Tumbleweed Box Bungalow Open House

Kirsten Dirksen from faircompanies.com is visiting Northern California from her home in Spain and last weekend visited Jay Shafer’s Open House. I was unable to make it this time but will be meeting with Kirsten during the next couple of days. Kirsten has a real talent for video taping and interviewing people and I am excited to share this latest video with you. Here is what Kirsten has to say about her visit:

At 120 square feet, this one is slightly larger than his previous home (See A tiny home tour: living in 89 square feet). And this time he’s made it modular, so you can choose where to put the kitchen and the bathroom.

For his first open house, dozens of people squeezed through the 18 inch hallway for a glimpse of this Craftsman style microhome.

It was a meeting of tiny house fans. Many drove hours for what Jay calls “house porn”. Some were empty nesters preparing for a downsize. Others wanted the freedom that comes with having all your stuff in one small space.

One family who had recently lost their home had come to preview what they hoped would allow them to become homeowners again. With their toddler in tow, they were excited about the idea that she might grow up considering simplicity the norm.

For Jay, his newest creation for his Tumbleweed Tiny House Company – the Box Bungalow-, is no longer his main home (thanks to the arrival of his first child, he’s now moved into 500-square-feet next door), but he still uses it as an office and “man-cave”.

Thank you Kirsten for this latest video and I look forward to many more. -Kent

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Paige - July 13, 2011 Reply

Jay sleeps in his tiny house every night, leaving his wife alone with the baby :O

No judgement, just suprised.

    Kent Griswold - July 13, 2011 Reply

    I’m not sure he does that, he has it set up as a home for demonstration purposes and uses it as an office to get out of the house when he is working. That is my take anyway.

    Sylvia Brophy - July 13, 2011 Reply

    Actually, he said he goes into the Bunk House (Main House) to sleep but works mostly in the Tiny House. Makes perfect sense.

      paige - July 14, 2011 Reply

      Thanks. I misunderstood what he said at the beginning. I listened again and was relieved to hear him say he does sleep in the house with his wife & child. Not that his personal life is any of my business anyway, lol.

Sylvia Brophy - July 13, 2011 Reply

Love the new modular approach. I was already designing my own Tiny House that way. Also REALLY love the soaker tub solution. Need details!

    Freth - July 13, 2011 Reply

    I really love that tub … Where can I find one? I’ve got a great little space it would fit into …

    Zer0 - July 13, 2011 Reply

    How can I get that small soaking tub? How much does it cost?

    Hannah - November 20, 2011 Reply

    Another video showing Jay’s ofuro (starts at 2:18): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzPCntjmHh8

    So sweet! In this video he shows how the faucet has a pull-out nozzle. I definitely want to incorporate a similar faucet when I try making my wooden ofuro(thanks for the Mother Earth tips, Linda & Alice!).

ginmar - July 13, 2011 Reply

Yeah, he says it himself in the video.

I want to see the other models, like…yesterday. If he going to put out a booklet? I’ve already got all the other three but I want to sees these houses. That bathtub is great!

    Kent Griswold - July 13, 2011 Reply

    I believe a book is in the works that cover these new homes, that may be part of the hold up in the official launch of the Box Bungalows. I communicate fairly frequently with Tumbleweed but I am not directly associated with the company so don’t know all the details.

      ginmar - July 14, 2011 Reply

      They can’t release ’em soon enough for my taste. I LOVE the little booklets and I REALLY love this house. I can’t wait to see the others. They look amazing.

Bob - July 13, 2011 Reply

Best design yet.
Reminds me of the design you did for Dee Williams, with some small but very good improvements

alice - July 13, 2011 Reply

Yes! Love that tub!! Love the house too, but that tub . . .

kevinsmicrohomestead - July 13, 2011 Reply

I always love Jay’s out of the box aproach to his designs.The craftsman details really set this apart from other plans.The tub is great and the component element to the kit and bath adds to the ease and flexibility of making your own custom home.

    alice - July 13, 2011 Reply

    I wouldn’t trust a walk-in tub due to potential leakage from failed seals, and they aren’t exactly cheap either. I bet a person could build a well-reinforced plywood tub and get a good metal worker to make a copper or stainless steel liner for it. I would add a seat that can double as a step to help get in and out (also reducing the area that needs to be filled with water and making it more comfortable for people with bad knees) with a fold down step on the outside. I’m not sure how healthy it would be to sit in a home made fibreglassed plywood tub, kind of an inside-out boat, but that might be an option. The traditional wooden ofuros are nice too, but very expensive and a bit more care required to maintain properly. Mother Earth News had a DIY one years ago http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/1995-12-01/Hot-Tub-Nirvana-For-100.aspx

      v - July 14, 2011 Reply

      seals on dishwashers. seals on water tanks all around the world. Used extensively in Europe. Work fine.. You do have to wait for the tub to drain however before ou venture out….

Freth - July 13, 2011 Reply

As far as a stainless japanese tub … here is typical:


BenBrown - July 13, 2011 Reply

I’ve written to Jay and several other tiny home builders about designing for an ofuro for years. Fantastic to see it actually incorporated and how intelligent it is. It opens multiple options for use shower/low water use, soaking tub/high but less than guessed water use, deep sink to use as utility tub. I think in some instances the grey water could be reused for garden purposes.

Mike Page of the Cube Project, fairly commented about water use. My response to such concerns is simply having a deep tub/shower doesn’t obligate one to fill it each time. The occasional therapeutic deep soak with or without a bubble bath, or healing herbals like lavender and the recycling of water to the garden shouldn’t be the waste of water we presently do. Besides, it saves a long distance trip to the hot tub spa and no need to share community body fluids in chlorinated/bromated water that can’t as easily be recycled.

I LOVE the modular concept. I Love the skylights in the sleeping area. I wonder if there is enough space to do yoga poses in the new Great Room? The Arts and Crafts absolutely attract me. This is the most irresistible design I have seen from Tumbleweed yet that fits me. As I discover I AM capable of doing significant woodworking my excuses for doing this are becoming progressively less. Next I wonder what I need to do to make this a net zero energy dwelling? SIPS, PV and wind?

Steve Weissmann - July 14, 2011 Reply

Steve from Tumbleweed here. Glad to hear people love the tub. Jay had it custom made and I’m not sure what the cost is on that. Before we launch next month, we still have a few things to complete – pricing still being on of the items.

    kevinsmicrohomestead - July 14, 2011 Reply

    Steve,thanks for the vardo plans. I wrote you and jay some time back about availability of them. I hope the sale was good. I’m looking forward to the building project.

    Kent - July 17, 2011 Reply

    “Before we launch next month…”

    Thank you, that’s the information I was looking for.

    This video moved my tiny house thoughts from back-burner contemplation to active short-term plotting and I was frustrated that there seemed to be no official information available yet. Looking forward to it!

MJ - July 14, 2011 Reply

I love Kirsten’s videos; she never fails to emphasize such honesty in the places she shoots, how life is really lived in them (or could be). Great work, great house.

    kevinsmicrohomestead - July 14, 2011 Reply

    I’ll second that . Kent I’m jelous I would like to meet Kirsten and her husband that would be a treat.

Steven - July 14, 2011 Reply

I like this house because it looks beefy and permanent.

Christina Nellemann - July 14, 2011 Reply

When I was a child in Denmark, a lot of the tubs were small but deep. I always thought it made so much more sense and wasted less water. Besides, as a kid, I could go underwater a lot more in those deep tubs.

Judi - July 14, 2011 Reply

I have been following tiny homes and Jay Shafer for the past year or so and I am still fascinated by these homes.

Could someone speak to the ease of constant travel with a tiny home on a trailer? My family of naysayers say it won’t hold up on the road; I know Jay travels all over the country with a tiny home in tow.

Thanks for the input!

    kevinsmicrohomestead - July 14, 2011 Reply

    Well I know from following Jay that he has pulled several models both north/ south and east /west across the country ,have not heard of any problems.

Andy - July 15, 2011 Reply

The larger house, has it been featured before? I’d like to see his “family” home too!

    Anton - July 15, 2011 Reply

    I second seeing his larger home. It seems like it would be a much more realistic option for families.

cj - July 15, 2011 Reply

I am laughing at the reference to ‘house porn’. I’ve lost many a friend while they were eyeing their dream homes, large enough to house a village and I would be out back thinking of how I could use that doll house, tree house, garden shed, etc. for a cozy home.

Marcia Weber - July 19, 2011 Reply

Love it! Excellent use of space.

Jill - July 19, 2011 Reply

Its a shame the tumblweed site does not have info on their latest house or modular products.
This video blog entry is a great and I am interested to buy a module.

Tasha - July 19, 2011 Reply

Does anyone know if there is an outlet to plug in home appliances?

John - March 4, 2012 Reply

Just some math for anyone else obsessing over that ofuro tub:

Measurements of tumbleweed ofuro tub:
30*22*30 = 19800 in³ = 85.7142 gal
Not quite! There is a seat in ofuro that displaces some more water.
Assuming 12″ of 30″ depth and a solid seat of 18″ at 20″ depth,
12*22*30 = 7920 in³
18*22*20 = 7920 in³
7920+7920 = 15840 in³ = 68.5714 gal
Average 160 lb person displaces about 20 gallons of water
~45 gallons to fill with one occupant

Calandra Smith - January 19, 2017 Reply

Great Post!

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