I recently had a chat with Ethan at the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast where we talked about the tiny house movement then and now, tiny house trends, some of my recent designs, and the second edition of Tiny House Floor Plans.
I published the first edition of Tiny House Floor Plans back in 2012. It was a top-rated book, averaged four out of five stars on Amazon, and had almost 450 reviews the day I retired it in 2021.
Tiny houses were still small and simple back then. Most tiny homes were owner-built, and there were only a few professional builders in the business. A typical tiny house was about 20-feet long, had a 5-gallon bucket sawdust toilet, minimal off-grid power, and you took a ladder to get into the loft. For example, the tiny house that made the movement famous was Jay Shafer’s original Tumbleweed. This house measured only 12-feet long, including the porch, and had less than 100 square feet of interior floor space.
Today, people expect more from a tiny house. A 20-foot tiny house is considered relatively small in size these days. Most tiny homes have stairs that take you to the loft, plus conventional toilets or commercially made composting toilets. The interiors are finished to high standards with modern appliances, laundry machines, full-size refrigerators, and lots of fine woodwork.
I suspect a combination of a demand for the finer things and the tiny house television shows drove these changes. Nevertheless, as the Tiny House Movement grew, it had to accommodate a more diverse group of people with different needs, so the houses naturally grew and changed with the times.
This is why it seemed about high time for me to redraw my book. You’ll find nothing from the original version is in these pages; all the drawings in this second edition are brand new. You’ll find over 350 tiny house floor plans of homes ranging from truly tiny 12-foot-long tiny houses to giant 36-foot long homes. Most designs have stairs, and some of the larger homes have two flights of stairs, each to their own loft. I’ve even tried to include a space for laundry machines in all the medium to large designs.
All designs show a utility closet with an external access door. Too often, I see mechanical systems stuffed into tiny houses as afterthoughts. I think it’s best to plan ahead and carve out a place for these items, so they are kept separate from the living space. It’s safer, more convenient to access and repair, and this approach doesn’t rob you of valuable interior storage space.
What I hope people will take away from this new edition is the inspiration to design and build your own tiny home. There are a million ways to layout a tiny house with all sorts of combinations still yet imagined. I hope my book gets you started on that path or at least feeds that creative flame that has already been sparked. I wish you well on your way to finding freedom in a tiny house.
I stopped at 36-foot tiny house designs even though one could probably go up to 40 feet because when you add up the length of a typical truck plus the full length of a 36-foot tiny house you are very close to the legal limit of 65-feet for the entire truck and trailer.
Large heavy duty pickup trucks with crew cabs are just under 22-feet, plus a 6 foot trailer tongue, plus the length of the 36-foot house and you’re at 64 feet.
You could build a tiny house larger in width, length, and height than the legal road limit and get a special move permit when you wanted to move it, but why would you build so big? At that point the house is so big and expensive it might make more sense to built it on a foundation.
In other words – and in my humble opinion – tiny houses that are larger than 8′ x 36′ are probably in another class of housing like maybe we could call them ‘Giant Tinies’ or just stick with Park Model RV like the manufactured home industry likes to call them.
Anyway… that’s the long-winded reason I stopped at 36-feet and didn’t include any houses wider than legal road limit of 8.5-feet.
The book is available now in print at Amazon. You can also order it as an ebook directly from me. Use the links provided here to find both the print version and downloadable ebook version.
I’ll be posting videos of how I draw the floor plans and how I would transform the designs into 3D drawings using SketchUp in the near future. I also setup a special website to focus on the book which you can find at TinyHouseFloorPlans.us.