You want to design your own tiny house, but you don’t have a degree in architecture? Great, I have one you can print, but the ink is kind of expensive. I bet you are ready to design something revolutionary. A house so small it redefines tiny, or a Victorian micro masterpiece. I like your ambition. The real masterpiece though, is something that’s right for you, and the catch is that designing it’s probably harder than you think.

Think of how little space you would have. Really think about putting everything you own, and yourself onto a trailer. Would you fit? How about after adding four walls and a roof to it and then living in it? It’s like a setting for some kind of game show a very interesting one.

When I started looking at possible designs for our tiny house, I was disappointed with what I found: basic “vanilla” floor plans with hefty price tags. “Really? That’s all there is?” I thought. “No…there’s more, I just need to dig a little.” So, I dug. I read countless blogs, watched YouTube videos, and scoured Pinterest. Still, nothing I found tripped my trigger. Finally, I decided to take matters into my own hands and DIM (Do it Myself).

I started with iffy paper cutouts, then moved to the idea of graph paper, toyed with the notion of Popsicle sticks, and finally settled on using the program Google Sketchtup. This program is super easy to learn and use. In a few hours, I made my first sketch of a possible tiny house design, including exact dimensions.

Though the first design of our tiny home is done, that was just for practice. My newest layout options have involved much more communication with my wife. A lot of progress has been made, but we haven’t nailed down (pun intended) our final design. Our deadline for that decision is October 10th, so the clock is ticking. So, I guess it’s a good thing that  I am getting faster and faster at using Google Sketchup!

  • Zack Jones

    We started with Google Sketchup. Once we we confident, we went out and found a tiny house design fairy. Good stuff. It seems we had the same feeling about designs. “Eh, there must be something better.” I agree. Let me put a bug into your head that might destroy all of the design work you have come up with so far … The trailer is the most limiting factor when it comes to design. Imagine tiny houses that did not have to fit on a trailer. Think about the height laws that limit loft space. Humm.

  • Tara Carpenter

    Hello! I am a librarian at the Southeast Regional Library in Gilbert, AZ and I am very interested in the tiny house movement. Would you be willing to come to our library and talk about what you are doing and how you got into tiny houses? I think that people would be very interested in learning more. You can email me here: taracarpenter [at]

  • Tara Carpenter

    Hi Brandon! Can you please email or call me to confirm everything for 7/15? Thanks, Tara ( taracarpenter [at] or 602-652-3213).

  • Tara Carpenter

    Here is the graphic for your program!