Given my fascination with tiny houses it is only natural that I review a book by Jay Shafer, creator of Tumbleweed Tiny Homes, called Tumbleweed DIY Book of Backyard Sheds & Tiny Houses. Let’s just say that I wasn’t disappointed.
To start off with the pictures in this book are absolutely stunning. Yes, this is helping him to sell more houses, but to someone who thinks that smaller housing is a small yet significant step in helping with our multitude of ecological problems, I say sell away. Yes, these houses are roughly the size of some people’s garages (or smaller) yet the pictures make them seem cozy and home like instead of squashed or cramped. Add to that the fact that the exterior looks nothing like a shed and you have the complete and very appealing package.
The second half of the book provides instructions on how a layman can build their own tiny house. It covers the entire outer structure, from foundation to walls to roof. All the steps are laid out clearly and with an ample supply of pictures to help with comprehension. The book provides a general overview of the different types of materials that can be used and in some places instructions on how to calculate the amount of materials required. That said the book does not provide information on interior finishes, or plumbing and electrical work. While understandably the last two should be completed by a qualified tradesman it would have been nice to know what one should look for in terms of types of materials being used and suggested setups.
I would recommend this book to any one who wants to know more about building houses or sheds. The instructions provided by this book make building small structures accessible to those with little prior knowledge. For the small house enthusiast it provides an enjoyable read and a multitude of beautiful pictures to kindle the ambition of being a small house owner.