Name of Plan
Number of bedrooms / sleeping areas
140 sf (plus 80sf of lofts)
8’ 6” x 23’ 0” x 13′ 6″
The Sol Haus tiny house reflects my philosophy about simplicity, sustainability, and living within my means. The design has 140 sf of living space (placed on an 8’ 6″ x 20’ 0″ trailer) and is wholly self-sufficient. It is equipped with luxuries such as a gas fireplace and operable skylights. The interior is bathed in natural light and feels spacious and serene. Lots of storage and comfortable, multi-purpose furniture provide functionality and livability.
Upon approaching the Sol Haus tiny house, the first thing you’ll notice is a large and functional deck with an awning (deck plans included with plans purchase). On warm days, this space doubles one’s living space and is large enough for a table and seating for four. As you walk into Sol Haus through the large, double patio doors, you’ll be welcomed by a comfortable sofa and seating area large enough for a gathering of your closest friends. The sofa boasts quite a lot of storage space within. The coffee table can be used as an ottoman and also as additional storage for books/games. Stepping to the right, you’ll see a large desk with built-in storage which serves as a great home-office. There is plenty of open wall space for your favorite art too if you’re a collector. Above the desk is a loft which can work double duty as a guest bed and storage space.
Turning towards the other end of the Sol Haus tiny house, you’ll immediately notice the beautiful Jotul fireplace. On cold winter nights, there is no better place to spend time than on the sofa, curled up with a favorite book, watching the flicker of the fireplace. The kitchen is a galley style, maximizing functionality and space. A large sink makes easy work out of doing dishes and a two burner propane cooktop is perfectly sized for a couple living together. There is ample cabinet storage space for all your kitchen accoutrements and a nice sized refrigerator stores your perishables.
The main sleeping loft is as cozy as can be. Comfortably sleeping two on a queen sized bed, a skylight and round window allow morning sun to naturally wake you as the day rings anew. Loft access is by ladder, which means very little floor space is sacrificed. The bathroom has a shower, sink, and composting toilet and is large enough for full time use by one or two people. This design has been built by several others and has served as the happy home for couples and singles across the country and around the world. The design is easily adaptable for colder climates, such as in Nova Scotia, Canada.
Under 200 sf
Car Hauler Trailer (bed in between wheel wells)
Ladder, Ships Ladder, Alternating Tread Device Access
Yes (Portable Table)
Apartment Size Appliances
Natural Insulation (cotton, wool, Roxul, etc.)
Long Side Location
Solar Ready (battery storage space, etc.)
Natural Building Materials
How many square feet is your house? What is the size of your trailer?
140sf + 80sf for loft. The trailer is 7’ 9″ wide x 20′0″ long.
How many people live in your tiny house?
Currently I live in the house by myself; however, it could easily work for a couple to live together.
What part of the country do you live in?
Ojai, CA (2 hours north of Los Angeles)
When did you start and finish your build and how long did it take?
I started in Sept 2012 and finished in Oct 2013, so just over a year.
What plans did you use to build your house?
I designed my own house completely from scratch. I’ve been designing other people’s homes and offices for more than 20 years, and this was a great opportunity to challenge my skills.
Why did you decide to build?
I wanted to live in a way that reflects my values regarding sustainability, simplicity and living within my means. Because of my profession in design, I wanted to learn about building my own home.
What was your life like before your tiny house?
I am an active person who loves to be outdoors. Most of my life I moved from house to house, city to city, so I wanted to maintain a flexible lifestyle. More importantly, I wanted to minimize my debt and a tiny house allowed me to do that.
How did you come to hear about the movement, figure out it was right for you and and get started?
I heard about Jay Shafer’s tiny houses before, but the traditional gingerbread style did not appeal to me; however, the philosophy behind tiny houses did. I realized later that I could design and build my own house, so it was a perfect opportunity to express my own values.
What is/was your design inspiration?
My design inspiration is from Scandinavian and Japanese architecture. They have beautiful design sensibilities combined with utility and function, as well as light filled spaces that are timeless, simple and clean.
How did you find the time to work on your house with a job, relationships, AND building a house?
I completed the construction in one year, but I definitely gave up all of my free time during that year (holidays, weekends, weeknights). I was juggling projects in my design firm, Sol Haus Design, during the week and building / researching the rest of the time. Building a tiny house requires a commitment and (perhaps) sacrifice, but it’s certainly worth it in the end.
Have you run into any problems with your local codes?
I consulted with my local building official early during construction (which I recommend). The dynamics around tiny houses are changing as they gain popularity, so I strongly recommend that you talk to your planning department before you start building to make sure you don’t run into problems later on.
What was the most time consuming portion of your build?
For me it was modifying a trailer. In 2012, no one was building trailers to maximize the widths and heights specifically for tiny houses. Luckily, that’s no longer an issue as many tiny house trailer companies now exist across the country.
What was the most limiting factor for your build?
Cost. I wanted to stay within my budget (originally $25K). I also wanted to be environmentally conscious, using reclaimed, non-toxic materials, and to minimize waste. I spent a total of $35K in the end.
What are the reclaimed building materials you use?
The french doors are from Craigslist, three windows and a pocket door were from Habitat’s ReStore, the oak flooring and all the wood for the exterior deck were reclaimed.
How do you move your tiny house?
I rent a truck or use my partner’s heavy duty truck if I need to move it.
Did you consult any professionals for your design?
Yes, I consulted with a structural engineer for the framing and with a Title 24 engineer (for energy efficiency) for insulation and window requirements. I hired professional help for plumbing and electrical.
Is your house insured?
Yes with Darrell Grenz from Portland Oregon. Contact him via his website www.InsureMyTinyHome.com.
What do you have for cooking?
2 burner RV stove, sink, small refrigerator. I don’t feel that I need an oven at this time.
Are you off grid?
Yes, my PV system consists of 750 watt solar panel array. During the cold and rainy season, I plug into land power on the property as needed.
Do you have a washer and/or dryer?
No. It requires too much electrical load for my off grid set up. I go to the laundromat.
Where does your water come from?
I have a hose bib that is connected to city water.
What kind of toilet do you have?
the design utilizes a composting toilet; however, because it is illegal in the County of Ventura, I currently use an outdoor toilet that’s connected to the septic system.
What do you use for a heat source?
Gas propane fireplace with a remote control and thermostat.
What are some of the space savings tricks you used?
So many! My sofa is multi purpose: seating, storage and guest bed. I have drawers under my kitchen cabinets instead of baseboards. I have storage behind my bed. My coffee table is on casters and can be my dining table, side table, and storage. I have a small loft above my desk for additional storage (or extra sleeping space).
What do you have for insulation?
Rockwool insulation (formerly known as Roxul) was used for the walls and ceiling; denim insulation was used for the foundation. I prefer Rockwool for ease of use, cost, higher R-value, acoustical and fire retardant properties, and the fact that it’s readily available off the shelf in my area.
How much did your tiny house cost?
Approx. $35,000 (includes solar panels, all interior furnishings & equipment, outdoor deck)
What was the most expensive part of your house?
My fireplace ($3k), trailer ($3k) and big operable skylight ($1k)
What has been your biggest accomplishment with your tiny house?
Putting the plywood on the roof with only ropes and carabiners, without scaffolding (I‘m a rock climber).
Is there anything you’ll miss about living in a standard house?
Nope – It has been surprisingly easy to live tiny. The bigger challenge is living off the grid. I choose to live very simply with minimal power consumption, so I don’t have a washer/dryer nor large appliances.
What has been the scariest part about building your own house?
Making sure the plumbing and gas lines worked before moving in. Hooking up the fireplace/ gas stove was intimidating as the risks are high if things aren’t done properly.
If you could change one thing about your house what would it be?
I would put a vent pipe for the plumbing. I didn’t put one in because I didn’t want an unsightly penetration in the roof. Without vent lines in the plumbing, p-traps don’t work so they’re really important to include. You can use under counter vents in most situations, which I’m happy to have learned.
How did you pay for your house?
I paid for my house with income from my design projects, my retirement account, and a small business loan.
Vina’s Tiny House is designed to be off the grid with solar panels and passive heating/ cooling techniques. The interior includes non-toxic healthy interior finishes. Many building materials are reclaimed from Habitat ReStore. Building materials are locally sourced to support the local economy and to reduce carbon footprint. Vina’s Tiny House is a community effort handcrafted with a lot of QUALITY, LOVE and CARE. Approx. Cost: $40,000
I was really interested in the design of your house. I did have some Tumbleweed plans and after lots of research, your design really resonated with me.
When I saw Vina’s tiny little house I was hooked. I was amazed by the amount of natural light that filled the house… I am glad I have chosen Vina’s plans.
I scoured the Internet for my perfect tiny house design and as soon as I saw Vina’s house I knew it was my perfect floor plan.
Building my own tiny home has been an incredibly rewarding process. Thank you, Vina, for being such an inspiration and for being so supportive during my build