Ten huge resources for anyone who wants to build a tiny house
While tiny-house enthusiasts may live small, they publish huge quantities of books and websites each year.
By Tammy Strobel, Creative Commons
Paying rent in a bloated market isn't working for you? Have the piles of stuff you've hoarded in your closets finally forced you to scream: "I'm ready for a purge"? Maybe you just want to live a simple, green life? If you are ready to start thinking about building a tiny house of your own (see this week's cover story, Could Tiny Houses Solve a Big Problem in Denver?), here are some of our favorite books and websites to get you going. See also: This tiny house caused a big stink
When Dee Williams was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and confronted her own mortality, she decided to redesign her life and dedicate herself to the things she believed in: green living and the people she loved. So she ditched her massive house for a self-built, 84-square-foot home on wheels. Her book tells her story and offers some instructional tips to boot.
If you're having trouble wrapping your head around what your tiny house might look like, Lloyd Kahn's Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter provides over 1,300 color photos gleaned from thousands of websites. The book focuses on abodes smaller than 550 square feet and features 150 DIY builders from rural and urban areas alike, covering everything from size and price to materials.
Future builders looking for a step-by-step manual for crafting your own tiny home should pick up Dan Louche's Tiny House Design and Construction Guide. Itemizing the necessary tools and materials and covering the basics of plumbing, electrical, roofing and framing, this book has everything you need to get started on drawing up your own design.
Kent Griswold's Tiny House Blog has been running strong since 2007. The growing organization now has an editorial staff and features stories of tiny housers, inspirational photos, plans for sale, a magazine, a calendar of workshops and a well-stocked store with resources galore.
The Tiny House Design website hosts a variety of tiny house plans, some for free and some to purchase. If you are interested in designing your own home, the site provides a ton of tips, including instruction in how to use Google SketchUp to create your plans, how to construct a composting toilet and how to build a solar wall heater from recycled cans. Keep reading for five more big resources for building tiny houses.
Who could resist swooning over the image-rich website, Tiny House Swoon? Stuffed to the gills with stunning photos, the site demonstrates that tiny homes can be an artful part of any urban or rural environment and as beautiful as they are functional.
Since 2002, the Small House Society has served as a cooperatively managed organizing body for the tiny-house movement. It offers a database of tiny-house builders, advocates on behalf on small-home owners and uses social media to highlight some of the biggest and best tiny-house projects around the world.
Ryan Mitchell's The Tiny Life chronicles his own attempts at building and living in a tiny home and offers up a variety of practical, how-to information sure to wet the whistles of any inspired enthusiasts. He features interviews with tiny housers and profiles everything from tiny-house communities to conferences.
Lose yourself for hours clicking through the interviews, videos, designs and articles on Alex Pino's Tiny House Talk. The site is a treasure-trove of DIY plans, news, inspiring photos and a glut of information about multipurpose furniture, utilities and space-saving techniques.
The quest for simple living goes back to the dawn of agriculture, when people started realizing that they were storing way too much junk. But in the United States, the tiny-house impulse can be traced back to Henry David Thoreau, and his two years, two months and two days of simple living in a humble cabin. For those looking for some classic, inspirational fodder, check out Walden, Thoreau's memoir of the small and simple life.
Follow me on Twitter: @kyle_a_harris
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