Tiny House

Getting Started

There are many great tiny house plans out there, however we had wanted to come up with our own design and layout to best fit the needs of our home life. We wanted to build in a style that would fit into the New England landscape. In this way we settled on a timber framed cape complete with DSC_0027spruce clapboards.  After drafting a detailed model in google sketch-up while putting off studying for my senior finals, I (Paul) came up with a cut list and a rough, and rather optimistic, budget.  Then, for better or worse, we just jumped in. A few weeks later the timbers were delivered and the framing began.  Here are just some of the materials we decided on and some of our reasoning behind them.  In general we wanted to use locally sourced and reclaimed materials while not sacrificing the integrity of the building, the design or our time table trying to find exactly what we needed.


The Trailer: is a10,000 lb 8×18 ft PJ buggy hauler trailer. We looked for a while to find a used trailer that would fit our needs but in the end, thinking about weight and size we decided to go for a new one.  The trailer ended up being almost half our budget, but having the peace of mind in knowing that the tiny house and all the work that goes with it sits on a solid foundation, is certainly worth it in the end.

Timbers: We really love the character that comes with a timber frame.  Timber framing is a time tested and traditional means of construction that is designed to last for centuries.  The frame is built from 6×6 green Eastern Hemlock timbers that arrived rough cut and were planed smooth by hand.  Eastern Hemlock is abundant in forests throughout the North East and works well being considerably less sappy that Eastern White Pine.

Insulation: Craigslist really pulled through for us here.  We had originally budgeted $1500, for ridged foam (ESP)  insulation, but after scouring craigslist, Makenzie (Bargain-Hunter-In-Chief) found an ad for used 3.5 inch Styrofoam insulation coming from a remodel of a nearby department store.  We paid $150 more than enough insulation and were able give away the extra to a neighbor.

Sheathing:  Here we went with 1×8 pine boards set at a diagonal (glued and screwed).  The boards came from the property where we were building the tiny house and were milled from trees that blew down during a winter ice storm. Best of all they were free! So while plywood would have been quicker to install and lighter, we just couldn’t pass up free materials.

Roofing:  As per the rest of the tiny house world we went with corrugated metal roofing for travel reasons.

Siding: Maine milled red spruce clapboards from Ward Clapboard Mill.  When in Rome…

Windows (8): were a mix of new and used. With the exception of the dormer windows they are all vinyl. We bought three windows for the ‘front’ if the house new at Lowes because they needed to be a specific size and we wanted them to be uniform. We found another three windows used at a habitat for humanity restore. The two dormer windows for the loft we are building ourselves and are still under construction

French Doors: In weighing our options and having no luck searching Restore for doors that would fit the opening, I decided to build them myself.  They are built from inch and half solid cherry sourced from Pennsylvania and half inch insulated low e glass.

If you have any questions about any other material that we used leave us a comment!

One thought on “Tiny House

  1. Like the two of you, I’vealways wanted to do a Timberframe home….I’m totally intrigued with the tiny-house movement. May I ask for your phone # or ask that you contact me via phone (231)409-5373 or by email jpabbey7@hotmail.com. I was born in New Britian, Connecticut and currently live in Michigan’s Upper Penninsula.

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