“The true value of a home should be measured by the happiness and security it brings rather than by its size and cost.” – Michael Janzen

Welcome to Tiny House Design. To follow my growing personal interest in tiny houses and living light I decided to start a blog to capture the things I find. I suspect more and more people will catch onto this new/old way of thinking, see how much sense it makes and begin to adopt some if not all of the ideas.

In a nutshell, tiny houses give you back freedom in the form of time, money, and peace of mind. Why? How? Simply because they cost less to own, clean, heat, cool, etc. The less money you spend on your home the less you have to earn or the more you keep in the bank. The less time you spend cleaning and maintaining your house the more time you have to for the things you like to do.

It is a hard transition for more people to downsize though. Our ego’s get tied up in our homes, cars, and possessions. In fact the idea of voluntary poverty (so to speak) is so foreign to most American’s that it’s no wonder most of us live and work most of our lives to have more stuff. We’re just incredibly focused on obtaining and having more stuff it’s hard to break free.

This blog is simply going to focus on making the mental transition to living lighter and smaller. I’ll also post ideas I have for house design, hence the name.

42 thoughts on “About

  1. stephanie reed says:

    I spend my time doing the exact same thing: drawing very small livable house plans and wondering if I will ever get to see some of them built! I believe in what you are writing and doing. Thanks for posting your ideas!

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Thanks. Yeah it’s fun to dream and visualize these tiny house… and even better to blog about it. Nice to be able to share and so many people post great feedback and ideas.

      • Ember Leona says:

        These little homes are great. They would be awesome if zone commercial residential and were built to code where I live. I think you could make flower shops trinket stores and other ticket vendor type booth storefronts.

      • Andrea Schadeck says:

        My boyfriend and I currently live in Victoria BC and are hoping that by next year we will have some property with a tiny home on it. We would be open to letting one other, maybe two, put their tiny homes on the land as well to help us cover the land cost….or maybe we will put a second home there to rent out like an air BnB

        • Kane says:

          If you ever do get land i am currently working on a few different tiny homes all the way in texas. I would love to bring them to canada if you would still be interested in acccesory dwelling units on your land.

    • Kevin Barton says:

      Stephanie Reed, I would be interested in seeing some of your designs. I currently build tiny houses for someone and am looking to break away and start a company myself along with a couple of my co-workers. We have been featured on tiny house hunters and tiny house nation. We feel out boss is not as invested in this as we are. Please contact me via email email hidden; JavaScript is required I would be interested in seeing your designs and if possible be willing to build.

  2. Wiley Robinson says:

    This is a very cool site. I have 5 acres of land out in the desert and have been trying to design a small house/cabin I can build cheaply to put out there.

    There are other reasons to build tiny houses other than living light and it’s hard to find many plans or ideas for them.

    Keep it up, it’s a great site.

  3. Courtney says:

    I have been obsessively researching tiny homes for the past six months of so. I love finding new sites, looking forward to exploring your site more.

  4. Alan McRae says:

    Marvelous small footprint homebuilding website! These tiny homes are an escape pod from the corporate gulag. If your soul is dying in your cubicle, then maybe you should think small and create your way to real freedom.

  5. Mike Switzer says:

    Cool houses, totally cool concept…I’m wondering if it is possible to contact Potluck Community in North Carolina?? Do they do any open houses, tours, talks…anything?? They are not listed on the ic.org website (Intentional Communities…COMMUNITIES Magazine). I’d really like to see what they’ve accomplished and talk with them since I live only about 45 minutes away. Thanks. mike

    • Mike Moore says:

      Hi Mike,
      I just discovered your comment. Don’t know if you’re still interested, but as a resident of Potluck Farm, I’m willing to fill you in on all the details. If you are, let me know, and since you’re fairly close we could arrange a visit.

      Mike Moore

  6. Jana Burgess-Henry says:

    Great website. I stumbled on this today and can’t stop reading. I’m interested in building a few less than 120 sq ft “houses” on my property in the Sierra foothills in No. California. Are there any of your building designs up in the Sacramento, Chico, Nevada City vicinity that folks might be willing to allow me to see?
    Thanks for the great designs.

  7. Jim C. says:

    I dream of this. How liberating. Love it. Look how much time and money we spend maintaining our yards, homes, and then have barely and time and money to do much of anything after we finish work.

  8. Richard says:

    I can see how tiny houses would work great for myself.I have always thought we have house that are to big with led lighting very easy to go off grid and still have all conveniences. I live out side most of the time. By spring time hope to have one built.Once I get started I will start posting on build. I have 25 plus year in remodels and building homes A project that I am looking forward to doing Very nice site

  9. Stephanie says:

    what program are you using to do your floorplans and designs? for a total novice what would you recommend? a free progrm would be great 🙂

    • Michael Janzen says:

      I’ve been using Omnigraffle – which is actually kind of like visio for Mac. You can also use sketchup by drawing in #D and then viewing the drawing from the top in parallel view.

  10. Lori Stephens says:

    Hello, tiny house folks! I see that other people are also interested in the idea that I’ve been mulling: finding or forming a “tiny house village” in Northern California. Does anyone know of an individual, or group, that is moving forward with this idea?

  11. Nick @ Livin' Lightly says:

    Love it! Thanks for this awesome resource – love all the inspiration!

    Our little family downsized to a 178 square foot vintage Airstream. We absolutely LOVE our small intentional space! Now we ironically have more, “space” for what truly matters!

    Cheers!

    -NICK

  12. Victoria says:

    Hi Michael,

    I live in County of/City of Sacramento and I’m trying to find out what code enforcement might apply to a tiny house on wheels. 24 ft trailer parked in a SFR side yard viewable to the street or even street parking. Do you have the 411 on this? =)

  13. Michael Silavent says:

    Hey Michael,

    Thanks for all the great information! I noticed none of your designs have a flat roof. Are there any downsides to this type of roof?

  14. Mike Clapp says:

    Michael, do you have any experience with approvals/roadblocks in Mendocino county? I started seeing the names of your designs and realized you were in the same neck of the woods as my ranch.

    • Michael Janzen says:

      I was born in Ukiah, lived there for a time, and want to move back – but currently near Sacramento. Sorry… I don’t have any fresh info on getting tiny houses approved in Mendocino County.

  15. Gabe says:

    Sherwood Ranch road model. Max length 20′ so to be shure it can navigate logging road switch backs and and be able turn around on old abandoned log decks. Natural light roof, bunks for six on one side. 2′ wide bench table running the length of trailer. Room beneath bench for seating and sealable storage containers. Storable grid of string lines above bench table, for easy ergonomic reach. And of course potable water storage. Absolutely no mirorrs. And a roll out conopy that is camo, and IR resistant for low observability. O

    • Gabriel says:

      Almost forgot, axels need to articulate for traversal over water bars on the abanded logging roads .
      Yes, I have lived in mendo, comptche, Albion, Navarro, orrsprings, little river, Caspar, Manchester, elk, point arena, anchor bay, but Never in Fort Bragg.

  16. Amanda says:

    Love that you’ve named all your plans after the tiny towns and villages on the Mendo Coast. I’ve spent a lot of time there and coincidentally found this site while planning my own tiny home in Canada. How cool. Thanks for the good work!!!

  17. Dana Fidler says:

    So now my phone decided to let me see where to leave a comment! LOL! I sent an email but feel free to post it to the comments! Thanks!

  18. Tamlyn says:

    We built our own tiny house it’s 12×32! And at that time we were a family of 6 but now we are a family of 8! So we have had to make more modifications! But we love our Tiny House!!

  19. charlotte murray says:

    Hi. Could I ask if you could please make a plan for a tiny house that has 3 bedrooms? My kids need separate spaces. Thanks!

  20. Eric Hansen says:

    Hi Michael,

    I’m after a Chapel on wheels plan can you suggest any?

    Eric Hansen
    Australia

    • Michael Janzen says:

      I’ve not designed a chapel myself. I’ve seen a few online over the years, but they all seem based on a gable roofed house. I think I’d start there and add on as you like.

  21. Jenn k. says:

    Hello, I love your designs. I’m looking at the little river 24 design. Could you please tell me if there’s room in the design to house the furnace and other utilities? Where is that located in the design. And does the design come with basic instructions for the plumbing, electrical or anything? Thank you and great job on your designs!

  22. Christine says:

    Michael,
    Your plans are great! I am guessing that since you don’t mention electric or plumbing they are not included in the plans, am I correct or did I overlook it?

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