The One Book You Should Read Before Ever Considering Buying a Tiny House

Ann Lien
Photo credit: The Joy of Tiny House Living

From House Beautiful

I am certifiably obsessed with tiny houses. I’ve probably looked at hundreds-maybe even thousands-of YouTube videos and read several books about them (most are meh). So believe me when I tell you that The Joy of Tiny House Living by Chris Schapdick is, hands down, the BEST tiny house book you will ever read, or need. It is basically a step-by-step manual of what to consider if you want to build and live in a tiny house.

A former corporate employee who quit his career to build a tiny house for himself and his daughter, Schapdick knows firsthand what’s involved. And now that he creates them for a living, he knows exactly how to guide you in building yours.

We’re not talking just about general ideas, like how big you want your trailer or whether you want a sleeping loft versus a bed on the ground floor. We’re talking EVERYTHING you need to know-even before you begin. Seriously, it leaves nothing out.

Schapdick starts by making you really think about why you want to live in a tiny house. Then he tells you how you can meet all your needs and goals in the right way, so you aren’t crying with regret thousands of dollars later-or forced to live with something you hate every time you look at it. The first chapter alone is about conceiving and planning.

Photo credit: The Joy of Tiny House Living

After that, he breaks it all down into checklists. For example, what to consider if you want to build it yourself or hire a contractor to do it for you-or a combo of the two. Also, what are the different kinds of roofs, toilets, insulation, etc., you can have, and what the pros and cons are of each.

He also sprinkles fascinating tidbits throughout, like the fact that slow cookers aren’t a great idea for a super-tiny house because the amount of condensation over a long period of time actually makes your tiny house humid and stuffy. Who knew?

Photo credit: The Joy of Tiny House Living
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

It’s a lot of info, but presented in a clear, easy-to-digest way, with plenty of photos. You never feel overwhelmed.

If you’re thinking about building a tiny house, you’ll definitely want to read this first! The book comes out July 8, but you can preorder now. If you want more of a prefab home instead, check out this pop-up A frame or browse through our gallery of 40 houses and sheds you can order straight off of Amazon.

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