About the Tiny Project

What is the Tiny Project?

The Tiny Project is my attempt to live a simpler, more conscious, debt-free life, and in doing so helping to set and example and educate the community about alternative, affordable, more sustainable ways of living.

My name is Alek Lisefski. In 2013 I built a 160 sq.ft. modern tiny house with my then long-term partner Anjali as a space designed specifically for us both to live… with our angel of a dog Anya, as well. After finishing building the house in Iowa, we then towed it over 2,000 miles to Northern California. We had a great time living together in the house for nearly 1.5 years, but in the spring of 2015 we parted ways. Anjali went on to pursue the next phase of education and life, and I continue to live in the house full-time with the dog.

Alek (Tiny Project designer and builder)

Alek (Tiny Project designer and builder)


Anjali (Co-creator & former partner)

Anya (our most precious shib inu doggy)

Anya, a most precious shiba inu

I’m a web designer by trade, and have a passion for the visual arts, the great outdoors, architecture, and all things natural and beautiful. I tend to find inspiration all around me, but most powerfully and directly, while alone out in nature, and in silence.

The main aspect of the Tiny Project is to build a tiny house. Inhabiting such a small space will force me to live in a simpler, more organized and efficient way. Without room to hoard things and hide away from the world, I’ll be forced to spend more time outdoors, in nature and engaging with my community. This will foster better health and healthy relationships. With no more rent to pay, I’ll save money, allowing for a less hectic work life and more time and funds for health, leisure and travel. I won’t be able to keep closets full of clothes or store 5 year old trinkets in a house so small. But I also couldn’t possibly spend $100/month to heat the place, like I have when renting apartments in the past. Tiny house living has its trade-offs, but one thing is certain: While living in a such a small house, my space, and in turn each area of my life, will be simpler, less chaotic, and free from all but what is essential. That sounds really great to me!

For more info on the tiny house I am building, see my Tiny House Plans

This website will chronicle my experiences in design, planning and construction of my own tiny house, and all of the difficulties and lifestyle changes associated such an endeavor.

Watch our Video Tour & Interview by Faircompanies.com

What I believe about tiny houses

I believe that for our future housing to be sustainable it needs to return to human scale. Our homes should include what we need to feel comfortable on a daily basis, but not more. Less space means less stuff — fewer things to clean, to maintain, to fix. All this means more time for introspection, gardening, getting back to the simple things in life. A goal of mine is for this smaller dwelling to encourage me to be outdoors, to connect with my neighbors, and to foster collaborative, supportive community. It also acts as a reminder that any of us (even with no construction experience) can take the building of our own home back into our own two hands, if we so choose. Tiny living isn’t without its sacrifices, but maybe that’s a good thing? It’s about time we took a good look at what we really need to be happy, to rethink what it means to be a homeowner and to be successful in life.”Alek Lisefski (http://tiny-project.com)

Whenever I get the email from The Tiny Project, I know I am going to learn something that will make my heart sing...My dream of home ownership is now within reach. Thank you for all the wonderful articles, suggestions, construction tips, and pointers you bring with each and every newsletter/email. Keep it coming, you guys are great!" – Dawn
Are you sold on the tiny house movement but still not sure where you would put yours? When it comes to building your own home, location is everything.No doubt, you've heard about someone being forced to move from their tiny house due to complaints by neighbors, zoning issues, or conflicts [...]
Mon, Sep 14, 2015
The Tiny Project Blog
Get excited, the Tiny House movement is spreading! The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is sponsoring The Tiny House Competition to promote energy awareness, solar technology, green building construction techniques and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Architecture and Math) development in young adults.What is the Tiny House Competition?The Tiny House Competition [...]
Thu, Sep 10, 2015
The Tiny Project Blog
Tiny House Relationships
The benefits and challenges of sharing a small space with your partnerCeleste & Tim – about our fold-up deck.Some tiny house couples I know have “his” and “hers” houses, knowing that they'd each be happier with their own space, but with the ability to come together easily whenever they [...]
Tue, Aug 11, 2015
The Tiny Project Blog
What makes a Tiny Home efficient? Is it the idea that less is more, or a principle understanding that efficiency can make spaces better for the things we already own?If we chose the efficiency argument, what products give us an upper hand on saving space, maximizing daily use, and making [...]
Thu, Jul 23, 2015
The Tiny Project Blog

Our Modern Tiny House Plans Now For Sale!

Tiny Project Tiny House Construction Plans

We’re excited that we are now able to offer complete construction floor plans for the Tiny Project tiny house! These tiny home plans include almost 40 pages of detailed diagrams and images, allowing you to build to the same specifications as our original modern tiny house on wheels featured on this site.

Click here to view the plans
You guys have one of the nicest ones I've seen with great use of space... congrats!" – Iris

What is a tiny house?

Protohaus Interior

Protohaus Interior

Tumbleweed's Walden

Tumbleweed’s Walden

The tiny house movement is rapidly gaining popularity in the US and elsewhere around the world. Though no two tiny homes are identical, they share many core principles, and of course, they are all quite tiny! Though a tiny house can be built on a foundation, many people choose to build on a flatbed trailer, in order to make the house mobile, and to avoid minimum square footage requirements that most municipalities have in place for permanent structures. Building on a trailer means the house is considered more like an RV, and does not need to adhere to the same permits, codes, and rules associated with building a normal home. The trick with trying to live full-time in a psuedo-RV is where to park it. We’ll save that conversation for a future blog post.

Tiny houses built on trailers have their own set of restrictions, mostly with regard to size. In order to easily move the house, to adhere to DOT regulations, the finished house can be no wider than 8.5 feet, and no taller than 13.5 feet. Length is not limited, though most people build on 16 or 20 foot trailers. With these general size restrictions, the typical tiny house will be well under 200 sq. ft., often including a loft area to add extra space for a bed.

Two tiny houses passing on the highway!

A Tumbleweed tiny house passing the Tiny Project house on the highway!

No matter what tiny houses plans are used, no matter how the mini home is designed and constructed, tiny house owners tend to choose to do so for one of several reasons:

  • Tiny houses are a more affordable option (compared to a full-size home) for debt-free living
  • Tiny houses offer an alternative (especially for younger and older generations) to the increasingly difficult, traditional “American Dream” path to home-ownership.
  • Building a tiny house is offers mobility and flexibility for anyone who does not wish to be tied to specific location.
  • Tiny homes offer an incredibly simple yet all-inclusive form of shelter, perfect for out-of-the-way, off-grid living.
  • Tiny houses are a great way to minimize environmental impact by living in a much more efficient and sustainable structure.
  • Mini homes create simpler living — they are an easy to maintain, self-contained housing option for those of retirement age.
  • Building a tiny house is a fun/challenging/rewarding and educational project used to share alternative housing options to the next generation of home owners/builders!

Author: Alek Lisefski