Mark And Adina Smith’s Tiny Home

Welcome to our Tiny Home website. The only tiny home we know of with a basement, an attic, a plant garden (all in the tiny house) and a garage (garage is separate but built to match the house - almost like a tiny tiny tiny house-shed)! I built the house basically by myself at 61 years old and in 6 months.

We planned on building this house 3 years before the actual building process started. We drew up our own plans about 6 months before buying the trailer. These plans changed several times right up to and during the building.

The great thing about building our own home is that we customized it according to our lifestyle. We were able to do that when drawing up our plans but as we progressed in the building process, we had to change a few things around, mostly based on limitation of space when placing appliances in the plan.

Adina (AKA Donna) and I were in a Habitat For Humanity Re-Store one day looking for items to use in our tiny house and the first thing we saw was this Dutch door. We bought that and a bathroom mirror before we even ordered the trailer!

The 8’6” X 24’ trailer was special ordered to my specifications with extension steel flanges and a scissor jack placed at all four corners of the trailer. The flanges extended the bed width of the trailer to the outside dimensions of the wheel wells bringing the total width to 13’6” (the legal width allowed on the road without special permit). The jacks are not able to handle the finished tiny house weight on each corner but they do help in stabilizing the leveling process.

We bought the trailer in the middle of October 2015. The building started within the week following.

Our son Brian took a week’s vacation from his job to help me with the foundation construction which was the heaviest work of the whole project. Our other son Dan also helped one day with the foundation that week. A friend, Larry Tomlinson, drove 2 hours at the end of one day to help Brian and I stand up the outside walls. (Adina used the framing nail gun to nail the walls together in the corners - good job honey!) Brian helped one other day to help me attach the 4 X 8 beadboard to the ceiling. I could not have done this part of the project without this help. Everything else I did by myself.

Also, Pacific West Associates, Inc. monitored the whole project from beginning to end to make sure I stayed RVIA compliant. I sent them pictures of each step as I progressed to make sure I was building our house to the RVIA codes. They were vital in my understanding certain code restrictions I would not have otherwise known. Within days of completion they sent me my certification. I recommend any person seeking to build their own tiny house to talk to them first.

We have also sent the title to our trailer to the Oklahoma (we are permanent residents of Oklahoma) Tax Commission / Motor Vehicle Title Division with an ‘Affidavit of Assembly and Ownership for Automobile / Truck / Travel Trailer and they will give us a new title and VIN number registering our tiny house as a travel trailer.

When this final process is done we will have papers showing our tiny house is both an RV and a travel trailer.

Adina and I moved into our tiny house on April 24, 2016 - six months after starting the build. As of the writing of this webpage we have been in for three months and loving every minute of it. There have been a few adjustments and I still have a couple of things I’m working on but over all we would not change a thing.

So… in the first paragraph I mentioned that we have a basement, an attic, a plant garden and a garage. Lets take a look at those four unique items to a tiny house.

The first is the basement. The #1 complaint or negative so to speak of tiny houses is that you have to get rid of all your stuff - downsize and only have two pair of underwear! No, no, no we say - NO! We like our stuff! Ok yes we downsized much more than we kept. But having to get rid of all our children’s memorabilia and past family stuff that is just absolutely impossible to throw away or give to a thrift store is not going to happen.

I designed our tiny house to have one foot of space between the floor and the actual trailer from the front of the trailer to the back. Setting on the trailer is the flat 2 X 4 bottom plate with a 2 X 12 nailed to the outside edge. The entire foundation unit is then bolted around the perimeter to the metal flange with 1/2” lag bolts (and get this overkill!) one every foot! There is 18” between (not on center) each 2 X 6 floor joist. We found ‘ZipLock’ bins with insulated lids that are 17 1/2” wide, 23 1/2” long and 11 1/2” tall.

There are 11 open channels between the floor joists. With three bins per channel we ended up with 33 bins of insulated storage bins under our tiny house floor. Basically we have around 120 cubic feet of ‘basement’ storage! The floor to the tiny house has a panel cut into the flooring for each channel giving us 100% easy access to our ‘basement.’

The second is the attic. Our bathroom area ceiling only goes to about 7 ‘ from the floor. I cut an access door in that ceiling that allows us (because of the slope of our roof) from 6” on one side to over 4’ on the other side and 3’ wide of attic space. It works great for extra storage of bathroom items and quick grab stuff we don’t need every day.

The third is our plant garden. Yes I know practically every tiny house has a few plants. The first thing my wife said when I asked her what she needed in our tiny house as I was drawing up the plans was - a garden for her plants and plenty of sunshine for these plants. So when I designed the slope of the roof I put the kitchen cabinets on the same side as the top of the slope. This way I could put an extra wide plate rail on the top of the upper kitchen cabinets and windows between the top of that slope and the plate rail. There you go - plenty of room for a garden of plants and plenty of sunshine!

And forth is our garage! Yes a… ok it’s more like a shed on a trailer but it sounds cooler to say we have a tiny garage to go with our tiny house. I have been a carpenter my entire life so I have my tools and they are my life. Try to take them away from me - go ahead try. This downsizing is one thing but giving up your life is another. Adina gardens, so… one side of the garage/shed is my tools and some storage under and the other side is her gardening tools with a little storage under.

The rest of the website are pages with some of the plans I drew up before the build and then pictures during the build. I hope you enjoy seeing our progression. Email us here if you have any questions.

Blueprint - top view
Progression pages 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16