Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Introducing our Tiny House Plans Guide

Tiny House Plans

Today, we’re officially unveiling a new feature of The Tiny Life that we’re super excited about. If you listen to our podcast, Tiny House Chat, you’ve probably heard our latest episode about our new tiny house plans review page. It’s high time for us to write a blog post about this new resource, and we’re eager to share it with you.

If you’re going to build a tiny house, one of the most important steps happens way before you ever wield a chop saw: choosing a house plan. There are hundreds of tiny house plans on the market, and they’re scattered all over the Internet, and you can’t know for certain what you’re going to get for your money. Ryan and I wanted to help put an end to all the confusion.

We rounded up our favorite tried-and-true tiny house plans and gathered them in one place to help you find the plan that’s best for you. The houses come in all shapes and sizes, but we they all have these two criteria in common:

  1. The house has to be on wheels.
  2. The house has to have been built and lived in before.

The second point above is how we know a plan can succeed as a safe and comfortable home. You can create conceptual 3D tiny house models all day long, but until they exist and function as both a solid structure and a full-time home in the real world, there’s no way to know how well a design will actually work.

We then collected the plans and pored over them for hours, inspecting all the details that a newbie builder would need to consider – and all the ones that you wouldn’t have thought about either!

Here’s what you can find on the tiny house plans page:

  • Sixteen main criteria to help you know what to look for in tiny house plans
  • A detailed at-a-glance comparison grid to quickly compare all seven tiny house plans
  • Our recommendations for different plans based on your needs
  • A free “How to Read House Plans” guide
  • Thorough reviews of every house plan
  • Photos and screenshots of the plans so you know what to expect when you buy
  • A “new builder friendly” ranking for each plan
  • In-depth interviews with the plan designers to gain more insight into each design

We hope that this resource will simplify and streamline the process of choosing a house plan for your own future tiny home. The tiny house plans we picked to review are the cream of the crop for what is available for sale, so we feel confident recommending them to you.

To see the full tiny house plans page, click here or click the “Plans” tab in the menu at the top of the page. Happy hunting!

Hosting A Party In A Tiny House

IMG_2383Life has been very busy as of late with lots of new things coming down the pipeline for us here at The Tiny Life, but when I saw how nice it was going to be this past weekend I knew I had to close the laptop.

It takes work to break yourself away and make time for relaxation with friends. In a world as fast paced as ours, we need to keep sight of what’s important. The work will never be done, but time with friends and family is a precious commodity. This past weekend I decided to take advantage of the perfect weather by having a cookout and campfire.

They say the best way to clean your house is to throw a party…it’s so true! But in a tiny house, that takes me all of 15 minutes of work! It was going to be a small group, but still bigger than I could seat in my tiny house. So when the invite went out I said BYOB and BYOC (bring your own chair). We had a mix of meat eaters and vegetarians, so we had burgers and hotdogs for the meat eaters and veggie patties and veggie kabobs for my vegetarian friends.

Because of the number of folks, I decided to host it entirely outdoors. I had my grill all set up, plus I brought out a folding table that I’m able to keep tucked away most of the time and bring out when I need some more working room. With the table setup, I laid out everything we would need to keep folks outside the house. I left the door to the tiny house propped open, as people inevitably want to check it out.

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Amy and my friends Caroline, JR, Jared, and Lauren came over for food and to hang out. Amy brought the veggie kabobs and tried her hand at grilling for the first time; we all got together, chatted and grilled. Once we filled our plates we moved over to the fire.

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After eating and chatting, Lauren broke out supplies for s’mores, but instead of marshmallows, she brought Peeps. So we roasted the poor marshmallow chicks over the fire and ate s’mores. All in all it was a great time, grilling and sitting by the fire and enjoying the stars after dark.

Your Turn!

  • What type of tiny house party are you going to throw first?

 

2016 Tiny House Conference Recap

What a blur! We are finally recovering from an amazing weekend at the Tiny House Conference in Asheville, NC. The event went off without a hitch, and we had such a great time hanging out with tiny house enthusiasts from near and far. Check out some of our behind-the-scenes photos from the event!

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In the days leading up to the conference, we had a lot of details to square away at Tiny HQ. We stuffed, alphabetized, and bagged all the name tags in preparation for the event.

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On the Thursday beforehand, we made the trip from Charlotte to Asheville. Tiny houses started to arrive, including this little beauty from Wishbone Tiny Homes.avl

The speakers also began to arrive on Thursday evening. We ventured into the funky West Asheville neighborhood on Thursday night to get dinner at Buffalo Nickel, and enjoy a few drinks and a whole lot of laughs.

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Friday morning was the kickoff for our first ever Tool School! Hosted at A-B Tech, attendees got a chance to learn how to safely use power tools under the watchful eye of professional woodworkers. In previous years, we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from folks who wanted some hands-on training at the Tiny House Conference, and we’re happy to say that Tool School was a hit.

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The Friday night social mixer was also a big success. This photo was taken before a lot of people arrived – there were at least 150 people there!

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The conference begins! We had a full house, with over 350 people in attendance. We had an all-star lineup of presenters for the weekend. In the photo above, Lina Menard of Niche Consulting discusses design and layout for small spaces.

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The tiny house tours are my favorite part of the Tiny House Conference. We had 14 houses in total this year, and they came in all shapes and sizes. We had everything from Driftwood Homes USA and Hummingbird Housing and their high-spec, luxurious tiny houses, all the way down to Elissha’s ultra-tiny 24-square foot home.

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Open Space is definitely one of the highlights of the Tiny House Conference. People gather into groups with other attendees to ask questions and lend their expertise on different topics, as well as to connect with one another. Watch this video to learn more about Open Space and how it works.

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All good things must come to an end, but after the close of the conference on Sunday, it was time to celebrate! A trip to Barley’s Taproom for pizza and beer was in order.

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On Monday, it was time for us to return to Charlotte, but not before a final visit to White Duck Taco. Thanks for the good vibes, Asheville – it was a blast!

Ryan and I are already busy planning for next year’s Tiny House Conference. It will take place in Portland, Oregon on April 8th and 9th. We hope to see a lot of familiar faces there, and if you weren’t able to join is this year, we hope to meet you at the next one! See more behind-the-scenes posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by searching the hashtag #tinyhouseconference. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get all the updates on next year’s conference. Thanks everyone, for helping make this such a great event!

Your Turn!

  • Did you go to the 2016 Tiny House Conference? What was your favorite part?

Don’t Miss the 2016 Tiny House Conference!

TinyHouseConferenceRegistration

Before I started building my tiny house back in 2012, I had a ton of questions:

Where do I even start?
What do I need to know to build a tiny house?
Which options are right for me?
What if I mess up because I don’t know something?!

Building a tiny house is a huge undertaking and it can be scary at times. I know from my own tiny house building experience that it can sometimes feel like you’re lost. You’ll have lots of questions, and you might encounter some doubts along the way. When I was in this situation, I soon realized I wasn’t alone. There were ton of people facing the same challenges and the tiny house movement needed an event where folks could gather as a community.

That was back in 2009. Fast forward to today.

The Tiny House Conference is entering its third year and we couldn’t be more excited. We’ve built this community into something great, something I wish all tiny house folks could experience. It’s a place that lets us connect with others like you, to learn from each other and be part of a community. I want to invite you to be part of that community.

Tour tiny houses, meet the experts, and be a part of the tiny house movement, all in one amazing weekend.

Registration for the Tiny House Conference closes at midnight on March 27. Don’t miss out on this great event!

Click Here to Register

 

Tour Tiny Houses in Person at the 2016 Tiny House Conference

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I remember the moment I knew tiny houses were right for me: when I first got to see a tiny house in person. You see these amazing photos and great video tours online, but nothing compares to walking into a tiny house in real life.

The best part of running the Tiny House Conference is seeing that look on hundreds of faces as our community comes together to tour a ton of tiny houses in person. The feeling of seeing so many houses is pretty magical.

Each year we have a lot of houses at the Conference. This year we’ve confirmed 8 houses with many more soon to be added. With each of these houses we have their builder/owners on hand to answer all your questions. Since each house is as unique as its owner, you get to see a huge variety to help you figure out what works and what doesn’t work for you as you design your own tiny house.

Want to tour these houses? Click here!