Dan and I are big fans of going tiny, (and why wouldn’t we be – it is our business!) so a big pet peeve of ours is uni-taskers: Items that only hold value for doing one thing. When you are in the process of downsizing your life, especially if you are headed into the tiny house domain, you do not have room for the quesadilla maker. But you will make room for the slow cooker. Why? Because you can literally cook anything in the slow cooker, but the quesadilla maker is pretty much giving you just quesadillas. Hence, items like these are uni-tasking tools.

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Black Friday is but one week away, and we here at Tiny Home Builders are as equally happy and sad at the thought of another Black Friday. We are not a fan of the over-consumption that shopping days like black Friday can lead to. Where businesses market inferior goods so that they can lower the price to entice all of us to go out at 5am in the morning (or now, 6pm on Thanksgiving Day) to get to the front of the line to buy, buy and buy. But at the same time, there are some great Black Friday deals to be had on this day. If you need something and planned on purchasing it anyway, why not get it at the lowest price?

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When you decide to cut the cord for the first time and go cordless on your power tools, there are a few choices that can be deceiving. Believe it or not, most of the choice is based around the cordless battery that the tool comes with. If you want to change your battery less and have enough power for the job, consult the following essential guide to power tool batteries.

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When it comes to tiny house building, the tools of the trade are well, literally tools. For the average person who comes at this undertaking from a more novice point of view, you may not have everything that you need to get you through the project. To be fair, you are trying to pare down your “stuff” and simplify your life. Buying a whole load of tools definitely does not follow in this school of thought but the fact remains that you are going to need tiny house tools. This raises the questions, “Should I buy new or used tools and what should I do with them afterwards?”

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Helpful Building Tip

I came across this tip and thought it was super useful. When going up on a ladder, put a magnet in your shirt pocket to keep some screws handy.

Magnet in a pocket

I can’t tell you how many times I climb up a ladder with a bunch of nails or screws held between my lips. I’m always afraid I’m going to fall and choke on one. With this I wouldn’t have to worry about that, although, now I have to worry about falling and having a screw piece my chest ;)

Now I just need to find a magnet and make sure I wear a shirt with a pocket

via Lifehacker

The numbers are coming in

Construction on my tiny house isn’t completed yet but most of the materials for the remaining work have already been purchased. Still needing to be purchased is a little electrical, the kitchen setup, a sliding door, and the flooring. These should run about $1000 depending on what’s selected.

With that said, the stats thus far are:

Total materials cost: $10,566.11
Total tools cost: $1,856.42
Supply runs: 42
Hours of Labor: 375.5


The cost of tools is just what I’ve spent since beginning this project, and I started out with a pretty extensive tool collection. That’s not to say that every tool I purchased was absolutely required or that someone else building this house would need to spend as much.

It’s kind of a rub when building a tiny house. Often if someone is building a tiny house for themselves they are in the process of downsizing all of their belongings. So the idea of going out and buying a bunch of tools that will only be used for a few months is surely not that appealing. However, having the right tools for the job is extremely important as they can save a considerable amount of time and frustration. I followed a TH blog where the builder opted not to purchase a miter saw and instead used a circular saw for everything. Since my miter saw was among the top 3 tools I used the most, I can’t imagine making that decision. He didn’t know it, but I would bet that decision added a couple of weeks on to his timeline.

I followed another blogger who built her tiny house using her school workshop. This worked out perfect for her as she had access to a slew of resources including storage for her TH while it was constructed. Unfortunately I don’t think school workshops are an option for many of us.

I think if your building a TH for yourself the best bet would be to barrow and buy the tools you need to do the job right and just plan on selling what you must when your TH is completed. The pain and cost of selling everything would be insignificant compared to the cost of never buying what you need.

(lc:0, sc:0, lt:93.5, st:282)

I recently heard a saying…

… that “you should never be cheap when it comes to things that go between you and the ground (e.g. shoes, tires, etc.)”. Well I would like to add ladders to that list. Ridge Beam SupportWhy you ask. Because I bought a cheap ladder today, and for that I paid a hefty price. It was 2pm and I was on the last screw on the last full size rafter before moving on to the dormers. I was about 11 ft. up when to my surprise I saw the ridge beam fly up past my face. This took a second to comprehend but then I noticed that the flimsy piece-of-crap ladder I had previously been standing on was suddenly gone. My body began to twirl as though I where a cartoon character and a rug had just been pulled from underneath my feet. This was the first time I’ve fallen (I try not to make a habit of it) where I actually had time to turn and watch the ground approach. My body hit the foundation with a crash and a thud. Fortunately I was not knocked unconscious otherwise I would have missed the blow of the rafter, that only seconds ago I was trying to secure in place, crash down upon my writhing chest.  After impact I laid there for a good 25 minutes slowing taking stock and ensuring I still had feeling in all my appendages. I was done for the day.

The ladder I had purchased said it is rated for 225lbs. Me being 175lbs., I thought it was an appropriate choice. When I got it back to the house I noticed it was flimsy when I was on just the first rung (the height equivalent of standing on your tip toes). I decided to use it for the time being and switch it out the next time I went on a materials run. Big mistake. In the interest of product honesty I took the liberty of redesigning the ladders label for the manufacturer:

Ladder Label

Fortunately this was near the end of the day so I still got a decent amount done. Cutting all the rafters took a lot more time than I had anticipated. I think I went through about 4 prototypes before finally getting it right, despite having my trusty SketchUp model. The model is great, but the model is also precise. Wood on the other hand is not.


28 rafters in all. If I’m healed by the weekend I may try to complete the dormers, but don’t count on it.

Tiny Retirement House Roof Framing

I’m trying to decide if I can convince my mom (for whom, as most of you know, this home is intended) that it is already done. It has a roof and walls!! ;)

Tiny Retirement House Roof Framing Tarped