A Tiny House Addition!?

Macy M46 comments18087 views


I am coming up on my two year anniversary of living in the tiny house, I’m meeting my goal, a little slower than I thought I would but meeting it none-the-less!  I thought it would be hard to live in a tiny house, but I was committed (I was going to ‘make it work!’).  Hahahaha!  It’s NOT hard at all, it’s PERFECT!  Except… 2 things…

First, I miss having a project to work with my hands on!

Second, now we have a baby girl… she’s getting bigger every day, that alone isn’t an issue but James and I are talking about having another (shocker family, the big reveal ;-)).  The house works great now for the three of us, and it will for at least a couple more years, but TWO babies, two adults and a great dane… we are looking at expanding. SOOOO I’ve been working up a design!

I’ve often mentioned out ‘next project’ which will be a shipping container house.  I don’t quite have all the money saved for that just yet so this is an intermediate step that will allow us more space while still allowing us to save cashola.  On top of that we get to try out a couple things on a very tiny scale before committing to them on a larger shipping container home (like DIY sprayfoam insulation).  I have always kept in the back of my mind that I COULD expand the house by enclosing the back patio if needed.  I thought about this with Hazel but decided it wasn’t necessary, and I like my patio.  If there was more than Hazelnut then that thought process shifts a little.  Also, Denver may like having a place to get away from the turkey(s) while they are tugging at his face (he MIGHT claim bottom bunk!).  Here’s what I have:

Option one, Exterior:

I will fill in the exterior window opening on the backside (not shown) add a 30″ door to the back and a window on the passenger side allowing a, about 5 foot by 8 foot room.  I don’t want to just continue the exterior material and completely lose the form of my house, I rather like the look.  Instead I am thinking about offsetting the walls about three inches to create a shadow line and also changing the material.  I show corrugated but that’s not necessarily going to be it.  I think it makes me feel better to be able to see the original form and the addition, even though removing the existing siding on the patio would give me enough to reuse on the addition.

Tiny House Plan (2)

Option One, Interior:

I will construct custom, toddler sized bunk beds against the short side of my house with a pull out bench (for reading the kid books) and a toy drawer stored below, cabinets up above for rotating toys.  There is a dresser below the window across from the beds to house all the cloths and store some of those said books!

Tiny House Plan addon

Option two, exterior:

This is a lot the same but a bit different feng shui, the door is on the same side as the entry door and an off center window out the back

Tiny House Plan add opt 22



Option two, Interior:


This would incorporate steps up to the top bunk that double as storage.  I don’t think I like this layout as well but it’s always a good idea to consider the options 🙂
Tiny House Plan add opt 2

ON TOP OF THIS,  I want to fix some stuff that hasn’t held up as well as I hoped.  I used 3/8″ plywood for all of the cabinet doors hoping to save a little on weight, they all warped, I will be redoing those out of the standard 3/4″ boards.  Since I will be adding all this weight I want to also take the opportunity to remove the tile I installed and replace it with hardwood (the same stuff I’ve been trying to give away :)).  The tile is awesome in the summer, it really helps to keep the place cool but since its such a small area and I have two exterior doors there is a lot of thermal bridging so in the winter, unless I have the radiant heat turned on the floors stay ice cold.  I love the radiant heat but its not as efficient as I had hoped for, I’d like to not HAVE to keep it on at the risk of freezing little toes.  I think a wood floor will be a good (labor intensive but) free change since I still have some of that!

So, this is my spring project!  What’s on YOUR agenda 🙂 (of course thought on the design(s) and perspectives I may not have considered are greatly appreciated!)



    1. Maybe you should consider a typical bunk beds ladder saving space. You could use those high more horizontal windows(they crank open for ventilation when needed) across from the bunk beds since you will have full glass panes in the door for added light. It would give option one more storage space by being able to go higher on the wall with shelves/cubbies for all the stuff that comes with babies. You will love the idea of wood floors. If weight is an option I hear they now have some new light weight materials that look like wood and are very durable with animals for flooring. Don’t you love the radiant heated floors? I like the fact that you have space to expand your house and saw that potential right away. You could always extend the roofline to offer another shaded porch area later if you miss it. Good luck

        1. It may be just my thinking but I always thought putting a porch on the trailer was a waste of space but lots of people love their porches. my idea was to use a tongue trailer and use the tongue part for a porch then the porch can collapse when its time to move the house. 5th wheel trailers don’t have that option but they are easier to haul on the road. I still like your tiny home its very well done.

          1. thats a great idea! Yes a little problematic with a gooseneck but great idea none the less!

  1. Whoa! I totally understand your needing extra space to expand your family, but so many of us are in love with your existing home design, we’ll be a bit sad to see it altered 😉
    Good luck with it! And congratulations on your decision to grow your family some more!

  2. Oh, dear, Macy, I’d hate for you to lose your very distinctive patio/porch. It’s the main feature that makes your design so unique.
    I’m sorry! What did I just say? I think that you are the best inspiration by sharing 1.) What works; 2.) what you see as possible improvements to the things that you have changed your mind about; 3.) What you could do to adapt to different circumstances and life-choices; and 4.) showing us that we can change and adapt in a tiny house far more easily and economically when we’re tiny. Think of the cost and disruption if you were in a big house, or McMansion!
    Thanks, hon.


  3. From a safety perspective, I might lean towards option 2, though 1 definitely seems better as they get slightly bigger and able to handle a ladder.

  4. Hi, I’ve been a long time lurker, and your tiny house is one of my favorite tiny designs around.
    I just… I -have- to ask (and this is honest curiosity because I’ve seen it in more than one tiny house; not meant to criticize or anything, hope you don’t mind the question!), but why would you need two doors in a tiny house?

    Don’t get me wrong, with the current design it works great, allows for more light and looks lovely (even if I still don’t see the official use of it XD) as well as providing access to that beautiful patio, but… if you’re changing it for toddler’s bedroom, wouldn’t it be rather insecure to have a door to the outside in their room? And wouldn’t it be best it be a window instead from a design perspective as well, to maximize space you could use? (like say, space under the window, even if it’s not a lot?)
    I don’t know, it always seemed a bit counter productive to be adding more than one door to a tiny house; I’d really like to hear the reasoning behind it so I could better understand it. 🙂 I’m sure there’s something I’m missing about it. lol

    That said, I think both designs have merits. I personally like the stairs for the second better, but I think the first might be more fun for toddlers and provides better use of space.

    1. There is no need for it persay, I wanted two exits, I am partially fenced so I have a back door into a fenced area for denver and then the front door that isnt fenced. I want the door in the kids room in case I ever have an issue in the kitchen (where 90% of all the household catastrophes start), I want to be able to easily get in there to rescue. I can keep it safely locked otherwise and the door in either location can be easily seen from the rest of the house which makes it a little safer, along with the part where it will only be accessed through a 150# dog’s yard 🙂

      1. Haha, right! That makes sense, I can see why you’d want two doors. Thanks for taking the time to answer all the comments. 🙂 I really enjoy your blog~ looking forward to reading/seeing your new projects!

  5. Very smart! I love this design, I always wondered why you went with the porch design and not an enclosed extra space which in my opinion it is something you will always utilize. One thing I dont agree with is the door in that space and a window of that size; a door to the outside in a small child’s room for security purposes may be a liability not to mention a window of that size. Go with side-wall skyline windows higher up and closer to the ceiling to bring the necessary light during the day. I would also go with a set of porthole windows tiny enough that nothing can be moved in or out other than venting air.

    1. the window is 2×3′ its a slider so there is only about 18×18 inch opening, the door I want to have incase I have a problem and need to rescue a child. Most issues occur in a kitchen and this is on the far side of the kitchen, it’s important that I am able to rescue if needed, the doors can be easily seen from the rest of the house so it keeps the threat of intruders down. I like the portholes idea though!

      1. You are among many things a pioneer! Thank you for opening your life to us!!!

        I see why you would go with the door, im just a fan of security; please consider a door with less glass if you can. I know the look will definitly affect which door you select but more importantly is your safety and your family.

        Thanks Macy

        Steven J

        1. I agree with you, I may go a different route for the safety reason, it was just easy to use one I already had modeled! 🙂

  6. And BTW congrats on the new edition! I will always say this about you and your husband; you inspire us all!!!! I say go with the change, it is very smart of you to use what you already have and make it work. I am a die hard NYC-an, living small for us is a way of life. Seems liek we share everything here.

    I am looking forward to the youtube videos of your construction!!!!!

    And more importantly your cost cutting solutions…

  7. I like the look of option one better also, however as a child I lived on the top bunk and appreciated the I guess it was a large foot locker sitting right next to the beds it was the easiest way up for me. I stepped on the lower bunk then the locker then up I went. Just something to consider. It doesn’t need to be the stairs maybe just put the dresser there and the little ones will figure out what works best for them. It is a great use of space though and I have loved your design. Look forward to seeing it come together.

  8. I think yours is the only design I’ve seen with two exterior doors. If you decided you didn’t need the second door that might also give you a little more freedom to design the space. With a window on the back wall you could still get good cross-ventilation. I still love your design the best of all the tiny homes I’ve seen. It is the most open and I really appreciate the lack of a ladder to get into a (to my mind, claustrophobic) sleeping loft.

    1. Thank you Susan, I want the second door to be able to make a rescue if needed, I’d worry with the kitchen being between my kids and I… its where most accidents occur and I want to be able to get them out! 🙂

  9. I love your tiny little house, and the way it keeps evolving as your needs change.

    I like the first design better for the layout and the direct line of sight lighting, I think it would make the house seem more spacious.

    I also prefer the way the first addition looks on the outside, as well. My OCD would kick in because the window on the second option addition is off centre. It would drive me nuts.

    Plus, if you ever had to move out your mattress it would be a straight shot out the end door as opposed to trying to get it around corners. (but really how often would you need to move your mattress, that’s just me I think of weird things like that, )

    I would also put shelves on either side of the window above the dresser. (more storage for the books).

    Love hearing about your adventures!!

  10. Here’s a suggestion… I would divide the space under the bed into thirds, on the two outside thirds I would build in 2 large wheeled pull-out drawers (all the way to the back of the bed to the wall) for the toys and then in the middle third I would put a shorter storage cube with a flat 3-4 inch cushion on top with a handle on the front, so that it can be pulled out from under the bed and that would be your story stool, you could put lighter items in that one so that it wouldn’t be too heavy to pull in and out on a nightly basis and this would maximize storage for the area…

    (I wouldn’t put wheels on the story stool for safety’s sake, put you could put felt on the bottom to make it slide easier).

    I’m a bit of a storage freak…

    1. That is just about what I had in mind but in reverse, the middle is a toy box and two small stools on the outsides (for mom and dad :). Great idea on the felt though instead of wheels! I hadnt thought of that!

  11. I vote option one. I guess number two would cosleep for a while giving hazel time on the bottom bunk and a while to perfect the ladder climbing. Your patio is great but I love that you’ve found such an awesome way to modify your tiny house to your growing family, I think that will inspire a lot of other family thinking people too.

  12. Wow! You have the same future house plans as I do! Except you’re much further along than me and already living in your tiny home. I’m saving up to start building my tiny home with my boyfriend next year but it all stemmed from wanting to build a container house! 😀 I do social media for The Container Bar in Austin, Tx and I’ve always loved the concept. Adore your blog and so glad I have it as such a valuable resource as we continue down our tiny home path. Good luck with everything and look forward to seeing what plan you choose!
    Lauren Jade

  13. I love you idea to expand! Omg it completely works and looks beautiful! However as a mother of two, and two grand children, I would just like to throw some things I’ve noticed about little ones. 1st Little ones love steps!!! Love love love steps! Stairs are like a play ground inside:) and 2nd. Doors and unsupervised children, BAD!!!!! Oh the stories I have. My two year old got a doorknob off with a butter knife I didn’t know she had. I my. Oh so meny stories. You do amazing work. Anything you do will turn out stunning. Congrats on all of your happy news, and wonderful life:)

  14. I wanted to say three things. First I love that you are living proof that a tiny home can work even in the face of a growing family. Sharing you’re what has worked well and not so well is such a wonderful gift, thank you.

    Second: Take it from someone whose been there they don’t stay toddler’s for long it goes by incredibly fast. You may want to plan on space for twin size beds even though it’s your plan to be in the container home by the time they would need that.

    Third: I like the first design mostly because I see the “dresser” doubling as a changing table.

    Well maybe I have a little more to say, lol. We are 50+ year old folks that didn’t go this route but really appreciate the wisdom of living with less. I’m a sculptor so studio space and a collection of kilns are just some of things that have us spread out and plagued by being controlled by our stuff. We also have 3 big dogs and 3 cats, not to mention one son that is staying with us while he gets a nest egg saved up to get started.

    We have spent our life paying off that mortgage that you were smart to avoid. Now we are wondering what retirement is going to look like and had thought for many years we would buy an old motor home and travel, but pricing one that we could really live in looks like it would suck the life out of the savings that is supposed to take us through the rest of our life. Plus it seems more like another one of those excessive possessions. A solution to that dilemma that we’ve been thinking about is your design with a few alterations that would make it an RV, i.e. water tanks located under the bed or in front of it where you have storage. Our tiny home dream might just be a bit more mobile than yours.

  15. love your house. it is absolutely beautiful. in regards to the addition which it is needed. 1. no door to the outside in a kids’ room. 2. leave the window you already have and build the bunk beds in the long wall (maybe you build something bigger later maybe you don’t). 3. now you have two tall walls on either side of the door to build both a small dress (changing table) and a small closet for the kids.

    1. This is why I want a door in the addition, http://www.ktvb.com/story/news/local/2014/12/09/deadbolt-trapped-kids-in-deadly-rv-fire/20166015/. I want access to my kids IN CASE anything happens. most hazards in a house occur in the kitchen, the kitchen is inbetween me and their sleeping quarters. The door will remain locked and is only accessed through our back door, behind a fence, it is a must for me though I am afraid… I thought about doing twin sized bunk beds out back BUT that would leave about 11 inches for the smaller dresser and changing table and the bed size is just not needed for a while. By the time it is James and I will be moved on to our next adventure… It could certainly happen that way for some people, it would maybe work better/longer but there are better fits for our particular situation, for now.

  16. Floor plan wise — Option one. Might consider switching bed to the high side of the trailer with dresser (on felt) underneath… with short (removable) ladder hung up on wall during the day, clipped onto bed frame for getting into bed at night… Sliding out the dresser creates a place for parents to sit for story time if you build a little flip up/flip down bed rail… Chair and a half and short floor lamp opposite (on the low side) for snuggle time and cuddles when ill or whatever… (With the slide out dresser there will also be a bit of space behind, perhaps for rubbermaid tubs of out of season clothing)…

    1. we will have some slide out stools under the bottom bunk for us to sit on and read at night 🙂 I want to preserve the high ceilings as much as I can, it really makes the space ‘feel’ bigger, I don’t think the quality of experience would be the same without that and it will be bunk beds on the short side (crib on bottom, toddler bet on top) I don’t think there is room for that and a dresser on one side, and I don’t want Hazel THAT high up :). We can always cuddle 6 steps away in the living room! 🙂

  17. I Love your Home and creativity! My hubby and I are researching tiny homes, and hopefully soon will start constructing our own. I think your #1 choice for a room addition is wonderful. As a mom of three, I can safely say I would not be able to put my kids in a bed room that has an “outside door” again. I made this mistake once, I woke up at 3am hearing my kids yelling and laughing “outside”. It was snowing so they decided to go out and play in it ! It took me almost 2 hours to dry them off, get them back to bed, and clean up the wet mess they left on the floor. What if Mom and Dad take the new room with the door, and the little one(s) get your old bed room? Would that work for you? Just an idea 🙂 Good Luck with renovations! 🙂 Please keep us posted !!

    1. Oh my gosh, thats nuts, crazy kiddos! Hopefully things can stay under control. It is mostly for safety that I want access, I read a story and it is my worst nightmare, https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffingtonpost.com%2F2014%2F12%2F11%2Fheather-green-sons-comfort-fire_n_6310330.html&ei=iY00VYK_J9PXoASZyYC4Aw&usg=AFQjCNEWXXiNnrjdgYFivcoxZkn_ut0Vbw&sig2=avRb_yKPVnaO9KGDQ3wzwQ, there are things that can go wrong, I don’t want the kitchen (most likely place to cause an issue_ between me and my kids, I feel like I NEED access to them, I feel stronger about that that I will work with the outside door, it can stay locked and kid proofed, but I NEED access in case. 🙂 James and I couldn’t do a twin bed… that is all that will fit in that room so they will have to suck it up… in reality we totally know they will be finding their way to our loft as much as they can… its what kids do… 🙂

      1. Option three is to add an expandable ” Room Roll Out ” as a retro fit to the right rear of your Th. I drew a different reconfiguration for the TH designed by Gabriella at hOMe and both she and her husband were ecstatic. I added two ” RROs” to their floor plan without disturbing the rear of their TH and the difference that it made was like night and day. Please let me know if there is any interest as I want to complete the feasibility study for future retro fits on existing THOWs. The size would be approximately 7′ by 4′ or 28 square feet. Personally, I would consider another bump out for the kitchen too with a separate ” RRO “. That would be 8-10′ by 4′ or approximately 32-40 square feet. The sum would add up to 65 square feet without affecting the rest of your floor plan. This change would add to not take away from your wonderful home. Jay

        1. That is an idea, for me I don’t have the side space to put a ROR but also I want direct views so I can see when the monsters are getting into trouble. I had designed it originally to be able to accommodate things exactly how I have, but for some its a good option.

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