Jay Shafer and the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company make small… BIG

It is impossible to do a search for small houses and not turn up Jay Shafer and the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. He is in large part the inspiration for the small house movement and Small House Style. It seems that one person has not done more to put the small house on the map than Jay and this is our homage to him…

Jay Shafer and the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

Jay built his first small house (for himself) in the early ’90s and has been living small ever since. He founded the company in the mid ’90’s because people were expressing real interest in his small house. It seems that other people wanted to live simpler, cheaper and smaller – the Tumbleweed way too.

Jay appeared on Oprah last year and small houses officially hit the big time. You can view the Oprah Tiny Homes, Big Ideas slideshow and video on Oprah.com.

Jay has also made appearances in the San Francisco Chronicle, on CBS (w/ 2 great videos to watch), on NPR, and on countless blog posts and beyond. Keep your eye out for Jay – according to the San Francisco Chronicle he is dreaming up a small house community – shared land, connected by walking paths, on a small piece of land. A sexy, small house development instead of a trailer park? Sounds good to us.

Thanks Jay for being such an inspiration to small house lovers everywhere!

Here are some great video clips and slideshows that feature Jay and Tumbleweed Tiny Houses:

The Hour’s Hilary Doyle finds out if Jay has a good idea:

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company slideshow:

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company Lusby model slideshow:

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company – building the WeeBee:

Learn more about Tumbleweed Tiny Houses and Tumbleweed Tiny House Plans. Jay hosts workshops all over the country if you are interested in learning more.


Add yours
  1. 1

    Jay is definitely directly responsible for inspiring me to build my tiny free house, as well as freegans and Henry David Thoreau. Even if we don’t fully embrace any of these three we can still take away a lot of good life lessons applicable in a lot of ways. Living light, choosing freedom over debt, etc.

  2. 2
    Kate M

    It is time we break away from the debt trap and live simply. Free from the slavery of indebtedness. I feel like I have lived my whole life making the bankers/realtors/etc. wealthy. Jay has inspired me to build my tiny house on my land in NH.

  3. 3

    I’m about to build mine in my vacant rural land here in Brazil. I’ve always been a fan of smaller and efficient stuff, like small trucks, Linux distros, etc. I’m also a fan of Walden’s philosophy and, that puts me to think about this subprime crisis on economy,,, 🙁

  4. 5
    Cindy Painter

    FYI – Your website is overloaded…can’t get through to http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com. Message reads:

    This Account Has Exceeded Its CPU Quota

    Please contact this site’s webmaster.

    Wait a few minutes and use your browser’s “Back” button or click here to try again.

    If you are the webmaster, your account may have gotten this error for one or more of the following reasons:
    Your account has used more than its share of the cpu in the past 60 second sliding window.
    Your account has too many concurrent processes running simultanously.
    Your account has consumed too much memory.
    Your site was recently very busy trying to run inefficient scripts.
    The solution would be to optimize your applications to use less CPU.
    Adding appropriate indeces to your SQL tables can often help reduce CPU.
    Using static .html documents instead of painful .php scripts will practically eliminate CPU usage.

  5. 7

    Wow, $45’000 for that!? I could of done the same thing for $2000!

    I would of bought a nice little Toyota truck and camper for under $20’000…and used the other $25’000 to travel the country.

  6. 8
    Craig C

    Hey Jay,

    Love your houses! I have the opportunity to have a local build a small off-the-grid dwelling on the beach in Kalapana, Big Island, Hawaii for me. I just need some direction! My budget allows for 200sf or less. The site is an old lava flow so no vegetation, just beautiful black lava to the ocean and mountains behind. Requirements include a bath, funtional kitchen, sleeping area and covered patio. The dwelling should be raised to catch the breezes and include tie-downs for wind. The roof will direct water to a catchment tank. It needs to be secure for away periods. Help me with my dream! C

  7. 11

    About 35 years ago I bought tiny house plans from family circle magazine. The result was a 12×12 house with a loft. It was totaly energy efficient being made out od 4×8 t-11 insulated panels,consturcted on site. It was designed by a team of arch. students and is made to be disassembled loaded in the back of a 16′ uhaul truck and reassembled anywhere.

  8. 12
    Bob & Mindy Waadt

    Please send us the cost of your homes, sizes ect…. would love to invest as we retire. Absolutly darling homes and you have the right idea only needing sufficent for your needs in life. Our world has become to money minded and we have forgot what is most important “spending time with your family,” but in our society you have 2 parent’s working so less time with the children and people are taking less and less time to “stop and smell the roses” a great set up for heart attacks (which are on the rise).
    Please send us the costs of your homes. Thank-You!!

  9. 14

    You should get IKEA Stores as a sponsor, “they” believe in selling all kinds of stuff for home, home living… geared to SMALL SPACES.

  10. 15
    Jaimie Shiver

    I am interested in your housing ideas! We just bought land in Georgia and I would like to consult with you. Hope to hear from you soon!

  11. 16
    ann albrecht

    dear jay and TTHse co.

    really want to order the book, but the site doesnt work?

    it states “Click on order book” below” but there is not such click available below….only “add to cart” which wouldnt work.

    Please rsvp.

    Great service in your work. Thank you!
    Sincerely, A. Albrecht

    • 17

      For all of you who were trying to visit the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company site you should try again now. Everything seems stable. Yahoo featured the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company on their homepage and it resulted in so much traffic that it shut their site down for a while.

  12. 18

    Hey Jay,

    Awesome, just awesome. We built a cabin and had little experience and after viewing your homes, it’s very inspiring to see that some still believe a big home isn’t the american dream. Keep it going!


  13. 19
    Michele Arsenault

    Hi, do you or anyone who browses this site know of any Tumbleweed Tiny house intentional communities (co-housing) forming anywhere? I seriously want to build but have to move out of NYC and do not want to live outside of a “community.” Maybe travelling communities!! would require land that allows for the building of these homes and the parking of tiny wheeled versions. Looking forward to hearing back.


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