Relaxshax's Blog

Hidden hut/shack in the woods of Vermont- tiny house eye candy…
May 31, 2012, 8:11 pm
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Another set of photos from my trip up to my camp in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom- the site of “Tiny House Summer Camp” and the tiny cabin we’ll all be building. CLICK HERE FOR SIGN-UP INFO.

     This particular cabin is on my neighbor’s property, and actually a garden shed/shack and/or potting shed, but I like its look, and he built it with low grade, VERY affordable lumber. The view, over a cleared valley, is just incredible too, and I’m regretful I didn’t get photos of it, BUT, you’ll see this one in person, if you take part in our backwoods building workshop July 6-9th. Kidcedar at gmail dot com to sign up.

You’ll also see:
-A Treehouse that you can stay in.
-Solar Log Cabin (that we’ll be holding discussions and hosting speakers in)
-The Hickshaw Micro-Cabin (as seen in the NY Times, Boston Globe, CBS News, and more)
-Deek’s Vermont Stilt Cabin (as featured in Mimi Zeiger’s book “Micro-Green”, and in Lloyd Kahn’s book
    “Tiny Homes, Simple Shelter”).
-The Pine Crest Camp Cabins- a field trip to them in Barton, MA

-The mom’ n pop run Goodridge Lumber Mill, one of Vermont’s only White Cedar Mills.

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

More scenes/cabins from Tiny House Summer Camp in Vermont
May 30, 2012, 1:13 pm
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    Well, as “Tiny House Summer Camp” (a tiny house building, 4 day workshop in Vermont, with camping/lodging) comes closer, I’ve been making trips up to my camp in preparation. Above, what you see isn’t my camp, but a neighboring log cabin that we’ll be using for lodging, and as a backwoods classroom for some of our speakers and discussions. Aside from the log cabin, we also have two or three other locales where we’ll be congregating as a group to openly discuss tiny house construction and design concepts. We still do have about three or so spots left for this camp (July 6-9)- email me at kidcedar at gmail dot com if interested. ALL the speakers, and the weekend’s overview can be found at the large link on the top of this blog.

     Above, is me at Goodridge Lumber in Albany, Vermont, a place I’ve been going to for years and years. The best! I WISH all this wood was mine, but we have picked up quite a few loads for the project, a tiny cabin in the woods, that we’ll all be working on together at the workshop.– if you ever contact them, tell them I sent you- VERY good people over there.

My dog, Orzo, at a nearby fishing and swimming hole that I can lead you all to. The water is VERY clean. I might even consider having the group meet here one day for a discussion topic. Bring your cameras! -and your fishing gear as there is TOO much to see in this area and I’m going to make sure attendees have some free time each morning to see the sights if they choose. Meanwhile, others will be welcome to get a head start on the building process back at camp.

Another shot of “The Moore Camp”- where we’ll be hanging out, and where some of you are welcome to stay at night for the workshop. We also have a field for tenters, a treehouse, “The Hickshaw” cabin, my own cabin, and so on…we’ll be seeing other cabins too, AND a mom n’ pop saw mill!

 This stack of boulders is about 300 yards from my own cabin.
A nearby stream. Like I said, the landscape around this area is amazing. If I owned this land, there’d be a cabin on it in a heartbeat, a tiny little 8′ by 8′ that blends into the woods….
My other neighbor’s snowmobile camp, which we might also get to see, and hear his do’s and don’t of building your own house. We’ll see- so many scheduled speakers, events, trips, and work to do, and so little time….
Again, kidcedar at gmail dot com if you might be interested in signing up, while there is still space! 
-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Tiny Houses In The Tabloids!? The Sun/Weekly World News…
May 29, 2012, 7:40 am
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     This one surprised the heck out of me as it arrived on my doorstep- a tabloid called “The Sun”, which I’ve seen in supermarkets many times. I never thought I’d be in it, and am glad that they played the story straight instead of inventing some spin on it. I guess tiny dwellings are bizarre enough for most people! The Sun and The Weekly World News are sister publications, the WWN being the crazier of the two.
    Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller of Tiny: The Movie, also get some love in the article. Check them out at– their film will be out sometime this summer!

Also, our “Tiny House Summer Camp” building workshop in VT is filling up fast. Its a four day (well, day and night, as you stay on the premises) tiny house building experience for all skill levels. I can’t wait. The guest speaker list is insane as well….check out the huge link above.
    -Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

The tiny, tiny shelters of mine shown are “The Boxy Lady” (L), and “The GottaGiddaWay” (R)- both featured, among many “larger” ideas and designs, in my book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks”

Andrew Odom on Building The Base/Sub Floor for your tiny house on wheels/travel trailer home
May 25, 2012, 9:26 am
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Today, while I further prep things, plans, and gear for July’s building workshop,“Tiny House Summer Camp” in Vermont, I hand things over the Andrew/Drew Odom of, all around good guy, and tiny house addict, and soon to be a tiny home dweller.  -Deek

I asked Drew to talk about building the base/subfloor for one’s travel trailer (there are many approaches, as we discuss in the Tumbleweed Tiny House Workshops I teach) and here’s what he had to say…

One of the most talked about subject in tiny house building is the subfloor. Like a number of subjects surrounding the building of a tiny house, there is no black or white; right or wrong. It truly is left up to the builder and his perceived version of what will work within his skillset (or pocketbook). Once a trailer has been chosen (as ours was sometime ago) it quickly becomes time to decide just how the house will stay attached. That, my friends, is where the subfloor comes in. Because we chose to use an EcoFoil radiant barrier we knew that would be one of our first steps. It wasn’t THE first step though. We essentially ran a stringer down the center of the trailer in between each cross beam. This will serve as extra structural support as well as a way to hold in the insulation. Once we had the blanket of double bubble radiant barrier on the frame we added our floor joists. Each joist was constructed of 2″x4″ lumber and held in place two ways. 1) If the joist fell directly on a metal cross beam it was attached by a 4 1/2″ carriage bolt that is countersunk through the wood and then down through the metal, going through the EcoFoil and then tightened up by a washer and bolt. 2) If the joist did not fall directly on a metal cross beam it was attached via joist hanger which was attached by nail to the perimeter framing. After our joists were in place and bolted down we then wrapped our remaining EcoFoil around the framing, stapled it into place, and prepared for the subfloor. Our subfloor is LP ProStruct Floor with SmartFinish – a durable overlay of beautiful, professional-grade substrate With no knots or voids. The subfloor is held into place by a bead of construction adhesive on all exposed joists and then 3 1/2″ framing nails around the top perimeter of the 4’x8′ sheets of sub. Now that I read back over what we did I realize in words it isn’t all that complicated. And I guess it wasn’t. It is time consuming though and presents hours of questioning yourself, your skills, and the whole dern tiny house! But as I said earlier, there is probably as many ways to construct a tiny house floor “sandwich” as there are tiny houses. What it truly boils down to is being comfortable with your own finished product. If you want to see the visual of how we constructed our floor I invite you to watch our video here: http://youtube/9I–d6xB_II While you’re on YouTube feel free to subscribe to our channel!


     Bigger does not always mean better. Progress does not always mean forgetting our roots in order to forge a new future. Blogger, photojournalist, and hobby farmer Andrew Odom has spent much of the last few years rediscovering the lost art of living, growing, and being truly happy. Visit him online at

May 24, 2012, 9:35 pm
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Proof that mere plywood floors can look GREAT. I love the open feel, and height of this little home- although heating all that dead, lofty, space is a waste in the trade-off.

 I’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming, planning, and sketching, in anticipation for “Tiny House Summer Camp” (July 6-9th), a four day tiny-house-building workshop that I’m hosting, and as a result, have been going back over many bookmarked photos I have harbored. The ones you see here are either shots of mine for the book “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks” (link is below), from, or other various blog locales.
     Each tiny house represented here, to me, offers something very appealing by way of spatial design, arrangement, and color. Three of the offerings are my own work/builds, and after wrestling back and forth with the idea, I went and included them- after all, they are exactly what I like in tiny decor, color, and layout.

Great layering/leveling here, so as to maximize space for usage. This one almost has a stark, nautical feel, but still finds a way to come off as looking comfortable. (The Leaf House).
Made from 95% junk- “The Gypsy Junker” micro-cabin that I built/designed. If you had to, it could sleep three- one up top, and two on the floor, in a mere “shelter” sense. I just love the natural light and colors that this little cabin always seems to capture. (Photo by Bruce Bettis).
I’ve always wanted to make simple corrugated poly/plastic walls, and this photo is proof that this approach looks decent, works well, and would be very cost effective. The R value would SUCK though.
This is from a series of photos that I took in Seattle, of Steve Sauer’s Pico Dwelling- a 182 square foot apartment that utilizes living levels more than almost any tiny dwelling I’ve seen before. What a great guy Steve was, and I hope to include some photos of his place in my next book. Christopher Smith (Tiny: The Movie) is seen behind the camera, and this shoot will end up as a future edition of my show “Tiny Yellow House” on youtube.
Another Seattle shot, and I figured we had to at least have one simple, yet cool looking, bathroom represented. This is a wet bath (shower stall with a toilet in it, more or less), with a homemade salad bowl sink, a “VAN-ity” mirror, and some funky tiling. Hal Colombo, of Freemont, WA is the mastermind behind this 68 square foot rentable dwelling. Check out A GREAT, and very fun, host. 
Nicolette Stewart from Germany furnished/built this little wagon dwelling for under $2000 USD (equivalent). The woman’s got some style!
I’m a big fan of shipping container homes, and this one’s got such a great, open, and light, vibe. I really dig the wood paneling, and sink/cabinet set-up.
What’s not to like about this hippied-out, stained glass adorned, treehouse?
Another one of my cabins “The Boxy Lady”- only 14 square feet, and designed as a sleepable kiosk for craft fairs, it gets much in the way of natural light, and yes, was built with free, discarded materials. Its a very fun, and cozy place to hang out with a book. 
Graham Burnett from the UK built this one to serve as his backyard office/shed/guest hut. I really like its look of haphazardly placed windows- even more-so, recycled ones….
Starting at age 22, I set upon building this cabin, in Vermont, with no plan, no electricity, and no running water to help me out. Its where we’ll be holding (one of many cabins in the area) “Tiny House Summer Camp” in July (2012). I am a huge fan of natural wood, and this has lots of it!

Tiny House Thrift Video #4- Solar Cooking and Hot Water Showers for Tiny Living
May 23, 2012, 1:12 pm
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      I talk about this stuff often in tiny house workshops, whether for The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, or for the workshops and speaking engagements I’ve done on my own. In fact, July 6-9th at Tiny House Summer Camp, four days of tiny house learning, building, and well, doing, we’ll most likely mess with a little bit of what you see in this video- solar cooking, and passively heating water for showers with the sun. Its a simple idea, and one that will enable you to cook, and shower, without using up heat-producing utilities in the summer- a time when you usually won’t want your tiny, tiny house to become overheated.

After all, who wants to cook a 4 hour pot roast in an oven, in the summer, when your home is already too warm….herein, lies the avoiding solution…..

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen

Why the heck not? Kids forts as enlarged tiny houses or cabins…
May 22, 2012, 9:46 am
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 This kids playhouse below is actually remaniscent of a design I have in my book on tiny house and shelter designs, “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks”– mine was three levels high and meant for adults, in a backwoods camping sense- each cube was 6′ to 8′ long and accessed by decks, or ladders (or a combination of the two).

Anyway, this photographically represents the general idea, and I just love it. Enlarge this bad-boy for your own use, and it’d make for a REALLY cool, tiny vacation cabin or hut in the woods, or your backyard. Why the heck not? It’d sure be easy enough and affordable to build a tiny little house like this too!

-Derek “Deek” Diedricksen