Woman Builds Unique Tiny House for Affordable City Living – Tour & Interview

After finishing grad school, Sam Gambling decided that a tiny would be a perfect fit for her lifestyle. She wanted to remain in Vancouver, to be near work, family and friends; but the cost of living in the was incredibly high. She also wanted to be able to work a not-for-profit job without worrying if she’d have enough money for rent each month. Last but not least, tiny houses were a housing solution that fit well with her environmental sustainability values.

She knew tiny houses weren’t in the city, but she went ahead and hired a builder, and began construction on her tiny house in 2016 anyway. After a few months, she realized that it was harder than she thought to find an urban parking spot for a tiny house. She did receive many offers to park her tiny house in rural areas though.

After meeting other people in the tiny house world who were encountering the same issue, she co-founded the BC Tiny House Collective with Anastasia Koutalianos to try and legalize and legitimize tiny houses in the province of British Columbia, and in Metro Vancouver.

The two women are working with partners and volunteers to do research, outreach, consultations, tiny house builds, and pilot projects to make tiny houses legal.

BC Tiny House Collective:

For the time being, Sam isn’t living in her tiny house. She’s waiting for a pilot project opportunity so that she can legally live in her home.

The tiny house is 10 feet wide, and was built using some reclaimed materials for things like the trim and the cork flooring.

The house is designed to collect rainwater for landscaping and gardening, it has a vermi- , full with a propane stove, two electric heaters, and a 120 Volt extension cord to power the house.

We know there will probably be questions about the conveyor belt toilet! It’s sold by Toilet Tech Solutions and you can find out more about it here:

We hope you enjoy the of Sam’s house on wheels even though it isn’t completely finished yet 🙂

Thanks for watching!

Mat & Danielle


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Editing Credits:
Mat and Danielle of Exploring Alternatives

Filming Credits:
Mat of Exploring Alternatives


  1. Be careful of the tiny house movement,  the kingmakers are the ones who push people into thinking small.  As Human being living on planet earth,  we need to think big and dream big.

  2. A reason she built it was because she couldn’t afford the rent in town, but she’s not living in it at the moment … so… is she renting? And how does one pay for rent in the meantime, and afford the building of a tiny house, and begin payback of student loans while navigating the tiny waters of “cute, but you can’t put it here”? How do real people with really little money afford this?

    I love the tiny house movement but the amount of gray area and the fact that they seem to get more expensive by the day makes them feel less and less attainable which was supposed to be the easy part! The hard part was supposed to be paring down and reevaluating our “stuff-ness” which, for some, is daunting enough! I fear the day will come when going tiny, in the end, costs the same as being supersized :/

  3. We have a laminate wood floor in our van it has been working great so far (2 years) and we have been in all types of weather. For our install we put down 1/2 inch foam, then 1/4 inch plywood, and a vapor barier. We added the wood floor to the whole van, then built our cabinets on top screwing our cabinets into the wood floor. This in my opinion has helped us secure our cabinets and keep the floor from moving.

  4. Love it! You must be so proud of yourself! The only thing I would do is put the toilet in a water closet away from shower/sink, and looks like there might even be room for a combo washer/dryer. What was the cost?

  5. the idea that regulations restrict the tiny house movement does not make sense when it is a benefit to living within your means and lifestyle

  6. I always listen for how long it takes them to virtue signal and say “recycled”, “reclaimed”, or “salvaged”.  Rescue pitbull, wood pallet, vegan, solar, thrift, second hand, compost, prius…..did I miss any eco-millennial buzzwords?

  7. For the channel, I would prefer if you put out projects where people live – for me it’s about the people and how it works for them to live in their space that inspires me, not the “empty” space in it self. If you interviewed the builder or architect we might understand better why the design has come out as it is. Interviewing someone who doesn’t even live there yet (and maybe might not ever legally do so) is just not very interesting…

  8. The city folk said “cool idea but dont park it in my neighborhood” Rural folk said “sure no problem,” i find this very intresting.

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