Tumbleweed Tiny Homes

Kayla Cesta-McMichael’s Self Selected Presentation
The Current Issues In Home Buying:
Buying a home requires a series of steps that optimally
occur in a certain order. There are owners or agents
involved, offers, mortgages, finances, inspections, and
closings. In these steps alone, there are many fees and
hidden costs. For a first time home buyer (or someone
who is looking for a more temporary investment) this
can be intimidating and trying. With the fluctuating
economy and home buyers with less money to spend,
the home buying process can get a little sticky. I have
discovered an interesting company that offers a less
expensive, less environmentally impacting, and less
hassle residential option- The Tumbleweed Company’s
‘Tiny Homes.’
Tumbleweed Tiny Home Co. Philosophy
Dream Big. Build Small: (Exerpt From the Tumbleweed Tiny House Co. Founder Jay Shafer)
My name is Jay Shafer and since 1997 I have been living in a house smaller than some people’s
closets. I call the first of my little hand built houses Tumbleweed. My decision to inhabit just 89
square feet arose from some concerns I had about the impact a larger house would have on the
environment, and because I do not want to maintain a lot of unused or unusable space. My houses
have met all of my domestic needs without demanding much in return. The simple, slower lifestyle
my homes have afforded is a luxury for which I am continually grateful.
Since completing Tumbleweed, I have continued to make little buildings. How each house gets used
depends on the occupant’s particular needs. What one person would enjoy as a quiet studio in their
backyard, another couple might choose to inhabit as a full-time residence. What some people see
as the perfect weekend hideaway in the country, others will use as a beautiful free-standing
addition to their existing home for accommodating an elderly parent, an adult child, guests, or as
office space. My houses have been composed with meticulous attention to light, warmth, energy
efficiency, and proportion. I have made the most of each cozy interior by minimizing transitional
areas like hallways and stairwells and by using otherwise unusable space as storage. The simple,
formal designs that have resulted are the best way I have found to order most any space and
make it beautiful.
I hope you enjoy viewing these tiny houses as much as I have enjoyed making them.
Jay Shafer
Tumbleweed Tiny & Small Houses
(65 –372sq.ft.)
(Extra Small/Excessively Efficient)
65 Sq Ft.
COST: Ready Made
Build It Yourself
Epu House
(89 sq. ft)
Build it
Epu House
(89 sq. ft.)
The Weebee
(102 sq. ft)
Ready Made: $48,997
Build it Yourself:
Lusby House
(117 sq.ft.)
A Little About The Architect…
The architect/entrepreneur of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company is Jay
Jay’s line of work, other than building his famous Tiny Homes lies within
sustainable architecture and urban planning. He is known as one of the, if
not the main, leaders in tiny home building. He has inspired many other
architects to go smaller and more efficient within their designs, many of
which are also mobile. The influence of the tiny house has also reached
everyday people who are jumping on the bandwagon and creating smaller,
cheaper, and more energy efficient dwellings to reside in.
What intrigues me the most about this whole movement, is the concept
behind the tiny homes, to lessen your environmental footprint starting at
home- physically and through minimizing your energy consumption. This is an
interesting concept, however, not everyone could stand to live in such tiny
quarters. On the contrary, this is a perfect home for someone who likes to
travel or re-locate often. This is a very versatile living situation suitable for
those invested in conservation and innovation within their day-to-day
lifestyle. Although this is not the home solution for everyone, having this
unique new option is very exciting to me!
Alternative Residential Options
According to a 2008 U.S. statistic, the average house
costs 244,000 which is far more than many of us can
afford. With today’s mortgage crisis, overbuilding and
poor residential planning should be carefully examined.
This new tiny house movement is a unique solution
suitable for some, desirable and beneficial for many.
A quote from the founder of Tumbleweed: “Most people
believe they need to own land to own a house. In the
past 3 years, I’ve moved my house 4 times. I’ve lived
on a private estate by a lake, in the Redwoods, in a
field, and in an apple orchard. One woman has her
Tumbleweed House at a national park.”
Tumbleweed Tiny House Influence
Shrinking Square Footage / Shrinking Environmental Impact