J.T.'s Tumbleweed is the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

It only takes a couple minutes to see JT's penchant for baking bread revealed in his Tumbleweed. His kitchen is adorned with commercial shelving and his living room blinds are brilliantly made from Flax linen, known as couche which is used to cradle baguettes when they are rising. They are rolled, then pinned around a 1/2 inch dowel. In total, JT's creative nature is evident in the details of his newly built Tumbleweed home.

JT started with the Walden plans, but ended up combining elements of the Lusby, plus some of his own creativity into his finished product. And what a beauty it is. He started with the recommended 18' trailer but then decided he wanted his home to be an extra 2' longer. His solution ... add 2 feet to the living room. But what about the porch? Well, JT figured that out too. He found some c-channel steel that matched the trailer and had a 2' section welded to the front so he could add his porch. JT like's the open feel of the porch and decided to keep it free from posts and railing.

Come on in

Inside JT used much of the traditional Tumbleweed finishing touches like the pine tongue and groove walls, the wood finished windows and the fir flooring (which he couldn't stop talking about). It's amazing how many Tumbleweed's include a trip to IKEA before they are finished. And this little home is no different. Rather than build custom shelving, JT bought pine shelving at IKEA and built it right in to the house. It blends in so perfectly, you can't tell the difference.

Small Bathroom Design

To mix things up a little, JT added a couple inches to the bathroom and put in a tidy sized sink underneath the window. Above the toilet he simply recessed shelving and a mirror to give the bathroom a much grander space with a unit from IKEA. The 6" bathroom vent quickly clears the bathroom of moisture from the shower.

Small Kitchen Design

A great way to save time and money, the commercial kitchen shelving was put underneath the finished wood countertop. These shelves can be found at stores like Ikea and Costco. 

The kitchen blinds are simply dish towels with small dowels inserted into the ends - and voila - window coverings made. Next to the kitchen sink, you can see how the space in the wall was used for extra shelving.

Good sleep in a tiny home

Take a look at the accent lights at the head of the bed. Known as "up lighting", it creates a warm glow without shadows that is perfect for bedtime reading. The mattress is a single piece of memory foam for a perfect nights sleep.

See more images of the Walden.

Update: JT has answered many of the questions people asked from this post. Read JT's suggestions and advice.

Written by Steve Weissmann — September 18, 2012

Filed under: Build it yourself   Walden  

Northwest Univ Students to Speak in Chicago

 photo Rich Hein

We are really looking forward to a great workshop in Chicago this weekend September 15-16! We will have an amazing group of students sharing their experiences of building this great house for Northwest University. In addition we will have speakers from the Material Exchange. They are super savvy in using reclaimed materials on a variety of projects. 

Hope to see you all there! We'll be getting started about 9:00 AM and ending up at 5:00 PM 

Written by Wendy Flores — September 13, 2012

Filed under: chicago   Workshop  

Win the Small House Book

Time for our weekly Small House Book Giveaway. This week we're doing something different! We've got some new rules to enter and win a copy of The Small House Book, so please read on...

To enter, you'll need to download the Loring Study Plans by Friday September 7th, 2012 at 3:00 pm PST. These plans are free and once you download them you are entered (read complete rules here). 

Download the study plans here.

So what are study plans and why are they free?
Study plans are a basic version of house plans that provide more detail than the website does. They include basic dimensions and give you an opportunity to show someone else the home in more detail.

Good luck! Pictured below is the Loring. Click here to see more info on this home.

Written by Steve Weissmann — September 06, 2012

Filed under: Small House Book  

And the Pinterest Contest winner is...

We challanged our fans to create Pinterest boards about their tiny Tumbleweed home. We couldn't choose just 10, so we expanded the field to 14.

Runner UP: Amy Owens

Winner: Robyn O'Gorman

What do you think of their future homes? Would you choose natural wood, blue, or go in a completely different direction?

Written by Steve Weissmann — August 31, 2012

Filed under: Pinterest  

But won't someone STEAL my tiny house on wheels?

-But where are tiny houses allowed?
-Where do you go to the bathroom? (toilet/facility set-ups)
-Won't someone steal your tiny house on wheels?

The first two have been covered many times over on several blogs, ranging from tinyhouseblog.com to tinyhousetalk.comtinyhousedesign.com and  thetinylife.com, but I rarely see any attention given to the theft question.
Below is part of a response comment I left on Kent Griswold's blog, with much other info I have now added....

A lot of people always bring up the "won't people steal it" question, but its not as likely to happen as people might think, in fact, I've personally not heard of a case yet. 
Hopefully this will give some a bit of comfort...as we've talked a bit about it at each of the Tumbleweed Workshops I've hosted, and my own workshops....(again, there's one coming up Nov 2-4 in Boston, where we'll all build a tiny dwelling together). kidcedar at gmail dot com for info. 


-First, with a heavy duty chain you can simply lock it (your tiny house) down to a tree or two, making it very time consuming and difficult to steal. One could also self-boot it (perhaps even remove the tire(s) from one side (simple to do) so that it can't be easily transported). Most thieves want the quick steal, and not something that requires an hour or so of tree felling, and multiple people, to acquire.

-Secondly, a thief, unless he/she had ample time to hide something so enormous and strip it, would be driving around sticking out like a sore thumb with any form of tiny house- structures which are still very much so huge novelties in the general scheme of things to those not familiar with the scene. I know of many people who have never even heard of the concept, never mind seen a tiny house on wheels. Anyway, if you stole a tiny house, where are you going to hawk it without being noticed, and remembered, by every person you pass? It'd be like stealing a ferris wheel- the down-low factor is terrible, making it almost impossible to resell. 

-Third Tactic....if you plan on leaving it permanently at a site (or for a prolonged period), and have the means, why not just shove a few large boulders in front of, or around it, with a bulldozer? Any tiny-house burglar would now have to have access and the foresight to bring a bulldozer to the scene of the crime, to remove those rocks so as to give the tiny house a free passageway. Thats A LOT of work, and noisy work, to steal ANYTHING. Yeah, a tiny house is very valuable, but this ain't "The Thomas Crown Affair".

-Number Four- When I was in my teens I toured with a pop-punk/rock band by the name of "Rail" from Rochester, NY (Ringing Ear Records). When staying at a motel, especially in a shady area, we'd back the loading doors of a van or U-haul against a wall. Why? The theory is, if they don't have enough room to swing open the doors to steal all the larger gear that can only be unloaded through those very doors, then the gear just can't be removed. Now apply that to a tiny house, but in a slightly different way: If you can't hitch up a tiny house, you can't tow if off the scene. To employ this method, you'd have to unhitch the tiny house, then winch it, tongue-first, into a tight spot (the trailer neck/hitch end). Now, ultimately, its going to take some hard "unwinching" work to get the house into a free and clear spot, where it could then be hitched up tp a vehicle and stolen. Most thieves just aren't going to bother.

Five- Fake cameras- I talk about this in my tiny house design/concept book "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks". Basically, hang a fake camera somewhat near the tiny house, high up on a pole or tree for instance, but somewhere in clear view. This sounds goofy, but beneath it, tack a small, official looking sign that simply reads "#5". In reality you only have one camera hung, and its a cheap fake one (they sell kits- see below), but by having it numbered "#5", any prospective "hooligan" is going to think twice before doing anything stupid or illegal near your site. He or she will be thinking, "If this is camera #5, then there must be at least four others, and how many of these have I been captured on already!?". Again, its simple and goofy, but its not going to hurt. A sign on the door of your cabin reading, "I hope you smiled for our seven cameras" might work too.

And there are a few sample ideas, and some reasoning as to why its just less likely that someone is going to steal your tiny house anyway. 

Vandalism is a whole other beast, but any homeowner, or seasonable cabin dweller, has to face this same problem.

Derek "Deek" Diedricksen is the mastermind behind Relaxshacks.com and is the author of 'Humble Homes, Simple Shacks'. Deek also hosts Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshops around the country.

Written by Derek Diedricksen — August 28, 2012

Filed under: general   Houses   off-grid   workshops  

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