Book Review: Tiny House Floor Plans, by Michael Janzen

★★★★ 5/5

E Book, and link through to Amazon’s paper version

This is a compact, affordable book of over 200 scaled tiny house designs. The drawings are printed in the scale 3/16″=1′, so an appropriate architectural scale ruler came in handy while studying the plans.

The book emphasizes layouts for trailer-foundations: long, thin designs, but does has some boxier designs for homes built on site.

At first, I looked to the book for designs for 16′ x 16′ plans, and was disappointed not to find any, but the near countless layouts that he does provide gave me lots of ideas about laying out individual rooms as well as combining spaces.

The book has only a bit of text, which touches on Janzen’s approach: a very reasonable and pragmatic one. I’m a browser, so the page after page of design made the book feel a lot more meaty than other books of the same size. Very information-rich when it

Janzen has some repeated themes in the book. For example, he’s fond of a particular 4′ x 8′ bathroom layout, which finds itself in most of the trailer-based designs, but that’s because it’s a very robust design. Room for a full-si comes to tiny house floor plans. And so, the book is aptly named.zed shower, a throne-like composting toilet, and a sink, all that fits tidily into a compressed space. Some designs do feature bathtubs and bathrooms of different sizes.

Paper quality is very nice. Bright white, and the drawings are in dark ink, with exterior walls set in solid black. The paper is thick enough that one cannot see the drawings on the flipside of the page when browsing. This is one of those things that people would not notice unless it was done on cheap paper, but the publisher took the expense to use heavier paper and make certain to print the drawings to a standard architectural scale. These help make the book very usable. The book appears to be self-published, so Janzen must be quite a multifaceted individual!

What did I adapt from this book for my design? Surprisingly, nothing specific. I think there are some similarities with my kitchen and some of his designs.  I am incorporating a loft, but it is for a hammock (I’m a hammock sleeper) and so the configuration of the loft is somewhat different. What the book primarily did for me, is bring ‘home’ the point that there are countless options for even the tiniest of spaces. And that by thoughtfully tweaking and sketching, some amazing plans can be developed.

My teenaged-son, who is interested in tiny living, spent a good deal of time with the book. I think it set creative wheels spinning for him, too.

Thanks for the thorough task of sharing these designs, Mr. Janzen. It’s certain to be a standard in tiny house design as the movement grows!

Tiny House Plans features the following size footprints:

  • 8 x 12, 8 x 16, 8 x 20, 8 x 24, 8 x 28, 8 x 32
  • 12 x 12, 12 x 16,  12 x 20, 12 x 24



I own a small business, I have degrees in Sculpture, Forestry, and Soil Science. I like nature, I love to learn.

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