The first book that I looked at when starting research on building a tiny house was Micro Shelters by Derek “Deek” Diedricksen (creator of relaxshacks.com). We were able to check this book out from the library, so if you’re interested, you can check with your local library. The cost of the book to purchase is $18.95 (US) according to the cover price.
The book is broken up into three parts: Amazing Micro Shelters, Tools and Materials, and Plans to Inspire. In the first part, Amazing Micro Shelters, each chapter contains information about a different type of micro shelter. These include: Tiny Houses, Camps & Hideaways, Tree Houses & Stilted Shelters, On Wheels, and Play Houses & Nooks. The chapters contain real structures built by various people with explanations for each one, as well as, plenty of photos of each. Most of the information I gathered from this part of the book was small details in design that were mainly from the images.
Part two of the book, Tools and Materials, contains a list of tools that are important in building a micro shelter. A lot of the time when you’re building a structure of this sort, you are some distance from the power grid, and this book accommodates that. Mr. Diedricksen includes several tools that modern builders rarely use, such as a push drill and brace & bits (to replace a power drill). He includes a little explanation for each tool, as well as things you would possibly use it for. This part of the book also has a chapter about budgeting, and ways to help save money. He gives plenty of ideas of where to look for things that can be reused in your own building project, as well as repurposing ideas for decorating.
In part three of the book, Plans to Inspire, Diedricksen includes 6 floor plans from the various types of micro shelters described in part one. These floor plans range from 32 ft2 to 102 ft2. The plans also show how some of the individual parts of the shelter go together. A nice starting point for someone who knows very little about construction!
My overall impression of the book is that it is well written, and well designed. Mr. Diedricksen’s writing style is very loose and full of witty humor. It was definitely never boring to read. The design was very modern, with pages laid out in a manner that’s easy to read and gather information. There were plenty of photos and illustrations to allow you insight into what was being talked about in the writing. One thing I would say about this book, is that when the man titles it micro… he really means it! With most of these structures being less than 100 ft2, this wasn’t a good example of the type of tiny house we’re trying to build; but it was definitely a good source for small design details! I would definitely recommend this book as a good source for those interested in building a tiny house!