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Small House Organizations, Building Materials Suppliers, and Other Small House Websites

Effective Living > Small House Society > Resources

The Small House Movement has inspired the growth of many organizations and building material suppliers offering tools and resources for small house construction. Below is a brief directory of these providers who specialize in tiny, small, miniature, and micro homes. Please contact us if you know of any other resources that should be added to this list.

  • Abundance-Ecovillage.com – “The idea for the Abundance EcoVillage Project was born of frustration and dissatisfaction with a way of living that is not healthy for the earth or it’s inhabitants. In a conventional home, subdivision, village, or city, the options provided for energy, water, waste handling, built environment, landscape, food, transportation, and a livelihood are grossly out of tune with the growing desire of many people to live as responsible citizens on the earth, in harmony with our planetary resources and our fellow creature inhabitants.”
  • Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). A membership-based association of colleges and universities working to advance sustainability in higher education in the US and Canada.
  • BigGreenSummer.com – Big Green Summer grew out of an informal internship program started in 1998 at Surya Nagar Farm (Iowa and Hawaii – http://www.solarfarm.com) and in 2000 at Abundance Ecovillage (Iowa – http://www.abundance-ecovillage.com) that has served hundreds of students. This program was developed and directed by Big Green Summer founders Lonnie and Valerie Gamble.
  • CoHousing.org – Cohousing communities combine the advantages of private homes with the benefits of more sustainable living, including shared common facilities and ongoing connections with neighbors. These intentional neighborhoods, created and managed by residents, offer an innovative solution to today’s environmental and social challenges.
  • Community Solution. “We envision a country where the population is distributed in small communities that are sustainable, diverse and culturally sophisticated.”
  • Compact Appliances. CompactAppliance.com was created to provide an online destination for people in search of distinctive home appliances that offer maximum functionality in a minimal amount of space.
  • Discovery Architectural Antiques. “Discovery Architectural Antiques is the largest operation of its kind in the Southern USA. We stock nearly everything imaginable that can be salvaged from old homes and buildings. We have over 130,000 square feet of inventory under roof, the main showrooms alone take up five buildings in downtown Gonzales, Texas.”
  • DutchOvenPro.com – “Based in Utah, where the cast iron dutch oven is as popular as the conventional oven, DutchOvenPro.com and its partners will strive to offer the highest quality cast iron dutch ovens and outdoor cookware at unbeatable prices. With over 20 years of experience cooking in the great outdoors, our commitment to high performance outdoor cooking will ensure that you receive the highest customer satisfaction in our products and customer service. We are confident your joy for outdoor cooking will be enhanced with our top selling dutch ovens and outdoor cookware.”
  • Environmental Resource Group. Good resource for green building and other sustainability related items.
  • Epic Building Systems. Rust free steel framing solutions made to order. Pre-assembled walls are ready to assemble. Steel framing is anticipated to last 500 to 700 years, at which point it can be recycled and used again.
  • Garden Buildings Directory. Manufacturers of small sheds, pool houses, and garden buildings.
  • Global Portable Buildings. Founded in 1999, Global Portable Buildings, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of new, multi-purpose portable buildings. Our Company is headquartered in Santa Rosa, California (see address), and has three manufacturing plants in Asia.
  • Harvesting Rainwater. “Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands” is a toolbox of seventeen principles, numerous strategies, and countless tips that guide you in the sustainable harvest of rainwater.
  • InflectorPanel.net – “The IN’FLECTOR insulating panel is reversible, so the reflective surface can face outward during the seasons when solar gain is a problem, and the carbon PVC surface can face outward during cold seasons to reflect heat back into the building and collect convective sunlight for conversion to radiant heat. The panel is held in place with magnets which form a virtually air tight seal and inhibits infiltration, conduction and convection while providing additional dead air space for insulation.”
  • Little House on a Small Planet. The website for the book by the same name.
  • MarineStove.com – “Designed originally for boats, these US EPA & Wa. State Certified stoves are equally well suited for use in small spaces on land (300 sq.ft. or less) where a larger, conventional woodburning stove would be impractical. About half the stoves we build end up being used in this way.”
  • Murphy Bed Company. The original design of beds that fold out of the wall and then store away again during the day.
  • MurphyRoom.com – “MurphyRoom© is unique in the Northwest. We take the Murphy bed concept to the next level. Your MurphyRoom© can be a guest room that converts into a home office; a sewing, quilting, and arts room that turns into a guest room, a home office that doubles as a media center, or a home library that with a few adjustments reveals a office space and a guest bed.”
  • New Urban Guild. The New Urban Guild acts as an agent for architects who perform a number of services for developers and builders in the interest of building great places.
  • Oasis Design. “Oasis Design is a wellspring of original content and designs which you won’t find elsewhere. We specialize in the nuts and bolts of sustainability—practical systems for living well, in harmony with nature and each other. These include designs for managing water, wastewater, energy, money and other resources. Our goal is to live really well, on a small amount of well-managed resources, and help others do the same. We don’t need resource wars…we just need to make the most of our fair share. There are several hundred pages of free information here on our web site, as well as an additional several hundred in our books and articles. We hope you enjoy your visit, and find something which helps you live the way you want to.” [Design Principles | Why Huge Doesn’t Work]
  • Phrannie. The Phred and Annie online resource directory of suppliers for small home and RV construction appliances and materials. Includes information about motor-homes but much is applicable to small homes and off-the-grid living.
  • Real Goods. Real Goods is better positioned than ever to give you the tools to tip the balance toward a sustainable future. [ Website | About ]
  • Small Houses and Sustainable Living. Useful links to books and plans.
  • SolarFarm.com – “Surya Nagar is Sanskrit for “Home of the Sun”, and the mission of Surya Nagar is to implement and teach how man can create a life based on solar energy. We operate a farm, offer internships, host visitors, and offer educational programs such permaculture design certificate courses.”
  • Straw Bale Houses. These economical houses are constructed by a coalition of women builders.
  • The Campaign for Affordable Housing. The Campaign for Affordable Housing is a national, nonpolitical nonprofit organization dedicated to dispelling the negative stereotypes surrounding affordable housing. Supported by a wide range of industry leaders, The Campaign for Affordable Housing promotes the benefits of affordable housing and acts as a clearinghouse for local and regional organizations.
  • TinyHouses.net Website. A nicely designed site by David Harned.
  • WallBedFactory.com – “At Old Creek Wall Bed Factory, we’ve been building Murphy Bed solutions for over 29 years. We’ve always believed that good design merges style with functionality and that the value of a product should be measured by the quality of its components and construction – not just its price tag. You can take comfort knowing that we’ve paid attention to all the details. Trust us to choose the finest materials and to masterfully integrate old world handcrafted techniques with state-of -the-art engineering to create furniture that will endure the test of time. And since we bring our furniture to you direct from our factory, you can be assured that you are getting the absolute best value – every time.”
  • Women Build Houses. A coalition of women who build environmentally friendly homes.

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By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com