Tumbleweed DIY Book of Backyard Sheds & Tiny Houses: Build your own guest cottage, writing studio, home office, craft workshop, or personal retreat Paperback – Sep 23 2011
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Ran a story about Jay Shaffer and the small house movement
The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company's Pompano model was featured on Fox Business News
Whether you really want to downsize or just want to fantasize about living in a small, exquistely-constructed, simpler bungalow, Shafer's book will be a treat. Stunning photos of the small Tumbleweed houses in many natural settings will entice readers into learning more. The first half of the book focuses on the styles of homes available, and the second half has illustrated guidelines for preparing a site and building a home. Highly recommended.
Recently, I had the opportunity to have a personal tour from Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Tiny Houses, of his new tiny home. Jay has completed and moved into the Gifford Box Bungalow. This house is one of the designs featured in his latest book called Tumbleweed DIY Book of Backyard Sheds & Tiny Houses. Jay agreed to do a video walkthrough of the Gifford explaining his thoughts behind the design of his house. These homes were recently featured in HGTV Design Star's contest but I prefer Jay's design and I think the designers could learn a lot from him.
From the Back Cover
Good things do come in small packages.
Just ask internationally recognized small living expert Jay Shafer. His small buildings have appeared on CNN, Oprah, Fine Homebuilding, and This Old House. Ranging in size from 100 to 120 square feet, these tiny backyard buildings can be used as guest cottages, art or writing studios, home offices, craft workshops, vacation retreats, or full-time residences.
Filled with photos, elevation drawings, and door/window schedules for six Tumbleweed box bungalows, Tumbleweed DIY Book of Backyard Sheds & Tiny Houses also includes extensive how-to instructions that can be applied to any backyard building project. These handsome little buildings are filled with interesting and practical details including real doors, windows, and skylights. With extra design attention to energy and space efficiency, these tiny houses can help us onthe road to a sustainable world.See all Product Description
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The parts that did contain DIY information looked to be taken straight form a generic source. None of the DIY pages had people working on tumbleweed houses. Instead you will get some illustrated how to pages of people working on large structures. I was very disappointed by this. In one DIY page it shows you the proper way to cut down a tree... WHY!?
Overall I think they were stretching to get enough content for this book. I was hoping to get a lot of nice how to info on tumbleweeds, but I ended up getting a few pages of useless DIY. For the same money I could have bought a more comprehensive how to book form Home Depot.
What I didn't like was that the instructions, on the last page of the book, were for two great offers. One was the ability to purchase a set of six bungalow plans for only $49.95 (a roughly $500 savings) and the other was a code (found in a well sealed flap of the last page) to be used to download the Zinn bungalow plans for free. However, when this reviewer went online to take advantage of both of these, neither link was available on the Tumbleweed site. I emailed the company but didn't get an answer so I messaged them through Facebook and got a prompt response that I want all of you to know.
They did email me the plans for the Zinn bungalow (nowhere near as convenient as the book alludes to). The offer for the six bungalow plans for only $49.95? I'll quote them here, "That offer is no longer available." Where I live that is called false advertising, but I understand laws vary from state to state.
At any rate, if you get joy from looking at tiny houses - get the book. I'm keeping mine, despite the misrepresentation.
Basic construction books that I would recommend are, "Building Thoreau's Cabin," by Stephen Taylor and "Habitat for Humanity, How to Build a House" by Haun. "The Tiny Book of Tiny Houses" by Lester Walker is not a construction book but it is great to get you dreaming.
Tumbleweed has some attractive models. The over priced Tumbleweed plans may even have a place if you have to build an RV (as in... on a trailer) and you don't want an Airstream. However, if can build on any kind of foundation, it makes more sense to use traditional design in dimensions that are multiples of 4, with standard 2x4s. If you have never built anything you may not understand why this is so important but it is. Tumbleweed could easily adapt their designs and they would be just as cute; just cheaper, easier and more efficient to build. If you are not building an RV I would wait. I heard Tumbleweed hired a school-trained architect and I would bet money she will address this sooner than later.
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