Mother Earth Living

Small House Movement Gets Bigger

Jay Shafer lives in an 89-square-foot home, and he builds small homes that meet homeowner’s domestic needs.
By Matt Hirschfeld
December 2008 Web
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This 65-square-foot home costs ready made $37,000.
Photo Courtesy The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company.


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Jay Shafer has been building tiny and small houses with his California-based Tumbleweed Tiny House Company since 1997. The tiny houses range from 65 to 140 square feet and are on wheels (which qualifies them as travel trailers and do not require a building permit). His small houses have rooms that are less than 120 square feet each and meet the International Building Code

His own 89-square-foot home has many green, sustainable and compact features that are incorporated into the homes he builds: 

▪ Fold out tables for meals and recreation

▪ Small stove, mini-refrigerator and toaster oven

▪ All-in-one bathroom and shower (with ceiling nozzle and toilet covers)

Shafer’s website answers many questions about his homes for interested buyers, including plumbing, utility and appliance questions . See a video tour of the home and all the quirks that went into making the compact home.  

More about small homes

• Track the smaller home trend through the decades.

• Learn how to live comfortably in a small space.

• Make your smaller house look bigger with these design ideas.








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