Our first sleep over guest!

My brother Michael visited us recently and was the first to sleep over in our house on the pull out couch! So fun to know that we can share our home, after all, what is a home without the ability to entertain?


  1. Hi Folks: I’m a Realtor in the Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario. I do a regular newsletter http://www.brentdickson.com/newsletter/summer_edition_2011.html and on my website which features different types and styles of residential homes and commercial businesses.

    My partner and I go to Stratford regularly for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival and since you folks are now in the area, I’d love to interview you both for my Fall Newsletter on Small Home Living. I think my subscribers would find it fascinating.

    Let me know if you’re interested. No worries either way!


    • Collin & Joanna says:


      Thank you so much for your interest in our house! I will chat to Collin about it and get back to you regarding the interview. Thank you again!

      • Sounds good Joanna. Just to let you know I always ensure the interviewee is a-okay with the article before I post it.

        Again no worries either way. I’m always on the outlook for different stories that will make my subscribers think.

        All the best.
        Brent 🙂

  2. Mark says:

    I live in Northern Ontario, and love your project for some reason, I can’t see any of your imgaes on your website though.

  3. Jon says:

    Great blog, guys!
    I’m wondering how the two of you are finding the Fencl. Enough space to cook? Do you have a storage shed somewhere else, or is everything you own inside the four walls of your tiny home? In one of your posts you hinted at the possibility of the addition of a baby at some point. Do you think that would work out ok in the Fencl? Could you conceive of living in the Fencl with a toddler or adolescent? Nice work and good luck!

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      Hi Jon. We are really enjoying our wee house. Getting better all the time as we figure out better ways of doing things. Such as hanging pots from our kitchen shelf to maximize space in the cupboard, creating a water tank by pass for the hose line coming into the house so that use of the pump is optional (the 12v pump is a little noisy), putting see through plastic stuff on our single pain glass door to help with condensation when it is cold outside, etc. We are using our friends storage, so no not all of our stuff is in our wee house. We have a lot of art and music related stuff which takes up a lot of room. Regarding having a kids, I think we will give it a go but I don’t know what it will be like. I think it would be really cool. I know we will build a bigger house down the road but I don’t want to cut myself short of the experience. Thanks for the great questions. Take care, Collin.

      • Jon says:

        Cool. Thanks for the kind reply. Is your water storage tank under your kitchen counters or on the outside by the hitch? I suppose where you are it might be too cold in the winter to leave the water tank on the outside?

        • Collin & Joanna says:

          It is under out kitchen sink. It would definitely be to cold here over winter to have it outside.

  4. Hey Collin and Joanna, I love the site! My dream is to build a Tumbleweed Fencl this coming summer, and your story is inspiring. I’m working out the finances and trying to make sure I have enough saved to build the whole project. I’m curious, did you build with all new materials or use any salvaged stuff? Was the estimate for cost on Tumbleweed’s website accurate, or did you go over/under? Thanks! Ethan

    • Collin & Joanna says:

      Hey Ethan. Thanks for writing! That’s sweet that you want to build a house all your own. Good for you, cuz it’s a big task. We did end up buying mostly new materials, but did go to a Restore where we did buy some used flooring, and kitchen sink. We wanted to make sure our material was gonna last and didn’t have any signs of aging too fast if we scrounged too much. Really it comes down to you get what you pay for, but hey, if you can save a bit here and there, then do it! We were able to get a few discounts through friends who are professionals at the various trades involved in building, which saved us hundreds of dollars. Our total cost we figured was $24,000 – $25,000 Canadian. The estimation by Tumbleweed was $23,000 USD, BUT that didn’t include plumbing, electricity, furnishing, painting, varnishing, little additions like porch steps, extra light fixtures, etc. The cost is also ongoing for little things here and there with upkeep like any place. Every year the wood will need re-stained. But ya, that’s it in a long-winded nutshell! Joanna.

      • Ethan says:

        Wow, thanks for the detailed response! I’m going into it hoping to be able to go under on the estimate, but also need to be prepared to go over and above the estimate from the website!

        Gotta love friends in the building trades 🙂

        • leann says:

          Ethan, if you have the time and space to collect materials before you build you can definitely go under tumbleweeds suggested amounts. I am building one now and so far I am well under 20,000. The key is to be flexible. For example my windows are all different sizes. I was worried at first but other actually adds cool character and makes each space feel separate from the others. I could have spent 8,000 on all new matching windows but for 2 sky lights and 6 windows and a great full light door I have spent close to 1000 by looking on Craigslist and garage sales. They were all new as well. Good luck with your tiny adventure! It is well worth the journey.

          • Ethan says:

            Hi Leann- Thanks so much for the advice! I do have the time and space to collect materials, as I won’t be starting major construction until May or June. One thing I’m worried about is having to alter the plans to accept other sized windows, since I am pretty new to construction. How did that go for you? If you’d be willing, I’d love to ask you a few more questions. If you’re up for it, send me an email to ethan.waldman[AT]gmail.com


  5. […] nice and early. Now I can spend the winter scouring craigslist for used materials. One comment on Our Wee House by Leann really sums it up for me: If you have the time and space to collect materials before you […]

  6. Ben says:

    Hey I am a Jr in college and can’t start to describe how living simple and small is a drive of mine. In the circumstances I am in now, going through nursing school, what are some steps I could take to preparing myself to start on a goal such as building a Wee house? Possibly for the coming summer? I have read Jay’s book, are there others I could read or more blogs like yours I could stalk haha. I have loved spending time going through your blog and thank you so much for the detail you have put into it. It continually opens my eyes to new things and I love it. Thanks for the help!

  7. Ronja says:

    Can you make a video (or picture progression) showing how you convert the couch into sleeping space? I know you started with a normal pull out couch and tweeked it (saw part of that video!) but I am having a hard time figuring out how it all fits.


    • Collin says:

      We aren’t near the house now, so I can’t make a video for you but what I can do it describe how Collin made it. He took out the fold out metal frame that would support the mattress, took apart the couch in sections, tore of the material and just kept the wooden frame and foam that makes the shape and cushion of the couch’s arms, back and seat pads. Then he nailed the back and arms onto the three walls of the bay window, finished the flooring of the entire living room floor space, so that when you later have someone sleeping on the matress, the matress is just placed onto the finished flooring. Only the back and arms of the couch are attached to the bay window walls below the windows. Then, the seat part of the couch is really a bench that comes apart with the matress simply folded inside the bench. On the bench goes the two covered seat pads of the couch. Hope that helps you! Joanna.

  8. […] and early. Now I can spend the winter scouring craigslist for used materials. One comment on Our Wee House by Leann really sums it up for […]

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