Thursday, January 6, 2011

Construction of the tiny house begins

Welcome to our tiny house blog where we hope to chronicle this adventure from start to finish.
My girlfriend Kendra and I (Dan), have embarked on this project to give us our own private living space outside the main communal house. We're in our mid 20s and live in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area. Both the constraints of our rather small lot and our interest in living simply led us down the tiny home path. Both of us have zero background in construction so we're learning as we go with generous amounts of help from the internet and our local library. It will definitely be a challenging road ahead but we think we can do it!

So we've decided on a 12x10' concrete slab on grade insulated with 2" rigid foam.
The photo above shows our progress thus far clearing the land (including that giant tree mass pictured) and digging footers and raising the slab height level and 6" above grade. Judicious amounts of tamping later, there it stands.

Next step is to layout the foam, support it with rebar or lumber so it acts as a concrete form, then start pouring concrete. We'll be bringing in an electric mixer and mixing bagged concrete; hopefully that works out fine.

Not a great picture but here's what the concrete covered yard used to look like over there (and me cutting up a door for a work bench project)


  1. Dude this is awesome! Good luck!

  2. Thanks! Hopefully get the slab poured this winter and get started cutting lumber after the rains

  3. I like your project.Are you going to tie into the house systems or go off grid .You could use a composting toilet and solar .
    I have a shower system for tiny housers you can see it here .
    I really love your garden and chicken coop.I be watching your progress.

  4. Thanks Serena and Kevin

    The current plan is to simply tie into the main house's power. It doesn't seem cost effective (yet) to purchase a PV panel and battery system when access to fairly cheap power is just 10 feet away. We will however be off the sewer system and have a greywater system and a composting toilet.

  5. I am pleased to find this Blog, it is what I want to do on my property, small,teched out, functional, and stylin'!

  6. It encourages me SO much that there are other people out there with minimal (me = zero) construction experience who are also THRILLED about building a tiny house. The only difference is, I haven't started mine yet, except for the designs. What resources are you using to learn how to lay foundations? I read so much online, but none of it is as technical as your diagrams are... How did you start?

    Shannon, in WI

  7. Glad to hear its encouraging!

    All the learning comes from many nights of poking around Google and Youtube and message boards and utilizing the amazing resources of our local library. There's lots of "noise" to filter through when researching online but the library has resources honed into exactly what you want to know. Also check out your local building codes; they're a bit daunting at first but once you learn how to read them its really almost like a manual

  8. Sounds like a fun and challenging project! :) It just feels overwhelming to see and know the house you’re living in is built entirely by your own hands. Everything’s definitely worth it in the end. :D

    - Lincoln Kitchen