building home

Building a Small Home

I built a little home. My small house is unusual in that it is relatively affordable and efficient. This site shares what I've learned about home construction and building products.

I built a 584 square foot house (plus porches) on a quarter-acre lot. It's style is "Charleston Single House" -- two story, one room wide, narrow end toward the street and porches along the side. There is a living room, kitchen, bathroom, one bedroom, and porches upstairs and down. This small house is sized to fit one or two people, but the design makes future expansion easy.

small house

The Eastern Shore region has a historic tradition of building expandable homes. In the colonial era they built "big house, little house, colonnade and kitchen" houses that grew as the owner had money and time. My house is designed to be easily expandable in the local style.

Passive solar design features and efficient appliances minimize the house's environmental impact. All systems have been kept as simple and small as possible. There is no air-conditioning, so we built in ways for hot air to rise and flow right out of the house. Interior materials are mostly natural and hypoallergenic. The exterior is low-maintenance.

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charleston single house
one or two story house?
no air-conditioning
Small House Designs
Cabins and Cottages
Inside the Not So Big House
Measure and Construction of the Japanese House
25 Houses Under 1500 Square Feet

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cordless drill
cordless nailer
foam paint roller
framing hammer
tool belt
work gloves

louvered screen door
masonry waterproofer
patio doors
simpson strong-ties
spray insulation

American-Made Furniture
cork flooring
floor heat
programmable thermostat
slate tile
spiral stairs
under cabinet trash can
vinyl floor underlayment
washer and dryer

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