8×16 Free House Plans Coming Along Nicely

I want to thank everyone who provided feedback on my first post of this 8×16 tiny house plan. It was really great to see it through more eyes. I was also able to incorporate many of the suggestions and have really landed on something I think should be pretty nice.

The tiny house configuration that seemed most in demand was a passive solar house that’s permanently attached to a trailer. It resembles two other non-Tumbleweed tiny houses we’ve seen built by Steve and Elizabeth. A shed roof has several advantages over a gable roof. It allows for a taller open loft and one wall with high and low windows. In the summer when less direct sunlight is desired the house can  be turned away from the sun.

When the full set of drawings is complete I put it all into one downloadable PDF document for easy printing. Just like the last set of free plans these will be made available free under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license. But for now here is a peek at the first three drawings. Each image is can be clicked on for a closer look.

Let me know what you think! Post a Comment





28 thoughts on “8×16 Free House Plans Coming Along Nicely

  1. J.D. says:

    Floyd is timeless, classic and ubiquitous…yeah…I just dated myself. I’m old enough to remember being really good at Rubix Cube, Dungeons and Dragons and Defender.

  2. frank dewith says:

    An idea for builders who’d prefer to buy the cabinets instead of building their own… Using bathroom cabinets instead of standard kitchen base cabinets will save a bit of space. Kitchen cabinets are 24″ deep but bathroom vanities are usually only 21″ or 18″ deep.

  3. Kieran says:

    While I know little about construction and architecture, the floorplan looks terrific. A few questions for you, though:

    -I was considering having solar paneling on the rooftop; however, I realize that the passive-solar design requires the taller side to face southward: is it possible for me to come up with solar panels that can be “seated” on the rooftop, but “folded” upward, say with some sort of durable kickstand of sorts, and thus face the sun by being tilted upward? I don’t know if you’ll understand what I’m trying to describe there or not.

    -With your design, would I be able to customize some sort of shelving unit that could house a collection of books, or would you say space is limited in that I should perhaps count on having a smaller library? I realize this is subjective and varies on booksize, etc.

    Sidenote: I’m delighted with the prospect of the loft being able to hold a queen-size mattress!

    Terrific work,


    • Michael Janzen says:

      Hi Kieran,

      I was thinking the same thing and even considered a gable roof at one end so the PV array would be mounted on either side. But I think a simpler solution, exactly like you’ve described, is to mount the PV array on the roof on a rack that can pivot up toward the sun in the cooler months and down toward the sun in the warmer months. I’ll try to include this in the plans.

      As far as the interior design I think a lot is possible. For example if the kitchen were smaller and placed with it’s back toward the bathroom the short long wall (where the kitchen is now) could be opened up for a floor to ceiling bookshelf/cabinet.


      • Erin says:

        Thanks for adding the sketch up files so people can sketch around different concepts, I was just wondering if you had these free plans with metric measurements also? it is a pain to try and convert and I want to compare with my current design to see if I can change anything before I sign off on it. Currently trying to come up with framing but I’m pretty lacklustre in the skills department there – I’m just armed with a theoretical book and whatever other tiny house builders have posted online!

        So I stated my design is similar – though instead of the roof having side gradient, mine is shortest at the front and highest point is above the loft bed – which slightly overhangs the main structure. There are two reasons for this- one I need access to the loft by stairs and didn’t want to crawl up them! and also I realised the design is pretty aerodynamic as far as houses are concerned! I can send you my sketch up if you wanted to offer it as an alternative design to this one – though it may need someone with your skillset to trick it out a bit more.. I’m opting to do the framing 2D in photoshop as I’m 10x faster in a native environment.

  4. Kieran says:

    PS: Two other thoughts:

    -With your composting toilet, are you thinking along the lines of a Biolet or a Lovable Loo?

    -Where about, if you were building this, would you place your heat source (assuming you went with the unit Jay Schafer uses and not corn/wood stoves)?

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Hi Kieran,

      The toilet could be just about anything, commercial or sawdust. The width and depth I show in the drawing is for a SunMar Mobile but I think there’s enough room there for an Envirolet too.

      In Jay’s house the Dickinson Marine heater is installed below a window and the required clearance is very small, so I think you could put it almost anywhere. If the front alcove at the end of the kitchen was used as a sitting area instead of a desk that seems like an idea spot.

  5. Sus @ wigglerooms says:

    Here from Five Star Friday – I adore tiny houses. Am an interior designer (was doing residential in Chicago, now in Bloomington, IN), and am always looking for great green resources and ideas. Thanks – love your site!

  6. Michael Janzen says:


    I’ll noodle over the interior a bit more and try to include some alternatives in the plans. Thanks again for the thoughtful comments!


  7. Kieran says:

    Good morning, Michael!

    Yes! I’m glad you understood what I was trying to describe. I hadn’t thought of it in terms of warm/cool months, but once I imagined what you’re saying it works out perfectly: when the house is turned tall-side away from the sun in warm months, it still gets the PV array attention with the rack down, and vice-versa in the winter. Nice!

    I like that SunMar Mobile–I believe it’s cheaper than the Envirolet, too, which is always welcome.

    I’ll have to print up your picture and begin imagining how I’d want the interior space. The problem for me being that I love reading/learning/writing as much as I do cooking and eating; I’ll have to devise some sort of idea for that. I was thinking of building a library shelf unit at loft height around the perimeter of the house that is accessible by ladder, thus there being no need to eliminate cooking and living room. Since I know little of the interior of these things, do you think something like that is capable?

    Another idea I had which needs no work on your behalf, is for the ideal purpose of a small home: self-reliance. I want to have my small home and do as much gardening as I can. I’m thinking of perhaps building onto the back-end (facing the vehicle which would do the hauling) a sort of “rack” or pegboard, perhaps, that could hold things like rakes, hoes, shovels, when the home is finally stationary. I haven’t fully developed the thought in my mind, so perhaps I’ll share better with you once I’ve better conceptualized it.


    • Michael Janzen says:

      Hi Michael,

      I think you could keep it under 5000 pounds with careful materials choices. But every board you add, like siding, interior sheathing, and flooring could push you over 5000#.


  8. Bob Sackett says:

    As a remodeler, builder with many years I would suggest that you change the 5/8 floor plywood to 3/4 t&g plywood. The 3/4 is made just for that and has more structural built in.

    Bob Sackett

  9. Bob Sackett says:

    Looking at it more. You can take all blocking out of the floor and walls. The plywood acts fantastic as shear walls and on the floor. Nails at 6″ on center. The roof only need to be 24″ o.c., the plywood will give all the support it needs. Must use clips in between the rafters though.


    • Michael Janzen says:


      I really appreciate the professional input. Over the weekend I was going to do a pass over all the plans and try to clean them up and add a little more detail. Your input is coming at a great time. If you notice anything else the plans needs I’d really appreciate any advice.

      That goes for ANY pro builder… or expert DIY’r. Thanks in advance!

  10. Bob Sackett says:

    I have built many sheds and other buildings. One trick that I have used is 3/8″ ext siding, 2 x 2 studs, 3/8″ plywood inside and insulate with 1 1/2″ styrofoam. With the plywood on both sides you have a fantastic structure. The old old mobile homes were built this way. (exept they used 1/4″ inside. Which if you use make sure it is ply not particle board)


  11. gus says:

    ref Frank Dewith’s comment…before buying or building your cabinets, actually stand in front of your bathroom and kitchen sinks for a minute and move your hands and arms in cooking and washing mode. How’s your back and shoulders? If you’re 4’13” and have to reach up or 6’6″ and arereaching down, stretched or stooped over, consider changing your “standard” 36″ cab/c-top hgt to a more comfortable level. Also, that 3″-4″ toe space set back under a commercial (read that ‘standard’) cabinet is usually dead space in a tiny home. Put in a drawer, even a shallow, reduced depth-of-pull drawer is add’l valuable space. Countless thanks for providing the plans. gus

  12. gus says:

    Kieren, take a second and third look at your furniture for “bookshelf” space. A common chair with a stretcher between the legs becomes a shelf with the addition of an quickly (craftily?) made “L” atop it. Same with table legs spans and don’t forget any footrests and fronts of benches and beds at foot level. If you put in a short loft “wall” to avoid stuff falling on a guest’s head, make the wall into a partitioned bookshelf. It is your space, have bunches of fun with it. gus

  13. John says:

    A friend of mine has built a tiny house for having near his work. He has got me looking for a place to live.

    I have decided on a floor plan near what you have drawn. However, I can see some changes are needed. For example, in the loft, there is not a window to look out of, so I am thinking of moving the one top one (32×23) near the doorway to a location with the loft. The lower one would be place on the kitchen side as a horizontal window instead of vertical. Reduce one of the remaining windows. Yes, this would reduce the passive solar heating, but I live in North TX and am more worried about the summer heat.

    Also, I am looking for the build to be a zero energy home. I plan on the roof to be covered with solar PV and with SHW panels. Will SIP panels be able to handle roads, winds, and panels weight? What is the R value of the walls with and without SIP panels? For winter, the SHW panels could heat an radiant floor if done right.

    I also do not like the in cropped front door. Straight flat wall instead. I would also add a desk on top of the wheel well.

    I am think of having a right angle saltbox top also, about a foot or two from the current top and making sure the long side has a 30 to 35 degree slope from the horizontal. But another idea comes from my friends place he is thinking of having skylight at the gable of his house going across the complete top.

    Can the walls be made in a modular fashion like the ones at http://www.minicabinplans.com as to add or reduce the items like windows and doors?

    I have not see the pdf, are you finish with the plans? I have lots of time because I am just starting to save the money needed.

  14. reddwarf2956 says:


    I found and down loaded the pdf file and printed it. I do see a error with the wheel well, WW. The two floor plans match, but the “Floor Framing” on page 4 does not match in location for the WW. I think you mixed up the left and right sides with the transform to the floor, or you thought of swapping sides with front and back, which might be better. The door porch can be supported by the hitch. You also do not show the hitch and trailer which is making it hard to figure out where stuff is at. I might be building the trailer, but I would still like to have some set placement of the wheels as for balance. Do we need the tandem wheels?

    If you fix that problem, then can make the changes like the following?

    The front as to have a 3′ to 4′ by extending the roof as to make an overhang with the door on the lower side of the front you might make it look bigger by extending the roof up to the peak. By doing so, you will have to do some flipping of placements of everything left to right and get an added benefit. When you place the all-in-one kitchen in, it will have the water of the sink closer to the bathroom (shorter lines, less hot water loss.

    If the hot water is solar, where would the storage tank go? And, if it is PV powered and off grid, where will the batteries go? The batteries should not be next to the hot water tank for many reasons including fire and shock hazard.

  15. JusTalitha says:

    I’m curious about ventilation in your roof. With small spaces it doesn’t take much to saturate the air space with moisture. I’m building a tiny house with the same roof with no eaves, and I’m not quite sure how to ventilate it, with eaves you came have airflow between the roofing and the sheathing. Any ideas?

  16. Patrick Hurley says:

    Just saw your plans, I am looking to build a tiny house with my high school students. Your plan is just about what we are looking for, just wondering when you are expecting to finish?


  17. charlenes says:


    I was looking for a tiny house plan and that is i found here and no hesitation to say that this is the plan for which i was looking.

    Thanks for this great plan

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