Tiny House Interlude #3

11 Apr

I started this entry yesterday after finishing an 18.5 hr overnighter finishing up a site for a client so I was not gonna “get into too much detail on anything”. Just list a few awesome tiny house links, resources, videos…with a bit of commentary of course, and a personal update. But then again the tiny house underground is quite large and I couldn’t help myself. So, first a word on interior aesthetics. For those uninterested you can skip to the next section.


It’s odd, I never considered having a home with an all wood interior until I started researching tiny houses. When I thought, “wood” I always pictured the faux wood paneling or the traditional log cabins…neither of which I liked very much. And then wood was pretty much all I saw for probably 100+ tiny house videos…and I never really thought twice about it. It’s probably one of the most obvious characteristics of most tiny homes…other than the fact that they are tiny of course, and somehow it totally felt right. Obviously, for those who are using recycled/reclaimed wood, building more green in general and want a more hand-crafted look this seems to be the way to go. Just recently I saw 2 tiny homes with drywall interiors. Here’s one of them. The most obvious difference: more light.

Personally, I’m not a fan of light. Odd I know. I love solar energy but to be out in the sun isn’t really my thing and it really saps my energy. Yes, I know that I live in LA. However, I’m assuming as I get older and my life simplifies I will start appreciating sunlight and lots of windows more than I currently do. I’ll just call it planning ahead.

So at one point I did ponder the possibility of drywall inside a tiny home but the main utilitarian purpose of drywall is as a fire barriar which…in a tiny house…good luck. (Jay Shafer did say in a video that his bedroom window, which was pretty tiny, was big enough for him to crawl out of in case of emergency. Good thinking Jay.) So then it must have other benefits, right?


-It’s not green. And if you are a less experienced builder/DIYer and you break the pieces poorly you will probably notice all the fiberglass inside.

*Further research: Drywall is usually paper-faced or fiberglass-faced. Fiberglass-faced is more mold resistant so it’s sometimes used in basements, hurricane territory, per local building codes I assume…the restaurant I did construction on used it in parts of the kitchen and bathroom…(in my experience you know it when you see it because the face is green or blue/purple instead of white [you see this in a lot of unfinished basements] and it costs more but reading the label is always good to be sure.) Then there is ‘monolithic’ drywall (disperses cellulose throughout the gypsum so I guess no facing is required). Seems to be a few select companies though and was designed mostly for under-tiling and is not the standard for walls.

-Not so hand-made looking. Although if you like a contemporary feel this is probably the way to go.


-Cheaper…unless you get sustainable/eco-friendly drywall which costs the same as the non-eco, high end stuff: $14-20 per sheet according to some sources in 2008.

-Light weight in comparison to wood which would be good for hauling weight (this is assumed, i still have to research it).

*After more research I found that drywall is about 3.4 lbs/sq ft and pine interior paneling ranges from .75-1.75 lbs/sq ft (per various current manufacturer’s specifications)

-Reflects light better inside if painted a light color. Even darker colors I think would reflect light rather well because of the smooth surface.

-Repairs are easier when you can just cut a hole through and cover it up seamlessly. Repairs in wood are a bit more difficult and take preplanning if you want to allow access to main utilities throughout for future maintenance & repair.

-It can be painted or given a textured finish.

For all the positive attributes I still like the idea of a wooden interior but it seems a bit busy, visually too much for me to handle long term. And that’s a lot of material to use to decide in a few months that you don’t like it. All in all I need to see one in person and then the lighting and eco issues will guide my decision.

Another thing about this house…great storage options. Look closely at some of their photos (1, 2, 3, 4) to see what I mean.


I’m really lucky to have laundry on the other end of my building but after yesterday and last night that was the last thing I wanted to do…in the rain. It reminded me to look into this. A mini washer, no electricity or plumbing needed. It has a warranty & money back guarantee which makes me feel a bit better but the reviews are great so…definitely something to look into.

Tiny House Blogs

A few awesome tiny home blogs I’m either just discovering or just now getting around to actually reading.

Tiny Home Builders – more than just pretty pics, they have good info if you’re willing to click around for the real content

Sarana Park – Two Los Angelenos build 2 tiny homes and head north. One tiny house has wooden interior, the other drywall interior. Very nice site.

Forge Ahead – Tiny houses by Jenine Alexander & Amy Hutto. They’ve got 2 under their belt, one is rented, the other sold and Jenine is finishing the interior on a 3rd which was constructed on a boat trailer! Might be a good possibility with so many boaters here in SoCal.

Tiny Houses: Small Spaces – found on someone’s tumblr. Haven’t gotten too far into it but this site seems to have a lot of great videos.

Can A Tiny House Withstand Natural Disasters?

Video of tiny house after a EF3 tornado by Travis162002

The Compact Kitchen – Best thing since sliced toasted bread

Avanti Appliances – I saw this in a faircompanies.com youtube video and I was able to make out the logo so I visited their website. They also have countertop ovens which are the same size as or smaller than microwaves, which I dont use, so I’ll get one of these instead.

Tiny House Drafting

This free online drafting software from Urban Barn was written about in the Tiny House Blog. Much faster than SketchUp for drawing up multiple rough floor plans for comparison.

In other news…

Macy is making awesome headway on her tiny house flooring and going vertical! Congrats Macy!

My dad is teaching my cousin to drive this week…yikes. After doing one of his typical freak outs and making lots of annoying sounds in the passenger’s seat she kicked him out of the car. He sent me pics. He did the exact same thing when he tried to teach me to parallel park between 2 metal barrels.* Hilarious. 

I finished some insane WordPress site integration and tons of branding & marketing materials for a client (hence my 18.5 hr long day) who has a huge event later this month…it’ll be good publicity, I’m looking forward to new clients 🙂

I’m totally addicted to this new app, Scramble with Friends (by Zynga, the Words with Friends app people). I think I’m 3 and 7 since I started 3 days ago. I’m not great at it but it’s fast paced so it keeps me interested at all hours of the night.

*for the record I turned out to be an AMAZING parallel parker…thanks dad

6 Responses to “Tiny House Interlude #3”

  1. Macy M April 11, 2012 at 8:10 am #

    Thank you for the shout out! 🙂 I have two ‘corrections’ though, 1) Gypsum is actually one of the more sustainable products, there is no fiberglass in it, the material in between is a gypsum plaster faced by two shees of cardboard basically. It’s 100% recyclable and is often made out of 90% or more recycled materials (more and more all the time thanks to the LEED system). The only unsustainable part is the manufacturing which is a lot more eco-friendly than many other processes. There is however fiberglass in the tape used to cover the seams, there are alternatives to that though. 2) The wood used in tiny house walls is generally pine and much lighter weight than gyp. To the best of my reasoning, and question asking, weight is generally the reason people have gone with a pine wall siding in tiny houses, that and it’s less rigid/more flexible to accomodate the movement of the trailer. I absolutely love reading your posts, keep them coming, thanks for all the links too!

    • Half-price April 11, 2012 at 11:21 am #

      Thanks for the info & corrections. I learn something new everyday. 🙂

  2. Jonathan Hontz April 11, 2012 at 9:21 pm #

    That clothes washer is a great find. I’ve never seen anything like it. In Colorado the air is dry enough that we can get away with drying clothes by hanging them on hangers right in the closets, but I haven’t invented a way around the washer yet. That may have just changed.

  3. Carrie April 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm #

    loved this post! really like the clothes washer – we may be picking one of those up. very cool. goes perfect with a clothesline…. 🙂

    I agree with Macy on the gyp. bd. – it’s actually not horrible for the environment, even though it is conventional. it’s all natural, no VOC’s, great for chemically sensitive people / indoor air quality, etc. but gypsum mining is bad. so, if you live somewhere with lots of wood, that might be the way to go. local = green too. plus after plastering and sanding our drywall on our tiny house for the last three days… kinda wish we’d gone with pine beadboard and just painted it white. but I trust that the smooth plastered walls will be so magnificent that I will forget all about the plaster in my eye, and the dust in my lungs….

    keep up the great posts! loving it.

  4. Juko June 9, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Hi, I’m Juko, and am very happy you found our tiny house projects. I wanted to share some thoughts about the drywall vs. wood interior aspect of tiny house building & living. The tiny house we have with the wood interior was built by someone else, and I designed and built the tiny house with the drywall after. The drywall was part of this idea I had to make the tiny house look “old” on the outside (using reclaimed wood), and very modern on the inside. I also wanted to really make it feel spacious (which is why the loft spaces are minimal), and after spending time in the house with the wood interior, I decided to try the drywall.

    When we were in the process of doing the work, I thought “Never again!” It is very, very messy – and it took a long time to clean up. Our experience was such that we decided to not use drywall in the small (not tiny) officially permitted house we are building on our land.

    However, nine months into occupying our houses, I have to say I am really glad I did the drywall. We spend most of our time in this tiny house (the other is our sleeping/bathroom quarters), and the drywall makes it feel very spacious.

    In regard to the light (which I love) – our house is shaded by tall Doug Fir and Redwood, and because of the shade of paint I used, it is not super bright in here. It is more like warm, subtle glow. So, even though it was a pain at the time, I am glad I did it. It works for this particular space, location, and our particular needs & design aims. It feels less like a cabin & more like a house.

    I also experimented with lightly white washing the knotty pine in the other tiny house (on one wall), but it didn’t quite look the way I wanted it to, and clashed with the pieces of second-hand furniture I chose for the space.

    Another potential “con” for tiny house drywall: if you plan on moving your tiny house with any frequency, the drywall can crack. Ours held up pretty well for the 360 mile journey it made up the 101 freeway, but there is one tiny crack in it. It can be repaired, but something to think about.

    May this moment find you moving through life with ease, Juko

  5. cxdyer July 23, 2012 at 7:44 am #

    I enjoy reading stories about a fellow construction working, enviornmentally aware and budget conscious person. Great blog.

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