The Small House Catalog – TheSmallHouseCatalog.com
The Tiny Life’s Review of the Plans:
The graphics are of very good quality, especially for a free plan. It’s clear that Shawn and Jamie have experience creating industry standard architectural plans. There are 13 pages included. Each sheet is 24”x18”. They’re a little large for computer viewing, but could be printed out. The materials list is quite detailed, pretty impressive for a free plan. The tool list is categorized by function: boring tools, hammering tools, cutting tools, measuring and marking tools, and planing tools.
There are some plumbing details rendered in a bird’s eye view, combined with the electrical schematics. The wiring renderings are industry standard – a new builder will have to do some research on their own to learn more about the fundamentals of electric wiring. There’s an electrical legend and some helpful side notes about the wiring that are included.
There are some great roof details and 3D cutaways of the house. The wall sheathing cutaway and roof venting cutaway are particularly helpful. It might be helpful to download these plans as a reference to compare with other plans, to give you a better conceptualization of how sheathing and venting work.
The framing plans are clean and easy to read. Anchoring details are not included in the plans – there’s a detail of a Simpson Strong Tie, an important piece of hardware for securing the house, but that’s about it. Cross-referencing other tiny house plans for anchoring details would be a good idea.
There are no specific details about which trailer to buy, but there are some helpful side notes to guide you through choosing a trailer.
The plans leave the interior finishes up to the builder. They do suggest 4 ½” siding on the exterior to fit better with the small scale of the house, a thoughtful detail we hadn’t seen elsewhere. They even include the exact orange paint color they used: “Orange You Glad” by Mythic Paints! The plans include a detailed window and door schedule with brand suggestions. Some utilities and appliances are included with model numbers.
In terms of special extras, the plans include the dimensions for the custom coffee table the Dehners built. The plans include thorough notes throughout that list out the minute details of building that you might otherwise forget from looking at standard plans.
What would we like to see out of these plans?
We’d like to see more detail about anchoring the house to the trailer. More cutaways of wall-to-roof attachments and other details would be helpful as well.
These plans feature more building details and some guided instruction on how to build the house.
If you’re a builder on a budget, you cannot go wrong with these free plans for a cozy tiny house. These plans hold their own even compared to pay-for house plans, and we suggest downloading them for some of the extra notes and details to cross-reference with other plans you might buy for a more informed tiny house building experience. While your own Moschata Bungalow might not be bright orange, it will certainly turn heads with its charm and curb appeal.
The Tiny Life’s Interview With The Plan Designers
Can you give us a quick bio about yourself? “We’re a married couple with a passion for building. In 2007 we started designing, drafting and hand building our own houses. We started drafting for clients in 2011 and went online in 2012.”
What is your background in tiny house design (and design/architecture in general)? “After selling a house in New England in 2010 we needed a place to live. Our rental lease was nearly up and we decided to build a tiny house on wheels since we couldn’t get a cottage plan through the building department in enough time. We picked up the trailer for what was to be the Moschata on October 26 and we’d moved in by December 22!”
Who did you design the house for? “For us! It was designed to be lived in full-time for up to three years, the maximum our county would permit us. We really needed a full working kitchen space since we garden intensively and scratch cook just about every meal. Jamie also kept honeybees at the time, made sauerkraut, baked bread with hand ground grains, etc. And we needed a bathroom that could handle heavy use in terms of showering since we were aiming to build a small house right next door. Our Moschata was also fitted with a washing machine.”
What makes your house different from other tiny houses? “It’s a bit longer and wider than most of the tiny houses built at that time.”
How did you design the layout for maximum space use? “We cantilevered the floor joists to maximize the full legal width of the trailer. It sounds miniscule but that extra foot or so makes a huge difference.”
This house is for someone if: “The Moschata was perfect for a full time couple and a cat! I think it’s well suited for people looking for a full-time, stationary or mostly stationary tiny house that offers standard conveniences: a small tub, shower, porcelain toilet, good size working kitchen, space for a washer, etc.”
This house is not for someone if: “…they intend to drive around the country with a tiny house. At 8′ x 20′ it is too big for winding up and down mountain passes.”
How much can one expect to spend to build this house? “We self-built our tiny house with relatively high end materials for $17,000 in 2010.”
Is this house designed for single person, a couple, or a family? “Our tiny house was awesome for two people and Penny, our runt kitty. I’d not recommend it for a family unless it was to be used temporarily. After we built a larger home we kept the Moschata as a rental. Families used it and absolutely loved the experience.”
How heavy is the finished home? “I estimated ours to weigh in at about 10,000 pounds.”
How would you describe the aesthetic of the house? “It reminded us of New England, especially when it was still white. We’d wanted the house to be bright for our dark Pacific Northwest winters and chose orange. We went ahead with it and it turned out great. It became the focal point of our beach cottage neighborhood. Can’t miss a tiny house orange house on wheels!”