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Tiny House Floor Plans: Over 200 Interior Designs for Tiny Houses Paperback – February 22, 2012
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Unlike some reviewers I didn't expect a book full of working floor plans and materials lists for this price, and no rational thinking person should. In spite of the numerous plans for homes that do not qualify as "tiny" or towable I liked the book. Especially intriguing, the plans that stretched the length to over 24' and those that included a small office or store front on the end.... Great for folks on the move to generate money on the road, and easily converted to a studio space for artists wanting to live full time tiny while keeping the clutter of creating art out of the living space.If you're downsizing and dreaming of building a tiny house, this book is worthy of some of your shelf space.
If I'd seen it in a bookstore, chances are high I would not have purchased this book - $25 is way too much. I found a lot more value in a much cheaper book, The Versatile Shed, which covers similar ground but has enormous motivating potential in its detailed tours of tiny structures. This is a movement in its infancy. It needs a bit more sparkle and daydream potential than this book offers.
To me, this book is worth $5, not $20+. At first brush, it felt like someone just printed out a bunch of Visio diagrams of design doodles.
Considering the sheer number of drawings in the book, I suspect that few (if any) of these designs have actually been implemented or had any "real life" testing done. I'm an Engineer by trade and I design systems all the time which look AWESOME on paper. Until something (such as a prototype or 3D simulation) is built, however, there is no proof that the design is efficient or even functional. With a tiny house things need to be arranged just right or you'll have a cramped, inefficient and cluttered mess on your hands. There is no room for waste.
This book strikes me as little more than fanciful back-of-napkin meanderings of a builder with no emphasis on testing or any analysis what-so-ever of the proposed designs.
[More details, if you're inclined : ]
I love the tiny house concept. However, the smaller you build something the tighter the tolerances have to be (tiny clockwork gears, model airplanes, tiny houses, etc). That includes not only dimensional tolerances, but also things like layout, flow and general design. If your tolerances are off by a little when you build a tiny space, you'll end up with something that you'll regret endlessly as you deal with it every day. It could be something as simple as "because of where I put this sink, every time I go to wash my hands, I have to bend my wrists into a corner to reach the faucet". Annoying.
After finishing this book, I was so disappointed by the content that I re-read the Amazon description and found that it is accurate in terms of what you get inside the book (so I can't knock the book for not delivering what was advertised).
For some reason, however, I expected a book of floor plans to be more practically helpful in designing a tiny house. Unfortunately, this book has almost no information on small space design principles nor are there any construction notes. It's literally nothing more than a collection of floor plan drawings like what you would see when you look for an apartment. And by floor plans, I mean floor plans and not blue prints or anything that even remotely resembles an architectural drawing which might give you meaningful information regarding dimensions or materials needed.
A large chunk of the pages throughout the book are 50% blank because all that's on the page is a line drawing of a floor plan in the upper half of the page. No notes on the design, no additional data - nothing. After flipping through a few pages, it all starts to look like a sea of lines and boxes. You really have to work hard to imagine what the space would look like or how it would function because there are no renderings or photos of completed structures.
All in all, I don't see myself using this book for much of anything. I don't have much confidence in the designs and truth be told, flipping through the book is so mind-numbingly boring that I can't focus on it for more than a few minutes at a time.
Win some, lose some. This one is not a winner for me, personally. Your mileage may vary.
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