As a long-time volunteer with Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity, and someone who is fairly experienced with construction, I planned to take on the house construction myself. But when an opportunity to partner with National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC; Ventura Chapter) arose for the framing portion of my house, I set aside my plans in favor of a win/win scenario.

MAGIC Camp (Mentoring A Girl In Construction), is a NAWIC program that empowers high school girls to explore and develop skills in carpentry, welding, and electrical trades. Working with NAWIC and Daniel Bell Construction at MAGIC Camp, I was able to make the framing and sheathing of my tiny house a learning experience for both myself and the girls in the program.

Trailer
I had a custom trailer fabricated by Carson Trailer Company in Gardena, CA.  I paid $3100 for it.  What would I do differently?  I would add some hooks on the underside of the trailer along the sides and back to allow me to secure items such as my bicycle, my generator and my YETI cooler.  I hope to have some added at some point – it would be easy to do.
Specifications:
  • Heavy duty 16’ length
  • No dove tail
  • No side rails
  • No ramps
  • Brakes on one axle, electric
  • 10,000 GVW
  • Axle length is 84” from hub face to hub face
  • 16” 8 lug e-rated tires
  • Break away kit and 7-way plug
  • Color: Dove gray

The total cost of my house (including the trailer) was about $28,000.  You could certainly do it for less – I made some higher end finish out options when I realized that I was going to be showing my house regularly.  As with any construction project, you can choose more expensive or less expensive options – I know tiny housers who spent less than I did, and I know some who are spending more than I did.  Being able to easily customize your tiny home is one of the best things about tiny houses!  So many choices!

Exterior
The exterior is cedar plywood and is a board & batten style. The exterior is treated with Penofin for durability. Because Penofin is a natural product, I will need to reapply it annually (or more often, depending on the climate I am in.)
House Shell
The shell construction was a five-day build the week of June 24. Construction was done at MAGIC Camp in Camarillo, California. At the end of camp, I had an insulated sub-floor, framed exterior walls, a framed roof, house wrap on the entire house, and exterior sheathing.
Front Door
My custom front door was designed, built, and installed in Thousand Oaks, California, by Daniel Bell Construction.  It is 2″ fir and is tongue and groove construction.   It’s one of my favorite features of the house, and one of the most popular features as well.
Roof
The standing seam metal roof was installed by Clark Louver Company, Inc. in Fort Worth, Texas.  It is a commercial grade, 24 gauge, standing seam metal roof.
Windows
I installed Marvin windows (both casement and awning) that I purchased from Omniview Window & Door in Fort Worth, Texas.  Customer service by both Marvin and Omniview was untouchable – they were great!
Electrical

All of my wiring is in conduit to aid in preventing the wire insulation from chafing off during travel.  I have a 50-amp electrical panel to handle anything I can throw at it!

Plumbing

I have two 27.5 gallon tanks mounted under my trailer that I ordered from Pelland Enterprises; one for gray water and one for fresh water.  I have a hose bib that connects to an RV grade hose.” When I am parked I bypass my tanks and my system is pressurized directly by the hose.  When I travel I fill the fresh water tank and the system is pressurized by a water pump powered by a motorcycle battery on a trickle charge. I have an EccoTemp tankless water heater that is propane with battery ignite.

Interior Finish Out

My interior is all pine with the exception of the Shafer Shelf which is cedar.  The walls are covered in 1/4″ tongue & groove pine.  As time passes I am fine tuning storage – I may never be totally done.  : )  I  intend to build out a final wall for my wet bath, but I keep changing my mind about the material, so for now I have a curved double shower rod.

Loft Ladder

My loft ladder is constructed of African Mahogany.  The rails were planed to my grib size, and the fronts of the rungs are curved so that I don’t hit my shins on the way up and down!  Thanks to my friend Paul at Hardwood Lumber Company of Dallas  for his fine woodworking.

Insulation 

I used RMax polyiso rigid foam insulation board with radiant barrier. It is 3″ thick in the walls and ceiling and 5.5″ thick in my floor. I left a 1/2″ space around each piece and filled the space with Great Stuff. The rigid board aids in preventing racking when I travel. You may read more about it’s properties here.

Flooring

My flooring is reclaimed hand-scraped red oak.  Weight-wise it perhaps isn’t the wisest choice, but I love how it feels under my feet – solid and very grounding.  I used it up in the loft as well.