Guided ADU (Bike) Tour: The Inside Scoop

Pedalpalooza Tiny House Tour - Billy UlmerLast year I had a blast leading a guided bike tour for Portland’s Build Small, Live Large ADU Tour, so this year I’m doing it again! The ADU Tour sold out last year, so this year it’s expanded to two days. This is one of the best chances in the nation to see the interior of a variety of accessory dwellings and to learn from the ADU owners, designers, and builders.

Guided ADU (Bike) Tour: The Inside Scoop

Saturday, May 30th OR Sunday, May 31st, 9:30AM-4pm

Tickets are $75 and available through Niche Consulting

Lina Menard will lead a special Guided ADU Tour during the Build Small, Live Large ADU Tour to share the inside scoop on the ADUs featured on the tour. Lina is the coordinator of the ADU Case Studies Project and a tiny house dweller and advocate. She will also share insights and information from the other 40+ case studies she has conducted. This guided tour option will cost $75 and will be capped at 20 people. The tour will be conducted by bike, but a carpool option will also be available. You can register for this option for Saturday or Sunday. This exclusive guided tour will go from 9:30am-4pm.

The Saturday, May 30th tour will feature ADUs in NE Portland, while the Sunday, May 31st tour will feature ADUs in SE Portland. Most of the ADUs are brand new to the tour this year so it will be fun to show them off. I’ve become familiar with most of the ADUs on the tour because I’ve been Coordinating the ADU Case Studies Project. I’ve had the chance to interview more than ADU owners about the challenges, highlights, and lessons learned through their ADU design and build process. I look forward to giving the inside scoop on each of the ADUs as well as sharing insights and information about the other ADUs in the Case Studies Project.

If you’d like to join us, please claim your ticket.

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Tiny House SIPs Wall Raising & Exterior Workshops


Tipping up SIPs walls at our last wall raising workshop

On June 13-14 I’ll be teaching a two-day Tiny House SIPs Wall Raising Workshop in Portland, OR in conjunction with Patrick Sughrue of Artisan Tiny House. Two weekends later we’ll do a Tiny House Exterior Trim & Siding Workshop to install windows, rain screen, trim, and siding. Space is limited, so if you’re interested in building this summer (and especially if you’re interested in building with SIPs), claim your spot today!

Lina & Karin with Drills

power tool empowerment

Additionally, there are two deals:

1) If you and a friend sign up together you’ll both receive a $25 discount, bringing your cost down to just $100 each!

2) If you participate in both workshops you’ll receive a $50 discount, making the total for both workshops just $200!


These build workshop prices can’t be beat!

Tiny House SIPs Wall Raising Workshop (June 13-14)

Think you might want to build your tiny house with SIPs? Ready for some practical, hands-on building experience? Want to have fun and feel empowered to build your own wee abode?

In this two day workshop we will show you how to properly construct the shell of a tiny house using a Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs) kit from Artisan Tiny House. You’ll learn how to use a variety of hand tools and power tools as we install floor panels, wall panels, and roof panels for a tiny house on wheels.

What happens after the walls of a tiny house go up? It’s time for Exterior Trim & Siding!


group photo at the end of Day 2 at our last SIPs Wall Raising Workshop

Tiny House Exterior Trim & Siding Workshop (June 27-28)


In this two-day hands-on workshop we will show you how to trim out windows, doors, and corners and install siding. You’ll learn how to use a variety of hand tools and power tools as we weather-proof the exterior of a tiny house on wheels.

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Lucky Penny Video Tour

Tiny House Giant Journey Video TourAfter several weeks of So Much Tiny House Goodness and the Lucky Penny’s Public Debut last week, I have other exciting news to share!

Yesterday Guillaume Dutilh and Jenna Spesard of Tiny House, Giant Journey have posted a video tour of The Lucky Penny, my tiny house on wheels. For all of you eagerly anticipating a peek inside my house after months of cheering me along during my build, this is your chance to come on in and look around (albeit virtually!)

You’ve got to check out the Lucky Penny Video Tour if you’d like to see:

  • how I make a tiny table with the cutting board and a drawer,
  • or how my windowseat bed pulls out into a full-size bed with a skylight view of the rain and shooting stars,
  • or where I hid Raffi’s litter box

And, of course, if you’d like to actually come on in to have a cup of tea and see what it feels like to be inside, you can schedule a Tiny Tea Talk through Niche Consulting.

Anita Giant Journey Video TourAlso, I’m thrilled that Anita’s tiny house Lilypad has also been featured in one of Jenna and Guillaume’s tiny tours. It was such an honor doing concept design work with Anita. She is one of the most thoughtful and intentional people I know, so it was a delight helping her come up with the big ideas for her wee home. Her builder Walt Quade of Small Home Oregon did an excellent job bringing the design to life. Anita’s keen eye and her flair for Moroccan decor make this an incredible little house! Please do check out the Lilypad Video Tour, too!

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Lucky Penny’s Public Debut

Lucky Penny Skylight

Gabriel Craft captured this lovely photo of The Lucky Penny during the Tiny House Conference

What a busy couple weeks it’s been with So Much Tiny House Goodness! And along with that, lots of press. I was going to wait until those last pesky pieces of trim were finished before I shared photos officially. But everyone else has been excited to show off The Lucky Penny, too. So I think it’s safe to say that my beloved tiny house, The Lucky Penny, has made her public debut.


Billy Ulmer took this photo of Simply Home Community during a work party

Last week Billy of Unlikely Lives posted a story about Simply Home Community, our tiny house community. (If you’d like to learn more about each of the tiny houses, see the Big House, and learn how we set up (and what we’d do differently), please join us for our Tiny House Community Tour on Sunday, May 3! (And if you can’t, check out the video about Simply Home made by Jenna and Guillaume of Tiny House Giant Journey.)

Last Saturday morning I was interviewed at Tiny House Conference since I was one of the speakers. I had the opportunity to talk to a great many people about tiny house building basics. Stay tuned for a forthcoming video.

Small is BeautifulOn Saturday evening those who attended the Tiny House Conference got a sneak peek of Jeremy Beasley’s tiny house film, Small Is Beautiful. I have a cameo in the film, but the stars are my landies Ben Campbell and Karin Parramore. I’m so lucky to get to live with these fine folks at Simply Home Community! If you’d like to see the film, there are several screenings scheduled. It premiers in Seattle on May 5th, in Portland on May 7th, and in Boise on May 26th. You can also download the film.

Last Sunday morning I had a Japanese film crew at my house at 7AM capturing footage. Yuichi (an incredible treehouse builder) and his team are making a film about tiny house community. Needless to say, they were excited to talk to my landies and me. We were equally excited to talk to them as they’re a fabulous crew!

Tiny House Conference Speaker DinnerMonday Guillaume Dutilh and Jenna Spesard of Tiny House, Giant Journey did a video tour of The Lucky Penny. They’ve been traveling around the country in their tiny house, interviewing other tiny housers along the way. So delighted to have been a stop on their adventure! Stay tuned for the video tour which they hope to share soon. Meanwhile, here’s an awesome interactive photo Guillaume took when we were out to dinner during the conference (way cooler than the still above!)

Then Emily Udell told me that the Angie’s List article about unique homes went live. The story is called Small Space, Big Heart and they did a nice job capturing some of the highlights of the little life. You can find a link to the story on my press page.

And just today, Gabriel Craft posted some gorgeous photos of The Lucky Penny on Small & Tiny Home Ideas! I have to admit I’m preposterously proud that so many other people are excited to show off my house. The Lucky Penny is my largest art project to date and when I see these images it reminds me that I live inside a sculpture!

Check out my press page and stay tuned for more updates as these films and photos are edited!

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So Much Tiny House Goodness

Tiny House Conference TiniesThis month is jam-packed with tiny house goodness:

This weekend I’ll be participating in the Tiny House Conference, where I’ll be speaking about tiny house Building Basics and leading the Open Source session. I participated in the Tiny House Conference in Charlotte last year and it was a great chance to meet several of the bloggers I’d been following and corresponding with as well as hundreds of other tiny house enthusiasts. I’m thrilled to get to catch up with old friends and make new ones at the Tiny House Conference again! People are already starting to roll into town for the conference. Yesterday I saw Jeremy Beasley who created the film Small is Beautiful, which will be show at the conference. (I’m in it, but I haven’t yet seen it, so that will be a fun experience!)

But first, on Friday I’ll be participating in the Tiny House UnConference, which is a networking event to support tiny house businesses and innovation. I can’t wait to swap ideas and inspiration with other tiny house advocates!

And of course, on Friday afternoon there’s the Tiny House Mixer Extravaganza hosted by Caravan – The Tiny House Hotel and Portland Alternative Dwellings.

Angela & Lina SIPs April 25 WorkshopThe last weekend of the month I’ll be cohosting a Tiny House SIPs Wall Raising Workshop with Angela Ramseyer of MightyMicroBuilt. We’re working with a fabulous couple with whom I did design consultation, so it’s really exciting that we’ll be helping move their tiny dream into the next phase with the wall raising using a SIPs Kit from Artisan Tiny House. If you’d like to join us, please register for the workshop.

And the following weekend Simply Home Community is hosting a Tiny House Community Tour. We’ll be introducing tiny house community curious folks to how we created our tiny cohousing community.

And, of course, in amongst all THAT tiny house goodness I’ll also be doing some consultations and design work for space-efficient housing.

Hope to see you at some of these events!

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Tiny House SIPs Wall Raising Workshop

Lina & John with SIPsThink you might want to build your tiny house with SIPs? Ready for some practical, hands-on building experience? Want to have fun and feel empowered to build your own wee abode? 

I’m teaming up with Angela Ramseyer of MightyMicroBuilt to lead a 2-day SIPs Wall Raising Workshop the weekend of April 25-26, 2015 in Vancouver, WA (near Portland, OR).

In this two day workshop we will show you how to properly construct the shell of a tiny house using a Structural Insulated Panel (SIPs) kit from Artisan Tiny House. You’ll learn how to use a variety of hand tools and power tools as we install floor panels, wall panels, and roof panels for a tiny house on wheels.

Space is limited, so claim your spot in the 2-day SIPs Wall Raising Workshop.

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Upper Cabinet Trim

Upper Cabinet Trim

Like so many other owner-builders, I moved into my tiny house before it was completely finished. By the time it was livable, I was ready for a break! When my Move In Day & Housewarming took place in November, I hadn’t yet finished trimming out, but I was eager to find A Place for Everything. Sure, it was out of order to hang decorations before I’d finished trimming out that last window, but it turns out the trim wasn’t as critical for my everyday life as having my mason jar racks in place!

This weekend I finally:

  • installed the last beadboard panel under the upper cabinets,
  • ran the cords for my plug-in kitchen lights so I can turn on any of the four sets of lights with the flip of a switch,
  • trimmed out the window over my tansu,
  • hung my new curtains on curtain rings,
  • installed curtain hold-backs, and
  • added outside corner and scribe molding to the upper cabinets.

I also plugged in a string of lights above the upper cabinets which lights up the ceiling. The light string is on a timer so they turn on in the morning (as my first alarm clock) and again in the evening. When they turn off in the morning I know it’s time to head for work and when they turn off in the evening it’s time to wind down for bed. It’s much more pleasant cue than an alarm clock!

Trim projects still to come include the skylight box and the entryway. My landies and I are setting aside a day in a couple weekends to help each other with lingering projects, so it will be fun to see what more I can accomplish with a couple other sets of hands!

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Less Is More Presentation Day

2015-03-19 23.07.49Presentation Day at Yestermorrow is always a bit like Xmas morning for me. Dave and I posted our list on Wednesday evening, asking our students to incorporate context/site, floor plans, elevations, and sections and/or models into their Friday presentations. And we were up late with them on Thursday night. So it’s a little like sending a letter to Santa and then trying to stay up to catch him. (Several of our Less Is More students were still up at the eleventh hour when I called it a night!) But inevitably, some of the design magic happens after we’re fast asleep, visions of elegant details dancing in our heads. We never know exactly what we’ll find on the presentation board when the designs are pinned up of the following day, so it’s a wonderful surprise!

This morning our presentations began at nine and everyone presented his or her work and then receive feedback from their classmates and our reviewers. Paul Hanke and Kathy Meyer are both architects and seasoned Yestermorrow instructors, so they brought a fresh set of eyes and great insights.

It was a delight to see the designs our students developed over the course of the week, including:

  • Bert’s mobile house and studio
  • Carol’s historic barn to cottage conversion
  • Dani’s southern farmstead with indoor-outdoor rooms
  • Emily’s complex of yurt dwellings
  • Eric’s tiny house on a trailer with a unique roofline
  • Genevieve’s little house on the go
  • Jason’s timber-framed cabin
  • Luke & Katie’s renovation to create a cozy community
  • Matt’s caboose-inspired home, art studio, and apothecary
  • Max’s sailboat-inspired off-grid tiny home
  • Rick’s vardo as showman’s wagon

What an honor it is to teach at Yestermorrow and enjoy the company and creativity of such inspiring students!

I’m looking forward to my next week-long small home design course, which I’ll be co-teaching with John Labovitz in Portland, OR in November. Contact me if you’d like to be added to the notification list for more information!

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Less Is More Tours & Programming

2015-03-17 14.24.08We’re about to begin our third day of Yestermorrow‘s Less is More class, which is focused on small home design. The first two days had a similar itinerary: small home tours in the morning, afternoon design lessons, and evening presentation and studio time. (Today the high is supposed to be 17 degrees, so it’s probably just as well our tours have wrapped up!)

In just two days we’ve had the chance to explore seven homes, ranging from 200 to 2000 square feet. And while the larger homes are certainly not tiny (and I wouldn’t consider them small either), they did offer good ideas for clever storage, creative work-arounds, and matching layout to program. They also provided good fodder for last night’s discussion about design concepts that make small spaces seem larger. We now have good examples to point to as we discuss the strategies we’re using in our own small home designs. This group of students has been asking great questions and they do a wonderful job working together to understand the various considerations and trade-offs when designing a small space. I’m looking forward to seeing their designs evolve!

They’ve already begun exploring layouts both in our life-size mock up and on trace paper. Today we’ll continue the process with elevations and sections.

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Hello Again, Less Is More!

2015-03-15 20.12.56I’m back in snowy Vermont for more Yestermorrow goodness. I spent my weekend in the Design-Building a Successful Design-Build Business class, taught by Adam Cohen. He was a wealth of information and wisdom and I learned just as much from my classmates who were quick with questions and ideas.

Last night we started up another round of Less Is More: Designing the Small or Tiny House. I’m honored to be teaching with Dave Cain who is a creative designer, a bicycle adventurer, and an all-around great guy!

Last night we kicked-off class with introductions, complete with inspirational imagery and then we launched into our first design project. The photos in the gallery are the result of that exercise. We have an action-packed week lined up, including tiny house tours, programming, intro to drafting, presentations, and lots of (but never enough) studio time. Final presentations will be all day on Friday and I’m already eager to see what this creative bunch will come up with!

Follow along this week on our adventures! Meanwhile, you can read about last year’s class here: Welcome to Less Is More, Less Time, More Drafting, and Less Is More Presentations.

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