Open Source Tiny House

tiny house

by Eddie Jones

The home is 198 square feet not including the loft. The idea was to limit a home design based on a maximum 200 square foot design.

The structure is not a mobile home and I made efforts to make a tiny home that didn’t look like a mobile trailer. The bedroom / office is sectioned off which reduces space considerably but offers nice separation. If the house were built on skids, it could be move by trailer though.

tiny house

This design does not yet include any windows. Ideally, it would be great to have required building materials before starting construction based on the modeling.

Additionally the roof, storage, and placement of utilities is still not done. My plan for the roof is a box made of 1×4 lumber, fastened to the top of the house with maybe a one foot overhang.

You can view the source and get more information here:

tiny house layout

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Dave Waalkes - May 4, 2014 Reply

This design is similar to a 10×20 ft garden shed/workshop/backyard retreat that I am building, largely from reclaimed materials. (I post images of my SketchUp design and of the work in progress on my tumblr page: I, too, chose a lean-to roof, to simplify construction and minimize materials. I would like to see more information regarding your roof design – 1×4 lumber seems light but perhaps you plan a truss system? Nice floor plan! Thank-you for posting this. -d

Linda Quiggle - May 4, 2014 Reply

I have begun developing a new line of tiny homes that can be seen on my blog site:

Peter Elliot - May 4, 2014 Reply

Nice idea.

I was wondering why people don’t design small homes around a quality Murphy bed. They’re are many which are dual use, with either a sofa, desk or storage when folded away.

I prefer not to separate such a small space into rooms (other than the bathroom) unless they were movable walls which can allow a single large space.

I do like your more modern exterior design. I’m also interested in non-traditional exterior coverings such as standing seam roofing as siding.

Keep up the good work!

    kim - May 4, 2014 Reply

    I echo the desire not to separate such a small space into a bedroom and living area. Either a murphy bed or a couple of twin beds made into couches during the day will utilize the space more fully.

    Also, really think about the kitchen unless you expect to eat out and/or just warm up leftovers. You can utilize the space much more efficiently and get some counter space to prepare food. Small kitchens can offer a good amount of working space if designed well. I’ve lived in far too many apartments where people just throw the appliances into the space without much thought of layout and size of the appliances. (Note: you usually don’t need full-size appliances if there are only 1-2 people living in the space.)

    CathyAnn - May 4, 2014 Reply

    I agree about too many walls and the great alternative of a Murphy Bed as you describe, Peter. I prefer openness, a feeling of space.

    I like the lean-to roof. With the tall side on the south, there could be passive solar gain, especially helpful during Winter in the north.

      Karen - July 2, 2014 Reply

      We plan to build up the kitchen approximately 2 feet and slide the bed under the kitchen. The stair are actually at the end of the bed so that when the bed is slid in the stairs abut the kitchen floor the sleeve for the bed will have to be very, very well sealed. Has anyone else know of any one who has done this in the past and how it worked out for them?

Carol Stahl - May 4, 2014 Reply

I like your concept very much. I would love to live in a tiny house, but being older means I will not be moving it around so no need for wheels or skids. Instead with “tiny living” indoors, it would be essential for me to have permanent, sheltered outdoor space for a sense of freedom. If the roof could be extended on one end or side that would add a lot of value to the house for me. I bet there are more older people likely to build a new tiny home in order to avoid “retirement home” cluster living, than there are people who go someplace else during the day (job, etc.) and people with young children.
I also like the comment about designing around a Quality! Murphy bed. I’ve had apartments that came with a Murphy bed and think they are superb at defining not only space, but night and day time. They come in standard sizes for buying linens and usually are quite easy to work with.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and very best wishes.

Wendy - May 4, 2014 Reply

What do you plan to use the loft space for?

David - May 4, 2014 Reply

I don’t like beds that are jammed up against a wall. I would suggest allowing at least 1 ft on each side, with shelves above and to each side for easy 2-person accessibility?

Icerabbit - May 4, 2014 Reply

11 ft span … For a roof … with 2x4s?

Wait 1×4 ?!

And he wants to build to house standards?

Jane - May 4, 2014 Reply

Nice design!

I’d turn the bed sideways with built in shelving either end, like the Tumbleweed Popomo, and change that wall between the bed space and living/ kitchen for a privacy curtain.

greg - May 4, 2014 Reply

Why do we keep seeing these things built on trailers anyway? The average trailer is about 8×16 or 128 sq ft. But the smallest footprint for a residence is 250 in most areas. I just looked up my county on and it’s 150 sq ft for one person and 100 sq ft per additional. Is that really too big?
My last two apartments were about 16×24 including bathroom with a full shower and a large walk in closet. That’s 384 sq ft. That’s not a mansion. And most of these beasts on trailers would never survive on a 65MPH + Highway either. Bits would be flying off and windows would get broken in no time.
Don’t get me wrong, I love tiny houses. I have been looking at plans since the dark ages when this stuff only came in books. Maybe it’s time to start designing one. But it will by in the 250-300 sq ft range. And it will sit on a foundation. And there will be a teardrop trailer parked next to it for when my feet get restless.

    sc - May 10, 2014 Reply

    the idea behind the tiny houses being built on trailers are to escape local codes for housing. this way they are coded as RV, People who build permanent structures have to comply with local codes for houses in the area. the codes are said to vary widely all over the US.

      Karen - July 2, 2014 Reply

      Unfortunately, our local counties will not let you live in an RV unless the land has been defined as a campground. This is the situation my husband and I are in now. We are working with the county planner to make what land we have deeded a campground but the rules are still fairly ridged.

elisabeth in CT - May 5, 2014 Reply

What about the reconfiguration of already existing, but ‘way too big’ houses? We’re in the process of renovating a 300 sf. ‘guest apartment’ in an existing 1,300 sf bldg …the whole project hyper utilizes tiny house principles, but it’s not new construction. It’s all about the re-use and recycling of what we already have. And with a loft and the Murphy bed/table combo in the main room, this space will sleep up to 6 friendly people, or four singles.

    elisabeth in CT - May 5, 2014 Reply

    Actually, I meant to say creating rather than renovating. We are taking a 10×17 kitchen area, along with part of a single garage area to make the new zone. Then we’re putting a ‘new’ kitchen in the original dining room. In the end we’ll have an 800sf family sized main house area plus the smaller area, that should be comfortable for one or two…

      alice h - May 5, 2014 Reply

      Our family bought a large house and made 3 separate apartments in it for four generations. The original house was for one family and had all kinds of bedrooms and extra living rooms or dens. Odd layout but perfect for conversion to smaller living spaces. I wish we could convert the garage to living space for another family member but it’s not allowed in our area.

Cheryl - May 5, 2014 Reply

I actually am finishing up my 8×20 foot tiny hse with metal shed roof over loft bedroom then the open floor main floor has kitchen/ living rm & bathroom. I’m 58 & except for the roof and fr. doors have basically built it myself with screws over the last 3 yrs on a concrete slab a friend had in backyard. The only nails in it are those a friend insisted on while showing me why I needed to have a professional install the doors! I built roof line with 2×4’s & 5/8 plywood then insulated w/ Foam It Green. Foam is in all the walls around my Pex tube plumbing from water storage tanks in loft+ electrical wiring to my main located in kitchen wall. I built on an I-beam trailer on wheels so I didn’t have to adhere to build rules & can move to property purchased elsewhere. I do have a roll off bar that came with the trailer that make it possible to cut them & put home on stem wall. Main floor has 2×2 shower stall purchased from RV parts store learned from Tiny Hse seminar here in Nashville, TN. Weather & work has elongated build process for me but has been fun! I encourage anyone to do what works for them & think outside the “norm” for home they want for senior years.

dewhit - May 6, 2014 Reply

What exactly is being sold or bartered or presented with this ?

If this …if that…possibly could be…maybe used as

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