Jay Shafer The Past, Present and Future of Tiny Homes - Tiny House Blog

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July 29, 2020

Jay Shafer The Past, Present and Future of Tiny Homes

I personally met Jay Shafer back in 2007 when I first started publishing the Tiny House Blog. I saw the tiny house he was living in at the time and watched him build several others over time. Jay lived in the little town of Sonoma and I lived in a neighboring town of Healdsburg.

For those who have followed the tiny house movement. Jay needs no introduction. However, if you are new you may not realize that Jay is credited with starting the modern-day tiny house movement. He started the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company over 20 years ago.

In this interview, Jay will fill us in on what he’s been up to lately, riff on the sad state of housing policy, and talk about his latest home: a super lightweight tiny house on wheels that weighs less than 2,000 lbs and cost about $5,000 to build.

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In This Episode:

  • Why was Jay inspired to put his first tiny house on wheels?
  • Camping in his own back yard in Iowa City and the conversations with zoning officials
  • Are current housing laws even in accordance with the Constitution?
  • Let’s talk about insulation and R-value
  • The danger of using un-vented heaters in small spaces: your house needs ventilation, even in winter
  • How the zoning laws were changed to accommodate tiny houses
  • Tiny houses survive natural disasters better
  • Legal THOWs in LA is a bittersweet victory
  • Not all zoning officials are evil: there is a lot of red tape that prohibits them from adopting tiny houses
  • All about Jay’s new tiny house: 50 square feet, designed to add a bathroom or kitchen, when needed
  • Advanced framing, better insulation methods, and keeping costs down
  • Jay’s plans for his tiny house plans
  • How do you contact Jay and why is he reclusive?
  • Where do modern THOW manufacturers go wrong and what pitfalls can they avoid?

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