As consumers become more enamored with super-sized food, homes and vehicles, it is refreshing to see the simple and efficient structures of Jay Shafer’s Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Founded on his personal philosophy and desire for low-impact living, Jay has committed himself to the idea of “subtractive design,” rejecting typical spatial assumptions and opting for clarity through conscientious use of space.

Jay’s little handcrafted dwellings range from 40 to 500-sq-ft and have been designed to accommodate a multitude of needs, whether a home office, vacation home, or full-time residence. The varied models can be customized, made road-ready for portability, even connected together to form cluster communities. Like a rustic version of the Micro-Mini home that we profiled earlier, the quaint cabin-like designs of the Tumbleweed house are markedly efficient in plan and section; they cleverly utilize lofts for sleeping areas, wall and overhead spaces are used for storage, and retractable furnishings fulfill multiple functions.

Jay was profiled on HGTV earlier this year and gave an on-camera tour of his own 70-sq-ft private residence. While Jay seemed well acclimated to his diminutive domicile, these houses are clearly not the solution for everyone; manually emptying your toilet is a pretty big sacrifice for the average camper – not to mention the everyday homeowner. However, Jay’s goal of “saving the world from oversized, consumptive houses” is not only admirable, but these adorable houses make it hard to resist.

+ Tumbleweed Tiny House Company


or your inhabitat account below


  1. LetaJohnston March 8, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Do you have a catalog? We need a small residence to accompany a horse barn – zoning requires it!

  2. vjfronk October 20, 2008 at 11:40 am

    were is a tumbleweed friendly place were the building codes acomadate these little houses? were i live in central fl you need 5 acers to live in one of these,a KOA camp is exspensive and a trailer park will not let you bye your lot. i want to own my own lot and own my hose with out becomeing a slave to it till the day i die.

  3. atozglobal October 7, 2008 at 7:02 am

    Our smallest micro home is 128 square feet on two levels. the second level is a four foot high sleeping loft.
    The electric is solar, the cooking and heating backup is propane, the toilet is composting through the floor to a special stack vented collection digester bin with earth worms, the drainage is a grey water system to a vegetable garden.
    The model home is 75% finished and we will be in production by spring. We will offer other sizes. We can also offer kits. We are just kind of easing into the business and our units are available totally off the grid. Our goal is to offer the lowest prices and mass produce these homes. Any questions or for contact, just Google the next billionaires will be green by Walt Barrett

  4. Red Icculus January 25, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Thanks Julie, I was wondering about that.

    I love tiny houses.

  5. julie October 6, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    Waste: If you get one of Jay’s street legal homes, they are completely mobile and hence can use the same dumping facilities as RV’s and trailers. If you choose to have it be in one place, a septic system or city services are available. Composting and incinerating potties (yes, really) are also possible, and then you only have “grey” water waste and that, depending on the zoning, can be put onto the ground or used for outside watering.

  6. Iris April 4, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    Cute! Very cool idea. We don’t need giant mansions (they’re a total waste). But where would you dump your…um… waste?? I don’t think I’d mind SOo much, but…where?

  7. Nilufer Talu February 27, 2007 at 4:00 am

    This house can be evaluated with the idea of Exiztenzminimum. Living in minimum!!! We don’t need to so many goods to buy, keep and consume. In addition to that it refers to the nostalgic image of ideal home that is considered as loss original and desired phenomenon by modern individual.

  8. Inhabitat » LIVIN... February 20, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    […] tiny (and mostly prefab) dwellings we’ve profiled at Inhabitat, from the 65-square-foot Tiny Tumbleweed Homes to the palatial 700-square-foot weeHouse. Click here to read the […]

  9. Jaggae November 4, 2005 at 8:51 am

    Ooh! So cute! The first one on the left, reminds me of a caravan from one of Mickey Mouse’s cartoons! My dream little country cottage!

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home