Recycled Materials (150)

Handcrafted Heirloom Tiny House



When constructing a tiny house on wheels, we are presented with a unique opportunity to add materials and fittings which we may not be able to afford were we constructing a larger home. Reducing the size of a home also means reducing the amount of materials which are required to build it and therefore gives us an opportunity to use higher quality, longer-lasting materials. Putting hardwood floors down in a 5-bedroom family home would be an extreme cost, but when you’re only placing them in a tiny house on wheels, then all of a sudden that becomes achievable. When Alex and Emmie, a young couple from Ojai, California decided to build their tiny house, they chose to truly craft it as an heirloom, utilising high-quality, sustainably sourced materials to build their home in a way that it would stand the test of time, and be a treasure which they could pass down to future generations.

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Curved-Roof Shed


This is 10′ by 10′. Rafters made of four 1″ by 4″ by ⅜″ redwood bender board, 16′ long, bent, glued and clamped together. Roof sheathing is 1 × 6 redwood fence boards from Home Depot. Siding is ⅜″ rough-sawn exterior DF plywood. Eventually I’ll panel the inside with used fence boards. Flooring is used yellow pine T&G from Heritage Salvage in Petaluma. Windows (used) from Urban Ore in Berkeley.

Billy Cummings has done most of the work here, including cutting and fitting double-wall polycarbonate greenhouse glazing under the curved eaves.

Next step is to build a sliding door for one half of the end wall shown here so a bed can be rolled out onto the deck for nighttime star gazing. Jay Nelson built a sliding door for his shop that gave me the idea.

Note: A curved roof is infinitely more time-consuming (in many ways) as compared with, say, a shed roof or a gable roof. BUT the space underneath is wonderful and something I highly recommend for tiny homes. If you take the time to build a roof like this, it will give you a feeling of spaciousness and avoid the claustrophobia of small spaces. Curved roofs are the secret to the good feeling in Gypsy wagons (vardos).

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The Sugar Shack by Bill Castle

The entire structure is built with salvaged material.

…The theme of our eco-resort has always been Adirondack Style, which translates to “built with time and no money.” Our resort is surrounded 56,000 acres of New York State Forest lands and each year we renew our contract with the state to harvest “dead and down trees.” It’s like building structures in the middle of Mother Nature’s lumberyard.

The newest edition is The Sugar Shack, nestled in the wilderness, but with homey conveniences. The floor plan is 12′ × 16′, and includes a bedroom/living room, kitchenette, gravity-fed spring shower, composting toilet, and a cozy fireplace…

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Beautiful Camper Built by Jay Nelson

…It’s on a 1986 long-bed Toyota truck that I converted to a flat bed; the shell can slide off by removing 4 bolts. It has a basic kitchen: single burner, sink with water pump, and a cooler. The bed cantilevers over the cab: it’s 6 feet long and folds into a sofa. The frame is all recycled redwood; the skin is ¼″ plywood with bio-epoxy resin and fiberglass. It’s insulated and weighs around 400 pounds…

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Wooden Home on California Coast

Having some training in natural building, as well as conventional building, and armed with a bookcase full of prior Lloyd Kahn / Shelter Publications books, I began the process of designing and building a small, yet comfortable, home for me and my family. I began salvaging and repurposing that which others left behind. Being a woodworker by trade and owning a sawmill, it soon became obvious that there were tremendous local resources to be had. Although not completely finished (Is it ever?), the house is currently being lived in and fully enjoyed by my wife, two boys, and me.

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Circle Madness

Old guys at work. 153 years of age total here. Billy and I have worked together off and on for 47 years.

I’ve wanted to build a curved roof for a long time. I finally did it, with help from Billy Cummings. For the 6 rafters, we glued together 4 pieces of redwood bender board — 16′ long, 1″ by 4″, ⅜″ thick, using a jig laid out on the floor, with Titebond wood glue, and clamping every foot or so. It was a pretty tedious process, we could only do one a day.

We got the rafters in place, Billy did the blocking on the plates, and we used 1×8 rough redwood fence boards for the sheathing. Yesterday we put down the flooring — used shiplap pine from Heritage Salvage. It looks (and feels) great.

There’s nothing like a curved roof, especially with a tiny home; it gives you a feeling of spaciousness. This is the roof shape in gypsy wagons — vardos.

This is 10′ by 10′. If I did it over, I would make it rectangular, like 8 by 12 or 8 by 14. I’m going to put a bed inside on wheels, that can be rolled out on the deck to sleep out under the stars. I’m still figuring out where to put windows.

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Boathouse Built by Dean Ellis

This is a graceful little steel-framed boathouse that Dean built on the beach. Posts are 4″-5″ square steel, 8′ on center. The steel purlins are 2½″ steel tubes. The 1″×6″ sheathing is welded to the steel purlins with nails. Photo by @lloyd.kahn

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Tiny House Truck Made from Salvaged Materials



This beautiful tiny house on wheels was constructed on the back of an old Bedford truck. It’s off the grid, using solar power for energy and was built almost entirely from salvaged or reclaimed materials.

The tiny home’s interior is stunning and packed with timber, giving it a wonderfully warm and welcoming feeling. There’s a large lounge space with wood-burning stove and a decent-sized kitchen for this couple who love to cook…

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Off–Grid Tiny House



This tiny house has everything this young couple needs. It’s set up to be completely off the grid, running on renewable energies. The home has solar power, captures it’s own rain water, uses solar water heating and even generates it’s own gas via a bio gas digester.

The bio gas digester works to turn household food scraps and garden waste into useable gas, which the couple can use for cooking and could also be used for heating water for the home. Living off the grid in this remote location, it helps the couple to be even more self-reliant.

Inside, the home has absolutely everything the couple need. The design of the home is light and open plan, with kitchen, bathroom, lounge, office and storage stairs which lead into the loft…

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Small Home Made from Hemp



This beautiful small family home has a very special story to tell. Designed by architect Michael Leung and his wife Tiffany for their young family, the 60m2 (646 sq. ft.) house is actually constructed from hemp. The couple chose to use hempcrete for their home after searching for healthy, non-toxic building materials.

Hemp is an incredibly versatile plant, that unfortunately has been unfairly demonized over recent years. Essentially hemp is a low-THC version of the Cannabis sativa plant, now colloquially referred to as marijuana. This amazingly versatile plant has many uses, including medicine, food, clothing, and much more. One of the many uses of the plant, which is now being explored more in depth, is for building.

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