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 a brand new browser based program, and the other is SketchUp Make which runs on Windows and Mac.

If you think you want to learn SketchUp someday I highly recommend that you immediately download a free copy of SketchUp Make in case they decide to make it go away forever. But I digress…

Most folks don’t want to learn software, most folks want to dive-in with Pen & Paper. I tried to make this video short but time got away from me as usual and it turned out to be almost 30 minutes, sorry. If you get totally bored with my video feel free to tune out… but I think for those that want to dive-in and design their own homes the information I share here will be worth you time.

By the way, you don’t need the stencils I show in the video. I made them to make it easier and they are a lot of fun to play with but a strait edge and a ruler work just fine. If you have any questions, tips, or ideas post them in the comment below. Thanks & Enjoy!

4 thoughts on “How To Design a Tiny House with Pen & Paper

  1. Sandy Samens says:

    I’m 81>, living in an assisted living home. My legs don’t work, but my mind does. I’d like to design and have built a handicap accessible MOTORHOME and hire an hourly caregiver to take care of it and me. My wonderful husband after 65 years of marriage, died of Parkinson’s Disease and dementia. I will have to do it before our savings are gone. I don’t have a credit card, but I do get an allowance and it’s put into my checking account. Please tell me how much and where to send you my check. I want my ( or some of my ) independence back. Assisted living leaves a lot to be desired and this is one of the nicer ones. I have a plan in mind and have been collecting information on useful items…bidet, walk-in tub etc… Send information via my email email hidden; JavaScript is required . I have some architectural drafting experience and some building experience. I can’t do much about actual building but I’m a good supervisor. Tom and I had remodeled a couple of homes, then we built one from scratch. I worked as a Draftsperson/Designer. Our home cost us only $54K to build. Sold for $115K after living in it for 37 years. 4 years later it resold for $190K. I guess we did a VERY good job. Then we bought a condo. The money was put into savings. We were going to go to New York and Alaska. But Parkinson’s Disease stole that dream away from us. Poor Tom died Sept 8, 2017. And our savings are hemorrhaging here. My advice to you is to take out Long Term Care Insurance. I wish we had. We were then very healthy. Now I have serious arthritis, and poor wonderful Tom is dead after a nightmare of 4 years Parkinson’s. Thank you, Mrs. Thomas ( Sandy) Samens

    • Mrs. Yjomas (Sandy) Samens says:

      Please answer my COMMENT. I will have something to do, planning my escape. Kidding. But I still have my faculties. I just can’t walk. I’d be happier in a handicap accessible motorhome with a part time caregiver, driver. A handicap fitted 28-30 foot motorhome, I roughly have planned to include a motorized wheelchair lift, walk-in tub, adjustable bed, washer/dryer combo, bidet toilet, adjustable/ recliner driver & passenger seats, emergency alarm, voice control TV. I’ve put a LOT of thought into this. I DON’T have a credit card. I still have a nice savings and checking account, but it’s going fast. I don’t want to live here long enough to become a charity case. Please add suggestions to my plan. I sent you a rough sketch months ago. Thank you, Sandy Samens

      • Michael Janzen says:

        Hi Sandy,

        I didn’t see that sketch. Did you email it or mail it? I’d be happy to design it and do a post on it. I think telling your story in a blog post may also get some attention on the need for tiny houses as elder housing options. Might even connect you with folks in Wisconsin that could build such a house.


        • Mrs. Thomas (Sandy) Samens says:

          I will remail it to you. By snail mail, sorry. Tom and I enjoyed living a month at a time in a tiny 20 foot motorhome. It had everything e needed BUT a washer/dryer. 4 1/2 years . Loved it. Glad you like my idea. There’s about 10 residence at this home who also nhave their faculties, some are pretty smart, witty. But I’ve been there. I KNOW I can live comfortably in a motorhome, Thank you for your understanding. Sandy

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