Jay Shafer’s Stunning $5,000 Tiny House

Jay Shafer’s Stunning $5,000 Tiny House

Jay Shafer is a man who many know as the Godfather of the modern tiny house movement. It was 20 years ago now that he build his original tiny house on wheels and that moment has since inspired thousands of people all over the world (me included) to construct their own tiny homes.

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His new tiny house design is aimed at taking things back to the absolute basics and simplicity in all aspects. That means a home which is simple and pleasant to live in, simple to build and also simple to afford. This new tiny house design costs a remarkably low sum of US $5000!

Read More: https://www.livingbiginatinyhouse.com/jay-shafers-tiny-house/

In this weeks episode, we explore Jay’s new tiny house and dive into his philosophy around tiny homes, tiny house building and much more.

Jay’s Book: https://amzn.to/2PL1XT2

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Music in this video: http://www.youtube.com/brycelangston

Presented and Produced by: Bryce Langston
Camera: Bryce Langston & Rasa Pescud
Editing: Rasa Pescud

‘Living Big in a Tiny House’ Β© 2018 Zyia Pictures Ltd

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63 Responses

  1. Manny Meemo says:

    1 million subscribers congrats #livingbiginatinyhome

  2. Aaron Anderson says:

    Let’s be honest. It’s a bedroom. Not a tiny house.

    • ZeoCyberG says:

      @mustafa ΓΆzen – It’s not for everyone but fact is people have lived in small to tiny structures for most of human history and it’s sometimes simply the more efficient and economic way to keep things separated…

      Boarding houses is just one example where people may live in individual quarters but go out and used shared spaces for their bathroom and kitchen needs.

      Besides, it doesn’t get that cold everywhere… Places like California, where this is, very rarely ever get that cold and is one of those places that it can be pretty ideal to live more minimally and spend more time outdoors.

      Florida is another example where some people have basically decided to live in a tent to keep their costs low.

      While you’ll options like Yurts in many parts of the world.

      Seriously, there are people living in smaller spaces with even less. So while it may seem extreme to you it’s really not, especially when compared to having nothing as one of the points was discussing options for the homeless…

    • La Taina says:

      Johanna Lundqvist: exactly the point that I believe Jay is making. That shelter in its most edited form doesn’t have to be plastic or tarp or tent. It can still be asthetically pleasing.
      Thank you Jay for answering the question that other builders are ignoring. And thank you Bryce, once again for a perfect episode at your 1 million subscribers mark.
      You never lose sight of the point, do you?πŸ€”…. πŸŽ‰πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸŽ‰

    • mustafa ΓΆzen says:

      +ZeoCyberG I know there are people living in even less space than that. I am not talking about what is happening right now, I m talking about what it should be. For instance, there is no point of justifying coffin houses in China. This is not a solution, this is just being injustice in terms of distribution of sources. About the history of humankind, well, people had lived in caves thousands of years doesn’t mean that we will keep on living in caves. With this logic, we don’t need to build anything. We are making progress in every field as humanbeings but it occurs to me the gap between poor and rich is getting bigger everyday. Don’t get me wrong, I m not saying everybody needs to have a huge mansion or something, I m for small houses, I like small houses. But there should be a line huh. At least I wanna pee without going outside. And it s not just about weather, it s about security also. We need a roof over our heads for some security and protection purposes also. These are our basic needs.

    • Elle D says:

      annakeye i know its latin, but β€œbed cum couch” sounds so bad. because if it is a bed, then it is kind of a c _ m couch also.

    • ZeoCyberG says:

      Limits, yes, but they should be set by the people living in them… Understand, not everyone feels as you do.Β  There are people who feel even a small house is too big for them and unless you want to take away their choice and force them to live how you want them to then you can’t really set limits for other people…Β  Besides, this discussion does include people who would otherwise be homeless and something is always better than nothing and there are lifestyles that actually benefit from having less, like those who prefer to be nomadic, for example…Β  Fact is you have to account for people’s diversity or it will never work for everyone…

  3. Living Big In A Tiny House says:

    WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW. We made it to 1 million subscribers! I honestly can’t believe it. Thank-you all so much for your support to this channel and our journey. It’s been such a ride over these past years with lots of ups and downs. Building a tiny house, and starting this channel was absolutely one of the best things I’ve ever done with my life. Really though, it’s you, the viewers who make all this possible, so thank-you for being a part of our journey and helping us to do what we love. My promise to you is that we will continue to seek out incredible small homes to show you, and always work hard to improve the quality of our videos for you.

    Some of you have been with us right from the beginning of this journey and that’s an amazing thing. It’s great to recognise so many familiar names and comments in the discussion of the videos each week. There’s such a strong sense of positive community here and I love that.

    It seems quite fitting that our first video at 1 million subs is of Jay Shafer. Jay was my original inspiration for building a tiny house on wheels, so to get to visit and film a tour of his new design was really special for me. I hope you enjoy this tour, and again, thank-you all for your support of this channel!

  4. PocketFullOf Sunshine says:

    For 5000$ this is amazing. N congratulations for crossing 1M 😊

  5. Linda Krause says:

    God bless him always!

  6. Janet G says:

    We love you and your channel. You deserve every subscriber! You seem like such a genuine person and that comes across in your interviews with the people! Wishing you continued success

  7. Go Downsize says:

    this made me cry, I love the decked out tiny houses, but getting back to the core is such a good reminder, thank you Jay, and thank you Bryce.

  8. NOURISH Natural Nutrition for Your Life, Lori Fozo says:

    What a touching video!Β  There is so much potential, within the tiny house philosophy, to better ourselves and society!

    • Living Big In A Tiny House says:

      You’re so right. There are so many positive values and philosophies embedded in the tiny house movement. It makes me so happy to be a part of it!

  9. esra temel says:

    I almost cried and I was speechless and didn’t even blink while watching this video.You thanked him and I thank you for introducing this world of tiny happiness to me..I enjoyed every second of it..

  10. Spam Armor says:

    When I first got interested in tiny houses back in 2009 I emailed this fella regarding some heating and electric ideas and he emailed me back himself within a day. Truly a good guy who really believes in what he does. Kudos

    • Living Big In A Tiny House says:

      He really does. He’s got a lot of creativity and passion for his work. Definitely an inspiring individual.

    • TheRozzyRozz says:

      I’m impressed with him. I’m shocked about his houselessness story but he truly will help find a solution to this epidemic especially in expensive California.

  11. Raynola Dominguez says:

    Congratulations on the 1 million subscriber mark, very well deserved. I wish for multiples of this amount. This is a great video, Jay Shafer is brilliant in his design ideas and reasoning.

    • Living Big In A Tiny House says:

      Thanks!!! It’s such a wonderful milestone. Thank-you for watching, subscribing and helping to make it possible! πŸ™‚

  12. J Corr says:

    Although too tiny for my personal taste he does make an interesting point with this project. The attention to design that maximizes space and the use of lightweight materials really questions why some of the larger β€œtiny” houses are priced in the 100k plus range. The whole principle behind a tiny house is to simplify your life and provide the owner with some sort of financial freedom by getting away from the traditional mortgage/housing costs of a regular home. Don’t get me wrong i think there are some amazingly beautiful larger tiny homes out there but there really has to be an effort to rethink the cost/pricing structure of these dwellings.

    • Living Big In A Tiny House says:

      Very true. Affordable is a word which obviously means different things to different people. Certainly for those who are facing an average house price tag of over 1 million dollars (as is the average in the city where I live), 100,000 can seem super affordable and a great option. To others, it’s again beyond their reach. I really like Jay’s philosophy and his willingness to really explore simple living and what our most basic needs are in a home. Certainly creating simple, yet beautiful designs like this allows a home to be accessible to everyone.

    • ZeoCyberG says:

      Actually, cost depends a lot on what people want from their home…

      Things like being able to live completely off grid can add 25-30% to the total cost but means never having to pay a utility bill… Having a home that can withstand climate extremes and extreme weather conditions can also be costly but can increase the range of places people can choose to live and reduce risks like the home being damaged by severe weather…

      Everything just has trade offs but there are often benefits to consider, like better energy efficiency can significantly lower long term costs and better durability can significantly reduce maintenance and repair costs.

      Long term costs can be quite significant and add up to multiple times what the house originally cost to purchase when you start getting into decades.

      So a higher up front cost can mean a lower long term cost with a more significant savings as well as its effect on quality of life…

      Mind, Shafer’s home presently doesn’t have a kitchen or bathroom… So final costs are likely to go up significantly if he ever adds those because a kitchen and bathroom are usually the most expensive parts of a house… Especially, if he has to add the cost of infrastructure to provide the home with water, etc.

      There’s also the difference of building it yourself versus paying someone else to do it…

      So it’s more a issue of what people want to get out of it versus what they are willing to do to get it…

      Like for those who don’t need a custom designed home, there’s options like Core Housing, a company started by Andrew Bennett, better known for Trekker Trailers and helping to found NOAH, which produces a 28′ THOW constructed from SIPs that’s just around $28K…

  13. LizardbethArt says:

    While I couldn’t ever live in the homes Jay designs as they’re a bit *too* simple & paired down, I have SO MUCH admiration and respect for what he does. I think with the direction the tiny house movement has been going, with tiny homes being pushed gradually larger, fancier, & more costly over time, it’s wonderful that folks like Jay continue to offer a balance in the opposite direction.

    • Living Big In A Tiny House says:

      Absolutely. I think we really need designers like him at the extreme end of tiny to show what’s possible and remind us all of what’s truly important. πŸ™‚

    • Ottee2 says:

      Yes, I agree. Jay offers a good thought exercise regarding one’s wants and needs. Can I do without running water? Can I live without a cooking area or bathroom amenities? Questions like these.

  14. conpoet says:

    THIS is why Jay is the godfather of tiny houses: he is holding down the original purpose of them and rethinking everything to create something in alignment with the true intention of tiny houses. bravo.

  15. David Penn says:


  16. chakraboosters says:

    Congrats on a million subscribers, Bryce — you deserve it!! You’ve created an amazing series. Better than anything on TV. Bravo!! xoxo, Vicki

  17. Jahnny Acosta says:

    Since I watch this show I’m no longer impressed by Mansions. What a waste. Specially for single n just couples.

    • Annett G. Nickol says:

      Well, as I can say for Germany, bigger houses aren’t bought bc people really need them, but to impress their neighbours. And that’s, without any doubt, wasting resources for nothing.

    • Jahnny Acosta says:

      +MrXelium I lived in a 20 mills dollars mansion for 2 yrs.
      If it would had been mine, I would had destroyed it and build something simple. I rather have the money in the bank.

    • Jahnny Acosta says:

      +MrXelium most of those wealthy people aren’t very good humans.They suck at it that Why they hide on a mansion

    • Jahnny Acosta says:

      +MrXelium u are nt poor if u have a job, love n health.

    • Jahnny Acosta says:

      +MrXelium most important if u are happy n cozy in it….who needs a mansion?

  18. Elle D says:

    Long comment:
    Firstly,Bryce, kudos for the 1 million, well-deserved followers. You’re doing it all right! And your partnerβ€”who is the other half of this lovely community you have now. Thank you so muchβ™₯️.

    Jay: You are still a pioneer; and you are the modern-day Thoreau. Obviously Thoreau sought more isolation and aloneness, but the other similar traits are there; the unapologetic move towards a certain honesty in habits, including lifestyle and living quarters. And the complex and often controversial reasons behind those ideas, are what I think of when I think of Jay.

    That courage can be a lonely journeyβ€”when people don’t really understand, or when you live in a culture where even the most β€œeco-friendly” people are not actually truly living in a way that is sustainable. People all want to feel good about their choices, and sometimes that means not directly looking at those consequences of their choices. So for me, I have become a bit weary of the new β€œtiny” house.

    The idea that shared amenities can actually help the environment is not very popular in the Western world. Hence, we now have tiny homes, with mortgages, with expensive washer/dryer combos, imported marble counter tops, and trendy lighting etc. This is again, the opposite of simplicityβ€”which I believe to be at the heart of the movement for most people who are drawn to this.

    On the other hand, people can also be drawn to this purely out of need for shelter, a basic need, that Jay discusses. Those people actually have the advantage, I think, because the mindset is more, β€œwhat is it that I really need” versus β€œI want the best possible______, that I can possibly buy to fill my tiny home”

    That is the authenticity. That is what most viewers of this channel notice, when you show a very very high end expensive tiny house with luxury amenitiesβ€”and then see comments about β€œthe heart of the tiny house movement” and why it should not be the move towards 20-30 foot homes with expensive new things.

    I love the practicality and simple design of Jay’s new home. It feels Japanese in aesthetic and layout. It is quiet relaxing to look at, and seems a great retreat from the busy world.

    Jay, if you are reading this: Don’t stop being you, in your designs and your philosophy behind them. There is a place and a people for this. Obviously growing as a person is healthy and learning new things is goodβ€”but you always refer back to honesty of design. Never lose that!

    In closing, I feel immense gratitude to this channel and all the tiny house/tiny living architects, that have inspired and shaped my view of β€œwhat is essential to life, to happiness, to this planet”β™₯️

    • Swan Auto47 says:

      Elle D I couldn’t agree more with you, Jay is such an inspiration. I enjoy the β€œreal” tiny homes the most. The ones that are small but feel big. 16 feet or less is all that is really needed. I always go by the rule, more money more problems.

  19. Katie Haley says:

    It’s a shame that he started a grass roots movement and now the big home builders and greedy people are involved and many tiny houses cost up to $85,000 which is ridiculous. You have to have knowledge and build yourself for it to be affordable for most people.

    • Jaz Musique says:

      Katie Haley I have that exact problem πŸ™

    • queenbeethatme100 says:

      Katie Haley Worse are the regs communities are adding to either prevent tiny home building or find ways to charge taxes on them like they due on larger homes. (Property taxes are usually determined by sq footsge so many areas require a home to be 300 sq ft or more to be legally livable).

    • ZeoCyberG says:

      Nonsense, he just showed nothing is stopping people from doing it cheaply… And it’s not greed if people have special needs or want to do things like live off grid or have a home that can outlast them… There’s RV’s that go into the millions and you’re complaining about people having more choices with structures actually built to be homes?!… Seriously, the best way to assure a housing solution will fail is to eliminate choice and force everyone to live the same way regardless of their actual needs…

  20. Nikolai says:

    It’s hard to imagine there is any channel like this where I watch every new video, like every one of them, and don’t hesitate to comment. I tried to analyze what is so special about the Bryce’s project, because it’s not the only one about tiny hauses, down sizing, etc. And I think that besides the great quality of videos and interviews, interesting people, the real power is in the cheerful Bruce’s spirit and his enthusiasm and genuine belief. They give all of us not only hope but real examples of simple life where kindness and love could exist. All this is definitely more than about living big in a tiny space, this is about good people coming back to rationality and naturalness. Thank you, and keep going!!!

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