Detailed Design Drawing Of The Tiny Free House

I was thinking through a suggestion from Kithera on one of my other blogs, Tiny House Design, about using a proper shower instead of a wet bath and decided to do a quick drawing to figure out if there was enough room for a proper shower. If I leave the width at six feet and use a standard sized free toilet a proper shower takes up a bit too much space.

A wet bath, or one that could withstand the spray from a shower, is more doable in terms of size but would definitely be harder to build due to the need to waterproof everything. It also eats up space that could be used to store towels and other bathroom items. I’ll keep noodling over this for now and be on the lookout for discarded shower stuff (like an old fiberglass shower unit), toilet, etc. Having the actual bathroom elements will be essential for finalizing the design. I will remove the sink as Kithera suggested, she’s right who needs a sink in a bathroom when there is a perfectly good kitchen sink within arms reach.

Also shown in the drawing is how I’m thinking of framing the house with pallet wood. You’ll notice that there seem to be way too many studs, and that’s because I suspect the only way to build with short (approx 3 feet) pallet 2x4s I’ll need to build up multiple 2x4s. I’m pretty sure glueing and bolting them together is the best way to do it since nails would eventually fail. As soon as I can I’ll knock toghter a few to see how well that approach will work.

I’ve also considered building panels or even using pallets in their original shape but I’m worried those approaches might be too structurally unsound. If anyone has any ideas on a way to do it using less material please post a comment. A more frugal use of 2×4 material would yield a lighter and more insulated house.

3D Sketch Of The Tiny Free House

This is my first attempt at using Google SketchUp, the free 3D drawing software. Not too bad for my first 3D sketch if I say so myself. I still like real cardboard scale models though. Nothing beats being able to hold a model in three real dimensions.

As you can see it’s really simple. A bathroom in the back that’s 3′ by 6′, a little kitchen area and living area. The loft above for sleeping. I expect the final dimensions to change a little once I choose a trailer to build the tiny house on and figure out the best way to make structural members out of pallet wood.

100% Recycled Cabin

I subscribe to the magazine Mother Earth News and in a recent issue they spotlighted this tiny 100% recycled cabin. Jerry and Zyphia West in Camden, South Carolina built a tiny 16′ by 20′ cabin from reclaimed materials. Inspiration came from an article in Mother Earth News called “Build This Cozy Cabin.” Maybe I’m not so crazy… maybe it’s totally possible and realistic to build a free house. Photo Credit to Mother Earth News and Jerry & Zyphia West.