Ron Douglas, Dream Tiny

[Ron] Douglas has been a home builder for 40 years but after surviving surgery, he returned to work by building in a tiny, sustainable way. The house, called Dream Tiny, has an exterior of cedar-beveled tight knot on 2×4 framing. The interior is channel cedar and, like the exterior, it was kiln dried to reduce wood shrinking or movement.” –

Read the story Everything you need is within reach Labor Day Weekend: A tiny house and beer. Below an under construction peek inside. Photos by Ron Douglas via


12 thoughts on “Ron Douglas, Dream Tiny”

  1. Bill Gregory

    192 SF for $55,000? Are you kidding? That’s $286/SF, which is outrageous. To put that in perspective and according to the NAHB, the average cost of new construction in the US is $153/SF (including land) or $124/SF (without land). So with no land cost, this Tiny House is 2.3 times as expensive, per SF, as the national average. No, thanks.

    1. David Wohlfeil

      Thats not including the truck you will need to pull it either. 3/4 ton new will run you 54,000 on average.

    2. I have to agree with Bill. I think that the price is inflated substantially. Could you give a breakdown of the expenditures? All it is is a glorified shed with cupboards and a sleeping loft.

    3. I am afraid I have to agree with you. Some mark up for labor is understandable, but that is a lot for the size house.

  2. I could not agree with you more Mr. Gregory! The TinyHouse moment was started to be a way to down size and become debt free. However, All I see now is a bunch of greedy people price gouging the hell out of people. Your better off just building it yourself which is what we are doing

    1. I suspect the market (demand) drives the price. If a price is too high, it comes down to meet demand.

      But I’m with you on the DIY part completely. One of the biggest benefits of tiny is building your own future – but then again not everyone can – so as this grows we will see more builders try to make it a business.

      1. You are right about market demand. If the price is too high, don’t buy it until the price comes down. It is not that hard (just tedious) to build your own, and there have been tiny builders who have never built anything before building their houses, so hopefully everyone will realize that it is within their reality to do it themselves.

  3. My husband and I are planning to build our own tiny home in the future, because people charge way to much to build them for you. The cost per square footage to have it built is astronomical! If you’re really trying to help people and the environment, maybe lower the cost. It’s sad to see this, because so many people (like myself) dream of a tiny home, and just can’t afford them unless we build ourselves.

    1. Bill Gregory

      Amanda, I’ve been a fan of the Tiny House movement for several years and what started out as a DIY, affordable alternative has quickly evolved to a business opportunity for talented craftsmen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for capitalism and believe in the supply/demand concept but again, the Tiny House movement was originally an answer to debt prison. When I make my move, I will not employ a “custom” builder…I will do as much as I can and supplement the work with contracted craftsmen. So don’t be fooled, or become disheartened with these entrepreneurs who want to make their fortune on the backs of working-class people who chase the dream of being debt-free. Stay strong.

      1. Bill, I think it’s unfair to stereotype builders as greedy entrepreneurs looking to break the backs of the working class. I can’t comment on this particular build and its cost (it doesn’t appear to be finished?), but when we price a home, we factor in materials, overhead, and fair wages for those who are working on it (including ourselves). There’s no huge margin. Also, using the $/SF argument doesn’t apply here. Half the house consists of the two most expensive rooms a house can have (kitchen and bath). The numbers are skewed. I agree with Michael, that the market will take care of any inordinate pricing that is out there.

        From one DIY guy to another,


        1. I agree with Teal.

          You see there are many folks looking to get into the business of building tiny homes which definitely fills the need of those that can’t or don’t want to build themselves. Some of the pricing you see out there may be a reflection of testing the market, some may be a reflection of how much time & materials went into the home. I think we can only call it greed when the company has grown large enough to have figured out how to play the margin – lower quality, lower cost, increase price. RV manufacturers may be the only ‘tiny’ home builders that have reached that scale.

          But everyone should feel free to say you think a price it too high and the reasons why. I just suggest avoiding judgments about folks based on a single factor. It keeps things fair and civilized.

  4. Often when reviewing these commonly seen and strongly felt opinions about tiny houses built by a contractor (essentially anyone other than oneself) I can’t help but want to remind people about two major points: #1: Economy of scale folks! Which just means that the smaller something is (especially when containing darn near all characteristics – except quantity- a “normal size something” has) the more expensive per unit-of-size it becomes for lots of logical reasons. Common examples being: travel size lotions, miniatures of all sorts, homes, cars, etc. And most importantly #2: The craftsmanship that almost always accompanies these talented-carpenter-built tiny homes is similar to that of having custom cabinetry made. The extra cost of materials, extra design time, extra custom cutting/fitting time, extra durability, less maintenance/repair, longer life expectancy etc. I’m sure YOU wouldn’t ask to work or do extra for “free”, right? Well, one shouldn’t ask them to either. So, essentially a tiny house is a really large custom cabinetry project that you happen to live inside. If you look at THOSE cabinetry prices per square foot, then the cost of a tiny house (in many cases for the higher quality ones) makes total sense. The market determines what someone pays. If something seems too expensive to you, then don’t buy it. If it IS too expensive, then no one will buy it and the seller will correct their error or go out of business.

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