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The Small House Book Paperback – Color, 2009
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In 2008, a used house in the U.S. averaged $244,000. That is far more than the average American can afford. Jay Shafer shatters the myth that affordable housing needs to be cheap. In his book, Jay reveals the ugly truth about residential planning and the needless overbuilding that is, in part, to blame for today's mortgage crisis. Did you know that you can't build a house as tiny as the one Jay lives in? That is, unless you know the loopholes! He's done the research, and shares it with you. You'll learn why it is necessary to build on wheels, and see the process of attaching a house to a trailer with step-by-step instructions and pictures. Jay Shafer, the author, personally built a dozen tiny houses and lived in 3 different ones. He is recognized as a leader in the Small House Movement.
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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.
He talks about making use of the vernacular architecture, then makes a travesty of the Romanichal Vardo. The Vardo evolved for more than a century in exactly the context of Mr. Shafer's tiny houses. On wheels. So ignoring the lessons of the Vardo is foolhardy at best. All-in-all, I would say this is really only good as a coffee table book. Not so much for someone who really wants to build their own tiny house on wheels.