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Book Description

Do you have what it takes to live tiny? Take the first step to achieving the dream of designing, building, and living in a tiny house (typically between 100 - 400 square feet). Idiot's Guides: Tiny House Designing, Building, and Living is the one-stop guide into this innovative concept of minimalist living. Dozens of helpful images and a full-color insert displaying different types of tiny houses help you visualize your dream. The book explores what it mentally takes to become a tiny house dweller and covers the best approach to designing and building a house that ideally fits your needs. The ebook includes an in-depth discussion on foundation types, financing and insurance, and legal standards, as well as building techniques, must-have utilities, and going off the grid, and home placement. Functional suggestions for décor, storage, and more are also featured. Bonus: three tiny house floor plans to illustrate what these homes entail.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction
  6. Part 1: Gearing Up for Tiny House Living
    1. 1 A House with Benefits
      1. Financial Freedom
      2. Improve Your Relationship Dynamics
      3. Cleaning Made Simple
      4. Environmental Benefits
      5. Mobility
      6. Free Up Your Time
      7. Living Simply
      8. Natural Disasters
      9. Rebuilding Communities
      10. Tiny Houses for the Homeless
    2. 2 What Is a Tiny House?
      1. How Big Is Tiny?
      2. Tiny House Types
      3. The Story of the Tiny House Movement
        1. Early Leaders Set the Stage
        2. Housing Crash Builds a Tiny Community
        3. Tiny Houses Gain Popularity
    3. 3 Preparing for the Paring Down
      1. Finding the Perfect Fit for You
      2. Living with Just the Basics
      3. Declutter Your Life
        1. 365-Day Rule
        2. Managing Your Emotional Attachment to Stuff
        3. Defining Your Own Life
        4. Finding Fun and Freedom Through Decluttering
        5. Thinning Out by Digitizing
    4. 4 Financing a Tiny Home
      1. Estimating 101
        1. Contractor-Built vs. Owner-Built Homes
        2. Count Every Nail
        3. How Schedule Changes Can Make or Break a Project
        4. The True Cost of the DIY Builder
      2. Simple Ways to Lower Costs
        1. Lowering Tool Costs
        2. Using Salvaged Materials
        3. Corporate Sponsorship
      3. Saving for Your Project
      4. Lowering Your Living Expenses
      5. Financing Your Home
        1. Banks and Credit Unions
        2. Lines of Credit and Equity Lines
        3. Finding Private Money
        4. Tiny House Lending
        5. Builder Financing
        6. The Importance of Contingency Funds
    5. 5 Insuring Your Tiny House
      1. Insurance 101
        1. Homeowner’s Insurance Policies
        2. RV Insurance Policies
        3. Inland Marine Insurance Policies
        4. Automobile Insurance Policies
        5. Renter’s Insurance Policies
      2. Insurance Options for Each Tiny House Type
        1. RVIA-Certified Tiny Houses
        2. Professionally-Built Non-RVIA-Certified Tiny Houses
        3. DIY-Built Tiny Houses
      3. Finding an Agent
    6. 6 The Legalities of Tiny Houses on Wheels
      1. Understanding Certification Options
        1. International Residential Code and THOWs
        2. IRC for THOSs and THOFs
        3. RVIA-Certified Homes
        4. DOT-Certified Trailers
      2. Zoning and Where to Park
        1. How Zoning Works
        2. How to Approach Zoning
        3. Avoiding Common Pitfalls
        4. Your Primary Residence
        5. Parking in RV Parks
        6. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)
      3. Finding Creative Solutions
        1. How Variances Work
        2. Developing a Tiny House Community
    7. 7 Tiny Houses on the Move
      1. Size Restrictions
      2. Special Travel Permits
        1. Hiring Out the Move
        2. Mapping Your Route
      3. Learning to Drive Your House
        1. Backing Up
        2. Know the Road
        3. Driving Downhill
        4. Weighing In
  7. Part 2: Defining Your Style
    1. 8 Kitchen Necessities
      1. How Important Is Your Kitchen?
        1. How Often Do You Cook?
        2. How Many Live with You Full-Time?
        3. What Are Your Cooking Habits?
        4. What Is the Power Source in Your Tiny House?
        5. What Is Your Budget?
        6. What Are Your Culinary Needs?
      2. Getting Ready to Design Your Kitchen
      3. Appliances and Equipment
        1. Ranges, Cooktops, and Ovens
        2. Refrigerators
        3. Sinks
        4. Laundry
        5. Countertops
        6. Cabinetry
      4. Tiny House Kitchen Layouts and Shapes
        1. U-Shape Kitchens
        2. Galley Kitchens
        3. Smaller Tiny House Kitchens
      5. Fun Storage Ideas
    2. 9 Bedrooms and Living Areas
      1. How Many Are Home?
        1. Single Person
        2. Couples
        3. Families
      2. Multi-Use Furniture
      3. Sleeping Lofts
        1. Accessing the Loft
        2. Ceiling Heights and Roof Layout
        3. Emergency Escape and Rescue
      4. Defining the Living Areas
        1. Living Rooms
        2. Dining Areas
        3. Home Office Spaces
        4. Entertainment Areas
      5. Closets and Storage
    3. 10 Bathrooms
      1. Design Considerations
      2. Bathroom Layouts
      3. Everyone’s Favorite Topic—Toilets
        1. Composting Toilets
        2. RV Toilet Systems
        3. Flush Toilets
        4. Incinerating Toilets
        5. Dry Toilets
      4. Gray Water Management
      5. Ventilation
  8. Part 3: Custom Designing Your Tiny House
    1. 11 Choosing Your Foundation
      1. Understanding Your Options
        1. Pros of Building on a Trailer
        2. Cons of Building on a Trailer
        3. Pros of Building on a Foundation
        4. Cons of Building on a Foundation
        5. Pros of Building on Skids
        6. Cons of Building on Skids
      2. What Are My Trailer Options?
        1. Bumper Pull Trailers
        2. Goosenecks and Fifth-Wheel Trailers
        3. Permanent Foundations for Wheeled Structures
      3. Ground-Bound Options
        1. Slab-on-Grade Foundations
        2. Perimeter Stem Wall Foundations
        3. Pad-and-Pier Foundations
        4. Skids—The Secret Weapon
        5. Engineered Alternatives
    2. 12 Designing Your Tiny House
      1. Altering Existing Plans
        1. Choosing a Plan
        2. Every Change Counts
      2. Know What’s Important to You
        1. Start with Grand Ideas
        2. What You Really Need
        3. Double Duty
      3. Introduction to Design
        1. Visualizing the Layout
        2. Designing Your Floor Plan by Hand
        3. Windows and Doors
      4. Design Programs
        1. SketchUp
        2. AutoCAD
        3. Home Designer Suite
        4. SketchPlan
      5. Converting Your Designs into Architectural Plans
      6. The Importance of Engineering
        1. Wind Loads
        2. Seismic Loads
        3. Snow Loads
        4. Additional Stress Loads
        5. Weight Distribution
        6. What Does This Thing Weigh Anyway?
    3. 13 Working with Design Professionals
      1. When to Hire a Pro
      2. Finding the Right People
        1. Ask for Referrals
        2. Interview Multiple Design Professionals
        3. The Importance of Communication
      3. What to Pay
        1. Designers
        2. Architects
      4. Reading the Fine Print
    4. 14 How to Read Construction Drawings
      1. What’s Included?
        1. Title Page
        2. Foundation Plan
        3. Floor Plan
        4. Electrical Plan
        5. Plumbing Plan
        6. Elevations
        7. Framing Plan
        8. Sections
        9. Details
      2. Three Sample Tiny House Plans
        1. 24' Tiny House On Wheels (THOWs)
        2. Tiny House On Wheels (THOWs) with Two Lofts
        3. Tiny House on a Foundation
  9. Part 4: Building Your Tiny House
    1. 15 Identifying Your Team
      1. Working with Contractors
        1. Ask for Referrals
        2. Get Multiple Bids
        3. Solid Contracts Are a Must
        4. The Importance of Communication
        5. Mind If I Help?
      2. Working with Subcontractors
        1. General Contractors vs. Subcontractors
        2. Knowing Which Subcontractors to Hire and When
        3. Managing Your Subcontractors
        4. Scheduling and Managing a Build’s Timeline
      3. Time Management
        1. SMART Goals
        2. Don’t Multitask
    2. 16 Tools, Glorious Tools
      1. Safety on the Tiny House Jobsite
      2. What Tools Do I Need?
        1. Basic Hand Tools Required
        2. Recommended Power Tools
      3. Lowering Your Tool Costs
    3. 17 Raising the Walls
      1. Flooring Systems
      2. Wall Systems
        1. Framing Defined
        2. Wood Framing
        3. Screws vs. Nails
        4. Steel Framing
        5. Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs)
        6. Tiny House Shells
      3. Anchoring Systems
        1. Ground-to-Trailer Connections
        2. Trailer-to-Wall Frame Connections
        3. Wall Frame-to-Roof Connections
    4. 18 Utilities and Envelope Considerations
      1. Choosing and Sizing Your HVAC Systems
        1. Grid-Tied Electric HVAC Options
        2. Off-Grid HVAC Options
      2. Ventilation
      3. Plumbing and Gas
        1. Gas Lines
        2. Sewer Lines
        3. Water Lines
      4. Electrical
      5. Internet and TV
      6. Insulation Options
        1. Natural Choices
        2. Standard Choices
        3. Spray Foams
        4. The Importance of Roof Venting
        5. Installation Tricks and Know-How
      7. Envelope Options
        1. Roofing Considerations
        2. Gutters and Catchment Systems
        3. Siding Choices
        4. Windows and Doors
    5. 19 Finishing Touches
      1. Interior Wall Finishes
      2. Flooring Options
      3. Getting Up and Down
        1. Stairways
        2. Ladders
        3. Ships Ladders
        4. Alternating Tread Devices
      4. Cabinetry and Counters
      5. Trim Work
      6. Paint and Stain
      7. Finishing Mechanical Systems
        1. Electrical
        2. Plumbing
        3. HVAC
    6. 20 Off-Grid Living
      1. What Is Off-Grid Living?
      2. The Joys and Challenges of Making Your Own Power
        1. Basic Solar Terms
        2. How Much Power Do I Need?
      3. Solar Systems
        1. Solar 101
        2. Back-Up Power
      4. Sourcing Water
        1. Well
        2. Trucked-In Water Systems
        3. Rainwater Catchment
  10. Appendixes
    1. A Glossary
    2. B Resources