This is the first tiny house we have built, so it was enough of a challenge to build that the documenting side was let slide to a fair extent. Regardless, I will walk you thorough what we did, and how we did it to the best of my ability.
We used as many natural, unprocessed, and re-used materials as possible, which made it less expensive but much more time consuming than buying everything from the lumber yard. 

Step 1: Preparing the frame

As we used an old trailer frame to build this on, we started by demolishing the trailer, separating out the aluminum to be recycled. The plywood floor was saved to be re-used as the sub-floor. Then we went at it with an angle grinder and drill with wire wheel and wire brushes for the hard to reach parts. As we removed the failing old paint and surface rust we looked for signs of penetrating rust which would need welding to maintain the integrity of the frame. Thankfully, we found none.

So we moved right on to priming with a rusty metal primer, and then a coat or two of quality metal paint.  
<p>i went to franklin NC recently gem mining and stayed in a &quot;cabin&quot; that was about this side. they advertised it as a wooden tent. that said, it had a mini fridge, a TV and microwave. it was $30 a night with beds with real but not particularly comfortable mattresses. considering all that, if a bear came around, i would rather have wooden walls than fabric. nice that you can take it with you. (and store lots of gear inside until you get there.)</p>
<p>bears do not often attack unless you provoke, get between a mama bear and her cub, or it has rabies. Bears are innocent misunderstood creatures trying to live their lives while we destroy their homes and kill their family. How whould you feel if you had your home destroyyed and your family shot? do not be cruel to bears.</p>
dude, get real. what did i say about shooting bears?
<p>&quot;considering all that, if a bear came around, i would rather have wooden walls than fabric.&quot; So what if a bear came around, that is no reason to be afraid if you keep your food high and you leave it alone and I am quite serious &quot;dude&quot;.</p>
<p>Dude, you have issues. Yes, unprovoked bear attacks are rare, but they do happen (you even provided a perfect example of such instances). All he said is that if that he would prefer to have something substantial between him and the bear. You are reading your own issues into that in order to take offense on behalf of the bears. He is talking about leaving the bears alone and the bears leaving him alone, with the help of a wooden structure if it happens to be a bear as quick to take offense as you. </p>
<p>Very well said, bosmaru lacks something called, &quot;Common Sense&quot;</p>
<p>Off topic</p>
<p>I agree wholeheartedly with you about the poor maligned bear, in fact, everybody should adopt a family of them to help protect them! However, if I was out in the wild and a bear, for any reason, thought my space was better than his, I, too, would be praying for wood walls to keep our spaces apart, rather than fabric!</p>
<p>now if you could work out a jointed bi-frame folding tunnel connected tracking quad axle 50' wheeled home at 8' wide with pull-outs and hot tub.... I'd be right there behind you to finance that endeavor....(unfortunately the only company that can do this for us is in Italy and 2 years out on custom orders). </p><p>I was with you all the way on this build until you started using narrow gauge brads. Over time,with sheer and vibration they will fail one by one but in the end, spectacularly. A ring shanked nail of appropriate length and extra wide head should have been used. They are more expensive and the guns to pneumatically insert them have have custom piston push rod heads made to accommodate them. (It's better to have a lot of a few hundred thousand made to order out of a galvanized steel and be sure you lube your gun often during use.) but if you want your product to reflect the amazing care you obviously have in building these (and want a reputation for quality). Also..anchor your roof and roofing. The lift aerodynamics of its directionality along with the cyclone force winds that it will regularly face during transport will create lift that could cause random shards of roofing, if not the entirety, to peel off and litter the highway. Good luck!</p>
<p>Agreed. I'm not sure what I'd have done differently to make the roof less of a sail, but there's a reason most tow-behind trailers have a round profile. It's to minimize upward force of the wind, and help with aerodynamics. This seems really cool, but I don't know how roadworthy it really is. </p>
<p>Again, it is not roadworthy. It is house worthy..</p>
I've seen a couple of responses to this engineering inefficiency. One is to create a 'Barn Style' peaked roof with a leading and trailing peak angled 45deg into and out of the direction of the wind (from towing). This also increases the stability against side buffeting. Unfortunately the drawback of this form raises the overall height and requires a well tuned stiff suspension. This, on the other hand, is desirable in every handling and parked aspect...a win win if you please. There are preformed roofing models that can be prefabbed quite inexpensively and so are very repeatable. In the end you would only need a four inch side overhang to keep water from hydrostatically retreating onto your beautiful siding. And as far as towing in the rain... There is a 'shrink wrap' type product that is made for buildings on 4-6-8+' rolls. You wrap the entire frame outside before windows or ply or siding. Then use a heat gun to thicken the material and adhere it firmly to all surfaces. You do this on your rafters pre boarding or roofing as well. Pay special attention to go back and re wrap corners, around outsides of windows - doors and all of the leading edge, wall and up over the 45 deg. Roof set at least twice. There is something to be said for &quot;breathing and healthy&quot; walls...but in the modern trade we refer to that as 'Drafty'. Superior quality trailer windows, as you said you would be using, and ceiling vents in living area and bath (1 vent per 3sq. m as a rule is very adequate. My trailers vents are 20 years old and still seal just fine. I think your onto a great thing for people who are sick of the government (or whoever) trying to interfere in their lives and need an affordable alternative. My wife and I among them. Best of all luck.
<p>Does this look like an RV to you?</p><p>It is a frisking house! A tiny, tiny house. It has moved once, on a second trailer, to a spot 60 miles away, and there it will live out the remainder of its natural life&hellip;</p>
<p>Nice!!! I only wish I had the youth, skills, and energy. Good Job!</p>
<p>Well, you have impressed this very old woman who moved to San Francisco in a motorhome... how much more fun to have come in one like this. How I wish I had married a wood craftsman rather then an engineer. My grandfather would have loved your work... he owned a lumber company in Michigan and taught me how to use tools. Wish you were my grandchildren... I'd help you build.</p>
<p>Hi all, what size trailer would you recommend for something like this? I've seen a few trailers ranging from 8x6 all the way to 16x8! I'd be looking to live in something like this permanently/fairly long time - right now it's just thoughts for when I'm older. (would need a microwave/mini fridge/small living space and bed space) - I'm thinking probably as big as I can get but I thought I should ask the experienced builders</p>
<p>Love everything about this! Including the babywearing!! Kudos!!</p>
<p>Your project is really neat. I was interested in it because it's similar to deer stands that I build. I side the exterior and interior of my stands with sheet material and install more windows, but I build them basically the same as you have. I've been using pink rigid foam for insulation, but this is the second time recently that I've heard about blue jean insulation. I'll have to check availability in my area. Thanks for sharing your project, and I wish you good luck in turning this into a business.</p>
I love the baby wearing. I'm a dad of 6 and have wrapped or slung every one of them. The house is awesome too! I would love to build one, but I'm afraid a 6*10 might be too tight for a family of eight.
Is there very much interest for these tiny houses
<p>yes, these are very 'hot' right now, not only like this one for traveling, but as single family homes. As newer generations get older, they bring with them their way of living, and a lot of people today do most of their &quot;living&quot; out of doors, so the house size is not the status symbol it used to be (for a lot of other reasons as well, but you get where I'm going) </p>
<p>Inside pics please! How did you set up the inside?</p>
<p>How about height restrictions for travelling on roads did you take those into accounts. I'm asking because I'm trying to think of what they are (yes I could look them up easily for highways!)</p>
<p>Wow beautiful work! So I came across your project while doing a little tiny house &quot;how to&quot; search online, and think I see my beautiful old friend Gill working in some of the first photos! I'm so curious is it you Gill? You should come up for a visit to mount shasta and help us build a tiny house here. Would love to see you again soon, Bless- Dreyl</p>
<p>I absolutely love your article, and it's been extremely helpful to me, as I'm in the planning stages of building something similar to this, but I just wanted to let you know, that's not how you spell the phrase, &quot;c'est la vie.&quot; I give you credit for being close, though.</p>
<p>What an amazing effort. I love it, and your approach!</p>
Is there very much interest for these tiny houses
<p>Do you happen to know about how much this beaut weighs? I'm lookin to build one 'round the same size.</p>
<p>Brilliant. This is a great project. I hope you got your asking price on Craigslist because given the quality and originality I think the price is more than fair. I really loved the door. Did you wind up transporting it? There is a comment about the aerodynamics and I could see where that would be an issue. I'd think that if you could build some kind of spoiler to put onto the leading edge it might make travel more tolerable. From the comments below it's clear that people have strong opinions about both screw heads and bears.</p>
<p>Very cool! Out of curiousity, what size what your trailer frame? Thanks for sharing!</p>
<p>This is really beautiful, and you did an amazing job! <br><br>I have to wonder how heavy this thing really is, and if that trailer frame could really support it. My wife and I travel for work and live in a Fifth wheel trailer. I have done some extensive work to it, so I am very familiar with how it is put together. There is a minimalist steel frame, but all of the wall and ceiling framing is aluminum. The only place there is any actual wood is the top layer of the sub floor (above about 2&quot; of solid Styrofoam. The walls are layered fiberglass, solid Styrofoam, and a thin inner panel. All of the built in cabinetry is wood, but it is fairly thin, using supports covered with thin panel as opposed to solid pieces.<br><br>Again, this thing is beautiful, but I would probably use more lightweight materials in a future build.</p>
People do this all the time without too much issue. I saw a documentary about it and the trailer is more or less there to circumvent building permits. They aren't usually meant to be too road worthy. I imagine the hardest part would be balanceing the tongue weight for towing.
<p>Very true. Even still, building permits aren't the only obstacle... We travel for work and have to keep a permanent address for tax purposes, although we could claim to be itinerant. You break quite a few laws living permanently in a mobile home (as in one that is moving around, not in a trailer park), but we have met a LOT of people who do just that. I don't agree with the laws, but it is what it is.</p>
<p>Good point. I think though that this allows you to park it on your own property and not need a build permit. As for the moving around I wonder what counts as a permanent address? Would a P.O. box work? I'm from Canada so not sure what the rules are.</p>
<p>Different places (states) have different laws concerning residency. Even individual townships and counties have laws that try supersede one another. The USA government structure is a major cluster-F when it comes to this sort of thing. There really is no &quot;one law to rule them all&quot; in this sort of matter, but the short story is that it even illegal to &quot;live permanently&quot; in an unsanctioned residence (i.e., a homemade tiny, tiny house on a trailer frame) on one's own property in many place in this great nation. <br><br>P.O. boxes also do not work. You can have mail sent (and packages through the postal service, but not private deliveries like UPS), but it cannot be used as a permanent tax residence. (We definitely looked into that). Although, in some places (such as some island towns in Hawaii) they do not have residential postal service... everyone has to have a P.O. Box. So, again, there is no one rule to go by.</p>
<p><em>Just want to say great job in taking the initiative to take on this project and make it yours. I have been researching the Micro-House lifestyle for about six months and working on a few ideas and I like the influence you guys give. While my basics are fundamentally different than what you ultimately have so are my needs both based on geographical considerations and m.o.e. but I still appreciate the hard work you all put forth.</em></p>
You say that you use &quot;star drive screws&quot; in your project, - get yourself <br>some Robertson head &quot;square drive&quot; screws and you will find yourself <br>throwing the slot, phillips and star drive screws as far as you can into <br>the bush, going into the bush to find them and then throwing them as <br>far as you can again, - that's how much more satisfied you will be with the Robertson <br>screws and not to mention the pleasure of pitching those other ones <br>as far as you can (twice over)
No thanks. Have you ever used star drive screws? I like square drive screws marginally more than philips, but star drive aka torque bit are hard to strip, I mean you have to TRY. <br> <br>seriously, give them a try....
<p>Star and TORX (not torque) are two different designs. Star has 5 points, TORX has six. Getting these mixed up are one of the leading reasons people have trouble with either design. But personally I prefer Robertson and wish that nothing else (except maybe hex socket head in some cases) existed. </p>
you could be right - by star drive I thought you meant Pozidrive<br>Here in Canada in construction the robertson is the most used<br>as it only takes one hand (once it's inserted on the bit) to drive the <br>screw in. Anytime I come across something put together with phillips or slot or pozidrive and has to be taken apart these screws are<br>immediately chucked into the garbage and replaced with square drive.<br>I have skinned too many knuckles and stripped too many screws <br>to bother with those other three kinds. Don't see too many star drives<br>here - only in special applications.
<p>They're talking about Torx, which is even more resistant to stripping than square drive. But more expensive.</p>
unless thier comin from CHINA then thier easy as pie to strip.
<p>Star drive screws are only one tiny step &quot;better&quot; than Phillips screws. The square drive screws that used to be almost universal in mobile home construction are FAR, FAR better at holding the screw to tighten it adequately. The only drawback to the square drive screws is that they are near or completely impossible to remove after they get very rusted. Star drive screws are even more critical to exact driver/screw alignment than even Phillips. The driver has to be in exact alignment with the screw. Good point, morkwa.</p>
<p>This is a great little portable house; would be fun to take something like this to Burning Man. :)</p><p>You mentioned you were trying to lighten the load as much as possible when framing out the build; is there a reason you didn't go with metal studs instead of wood? I realize you were trying to be eco-friendly, but it seems to me in the long run, if you're towing this structure around, a lighter weight would overall be better.</p>
<p>Your build is really buityful! </p><p>Best from Berlin</p>
<p>I'd hate to try towing this trailer. The aero would be awful. If you use if as a transportable structure you could come home to an empty space sometime. Would that be vehicular theft or residence theft?</p>
<p>This is Awesome!</p>
<p>cool. can you show us some inside pics?</p>
How to disable autocorrect. Lol

About This Instructable


1,565 favorites


More by ganeshruskin: Collapsable Bowtop gypsy wagon Tiny tiny house Exceedingly simple and easy bike rack flat-bed
Add instructable to: