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Sunday, September 30, 2012

What do you think of this micro-cabin/hotel?

 I think this one has great potential as a mass-produced tiny house kit/offering...

 From the minds of the architectural firm "Studio WG3", comes the first installation of the "HYPERCUBUS"- a micro-modern (and portable) hotel-room unit (in Austria). By their portability, these rooms for rent can be relocated to meet tourist demands in different parts of the country, through the highs and lows of different seasons. Not to shabby, and I love the hanging/lofted beds, which are positioned so as to take advantage of a triangular clerestory-like window.
   Note: The photo above is deceiving from the angle its taken, as you'll see in the interior photos below.

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

A tiny, tiny Habitat For Humanity House in Mississippi!

Check out this tiny house/playhouse that was built by the Habitat For Humanity crew in Fort Jackson, Mississippi! I love the front array of windows, the interior colors (mostly), and the micro second floor. The horizontally laid tongue and groove walls look great as well.
     If you really take a look at this, especially from the outside, its got the makings of a GREAT looking tiny house or cabin for adults, never mind kids. Sure you'd have to tweak some dimensions, add a little bathroom, and some better second floor access (I'd prefer that at least), but its pretty much all there!
     This house was ultimately raffled off as a fundraiser- talk about one lucky kid!

Again, I'm working on a coffee table-style book on kids forts, getaways, tiny houses, treehouses, and clubhouses (and their possibly design influence and ties to regular housing). If you have a project or have taken photographs of one that you'd like immortalized in a book, send 'em over to kidcedar at gmail dot com- I'd love to see/consider them. Hi-res/300 dpi+ photos only please. Perhaps we could feature them on this blog, or too.

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tiny House/Tumbleweed Fencl Photos from our DC Workshop

A Tumbleweed Fencl- this particular model was built by "Big Bill" Rockhill at Bear Creek Carpentry (   

 Better late than never! I've since hosted the Chicago Tumbleweed Workshop as well (I'll post photos of that soon), but here's a few Fencl and classroom shots from Washington, DC- another GREAT group of people! Jan Kenney, who lives in the Tumbleweed that Gregory Paul Johnson once owned, and the Boneyard Studios Group ( were our guest speakers too. Aside from it reaching 104 degrees in the city when we arrived, and a freak tornado-like windstorm one night that had trees and power out everywhere (we were untouched, thankfully), all went very smoothly- the tiny house gods were on our side apparently!

The NYC Workshop that I'm hosting is October 20th and 21st in Brooklyn- I can't wait!

My other three-day, hands-on, tiny-house-building workshop is Nov 2-4 in Stoughton, MA- we only have about 2-3 spots left now. kidcedar at gmail dot com to sign-up.

I love the top photo, and its one, of about another 1000 or so I have to pick from, that I might put in the next book that I've been working on- a follow-up to my book "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks".

I'm STILL (and will be for some time) looking for Fort, Treehouse, Shed, Cabin, Tiny House, and Container House photos- one's you've taken or built for another project I'm also working on- YOUR CHANCE to be part of a cool coffee-table style book! kidcedar at gmail dot com.

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Friday, September 28, 2012

A Parasitic Skyscraper Tiny House Addition....

This one's pretty out there- its a side panel sketch from my book "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks" some point I'll even post some of the outtake sketches that we didn't have room for, or that were just too wild/weird for the book (believe it or not- lol!).

Have YOU built or designed a kick-ass tiny fort or structure???
Again, I'm working with a publisher on a brand new book, and in search of AWESOME and unique DIY Forts, Shed Conversions, Tiny Houses, and's your chance to have your work immortalized in a book. kidcedar at gmail dot com to submit 'em....
Also, our Tiny House Building Workshop- Nov 2-4 in Stoughton/Boston, MA is almost sold out, if you're interested in attending, don't delay too long! kidcedar at gmail dot com as well.... We won't have another workshop until well into 2013....

Click to ENLARGE....
When they run out of space in cities.....or heck, even as a cliff-hanging cabin/dwelling....

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The 1910 Dietz "Dollhouse"....Tiny House Eye Candy- A Micro-Victorian House

From the Seguin, TX Historical Society's Website (and thanks to Don Siders for pointing us in the site's direction).

Dietz Doll House (1910)
415 S. Austin St.

The Dietz Doll House is one of the Seguin Conservation Society's most charming properties and like the others, comes with an intriguing history. It was built in 1910 by Louis Dietz for little Alice O'Brien, 5 years old, who had come to Seguin as an orphan train child.
Alice was born on May 28, 1905, in the New York Foundling Hospital in New York City. In those days, orphan or homeless children were transported by train to various small towns throughout the United States for adoption. In Seguin, Alice was taken in by John and Julia Magin, but nine months later, Mrs. Magin died. A German-born carpenter, Louis Dietz and his sister, Miss Mollie, applied to the Catholic Parish priest to raise Alice in their home.
Alice moved to her second home May 10, 1910, about the time Louis Dietz built the Victorian doll house for her. The little house was originally located on the right side of the tree-shaded back yard of Louis and Miss Mollie's house at 423 N. Milam Street. Some people in Seguin remember that in the 1920's The Doll House sat at the left side of the Dietz Cabinet Shop facing N. Milam Street. In time, The Doll House was moved again to create an entrance for the Dietz house.
Louis worked in his cabinet shop next door at 427 N. Milam Street. He built ornate furniture and crafted unique items of wood — rocking horses, gray elephants, humpback camels, and animals on wheels. Another of his specialties was making different kinds of wooden fruit - bunches of grapes and watermelons. Equally distinctive were decorative clock shelves painted to look like marble. A child-size wardrobe and dresser made by Louis are on display in The Doll House.
Pablo Castilla and his son, Ralph, gave the Dietz Doll House to the Seguin Conservation Society in 1967. See it next to Los Nogales Museum at 415 S. River Street.

If you're going into tiny house living for simplicity, and lack of maintenance. this might not be the model you want to emulate though- that scroll work and fancy trim would be more than a pain to paint.

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tiny Houses/Tumbleweeds: To Skylight, or NOT to Skylight?

This question has been posed at EVERY Tumbleweed Workshop I've hosted (Boston, Miami, Chicago, DC, Seattle, NYC, Middle Earth, Atlantis, etc), and I'm sure we'll talk about it, both your opinions and mine, in the upcoming NYC Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshop in Brooklyn, NY- October 20th and 21st. This particular workshop will feature Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller, the duo behind the much anticipated "Tiny: The Movie"- who have recently completed their own tiny house on wheels. More guest to be announced soon too.....CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.

This could apply to houses of ANY size, but more particularly to tiny houses, as their loft space is so comparatively limited....

First of all, in the "pro-skylight" column, just look at this photo of a simple lofted sleeping area in a tiny house- I mean how cool, cozy, and inviting does this look? I love it. On the other hand, you're losing heat like crazy, r-value-wise, if you don't have high end, insulated, double-paned, skylights. However, this heat loss, as your loft will ALWAYS be the warmest place in your tiny home, might also come as a blessing.

Now on the other hand, take the above example- this converted attic could have possibly benefited from the additional light and venting abilities of a skylight or two, BUT with the inclusion of a decent sized window on the gable end of the home, the lighting in this little loft seems to be just fine.

The CONS of skylights.....well, even with the most thorough flashing and trim work, ANY TIME you add an roof penetrations or complications (toilet stacks, electrical poles/goose necks, dormers, and yes, skylights) THAT will be the place, most prone, down the road, to leakage. SO, by not having any skylights, you're more or less eliminating this increased risk, but at the cost of less light, and in some cases, ventilation. If you live in a particularly rainy and windy region of the country, or oceanside, where the weather can be rather brutal, for this reason, skylights should be carefully considered.

But its not that cut and you'll see in photo #3, Jay Shafer's original Tumbleweed Tiny House....

This cool little loft, above, is pretty darn cozy, and with only one lancet/gothic window, its also on the dark side- which sleep-wise, I really love (I prefer sleeping in pitch black rooms). That can either be a pro or con, but in terms of a off chance fire or emergency, those who choose to only install small windows in their lofts are faced with the challenge of squeezing through them for egress if need be. With a skylight, on the other hand, whether its meant to open or not, come fire, or any other dire situation, one swift kick to the glass and you can make your way out- It won't be pretty, granted, but you will be alive.

PRO- Larger windows, or skylights, just may help you in terms of your being able to load long, or bulkier items into your loft- ones that otherwise would not fit up through the small entrance hole (if not an open loft set-up).

PRO and CON- Solar gain is another thing to consider, and this will all depend on where you live, where your house is situated and in which direction its located. Skylights on a south facing roof will collect alot of heat during the day in your loft. If your home is parked under the shade of a tree in the summer, this skylight gain will be greatly reduced. In colder climates, this solar gain, on the other hand, might be exactly what you want.

CON- Skylight shades always seem to be problematic and a good many people just don't bother with outfitting them with their custom shades- AND when those shades break, they're slow to replace them. The result: When the sun is up, you're up- unless you own a sleep mask.Skylights with built-in interior, between glass, shades- forget it, they always end up breaking over time- at least in cases I've seen.

Above: Skylights put to good use- Dee Williams of Portland Alternative Dwellings, in her Tumbleweed. Note how the skylights are staggered and both are not situated on one end of the home- this arrangement is less apt to structurally weaken your tiny home (especially important if its one on wheels that will be moved often).

PRO- Who doesn't want to sleep with a clear view of the stars overhead? It'd be like sleeping in a stargazers field, but without the bugs, cold, and manure under your feet. Same with the rain overhead- to be so close to the elements, yet so protected, comfortable, and dry, is something to be experienced. Its one of the reasons that I love installing clear poly roofing on many of my small shelter structures.

And I'm sure there are other reasons, for and against, that can be added to this conversation, and perhaps, that's where you come in. Feel free to enter any comments, and your thoughts, below.

Derek "Deek" Diedricksen, runs the blogs and, is the author of "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks", hosts workshops on his own and for The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, and hosts/directs/produces the tiny architecture/diy show "Tiny Yellow House" on youtube. He is also a freelance carpenter and designer. Click HERE to check out his book....

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tiny Houses (Me and Sage) featured in US News/

 (Above: The Workshop "Classroom"-'s one of the locale's where we'll be hanging out and building. These micro-structures from my youtube show "Tiny Yellow House" will serve as examples of what can be done with certain free and recycled materials)

Yet more proof that so many people are very curious about alternative architecture and tiny house's an article that US News covered, and that later ran on Sage Radachowsky, a Gypsy Wagon Dweller/Carpenter, who is also featured, is one of the speakers/guests at our Tiny House Building Workshop- 3 days, camping (if you'd like), MANY speakers and demos, hands-on building, guest cabins/campers that you'll get to tour, an optional trip to THE first built Tumbleweed Tiny House in Boston (the one Jay Shafer lived in), a pizza party, nightly bonfire discussions, networking galore, and more!!!

Check out the article here...

Only about 3 spots left, email me at kidcedar at gmail dot com

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Monday, September 24, 2012

A super-tiny stained glass church house!?


I must admit, when I'm in churches, I'm always enamored with the architecture and focus most of my attention on the vaulted ceiling work, the trim, the use of various woods, and THE STAINED GLASS- man oh man, do I love great stained glass work. Now if THIS were my church, I just might never miss a Sunday.....well, except on very sunny days where this structure would become oven-like....making things less heavenly, and more, well, you know....

I have no clue where and what this is really used for, but its gorgeous....
-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

And ANOTHER CABIN/Tiny House you'll see at our Workshop in MA!

 ...and it just keeps getting better! Aside from recently confirming the add of speaker/tiny house addict Steven Harrell from and (coming all the way from North Carolina), I'm also working 'round the clock to spruce up the workshop grounds, AND to re-assemble this little cabin that I built for a show on The History Channel. By the time I'm done, it'll look SIGNIFICANTLY different than what you saw on tv.

Also, if you're hemming and hawing about signing up, we STILL might have one more speaking guest, AND, we only have a couple slots left (we're trying to cap it off at 20 or so people to keep it small and hands-on). Kidcedar at gmail dot com for more info.

Also, and I'll post it soon, myself and Sage Radachowsky were just featured in a US NEWS and piece that has brought a TON of traffic to this site, some great attention to the movement, and has re-launched my book to the #1 ranked carpentry book on all of Wow..... the book was #1,900 of ALL BOOKS worldwide yesterday too....thanks to all who have checked out "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks"

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Sunday, September 23, 2012

New micro-homes in the UK! The Future of Backyard Living??

Wow, check these out- more spacious than they would appear, and pretty slick, fun, and modern at the same time....

-From and the BBC....

As reported by the BBC Oxford businessman Robin Swailes is marketing £25,000 shedlike pods (3m x 2.5m) with electricity, kitchen, bed, toilet, shower, underfloor heating and running water as small homes for those struggling to get onto the property ladder in the city.

The plan is that the upturned boatlike structures would be erected - once planning permission is granted - in gardens around Oxford and then rented out.

Interviewed in the Oxford Mail, Swailes - who has already set one up in his own garden in the Sunnymead area of town - said:
"We want to put pods all over central North Oxford and could have 12 in place by Christmas. People have been ringing to ask what on earth it is, so there’s lots of interest already. If the demand is there, there could be hundreds across the city within the next year. We came up with the idea because we can’t meet the demand for rental accommodation in central North Oxford." 
Oxford is one of the most expensive places to rent in the UK with an average rent of £891 a month – £185 more than the average for the rest of the country. Oxford has about 6,000 people on the council's housing waiting list and 165 more in temporary accommodation. The average house price in the city is £343,461.

Friday, September 21, 2012

A giant doghouse as a tiny house???

Check out this super-cool A-frame dog house that facebook friend Mary Frances Carlton sent me- two floors, electricity, a fire hydrant (lets hope it doesn't get used!), a balcony, tiny deck, and more! Its one of the larger dog houses I've seen and with a little remodeling and resizing, it could actually make for a nice little escape cabin in the woods. You'll see how large it is (for a very large dog (great dane)!) in the following photos...

Also, for those considering our Tiny House Building Hands-On Workshop/campout/gathering in Stoughton, MA- Nov. 2-4, we only have 4 spots left. Email me at kidcedar at gmail dot com.

Also, this weekend I'll be bringing (saturday) one of my little cabins/shelters to the Old Saybrook, CT town green (1-4pm) for a kid's fair- free admission, free food, and free kid activities- I'll be selling and signing copies of my tiny house/cabin design book "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks" too...

 -Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A NEW timber-framed cottage/cabin/tiny house from David and Jeanie Stiles

As many of you know, if you've read/heard interviews with me, or read the intro of my "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks" book (which they wrote (the new edition introduction)), David and Jeanie Stiles are among my favorites when it comes to tiny house, fort, shed, and cabin designs- their books are beautifully illustrated, offer some great plans and content, and are easy to follow.

Anyhow, David Stiles recently emailed me to share photos of a timber framed micro-cottage/shed he designed and erected recently, and the result is for not only a good looking structure, but a VERY sturdy one.

From David:
Shown is one way of finishing our 8 1/2' x 11' timber-framed mini-barn.  We are selling a kit for the frame of this mini-barn as well as plans for 2x4 construction  of the same size cottage  For more information, people can go to our website:

Again, their books are GREAT- check 'em out! "Rustic Retreats" and "Cabins" are my favorites, but they are all good. 


A tiny, tiny, attic conversion, in a tiny house....

Just some early morning eye candy, tiny house style, for y'all......SEE, even tiny, tiny attics, in very small homes, are "convertable" if you get creative! It looks like they've incorporated some salvaged and recycled materials/boards too! Bonus points!

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


.....The only one missing in the title caption is "Free BEER", but alas, the festival mentioned below won't have that...sigh.....

THIS WEEKEND- its FREE, with FREE food, FREE events/games for kids, and FREE yackin' and a tiny shelter display from me, at the Old Saybrook, CT town green. Did I mention FREE?

 "The GottaGiddaWay" recycled-material, micro-shelter- See the VIDEO below....

Old Saybrook is a gorgeous town, home to the famous and often photographed Fenwick Tiny House, and has lots to offer n' see, but from 1 to 4pm, THIS SATURDAY, my lil' GottaGiddaWay shelter/cabin will be on display for all to see and crawl through (its for sale too), and I'll be selling and signing copies of my book, "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks", as well. 

If you're from the area, be sure to come out and say hello! - and bring any tiny house building, fort, design, shipping container home, treehouse, and WHATEVER questions you might have, with you....

 -Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

A Vintage Perfection Kerosene Heater- Treehouse Building/Furnishing....

Check out this old school/vintage heater- I grabbed it at an antique barn as an impulse buy for $60- I just loved the look. The wick is still good, the body is in great shape, and as long as you have adequate ventilation, this kerosene heater is rarin' ta' go. I might have to work this into a treehouse or guest house at some point as its more or less ART, as well as functional (functional art- "Fart"- sorry, couldn't resist). Its like the caveman version of a Dickinson Boat Stove (those I LOVE too!).    -Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

This "Perfection" Kero heater stands about 30" tall....

Monday, September 17, 2012

"Elmer's Barn of Used Junk and Dead Things"- Salvage for YOUR House Building Project

Seriously, "Elmer's Barn Of Used Junk And Dead Things" is how its frequently listed as a business if you look for it online. This place, a long-standing "Oddity of Maine", is well worth the trip, and aside from the outdoor viewing, the barn itself boasts three stories of pretty much anything you can think of. Need some interesting hinges, or vintage windows for your tiny house build, or your cabin or cottage? -This place probably has it. You can often haggle with 'em too! Granted, there's alot of CRAP here, but sifting through it is half the fun!
            Its in Windsor, Maine, and thanks to Paul Bendix for takin' me out there for the visit.

Got Shutters?

All photos by Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Glass Washboard Windows for your tiny house/guest hut/shed???

As many of you know by now, mainly focuses on tiny housing, vacation cabins, and space efficiency, but I also try to keep it eclectic at times with light-living, and related topics, such as salvage construction, general (and funky) D.I.Y. projects, dumpster diving/curb-culling, and whatever else strikes my fancy. THIS HERE, is from one of those "other" categories, but just one example or idea that might help you further think outside the box, when building or creating.

    Here's another fun idea I've been messing with- "Washboard Windows" (I've long ago given up on washboard abs, so I'll settle for the windows...). This is one idea, among many others I'm trying out) that will probably end up in my follow-up to "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks", or my other FORT-related book- both in the works....
   Anyway, I've been keeping my eyes peeled for one of these, and happened to spot one at the Raynham, MA Flea Market (one of the biggest in MA- EVERY WEEKEND- food, music, people watching, you name it! $1.00 to get in, kids under 12 are free)- its an antique GLASS washboard, which I feel might make for a very unique, translucent, window in some upcoming structure- MAYBE even the one we're building as a group in November!? A Shedworking Groundhouse? Huge Guest Tree-House? I'm still drafting out many ideas- whatever the case, we'll ALL be working on it, and it'll be great!

I'm also working on re-assembling my "All Eights Cabin"- the one that we built for The History Channel, so any attendees will also get to see that, alongside many other cabins, caravans, and shelters that are coming to this gathering!

Speaking of which, our Tiny-House Building Workshop (hands-on), Nov 2-4 in Stoughton, MA is filling up VERY FAST- check out the link above, or email me at kidcedar at gmail dot com to find out more. Three days of building, speakers, demos, camp fire discussions, guest structures, and a heck of alot more!

-Derek "Deek" Diedricksen