Day One – Tiny House Workshop

Today I traveled to Raleigh, NC to check out Jay Shaffer’s Tiny House Workshop, which is designed to teach people how to build their own Tiny Home.  When I walked into the meeting room, I knew we would have a good number of people, but I didn’t expect to have over 50 people here!

After doing introductions, we jumped into building codes and zoning, talking about several options when it comes to legal issues.  The message to drive home here was, it depends.  It depends on your local entity, on the person you talk to and their mood.  Overall, we discussed many options.

We also had two groups talk about their Tiny Houses that they are actually building, a group down in Charleston and another couple building their own house.  This was a really neat aspect to see the houses they were creating, it also gave some great outside viewpoints on the design and building process.

We are now into the actual construction of the house.  We talked about trailers, framing, sheeting and many  many other details.  I will report about tomorrow’s


  1. What I really want to know about with these tiny houses on trailers is how the plumbing works. I see that Jay’s tumbleweed houses have bathrooms and the like, but where does the wastewater go, and how do you keep pipes from freezing in the winter? I suspect a simple heating element wrapped around the pipes would work, but still can’t figure out the sewage situation

    • The toilet in Jay’s house is composting so it does not need any plumbing. The sink probably just dumps the water onto the ground under the trailer or nearby with a hose. I more complex system would be similar to what a travel trailer has.

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