Category Archives: Alternative housing

Get Involved! MeetUp!

As this tiny house thing gets big you may want to get involved more, or at least show your support!  I encourage you to do so by starting or joining a group on  This is simple and easy to do, go to, search ‘tiny house’ in your area.  If there isn’t a group in your area start one!  Alternatively you can go to, see if there is a group linked there (blue tab, social event) and join there!  If you started your own I encourage you to post a link there as well!

Meetup Map

The reasons to join/start a meetup group are as follows:

  • This can effect change on the local level.  It gets a group of supporters together whom can be contacted to come show up and show support at the city level if/when needed to push change in the building department.  (most cases you only need to show up to show support, not actually speak!)
  • It keeps the dream alive by getting contacts near you whom you can hang out with and talk tiny with.
  • You can have work parties where you can help others and learn skills for your own build!

If you are the organizer of one of these groups you certainly do not have to go it on your own, ask others to become co-organizers and open it up to all members to hold ‘events’.  If you need ideas here are some that we have used and that I’ve heard of from others:

  • Have a movie night, there are a couple Tiny movies out there now, TINY: A Story About Living Small (it’s currently on Netflicks). We The Tiny House People, on Youtube.  BYOB, movie/chatting is a great event you can do even without a build!
  • Meet at a local restaurant to talk about tiny house plans and mingle!  Talk about challenges, plans, inspirations, dreams, goals, timelines, etc.
  • Have a BBQ/house party, doing the same things.
  • Organize a tiny house tour in your city, or even a small house tour.  I’ve noticed people living in small/tiny houses seem very open to sharing their lifestyle and opening their door to those interested.  Knock on a door and ask if they’d be open to having a group come through.  worst they will say is no, but they will still have been flattered!
  • If you have a tiny house near you organize an open house!  I personally do this 3-4 times a year, its a great opportunity to let others see and get a feel for if a tiny house is doable for them!
  • If you have  tiny home builder near you organize an open house with them when they complete their current build.
  • Have a build party, at various phases of your build, let others lend a hand in exchange for getting to borrow their hands!  (other hands come in handy at times!)
  • Organize professionals to come and talk about their profession as it applies to tiny.  Have an electrician in your group, let them talk about their field as it applies to tiny homes, plumbing?  Roofing? Framing? etc.?  We can learn a lot from one and other! Organize an opportunity for that to happen!
  • What other ideas do you have to do with a bunch of possible ‘strangers’ for a MeetUp get together?! (leave your ideas in the comments!)

Eventually one of us will need the support of many to be able to alter codes to allow a tiny house lifestyle.  When that comes up it will be invaluable to be able to ask for help from your known supporters to just come and show up, to show others in the position of power that there are a LOT of people behind this movement and that things need to change to incorporate this option.  Why not have some fun along the way with like minded people!

Reach out, locally!

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Jay Shafer is Doing a Workshop! Oct. 4

Jay Shafer

I got a pleasant email the other day and just wanted to pass on the info for anyone that may be in the bay area.  Jay Shafer from Four Lights (He comments on MY blog one time, it was a highlight of this whole adventure!)  is doing a reasonably priced workshop at his house!  You get info, a tour of his house and a tour of BA’s house (and maybe you get to meet her dog too!?)  I haven’t seen Jay doing a workshop in a while and I am happy to see him back at it!

Here’s the info:

‘I want to present a local workshop for Bay Area Meetups’ – Jay Shafer

​October 4th, 2014, Graton, CA (just west of Santa Rosa)​

​”​There’s a lot of erroneous building information being bandied about in the small house world these days, and half of it originated with me. When I designed and built my first tiny house I knew virtually nothing. Now, it seems like I know almost all there is to know about wee abodes and little about anything else. It pains me to see folks building big problems into their little houses because they got some bad information from someone who seemed like they knew what they were talking about. 

Because I am limiting the gig to 6 1/2 hours plus another hour 1/2 for lunch in the middle and hosting at my in Graton (near Sebastopol, CA) instead of me and my Power Point show flying out to some fancy-shmanzy conference room somewhere, I can swing it for $140 per person, instead of the usual higher rate. As an added bonus, we could spend the last 40 minutes of the day touring my tiny house.  And BA says she will open her tiny house for tour for 30 minutes in the morning.)

I’d cover building, design and regulations, and there will  be a lot of time for Q&A, since the barrage of questions I was getting at Alek’s recent gig is what spurred this idea in the first place.  I won’t limit the event to just Bay Area Meetup people, but that is likely where the bulk of folks would probably be coming from. I’ll send this idea off to the East Bay Claustrophiles now too.  Anyone is welcome to attend, however.

I’m looking forward to this workshop format – local and more casual than my usual workshops.  Thank you! “~Jay Shafer

It was also mentioned that “if someone from out of town is interested in attending but can’t make it in person, I would suggest leaving a message on the Meetup page letting Jay know they can’t be there in person but would like to Skype in if possible. If there are enough people interested in that option, I think he’ll make it happen.”  So there is that!