The BIG Tiny House Reading List

Summer is still here. Time for leisure reading time at the pool or in the hammock. Maybe with all this good weather you’re building your dream tiny home and wondering what comes next. Whether you are looking for downsizing tips, lifestyle inspiration, tiny home swoon or building tips, I have a long, rich recommended reading list for tiny lovers of all stages. Fun fact: most of these books were written by current or past tiny house dwellers. 1) Welcome to the World of Tiny (& …

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A Transforming Micro-house/Camper on Wheels

cub at night

by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen Hey all! Been very busy working on not one, but five projects lately, including a pretty bizarre and fun tree house for a client in Boston, Massachusetts that you might see soon. Some of these other builds, and more, will be toured at my November (15-17th) Tiny House Building and Design Workshop in Massachusetts, where we’ll all build TWO cabins together, and see the very first-built Tumbleweed. THIS particular little dwelling on wheels though, camper-like in stature, is something I’ve dubbed “The Cub”. …

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Tiny House in a Landscape

$300 cabin

This week’s Tiny House in a Landscape is a photo taken by Derek (Deek) Diedricksen. Nicknamed the Shroom Room, this cabin was built by Deek for right around $300. It does somewhat resemble a mushroom, with its top heavy, large-overhang roof n’ all. The overhang is very generous so I don’t have to worry about water as much, Deek coated the door three times with some good exterior paint, and the thing was very solid (a salvaged freebie with its hinges intact) to start with. …

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Whittled Down Caravan/Gypsy Wagon Video Tour

whittled down caravan

Hey all, a belated happy new year, and here’s a brand new video mini-tour of “The Whittled Down” Caravan, which made a guest-structure appearance at our Tiny House Building Workshop in Massachusetts this past November (one of five tiny shelters, structures, houses, we had on site!). It was built by Tristan Chambers and Libby Reinish (now of Easthampton, Massachusetts) for a mere $1,500 – trailer and all. They drove it to Massachusetts all the way from New Mexico, where it was originally built. This little wagon …

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Hartman Kable’s Container Home

surf shack

by Derek (Deek) Diedricksen Hey Kent, thought you and your readers might enjoy a really cool Container Home Tour that Christopher Smith (“Tiny: The Movie”) and I put together when I was out in Seattle for the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company Workshop that I was a guest speaker at. Hartman Kable’s ( surf shack has been featured in Readymade Magazine, and elsewhere, in the past, but this is its first real video walk through. The place is pretty clever, as you’ll see! And….here’s an episode …

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Original Jay Shafer Epu Open House

Jay's Epu


If you live in the Boston area be sure and go and visit the original Epu, the first built Tumbleweed that tiny house celebrity Jay Shafer built and lived in. It will be on display for an Open House this Saturday, May 12, 2012 from 1 pm to 4 pm in Boston, 88 Lambert Ave. (Avenue not “Street”)

If you can’t make the open house, fret not, as during the Boston Tiny House Building Workshop, you can also make a field trip to this very site, for a more intimate look at the structure, and with guest speakers galore….

  • Tiny House Dweller and Author, John Hanson Mitchell
  • Gypsy Wagon Builder and Dweller Sage Radachowsky
  • Mariah Coz and her Comet Camper, a classic Avalon she’s renovating in a green and off-grid fashion to serve as a mobile classroom.

And perhaps more….

Also the Boston Workshop (May 19th and 20th) hosted by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen will be on hand to give you a tour, and answer any questions you might have in regards to tiny housing. Derek is also teaching upcoming workshops in DC, Chicago, and NYC. The event will also double as the delayed book release event for Diedricksen’s “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks.” which spent 15 weeks as the #1 ranked Carpentry book on Amazon).

Jay's Epu

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Deek’s Four Day “Tiny House Summer Camp” Building Workshop In Vermont- July 6-9

Tiny House Summer Camp Poster

Hey All,

For those who haven’t heard (many, as we haven’t talked/posted on it much), I’m hosting another Tiny House Building Workshop this year, something we’re dubbing “Tiny House Summer Camp,” and for good reason….

Last year’s sold out workshop went very well, and we had great feedback, so we decided to try a FOUR DAY workshop this time, with camping sites and lodging, and MANY guest speakers and demonstrators. I initially only wanted one guest presenter, perhaps two, but this tiny-house-athon has almost become a small living convention of sorts. Well, a convention where we’re only letting in fifteen attendees!

Tiny House Summer Camp Poster

The aim is to keep it small, hands-on, fun, and eclectic. We want you to not only learn about the ins and outs of small space design and construction, but also to actually build a tiny cabin in the woods together. You’ll have the chance to see and stay in a small off-grid log cabin (one Kent featured as a “tiny house in a landscape” last year), my own Vermont Cabin (as seen in both Lloyd Kahn and Mimi Zeiger’s new tiny housing books), The U.B. 30 Treehouse, and we’ll take a field trip or two to The Pine Crest Cabins in Barton, Vermont, a local mom and pop sawmill, and “Uncle Bob’s Place” to check out some thrift-built tiny structures, and more….

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Means To Minimalism- A Chat with Tiny House Dweller, and Blogger, Tammy Strobel

Guest Post by Derek Diedricksen

She doesn’t like being labeled, but I still can’t help but dub her a “Maven of Minimalism”, (and hopefully she won’t get mad at me for it!), and for good reason, as Tammy Strobel has moved from what most would already consider a small living arrangement (a 400 square foot apartment), into a new, even smaller, 128 square foot home! Her story, I feel, is not only gutsy, but fun, and enlightening at the same time….oh yeah, I should mention that she also lives in this very same house with another person- Logan Smith- so at 64 square feet a piece, I felt they might have quite a bit of light to shine on the world of living with little.

Interview by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen of The “Tammy” sketch below is from his tiny house design book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks“- in a brand new “Tricks Of The Trade” chapter with input from Lloyd Kahn, Gregory Paul Johnson, Dee Williams, Jay Shafer, Alex Pino, Duo Dickinson, Mimi Zeiger, Colin Beavan, Alex Johnson, Cathy Johnson, and some guy named “Kent Griswold”!?


Deek: What was the turning point in your life where you decided that the run of the mill, status quo lifestyle, and one usually surrounded by “stuff'”, wasn’t for you?

Tammy: About six years ago I took a life changing trip to Mexico. At the time I was volunteering with the Mexico Solidarity Network and was unhappy with my career and huge mound of debt. After visiting Mexico and seeing so much poverty, I realized how trivial my problems were. When I got back, I knew I had to make some serious life changes. And a few months later, Logan and I happened to watch a You Tube video featuring Dee Williams and her tiny house.

Once we saw Dee’s video, we knew tiny house living was a good fit for us. So we started taking steps to transform our lives, like paying down our debt, selling the cars, and giving away a lot of stuff. Seeing the video of Dee and her little house was a big turning point for us. It gave us a whole new perspective on what our life could be like; that I didn’t have to drive two hours to and from work everyday or live in a big house either. It was empowering to realize I could live life on my own terms.

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Tiny House in a Landscape

This weeks Tiny House in a Landscape is of a tree house that Derek (Deek) Diedricksen completed recently. I am always looking for photographs for this feature and when I saw his article about “The Wolfe’s Den” on his blog I thought it would be perfect. Though in dense woods, the unusual shape and location gives you a very peaceful setting. I know I could find peace and relaxation in a place like this. To see more pictures and learn more about the build of this …

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The Fern Forest Treehouse

In this little side-tour episode, Derek “Deek” Diedricksen of gives us a look at “The Fern Forest Treehouse”, in Northern Vermont- one owned by Harrison Reynolds, and author Louella (Ellie) Bryant. Harrison, a former woodworking teacher, designed this cabin with his son, which has now stood for four years in the midst of four maple trees growing below a hillside. While staying in this treehouse for two nights with his family, Derek was able to capture this narrated video, showing you the ins and …

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Deek’s $100 Homeless Hut Video

deek's shelter

I haven’t shown off any of Derek Diedricksen’s videos lately and he just came out with a new Tiny Yellow House video. I thought that as a simple shelter this first one was great I agree with Deek that it could work as a homeless shelter as well. The one featured in this video would make a impressive fort for a kid or hideaway for anyone in the woods somewhere. Personally, I prefer the one he made for his brother that is a little larger …

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From 5600 to 800 Square Feet- And Lovin’ It!

Guest Post by Derek Diedricksen

The following is an interview with Dustin “Dr. Demolition” Diedricksen, as conducted by his brother Derek/”Deek” from and “Tiny Yellow House” TV on youtube. As it mentions the duos Vermont Cabin quite a bit, be sure to check out their video tour that was shot last year (Tiny Yellow House Episode #5) . Dustin will also be part of Derek’s hands-on, tiny shelter building workshop this summer (July 9th) in Massachusetts, with additional demonstrations and educational lectures from guests Alex Pino (, tiny house author, magazine writer (Dwell, Readymade, etc) and architect Mimi Zeiger, and Tristan Chambers and Libby Reinish, who will be bringing their “Whittled Down Caravan”( for one of many open-house cabins that will be present that day. (all photos by Bruce Bettis).

As always- mega props, hugs, hi-fives, and repeat toasts (of high-percentage mead) to K.Grizz for posting this….

Photo by Bruce Bettis

Deek: For starters, could you paint a picture of your current housing set-up, and drop some specs….so we can all get a better idea of what we’re going to be talking about here….

Sure, its converted cottage in Scituate, MA on a concrete-block foundation (i.e. crawlspace) with step-down sunroom (formerly a screened-in porch); attic transformed into loft and 13’ cathedral ceilings, all under a main gable-pitched roof. It also has a very insignificant kitchen bump-out positioned off rear of house- southwest facing and a small, partially subgrade utility area that doubles as mudroom/entrance from side yard adding a tiny bit of space. All in all, its two bedrooms being only about 90 square feet (SF) and 70 SF, and one 60 SF “full” bathroom. Basically, it’s a small dwelling on a 10,000 SF lot in a “beachy” neighborhood with larger homes.

Deek: Tell me how you and the wife came to find yourselves in a tiny home….were you intentionally gunning for “living small”?

We had been house hunting for two years with the only real criteria being a great location -very cliché I know. This search began when we were both working hard and only 23 years old. There was no immediate rush for a purchase, but we figured the right house would come along eventually. We had towns and neighborhoods in consideration and looked at online real-estate listings daily.

A more contemporary looking cottage then came up (online) when my wife was taking a week-long vacation to attend her best friend’s bachelorette party in Toronto. I scheduled a showing with the realtor the following day. The house was a project to say the least, and I completely ignored anything the realtor had to say. I saw the home’s potential, and realized that any other person would tear it down and build some monstrosity, which is unfortunately typical to other former cottages in the area, and I did not want to go that route. The house passed a self-administered (4 hour) home inspection by my brother (licensed home inspector) and myself- where soon after we were already scheming about improvement ideas.

I called up my wife and got the okay (site unseen for her) to put in an offer. We haggled for a low price and eventually got it with a promise that we weren’t going to demolish it. The seller did a lot of work to the house and could sleep easier knowing someone else could enjoy it as much as she had. My wife then came back from her trip as a homeowner.

Deek: VERY trusting of her! Now speaking of Dawn, she grew up in Nova Scotia, and lived in a 5600 square foot home, which had a game/rec?room that alone was bigger than your entire house- how has that transition been for her?

Surprisingly, it didn’t take any convincing or pushing to have my wife?move into our small home. She fell in love with the town, neighbors, and the semi-private beach at the end of the street; it also meant more ski trips each winter and other freedoms with the money saved. And we won’t have to dread downsizing during our retirement period when it is just the two of us on a fixed income. We bought our house ?for the long haul! We started out even smaller, so this house was a big upgrade!

Our first professional living quarters (after graduation from University) was a one bedroom mother-in-law suite, and a “whopping” 425 SF. The entire bedroom was about 6’ x 6 ½ ’ with a custom-cut foam mattress wedged on one side of the room. In other words, the headboard and footboard were both walls. The remaining floor space was possibly wider than shoulder-width (at least for me). My wife had to sleep on the far side of the bed to allow for my feet to extend beyond the foot of the bed and through the pocket door (always left open) to the room; this being a solution to accommodate my height (6’5”). There was no window to the room, so calling it a bedroom may be technically inaccurate. The living room was much longer than it was
wide and could only accommodate a loveseat for permissible passage to the small kitchen area. The kitchen was simply a peninsula counter with two bar stools, a stove, sink, and fridge crammed into about 50 square feet. The bathroom was at the far end of this “hallway” apartment and was typical of any really small (but full) bathroom.

Hence, moving into our new house enabled us to store bicycles, tools, etc.- We were thrilled to move up into such a “Huge” place!

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