Tiny houses, shipped by Amazon or handmade, are popular

A wide range of dwellings can be called a tiny house. Almost anything with a roof, walls and less than 400 square feet of living space.

A garden shed kit sold on Amazon went viral when promoted as a tiny house. Allwood, the company that makes it, however, pushed back. Allwood’s Robin Pekkala said the Solvalla kit ($7,250), with 86 square feet of covered space and a patio, was designed as a garden house or kitchen extension.

But the company does sell house kits, with plans and parts, of larger models. The Estelle cabin ($5,995) has 157 square feet of floor space with a walled storage area that could be used as a small sleeping alcove or bathroom. 


People do live comfortably in shed-size spaces. Tiny house pioneer and author Dee Williams became famous for living for a decade with her dog (seen here) in a handmade home with 86 square feet of space.

Portland Alternative Dwellings (PAD), the company Williams helped found, offers building guides, DIY resources and plans starting at $35 to build small homes on travel trailers.
Sweet Pea (seen here) has 136 square feet of floor space plus a sleeping loft.