Category Archives: How To

How to Defeat Thermal Bridging in Tiny House Steel Framing

Steel framing typically reduces the R-value of the in-cavity insulation by as much as 50%. Wood framing reduces R-value too… but only by about 10%. This is because wood transfers heat slower than metal, but neither are good insulators. So all framed houses, wood & steel, are subject to thermal bridging – which is heat […]

Getting Started with SketchUp Free

SketchUp Free is an online version of the popular 3D drawing software. In the short videos below I show you how to open an existing file and basic navigation. This free online version works much like the desktop version, with a few minor navigational difference. The drawings you see are from my most recent book, 101 […]

How to Customize an Existing Tiny House SketchUp Drawings

SketchUp is the 3D drawing software I use to draw my tiny house designs. Like any new software, SketchUp can be challenging to learn at first – but I have a better way to start. The SketchUp drawings I made for the book 101 Tiny House Designs are now available. Starting a SketchUp drawing from […]

Get a Copy of SketchUp

SketchUp is my preferred drawing tool for designing tiny houses. It’s not a typical drafting tool which make mechanical drawings and drafting easy. It’s a 3D drawing tool for exploring ideas and making highly accurate 3D designs. It can also make 2D measured drawings and is favored by many designers & architects. Engineers would likely […]

How to Install an Inexpensive Electric Heater

Derek ‘Deek’ Diedricksen shows us how to install an envi heater – a low cost electric heater for small spaces, like a tiny house. In the video below he instals one in a box truck project he’s working on with a friend. Electric heaters are typically best for on-grid applications. They are typically inexpensive to […]

How To Design a Tiny House with Pen & Paper

This video shows how I’d currently tackle designing a tiny house with pen & paper. Normally I draw houses using SketchUp Pro, a 3D drawing program originally developed by Google. Google spun SketchUp off and it’s now available from a company called Trimble. They still offer two free versions, one called SketchUp Free which is […]

Horizontal vs Vertical Exterior Sheathing

Sometimes I like to geek-out on construction philosophy. This is one of those times but fret-not – I’ll make this quick and useful. Also, I bet there are some contractors out there that just smirked at my use of the word ‘philosophy‘ in reference to construction. But I think it works here because there are […]

Would You Build or Buy a Tiny House?

We have not asked this question for a few years, and now with increased popularization of the tiny house movement via television, a wider range of folks are considering a tiny house life. So it seems like a good time to ask it again. Would you build or buy a tiny house? (See survey below) Before you answer let me […]

Tiny House Built by Hand with Local Natural Materials

With a sharp stone you can cut wood and more easily harvest fibrous materials to make cordage. With cordage, cut wood, and sharp stones you can make tools. With tools you can cut larger pieces of wood, dig clay more easily, and make fire. With fire and clay you can pit fire pottery to carry water […]

Tools You Might Use to Build a Tiny House

This post is mostly for fun, but should also serve as a good overview of a range of common tools you might use to build a tiny house. Scroll down to see a larger version of the puzzle and the answer key. The tool names are linked to pages on Amazon.com to help you picture the tools unfamiliar […]

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