Relaxshax's Blog

The World’s Tiniest A-Frame Cabin!? What the heck? (my latest project)
November 30, 2011, 2:52 pm
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     No, it doesn’t have any luxurious features (well, its not done yet, so who knows!), and its a mere shelter/single sleeper and not so much a tiny house (then again “What IS a “house”? Many different cultural interpretations there…), but here’s a few shots of A WORK IN PROGRESS– its far from finished. Ultimately I’m either going to donate it for use, or sell it to then donate the proceeds- we’ll see- depending on who can realistically make use of it.

Always with the jump shot, always with the jump shot….. The micro A-frame cabin is almost 8′ tall, and utilizes a thick recycled door as its base.

     Oh yeah, aside from the tar paper (1/2 a roll), some caulk, a portion of the screws, and the wood that frames the window (and 1/8 of a gallon of $5.00 “Oops Paint”)- its ALL free, recycled, and dumpstered/curbed materials- some donated by my neighbor Paul LaCivita (thanks Paul!).

I employed one of these square-meets-circle, simple cantilevering windows in a build we did for The History Channel in Brooklyn the other month, and I liked the look so much that I brought it back again. This pop-out window also makes the interior of this small A-frame cabin appear less cramped- and it serves as table/shelf space (you could easily add some shelves in it too!).
The tiny A-frame with SOME of the trim and battens on…..amongst many of my other recycled material cabins.

 TOTAL BUDGET: $48.00 (it could have been built for less if I had more time to search for window-frame wood (that set me back $21.00- although I didn’t use the whole 12′ pine board). Also, I bought the tar paper, but have almost half left (and the price of a FULL roll was incorporated here).

By the way, the above shot, with all the cabins, will most likely be the site, again, for our NEXT hands-on, tiny house/shelter building workshop here in Massachusetts- we’re still in the process of nailing down a date for our 2nd annual tiny-house-a-thon.  For any interested, email me at kidcedar at gmail dot com. Thanks!

For all you A-frame cabin/tiny house addicts- the new version of my book (below) will have some A-frame sketches and ideas, an INVERTED A-Frame house, and then some….THANK YOU, THANK YOU, those who have supported me by picking up a copy on

Here’s one of the sketches….(all in all, the new book has something like SIXTY cabin, house, shack, cottage, and fort concepts- and then a TON of other related stuff- building tips and ideas, design help from some pros…).

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen


Today’s Tiny House Eye Candy- Three Wild/Bizarre Homes/Guest Houses I want…..
November 29, 2011, 5:50 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

-Well, maybe not “WANT”, but “find inspiration from”- as these three housing/shelter approaches are very unique in their own different ways. For instance, the wild-as-all-hell “paintjob house” isn’t so notable as a home itself, or architecturally (no offense, if you’re the owner!), but the paint work and artistic addition of so much color to its exterior makes it a very fun, one-of-a-kind, and creatively ballsy building. I’m sure the neighbors hate it, and I’d dread having to repaint it all someday, but it sure is something else!

The A-frame above (and sorry, I have NO IDEA who built these, I couldn’t find anything- if YOU do, let us know) on the other hand is more “conventional” as a “Double A” guest room or office (yoga studio perhaps?), but through its trim work and triangular window placement, holds its own individual charm- I’m a sucker for A’s too! I actually was planning on posting photos on “The World’s Smallest A-frame Cabin” that I’ve been working on in my backyard (another micro-cabin/shelter design pulled from some of the sketches and concepts in my book), but my wife is out at a retirement dinner right now with the very camera that holds about one hundred photos of this thing. Perhaps tomorrow….

The colors man….the colors….(Tommy Chong Voice…)

As for this last one, its not a “home”, although that’s a tough term to pigeonhole. Regardless, in terms of the usage of natural materials, and in this case, actually training the branches to bend and grow into certain forms and shape, this nest-like treehouse has certainly grabbed my attention. I love how the ladder is even rustic and borderline Seussian. Very fun!

And for those who missed the new TOUR video…

I’m already working on editing another how-to video- well, like another TEN of ’em….

Only $11.49- The NEW and Expanded version of my book….through (the link in the blog column)

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Some guy named "Jay Shafer"(?) and a tour of his first-built Tumbleweed Tiny House
November 28, 2011, 10:40 am
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So this guy- I think his name is “Jay Shafer” (I think I’ve heard of him in passing)- builds these cool, tiny little houses, and one of them happens to be for sale, in Boston (merely 10 miles from me), so I figured I’d shoot a lil’ tour video on it (seeing as I just can’t find much out there, especially videos, on these “Tumbleweed” Tiny Houses and this elusive Jay character).

No, there are some great approaches, and design concepts to be gained/seen through this video on one of Jay’s older works, so check it out. I had fun pokin’ around in this little cabin on wheels, and I think you’ll dig it too (even if you’ve seen the 32,098 other videos on his work already)- Whoops….32,099, another one just randomly appeared on youtube.

And yeah, yeah…..some of you want me to BUILD MORE, and TOUR LESS- I know….I knows…..SO, THE NEXT TWO VIDEOS ON THE WAY ARE STRICTLY BUILDING/CREATION TUTORIALS! I promise! One, for MAKE MAGAZINE’s channel, is a really cool tour/build video on “The Wolfe’s Den” Treehouse, which I created/erected/designed (it was recently featured on Apartment Therapy), and another deals with windows made from trash, plates, curbside junk, and so on. I’m also building “The World’s Smallest A-Frame” cabin- well, probably close to it- which I’ll naturally shoot a video on. Another is an outhouse shaped like a bust of Justin Bieber. Not really. That’d surely go viral on youtube though….so then again I DO have some leftover lumber….hmmmm……

Oh yeah, Jay (he’s some kind of bionic cyborg from the planet Tinitron who has found a way to extend an Earth day by 6-8 hours) has another book out there too. I’ve only had a chance to get a passing glance at it when I was invited out to guest speak at one of his workshops, but I do hear good things. I posted a link to it below, so you can check out the reviews, and read more about it- and my book as well. (See our next most recent blog post for some outtakes of design and art from it).

AND SPECIAL THANKS TO KEVIN HARRINGTON from– who made some of this, and the next one/two videos (and their materials), possible, he supporting us by means of a video ad. If any of you are ever interested in this kind of thing in the future (esp. those of you who complain I’m not building enough!), contact me kidcedar at gmail dot com. 
The Holiday Gifts That Keep On Giving (you eye strain)….

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

THREE more tiny house concept sketches- Humble Homes, Simple Shacks outtakes…
November 27, 2011, 9:50 am
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    An Underwater Tiny House (Fiberglass/Ferrocement Hull), A free-floating treehouse/single sleeper, and a modern “Stilt House”….

     I literally have close to ONE HUNDRED cabin sketches and loose plans that I have yet to do anything with- some of the more recently penned ones became extras that we tossed into the new edition of my book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks”, others from the past may never see the light of day, many others will “combine forces” to make up ANOTHER tiny house book down the road, and some of them (two below) are past efforts (from an old mini-book/fat zine called “Quick Camps and Leg Cramps” (currently sold out- but we’re getting more soon!) that haven’t ever been put up online yet. So….that said, here are three more sketches to check out, ones that 99.975% of you haven’t seen yet. MANY more to come…

I’m off to clean some gutters, sweep a chimney, finish-up a micro A-frame’s window trim, and set a lock/door handle on a greenhouse I’m currently working on….

A tiny underwater house/hotel of the future! This one will NOT be in the new edition of “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks”, but may appear in another book down the road in a “Tiny Houses of Tomorrow” fun/goof/brainstorm chapter.

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Tiny House/Small Home Appliances: Refrigerators
November 26, 2011, 9:08 am
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The Lantry- from Painted Pavilions- a micro-cabin where one of these little fridges would be perfect!

       Forgetting it was “Black Friday” yesterday, in need of some screws and caulk (for the Tiny Solar Cabin I’m building- see the next most recent post) I ventured out to Lowe’s. Luckily- maybe it’s just the lousy economy- but it wasn’t a zoo, and while there, I did drool over a few sale items. This particular item (the Frigidaire version (8 bottles) for $50) caught my eye. This is the kind of mini fridge I would/will someday incorporate into a full-amenity micro-build, or trailer house/cabin of my own (believe me, I have MANY ideas/sketches). I really haven’t seen others go this route, and something like this is so compact, easy to hide, stuff, or mount anywhere (even up higher as a cabinet), that is seems a decent choice for a truly micro-fridge if you don’t plan on keeping many perishables- or just don’t have room for a larger/wider college-type fridge. Its pretty decent looking, in a modern sense too- as long as you keep its inner contents clean and organized. Take the wine trays out of this thing and you could squeeze in a couple milk cartons, your leftovers, and so on……

The Edgestar 12-bottle wine cooler- This one lists for $85.00

 NOTE: The model link given here is to give you access to info on this model, and others….they range greatly in price, but most are pretty affordable. DEFINITELY read the reviews- I can’t recommend this, or any of them first hand, as I’m still in the slow process of researching one for myself down the road. When I do finally decide on one, I’ll let you all know which and why…

This could work very well in RV or Treehouse applications too….

The NEW edition of my book- $11.49 on

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Update on the 6′ by 12′ Tiny Solar Cabin/Writer’s Retreat….
November 25, 2011, 5:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
The “Tough Guy” pose- seconds after the shot I’m smilin’ and laughing like a true dork….(photo self-shot- Derek “Deek” Diedricksen”

     ‘Been bustin’ butt to get this little cabin done, and its coming along nicely. Today I focused on attaching a good deal of the cedar trim work, having just roofed this two days back. Basically, aside from interior shelving, an eventual wood stove, and trimming out the (recycled- free!) door and putting in a new lockset, I’m just about done. Just in time too- as the winter weather is just around the corner which leaves me S.O.L. and less productive, as I have no actual woodshop. Ultimately, weather-pending, this little greenhouse/writer’s retreat will be stained with a protective coat, and some of the woodwork will be touched up with a new layer of white paint.

The Greenhouse/Cabin before I added the corner trim
Just before attaching the poly roofing sheets
The door, before I trimmed out the gaps, etc- The interior skeletal works….
A homemade window- it was a pane of glass (thick) from a stereo cabinet I found on the side of the road…
The window in the rear is homemade as well, from one sash of a recycled window, and trimmed out with new wood.
Since the greenhouse is so small I wanted the door to swing OUT to save space, and so that any winds blowing against the cabin would actually push the door shut more tightly, and give it a better seal.

Basically, although it will additionally be used as an escape for an author (writer’s retreat) this little structure could easily be adapted in use and design towards a little vacation cabin in the woods, or even a tiny home. The design is so simple, and where/when possible uses stock-length lumber so as to minimize cuts and waste. Again, the idea is based off the concept sketches of a tiny shack/entry called “Down At Big Lee’s Swamp” in my book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” (shown below)….

$11.49 on the EXPANDED edition (The Lyons Press) of my book….

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Happy Thanksgiving- Forget Turkey, here’s a handy FERROCEMENT recipe!
November 24, 2011, 8:54 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Happy Thanksgiving (to all, where it applies)! Here’s a tweaked post/sketch from last year (since added to), and believe it or not, this is the THIRD Thanksgiving for this blog- crazy how time flies…

An outtake (page that DIDN’T make the cut) for the NEW edition of “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks”

     Anyway, this sketch, and the attached Ferrocement recipe, is a new offering/page that DID NOT make it into my new edition of “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” for space reasons. I actually have a ton of unused stuff that will either go into another book down the road, OR will be set-up as some sort of free pdf of extras, for those who buy/review the book- who knows, I haven’t figured it out yet. Anyway, I hope you all have a great holiday, or a great thursday, at least! -Derek “Deek” Diedricksen.

Oh yeah, that First-Built Tumbleweed Tiny House video/tour will be coming real soon too! And our CONTEST (several books being given away- one signed by Lloyd Kahn) on recycled uses for plastic and glass bottles continues (join our TINY YELLOW HOUSE and Facebook group to enter your ideas- the right column of THIS blog)! Below, is an “old” goofy, spur-of-the-moment video with one idea, for those who hadn’t seen it in the past….the idea does work though (unless you’re working/cutting metal, then you’re on your own!).