Have you caught the tiny house bug? Maybe you’re tired of living with so much stuff. Maybe you long for a simpler existence. Perhaps you want to be more efficient, or to live without a 30-year mortgage hanging over your head. These are just a few of the myriad reasons people choose to go the tiny house route.
Suffice to say, transitioning to a tiny house is not a choice to be made lightly. It’s a radical change for the average American. We have constructed this article to help you make an informed decision before downsizing. Thankfully, there are plenty of excellent books written on the subject. The best tiny house books offer inspiration, information, guidance and more. We’ve compiled a list of the best options for you.
Tiny Houses by Mimi Zeiger
Available only in hardcover, Tiny Houses gives readers a look at homes under 1,000 square feet. The houses showcased range dramatically in style and type, from tree houses to floating houses. The author takes readers on a visual journey through the tiny house movement, but also challenges them to analyze their own homes to determine just how much of that space they actively utilize. All the homes listed in this book are part of the “microgreen” lifestyle, combining innovation, ingenuity and a passion for living with a smaller impact on the planet.
Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter by Lloyd Kahn
Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter by Lloyd Kahn is an in-depth look at the breadth of the tiny house movement. Available as a paperback, the book features 1,300 pictures of homes ranging from prefabricated to handmade to kit options and everything in between. It also showcases more than 150 different homebuilders who have created tiny homes under 500 square feet. Threaded through the photos are stories, thoughts and the inspiration of builders, both professional and do it yourself. This is an excellent book for anyone looking to get a handle on the international tiny house movement, and showcases innovative urban, suburban and rural homes that defy convention.
Ever wonder how people cram their entire lives into a tiny home? Wonder no more. Tiny House Living: Ideas for Building and Living Well in Less than 400 Square Feet highlights tiny homes, but it also covers other facets of the lifestyle, from appliances to fixtures to furniture and everything in between. Available as a paperback and as a Kindle book (also listed with KindleUnlimited), this book is more than just a photographic journey – it provides prospective tiny house owners with the tools necessary to start planning their new lives. It includes full photographic tours of 11 tiny houses and their stories, but it also offers worksheets and exercises to help pare down your life. Strategies for cutting out clutter and zoning law guidance are also included, as are design tricks for those hoping to build their own tiny house.
Micro Green: Tiny Houses in Nature by Mimi Zeiger
This is Zeiger’s second book on this list, and it is no coincidence. The author takes readers on a journey through some of the greenest, most environment-blending tiny homes on the planet. Not only does this book highlight tiny green houses, but it explores the concept of what microgreen actually means. It also includes full building plans for many of the homes showcased within the book. If you have ever dreamed of living in a tiny house that blends perfectly with the natural environment, embracing rather than crushing nature, this is the book for you.
Small Eco Houses: Living Green in Style by Cristina Paredes Benitez & Alex Sanchez Vidiella
Available as a paperback, Small Eco Houses: Living Green in Style showcases some of the most innovative green tiny homes on the planet. The book covers over 50 different homes with full-color, stunning photography. Readers will find secluded homes set in the woods, as well as those hiding in plain sight in urban areas. All share a green bent, and a focus on modern style. Thoughtful, beautiful and evocative, this book will inspire and delight, but also serves to highlight just how stylish green living can be.
The Small House Book by Jay Shafer
Without Jay Shafer there might not be a tiny house movement in the United States. He has arguably done more to promote the movement than any single person. While Jay has a number of books out, The Small House is one of his best. It’s available as both a paperback and a Kindle book, and shatters myths surrounding the housing industry. Ideal for anyone who is contemplating going small but hasn’t yet made the leap, this book offers solid research, and an honest portrayal of what is wrong with not only the housing industry, but by relation our very society. It also covers more practical matters, like why building on a trailer is so important, as well as sequential steps needed to construct your very own tiny house with pictures from Jay.
Intermodal Shipping Container Small Steel Buildings by Paul Sawyers
This book is available as a paperback and as a Kindle book, and provides readers with an introduction to the world of shipping container conversion. This book is actually far more interesting than the rather drab cover. Shipping containers are affordable, widely available, and can be converted into tiny homes with surprisingly little effort. It also includes strategies for cutting costs (up to 40% over conventional construction), as well as photographs, plans, diagrams and schematics to help you transform any used shipping container into a tiny house or home addition.
The Big Tiny by Dee Williams
Available in kindle, paperback, hardcover, mp3 cd, and audible format, The Big Tiny is a poignant memoir of how a woman shed the unnecessary trappings of life after a mid-life health scare. She moved into an 84 square foot tiny house that she built with her own hands. The change allowed her more time to spend with her friends and family, while learning more about her true nature. The Big Tiny is a fun read about an inspirational journey sure to touch all who read it.
You can view the TEDx talk from Dee Williams here:
Minimalism is what the tiny house movement is all about. Too many of us have become slaves to stuff. Unfortunately, we have never seen anyone else do it differently. Human nature dictates that we are inherently afraid of the unknown. Minimalist is a highly informative book that can make the trail to positive change less scary. When reduce the crap in our lives we tend to learn more about ourselves than we ever thought possible. I encourage you to download this book on your Kindle today.
These are the best tiny house books available to inspire you along your journey. Tiny living is likely to benefit you and the Earth. The tips, designs and stories in these books will help you on your way.