Jay Shafer’s Tiny Houses, A Simple Living Evolution

pioneer, is widely credited with jumpstarting the modern movement. His last two showcase an evolution of simplicity. As he puts it, simple pared-down living reflects nature—thriving through (the original “green” term). is key to his design approach. Everything in his tiny homes has to be beautiful and functional—Jay is a self-described “addict of meaning”

When we first visited Jay in 2016, he was living in his beautiful American Craftsman Style 119 sq. ft. tiny house. It cost less than $25,000. Fast forward to present-day, he’s now living in a tiny home less than half the size. From stylistic fortress feel to a light & airy, Japanese-style micro adobe. Though only 51 sq. ft. and under $4,000, it’s practically fire-proof and can easily expand with a detachable bathroom & kitchen add-on (raising the cost to approx. $6,000). Jay also envisions a kind of tiny house village with homes clustered around a common house with shared amenities.

While Jay’s tiny house designs are intended for anyone who wants to live more efficiently, his latest creation works well for those who can’t afford housing. His enduring legacy is that simple, high-quality living is accessible by all. Thanks for all the inspiration, Jay!

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27 Comments

  1. Jay Shafer and his original tiny house designs helped propel the modern tiny house movement forward and were personally a huge inspiration for us. When we first visited him in 2016, he was living in his beautiful craftsman style 119 sq. ft. tiny house (under $25k). Fast forward to present day, he’s now living in 51 sq. ft. and under $4,000. His enduring legacy is that simple, high-quality living is accessible by all. Thanks for the inspiration, Jay!

  2. So glad to see creative soul Jay is continuing to innovate and lead the way to charming small dwelling. Always and forever thank you, Mr. Shafer.

    • An amazing person! He’s widely recognized as the pioneer or godfather of the tiny house movement. After building his first tiny house on wheels in 1999, he helped launch the Small House Society and then started the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company.

  3. For me, the homes that Mr. Shafer designs and builds have always had that indefinable air, sense, quality and soul which makes them very special indeed!

    To have designed and built this sized home is in itself masterful, but to have done so in such an utterly practical yet so beautifully perfect way is something so very special, and could have only come from the eye, mind, heart, soul and hands of Mr. Shafer.

  4. I hear Spur Texas is promoting it’s a tiny house friendly, no trailer needed.
    Might be interesting if they succeed in building up their community.

    • You’re right about Spur. 🙂 Now many THOW dwellers like the wheels becomes of the flexibility they provide to move as the need arises, like for a new job.

  5. I’m retired and in my late 60’s. For the past 5 years I’ve been living in a tiny house built by Jay. In 2005, the home traveled from Sebastopol, CA to Louisiana. A young couple bought it there and took it to live in upper state New York. They later brought it to Sebastopol where they sold it to me. I’m in love with it.

    • Wow! What a journey your home has been on–a true piece of tiny house history. Thanks for sharing, Martha 🙂

  6. A shed on a trailer is not a house, tiny or otherwise. It’s nothing but marketing so middle class and environmentalist types can avoid saying they live in a trailer.
    You live in a trailer.

  7. VBHGUYBBJCNOYTHYGBVHGFTRFDESLOIUHGBVCFDESWOOPI8KJUYYTTRFERSDECOTRDSATIONHNBCOLOTRSDEDCVBLACKWHIYTUIOJHBNKJUHGFDSAFTRDEFDCXVBGFRFRYUIOLLLOGOUYTRIGFDIYUHGTFITRFEFEF54RT87UIOPNBKKOIUIJUHNIOUYMAFIDAESESDEXCOUYITREDFCXSAZNMAZONHGDEUNGEUOKJNGFTRESPOIUYTREDFRGTYUIOKJNBVCGMASRTERTYRTYGTVYHGBVGFCDEDSWADGHJEANNIEDSTHADVBOUTTTRGFSUOYYYTRED45

  8. I love this. I’ve always always wanted a tiny. that’s my next goal to work on. thank you for introducing the tiny house.

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