A Tiny House Inspires a New Occupation
First-time builder Ethan Waldman takes what he's learned from building his small, efficient home and strives to teach others about the benefits of living small.
“Though I was a construction novice, I intended to build the house myself. It needed to be off-grid capable, so we chose to insulate with spray foam and to heat, cook, and refrigerate with propane. Most importantly, it needed to be bright and functional, and it couldn’t feel cramped or claustrophobic.
“I knew I could finance my own home from savings and reduce my monthly expenses from thousands to hundreds of dollars. The 14-month build taught me many new skills and brought an entire community together to help me achieve my dream. I received daily questions from Facebook readers asking things like ‘Why did you choose spray foam over EPS?,’ What kind of heater is that?,’ and ‘Could I build a tiny house, too?’ I self-published my guide, Tiny House Decisions, in September 2014 and began speaking and teaching about tiny houses. It became my full-time profession.”
- Designer – Ethan Waldman, thetinyhouse.net
- Photos – Ricky Snyder & Susan Teare
Originally featured in the 2019 Downsize special issue of Fine Homebuilding Magazine
See four more homes from this Tiny House collection:
|Tiny House Basics
This compact guest house packs in a ton of beautiful and useful details, including 2 sleeping lofts, a cozy deck, and an eclectic assortment of new and reclaimed materials.
|The Tiny Project
Tiny house designer Alek Lisefski used smart construction methods, including advanced framing and a rain-screen exterior cladding, to build a home that will be as durable as it is energy efficient.
|New Frontier Tiny Homes
For tiny-house designer David Latimer, one of the biggest challenges was fitting all of the luxury details into such a compact home–but it all worked out in the end.
|Tiny House, Giant Journey
Jenna Spesard built this rustic little home to cut her expenses and leave more time and money for traveling the world.