Tiny Yellow House Tours the Surf Shack Container House (Plus a Giveaway!)

Tiny Yellow House Tours the Surf Shack Container House (Plus a Giveaway!)
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In this episode of Tiny Yellow House, Derek “Deek” Diedricksen ventures out to Seattle, WA with Christopher Smith (from Tiny: The Movie) to check out a tiny shipping container house built by architect and carpenter Hartman Kable.

Look, free stuff!
Deek was kind enough to send us two copies of the expanded, now with more swank, edition of his awesome book Humble Homes, Simple Shacks. The new edition has, among other things, a full-color photo section. If you haven’t seen this book yet, you should check it out. It’s as fun and whimsical as it is informative and inspiring. Want a chance to get one of our copies? All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell us if you’ve ever thought about living in a tiny house. If so, why? If not, why not? Please post before noon Pacific time on Monday (10/22) to be eligible. We’ll draw two names from the pool of comments and send you the book. Good luck!

See all of the episodes of Tiny Yellow House

126 thoughts on “Tiny Yellow House Tours the Surf Shack Container House (Plus a Giveaway!)

  1. flecko says:

    I’d love to know that Chris Smith was from Tiny: The Movie (since I backed it on Kickstarter) but IT’S STILL NOT OUT!!!!!!!!

    However, I do love Deek, and everything he does. This was an awesome video.

  2. Stan says:

    I think living in a tiny house is an excellent way to identify what is actually important in basic needs and comforts. There are many other reasons too, but this is one.

    1. Jerry Carter says:

      Agreed. No matter where I live, I seem to fill the available space with junk. It’s one of the things keeping me from seriously looking for a larger house. ;-)

  3. Marc Schaefermeyer says:

    I have followed Deek for quite some time now and love the idea of living tiny.
    I have considered buying some land in the mountains and building a tiny house as some sort of getaway. I love the idea of living in something so small that there isn’t room for clutter or un-neccessary stuff to survive.
    Thanks Make: and Deek.

  4. bigfootsangry says:

    I have seriously considered living in a tiny house for many years. How much room do you really need when it is just you, your wife and a tiny Boston Terrier with a serious underbite!

  5. Barry Morgan says:

    Having lived in tents, rv’s, cabins and small apts for years – I find them more apt to be cleaned than the mansions… Ever try to vacuum and dust a 12,000 sqft place? Let alone the 4-5 digit gas bill in the winter, I can think of better ways to waste my money now.

  6. Tom says:

    I have lived in many ‘tiny houses’ during the past 16 years. First in a 1966 converted school bus, then in a 100 year old house in Ireland and now in a 41 year old Airstream trailer. All measured out at 200 square feet! That is all the space I need as I live alone. Got rid of all that stuff I had been accumulating for the past umpteen years! Good riddance. Like the container house in the video; its also portable….

  7. chuck says:

    I have a notebook full of sketches and designs for a small house made from 2 20′ containers. I also have a lot of designs for a houseboat. We still haven’t decided which way to go, but self sufficiency and simplicity are our starting point.

    1. Jerry Carter says:

      Libre Mare. If you like the water, what could be better than being able to tug your house or pilot it where ever you want to change your address to?

  8. Justin M. Salvato (@JustinSalvato) says:

    Derek, you need to make more episodes and/or do other shows. You’re not just edchumacational, you’re hilarious!

  9. Christel Davies says:

    I’m a claustrophilac. I’ve loved small places and spaces since I was a child.

  10. Adam says:

    Not sure I’d want to live in one, but how about setting several up as “lab space” at my high school for all my different Engineering classes? or for “mini museums” dedicated to different subjects or even topics within subjects? What about even a mobile maker space or robotics work space?

  11. Alex says:

    I am literally talking to an architect tomorrow to discuss building a tiny house on a bit of land I have a few hours out of Sydney. I’d love to do it all myself but various zoning laws and site difficulties mean I need a pro to help out. It’d be great to have this book to get some more ideas though!

  12. balloondoggle says:

    I’ve wanted a tiny cabin on some recreational land for a long time. Fond memories of weekends spent like that on a friend’s grandparents’ land as a teen.

  13. William Donohue says:

    Tiny houses: reduced material costs, or alternately, use better materials without greater cost than a larger structure. Minimize maintenance cost & time. Reducing envelope area & structure profile reduces air infiltration, heat loss/heat gain. Of course I’d live in a tiny house, then I could put up a workshop and a storage shed!

  14. alex chargeer says:

    i have tought about living in a tiny house, and for many reasons. on such reason is that the electric bill would be much smaller, less space, less ac used. also i camp often and find the small tents and other nooks and cranies comfortable.

  15. Charles Haase says:

    The tiny houses look so cozy. Someday, when I don’t share a house with 3 kids, I’d love to try one out. It just seems like it would help pare things down to bare essentials.

  16. RJ Latherow says:

    I think I need to live in one, at least for a while. I expect everyone should . I want to reset my expectations if how much space I need to occupy, and how much crap I need to be happy. Its like a physical space diet….

  17. Joe Kyle says:

    Yes – to live in a tiny house means to simplify, that strongly appeals to me.

  18. Austen Blair says:

    I don’t have to think about it, I do live in a tiny house! It’s only about 300 sq ft, and I’m renting it while I go to college. It’s been a great experience so far, and really pushes my space utillization efficiency to the maximum. I’m still amazed at how much stuff I can still store in here, and how comfortable it is. But, a book full of tips and ideas would be great, maybe I can improve it even more!

  19. Eric says:

    I could never handle long-term tiny settlement. I LIKE my collections of stuff. Even my mini-shop(7×10 lathe, drill press, vice, etc) would completely fill one of his incredible creations.
    Even the vacation trailer at the camp site is over twice the size of these “houses”
    On the other hand, I know at least two people who are very interested, and one who plans on building a tiny house soon! Seems once you leave the city/suburbs, towns not only allow, but even encourage non-traditional building practices.

    1. Trav says:

      I think I could live in a tiny house, as long as it’s attached to a huge garage/shop. I’ve seen people take a warehouse building and move in an airstream or other trailer and make a house right inside.

      On the cabin idea, I’ve been thinking about this too. Building a small geodesic dome out in the woods. pre-build the triangles at home, haul them out and have it set up in a day.

  20. Doctor Device says:

    I would love to live in a tiny house. I wouldn’t be able to horde stuff like I do if I literally had no place to horde it.

  21. quackers says:

    I would live in a tiny house in a heartbeat, just can’t convince my wife to.

    1. Trav says:

      Same here. I would like to move into a smaller house as the kids move out. But the wife wants make sure we have plenty of room for grandkids to come and visit.

  22. fmk says:

    I really like this idea. Tiny yellow house comes up with some great stuff.

  23. Trent Fisher says:

    I’ve loved the idea of tiny houses like this since I was a kid, which was probably helped my my father’s affinity for (small) boats and RVs… he even lived in a van for the last decade or so. Given the size of my family now, my current desire is to build a small office for myself in the back yard.

  24. Mollie says:

    Yes. Room for only necessities.

  25. Scott House says:

    I would love a tiny house. I’ve found that the more room I have, the more stuff I accumulate to fill up the space. :-)

  26. Leigh says:

    No, I am not a tiny person and also keep a lot of parts and stuff.

  27. Meg says:

    Right now I live in a tiny (less then 200 sq. ft.) studio here in Portland, ME but I am looking for land out in the woods to build a tiny house of my own. I plan to use my experience building stone walls to make the entire house of stone.

  28. repurposer says:

    I have thought about living in a tiny house! I love being outdoors and I just need a place to warm my bones, really.

  29. Fred Ireland says:

    I would love to live in a tiny house. I’m trying to simplify my life and focus less on material things so it would help with that. Also, simply by the size it would be more energy efficient.

  30. FitzmorrisPR says:

    I want to build a tiny house. Until I can, i want to read about doing it.

  31. Greg says:

    If only I could convince my wife to let me put one in out backyard for an instant workshop!

  32. Jim Myers says:

    I think this will become more of the norm in not too distant future.

  33. Joel Smith says:

    Excellent use of a shipping container! That’s got me thinking. I’ve never lived in a tiny house, but I’m thinking of building one as an off-grid retreat. This looks like a good candidate to start the thought process.

  34. Don Cole says:

    Trying to figure out how I can use containers for a garage/workshop. The hard part is figuring out placing them near the house and blending them in!

  35. McHonza says:

    I have a 10×10 concrete slab in my backyard where a storage building or workshop used to be. I’m gathering reclaimed materials to build a tiny house inspired by Tiny Yellow House designs.
    I’ve also been experimenting with rainwater collection and solar & wind power to make it off-the-grid self-sufficient.

  36. MikeC says:

    Love Deek’s videos.
    Couldn’t live in a tiny house. When I was single, I would have loved this. As a husband and father I need more room.

  37. Steve says:

    id like a copy. I always enjoy their vids.

    also i have finally talked the wife into letting me put a shipping container next to the house.. & attach it to the garage.

    we will see how this all turns out in the next year

  38. Colby Higgs says:

    I’ve thought about living in a tiny house just for reduced utility bills…

  39. Robert says:

    When I first became divorced I thought of living small. Right now I am writing a story about a boy who runs away from home and is building himself a little house mad of 2 sheets of plywood for a floor out on some abandoned farm land. He gets the idea after reading “Walden’s Pond”.

  40. Brian says:

    I’d rather have experiences than stuff, and that has led me down the Tiny House rabbithole. I’m interested in reading more about simple tiny house plans. Ecologically friendly, portable, and still complete with modern capabilities.

  41. Will Fletcher says:

    My son and I are currently working on a pallet-based fishing shack. We’re insulating it with panels cut from Styrofoam coolers that were used to deliver vaccines and would otherwise have been disposed of.

  42. Keith Applegarth says:

    I love the idea. I have followed the Tiny Yellow house from the begining! Keep up the great work.

  43. The One True Stickman says:

    Two reasons I’ve thought about a tiny house: Cost (houses are Expensive) and more land left over for a bigger shop. :D

  44. james heriford says:

    Lower build costs,lower maintenance,simpler lifestyle;what’s not to love?

  45. Dan says:

    Been there, done that, rasied a family of 5 in a 1,000 sq ft home (not tiny, but small by American standards) and now ready to do it again!

  46. Matthew says:

    I have watched several episodes of the Tiny Yellow House and each one I find inspiring. I would have thought about a “house” for my kids in the back yard, a place of their own to do what they wanted to do in. While I have the scavenging chops, my building skills need some work. I think the one thing that has held me back “other than my wife” is just not understanding the process and being able to plan it out.
    I would love a small place for myself too, an artists enclave of sorts, I think that would just be awesome! I am doubtful I could survive it as a permanent dwelling, but I like the idea of downsizing. I assume there are studies on what kind of requirements a person needs for “personal” space in living quarters, and how would that translate to a tiny house?
    Keep up the good work Double “D”! Inspiring stuff!

  47. Joshua Simpson says:

    Me and my wife lived in 650 sq feet when we first where married. I would say it was one of the best things we could have done. Now all we have with a bigger house is more to clean and heat and some how less storage. Yes, we might be looking at getting something with a two less bedrooms than we have now.

  48. Amanda says:

    I love tiny homes, they seem much more alive, interesting and intentional. We have so much space in North America it seems like most of us have forgotten how to use it well. I often look to Europe and Japan for new interesting ways to make me space more livable.

  49. Sarah Mason says:

    My life equals 6 containers of things and still downsizing – would love to live in tiny spaces

  50. Stephen Heil says:

    I’ve definitely considered a small, buid-it-myself cabin as a summer getaway. I would love a small place somewhere scenic.

  51. R Lee says:

    I haven’t seen much of the world yet (still in middle school) but ever since I was a (younger) kid I’ve always wanted a tiny house designed for me with all my basic needs but I wasn’t old enough. I saw the Tiny Yellow House and was very glad I wasn’t alone. Now, I am old enough to operate these tools but I don’t have enough time. I hope to build one (if time permits) in the coming summer…

  52. Denise Nyland says:

    Oh, yeah! I live by myself and don’t even go into most of the rooms in my house every day. I need a teeny house and a nice porch. I want it as efficient as a boat. My ego is not connected to the square footage of my house. Who wants to clean, heat and cool that much space, anyway?

  53. Chris K. says:

    Would love to live in a tiny house. I think it would force you to concentrate on the important things and be more appreciative of the items you do have.

  54. Bryan says:

    My current housing goal is a tiny house with a garage for the tools (reading the comments, the tool part is prevalent for us makers). I’d like to use the remaining land for a garden and figure out how to fit solar panels somewhere–ultimately the goal is to be as less impactful all around.

    I’ve lived in both large and smallish houses over the years and inevitably my “stuff” expands to fill whatever space. Sadly, most of this stuff is described exactly as Sturgeon’s law states. A tiny home will help keep that stuff from accumulating :)

  55. ameyring says:

    I’ve seen a couple of tiny houses in Philadelphia and they are great to live in. Cozy and no room to accumulate stuff. Just a few really needed books, a project table, right-sized kitchen, and you’re ready to go. Not sure if my wife would go for it as a home, though…

  56. MAKE | Your Comments says:

    […] the piece Tiny Yellow House Tours the Surf Shack Container House (Plus a Giveaway!), Tom […]

  57. Joe Ganley says:

    Deek rules.

  58. Gareth Branwyn says:

    And the winners of the book giveaway are:

    Amanda on October 20th, 2012 at 2:13 am
    Alex on October 18th, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Congrats. I’ll send out an email to get your mailing addresses.

  59. Chris Pilla says:

    After years of being pushed into ever-larger houses by the ex, I’m ready to scale back to something efficient. The reduced resource usage would also be a plus. I’m not sure I’m thinking “tiny”, more “small” (as in “Small Spaces” or “The Very Small Home”).

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

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