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Small House Event – Cedar Rapids – 19 July 2016 at 6:30 PM

Date: 19 July 2016 / Tuesday

Time: 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM [Event Page]

Location: Cedar Rapids Public Library [Map]

Room: Beems Auditorium Combined A & B


An evening with Greg Johnson, President of the Small House Society, who will give a presentation on the trend toward smaller living, and the popularity of tiny houses (those less than 500 square feet) in particular.

Layne Stark, who makes his living in carpentry and has built his own tiny home, will also share his experiences.

There will be time for questions and answers, as well as discussion. If the ideas of downsizing, living simply or freeing yourself of the burden of a larger home appeal to you, join us for this event!


Amazing Tiny House Renovation Project!

“The home, which is 12 feet square and two stories was originally built 30 years ago, when no roads existed in the area. The original builder had to hike in with lumber and a chainsaw to build the home with.”


Greetings readers of the Small Homes Society!

My wife Anna and I are honored to join your ranks as farmers and small home owners. We are embarking upon on the next step of our journey, a journey that has been in the works for us individually for well over 10 years. A journey that will help to bring about change in the world.

When I met my wife 5 years ago, we discovered that we both had dreams of making the word a better place through our shared passion of farming. My wife has a degree in environmental science with an emphasis on sustainable agriculture and had managed a few farms. I had been doing urban farming in Los Angeles and specialized in hot pepper production. Together we started small with a plot in a community garden in Cleveland, Ohio. There we spent two years supplying local business with naturally grown produce and the occasional jams and jellies.

From there we packaged up the car and ventured west to Northern California in search of the next phase of the dream. We are proud to announce we have found it! We have just started our crowdfunding campaign ( with the goal of helping us start our 10 acre farm. The farm will be sustainable, organic, solar powered, and have a tiny home which will serve as our living space.


The home, which is 12 feet square and two stories was originally built 30 years ago, when no roads existed in the area. The original builder had to hike in with lumber and a chainsaw to build the home with. Once our campaign is over we will take the building down to its studs to make it livable again, all the while incorporating traditional and natural building techniques allowing the tiny home to be energy efficient and cozy!


The farm itself will provide produce to our community, help to reduce the countries dependance on fossil fuels, and serve as a place to educate the children of our community about the importance of their food choices. But before all that takes place, we need your help. For just the price of a weeks worth of Starbucks Coffee, you can help us reach our goal! Every donation counts and we have some wonderful rewards set up for different levels of donations. We would be honored if you would be willing to help and spread the word on Facebook about PS Farms!


Like us on Facebook at:

Donate at:


Tiny House Talk at Prairiewoods on 14 June 2016

Date: 14 June 2016

Time: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM

Event Title: Tiny House Talk – Living Small & Simple for a More Purposeful Life

Location: Prairiewoods Franciscan Spirituality Center,, 120 E. Boyson Rd., Hiawatha, Iowa 52233.

Register: Online, cost is $5 [Register Online]

Web Page: Prairiewoods Calendar Event Page


Learn how a tiny house can help you live a larger life.

There is a growing interest in small houses as a result of various cultural factors, including economic conditions, concerns about the environment and a desire for simple, more effective living. Are you one of the many people who can make a small living space work for you?

As facilitator Greg Johnson will share, you likely would have more time and money for other areas of life, such as your spouse, family, education, fitness or career. Come to Prairiewoods (120 East Boyson Road in Hiawatha) to learn how this could help you create a more balanced, enjoyable life!

The cost is $5. [Register Online]

Media Request: RV Magazine Seeks Small Housers

OrganizationRV PRO

Type of media: Magazine

Contact: Contact the Small House Society

Email: Use our Contact Page

Deadline: Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Location: North America


“Seeking anyone nationwide who is knowledgeable about tiny home manufacturing and sales trends, and can speak about the tiny home movement and its ties to RVs. If it’s by phone, I would anticipate it taking no more than 20 minutes. I am in Austin, Texas.”


@TinyLivingHomes Amazing HD Music Video

The people at have produced an amazing HD music video featuring their homes from all angles using what seems to be drone video footage. The song is I see fire (KYGO Remix) by Ed Sheeran. Enjoy!


Below is an image from the video.


Small House Society News 201512

Small House Society – News 201512 | 31 Dec 2015 | Thursday

Dear Friend,

20110201tu-gregory-johnson-mobile-hermitage-small-house-photo-by-makur-jain-IMG_6311-450x630-70percent-214x300Here’s the latest news from the Small House Society.

Annual Fundraiser. At the start of each new year, we focus on fundraising for only a few weeks.

Donations help us have greater impact throughout the year ahead in promoting and supporting the small house movement.

You can give using PayPalFundly, or by sending a check to: Small House Society, PO Box 2717, Iowa City, IA 52244-2717.

Those who give are added to our listing of contributing members.

As we start a new year, it’s good time to reflect back on what’s been accomplished and what we hope to do in the months ahead.

This past year has been amazing. Here are just a few highlights of what we’ve accomplished this past year:

  • NPR Interview – We had a great interview on NPR that got national exposure. [Listen]
  • Luther College Presentation – We participated in the Big Tiny House event at Luther College.
  • Fox News Interview – We were able to get the small house message promoted through Fox News. [Watch]
  • Higher Education – Supporting research and study of the small house movement in higher education is essential. We’ve had an opportunity to provide support to many in higher education.

If you you’re able and willing, please consider giving or our work as indicated above.

Midwest Small House Symposium

Please join us for our next small house event taking place on January 23 in Marion, Iowa. Click here for more details.


I want to thank the global team of volunteers and contributors “behind the scenes” who help make all this possible. I’m very grateful to the many people who continue to uphold and advance the mission of the Small House Society.

Everyone who is connected with the Small House Society at any level is part of the success and progress of the movement. However you’re involved, your work is appreciated and having an impact.

Thanks again for your support. Please let me know if there is any way that the Small House Society can serve you better.

Gregory Johnson, Facilitator, President, Co-Founder
Small House Society

E-Mail: shs @ (without spaces)
Postal: c/o Resources for Life, PO Box 2717, Iowa City, IA 52244-2717
Phone: (319) 621-4911
Subscribe. Enter your email address below and click the Join Now button to be notified when the latest Small House Society newsletter is available.

* * *

Global Reach. During a typical week, we have thousands of visitors from over 120 countries visiting our website. The map below is just a snapshot of just a few hours. So, the need for additional helpers is great. We have over 8000 people that we communicate each month through email, phone, or these updates. Click here for a larger view of the map.


Midwest Small House Event on 23 January 2016

23 January 2016
2-4 PM
Marion Public Library

Join us for the Small House Symposium on January 23, 2016 from 2PM to 4PM. Recently extended from the originally scheduled 2-3 PM time.

The event will take place at the Marion Public Library, Meeting Room A, 1095 Sixth Avenue, Marion, IA 52302 [Map]


Please note that the program schedule may expand to include other presenters or events as we get feedback from those who plan to attend. Please check this page for additional event news and updates.

If you’d like to have an information table, or offer a presentation, please contact us before January 15. Thanks!

You can RSVP on the Event Facebook Page.

You can learn more on the library event description page.

Event Report (24 Jan 2016)

There were 81 people in attendance yesterday at the Tiny House event in Marion, Iowa. Many thanks to all who attended, and to the Marion Public Library for hosting the event, and posting this great photo on their Facebook page.



Join Nextdoor, Build community, Get $25.

Nextdoor is an social network that’s grounded in real-world neighborhoods and communities.

Right now, when you join Nextdoor, you’ll get a $25 Amazon gift card.

Click Here to Join Now


Click the infographic below for a larger image and learn more about the how neighbors and communities interact.


Tiny House Q&A: Where can I find a local small house builder?

Q: Where can I find a local small house builder?

A: On our website we have a directory of designers and builders, as well as a listing of local contacts.

However, because the small house movement is still relatively new, it’s unlikely that there’s a small house builder located in your community.

What people typically do is contact a local contractor or local builder in their area. That person can be the local builder and work with house plans from one of the national designers. Even if they don’t have extensive experience building tiny homes, they have the tools and experience needed.

Another option would be to purchase a ready-made tiny house and have it delivered to you (or go get it from a builder).

Tiny House Q&A: What does it cost to build a small house?

Q: What does it cost to build a small house?

A: The simple formula to determine the cost of building a small house is to multiply the cost per square foot by the number of square feet you plan to build. It’s said that the national average is $125 per square foot. So, a 300 square foot home should cost $37,000. It’s simple math. Yet, in reality it’s a bit more complicated.

Factors Influencing Cost Per Square Foot

However, the cost per square foot for new construction of any home (large or small) varies widely depending on where you are building since the cost of materials and labor depends on the local economy. Another factor to consider is the quality of materials being used. Higher quality materials will cost more.

Smaller homes are more dense. For example, a 2,000 square foot home, with large open spacious rooms, uses very little material in those large open spaces. In a small home, there is much more wood, shelving, and possibly built-in furniture. So, more materials are used per square foot than in a larger home. This makes small homes potentially more expensive per square foot.

This is why you might find some small homes for sale that exceed the $125 per square foot average.

Building a Quality Home

Some people choose to build small, because they can stay within their budget while still choosing the highest quality materials for construction and selecting the best quality appliances and amenities. For these people, the cost per square foot may be much higher, and the ultimate cost of their small home may seem very high, yet the quality is what matters most to these builder/owners.

Building a Cheap Home

Small houses on wheels are not as closely scrutinized by local building inspectors. In fact, most municipalities don’t care what kind of camper, RV, or cottage on wheels you park in your driveway. They aren’t going to come inspect it (unless a neighbor complains about something). Small houses are also easy to setup in rural areas, far from anyone who might be critical of their size or construction.

For these reasons, it’s possible to build a small home with cheap materials and save lots of money. The cheapest homes are basically a shed made of plywood without much concern about quality or attractiveness. They are built to provide basic shelter and that’s about it.

If using used, reclaimed, and repurposed materials, it’s possible to build a ‘home’ for several thousand dollars.

Working with a Contractor or DIY

If you have someone build your home for you either delivered to you or build on-site, the costs may be higher since you’ll have the labor costs on top of the cost of materials. See our list of tiny house designers and builders for examples of cost for buying new tiny homes.

Those who build a home on their own, are often surprised with how much time it actually takes to construct a quality home. When people calculate the cost per square foot to build tiny homes, they often forget to include the value of their own labor. Even if they work ‘for free’ the opportunity cost of what they could have earned at a job needs to be considered.