Relaxshax's Blog

Idaho Sheep Camp Caravans- Today’s Tiny House Eye Candy
January 27, 2011, 9:28 am
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FIRST….we’re rounding out the time schedule and events for our 2011 Hands-On Tiny Shelter/House Workshop (July 9th- Stoughton, MA)- and a few solar cooking demonstrations (and meals) will also be on the agenda- as well as a segment on building composting toilets (in addition to MANY other things- and some BUILDING!)- Here’s a recent post on it… Single Day- $195 (Approx. 13 hours- all food, drinks are included-culminating into a bonfire discussion). Only 12 or so people will be allowed to enroll, so act fast if you’re interested.

AND…Reader Scott House turned me on to the site/company IDAHO SHEEP CAMP, which builds mobile camps/caravans which are beautifully outfitted. These could be a great alternative/tiny house idea for singles….and very budget friendly over time,

They’ve been in business for awhile, have a great photo gallery of their past work, and the prices seem pretty reasonable considering.

AND soon- as we continue to prepare and book attendees for our 2011 Hands-On, Tiny House/Shelter Workshop here in MA, we ALSO have a tiny treehouse design contest on the way- with SEVERAL guest judges….Authors DAVID AND JEANIE STILES, KENT GRISWOLD of, JAY SHAFER of, ALEX PINO of, MICHAEL JANZEN of, AND MORE to be announced!


Tiny House Book News, AND “Cleaning House” part 2- another tiny house/small home photo gallery
January 26, 2011, 11:33 am
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WOW…..and um….wow!

Zanzibar Island Restaurant from

Above is a photo from– a great site. Its a cabin shot that might be in Lloyd’s in-the-works tiny housing book- can’t wait. I also just shot another mini youtube episode (while running a fever!) for my “Homebuilt Redneck Windows Series” where I talk a little about Lloyd’s re-released book SHELTER II, and his Shelter Publications release THE BAREFOOT ARCHITECT- both are phenomenal books- and that video will be up soon!

ALSO, thanks to Jim McConnell- who runs the blog “Me Simplified“- who picked up a copy of my book the ole fashioned snail-mail route a little ways back, and kindly reviewed it as well…. you can check out his cool blog here:

Photo from the blog "Simplified Me" with the book "Humble Homes, Simple Shacks..."

And- as I mentioned before, I’m cleaning out my Commodore 64 a lil’ bit and posting some pics I’ve been saving, without real rhyme or reason, before they’re sent off to that trash bin in the sky- OR added to my disc-file for my upcoming new book….SO….here are a few more cabins, shacks, tiny house interiors, playhouses, log cabins, sheds, example of micro-architecture, etc….

Jon Giswold's compact-very-nice-looking log cabin

Log Cabin Outhouse by Patrick Dougherty

Mini Camp House

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Another new sketch- a Ferrocement, free-form treehouse retreat
January 25, 2011, 8:44 pm
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Hey, it sure beats watchin’ re-runs of Hawaii-5-0 late at night….well, I do that TOO, while sketchin’ out ideas. THIS is another wild-ish daydream concept: A combination of tiny treehousing and ferrocement construction. As “ferro” can used in thin, but strong, applications, the idea isn’t in the realm of the impossible.

A ferrocement treehouse/tiny cabin structure sketch by Derek "Deek" Diedricksen

I’ve been amassing TONS of new sketchs, some that I’ve been showing you, that will eventually someday end up in another new design-concept book on tiny housing and micro-architecture.

Attendees of my 2011 hands-on tiny house/shelter building workshop might be receiving a free advance of some of these designs and art too, in a micro-book format- an addendum or sorts, to my current book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks…”.

For info on that workshop- July 9th- check….

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Jamaica Cottage Shops Writer’s Haven-Cabin and Others- For Sale
January 24, 2011, 11:48 pm
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I was talking to Domenic Mangano who heads up the Jamaica Cottage Shop in Vermont, and he mentioned that they were in the process of selling a good number of their display-model cabins, sheds, and outbuildings from now until 1/31/11. They’re also celebrating their 15 year anniversary.

Their Writer’s Haven cabin is one of my favorite models, and is now up for sale for only $7200.00.

This Vermont Cottage is on sale for under $8000.00

To anyone from that area (and beyond- they DO sell plans for all their models) it might be worth a look- even if just to drool/grab some ideas for your own future retreat or tiny house/home designs.

You can check them out at

Meanwhile, we’re gearing up for our next shoot for “Tiny Yellow House” TV- which should be interesting, seeing as I’m sick as heck right now, and still have some building to do! Did I mention that I do all my construction outside? -Better yet- today in MA it was -25 degrees with the wind chill. Not fun.

Update on our July 9th Tiny Shelter, Hands-on, Workshop in MA
January 24, 2011, 8:49 am
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Just additionally confirmed for our 2011 Tiny House/Shelter Workshop in Stoughton, MA….(Again, a hands-on, out in the field workshop…rain or shine).

…An open-house appearance by the mobile wagon “The Whittled Down Caravan” courtesy of its creators Tristan Chambers and Libby Reinish! This duo drove their caravan from Santa Fe to Northhampton, MA last year, and chronicled their experiences in their blog Whittled Down.

More recently, they were featured in a multi-page spread in Readymade Magazine too.

Tristan and Libby will be on hand to talk about the building of their caravan, their travels, and to allow our workshop attendees to paw through its interior.

ALSO- NYC’s Mimi Zeiger (tiny house author and architect) will be speaking to our guests, Alex Pino of Tinyhousetalk will be making the trek from Florida to talk about his involvement and work in the field, I’ll be heading up some demonstrations and giving tours of the projects and mini-cabins on my property, AND Dustin “Dr. Demolition” Diedricksen, an Environmental Engineer, will also be fronting a few hands-on projects as well. We’ll be filming much of this workshop. and YOU, for upcoming editions of our show “Tiny Yellow House” too!

Fees (after much deliberation and taking into account materials, two meals for all attendees, some travel expenses for guests, hardware, tools, hiring a runner/helper, free handout materials/books, and the 7000 other things and time and money-consuming tasks involved with planning something like this…) One Day Workshop- 8am to 9pm (or later- culminating in a bonfire)

Before April 30th- $195.00

After April 30th- $225.00

For reservations and more info- THERE will be a max of 12-15 people in this workshop- so don’t “dilly dally”!

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Where do you NOT need a building permit to build your tiny house or vacation cabin?
January 23, 2011, 9:52 am
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First off, we’ll be posting MORE info our “2011 Tiny House/Shelter Building Workshop” (July 9th) real soon. So far on the educational end, NYC’s Mimi Zeiger (Tiny House Author, and Architect), and Alex Pino of Tinyhousetalk have been confirmed as guest lecturers/demonstrators….and we have more confirmations to announce soon! It’ll be a VERY SMALL and intimate group of merely a dozen or so people- so email me at if you’re interesteed. Here’s the post on what we’ve got going on so far…

A micro dome house...

As for today’s topic- I thought codeless counties might be a good interactive tiny house/cabin builder’s discussion, that could  serve as a running informational forum on the whereabost of locales (US and beyond) and towns that do not require any sort of building codes or permits.

I’m sure there are other lists or resources out there, but there are none I know of (please share, if you know of some).

For starters, many areas of northeastern Vermont do not require any sort of building permit whatsoever… is the case where I built my own cabin.

As I’ve said in one of my yet to air episodes of “Tiny Yellow House” TV, the beauty of these few and far between regions is that if you had a hankerin’ to build a dwelling shaped like Yoda eating a creamsicle- there’s nothing holding you back.

I’ll be adding more sources soon, but here’s a weblink to information on Montana- “Big Sky Country”- and some of its codes (or lack thereof).

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

A Camouflaged German Restroom as a Small House/Cabin Idea?
January 22, 2011, 7:57 pm
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FILE UNDER: “Funky N’ Skunky”

‘Thought this one was interesting, although after a few years, unless treated, I’d think the exterior “stick” siding would rot, or peel. Something along these lines might be the route one could take if hiding the location of a cabin was of importance (theft, vandals, etc). All in all, it’d at least make for a very cool and/or unique looking tiny house facade.

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen