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Young Woman Builds Beautiful Recycled Tiny House for $19,000



For many, the idea of building a tiny house on wheels is a wonderful pipe dream, however young kiwi furniture maker Annelies Zwaan has turned that dream into reality by building her very own cottage-in-the-woods style tiny home. Despite having gained many skills working with timber as a furniture maker, the learning curve when it came to building her own home was still steep. With the help of YouTube and some instruction videos, she was able to follow each step to completion…

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It's All About Building

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Small Homes — the book

I’ve got pretty much all the pages laid out. Rick will be back from Hawaii next week and build the rest of the pages in InDesign. The book is looking better each week. Here’s a little hidden waterfront cottage (under construction) on Vancouver Island, BC. (The shakes for the eaves were steamed and bent.)

Material continues to come in for the book (400–1200 sq. ft. homes), and we’ll continue the book after its publication on The Shelter Blog, with a section titled “Small Homes.” Ongoing small homes.

My Next Book (?)

Adventures in Building: a 70-Year Odyssey

No kidding. I started at 12 years old, helping my dad build a house on his rice farm near Colusa, California. At 18 I got into the carpenters’ union in San Francisco and worked for a shipwright on the docks (SF was a port in those days!). At age 25 I started building and remodeling on a piece of land with 3 cottages in Mill Valley, California.

I never got the chance to work with a master carpenter or formally learn architecture, so I had a layman’s approach. Everything was new.

Right off, I liked the smell of lumber, and was fascinated with how things went together (still am). In about 12 buildings over the course of years, I personally went through post and beam, then polyhedral (domes), and finally stud frame construction techniques.

And all along, I shot pictures of buildings, collected books, and interviewed builders about all types of buildings and materials, and so far, have produced 6 highly graphic books on building.

Having this layman’s view means I can talk to inexperienced builders in understandable terms. Plus, all the travel and studying and interviews have given me a wealth of material of interest to experienced builders. We’re all interested in how things are put together. That’s what building is all about.

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Small Homes Book Sneak Preview #23

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Off-the-grid cabin in California woods

When my brother and I bought land in remote coastal Northern California in the ’70s, our parents, Bob and Jean Anderson, jumped at the opportunity to build a small home on our place.

Bob was a retired filmmaker, and Jean a travel agent, so they had seen a lot of the world from which to get ideas for building.

“I saw it more as set design than architecture,” Bob said about the 665 square foot house…

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Tiny Home for Sale in Oregon

8x30-Tiny-House-For-Sale-600x8002016 tiny house on wheels for sale — 8′ × 30′ – 2 bedroom loft with catwalk — 480 square feet

This is a great large, livable tiny house. The full kitchen has a propane stove, efficient refrigerator, sink, tile backsplash and lots of storage. The bathroom has a full bathtub, shower and compost toilet. The living room has enough room for a small table and coach with a sliding door out to a deck. The back door also has a deck that comes with the house. There is a closet downstairs that has a washer/dryer hookup. Then you can walk up the stairs, not a ladder with storage underneath including a pantry and a lazy susan. Both bedrooms can fit a queen-size bed or two twin beds. There are two deep closets in each bedroom. The catwalk between the bedrooms has a large cabinet for storage. The tiny house includes the curtains.

$54,000 OBO cash sale only…

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Meet West Wing – Shed of the Year

West Wing, Eco

The West Wing, a family-friendly labour of love over eight years, has three separate sections including a spacious loft which as an area to sleep and wind down, a large workshop space for ‘shedworking’ and a secret bookcase that reveals a hidden room for the kids to enjoy. The eco-friendly shed, with its warm and cozy charm, is a quirky getaway at the bottom of the garden…

Made from 90% recycled materials and set across three sections, the West Wing includes a bed in loft space, an area to relax and escape, a secret bookcase, a play area, storage and workshop…

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Foot-Powered Washing Machine Available for Purchase

yirego_drumi_washerThe Drumi is designed for campers, students, off-gridders or anyone else who would rather use their foot to power their wash loads than electricity. At only 22 inches tall, the Drumi can handle 6 or 7 individual garments (about 5 lbs of clothes) at once, but only one pair of jeans. (If you’ve ever hand-washed a pair of jeans, this makes perfect sense to you.) Ideal for delicate items or baby clothes, the Drumi uses only five liters or just over a gallon of water to clean a load of clothes.

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Off-Grid Tiny Cabin for Sale near Vancouver, BC

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Nestled on top of a huge rock bluff, this 5-acre huge view retreat in beautiful Howe Sound is 20 minutes by private boat or water taxi from Horseshoe Bay, West Vancouver. Enjoy relaxing on the large deck, terraced grass yard and rolling rock bluffs. Soak in the stunning south-facing ocean view of Howe Sound, Bowen Island and Horseshoe bay.

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Boat Builder's 20 ft. Shipping Container Home



A 20 ft. shipping container can be a challenging space to work with when constructing a home. Thankfully, with years of experience building super-yachts and racing boats, shipwright Evans is no stranger to working in small spaces and when it came to building his own home he has done a truly spectacular job of, quite literally, thinking inside the box.

Shipping containers make a lot of sense as a base for constructing a home. Structurally they are incredibly sound and because they are designed for marine environments, they are well-equipped to handle pretty much anything that nature can throw at them. Most people, when building a shipping container home, will modify the container by cutting holes for doors and windows. In his design however, Evans has left the entire exterior of the container structurally intact, meaning this 20 × 8 ft. home can still be shipped by sea, anywhere in the world…

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