustainable, itty bitty house community. A tiny house trailer park, if you will. Perhaps 2012 will be our year!”

For the last 5yrs I’ve lived in a mobile home/manufactured home neighborhood. Almost all the homes are for rent some are for sale. The double wide I have lived in has always been too big for my wife and I but at the time it was the best deal. Downsizing is our goal. What I would truly love is a quaint country park area with maybe 100 of these Tiny Houses nestled together… Perhaps even have em for Rent/Lease as in a campground setting.

the biggest problem my wife and I have is climbing ladders to get into a bed. Love the Lofts I see in all these houses, but if they could be Lengthened somewhat to allow for a basic bedroom with Queen bed.

    stephanie - January 31, 2012 Reply

    Davis, CA would be SUCH a great place for this tiny house village (in a cooperative style) to be born…..and did you know that 2012 is the United Nations INt’l year of the Cooperative? Not sure what that means, maybe you can get assistance to start co-ops!

stephanie - January 31, 2012 Reply

I think for me, dedicated so much square footage to a BED that you might only need for actual sleeping, is not ideal in one of these homes. I think maybe a couch that with one or two pushes or pulls becomes a bed is probably the best idea. Not a horrible sofabed, but something designed just for these homes. Then you have SO much more sq ftage for something else! I hear murphy beds are a pain and very expensive, so a well designed “bed that becomes something else” sounds like the best plan.

Anthony Johnston - February 19, 2012 Reply

Just got back from Pepper’s open house in Healdsburg! Amazing to finally see a mobile tiny home in person. For any one who has yet to step inside, I couldn’t recommend it more! The space inside will surprise the heck out of you. Photos on a website really can’t convey the feeling of stepping inside on of these amazing spaces. Pepper herself was full of info and great energy. I can’t imagine a better ambassador for the tiny house movement. I wish her all the success in the world with her new company. Thank you for bringing your house out for all to see!

MaryAnn J - February 21, 2012 Reply

Pepper, we drove up to Windsor from the Bay Area on Sunday to see your little house in person. It was a pleasant surprise to experience how roomy it feels once you’re in it. Love the wonderful kitchen, the boutiful light (both natural and the style and placement of fixtures) the bathroom and full shower, the storage ideas, and the extra room. We’re hoping to see you in April at the SJ workshop.

Charlie - April 25, 2013 Reply

I am wanting to build a tiny house on wheels, my question is where can i set-up my unit in the moutians of NC.

Bob Mielke - May 29, 2013 Reply

I’ve been living in a 182 Sq. Ft. sub-studio apartment for 4 years. Portland, OR housing & rent costs have gotten out of hand so I’ve been looking at tiny house designs as a possible alternative. I like your designs, as my needs are simple. I’ve never felt cramped or in need of more space. In fact, there are plenty of changes that could be made to allow for less square footage and more efficiency. Thanks for your blog. – Bob

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