The house I grew up in (with my sister, my two parents, a constant but ever-changing assortment of critters, and all the associated clutter one might expect) was 800 sq. ft. In a word: tiny.
But the homes in Lloyd Kahn's Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter give my childhood home a run for its money. Tiny Homes showcases a fantastic assortment of structures under 500 sq. ft. What these buildings lack in square footage, they deliver in character, affordability, energy efficiency, and, in some cases, portability! From prefab tiny homes to tree houses, boathouses, hobbit homes, houses on wheels, and, my personal favorite, the pumphouse-turned-chicken-coop-turned-stationary-yacht, this book is a treasure trove of micro-inspiration, and a testament to the benefits of scaling down. Recommended By Tove H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
There's a grassroots movement in tiny homes these days. The real estate collapse, the economic downturn, burning out on 12-hour workdays and#150; many people are rethinking their ideas about shelter and#150; seeking an alternative to high rents, or a lifelong mortgage debt to a bank on an overpriced home. Homes on land, homes on wheels, homes on the road, homes on water, even homes in the trees. There are also studios, saunas, garden sheds, and greenhouses.
There are 1,300 photos, showing a rich variety of small homemade shelters, and there are stories (and thoughts and inspirations) of the owner-builders who are on the forefront of this new trend in downsizing and self-sufficiency. You can buy a ready-made tiny home, build your own, get a kit or pre-fab, or live in a bus, houseboat, or other movable shelter. Some cities have special ordinances for building "in-law" or "granny flats" in the back yard. There are innovative solutions in cities, such as the "capsules" in Tokyo.
If you're thinking of scaling back, you'll find plenty of inspiration shown by builders, designers, architects, dreamers, artists, road gypsies, and water dwellers who've achieved a measure of freedom and independence by taking shelter into their own hands.
"Before McMansions, before the counter culture was granite and marble, there was Lloyd Kahn, champion of the hand-built house . . . progenitor of the new do-it-yourself movement" The New York Times
"and#133;our friend Lloyd Kahn's beautiful book, Tiny Homes."
and#151;Mark Frauenfelder, BoingBoing
"Tiny Homes is an amazing collection. ...The homes might be tiny but your inspiration is huge."
and#151;Richard Zanuck, Film Producer
"...a quirky photo-rich book that preaches the benefits of a 'grassroots movement to scale things back.'"
and#151;Jeffery Trachtenberg, Wall Street Journal
"...a glorious portfolio of quirky makers and dreamers..."
and#151;Penelope Green, New York Times
"Before McMansions, before the counter culture was granite and marble, there was Lloyd Kahn, champion of the hand-built house . . . progenitor of the new do-it-yourself movement"
and#151;Patricia Leigh Brown, New York Times
"The common thread that weaves between the stories is the builders' immense pride of place, a drive for independence and a vision that, when little goes to waste, life can have greater meaning."
" ...a refreshing view into the wonderful world of small houses."
and#151;Watershed Sentinel, BC, Canada
"...splendid photos of home exteriors, interiors and landscapes..."
"What these structures might lack in square footage they more than make up for in economy, character and appeal..."
and#151;U-T San Diego
These days, homeowners, designers, architects (no less), road gypsies, water dwellers, dreamers, people of all ages, all over the world are making do creatively with under-500 sq. ft. shelters. This is a real and powerful alternative to high rents, or a lifelong obligation to a bank on an overpriced home.
The heart of our 1973 book Shelter was on small buildings, which we recommended as a starting point in providing one's own living space. Now, almost 40 years later, there's a significant tiny house movement all over the world -which we've been tracking over the past year.
John Field sold his 2800 sq. ft. house in upstate New York and built a 128 ft. cabin in the high Texas desert. The "Lady on the Road" (who wishes to remain anonymous), has been living full-time in a highly decorated bus since she was 51 (she's now 72). A couple in British Columbia have a houseboat with adjacent floating garden. A rustic cabin has been built on a remote beach in Mendocino, inspired by our book Shelter, and reachable only by boat. A lot of small houses have been built on trailers, so they can be moved around and don't necessarily require land ownership.
More and more people are living in buses, trucks, houseboats, and other movable shelters. There are a large number of prefabs and kits now available. There are innovative solutions in cities, such as the "capsules" in Tokyo. There are numerous websites with news, photos, and/or plans for tiny houses.
This is going to be a spectacular book, no kidding! It will be our first major building block since Builders of the Pacific Coast was published in 2008. Like our other building books, it will have at least 1000 photos, along with stories, interviews, and insights from people who have chosen to scale back in the 21st century.
About the Author
"I started building almost 50 years ago, and have lived in a self-built home ever since. If Iand#8217;d been able to buy a wonderful old good-feeling house, I might have never started building. But it was always cheaper to build than to buy, and by building myself, I could design what I wanted and use materials I wanted to live with.
I set off to learn the art of building in 1960. I liked the whole process immensely. Hammering nails. Framing and#151; delineating space. Nailing down the sub-floor, the roof decking. Itand#8217;s a thrill when you first step on the floor youand#8217;ve just created.
Ideally Iand#8217;d have worked with a master carpenter long enough to learn the basics, but there was never time. I learned from friends and books and by blundering my way into a process that required a certain amount of competence. My perspective was that of a novice, a homeowner and#151; rather than a pro. As I learned, I felt that I could tell others how to build, or at least get them started on the path to creating their own homes.
Through the years Iand#8217;ve personally gone from post and beam to geodesic domes to stud frame construction. Itand#8217;s been a constant learning process, and this has led me into investigating many methods of construction and#151; Iand#8217;m interested in them all. For five years, the late and#8217;60s to early and#8217;70s, I built geodesic domes. I got into being a publisher by producing Domebook One in 1970 and Domebook 2 in 1971. I then gave up on domes (as homes) and published our namesake Shelter in 1973. Weand#8217;ve published books on a variety of subjects over the years, and returned to our roots with Home Work: Handbuilt Shelter in 2004, Builders of the Pacific Coast, and The Barefoot Architect in 2008.
Building is my favorite subject. Even in this day and age, building a house with your own hands can save you a ton of money (Iand#8217;ve never had a mortgage) and and#151; if you follow it through and#151; you can get what you want in a home." and#151;Lloyd Kahn
Table of Contents
Tiny Homes on Foundations
For the Love of Snow . . . 2
The Sugar Shack . . . 12
Little House in the Backyard . . . 14
The Field Lab . . . 18
LaMarand#8217;s $2,000 Solar Cabin . . . 20
The Shed of Reality . . . 22
Backyard Chicken Coop Yacht . . . 24
House for One Person . . . 28
14and#180; and#215; 14and#180; Post and Beam . . . 30
Rich in the Woods . . . 32
$1,000 Cabin on the Coast . . . 33
Artand#8217;s Bedroom . . . 34
Small Structures . . . 36
The Phoenix Commotion . . . 38
Ons Tweede Huis . . . 40
Kim and Jonnyand#8217;s Cabin . . . 42
Tiny Texas Houses . . . 44
Rethinking Normal . . . 50
Friends in High Places . . . 51
Tiny Homes on Wheels
Jalopy Cabins . . . 52
Tumbleweed Tiny Houses . . . 54
Little House on the Trailer . . . 58
Oregon Cottage Company . . . 60
Jenineand#8217;s Two Tiny Houses . . . 62
ProtoHaus . . . 66
Building a Tiny House on Wheels . . . 68
Pallet House Project . . . 69
Tiny Homes by Architects
Judith Mountain Cabin . . . 70
Prefab Cottage . . . 72
Jeffery Broadhurst . . . 74
Tokyo Capsule Hotel . . . 78
TYIN Tegnestue Architects . . . 80
weeHouses . . . 82
Prefabs and Kits
Reclaimed Space . . . 84
Small House Innovation . . . 86
Bungalow in a Box . . . 87
Cabana Village . . . 88
YardPods . . . 89
Montana Mobile Cabins . . . 90
Tomand#8217;s Cabin . . . 92
More Prefabs and Kits . . . 94
Online Building . . . 98
Haniand#8217;s Man Cave . . . 100
Bill and Athena Steen . . . 102
Hobbit House in Wales . . . 108
Ziggyand#8217;s Cob Cottage . . . 110
The Laughing House . . . 114
The Mudgirls of BC . . . 116
Pallet/Cob Backyard Shed . . . 119
Straw Bale / Cob House in Oregon . . . 120
Cobworks . . . 122
Cob/Wood Roundhouse in Wales . . . 126
Dogon Dome . . . 128
Big Sky Yurt . . . 130
Sauna on Haida Gwaii . . . 132
Baja Surferand#8217;s Shack . . . 134
Ardheia . . . 136
Solar Potting Shed . . . 144
Driftwood Beach Shack . . . 146
Bouncing Bridge with Troll Booth . . . 148
Crystal River Treehouse . . . 150
Treebane . . . 154
Lapas Nest Treehouse . . . 156
Lakeside Treehouse . . . 160
Deek Diedrickson . . . 162
Taylor Camp . . . 164
On the Road
Lloydand#8217;s Van . . . 166
Hornby Island Caravans . . . 168
The Flying Tortoise . . . 170
Vardo /Sheep Wagon . . . 172
Simplify, Simplify . . . 174
Nicoletteand#8217;s and#8364; 1,000 Wagen . . . 176
ProtoStoga . . . 178
Jay Nelson . . . 180
Baja Road Travel . . . 182
Big Red . . . 183
Artist in a Van . . . 184
Lady on the Road . . . 186
Bernie Harbertsand#8217; Covered Wagon . . . 188
The Horsebox House . . . 190
American Nomad Rigs . . . 192
Vintage Campers . . . 196
On the Water
Paul, Julie, and Mia on the High Seas . . . 198
Sailing Yacht and#147;Mistyand#8221;. . . 204
Floating Homestead in BC . . . 206
Ontario Boathouse . . . 208
Our Little Cabin up the Lake. . . 210
Narrowboats . . . 212