Build the Small House of Your Dreams.

Information on building and living in smaller homes,
         a sane alternative to the “McMansion”.
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New Stuff at Small House Building:

Low Cost Kitchen Updates

Maybe you’re tired of the same old humdrum look. Maybe you’re getting ready to sell. No matter what the rationale there are countless ways to update your kitchen. But more to the point there are countless inexpensive ways to do it as well. Here’s a quick list of things you can do to give your kitchen the facelift it needs at a cost that doesn’t break the bank. [...]

Installing PEX Piping in Your Small House

Go to any big box store and they are going to try to sell you a special tool for cutting PEX piping. The tool works great. It’s big, with strong jaws, and makes a clean cut through PEX. Still, it isn’t necessary. It’s particularity not necessary for the DIY small houser. PEX piping is soft, easy to work with, and can be cut with anything from a small hacksaw to a kitchen shears. [...]

Soil Structure and Foundation Types

Building a house is not a difficult task, particularly when the house is small. But there are certain issues that can make or break a home-building project, not least of which is the need for a good foundation. [...]

Let It Slide – Pocket Doors for Saving Space

Anyone who is building a new small home is going to be looking for ways to save space. Without a doubt one of the best ways to do this is to install internal and external sliding doors and to incorporate closets, cupboards and cabinets with sliding doors when you design the interior of your home. [...]

Factors to Consider in Water Quality for your Home

Drinking water quality is becoming an ever important issue both domestically and abroad. The US, which is generally ranked highest in drinking water quality globally, still has issues with water quality from time to time. In recent years well failures due to drought, arsenic from mines, natural run-off and some pesticides and perhaps most famously chromium VI (a heavy metal) pollution, which was the subject of the 2000 film “Erin Brockovich”, have amplified the importance of quality drinking water. [...]

Don’t Put Off Simple Home Maintenance

Water can cause more damage in and around the house than anything else. So if you don’t regularly clean your gutters, when it rains, they aren’t going to function the way they should, by diverting rainwater away from your house. In addition to the fact that leaves falling from overhanging branches clog gutters, the branches can also create a great “bridge” for ants and other insects to gain access to your home. [...]

Choosing a Neighborhood That’s Right for You

You had been dreaming about it for years. Then came the day. You could no longer ignore the tickle of that little bug making its way to your derriere. You broke down, scratched the itch, and started planning. And… like a big, dry campfire log that – after much labor and love – has finally caught… there was no stopping you. You decided to build your own home! [...]

Don’t know where to start? You might want to start with Steps to Building a House. It’ll give you the big-picture view of what’s involved with building a house. Or you may need some pointers on Choosing the Right House Plan. And don’t forget to research what Building Permits you need before you even get started.

See our Planning Section
Framing Techniques

See our Framing Section

See our Electrical Section

Featured Video – Build Your Own Small House:

Build Your Own Small House video

Building a Smaller Home for a Greener Footprint

Through constant promotion, environmental awareness is finally becoming the mainstream way of thinking. It is affecting our lifestyles, our workplace, our dietary habits and even the way we plan our future. It is one of the reasons why, in home building, more and more people are opting to build smaller houses. Regardless of how the interiors are designed or what fixtures you put in, a smaller home will be a “greener” home. This is because a small home leaves behind a smaller carbon footprint. Less materials, less space to heat, less disruption to the environment.

If you build a home in a small neighborhood, that works even better. Here’s why: On a basic level, people don’t need bigger homes anymore because family sizes have decreased. Only a short while ago, a family of 5 or 6 was standard, but times have changed and some people don’t opt to go higher than four members total. This may be due to various personal reasons, but generally people are being smart about their future. The present global economy is at an all time low and it might actually not be affordable for many to raise more than two children. This means the habitat and interior or exterior designing needs have shifted.

Home buyers’ demographics have also changed quite a lot. A significant percentage of the current home buyers are made up of single women who are at strong, management positions in their chosen careers. According to statistics, buyers are now older and wealthier but are still opting for a small space to live in. Apart from economic viability, homebuyers are becoming more in tune with the needs of their environment, and are actively trying to reduce their carbon footprint. For younger homebuyers and owners, the time, cost and effort needed could be cut down by half if they choose to opt for a smaller house right from the start.

With smart housing options available, people have famously converted even the smallest living spaces into efficient, stylish living rooms, kitchenettes and bedrooms all within a 100 to 300 square feet. Add to that the fact that there are now so many conveniences for storage, kitchen, washing and home offices in big box home building stores, and it isn’t hard to imagine why the trend is catching on. Tiny houses on wheels are also a trend to watch out for, especially for people who have an adventurous career and require traveling to different locations as part of their work.

People who are tired of the hustle and bustle of industrial life want to be cushy in their homes, regardless of the size. They want comfort, homeliness and most of all, lower costs. Some people have to work multiple jobs to pay off mortgages on their houses, and those under debt are sinking deeper into depression all the time. The current economic environment alone is enough for people to rethink their luxurious home building ideas.

Building a smaller home has actually proven to improve the quality of one’s life, as well as reducing their eco-footprint. Energy consumption is cut by half since there is less lighting and appliances required. The heating expense is reduced as well because of the smaller space (that’s usually better insulated), and energy is saved from less of a need to vacuum and clean the home. Additionally, a smaller home means smaller investment and mortgage payments. People having to spend thousands of dollars on mortgages could spend that money on a holiday or vacation instead!

Some people focus more on the limits that are presented through smaller housing. Big gatherings at home can no longer be entertained, and if the family increases in size there will be challenges. However, the benefits outweigh the limitations. Many publications like Time magazine and the New York Times have covered the reasons why more and more people are opting for smaller homes. CNN has even done a piece on how far ahead of the curve (financially) buying a smaller home takes an individual.

Building a smaller home is not entirely a new concept. Environmental activists have been promoting it for a long time and a lot of people in the past have opted to move out of large mansions and into smaller homes instead. The current challenging economic times are the perfect time to invest in a smaller home, and do one’s part for the world.

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