The Tiny Project –

the tiny projectAlek Lisefski of The Tiny Project designed and built his beautiful tiny house which is now a tiny house community favorite. His design is contemporary, but it has whimsy and warmth not seen in some of the other modern tiny house designs. The Tiny Project house features a spacious loft packed with closet space, a unique kitchen layout, and a multi-functional living area.


The Tiny Life’s Review Of The Plans:

The graphics are pretty high quality, easy to read, and feature 3D color graphics. There are 39 pages included, and each sheet is 11”x8.5”. They are easily viewed on a computer screen. While there’s no tool list, the materials list is highly detailed, and features lots of suggested appliances with model numbers. An interesting detail is that the plans list lumber in board feet rather than standard 8-foot counts, which might be a little confusing for first-time builders.

The plumbing details are color coded and show in a 2D bird’s eye view. Newcomers to plumbing might find them difficult to interpret, since they’re more conceptual than a real-life diagram. The electrical renderings are industry standard, and a newbie builder might have to do some extra research on their own.

The plans very clearly show how to attach the house to the trailer. They even show the custom brackets used for cantilevering the house over the trailer, which is a detail unique to these plans. Note that the custom brackets may require you to find a welder.

The framing plans offer more detail than industry standard framing diagrams. There is a page that is dedicated to the placement of safety features within the house. There is a whole page dedicated to windows and doors, with along with recommended brands, and list rough openings as well as dimensions and specifications.

The plans offer suggestions on how to finish out the interior similar to the original tiny house. There are 3D renderings but no exact dimensions of the interior components. They also include suggestions and brands for the utilities and appliances used in the original house.

In terms of other helpful resources, the page dedicated to the rain screen system was very useful, and something we haven’t seen included in many other plans.

What would we like to see out of these plans? We’d like to see more 3D versions of how to lay out electrical and plumbing, along with some cutaways of the trickier building details like the roof-to-wall attachment.



These plans feature more building details and some guided instruction on how to build the house.

Final Thoughts

If you’re a single person or have a partner, the Tiny Project tiny house plan might be just for you. Because it is spacious and still manages to pack in a lot of function, it works well for two adults who each have to share storage and living space. If you are new to building, there may be some areas that you’ll need to research. If you like modern design but still want a cozy space, this house definitely fits the bill.

The Tiny Life’s Interview with the Plan Designer

Can you give us a quick bio about yourself? “I’m a 33-year-old web designer by trade with a passion for architecture, the beauty of the natural world, sustainable living, and simplifying life to include everything we need and nothing we don’t. I designed and built my modern 8’x20′ tiny house in 2013, and have since been an advocate for tiny house living and thoughtful human-scale design. Originally building the house in Iowa, I towed it 2,300 miles to beautiful Sonoma County California, where I have lived the tiny life for nearly two years. I relocated to Austin, TX for the next life adventure! Using my experience with the entire tiny house building (and living) process, I hope I can share this simpler and more sustainable concept of home-ownership with others, as one of many ways in which all of us can live a more conscious, debt-free life!”

What is your background in tiny house design (and design/architecture in general)? “It’s no doubt that my profession reflects the way my brain works — I see most everything through the lens of design. As a visual designer, I am constantly thinking about how to solve issues of space, layout and the relationship of all parts to the whole. I have always had an interest in architecture, and was very excited to apply my design skills to a three dimensional project – my future tiny home! After countless hours of research, planning and sketching, I ended up designing every inch of my custom tiny house from scratch.”

Who did you design the house for? “For me, with space for a partner and my small dog. Every part of my house was designed specifically for my needs (or the needs of any individual or couple, with space to work at home), with conscious materials choices that reflect my values and desires for both convenience and simplicity.”

What makes your house different from other tiny houses? “The house was one of the first tiny house designs to utilize a low-sloping shed roof to maximize interior loft space. It’s designed with ample closet and storage space for 2 people with “his” and “hers” clothing storage in the loft. It features a passive solar design with 10 windows for a light and open feel.

How did you design the layout for maximum space use? “As mentioned above, the shed roof was a major design choice made to create a much larger loft space. The loft is also cantilevered an extra 18″ out from the footprint of the house, to provide even more space — enough for a roomy queen bed and greater than average storage space. The floorplan includes many multi-use spaces and features, including a fold-down table, fold-up standing height desk, Built-in sofa with storage underneath, tons of sliding pantry storage, open shelving along wall spaces for added kitchen storage.

This house is for someone if: “They are single or in a partnership. They prefer a simple, clean, modern design. They want all the conveniences of larger home (including laundry!) only in a smaller package. They want a very thoughtful design by someone with a keen eye for detail. They want a house that is not too large to move easily, as many of the newer larger (24′, 30′, etc) tiny houses are.”

This house is not for someone if: “They have a larger family and need more than one large bed. They prefer a more traditional gabled roof. They are older or for any reason do not want a loft bed (however the plans can be modified to include stairs instead of a ladder).”

How much can one expect to spend to build this house? “I spent a total of about $30,000 on my house, including the trailer, tools, all the nice stainless appliances — everything that went into it except for my labor. This is a lot compared to what others have spent to create a similar sized house, but it was because I chose materials for their beauty, sustainability and durability, not just on price. I also did not have the time to hunt for salvaged materials as many do. It think it would be a reasonable estimate to say that a very similar house could be built from my plans for closer to $20,000, but of course it depends on what materials you choose and on your local prices.

Is this house designed for single person, a couple, or a family? “It was designed specifically for a couple, but of course will be a perfect space for a single person as well.

How heavy is the finished home? I’ll estimate 10,000 pounds at the high end. My trailer specs are designed for a GVWR of 12,000 pounds for a safe margin of error.”

How would you describe the aesthetic of the house? “It’s a clean, modern design, aimed at maximizing interior space and providing a spacious, peaceful place for work and play. Materials were chosen to create a more modern aesthetic, but with natural materials and ancient hand-finishing techniques to create a classic charm and appeal.”