Our Tiny House

Dawn and Scott Hines recently completed a tiny house and asked me to share it with you. Dawn and Scott had a tough time finding detailed information that could help them build a tiny house. So they did something different. They had their friend (a licensed builder) tape the process and explain what he was doing and why and it really makes it much more clear. They hope this may help others too.

So be sure and visit their website Our Tiny House to view some clips and if you choose purchase their DVD of their tiny house being built. I’ll let Dawn tell you more about the build.

This is the story of the construction of our tiny house built by C&E Construction. In December 2008 we attended a construction seminar in Florida and were fortunate that our general contractor was able to attend the seminar with us. While the seminar was helpful for design, it really did not give us any of the details we’d need in order to build a tiny house. As Chuck Peterson of C&E Construction built our beautiful tiny house he taped the construction details, showing the specific methods and critical tips for success. We now offer a detailed 2 hour construction DVD full of these details and helpful hints that are necessary to actually build a tiny house.

We did buy a set of plans for our tiny house and modified the plans to fit our needs. Some of the changes we made to the original plans were:

  • We wanted the tiny house to be usable in a sub-freezing environment.
  • We raised the loft ceiling height to accommodate Scott’s height so that we have 7 feet clear.
  • We wanted a full size 36″ x 36″ shower.
  • We wanted to sleep on the main level.
  • We plan to use this as a weekend house and not as our full time residence.

Chuck took the plans we bought and handled the modifications. We went home and taped the tiny house dimensions onto our basement floor so that we could really see how the space would work for our needs. Based on this we decided on a few more changes.

Once we had the trailer we pulled it to the building where Chuck would build the tiny house. This building was owned by friends of ours, who own King Cut – Concrete Cutters, Inc. and we were very thankful for their generosity.

The King Cut building is where the filming begins of the construction. The step by step process explains the difference in the roof pitch, a different framing process, plumbing that is easy to drain, and many more details that need to be considered when you decide to build a tiny house of your own.

Be sure and check out the video clips and see if this DVD would be a help to you in your tiny house construction. Thank you Dawn and Scott for sharing your story with us.

12 thoughts on “Our Tiny House”

  1. Why do people insist on building houses on wheels, that require a car? That car requires gas (or if it’s pure electric, might be a bit better) but that car is also expensive and will need tune ups as well.
    I’d like to see more tiny houses that require foundation and can only be moved by crane, not a bloody car.

    • Personally, I am soon to build a tiny house on wheels that will allow me to spend a year or two with one daughter /son-in-law and two granddaughters. Then I can move it to spend a yr or two with my other daughter . I then will probably move it again to spend a yr or so with my mom and sister in a different area of the province. The freedom of long visits ( while enjoying my own living space ) enjoying friends and family for long periods of time without invading their living space. that’s what retirement is about ( for me). The mobility will also be wonderful if someone close to me needs help or would appreciate extra hands or just someone being close by.(I.e. Long term illness, a new baby being born, long term projects where they need a hand etc. ) I’d rather use my money to enjoy myself in this manner rather than sitting in a big house somewhere that will tie up funds, and not necessarily be ideal for people to come and visit very often. It also helps that I have lived in hotel rooms (hotel mgmt)only for the past decade , so I am used to “tiny spaces”. Looking forward to completing this over the next two years and will thoroughly enjoy my freedom / retirement that much more!! *note* I’ll just be renting a truck and driver when I need to make these moves, so that I can bring my car with me to each place. Is rather do that then pay my taxes, and property / large house maintenance that adds up each year.

  2. Just because it CAN be moved doesn’t necessarily mean it WILL be moved often. The wheels add to the possibility of keeping your beloved house no matter where you move and give you more options. A person might need a mobile home because of their work or family obligations or just because they like to change locations. You don’t need to own a vehicle, just obtain the use of one when needed. Any small house on wheels can just as easily be built on a non-mobile temporary or permanent foundation. There are certain size and design restrictions on movable houses but I see no shortage of good designs of many types here. Fully evaluate your own needs and circumstances, use ideas from a variety of plans or something fully formed as is and make it work for you.

  3. They mention the goal of setting the tiny house in cold climate. I’ve always wondered about putting a tiny house inside a greenhouse. It seems that a tiny house could go inside a commercial sized hoop greenhouse easily.

    Another way to go would be to have an enclosed, wraparound porch, or set the porch on the long side of the tiny house, glassed-in, to catch passive solar energy in winter. Adds to the footprint, but even the tumbleweed could glass in the front porch without adding to the footprint.

  4. A loft requires a taller building. I’d hate to pour my heart and soul into a house with a loft – then have to give it up as I become elderly – it may be difficult to sell a building that cannot be insured – future design is just as important as the present.

  5. For spaciousness, omit the loft and try light-colored walls, rafted ceilings and recessed lighting.

    *Place the bathroom along the back wall.
    *With a large wetbath, waterproof the lower half of the walls and use a shower curtain.
    *Add towel/clothing hooks to the back of the bathroom door.
    *Add a towel cupboard over the toilet.
    *For convenience, add a tiny 12-inch-depth corner sink and a hand-towel hook.
    *Add an arched window to the peaked outside wall.
    *Add skylights over the bathroom.

    *To save on plumbing, place the kitchen against the bathroom walls.
    *Place front and back glass doors near the kitchen counter.
    *Add windows to both sides of the kitchen counter.
    *Use an under-counter fridge and washer/dryer.
    *Add pull-out cutting boards.
    *Store decorative dishes and glasses vertically – on narrow shelving over the counter.
    *Store a portable stovetop, pans and dry goods under a single-bowl kitchen sink.
    *Add skylights over the counter.

    *Store wardrobe in pull-out baskets under the futon couch.
    *Place large windows opposite and behind the couch.
    *Add an arched window to the peaked wall.
    *Add skylights over the couch.


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