Tiny Homes, by Lloyd Kahn -- exclusive image gallery excerpt


49 Responses to “Tiny Homes, by Lloyd Kahn -- exclusive image gallery excerpt”

  1. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Why doesn’t the one on top have chicken legs?!?

    • oasisob1 says:

      Doesn’t it?

    • Donald Petersen says:

      I like the axe blade waiting for the first unwary toddler to topple off the unrailed porch.  It’s like a postcard from an exotic, bygone, deadly era when kids had to demonstrate strong situational awareness if they wished to live to breeding age.  A Libertarian paradise…

      Er… or, yes, Baba Yaga’s hut.

      • Lisa Farmer says:

         You forgot to also complain about the lack of handrails on the steps, Safety Sally.  

        Also, don’t forget that his step rise might possibly be 0.1 inches over the legal limit.  Also notice that the steps seem to be of different heights – another potential “violation”.  Naturally, we can’t have any of that because society would just fall just that much closer into chaos if that happened.  Oh yes, and his door is shorter than may be allowable…. we can’t be having any of that radical anarchism with people having the audacity to think they can just go and put a 6 and a half foot door when the code may call for a 7 foot door.  

        Seeing as you felt the need to opine on the hypothetical libertarian world, I’ll go ahead and do the same by saying the above commentary is apparently just the beginning, in the world of Safety Sally’s – I’m sure we could find 100,000 other things wrong with it for which we certainly need to send in a SWAT team to accompany the brave local code code enforcement folks who will save us all from ourselves, and evict the homeowner for living in an “unfit” home, until such time that he fixes everything so that it is 100 percent Safety Sally compliant.

  2. inkfumes says:

    I want to build a tiny home that will fit in the back of my toyota pickup. A camper shell is woefully inadequate for actual camping.

  3. James B says:

    I like how, in that first photo, the woodstove opens onto the porch.  I suppose it helps prevent combusting all the breathable air in such a small space.  My little Casita travel trailer used to have a similar arrangement for the hot water heater.

  4. Jonathan Badger says:

    I love the idea of a tiny house — after all, I live in an apartment not that much larger than some of these. The problem is they aren’t very compatible with urban living and mass transit — it’s no coincidence that the pictures depict living out in the boonies with a car being needed for transportation, groceries, etc. Although I’m curious what they mean by “capsules” in Tokyo. Are they talking about living full time in a “coffin hotel” out of Neuromancer?

  5. enterthestory says:

    “Tiny Holmes” – hands up who read that in Hugh Dennis’s voice from The Now Show 

  6. Jardine says:

    Keep in mind that if you build one of these and get accused of a crime, it will be reported that you live not in a tiny home, but a shack. Do any writing and it’ll be called your manifesto. Oh, and avoid sending mail-bombs.

  7. rpd4 says:

    The first picture should be more accurately labeled “adequately sized sauna.” And a tree house and man cave aren’t really homes either, in the sense that neither is a primary dwelling. The tiny home movement is meant to be an effort to reduce one’s footprint (literally and philosophically). Those three examples are luxuries. Don’t get me wrong: each is an interesting designs. But they’re not worth of a tiny home classification if you ask me.

  8. Matthew Elmslie says:

    They look cool and everything but where would the people keep their books?

    • tyger11 says:

       In their Kindle/Nook/tablet/cloud, etc, presumably.

      • Andrew Singleton says:

        I have one bookshelf for the stuff I DEMAND to have a physical copy of. The rest live on my nook.

        • Ryan Lenethen says:

          That sounds like an arduous and interesting task, classifying ones book collection into one book shelf… I could see myself “cheating” and picking some of my physically smaller books over others… Hard to justify that 1000 page epic, when you can fit many 150 page classics in the same space. Anyway that would be a hard experiment to undertake.

          • Andrew Singleton says:

            Helps when you’re perpetually broke and or make regular donations to the local library out of stuff read for the fifth time (unless it’s something that /HAS/ to be kept.)

      • Dove Bentley says:

        Electronic devices & living  off the grid don’t always go to well together in my mind.  I seriously have this same question about BOOKS in a tiny house.  Really, maybe they could be used to line the walls for insulation.

    • awjt says:

      Honestly, if you build one of these things, you’re spending all your time doing it and not reading.  These finished ones are like a postcard from mars…  building ANYTHING alone is a long haul…

  9. David Montie says:

    Another treehouse in Lloyd’s book can be seen here: http://www.treehousebydesign.com

  10. E T says:

    Beautiful homes, but beware zoning, building code and bylaws before you get too carried away with your plans.

  11. Andrew Singleton says:

    I’ve actually got a converted storage shed as my home. Six thousand for the unit. About a month to get the inside gutted out and re-studded, insulated. Another month for the sheetrock, floring, plumbing, electrical. Sure it’s cramped, but it WORKS.

    And it can fit on a flatbed trailer if need be.

    Edit: Total dimensions are like 12ish by 32. You lose a bit by having internal walls, but I like my arrangement. Do kinda miss not having a full sized stove but I do most of my cooking with a crock pot and or toaster oven anyway.

    • awjt says:

      I don’t know where you live, if you have room for this sort of thing, but here’s an idea – it’s what I did with my place.  Build a nice covered porch attached to the house, or not attached but right next to the house.  Mine is just a deck with a roof, all PT lumber.  Then I put an old stove on the porch, bought a regulator and some fittings and hooked it up to a small 20# propane bottle.  Functions just like a normal stove does, except it’s outside!
      (Or buy a bbq with a side-burner)

      • Andrew Singleton says:

        That’s actually the plan. Wraparound porch (there’s a door on each side thanks to the prior owners of said building.) However given financial realities (IE I’m Broke) Getting a liveable state was priority one. The porch is gravy, but will be so very welcome.

        Of course if I end up upgrading to a different plot of land moving the whole thing’s gonna be a pain in the neck.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Just getting the permits for that would cost $20K where I live.

        • Andrew Singleton says:

          Knew I kinda forgot something. I mean we've had people that know what they're doing give a lookover for soundness, but nothing official. Translation. No. 

          For the moment it's not a problem given I'm renting from reletives. However if the place moves it could be an issue. Though if I move it'd probably be converted either to a straight outbuilding, or a place to house all the entertaining stuffs when friends come over and i don't want to go in the actual house.

          However assuming the kind of fees and permits are in the 20k – 30k range that's still a liveable space for $50kish plus land. Kinda cramped. OK /VERY/ cramped, but nice enough.

          • Antinous / Moderator says:

            I should probably point out that almost everybody here does all their remodeling without permits because it’s just really high-priced panhandling. I understand safety oversight if you’re building a retaining wall, but for a drip system or low-voltage garden lights, it’s just a scam. It’s not like they inspect them.

    • James B says:

      Did you pull permits for all that?  I’m just curious.  Looking at some of the stairs in those photos, I don’t see how they would pass inspection.  I’m int the process of trying to get a rough-in inspection done for my log cabin, so the stairs are fresh in my mind.

  12. The Tim says:

    My favorite is easily the Montana cabin.  For anyone else who is interested, I found more info and a bunch more photos of it here: 

  13. Scratcheee says:

    I’d love to take a look in the first one, but I’m pretty sure I’d be conked over the head and cooked in an oven.

  14. BrianOman says:

    It’s a good book and (like all of Lloyd’s books) delves into the philosophy, the logistics, the lifestyle and the diversity of building small, human scale structures by hand.
    Builders of the Pacific Coast is easily his best books so far. Yes, it is better than Shelter. Shelter is special and holds it’s own place, but BotPC is pure amazing inspiration.

  15. Kimmo says:

    I like the idea, but the example on the book’s cover seems to be taking it to a joke.

    At that scale, there seems to be barely any point building it in the first place thanks to the surface area to volume ratio, which not only relates to insulation, but also how much material you have to knock together to enclose some space.

    • Jonathan Badger says:

      Not at all. The cover photo (the one with the rainbow behind it) actually looks to be quite large by tiny house standards. Many people in the movement (such as Jay Shafer) advocate houses as small as a hundred square feet or less. And we are talking about a functional residence — so one that includes a toilet, shower, stove and bed. Shafer’s “XS” design is only 7′ by 11′.

  16. info says:

    Artist Dave Sinaguglia built this cabin on my property.

  17. squareeyes says:

    It may be of interest to some of you that the caption for the top photo uses the erstwhile place-name  ‘Queen Charlotte Islands;’  Haida Gwaii is the correct name of that archipelago.  There is an inspiring story behind that, too long to relate here.  Those toothed jawbones must be from a sperm whale, right? 

  18. EvilTerran says:

    Be sure to bring your copy of Thoreau’s Walden!


  19. keiren david says:

    if you can sleep in it, eat in it and poop in it its a home. Simple as!

  20. Little John says:

    Lashed to front rafters are green whale jawbones.

    Ah, the famous green whale. Too bad they’re all extinct now.

  21. Rev. Benjamin says:

    I’d like to note that the guy with the whale jaws house owns not one, but TWO hand axes, as depicted.  Lots of wood to cut, you see.

  22. keplers says:

    that’s a pretty ugly/boring cover for such interesting homes.

  23. doggo says:

    I’ve loved the idea of tiny homes ever since I first came upon them as a “thing”. For the last 9 years I’ve lived in a studio apartment that I’ve joked is “the size of a hotel room”. Recently I bought a studio townhouse that’s about 700 sq ft including the patio.

    The problem I see, and experience with my new place, is people cramming full size appliances and furniture into these small spaces, and wondering why they feel cramped. I’ll probably spend the next 10 years optimizing my place. 

    • Andrew Singleton says:

      Secondary is having spaces that arn’t able to multi-task. My kitchenette area also is part of the livingroom. I could have probably optimized better, but it works and I don’t feel like I’m eating my knees whenever  I sit down.

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