You're Going To Build A What?

The saga of J building his tiny off-grid house


with 14 comments

For 30 years I’ve wanted to build my own off-grid, energy efficient home and I’ve been drawing various designs for it on envelopes since I was at school. My grand design is a little smaller than most people’s idea of a home and this is a test run to prove to myself I can actually build a house. Start tiny, then move up in size once I have the skills established. Once it’s built, it will become my permanent home until I buy a piece of land and build something larger. During that time I’ll not be paying rent and hoping to save money, collect materials and experience so that I can ultimately build the next house without needing a mortgage.

Written by justin

March 7th, 2009 at 11:40 am

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14 Responses to 'About'

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  1. Hi Justin. I regularly write for the Tiny House Blog and I am interested to see the progress on your tiny house. You are an inspiration to us all who want to change, so keep up the great blog!


    30 Mar 09 at 3:18 pm

  2. How’s it going buddy?

    Just spent an enjoyable hour reading through your blog. I’ll be following your progress closely. Keep up the good work.

    Hopefully I’ll be in your position in a few years.

    Take it easy



    24 May 09 at 9:23 pm

  3. Hi Lewis, welcome to the journey and thanks for the kind comments. I understand the waiting and wanting to build, I look forward to following along with your own project when the time is right for you. Cheers, Justin.


    27 May 09 at 7:11 am

  4. hi j,

    i’m grateful to come across your blog because i’m in the middle of doing the same thing you are. currently deciding which trailer to buy, gridded graph paper and mechanical pencil always as near to my hip as my tape measure, planning out the joist system and floor plan beyond. what a resource, i can hardly believe the internet still, to be able to read your blog and share such helpful information. resourcefulness lives!



    23 Jul 09 at 1:55 am

  5. Hi Jin, welcome aboard. Thank you for the kind comments, I’m hoping I can put back at least a little of the help and encouragement that I’ve received while planning my own build from others out there. I look forward to following your own build with great interest. If there’s anything I can offer by way of help or advice, please do feel free to email me or add a comment on here.

    Good luck,



    23 Jul 09 at 2:49 pm

  6. Hi J!

    We haven’t talked in 2 years…We need to catch up.



    25 Jul 09 at 5:41 am

  7. hey hunny, great to hear from you, ping me at and I’ll get back to you with personal email details. Hugs. x


    28 Jul 09 at 12:12 pm

  8. Hi – just been reading through your website and it’s like looking at a mirror of my own mind! My ideal house would be ‘away from it’ probably strawbale etc. I also love the Tiny House Movement, although I’m not sure my wife would be so happy in a tiny house (we’ll cross that bridge sometime!).

    I have a job, but it just not fulfilling and I need to feel a deeper connection with nature and the land.

    Anyway, brilliant work.

    Solihull, UK


    24 Aug 09 at 10:33 pm

  9. Hi Martin, sounds we’re of very like minds. For years now my main project idea has been a timber framed cottage infilled with straw bales, fully off-grid and in the mountains. That will happen eventually, but this is my first step, kind of a proof of concept that I can actually do something like this. The tiny house gets me out of the rent trap and will give me somewhere to live when I start on the next project.

    I understand the unfulfilling job only too well, the tiny house is also a way for me to be able to work for less money because I need less to live, and give me the chance to do something that is more meaningful.

    Thank you for such kind comments, it’s great to know there are other people out there with similar ideas and dreams, it’s really making the journey more enjoyable to share it with you.



    25 Aug 09 at 7:11 am

  10. Cool project!
    Keep up the good work.


    28 Aug 09 at 9:27 pm

  11. The brake shoes that you can’t find to replace are pretty common in America. Also look into getting them reshoed. The metal part just needs to be sand blasted and cleaned up a bit then a new pad riveted onto it. I’m not sure where you live but it sounds like what they told you is rubbish or inexperienced.


    9 Oct 09 at 10:40 pm

  12. Very Awesome! you’ve been busy since we spoke last! get in touch J ! have lots to share and I want to hear of all this that you are doing these days! I am now in Dever,Colorado! Peace! Alice


    13 Nov 09 at 9:29 pm

  13. Hi justin

    I’m from the states but now live in London. Im curious about how you resolved the issue of finding land to put your house on near London. As you know this is an obstacle for most would be tiny house builders.



    2 Jun 10 at 2:28 pm

  14. Hi Justin, I linked here from the GSERS site and wow someone thinking the same as me and my GF. Completely caught in the rat race, and looking to get out, build our own place, live off grid, grow & rear our food. Amazing how many people are heading this direction when you go looking, mind you, read the ‘oil drum’ or google peak oil, and you start to understand just how quickly we need to get out regardless of our desires to
    Anyway best of luck with the project, and I will let you know when we go for it too. Enjoy. Nigel


    28 Jun 10 at 8:59 pm

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