I was lucky when I bought the plans from Tiny Home Builders. It gave me a place to start. The videos and training here were even more helpful. However, since I’m building a 24 foot home rather than a 20 foot one like in the plans I had to rework quite a bit. I also had to change the windows/doors since I bought ones that I could find/afford. Lastly, I wanted a bedroom for the son who lives with us full time, a bit different bathroom, and a double kitchen. This in turn made me look at the roofing, wall structure, and so on. I referenced engineering diagrams, calculators, hit up contractors, and reviewed what others had done. I changed the plans more times than I care to count. However, along the way I learned a great deal about the plans. I can tell you from memory where each board goes just by looking at its length. I know how it all fits together. I know the strong points of the design. I know the week points. I’ve planned accordingly for the size of all my interior appliances/furniture, and think that this plan is a solid one.
I ended up with a design that is functional for what we are as a family. We have 1 full time kid, one kid who comes over about once/month, a wife who is a professional chef and cooks a lot, and me, a builder, cyclist, and web designer. The double sided kitchen will give us the kitchen size we need. The living room will allow us to hang together as a family while converting the couch to a bed for my son who comes over about once a month. The bathroom will have a tub/shower. The Loft and downstairs bedroom will have tons of storage throughout them.
Altogether it should weigh no more than 8500 lbs with all furniture/trailer/building materials. The trailer is rated to 10500 so if I’m off a bit I’ll still be ok. When working with plans, like the ones from Tiny Home Builders I suggest you give yourself plenty of time to get to know them. Play with them. Then in my opinion…do the following to make it easier on yourself:
- Color code each main section. This makes viewing the model in sketchup much easier.
- Review what you want out of your home. What do you do now? Remember, a tiny home isn’t going to change how you live life so build it accordingly…i.e. if you don’t cook a ton now don’t expect to change your stripes mid stride.
- Play with it…learn from moving things around.
- Remember to stick close to building principles and code. Some may be somewhat antiquated/and or for large houses but they are for your safety.
- Read books. Watch videos. Re-read books. Rewatch videos. Repeat.
- If you are building a longer house break up the walls where possible to make it easier to build but reinforce the top plate with a nailer
- Remember that after all the design work you still have to line up the edges of sheathing over the middle of a stud.
- Remember after you fix the studs to line up with the first floor sheathing you still have to line up the roof sheathing over rafters
- Remember that your roof sheathing should be staggered
- Once its built give yourself time to draw out measurements in sketchup. It’s easy once you get the hang of it. I’d never used sketchup before this project but know now it really well.
- After you draw out the measurements get them printed up at Kinkos (fedex) (I have 44 printed pages I created with call outs of parts of plans) or someplace similar on larger paper to give you a reference while on the build.
- Lastly, have fun!
I’m sure there are a dozen others but I’m beat after a week of prepping for the big build day tomorrow. Enjoy the plan porn below: