Pass the Olives

Jumbled Opinions on Living, Democracy, and Making Things

Category: Cottages & Tiny Houses

The first Tumbleweed Tiny House model, Elm, designed in 1999

In the 1990s,  the Tumbleweed Tiny House company popularized the tiny house of 400 SF or less. Initially designed to be mobile and built on trailers, tiny houses are also installed on permanent foundations or concrete slabs. They have also been built in cohousing-like, self-governed villages and in RV parks as vacation rentals. Tiny houses and micro-apartments are inspirations for living simply starting with space we inhabit however big. What is true for tiny is likely to be true for designing and living in smaller-but-not-quite-tiny homes.

The movement has produced many excellent resources for designing and building comfortable small spaces: kits, blogs, books, websites, construction companies, and very complete and useful plans for DYI projects. These also provide information and practical advice about living this more sustainable and affordable lifestyle. The Tiny House Movement is not about living in barren or impersonal spaces. On the contrary, the attention to design and ornament has led to criticisms of being too cute to take seriously. But don’t be fooled.

Tiny House State Guides

The Tiny House State Guides by  The Tiny Life contain local information for specific states, counties, and cities that is relevant to small houses. So far they have Tiny House Guides for: Arizona California Colorado Florida North Carolina Oregon South Carolina Texas Washington Each webpage and ebook contains information about the legality of Tiny Houses, the most friendly cities, a list with descriptions of Tiny House builders, the price ranges of […]

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Remember Cottages?

Just hearing the word cottages brings back memories of wandering along boardwalks through a maze of small Victorian cottages on Fire Island to go to the ocean. Or a New Jersey beach with little houses tucked away in the sand dunes, some photogenically falling down. Enclaves of brightly colored little fairy cottages all in a row near the beach. Or chaotic assemblages near lakes and streams where families have built compounds over […]

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Beautiful McClendon Tiny House for $100,000

A beautiful McClendon Tiny House for $100,000 that is simple and not tricked out with super expensive custom features. Taylor McClendon and Michaella McClendon were all set up to develop their destination wedding business in Hawaii when the Pandemic hit wiping out both destinations and weddings. Having time on their hands they decided to build their dream home. And did. And now they are selling plans and offering to build the […]

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Best Green Builders of Tiny Houses

The best green builders of Tiny Houses were reviewed by Treehugger in November for 2121 and five listed as the greenest, most, and best builders in specific categories: Greenest Full-Service Option: 84 Tiny Living Most Green Options: Tiny Smart House Best Use of Reusables: Custom Container Living Best Tiny Mobile Homes: Tumbleweed Tiny House Company Best Luxury Options: New Frontier Tiny Homes How they chose: Everyone has a slightly different idea […]

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Tiny House Construction Costs

Tiny House Construction Costs: The Real Numbers Tiny house construction costs are at the heart of the first question asked about a tiny house. Well, maybe the second, the first being how do you live in 400 SF? One of the authorities on designing, building, and living in tiny houses is Ryan Mitchel of the website The Tiny Life lives in 150SF. A few months ago, he published “How much […]

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LATCH Collective: Tiny House Resource

The LATCH Collective  Tiny House Resource is the largest in California. It is a community devoted to promoting the building of Tiny Houses and other alternative DYI projects. Since 2016, LATCH Collective has done more than educate people about Tiny Homes: We’ve found a new way to build affordable housing. By creating a community of learners and Do-It-Yourself builders, we have shared knowledge gained through experience and research, shared resources […]

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Why Not Rent?

Among the households earning less than $15,000 a year in 2018, nearly three-quarters were spending more than half of their incomes on rent. Even a household with above-average income is considered overextended if its housing costs are above 30% of income. But everywhere, not just in big cities, increasing numbers of rentals require spending at least 60% of income. Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies publication on rental housing in 2020 reports: Despite […]

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Tiny House Village Shelters for the Homeless

Tiny House Village Shelters for the Homeless are built and maintained by the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) in the State of Washington.  LIHI works in partnership with the City of Seattle, faith communities, and building trade organizations throughout the state, to provide Tiny House Village shelters for the homeless. Residents are placed by referral only through the City of Seattle’s Navigation Team and REACH. At this writing, LIHI maintains […]

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Build a House for Less Than 50K

In 2017 Hunker published a brief list of suggestions for creating low-cost housing, How to Build a House Under 50K. Hunker is an extensive website whose mission is to help “first-timers improve their homes—with inspiring tours, practical solutions, and design advice for real people.” It is a beautifully illustrated guide to DIY projects and inexpensive purchases to build or improve your home. The advice from this article is typical. Persons in the building […]

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Tiny House Blog

Kent Griswold started the Tiny House Blog: Living Simply in Small Spaces in 2007 because he loved small spaces. His interest began with small simple cabins and the different ways in which they could be constructed. Then he stumbled across Jay Shafer’s Tumbleweed Tiny Houses website. His blog was one of the first blogs to start spreading the word about the new tiny house movement. The purpose of the Tiny House Blog […]

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