Actually Living in 130 sq ft

So, we have moved to Southern Ontario, Canada with our Fencl Tumbleweed Tiny House a few weeks ago!

Collin & I are settling in wonderfully. The property that we get to live on is 100% private, full of tall trees & gardens, and has water and electricity hook ups. Our friends are allowing us parking for our car, as well as usage of their laundry facilities and storage. We are really blessed.

Let’s get to the good stuff: How are we REALLY living tiny?

Well, first of all, we had to downsize. A lot. We’ve only been married three years (two of those we had an apartment with plenty of belongings), but per usual, we did collect stuff. So, we had to get rid of tons, but still kept things that were important to us (e.i. music gear, art supplies, kitchen bits and bobs, and framed art work). Like I said earlier, we do have storage.

The first few days were overwhelming. We had boxes everywhere, like any other family who just moved house, but in a space this small, everything feels 100 times messier! So, once we got ourselves sorted with storage, kitchen organized, bathroom cupboard arranged and clothes hung, bed made, and furniture unburied, we could breathe.

How do you drain your sink, shower & toilet water?

We use biodegradable dish soap & shampoo, so our water can just be drained on site. For now, we are using an eave trough to drain both the shower and sink pipes just beyond the house. It is only grey water, as they say, so it will not harm the grass or soil. As for black water (toilet water) we have built a loveable loo (google it!). This is a bucket and saw dust method that does not require any plumbing. You cover what you add to it using the saw dust and it eliminates the odors, while helping it break down into compost. Seeing as we do not own the land, we cannot compost in the full manner, but instead take the full bucket into town to the water plant. There we can dispose of it for free!

How can you cook?

We have a three burner stove (propane fed), a bar fridge (with freezer) and a convection oven. I am an avid baker, so to go without an oven would feel too much like camping/roughing it, and this is our home. There is a spacious cupboard for storage, and quite a few shelves for jars of food, dishes, etc. The trick is to keep cleaning as you go!

Can you have people over? And what if you have a family?

Yes. We have a couch, and two Ikea sofa chairs. Also, we live on 2 acres of beautiful land and have outdoor bbq’s, campfires, and hang outs outside. As for sleeping over, our couch converts to a bed that can sleep two. Our storage loft about the couch can also sleep one (once we add a railing). In all: 5 can sleep over. When it comes time to have children, we figure a baby would fit in no prob. We aren’t the type of people who buy frivolously for ourselves, and will be selective as to what we’d add to our home in terms of baby items.

If you have other questions, be sure to ask them! This website is to be of help to others interested in trying alternative housing options.

To help give you a sense of it all, here’s a video tour:

Sorry, but it’s a mirror image taken off the webcam. So, imagine it flipped!


  1. Sean says:

    Hi Guys,
    The new location looks wonderful. I’m a little farther south than you in Sarnia,ON and have been looking at Tumbleweeds for a while but I keep asking myself how would you insultate the drainage and water supply so it doesn’t freeze up in our lovely Southern Ontario winters? SO I thought I’d ask what have you done in design or after build add on’s to address winter function of plumbing?
    Love the blog and your home… well done!!

    • Lol. No idea yet! Great question! We ask ourselves that very same question. Well, I guess if you keep checking in with us we’ll eventually update the site…

  2. […] world am I going to put my stuff? Find out how they managed to fit their lives in side a tiny home here. Make sure to watch the video to see how they pulled it all […]

  3. Your activities, action and willingness to live through the heart is ever so obvious! It brings me tears to see the expressions of what is it truth in being a human on this Earth now. We are all so blessed…its a good time to be alive! I am in the throws of my wee house as my work is on the road. I have given up all of the life to live through what is important now.
    Thank you for the inspiration that serves others ๐Ÿ™‚ Much love and light on the continued journey!

  4. Sheila says:

    Thanks for the video tour, Joanna. It was super cool to see your house – you guys did a great job! I just bought plans for the Fencl and signed up for the August building workshop in Chicago; so I’m particularly excited to see a Fencl that folks have built and are now living in. Good luck to you both, and thanks for leading the way on living small!

    – Sheila

  5. Lydia says:

    Hi – I’m looking to build a Fencl for myself and my ferrets – about how much was your final cost? What, if anything, would you do differently?

    • Hi there. It cost us about $23,500 CAN. What would we do different, hmm…….
      โ€ข Used a nail gun lol. I used one at the end of the project for something and it was great.
      โ€ข Also, a table saw for some of the wood I had to cut the full length of. They aren’t essential but they do make the job easier and faster.
      โ€ข Cut the roof metal on the ground first. Don’t know why I thought I was a better idea to cut it on the roof lol. Figured that out half way thought.
      โ€ข Test all electrical before putting the paneling on the walls. I ran into a problem which fortunately I didn’t have to take an panels of to fix but it could have been a nightmare.
      โ€ข Run the grain of the plywood on the floor along the length of the house. Just would have made my floor lets springy.
      โ€ข Make sure the shower drain whole is not on top of the trailer chassis.
      โ€ข build it under cover or inside if possible
      That’s all I can think of for now. Hope that is helpful. Take care.

      • Faye says:

        I loved the tour! Ya’ll did a beautiful job. I am in process of building a Fencl and love your door. Would you mind telling me where you purchased it, or did you build it? Thank You

        • Collin & Joanna says:

          Thank you Faye! We bought it on sale at Rona. It is technically an interior door that we painted and will need to insulate (windows) come winter.

  6. ET says:

    Very nicely built.

    Where are you going to put wet winter coats and boots?

    • lol great question. No idea yet. They is a lot of stuff regarding winter we have yet to create solutions for.

      • Ann Wilson says:

        In the case of wet weather coats and boots. Do you think you could build a box that hangs off the side of the porch like where the pots sit. You would get cold going to retrieve them but they would be out of the way. Then the box could be stored underneath during the rest of the year. Or enclose the porch and just hang them out side the door. Another idea hang them in the shower until you need them.
        I am also trying to figure out where to put all my stuff. I am taking a long look at what I have so I can start down sizing. I am going to start building either a tiny house or a very small straw bale house this fall.

        • Ann Wilson says:

          Sorry my post was so long. By the way loved the video. You are so inspiring. I am 51 and about to try this my self.

        • Collin & Joanna says:

          Great ideas, Ann! Thank you. I think Collin’s gonna close off the porch due to our hardcore winters. He just finished siliconing all our cracks and crannies yesterday on the roof, walls and door. That’s awesome about you downsizing! Good for you!! The straw bail house is a sweet option! Definitely interested in that for myself down the road when we build a larger family home. All the best!

  7. Rob says:

    I’ve been following your blog for awhile now…thanks for the tours of your home – they help strengthen my decision to purchase a small home of my own. You’ve done a great job – please keep the updates coming!

  8. Kathleen says:

    I really appreciated your video tour. For the first time I understood how the ladder works. Apparently it pulls out. Do you use that same ladder to access the storage space above the couch?

    Also, how deep in cm or inches are the shelves opposite the ladder where you have your spices?

    • Hi Kathleen. Thanks for the encouragement. We plan to use the ladder to access the storage but need to put rubber pads on it. Right now it slides on the smooth floor.
      The shelves are 3.5 inches deep. I used 1×4 finished pine. Which is actually 0.5″ by 3.5″. Don’t know why they started messing with the measurements but they did. Same with a 2″ x 4″; they are actually 1.5″ by 3.5″. Hope that is helpful.

      • Steve says:

        The reason the measurements for wood changed is because those are rough cut measurements. The reduction in actual size is because now those pieces are planed to make them smooth.. thus reducing each piece 1/4 inch per side. Hope this helps explain it.

  9. Wayne says:

    Curious again ๐Ÿ™‚ You had spent the better part of a year building your tiny house in Barrie Ontario and now live in Stratford. I assumed all along that you both likely had employment in the Barrie area in order to afford the build. My question is ….. did you give up your jobs in Barrie? New jobs in Stratford?

  10. Yes and no. I have my own business so I just moved locations.

  11. Diana says:

    I think this house is wonderful! We’re in a whole different climate, in central Alabama and while our house was being built I used a lovable loo. Better than the buggy woods, but not a reasonable solution for us. The idea of lugging it around to empty it seems daunting, but I’ve also heard frustrating stories about the other types of toilets with fans running to dry out waste. Is there a better solution for you long term?

    • Hi there Diana. When we have our own land we would like to compost it there instead of taking it in to the treatment plant. When we build our next home I am interested in using a gray-water flush system with onsite natural treatment. This is what is used in earthships. They are pretty sweet.

  12. Hi Joanna! Just found your website and took the house tour…fantastic! I first learned about Tiny houses from an Oprah episode and recently came across it again on a quilting site of all places! I can only dream of living in a tiny space…I don’t think my husband would go for it…but I can dream can’t I? ๐Ÿ˜‰ We live in a Villa in Linkรถping but do have a smaller place in Vรคrmland that is 5 m x 5 m….small enough but not tiny. There we have a separett toilet and compost everything. Look forward to more posts on your website.


  13. Amy W. says:

    Just opened your blog up through the Tumbleweed site! I’m a 51 year old girl, 27 years married, with 2 adult children.
    Your story is such a inspiration! I so admire your new home!
    Oh, the adventures you are going to have to reflect back upon when you are my age!
    I can only hope my 2 children someday find and embrace the same type of wonderful life you two are working on making for yourselves!
    Wishing you both the very best in life!

  14. Doug says:

    What is the difference between living in this and living in a travel trailer?

  15. Ben Huffman says:

    Just stumbled on your site. What a great story. Thanks for sharing a bit of your life with the rest of us.

  16. Gerald says:

    I’m very excited to see you live relatively close to me. I’ve been obsessed with Tiny Houses and alternative living arrangments (Cobb Houses etc.) but was unsure how it would work out in Southern Ontario. I look forward to more updates on your experiences. Any thoughts on how Winter’s going to be? I apologize if you’ve already answered that somewhere else.

    • Hi Gerald. Thanks for dropping buy. Winter? Well basically we haven’t got that far. In terms of heat and shelter we are fine. The walls are well insulated and we have a great little heater. As for water, not sure yet.

  17. Lisa says:

    Hey Collin & Joanna,

    Love the video. Quick question–but one no other blogger has answered yet oddly. How does getting the land work? We want to build one of our own but have no idea where we’d put it. Do you rent land, use a family member’s or did you have to purchase land on top of your home cost? Also was it hard to get the power & water & internet run out to your home? Thanks!

    • Hi Lisa, great question. We are on a friends property and haven’t bought land yet. It was a total God send because they already had water and electrical hook up on there property. We don’t get internet in our house as it is to far away from there house. So we just go in and use it there. We are sort of like a little community. They are great people.

  18. Derek and Sara says:

    Looking forward to checking out more of your site! Sara and I are moving towards a similar goal ๐Ÿ™‚ Congrats and best to you guys!!

  19. Sarah Marie says:

    This is so outstanding. I am on the other side of life looking at downsizing everything and using money for adventure rather than tied up in a home that needs lots of impovements and things that have no use but clutter the attic and closets.

    I really like what you have done an your organization. you are an insperation to all.

  20. Ann says:

    Do you live in the Wee house full time? What is your water source? I am thinking of adding a water filter and using rain water. I am very curious about the end result of living small. Is it worth the sacrifices of space? What is your power source, Solar or propane like a travel trailer? Would a travel trailer have been just as good?

    • Hi Ann. We do live in the house full time. We are hooked up to a friends water and electrical at the moment. The water is from there well. We are also thinking of doing the rain water thing but not sure how to capture the volume we need. We have a fine sediment filter and a UV filter. We are using propane for water heating, cooking and heating the house. Given that we own our home in our twenty’s, I would say yes it is worth the sacrifices. There are many reasons someone might want to do this. For us we are using it as a stepping stone. Amongst a few other reasons we love adventure and don’t like debt. Hope that is helpful. Take care Ann.

  21. Kevin says:

    Hello joanna thats so cool i loved the video an i hope yall bring us some more

  22. Tony says:

    Hi Colin and Joanne,
    Our group is building an “off-grid” demonstration home in Niagara. We have an opportunity to build a tiny home “off-grid” community subdivision in Niagara as well. We are working with the city on this. Would love to talk to you both about it. By the way, Your music is great. Please drop me a line.

  23. Tom says:

    If you don’t mind questions, what sized trailer did you start with? length/width/weight class?
    I have a family of 4 and would like to build a tiny home to get away and off the grid. I have lots of good ideas for heating/cooling/water/electric, now you have answered my waste disposal question. the fencle looks like a wonderful layout. I’ll have to find one for 4 though.

  24. Hey y’all. Came across your site today because of a YouTube video. I love the personality of the house. It is quaint yet functional. I think it’s great that y’all are being so transparent about the building and living while still being hip and stylish. If you pop on to Facebook please drop in and say hello. We are at

    Thank you again and CHEERS!

  25. Mary says:

    Wow this is AWESOME!! Congrats on the completion of your home ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. Fantastic tour, thank you so much for sharing! I’m also looking to build a house in the Midwestern United States but was a bit concerned about colder temperatures (most builders are in warmer climates), so it gives me extra confidence seeing that you’ve built one in Canada. I also love that you’re recently married – my fiance and I are building one to live in right after we get married. It will be our first home. Looking forward to reading more from you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Hello to you both. Have to say (again) how awesome it is that you have built and moved in to your wee house!

    My husband and I are planning to build our own in Quebec possibly in the spring, if plans go well. The thing is, we would REALLY, REALLY like to see what it feels like to actually be IN a little house before we do it ourselves, and, sadly, we missed your open house!

    What we are wondering is, if there would be any way that we could come and see your little house? We live in Brampton, Ontario.
    We would be happy to come any time it’s convenient for you, once you’ve settled in, etc.

    If you could, please email us back and let us know.

    I don’t have a current website, but you could check out our wedding website to see who we are, if you like!

    Hope to hear from you soon, take care!

    • Hi, thank you for your comment. Due to privacy reasons, we’ll pass on getting together, but you are most welcome to keep checking in with us on our blog. Congratulations on being engaged!!

  28. Collin & Joanna,

    I just got to watch your video. It was great. I teach at a local middle school here in Maine, and will be during 65(years young !!!)this August… I’ve been really looking at downsizing as I come to this point in my career…. I like the size and containment of these homes… What was the hardest thing to get used to;at the very start ?? Where do you get the convection oven ???

    Thank you for sharing. I’m sure I’ll have more questions later….


    • Hi Victor. The hardest thing to get used to was the boxes everywhere lol. So we sorted through them and moved what we wanted to keep into storage. A lot of the stuff we kept is art a music related so takes up a bit of space. The convection oven we were given as a wedding present 3 years ago, so I actually don’t know where it came from. Sorry.

  29. Roy Buntyn says:

    Addressing the winterization of pipes consider heat tape or insulating the pipes exposed to the weather. People have been know to put anitfreeze in pipes to prevent freezing when I lived in South Dakota. Be ECO friendly use the insulation and heat tape and use a battery back up when you are not plugged in. Put the heat tape on first then insulate, remember when you do this you may need to replace the heat-tape at a later time.

  30. Istalle says:

    Hi from Puerto Rico:

    I live in love with the Tumbleweed House from the very start. But in this little island is pretty difficult to find or buy wood from old houses, I’m still looking, and I’m certaing at some time I will be driving my family and my self cracy inside of one of this proyects. Enjoy your life, and please continue giving us ideas for our dreams houses. bye…

  31. Pamela says:

    My partner and I want to buld and live in this model.We are 2 63 years young women and wonder if we could use the “living area” as our bedroom as the loft thing can work now but may not as we age. What do you think??
    Thank you for sharing your process and ideas and look forward to checking in. This has been the best video to show my optimistic self how one can actually make it work. You make it look lovely and liveable. Thank you again

    • Thanks Pamela. You might need to adjust things a little. Perhaps you could change the designs a bit before building to accommodate the main floor as a bedroom. you might be able to figure out how to have a murphy bed in there or something. Have fun living your dreams.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Pamela, I had thought about the same thing there is a different model that does have a bedroom on the main floor have you looked at that?

  32. Jill says:

    your house is SOO cute!! I love it!!! I have a son – and they grow so fast. and I was thinking…are you going to get a bigger house if you have children? a little longer or wider so you can add another bed?

    • I was chatting to a guy the other day that lived in a truck with his wife and 2 kids when they first got married. I no longer thought I was crazy for thinking we could do kids in our house. Or at least if I was crazy I wasn’t the only one, lol. We do have a pull out couch and had thought about making a bunch above the bay window area. Obviously the place would need to be made child safe at that point.

    • We have a pull out couch as well as a second loft that can be made as a bunk bed.

  33. Dan says:

    Wonderful house. I live in Toronto in a big honkin house full to the attic with 20 years of crap.I
    bought land on Lake Huron north of Sarnia that is
    where I will retire… not sure if something that small would work, But that is definitely the way
    to go. Congrats to the 2 of you. Take guts to go against the grain.

  34. Denyse Courte says:

    Love your Tumbleweed home! I suggest heat wrap/electrical wrap for the pipes for the winter; it is a plug with a long wire that you wrap around pipes exposed to extreme cold. I have it under my RV for exposed pipes, in my well house, and in my barn. You wrap it around the pipe, apply a slit-type stiff foam insulation and wrap in duct tape and plug it in. A small electric current keeps things flowing. It can be left on and unplugged when not necessary.

  35. That’s realy nice. I liked your house so much. Here on Brazil we have a lot of people that lives in a small house, but nothing like yours. I think that it is pretty good to the planet if everybody used to live in small spaces with not so much furniture, electronics and so on. Bye.

  36. Nikki says:

    r blog my husband and I are from Ontario but we moved out west three years ago. We always think about moving back to ontario and I was really excited to read that you guys think a baby would be fine in a tiny home. We thought this too. we even talked about how you could convert the couch to a crib. My question is how did you find your land?? and i noticed in this blog you said you are not owning it do you rent the land??

  37. Helen says:

    I love tumbleweed tiny houses but the biggest concern I keep coming up with is where to put it! How did you find a place to put your house? or what did you look for? I live in BC.
    Love your house!

  38. Marsha Cowan says:


    I am thinking about building a Tumbleweed type home, but because my husband is blind, a few concessions will have to be made. For instance, the closets will have to be downstairs next to the bathroom, and there has to be a separate shower. He also wants us to have a washer dryer and an under the counter freezer. Because his work in on the computer, we would also have to have a computer area, all within 16 feet of length because that is what our car will haul. Challenging, but I am working on it. Plans are still on paper right now, but my research on fixtures, finishes, kitchens, etc. is done after months of research into what would work for us. I will keep you posted. In the meantime, being able to see inside a real working Tumbleweed home was so very helpful. Thanks for sharing, and keep us posted on the “winter” adjustments.

  39. Allison C. Bayer says:

    I’m so inspired. Thank you for the tour. It occurred to me watching your tour that if we didn’t have such large houses we wouldn’t be so inclinded to fill them up. Intentional decisions are required all the time to live within your means . . . including 130 square feet! Take care, Allison

  40. Dee says:

    Thanks so much for the tour! It was wonderful and so much easier to grasp that just floor plans or snapshots!

  41. Susan Quipp says:

    I’ve just finished the v groove pine lining for my Tumbleweed 7’x14′ wee house and I am interested in selling it. I’m asking $26,000 and I live in Perth, ON, about an hour from Kingston and Ottawa. I have had it for almost three years and used it mainly for a getaway, having moved it a few times. It’s currently parked behind a friend’s house in the country. It’s ready to be finished on the inside with kitchen and any built in shelves the new owners would like to have. It’s a wonderful little house and I’ll be sad to part with it but my circumstances have changed and I want to pass it on to someone who will enjoy it as much as I have and maybe even live in it full time! Please contact me at if you are interested.

  42. Lisa says:

    Hi Joanna and Collin, is there a way to share a link to your music on Facebook? I love it and i think others will too =)

  43. Mae West says:

    Kudos to you for creating an affordable space that is all your own. The setting is beautiful – you could never get that in an apartment.

  44. Candra says:

    Hi, I love the house and thanks for the tour. I’ll keep dropping and check how your doing. Best of Luck with your new home and God Bless. Candy

  45. Mary Buchanan says:

    Love what you’ve done with the place! You are living my dream- altho I don’t think that for us at 60-something- that a ladder to the bed is a good idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. […] But 300 plus feet? Total luxury for some. Hereโ€™s Collin & Joanna โ€” a couple living in less than 200 square. Check out their blog, too. […]

  47. Great video, great site — and I really like your music! I clicked on it and didn’t expect much…because, ya know, life’s like that and I found you because of the tiny house thing. But wow — great stuff.

  48. Tanner says:

    How do you wash your clothes?
    And I assume the dishes are washed by hand in the sink?
    Do you have more clothes than were in the closet?
    Do you use the storage in the loft as a sort of dresser?

    Best of luck in life,

    • We wash clothes at our friends house. Yes, the dishes are washed by hand. As we live on Canada, you kind of need a winter & a summer wardrobe so our winter stuff is in storage. I (Collin) was going to use the small storage in the bed area for clothes, but it became a bit if an access issue so I uses the shelfs in the living room area.

  49. Paula says:

    Your house looks great. I was just wondering if the house plans were really detailed and easy to follow?

  50. Tanner says:

    How do you get Internet? Your friend’s wifi? Or a mobile hotspot?

    Thanks for answering my questions!

  51. Susan & Paul says:

    I just finished the floor framing for my Fencl and am waiting for the weekend to insulate and lay the plywood.

    I’ve studied your building and framing the Fencl videos and I cannot believe how great your interior looks. I have so much work to do!

    Maybe we can caravan some time. Thanks for the inspiration.

  52. Sandra says:

    I love this idea, but WHERE does one put these tiny homes? I live around Riverton, NJ area.

  53. Susan & Paul says:

    Are you happy with your jack stands? Is that the type you would reccomend?

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      Good question. Yes in that they hold up our house. No because they only raise and lower on notches. I would prefer more specific control over the height, and the ability to change the height with the jack (like a car jack).

  54. Jennifer says:

    Hello! Thank you so much for posting the video – which is very helpful to someone thinking on this for the future – I think your post and seeing how you live has really made me begin to seriously consider this! I think I read somewhere that you said you were able to fit a “full size” shower in your bathroom. Can you tell me the dimensions of the shower unit (width and depth)? Much appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

  55. Dawn says:

    Thank you for the video. My mom informed me of the tumble weed houses and thinks it’s a good way to beome cheaply autonomous, I agree however I currently live and work in the D.C. area and I don’t see this sort of living sitting well in that sort of environment. I wouldn’t know where to park the home, or water usage. I see that you have answered the questions regarding water usage and electric, but for me in the D.C. metro area I don’t feel this is an option. Do you have any advice?

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      It’s roughly the same in most areas; either buy your own land, live on family/friend’s property, or rent a space in a reserve/mobile home/camping area. As for water/electric, you can connect to what is on the land you own/rent or can collect rain in regards to water. Filters and UV filters are used to take out harmful elements. Hope this helps. The key is to have an attitude that it can and will work for you to be able to do it, if you want of course, and then to go hard after it and a way will open up.

  56. Leann Waggoner says:


    Thanks for sharing your tiny house process. It is so great to see the tiny house movement in full force. I am currently building one myself and have a few questions. What brand is your cook top as well as your fridge and where did you get them. Also, I am getting ready to put in the shower and I am wondering if you put any vapor barrier on the walls before putting in the shower stall? Is there a vent fan in there? What was your plumbing method (pex, plumbing manifold, etc.) and where did you put the water heater? Thanks again for sharing.


    • Collin & Joanna says:

      Our three burner stove is by Atwood from the Hitch House in Orillia, Ontario. You can look them up and ask them more questions. As for the vapor barrier, we just left the wall bare with the Styrofoam insulation, and then taped all the edges where it was touching the 2×4’s with Tyvex tape. That tape is a must for the build, at least, we found. We don’t have a fan, no. Haven’t needed one either. Usually we keep the bathroom window open for fresh air and ventilation anyway. As the plumbing, Collin did all that part, so from what I remember, it was the plastic pex that could bend and be cut easily without all the fancy copper tools for the copper way of doing it. The water heater is in the back right corner of the house (under the kitchen counter where the “L” shape counter tops meet each other. Hope this helps! Joanna.

  57. Scott Allen says:

    Incredible build!!! I hope to start one soon, are the plans easy to follow?

  58. Debbie says:

    Just curious as to where you guys keep your recycling bins? I guess your garbage just gets added into your friends’ whose property you are on? And to clarify concerning your water and electric-do you have an actual water hose, like a garden hose connected to your home and is your electric just an extension cord from the main house? I would think your convection oven would pull quite a bit of power. Ever had any problems with tripping circuit breakers?

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      Hi there Debbie. You are right, our garbage and recycling goes with our friends.
      Water: We have a drinking water safe hose that goes from a garden water outlet to the side of our house. We turn that on to fill up our tank inside.
      Electrical: The electrical extension is a 12 gauge cable that runs from an outdoor outlet to the side of our house. 12 gauge can take a 20 AMP load. We haven’t had any breaker problems.
      Take care.
      (this is not electrical advice)

  59. Debbie says:

    One more question…do you have a tank that stores cold water in addition to your hot water tank in the corner of your kitchen cabinets? I have seen some people who just keep a beverage dispenser on their counter. If you have a cold water storage tank, where is it, underneath? Do the plans you built by have this info about connections to services or did you have to figure it out as you put it all together? I’d love to build a home like yours on my farm in Kentucky and was thinking I could use a big water tank that would normally be used to water cattle in the fields. Thanks for fueling my imagination!

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      The only water tank we have is cold. The hot water is on demand from a propane water heater. No info regarding pluming came with the plans, we had to figure that out by our self’s. Our water tank is under the sink. if you can improvise go for it. Have fun.

  60. Misty R. says:

    Hello Collin and Joanna,

    So happy to hear your place is done and it looks great. I wish you both the best. My husband and I are in our 40’s with 1 child left to leave home and have been thinking of building a Tumbleweed, we are going for a larger model to put on wheels, so we can travel with it on holiday so to save on motels. Do you think a larger one on wheels would be feesible for 3 people? Thank you for your reply and again cudo’s for your bravery.

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      I think if you get creative you could do it. Like the area over the bay window could be a bunk. If you new you wanted to do that before building you could tailor the plan accordingly. Never done it, just throwing thoughts out there. Have fun.

    • leann says:

      Misty, unless you plan to stay in one place when you travel I would not recommend building a tiny house to travel in. They are a pain to move, need a large truck, and are challenging to maneuver in windy conditions. You are betteroff in an airstream. I considered this as well then had to ask myself what I really wanted the tiny house to serve as. Good luck on your journey.

  61. Miss R says:

    Hi! I have a few questions.
    1. How do you get internet?
    2. It’s awesome that you have a friend who lets you use their washing machine. But how would one wash their clothes if they didn’t have that blessing?


    • Collin & Joanna says:

      We get internet from a few places; data plan on our iPhone, our friends houses & the library. As for the laundry I guess you could use a laundry mat.

  62. Michael McClung says:

    I’ve been reading your blogs, watched you guys on youtube and am inspired to build my own Fencl someday.I subscribed to you youtube videos very well done.I can’t see any pics on your blog though.I have a Mac if that makes a differences.
    cheers Michael

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      Thanks MIchael,

      We are having some server problems at the moment so the hoots aren’t visible. Thanks for noticing and letting us know!

  63. Ainsley says:

    Hi Collin and Joanna!

    I found yourblog and read it with interest, but was not expecting more than additional info about small homes when I saw you lived in Barrie! I currently live in Orillia with my parents and am going to university in Waterloo, right by Stratford!!! So cool that we are close in both locations!
    I have a quick question for you regarding zoning – how did you swing the tiny home to work in regards to bylaws? I know that would be a major issue in certain parts of the country, but I am unaware of the issues surrounding Ontario.

    Thanks for sharing your tiny home with the world! -Ainsley, age 20

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      It’s certainly a small world! As for the by laws, we don’t know and chose to stay on friends land. Keeps things simple, you know? There is always a loop hole if you go looking for one. ๐Ÿ™‚

  64. TOm says:

    Hi Guys!
    From the day the materials arrived at your land, how many days, weeks or months did it take for you to build it? Did you have professionals helpers?
    If you did not, what types of professionals would you have wanted most? Carpenters, Electricians, or anything else?

    Thanks much!!

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      We started building once we bought the trailer bed June 3rd, 2010, and towed it off the property June 4th, 2011! Amazing, eh? We closed it up and made it water tight by the fall anconfidinged to work on the inside during the winter months. As for the professional help, we didn’t really have any other than help setting up the propane and fireplace. Collin did everything else! We had his brother over from Scotland for the first two weeks of the build, along with some help from my dad and a few friends a day here and there.

  65. Rachel says:

    I was wondering if you could describe the conversation when you asked your friends if you could live on their land.:)

    I am so excited to have something affordable and inspiring to work toward.

    Thanks for the updates. Looks great!

    • Rachel says:

      ok. lovin the music!!

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      Well our friends actually suggested it to us. So it was more of a God send than our initiation.

      • Ben says:

        Amen to that! Ain’t He good! Has living simpler not opened your eyes to a whole nother view of things and relationship with God? While everyone thinks I am crazy for getting rid of so much stuff I can’t get enough of it haha

  66. April says:

    Hi guys!

    We are starting to build our own this month and wonder if you could tell us your front door dimensions, as the plan we purchased specs a standard door instead–I like that it is not standard size, more to scale. Thanks, and well done!

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      Out door is 24″ wide. The only thing is it is an interior door finished with exterior paint. This is not ideal as there isn’t as much insulation in the door. Also our door is only single pain glass so we have a lot of condensation on it and in the winter that turns to frost. We are working on a semi-solution for that. So, our door looks cute but not really great for winter; other than it is well sealed. I hope this helps. Basically, if you can get a real exterior door set up that would be great.

  67. Julie says:

    I’ve been obsessed by the Tumbleweed homes for months now. So it’s exciting to find information like this out there.

    You’ve mentioned that you’re not sure what will happen with your water lines when winter arrives. I’ve seen water supply lines esp. for winter use on RV supply and parts websites. Have you checked this out? Wondering if connectors would be a compatible size.

  68. Hannah says:


    Firstly, congratulations on down-sizing! It’s nice to see people who are making smart choices in such a horrible economy. I’m sure when and if you decide to have a child, they will be well taken care of! Another thing I wanted to mention was a tiny spelling error in the search bar, “Looking for something spesific?” It should be spelled specific, with a c instead of an s. Just thought I’d let you know! ๐Ÿ™‚ Best wishes on living simply!

  69. Roseann says:

    LOVE what you two have done with your house! When I finish undergraduate school next year, I hope to have enough time and funds (and my father’s power tools) to build my own Fencl Tumbleweed Tiny House. I suppose one of my main curiosities is which books you used as reference guides? I’ve seen many on the market, including the one by Jay Shafer, and I’m wondering if you have any personal favorites?

    • Roseann says:

      Also meant to ask if you use a standard mattress or a foam mattress that can be rolled up? If standard, how did you fit it into the loft? For that matter, how did you fit the appliances into the house? Did you add them while building or once the rest of the house was complete?

      • Roseann says:

        And while it’s on my mind…I know that propane creates a lot of humidity, at least down here in Wisconsin. What do you do to prevent moisture from collecting on the windows, walls, etc? How do you prevent/deal with mold issues? And on a random note, how do you deal with dirty laundry? Is it stored in one of the cabinets in the living space?

        • Collin & Joanna says:

          The only place we have discovered so far that was a major condensation problem was the front door. It is single pain glass. So we put a thin film of that window rap stuff across the inside to minimize the effect. It is not as bad but is still there. So we just give it a wipe when it builds up. A little bit of an inconvenience but that’s ok. We sometimes get a little build up of moisture at the bottom of the widows but not much. We just wipe that up to. As for laundry we have a wicker basket and we do laundry in our friends house. Hope that helps Roseann. Take care.

      • Collin & Joanna says:

        Excellent question. We decided to use a futon mattress because they fold pretty well. We are also thinking about putting a lair of memory foam on top of that. Just to make it even better.

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      Actually we didn’t get Jay’s book until we were done. Someone gave it to us. We used videos and pictures from the Tumbleweed site and others. Just searching for them in Google. The only book we have is the Small House Book.

  70. Kidiu says:

    I love this. I’m a person who likes to travel, and I don’t require a lot of space. So a mini house is perfect for me! Especially because I don’t make much money, and these, in total, are much cheaper than full sized houses. Not to mention the smaller environmental impact.

    Did you guys make payments on it? If so, how much per month?
    Also, do you find yourselves using much less water than you used to?

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      I am glad you like it. We built it so we aren’t making payments. For the most part we paid for materials as we went. I am not sure about the use of water. I guess so yes.

  71. Scooby says:

    Hi guys,
    Love your home! It’s so cool; has a lot more space that it looks like it would have. How much building experience did you have before you started the project? Did the consultation with Jay and workshop help?

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      Hi there, Collin here. My building experience was mostly wood work. Nothing crazy just odd projects here and there, building tree housed as a kid lol, and some labor work for contractor friends. The consultation with Jay did help a bit. I mostly floated around online checking videos and photographs from peoples blogs. Also a lot of asking friends with building experience. Hope our posted are helpful on here for you.

  72. Shaggy says:

    Hey guys
    Your house is so charming! I would love to live in a Tumbleweed, but I have some questions. Do you regret anything about moving to a tiny home? And also, are the windows double-paned? I don’t enjoy the outside noise I get without double-paned windows.

    • Collin & Joanna says:


      Yes, there are a few downsides to living in our home: entertaining guests is not as easy, there’s no extra space for an office, our couch isn’t all that deep for lounging and our dining table is a little tight. But, our guests find it so fun and novel to come over, we can have a separate work place in town, our couch will be better with an ottoman or footstool, and our tables do the job in the end. Definite adjustments, but it’s so satisfying to lay my head down on my pillow at night and know that I’m sleeping within the work of our hands!

      As for the windows, they are double glazed.

      Hope this answered your questions!


  73. Shaggy says:

    Hey, by the way forgot to ask
    How big does the couch nook measure? I want to know if any of my current furniture would fit.
    Thanks again,

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      hmm.. I think it is 42″. I am no where near my house at the moment but I checked the plans and by the time you finish the wall 42″ seams about right. Sad thing is we are going to have to rip our couch out because of mold. So my advice would be to run a dehumidifier in there right from the start. I wouldn’t think it would need to be on all the time. We figured that out to late. Anyhoo 42″ & dehumidifier. Peace in.

  74. Kathy Handyside says:

    Hi Collin and Joanna –

    I love your Fencl! You did a marvelous job on it! I really like the way you turned the three front windows into one big picture window. I think that’s what I’ll do with mine, when it comes time to build. I’m single with no children and my tiny house will be my retirement house, so I think I’ll do fine with the space.

    Nice job and great video, too. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Pax vobiscum,

    • Collin says:

      Thanks, Kathy! That’s nice of you to say! Well, if you really like it, you can buy it! We’re gonna do a post soon with all the details and pricing.

  75. Ann says:

    I love your house. I’m a fan of all the Tumbleweed homes in general. My question for you guys is about family. I know one baby is doable especially with the little bunk area above the couch and front door/stoop, but what about two or three teenaged kids? What happens when you are in your eighties and can’t climb the loft ladder anymore? Will you stay in your tiny home, or will you “upgrade” to a larger floorplan? My husband and I want to build something very small but these questions are quite a hinderance to moving forward. We have one son and another one on the way. Once we build, we don’t want to have to do it again so the house has to accommodate these different living situations without having to rely on outdoor living areas since the weather is near 100 degrees for nine or ten months of the year. I also homeschool so having a workspace for three to four people is critical. It seems like the older you get, the more complicated things get…

    • Collin says:

      Hi Ann! In terms of having older children, there are all kinds of house models that are not on trailers and that have up to three bedrooms (and almost 1000sq ft). Check out that part of the website. There are some lovely options that look like regular homes on the ground. As for the ladder and getting older, there is a model that has a bedroom on the main floor with a loft above for storage/guest quarters. I think that one’s called the Lusby. As for getting older and things getting complicated, I disagree; it’s the lifestyle you choose to chase and the accompanying perspective you view out of that will determine how complicated or uncomplicated things get. But, I do get what you’re saying, totally. I plan on having many kids myself and homeschooling (if I can!), so staying organized and uncluttered is key! Hope you get just the right dream for your family!

      • Ann says:

        We have the book and are familiar with all the plans. We like the ones with the extra bedroom on the ground floor for our purposes. As far as getting older, when you’re eighty with a hip and knee replacement and trying to climb a ladder to go to bed, you’ll understand what I’m talking about. As much as you may want to idealize this lifestyle, loft bedrooms are not suited to those with mobility issues and mobility is one of those things that will fade no matter how much you will want to hang onto it. I admire your optimism but wonder what will happen when you have no space for a second, third, or fourth child. I can easily see fitting that size of a family into 600-800 square feet, but not 130sf. Do you plan on building a larger house, or limiting your family size? These are the questions my husband and I have to answer before building our small house since it will be a lifetime investment.

  76. Valerie says:

    Congrats! The house looks great! I am hoping to start building my own tiny house (probably the popomo, but still undecided)in the next year or so, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your blog! Other folks living the dream!

  77. Brittany says:


    I am currently starting my tiny house project and was wondering what the exact dimensions of your lovable loo are?

    Thanks in advance ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Collin says:

      Not sure exactly. We custom fitted it for the width of the washroom and the hight of a home depot bucket puss 2.5″.

  78. How’s things, nice website however there is a problem whereby on occassion I get sent back to the base page whenever I view other pages in your web page.

    • admin says:

      Hi Magdalen. Going well. Sorry about the issue. I have made some update to the site and plugins that hopefully solve that. Take care ๐Ÿ™‚