Designing and Building a Tiny House, and Everything In Between. 

Ribbons, Sails 

& Dandelion Fluff

May 2020 –

Building a Shelter

Steel Frames & Cladding

Apr 20 – Jul 19

Doors & Windows

The Beginnings of a ‘Tiny’ Project

Apr 19 – Aug 17

Succulents & Raspberries;

A First Foray into Gardening.

Oct 17 – Apr 15

As I can get pretty pedantic when I write my blog posts I am striving for efficiency this time around and so plan to keep my postings to weekly updates; a summary of what I have worked on or achieved over 5 days. However, first things first, let me just catch you up to where we are at.

Frame: We are yet to commence the structural build of the house, and so the trailer is still just that, a trailer. Nonetheless, progress is being made, and we should be getting started come March- and this time, I don’t think I’ll be made a liar.

Fittings and Fixtures:

  • One Couch: Perfectly functioning but aesthetically incomplete
  • One Murphy Bed: Though in the same unfinished state as the couch, this bed folds up and down without difficulty and really was pleasingly successful.
  • Two Window Sashes for the Desk area and Kitchen sink: Well, the bare bones of the sash- no glass, but still that counts for something.

Admittedly this doesn’t sound very impressive. Indeed there is no denying that it is a terribly short list, but there are other aspects well underway, and with each of the above we have improved immensely in our confidence and efficiency.

Research and Developmental Work:

  • One complete interior layout
  • One almost complete frame design including insulation and cladding plans
  • Many other files of Sketch Up drawings covering windows, cabinets, wardrobes, rough electrical plans etc.
  • Spreadsheets of available building material options and general costings

I have also spent many hours researching and setting myself up with the tools and equipment needed throughout the build, so we are pretty good to go.



4th – 15th February 2019

Chris has been working on some trailer related stuff however it’s a bit complicated so I shall save that for a later date, but whilst he has been chipping away at that, I have been focusing on the exterior door and windows. As the plan is to have the house watertight sooner rather than later, getting these done are high on our list of priorities.

I also researched the insulation for the subfloor, ordered timber to build more sashes and began trying to wrap my head around the world of router bits. This last one is key if my windows are going to be any good! All of these areas need further exploration, but I DO want to talk more about doors.

Exterior Door

So, it would turn out that I am really keen on doors- I always liked the idea of building one for the house but thought we would settle for buying one. However, after watching the Fouch Family build their mudroom door, I was convinced that I wanted to make this integral aspect of a home for myself. It is true that this is probably stretching my abilities, but honestly what hasn’t so far? I just know that I want to commit to this one.

Not sure quite where to begin, I purchased an eBook dedicated solely to the art of door making. Not being able to find an Australian reference I downloaded Strother Purdy’s book ‘Doormaking’. This covered the breakdown of all the aspects of a door, materials and hardware included, plus 8 door building projects. Concluding that a Frame and Panel door would be the best option for me, I copied out his instructions for two such doors in his book, breaking them down, so I understood each step in its entirety. I did the same with the Fouch Family’s video, translating the YouTube video into instructions I could follow. Between these two different approaches, I plan on working out what will work best for my skill ability and access to tools.

I also took a step back to my High School days and the Visual Communication design process- Research, Idea Generation, Development, Refinement, Resolution (or something like that, it has been a while). Can I just say how much I love this sort of stuff! Seriously, it is my jam.


Idea Generation and Development: I spent a day drawing up some thumbnails and then selected my favourites to develop further. I mocked up some of these in Sketch Up so I could play with the dimensions and pop a few into the model of the house. I am yet to come to a conclusion and am taking a few designs back to the drawing board, but it is a process that works wonders for me, though sadly it is a process that I often skip. Going forward I am going to make sure I follow this for all design work because it really ensures I get a better design, something beyond the initial few ideas.



Upcoming Week POA:

  1. I am really not sure on the timber that I will use for the door of yet. I did read a bit about Accoya and have been using Western Red Cedar for the windows. Both of these a relatively low weight, stable and durable, but Accoya is really quite expensive and WRC dents and marks like anything. It has been a losing battle to keep the window sashes from being entirely beaten up. This week I want to continue this research, considering price and weights of other timbers, as well as looking into some products that may protect the Western Red Cedar.
  2. I also need to consider my ability to dress raw timber myself, as so far I have only worked with dressed timber and don’t have access to either a jointer or thicknesser, (though I do have a router).
  3. Strother recommends that one designs their jamb at the same time as their door, so I will definitely need to look into this a bit more.

Until next time!

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