Tiny House Movement | Andrew Morrison | TEDxColoradoSprings

This was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Andrew and his wife, Gabriella, are the creators of “hOMe”, the 207 SF (+110 SF in lofts) modern tiny on wheels. They live and work in hOMe full time, off grid, and debt free. With the extra time and money that they have they travel and enjoy time together as a family.

Andrew Morrison has been a professional builder for 20 years and has been teaching people how to build their own homes in his hands on workshops since 2004. In that time he has personally taught over 1,400 participants how to craft their own homes and has seen again and again that anyone with passion and perseverance can build theirs too. Andrew and his family’s personal experience with tiny housing came while living in the “American Dream” home. Frustrated by feeling like slaves to it, they got rid of 90% of their worldly belongings, bought a pop up tent trailer and spent nearly five months reassessing what “home” meant to them while living in Mexico.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)


  1. Certainly a great idea but even after you pay for the house you need to
    own land which is expensive and pay property tax .You may rent the land
    which is never your . So i think it costs more than you suggest. Still
    love the idea of small.

  2. What I’m really curious about as a Tiny House fanatic, is how much
    utilities would cost per month, and if you can buy or rent land off of
    someone. I’m still in college, but I’m thinking about my future and
    realizing I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in debt and a tiny
    house sounds like a practical and responsible idea for both myself and the
    environment. I dream of actually building a completely self-sufficient tiny
    house and I wonder what it would take to get there. 

  3. I was a bit disappointed with this Ted Talk. Andrew teaches many courses on
    straw bale construction but his “tiny house” didn’t appear to be straw
    bale. Isn’t that hypocritical for one of the most well-known authorities on
    straw bale construction to be living in a conventional, tiny home? Also,
    the cost shocked me. I could build a two-story, cob home, install plumbing,
    solar and wind, pour a cob floor on ground level and install a pallet wood
    kitchen, and I could use reclaimed wood for the second floor. I calculated
    a build for a 1500 to 1700 sf cob home costing around $50k. How is it that
    that tiny home, which would probably use more wood then my cob home, costs
    more then 50% the cost of my cob home and it’s not even 1/4th the size?
    Someone tell me the benefit of this ? Sure, I agree that we don’t need to
    live in McMansions but we also do not need to live in iceboxes to be happy
    either. I’m not about to live in a tiny house with two giant breed dogs and
    a couple of teens. It just doesn’t work for me and I consider the cost to
    be prohibitive over the cost of a cob build.

  4. Thank you for sharing your TEDx Talk. We are new members of the Tiny House
    Movement and we have been followers for years….Happy to be living with
    the principles outlined in your talk.

  5. wow, great perspective. love that you brought it down to reality and
    numbers. and no, i don’t remember algebra, but i understood the
    percentages!!!! :-)

  6. Awesome stuff , love it! I so want to do this someday. First item on the
    agenda is getting me a duramax truck so I can pull the thing.

  7. Nice, Andrew. Working hard over here toward my goal of building hOMe for
    my girlfriend and myself. Planning to run our Shaklee business from it as
    well. Great advice on simplifying life. I’ve done it once before and its
    an amazing feeling. Looking forward to shedding the waste again soon.

  8. Awesome talk! My husband and I are in a very similar situation, but are
    still in the process of downsizing. We have paid off all our debt, quit our
    unsatisfying/stressful jobs, and even started a business from home doing
    what we love! I’ve been following you and hOMe’s progress for awhile, and
    just want to thank you for your inspiration! When this process of
    simplifying can take some time, it is easy to get discouraged or lose sight
    of the ultimate goal. So this was just what I needed to hear today to
    remind me of why I’m doing it in the first place, and motivation to get my
    butt in gear again! Thanks for showing us living tiny is not only possible,
    but is a way to thrive despite our society of “keeping up with the

  9. Housing size does matter when it pertains to your needs. If you are a
    couple like Andrew here and don’t wish to ever add to the value of humanity
    by adding to it’s gene pool then a house like his is useful. However,
    should you decide to have some kids maybe a few dogs or you simply wish to
    have a collection of things you value then a house needs to fit it’s owner.

    A one size or super size me house doesn’t fit all. However, I realize that
    the same issue that applies to the housing industry as to the oil industry
    applies here. Come up with a way to deny these big corporations or
    Developers their big pay checks for your own freedom then hey that’s when
    the lobby money comes out and laws are put on the books and enacted to
    restrict your freedom.

    By the way i was born in Colorado Springs and it’s a stupid fucking name to
    just call it “The Springs”. That’s like me calling Virginia Beach Va Beach.

  10. We like Andrew and Gabriella’s philosophy and have frankly been astonished
    by some of the comments people have made below. For instance, how would it
    be hypocrisy for them to live in a tiny house instead of straw bale? A
    tiny house is by definition unconventional, plus has an even lower
    footprint than a standard size straw bale house. It’s all part of an
    earth-friendly philosophy, and clearly, it’s easier to live a debt-free,
    uncomplicated life in a tiny house than a larger one.

    We live in a straw bale house thanks to people like the Morrisons, who
    share highly useful information to help novice owner-builders achieve their
    dreams. So, a big thank you to them, their useful web site and great DVDs
    from us.

    About being able to build bigger things for the same cost as Andrew and
    Gabriella’s tiny house: This isn’t the standard “how many square metres
    can I get per dollar” exercise – it’s an exercise in living well according
    to one’s own values, while eliminating debt. We love the fine detail of
    how the Morrisons have put together their tiny house, and the level of
    organisation of their abode.

    To those thinking it’s impossible to bring up a family in a small space,
    take a trip to India or Africa sometime and see how the other half lives…
    Any response that addresses the excesses of standard Western lifestyles
    will help further not just earth care, but social justice for all humanity
    as well. Another thought: Native Americans and Australians, Inuit etc
    were bringing up their families perfectly well with tiny abodes and an
    earth-centred lifestyle that was largely conducted outdoors. They also
    spent a lot more of their time in community and social activities than the
    average Westerners, who spend most of their lives paying off debts.

    It would be nice to see more people reflecting thoughtfully on these
    issues, and having the panache to live creatively.

  11. My wife and I are in the process of selling most of our excess stuff that
    we don’t need or use much. The only thing keeping us from living in a tiny
    home is our bikes….but like the saying goes, “where there’s a will,
    there’s a way.”

  12. People are indeed challenging this crooked system with all of its taxes,
    zoning laws, building permits, etc, etc, and I for one think that’s great!!
    I never did like the idea of someone telling me I couldn’t put this or that
    type of structure on my own land or make improvements of any kind with out
    paying some municipality for permission!! These rules and regulations were
    set up NOT for the benefit of people in general but so a few could reach in
    our pockets and extract money for every little thing we wanted to do. Tiny
    homes are NOT for everyone, nor is living off grid in a teepee.
    Nevertheless, some people embrace the it, and it is a wonderful idea in my
    personal opinion. I don’t believe big business should be involved,but like
    everything else people have to sensationalize it and over do it to the
    point of corrupting the entire concept! Now everyone who ever had the
    simple skills to build a 8×10 shed thinks he is an expert carpenter and
    trying to get rich at other peoples expense. People should embrace the tiny
    home concept as a way to SIMPLIFY their lives not clutter them more than
    they already are. Do some research and build it yourself. Enjoy your tiny
    home and new lifestyle. Escape the mainstream and bring some peace into
    your life. Forget corporate America and all it’s hype.

  13. I’m going to build one of these on my land. Unfortunately the area I live
    in has many regulations. I strongly feel if I try to be respectful by
    building the tiny house out of sight (shouldn’t be too hard there) I should
    not have trouble. When I leave to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in April
    2016 I wont have to pay ridiculous rent, utilities, ect. when I am away for
    5-6 months. I spent more money holding down the fort while I was away for 5
    months than I did on myself hiking the Appalachian Trail this year! 

  14. Applying the 365 rule to the kitchen today in the pre new year new me
    decluttering. 6 bags going to charity shop. Including vintage tupperware.
    It is great. 

  15. if only someone told us these kinds of things and warned us back in 1973, i
    wonder how much better and healthier our lives and society would’ve
    been…well better now than never and i guess live and learn huh?

  16. Seriously this is one of my favorite videos! I show this to family and
    friends because its exactly how i feel! We will be moving into our new tiny
    house by the end of the year! Excited! 

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