Tiny Home Design: Arborion


It was a few months ago that I finally committed to building a Tiny Home. The prospect is daunting to say the least. But after following the likes of Jay Shafer, Dan Louche, and countless tiny home blogs and newsletters for 10 years now, it was about time to get going if I was ever going to make this happen.

This may be a good time to briefly explain the main reasons I have for choosing this lifestyle. The main point is simplicity. I like the idea of less stuff and more freedom. Next would be the efficiency and consequently the reduced impact on the environment. Finally, I wish to live the life I believe in and share it with others that are interested. I would not be at this point now without many others who have graciously shared with me their knowledge and passion for tiny homes. My sincerest gratitude to each and every one of you.

I have attended a tiny home design workshop hosted by Jay Shafer a few years ago and a tiny house tour by Dan Luche recently which provided me invaluable insight into what truly to expect when building on a trailer and at that scale.

I initially started crafting and refining my design on paper. Then I quickly moved on to a simple 3D layout and design program. The excitement of designing my own tiny home kept me up late at night and early in the mornings for many weeks. Even now it is still an evolving design. I call it Arborion.

Once I had a visual concept in SketchUp, I was able to get an idea of what I could fit inside an 8′ x 20′ structure. I could step through many of the design features and layout ideas in this mode. Several critical areas for consideration were the narrow walkway between the cabinets in the split kitchen, loft (kitchen ceiling) height, wardrobe size and location, storage areas, bathroom & shower size, door size, number of windows and various other relational distances. Some of the choices helped me to arrive at other decisions, but a few I struggled with for many days. When in doubt I lean toward what will make the home stronger or last longer, then what will look closest to my initial visual concept.

Much time has passed since I first dreamt of building my own tiny home and the decision to start the process. All I can say is I’m glad to finally commit to building my dream home. It will take a year or more to save the money needed to start the physical build, but in the meantime I have several other steps that I can take to refine my design.

The build will consist of two main phases. Phase one will be everything from the trailer to drying it in. This includes the sub floor, framing, sheathing, house wrap, metal roof, windows & door, and cedar siding. Phase two is anything after drying it in and will mostly be interior work like wiring, plumbing, insulation, flooring, cabinetry, shower and lots of finish work.

I’ve included a link for the PDF of the initial layout and design concept below.

Early Study Plans: Arborion

Next up – Life Size Floorplan

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