Our Tiny House in the Hills

by Neil Norton

Here are some photos of our tiny house made from a storage building. We had been living in a 2,700 sq ft home, between upkeep and utilities we were constantly broke. A friend of ours offered to sell us a quarter acre of his property, so I went to work researching tiny homes.

After a month or so of youtube videos, google searches, etc… I decided on this layout. The living room is 10 ft 6 in X12 ft. The kitchen/bathroom is 6 ft 2in X 6 ft 10 in with 6 ft 7 in ceiling to accommodate the storage loft above. Our bedroom is 10ft 6in X 7ft 8in. All rooms except for kitchen have 9ft 6in ceilings. We have two lofts, the front one overlooks the beautiful rolling hills of Northern Arkansas, it measures 10ft 6in X 48in with a 40 in ceiling at the peak.

The back loft is accessible from the bedroom only and matches the kitchen footprint with 40 in ceiling at the peak. We lowered the ceilings in the living and bedroom for structural integrity, but left the lofts for more head height.

Our water is heated by a 7 gallon Ariston point of use water heater. We heat with a 35,000 btu propane heater (overkill yes, but it’s nice to heat our home fast and I got it at a steal for 40.00 bucks) and a electric radiator heater. It’s a livable work in progress, we are adding a 12 ft x 20 ft addition in the spring for a utility room and bath.

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Ozark Nick - February 19, 2012 Reply

Oh my … is that your propane tank sitting immediately next to the heater? 0.0

Victoria - Ozarks Crescent Mural - February 19, 2012 Reply

I like the beams. Those are lovely. I like the long design too. I’m with Nick on relocating that propane tank away from the heater.

Angie - February 19, 2012 Reply

I like this and have thought of doing something similar one day, this helps me know how it can look.

good on adding the extra windows. Love the extra light and it looks cosy and homey.

http://kevinsmicrohomestead.wordpress.com/ - February 19, 2012 Reply

Thats the way you do it jump in with both feet and go! It should be required in high school to learn to build your own home .That would turn the banking system on it’s head ! Way to go you two .

Steven - February 19, 2012 Reply

It’s great to see so many people taking the tiny house plunge. Kent I love the stories like this that you publish on your site because it inspires others who are only considering to act.

Paul Jenkins - February 19, 2012 Reply

Very impressive!

Deb - February 19, 2012 Reply

Thanks for showing another option. Build, don’t build…log or frame….mobile or stationary! There are a lot of choices but having interior photos really helps to think about size.

Joseph FatherofSix - February 19, 2012 Reply

Great place and what could be nicer than living with less stress and monthly payments on your back along with knowing you designed it and built it to your liking.

We too have property in North Arkansas and in less than 75 days we will be relocating from South Florida to our little slice of paradise. We have a trailer that was a park ranger station that we won at auction on a government website that will need a kitchen and a bathtub and we also have a small 10’ x 16’ cabin that will be used as an office and guest cabin once it’s finished.

In addition, our 16 son will be building his own cabin, with the money he saved working with me and doing odd jobs, to live in once we get there. They might not teach building your own home to high school kids but it’s what I teach my 5 boys.

Shea - February 19, 2012 Reply

BEAUTIFUL little place! Is the little room between the LR and BR the kitchen? Can’t wait to see what the kitchen area looks like! I see you mentioned the bath will be in an add-on you’re building later… def keep us posted!
This looks like the perfect little layout I’ve been looking for: ground floor bedroom space (not just a multi-function couch or murphy bed in a dual-use LR), a defined kitchen area, a cozy but welcoming living/sitting room, and storage space, easily accessible…
Nice job!
Can you share your floorplan? I’m a floorplan nut, always wanting to ‘see’ the space in its 2d plan, to compare with the 3d of photos…

    neil norton - February 20, 2012 Reply

    Kitchen is still in studs, homemade alum shelves,ect… will post pic later on THB FB page. Took awhile but I made a 2d layout that I will post also. and Thank you very much!

      dawn - April 6, 2014 Reply

      hello! im also going to buy this king shed and make into home! may I ask to see photos of inside? I can send you photos of a beautiful layout! my email is azboston43@msn.com

      thanks! dawn

V - February 20, 2012 Reply

what a difference a few ‘width feet’ make. good for you.,

    neil norton - February 20, 2012 Reply

    If I could do it over, I’d go 14′ instead of 12′. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, but a lil wider would be nice.

cj - February 20, 2012 Reply

I love it when people take their life back from the debtors. Way to go!

    neil norton - February 20, 2012 Reply


Jo - February 20, 2012 Reply

Way to go! How much did it cost to make this a home?

    neil norton - February 20, 2012 Reply

    Our payment is 262.55 for 3yrs. Spent around 1500.00 on building supplies to get to this point.

Linda Mason - February 20, 2012 Reply

I love what you did with the building. We have a storage building 12 x 28 that we have been living in for 3 years. We added some wiring, a toilet and a bedroom. All unfinished as of right now. Use milk crates and tables for kitchen. Use my 15 foot RV for washing dishes and taking showers. We just purchased an acre of land. Putting in the driveway this week and septic is next. At 2 grand it will take a month or two. Then the water meter and power pole are next. This building has only 4 more months of payments then it is done. When that happens we will get a 12 x 32 storage building with a little porch on the side, where yours is on the front. Then the work starts. We will have a bedroom, bath, and a combo kitchen,front room. Our current building will then become storage and a laundry room, later to add a full bath and a second bedroom. Our land payment is 158 a month for nine more years. It is so low that we should be able to pay it off in a year or two. The new building is rent to own like this one we have. Payment will be appox 350 a month and that we can pay off in two years. All the work inside will be paid as cash is available. So the plan is in two to three years the land and house will be paid for and all complete. Planning on having pics as we do this house.

Love that angle wall and it has given me some ideas. That room is the kitchen/bath if I understand your info. Wonder if the ceiling is open to the roof? We too plan on on demand hot water heater and we already have our wall mount lp house heater.

    neil norton - February 20, 2012 Reply

    Yes, the small room is the kitchen/bath,no the ceiling is 6’7″ there is a loft above that opens to the bedroom. We were going to have the living room/kitchen also, until I started laying out for cabinets and countertop. That’s when we realized it was gonna be just too small together. That’s when the bath became the kitchen and talk of addition started.Ours is a 12×32, I believe that it’s the same sq footage as your 12×28. In my opinion, I would put both the 12×28 and the new 12×32 side by side and put bath in one and kitchen in other. When I add on I’m opening up the outside wall in the kitchen the whole 6′ span then going out another 12′ and 16’in length. Spend the extra money and buy vinyl windows, We got double pane alum. The only problem is they like to sweat when it’s real cold outside. If the weather isn’t a problem, alum is fine. (we stay very toasty with the heater and cool with the air on.)Can’t wait to see pics when ya’ll get started. If ya have anymore questions just ask.

Sandra Allen - February 25, 2012 Reply

You guys did such a great job. I love the wall, too.

It breaks off the angular direction and give you something to look at. The nice thing about trailers is that they are efficient, but the bad thing is it’s all in one direction.

I fixed up a tiny wood shop way before the tiny house revolution began down in Coos Bay OR in 1983. The things I did with lathe strips and floor covering samples made most people look at my cross eyed, but now days they would make a video out of!

Please keep up posted on the new additions. And keep up the great work!

John - Ocala, FL - February 25, 2012 Reply

It was mandatory at my school, in the 80’s. One semester we had to take Carpentry and the next, automotive repair. Both have become invaluable to me. I actually took a serious interest in the class, while most of the other kids goofed off. I didn’t understand then; however, I had a feeling that what I learn would be beneficial to me. With all the budget cuts and mandatory non-sense, that is mandated by the federal government, such classes are endangered or have already gone by the wayside. We’re being forced to raise kids who can’t go through life without bing dependent on others or the government. I say we – I have made it a point to teach my boys how to use a hammer and turn a wrench.

MG - September 16, 2012 Reply

Where did you obtain the storage building?


Ashley - February 20, 2013 Reply

Love the tiny house idea and been doing research as well. I’m interested to hear more of your journey with the tiny house. I’m curious if you would mind showing more pics? Thanks!

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