Alaskan mom builds lovely tiny house -- and is offering the plans for free (Video)

Ana White
© Ana White

Building your own home or even your own furniture can be daunting, especially if you have little experience with power tools, and no foggy idea on selecting materials and how to put them together. But free plans -- and a bit of positive advice -- can be a real godsend for newbies.

Alaskan blogger, stay-at-home mom and self-taught carpenter Ana White, who's best known for her DIY blog that offers free plans for building furniture, created this lovely tiny home in a remote part of Alaska with her husband, Jacob. Nicknamed Quartz, the home has some interesting design features, all of which can be built by anyone using the free plans. Check out Ana's video tour:

Ana White© Ana White
Ana White© Ana White

Ana's story of how she started got building stuff herself is pretty inspirational. A few years ago, Ana began her journey into DIY by helping her husband build their home. "Out of simple necessity" (these are the remote parts of Alaska after all) that then expanded into building her first pieces of furniture, then starting a blog about her efforts, inspiring others to create their own furniture pieces and garnering a large online following in the years since. The blog, which has more than a thousand DIY projects, has since grown to the point that Ana can support her family with it, helping her publish a book and even land a pilot show on television. But humbly, Ana insists on keeping her plans free for a simple reason:

I needed to be able to provide plans for free so women could look at it and it would create confidence in them that ‘I can build this’. I knew that for me, as a mom with a single income, a really limited income, at home all day, it needed to be free because I myself couldn’t have afforded to pay $10 a plan.

Ana WhiteAna White/Video screen capture

The Quartz is built on a 24-foot long and 8.5-foot wide PJ Super Wide Channel B6 trailer. It's a "dry" cabin, meaning there is no hookup for water, and as Ana explains it, it's a common thing in the extreme temperatures in Alaska, allowing for easier maintenance. Thus, there is no bathroom, and the home is not the family's primary residence, but is to be used as a temporary place to live in while they work on building another structure nearby. Nevertheless, Ana will be offering alternative plans for a tiny house with these extra amenities.

Ana WhiteAna White/Video screen capture

The interior that Ana has designed is purposely left uncluttered, painted with muted tones of gray and white. The main sitting area features this great trundle sofa-bed-storage combo that rolls out from under another bed on a platform. The rungs on the shelving double as a ladder going up to the loft.

Ana WhiteAna White/Video screen capture
Ana WhiteAna White/Video screen capture
Ana WhiteAna White/Video screen capture

The kitchen is simple but functional. The counter off to one side can be transformed into a full-size dining and work table by pulling it out -- a brilliant idea. The cabinets cost about $200 to make, and has wooden panels covering the double sink to give more counter space.

Ana WhiteAna White/Video screen capture
Ana WhiteAna White/Video screen capture
Ana White© Ana White
Ana WhiteAna White/Video screen capture
Ana White© Ana White

The Quartz has a simple, charming but very functional self-built design that has quite a few clever ideas on how to maximize space and comfort. Best of all, the plans for the tiny house and the furniture inside are free, meaning that even the most reluctant of aspiring DIYers can benefit. More over at Ana White.

Tags: Alaska | Do It Yourself | Less Is More | Living With Less | Small Spaces

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