2009 Tiny House Construction Workshop

Posted March 1st, 2010 by Tammy "RowdyKittens" and filed in Issue 16: How To Design & Build a Home

Our night in the tiny house!1Last year, we attended the Little House Construction Workshop in Portland, Oregon. In this article, I’ll talk what we did in the workshop and the good humans we met along the way.


Dee is my tiny house hero. You’ve probably heard about Dee’s tiny house adventures. She’s been interviewed by NPR, Good Morning America, MSNBC, and a variety of other local media outlets about her experiments with voluntary simplicity. She built her tiny house for $10,000 in about 3 months, using mostly recycled building materials.

Katy Anderson rocks. She’s been in the trades for over 20 years and defines her work as “Finish Carpentry”. Katy recently graduated from a two-year program at the School of the Redwoods in Fort Bragg, California. It was great talking with Katy about her experience and her future plans.

Dee and Katy recently started their own tiny house company called, Portland Alternative Dwellings.

The Workshop

Logan and I have been pondering building our own tiny home and this was the perfect opportunity to learn from two experienced builders.

KT and Logan_Powertool funI loved the structure of the class; it was all about active learning and contained an incredible amount of valuable information. We learned about general construction techniques, how to stay safe with power tools, discussed building codes and built the foundation of a tiny mobile office.

It was great to see two amazing women leading the workshop. I’ve always been scared to use power tools, but I walked away from the workshop feeling confident. I think Logan and I could build our own tiny home. We still need to do more research, find the time and people to help us. Even if we don’t build the home ourselves, the workshop equipped us with basic knowledge that will help us if we hire a contractor. And I can start scavenging for materials to use in our tiny home.

We didn’t talk a lot about design and that’s okay because I was more interested in learning about construction basic’s. But Dee did mention the importance of design and considering your needs. She recommended Jay Shafer’s workshop for learning about design and material choices.

Logan and I have been bickering about the style of our tiny house. So we both really enjoyed Dee’s analogy of tiny homes to clothing. She mentioned how important it was to “try on” different styles to see if they fit your body type and personal habits. I lean toward a house design similar to Dee’s and Logan is more partial toward the Naked Galapagos.

Dee and Katy’s main message was to start talking about these things now rather than waiting until the building starts.

The finished product turned out great!

Future Workshops

If Dee and Katy host more workshops, I’d highly recommend signing up for their class. Learning about construction techniques, tool use, and connecting with fellow tiny house enthusiasts was incredible.