So you've seen all manner of awesome tiny homes, and now you're considering building one yourself. To start off, you'll need to develop your own building plans, or at least, find one online (there are plenty of companies selling blueprints on the Web, but here's one that is free).
And if you don't know what to do next? Well, check out this step-by-step Instructables tutorial by American woodworking company Trask River Productions on how to build your own tiny house. It's the first of a three-part series that will cover the basics of building an exterior shell, tackling the interior and furnishings and finishing touches.
"Build your own" really means build your own
The steps outlined in the tutorial detail the steps that the Trask River Productions team took in order to complete their tiny house, which was built as part of a vocational project at Trask River High School. While it's good to follow instructions, the team also points out that it's important for do-it-yourselfers develop their own plan and list of materials, as "every tiny house should be built custom to the owner’s own preferences."
For instance, the team used a relatively conventional method of using dimensional lumber to frame out their walls, and sheeting them with plywood. Another person could have very well chosen to use structural insulated panels (SIPs). In any case, there's no perfect way to build a wall, it just depends on your local climate and your needs (for more info, check out What is the Best Way To Build A Wall? Not A Simple Answer).
The Instructable goes on to cover how to level the trailer that the house will be built upon, building the subfloor, walls, roof frame, sealing and finishing the roof, installing windows, exterior cladding, trim and caulking, and installing the front door. For anything else that is not touched upon in this tutorial, you can always turn to the smorgasbord of video tutorials online for DIY construction tips. And in designing your tiny house, here are some things to think about:
- - Safety issues (see Think about safety when you build tiny houses)
- - Designing for cold climates (one good example is Leaf 3 is a tiny house designed for seriously cold climates)
- - Consider using salvaged materials to save money (if you're reusing any pallets, check out How to tell if a pallet is safe to re-use)
See the rest of the Instructables tutorial, good luck designing and building, and if you've got some choice links on more tiny house DIY tips, leave them in the comments below!