Uncut Tiny House Realized

Uncut Tiny House v3 Exterior

As a result of this exploration we now know that a tiny house that could be built without a saw. The direction I went in is just one way to go too – and I’m certain there are many many more. In fact several folks have commented and contacted me directly suggesting some great improvements. I was thinking of running a little design competition to see how many people we could inspire to jump onto this idea – but this whole process sparked a new idea that’s even better.

You see when you choose to avoid using a saw in your design, you end up making compromises that create another kind of waste – the use excess material in the structure. Making cuts for a perfect fit means the house only ends up with just the right amount of material, albeit with some discarded waste lumber.

So what if we took the learnings from the Uncut Tiny House and applied them to a No Waste Tiny House. In other words, take the benefits of avoiding using a saw and combine that with a few strategic saw cuts that result in pieces that are included in the structure. The house should still go together much like a kit with little sawing and the end result would be no wasted material.

But I digress…Β Let me show you this version of the Uncut Tiny House. The post that follows this one will be my first pass at a No Waste Tiny House.

Continue to see the assembly process and details.

If you’d like to explore the design in SketchUp, download the Uncut Tiny House SketchUp DrawingΒ (27MB).

Continue down the page to see how this would be assembled from off-the-shelf building materials.

Below: The foundation, 4x6s on piers.

Uncut Tiny House v3 01 Foundation

Below: Floor Panels. 4×8 sheets of 1/2″Β plywood with stud length (92 5/8) 2x4s at 16″ O.C.

Uncut Tiny House v3 02 Floor

Below: 10-foot 2x4s fastened to 2×4 stud length floor joists.

Uncut Tiny House v3 03 Floor Panel Ties

Below: Floor insulated with foam boards.

Uncut Tiny House v3 04 Floor Insulation

Below: Floor sheathed in 3/4″ plywood.

Uncut Tiny House v3 05 Floor Decking


Below: Edge boards added as trim and support for the decks.

Uncut Tiny House v3 06 Floor Supports

Below: 2×6 deck boards added.

Uncut Tiny House v3 07 Decks

Below: Wall bottom plate nailed to floor.

Uncut Tiny House v3 08 Wall Bottom Plate


Below: Detail view of bottom plate. Two 1×4’s (actual .75″ x 3.5″) nailed together to form one 4-foot 2×4 assuming 4-foot 2x4s are not available.

Uncut Tiny House v3 09 Wall Bottom Plate Detail

Below: Wall panels added. 1/2″ plywood with stud length 2x4s much like the floor panels. These would need to be toe-nailed to the bottom plate. Alternatively the walls could be framed in a conventional fashion and lifted into place.

Uncut Tiny House v3 10 Wall Panels

Below: Top plate added to walls.

Uncut Tiny House v3 11 Wall Top Plate

Below: Detailed view of top plate. Notice that by using a stud length 2×4 the total height of the wall is just shy of 8-feet.

Uncut Tiny House v3 12 Wall Top Plate Detail

Below: Second top plate added. Notice that the top plates are not overlapped like they should be. This is a compromise as a result of the no saw rule.

Uncut Tiny House v3 13 Wall Top Second Plate Detail

Below: View of the structure with the second top plate added.

Uncut Tiny House v3 14 Wall Second Top Plate

Below: Ceiling panels added. These are just like the floor panels and help tie the walls together where the lack of overlapping top plates don’t.

Uncut Tiny House v3 15 Ceiling Panels

Below: Ceiling panels tied together with edge boards.

Uncut Tiny House v3 16 Ceiling Panels Tied Together

Below: 12-foot 2x10s added to help tie everything together and provide a surface for the roof trusses to attach.

Uncut Tiny House v3 17 Roof Supports

Below: Ceiling insulated. You could skip this unless you chose to finish it with a flat roof (not shown here).

Uncut Tiny House v3 18 Ceiling Insulation

Below: 3 2×6 boards added to fill the gap between the ceiling panels. Again this is a wasteful way to fill this gap caused by the no saw rule.

Uncut Tiny House v3 19 Loft Gap Filler

Below: Detailed view of the gap fillers.

Uncut Tiny House v3 20 Loft Gap Filler Detail

Below: Deck sheathed.

Uncut Tiny House v3 21 Loft Decking

Below: Tie plate added as another surface to attach the roof trusses.

Uncut Tiny House v3 22 Rafter Tie Plates

Below: Walls insulated. This step could have been done earlier.

Uncut Tiny House v3 23 Wall Insulation

Below: Walls sheathed.

Uncut Tiny House v3 24 Wall Exterior Sheathing


BelowRoof trusses made on the ground and lifted onto the roof. They are ties together with 1×4 material. At the gables extra 1x material is added to provide nailing surfaces for the interior ceiling drywall and exterior boards.

Uncut Tiny House v3 25 Roof Trusses

Below: Detailed view of trusses.

Uncut Tiny House v3 26 Roof Truss Detail

Below: Drywall installed before exterior roofing to show how the roof is layered… you’d probably want to build the next few steps in the reverse order.

Uncut Tiny House v3 27 Ceiling Drywall

Below: Roof insulated.

Uncut Tiny House v3 28 Roof Insulation

Below: Rafter vents and soffit vents added.

Uncut Tiny House v3 29 Rafter and Soffit Vents

Below: Detail view of rafter and soffit vents.

Uncut Tiny House v3 30 Rafter and Soffit Vent Details

Below: Roof sheathed.

Uncut Tiny House v3 31 Roof Sheathing

Below: Roofing installed.

Uncut Tiny House v3 32 Roofing

Below: Gables sheathed with 1×4 wood boards. 2,3,4 and 6-foot boards are used and look staggered due to the no cut rule. Another example of waste created by the no saw rule.

Uncut Tiny House v3 33 Gable Sheathing Boards

Below: Doors installed. They open inward now. 1×4 material used in the jamb and 1×6 on the doors. The core of the door is foam with two 8-foot 2x4s holding it all together.

Uncut Tiny House v3 34 Doors

Below: Latch used since a hole saw is a saw and no saws are used πŸ™‚

Uncut Tiny House v3 35 Door Latch Detail

Below: Detailed view of the gable.

Uncut Tiny House v3 36 Gable Detail

Below: Rear facade.

Uncut Tiny House v3 37 Back Door Open

Below: Interior view toward back.

Uncut Tiny House v3 38 Interior 1

Below: Interior view toward front.

Uncut Tiny House v3 39 Interior 2

13 thoughts on “Uncut Tiny House Realized

    • Michael Janzen says:

      Yes! In fact when I draw up the plans I’ll include an 8×12 for those that want to stay under the 120 sqft limit for permit-free ‘sheds’ and this 8×20 to stay under the 200 sqft limit (found in some areas). I’ll also include the flat and pitched roof. I never found a good way to do a shed roof.

      • Joy Stone says:

        Michael, I am planning a service project for a group of teens. I’m looking at building a 8X12 tiny house on a skid foundation (3 a 6X6X12 skids). Our plan is to use this tiny house as a temporary housing for homeless individuals, so we are looking at simple, sturdy and easy to maintain. My current interior layout includes a wet bath, kitchenette, built-in dining/study area, a small closet and a twin bed which doubles as a couch. We are planning on the 12 foot side to have the entry door.

        I would be very interested in seeing your 8X12 flat roof plans as we hope to add solar panels up top. Do you have an expected timeframe?

  1. Richfrog says:

    AWESOME!!! I have no explaination why but smaller appeals to me more than larger. I can’t wait to see the finished plans! E T A?

  2. F. Scott Ophof says:

    Let me second Richfrog’s first comment, Michael!
    Agreed re wastefulness. πŸ™‚
    Does the permit for 8×12 sheds apply to the maximum exterior wall dimensions?
    The inside decks and windows are NEAT!
    Construction should be a snap, especially if one makes use of those nifty brackets to connect all sorts of lumber. Which, btw, should reduce the waste on the trusses quite a bit. For example, those plates with all the sharp points sticking out that one simply hammers onto the the 2 pieces to be connected.
    Last question: How do you support the middle of the front & back porch deck-boards? I’ve done 4 feet on a swimming pool deck, but never more.

    Again, NEAT!

  3. Jalet says:

    I love that this whole project could be hauled to a remote location and built without a power supply. I have tiny vintage trailers 8′, 10′, 13′ and 15′. I am thinking about housing them individually in something like this. How would I adapt a gravel pad for the floor? Love your idea!

  4. Pamela Jessen says:

    I absolutely love this process!!! My hubby and I are actively downsizing our lives – we’ve gone from 1300 sq. ft. to 800 sq. ft. The next step is to buy some land and start construction on our own small house.

    This process you’ve laid out is really good, and your generosity in sharing the details even better. Thank you so much and I’ll be actively watching this page for more info and sharing!

  5. Mustapha says:

    Great fun. But, as you know,
    “In theory, practice and theory are the same.
    In practice, they’re not”.
    A few years messing with lumber as delivered will warn you against expecting an 8 footer to give you 8 good feet of wood. You may not use saws to trim your insulation to fit between your ceiling members, but you do cut. The collar beams in your trusses are horribly compromised by being uncut; draw a big scale diagram of the collar beam ends, consider the grain of collar beam and rafter, place dots for where the nails will go. How do you feel about that connection now?
    Good luck,

  6. rebecca allan says:

    My father, Raymond Barnhart, designed a panellised system very similar to this concept 40 or so years ago. Yours is a nice presentation for a do- it -yourselfer. This can be accomplished in an even simpler manner, and provide any number of designs and layouts. The possibilities. are endless!

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