- Paperback: 196 pages
- Publisher: Tumbleweed Tiny House; 2nd Edition edition (2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1607435640
- ISBN-13: 978-1607435648
- ASIN: B0026HUQYU
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 6.9 x 0.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #378,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Small House Book Paperback – Color, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
There is useful information, such as how to legally build and live in one of these homes in your area, though the topic isn't exhausted by any means. He also discusses the general building process, but if anything his youtube videos or his website are more detailed.
It's just...Mr. Shafer is preaching to the choir. By the time you've bought a $36 book, you've got your own ideas about why you should build a tiny house. What you want to know is the nuts and bolts. What kind of solar and batteries to buy and how to manage them; how to plumb the house; how to downsize your lifestyle (what to get rid of, what to keep and what to get); things of that nature that just aren't present in a real way. Jay is writing for the home designer, not the homeowner. So if you buy his plans, he's writing a book that's mostly intended for himself.
I guess he wants you to attend his lectures. ;)
Edit: A few folks have asked in the comments for an alternative that does cover the how-to information. I would recommend "Off The Grid: Simple Solar Homesteading" by LaMar Alexander. Check out his youtube channel "solarcabin". He provides a lot of information about his off-grid cabin. While not on wheels like a Shafer Tumbleweed, many concepts still apply.
Is it filled with beautiful color pictures of adorable little houses? Yes. Is it a coffee table book? Not unless your coffee table is tiny. I was shocked by the books size. It measures 7" x 7" meaning the floor plans, which are on half a page are less than 3" square. Forget real detail.
My complaint isn't that the book isn't pretty or interesting but it is being 'sold' as a how-to and it simply isn't. Save your money.
First is minimizing impact and maximizing affordability: this is in the sense that a house needs to be affordable and allow a lifestyle that does not kill you just trying to make the payments for the reward of conspicuous consumption. The houses are simple and efficient shelters that in their own right are works of art. In conjunction with this is the minimization of the use of utilities and unneeded environmental impact. Because of the scale of the houses solar and wind are much more effective for sourcing electrical and for passive solar. These facts apply to both the mobile and fixed structures.
Unique to the mobile houses is the addition of freedom. Many of us are being forced into job paths that result in a transient life style. This type of housing allows for the flexibility to move from place to place as required and still have a sense of a personal space. As Jack Sparrow said "She not just a ship love, she's freedom". Well the same truth lies here. Freedom to move, freedom from debt, freedom to live.
The book is very colorful and well illustrated. It can be used as a guide book to get you thinking and as inspiration to do it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a fun "little" book to have....I leave it out and my guests really enjoy looking at itPublished 7 days ago by Terry Willette
I found other books more entertaining and more informative. If you want a book regarding the philosophy of design this hits that note, and the reasoning for going tiny, but not... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Heath Weatherbee
Interesting book for folks just starting to look into the small house craze.Published 6 months ago by Cookiemomster
Arrived in new condition. The "print as ordered" part was confusing but it arrived in a reasonable amount of time. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Marjorie Pearl
An easy read however, I was more looking for building and architect book. This is more of a tiny house philosophy book. More opinionated. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Wayne Reeb