The Sonoma Shanty – Workshops, Kits, Plans, Tiny Houses


If you’ve been a reader of Tiny House Design and Kent Griswold’s Tiny House Blog for a while you might recall that a small group of us bloggers, designers, and builders got together for a visit at Jay’s Tumbleweed Tiny House in Sonoma County, California. Jay called it, a meeting of the tiny minds. You can read more about that gathering here and on Kent’s blog.

One of the results of that meeting was the birth of a collaboration between Kent and Stephen Marshall of Little House on the Trailer. The Sonoma Shanty is a simple 8′ by 15′ tiny house that can be built without permits in many communities because it technically meets the definition of a shed. The basic structure can be built quickly for the cost of about $1,200 in materials.

To make the design more accessible they’ve come up with several ways of delivering the solution to future tiny home owners:

  • Workshops – Stephen will be hosting day long workshops at his place in Petaluma, California. Workshops are limited to six people so be sure to reserve your spot in advance.
  • Kits -Stephan will also be offering a kit in the near future that uses a hybrid of Sing structural insulated panels (SIP) and traditional lumber.
  • Plans – Kent will be selling the plans soon through Tiny House Blog for those who don’t want to buy a kit.
  • Complete Tiny Houses – Stephen offers a variety of tiny houses. Check with him on the cost and options.

To learn more about the Sonoma Shanty visit Kent’s Tiny House Blog and Stephen’s Little House on the Trailer. Here’s a video they put together to explain more.

4 thoughts on “The Sonoma Shanty – Workshops, Kits, Plans, Tiny Houses

  1. robin macquarrie says:

    Are there any plans to create a tiny house community here in Sonoma county? That would be my idea of perfect communal living, where each person had their own private place but could live near others, create gardens and share common areas. r

    • Michael Janzen says:

      I’m not sure Robin. I know it’s something that’s been talked about but I haven’t heard if any real progress has been made.

  2. Dirigible Dan says:

    Sure… it was called Sonoma Grove in Cotati.
    It still exists..although it is now surrounded by burbs…while it once stood alone out on the black adobe flats on the way to SSU.

    It had an eclectic collection of owner built as well as rolling houses, trailers, busses, vans, milk trucks, house trucks and more exotic stuff.

    Although any other trailer park meets the same definition of a group of people living in close proximity in minimalist spaces.

    The idea of an intentional community is what separates a trailer park from a place where something is ostensibly ” going on”.

    The drift in- drift out factor and the mendocino shuffle, and the law of unintended consequences seem to doom most of these places to a finite life..but that’s not to say they don’t make history while they hang together.

    besides memorable sex is where you find it.

    Just don’t scare the horses.

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