13 Best Tiny House Books for Inspiration and Action

Ed Wike
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This article is about tiny houses and tiny house books and my personal recommendations! I can only include a few of the best tiny house books here, but these will give you a taste of why tiny houses are so awesome and why they are likely to be one of the biggest trends of the next decade.

NameCategoryProduct
Composting Toilet System Book: A Practical Guide to ChoosingBest OverallComposting Toilet System Book: A Practical Guide to Choosing
Make Your Place: Affordable & Sustainable Nesting SkillsBudget PickMake Your Place: Affordable & Sustainable Nesting Skills
The Small House BookUpgrade PickThe Small House Book

1. Composting Toilet System Book: A Practical Guide to Choosing

Our rating: 9 / 10

Composting Toilet System Book: A Practical Guide to Choosing

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Pros:

  • Practical guide on choosing, planning, and maintaining composting toilet systems
  • 155-page guide filled with pictures and diagrams
  • Its unique spiral binding provides easy access to desired pages
  • Perfect for people who do have access to a plumbing system

Cons:

  • This book isn’t useful to people who rely on a good water system
  • This book is for people who want to learn more about composting and tiny house sustainability

This is an Amazon bestseller with over 100 positive reviews. The guide is a great read for anyone looking to learn more about composting toilet systems and what that entails.

The book is 155-pages long. The book is inexpensive, and its spiral binding provides easy access to the desired pages.

It’s important to note that the book is intended for people who don’t have access to plumbing systems. However, it can still be a good read for people who do have access to a plumbing system. It’s perfect for people who are interested in learning more about composting and tiny home sustainability.

2. Tiny Homes on the Move: Wheels and Water

Our rating: 7 / 10

Tiny Homes on the Move: Wheels and Water

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Pros:

  • Great details of building tiny homes
  • Small space and big value
  • Proves that there’s no one-size-fits-all
  • Expert tips on buying and using a tiny house
  • Crammed with photos of tiny homes on wheels and water.
  • Offers alternatives if you prefer to modify the designs to suit your needs
  • Includes a useful directory of resources including websites, blogs, and manufacturers
  • Perfect for tiny house enthusiasts as well as potential homeowners.

Cons:

  • Expensive for the product you receive
  • The book is not updated from the first publication.

This book is a terrific guide to tiny spaces and the many ways you can convert small spaces into comfortable tiny homes. It features more than a dozen projects, including one-of-a-kind homes and sections on space-saving solutions for small houses. The book contains more than 100 all-color photographs and detailed diagrams that outline the building processes.

In addition, the book provides information on ways to save money and how to replicate the features in a tiny home. If you’re curious about tiny home living, this is an excellent guide.

3. The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir

Our rating: 7 / 10

The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir

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Pros:

  • Great for inspiring you to build a tiny house on wheels
  • Well written and easy to read
  • Covers many home design options and material choices
  • The author has a good sense of humor, which is appreciated
  • The descriptions of the various sites visited are quite lovely

Cons:

  • The book is too short
  • The stories and anecdotes are interesting but don’t really give any practical building instructions
  • While Dee Williams is definitely an accomplished woman, she comes across as a little arrogant in her writing
  • A few of the resources are out of date

Dee Williams, a resident of Washington, converted a school bus into a mobile home and travelled around the US. In The Big Tiny: A Built-it-Myself Memoir, she shares all the trials and tribulations encountered while building her tiny house and immerses you in her tiny house lifestyle. (She’s now trying to move from the bus to a tiny house on wheels.)

4. Tiny House Living: Ideas

Our rating: 6 / 10

Tiny House Living: Ideas

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Pros:

  • Great resource for small living
  • Ideas to create the life you want whether you’re in a tiny house or the house you’re living in

The tiny house movement is sweeping the nation. If you’ve been thinking of making the leap to living a simpler lifestyle, this book is a great place to start. Vickie Hunter offers advice on everything from choosing your tiny house plans to how to budget and save money in the process.

This book is human-centric and reads like a conversation. It helps you overcome the common fears that come with making a lifestyle change. Vickie offers practical advice that is easy for everyone to understand. And she doesn’t sugarcoat anything. She’s very realistic about the process, and doesn’t gloss over any of the negativity you’re going to encounter. This makes the book much more relatable to real life.

5. Make Your Place: Affordable & Sustainable Nesting Skills

Our rating: 6 / 10

Make Your Place: Affordable & Sustainable Nesting Skills

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Pros:

  • A excellent resource for interested beginners
  • Great project ideas that demonstrate design efficiency
  • Written by experienced, sustainable architects and designers
  • Large design section with a wide variety of environments including urban and rural
  • You get to learn more about the latest trends and materials used in sustainable tiny living

Cons:

  • The section on porch and patio design is small
  • The book gives advice for converting a traditional home into a tiny home, not necessarily tiny home construction from scratch

With the cost of living on a high rise and the increasing rental prices around the world, more and more people are downsizing their homes and starting to embrace the tiny living movement.

The Make Your Place book is a great guide for sustainable tiny living. This book shows you how to live more affordably and sustainably in less space. It includes chapters on learning to live more frugally, gardening and zen-like tiny living, making your space appealing, practical steps to preserve and restore the environment and a lot more. It also has a very generous design section that covers a variety of environments. While the form is compact, this book is packed with helpful tips and information that will help you create the perfect tiny home or living space for you.

6. The Small House Book

Our rating: 6 / 10

The Small House Book

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Pros:

  • Clear and concise information
  • Author is a professional architect
  • Lots of great ideas
  • Beautiful photos
  • Useful resource for building

Cons:

  • Doesn’t go into a lot of technical details
  • Doesn’t give you instructions
  • Photography is not professional

A Creative Guide to Building a Beautiful, One-Room House

The Small House Book is a guide that helps you prepare for creating your ultimate small space home. The book offers tips on everything from design and building to creating a decorating plan. It’s a comprehensive resource and a beautiful guide thanks to its full-color pages which include beautiful photography and sketches.

This book is for both experienced house builders and those who have never even picked up a hammer. You’ll find that The Small House Book provides the information you need to complete a rewarding experience.

7. Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter

Our rating: 6 / 10

Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter

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Pros:

  • Each topic is covered in-depth to help you build a tiny home
  • Covers both natural and synthetic insulation choices
  • Great interior design advice
  • Good source of inspiration

This is a great guide on building your tiny home. It has a lot of inspiration for beginners and it may put you into the perfect state of mind to build your own tiny home.

Bionerd23 is a well-known Youtuber who focuses on all things tiny homes. Her channel is unique and has been a great help to countless people who are looking for more information about the tiny home lifestyle. In this book, she shares tiny home wisdom that has been tested on her fully self-sufficient and off-the-grid tiny home. When you spend more time with Bionerd23, you’ll find out that she’s a very experienced person when it comes to living in a tiny home.

She spent more than a decade building and designing her tiny home which can be found in Portland, Oregon.

8. The Very Small Home: Japanese Ideas

Our rating: 6 / 10

The Very Small Home: Japanese Ideas

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Pros:

  • Uniquely Japanese approaches to tiny home technologies and housing
  • Covers the concept of the tiny home from history and philosophy, as well as all the practicalities that go into building it
  • This book gives readers a huge amount of information that can be applied to their own lives
  • Can be used as coffee table book, too!
  • Highly recommended by the tiny house community

(and Money)

It’s easy to read this book and come away inspired, but that’s only the first step. It’s up to you to use that information and turn it into something that will really improve your life.

If you’re looking for a tiny home that exceeds the 1,000-square-feet and won’t cost a million dollars, then you’re not alone. And there’s a way for you to get there. In order to make it into your home, you’re going to need a lot of information. That’s where this book comes in handy.

9. Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House

Our rating: 6 / 10

Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House

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Pros:

  • An excellent primer for tiny house living
  • Covers the house in great detail
  • Inspiring new ideas for layout designs
  • The size makes it a compact and handy reference work to have
  • It is more of a coffee table book

Cons:

  • More of an inspiration work
  • Not really a hands-on how-to manual

The Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House by Kiku Hayashi is a mere 4.1 inches tall. Because of its foot-and-a-half high stature, it is more of a coffee table or inspiration work rather than a detailed how-to manual.

But this isn’t a bad thing at all. This is the book that sparked the tiny house revolution in the Western hemisphere – at least in the English speaking countries – and it’s really easy to see why.

Simply Imperfect is a treasure trove of ideas and fresh new takes on the tiny house concept. In fact, you can use it as your go-to reference work for years to come.

10. Humble Homes

Our rating: 5 / 10

Humble Homes

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Pros:

  • Readable and interesting
  • Covers a huge variety of tiny house options and styles
  • Good length for such a beefy book
  • Useful for your own project or just inspiration
  • Filled to the brim with tips and personal stories

Cons:

  • There is no order to the tiny houses and some are harder to find quickly
  • Some of the tiny houses have been removed from original site due to being illegal

If you want a book that covers as many tiny houses as possible in a variety of styles, this is the one to get. This book has the longest list of tiny houses of any other on our list but that is the benefit of having such a long book. It is 724 pages long but you can skip around just by using the table of contents or the index.

11. Tiny House Floor Plans: Over 200 Interior Designs

Our rating: 5 / 10

Tiny House Floor Plans: Over 200 Interior Designs

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Pros:

  • Provides floor plans for tiny house interior design
  • Simple, but effective existing design
  • Fantastic for tiny house inspiration

Cons:

  • No exterior images shown
  • Built with highly modern amenities
  • Won’t work for people who want to construct a tiny house on their own

What You’ll LOVE:

  • A Quick Read
  • Layout is fantastic
  • Features both interior and exterior images of tiny houses
  • Charts for important components
  • Table with lighting suggestions per room
  • Sketches and furniture layouts
  • Simple, but effective existing design
  • Fantastic for tiny house inspiration
  • This is not the typical tiny house book that you’ll see today

Bottom Line: This is a fantastic resource for tiny house design and inspiration. With this book you’ll quickly see that you’ll still have plenty of room for personalization and creativity. There are some pretty funny and unique layouts in here that give inspiration to a whole different angle of tiny house design. Finally, the authors are fantastic at drawing out what is important for you to consider when using this book to draw up the floor plans for your future tiny house. If you’re considering building your own tiny home, definitely pick up this book.

12. Tiny Houses

Our rating: 4 / 10

Tiny Houses

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Pros:

  • Inspiration and ideas for building your own tiny house
  • Contains plans, photos, and interviews with tiny house designers
  • Super-easy to read and learn from
  • Written by Tumbleweed, Inc.

Cons:

  • Limited info on building a tiny house with wheels
  • Not specific enough for city dwelling tiny housers

Inspiration for Your Own Home on Wheels from Tumbleweed, Badilars and More

This book is not so much a how-to book — it offers more of an overview of the tiny house movement and offers insight into some of the latest tiny house designs.

What's great is that you get an inside look into what goes on inside the minds of tiny house designers — from the engineering to the decorating, this book will inspire you to think creatively about how you may want to live and give you some good ideas for incorporating tiny house design principles into your own home. It's also packed with gorgeous photos that give you a real sense of how tiny homes work for people in a variety of different situations.

13. Shipping Container Homes: Your complete guide on how to find

Our rating: 3 / 10

Shipping Container Homes: Your complete guide on how to find

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Pros:

  • Basics, tips, and tricks of shipping container housing
  • Offers insights into how to find, buy, and design a shipping container house
  • Covers everything from small, tiny homes to large homes that you can live inside

Cons:

  • Iffy layout (could use a bit more consistency in terms of font sizes, images, & layouts)
  • You have to agree to a trial membership with Bookhoot
  • If you are not fond of membership sites or feel that this might not be for you, then just do not opt-in

We certainly love this book and it comes pretty close to topping the list of the best shipping container books listed here.

Published in 2016, it´s a 79-page book that provides tips and tricks as well as insights into how to take control of your own future. The book is also filled with images and photographs as well as great drawings that visually depict what it takes to go tiny right now.

Those who want to take advantage of extremely low interest rates and those who want to spend a lot less on their mortgage (not to forget the huge savings on energy bills) should get this book. In fact, it´s also an inspiration for those who would like to get a taste of what it´s like to be debt free and mortgage free.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are 3 positive features of a tiny house?

First, you can move on a moment’s notice. Not many homes can do that, can they? Second, tiny houses give you more time and freedom to spend outdoors. And third, tiny houses are a way to spend less and live more simply.

How do you make a tiny house book?

All you need is a notebook, some pretty paper, and some inspiration. That’s what makes a book so great, you can write them yourself.

Start by writing down your ideas on small pieces and move on from there.

With the slow selling of ebooks, many traditional publishers are seeing the light, and coming around to the fact that self-publishing is THE best way to create, get noticed, and sell.

In the end, you have to do the hard work, but between technology and social media, the world can now really see your stories and learn from them. So, it is time to focus on developing a product, a service, or an idea, that’s the most meaningful and beautiful to you, and then, find a way to share it with the larger world.

Can you build a tiny house for $5000?

What are 3 reasons people choose to buy a tiny house?

Before buying a tiny house, consider these reasons:

  • Cost: Tiny houses are great for saving money. Many offer cost-saving features like living on wheels and off grid living.
  • Space: You’ll save money and get a bigger home at a lower cost.
  • Stash: Combine living space savings with your savings stash and you’ll not only have a bigger house but also more money.
  • Living green: Tiny homes are usually truly green homes and can help you reduce your carbon footprint.
  • Freedom: Tiny homes are small enough for you to live without rules in an urban area.
  • Style: Some tiny homes are gorgeously designed and are the ultimate status symbol.
  • Tiny house community

Conclusion

(Updated April 2019)

We hope that after reviewing this page, you have a better idea of which book to get for your Tiny House. You’re blessed to live at a time when there’s a book to counter almost every challenge you’ll come across. So make it easy on yourself, and ensure easy readability by choosing well. A well-read tiny house book is a happy tiny house book, and it all starts with the right book.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Composting Toilet System Book: A Practical Guide to ChoosingBest OverallComposting Toilet System Book: A Practical Guide to Choosing
Make Your Place: Affordable & Sustainable Nesting SkillsBudget PickMake Your Place: Affordable & Sustainable Nesting Skills
The Small House BookUpgrade PickThe Small House Book