Ep. 130 Planning and Building Your Tiny House

Russell Mullin shares ways to plan, design, finance, site, build, and move a tiny house to fit your dream, lifestyle, needs, and budget.

In this 2-Part episode of Mother Earth News and Friends, Russell Mullin, former editor at Mother Earth News, shares his journey of planning, designing, financing, siting, building, and moving a tiny house to fit the lifestyle he and his partner envision, as well as the lessons he’s learned along the way.

Part 1

Part 2

Additional Resources:

An article about the early parts of building:


Tiny House Design & Construction Guide, by Dan Louche.
A guide to basic building principles and considerations for tiny home construction in a format that is easy to follow and understand.

The Small House Book, by Jay Shafer
A helpful reference for understanding functional and aesthetic design principles for creating and living in an efficient living space.

Web Resources


Trailer Made Trailers crafts customizable trailers specifically designed to be used as tiny house foundations. They also offer steel tiny house frame kits that you can fully customize. They have great customer service, are very knowledgeable, and I’m incredibly happy with both the customized trailer and frame kit that I used for building my own home.


Free modeling software that I used extensively in the later stages of the planning process. There may be better programs out there, but I found this one to be relatively easy to use.


A blog by Jenna Spesard that offers fairly comprehensive materials lists, contains useful information for budgeting and estimating build weight, and delves into insights she gained while building and living in her own tiny house on wheels.


A website that is full of free plans and tutorials for building simple but stylish cabinets, couches, tables, bed frames, and more. There are also plans for a tiny house that Ana and her husband built that are available to download for free.


MAC Insurance, Inc
My tiny home insurance provider. I haven’t had to make any claims, but they’ve been helpful and responsive any time I’ve had any questions.

Russell Mullin is a former editor for Mother Earth News who has a penchant for adventure, a love for travel, and a passion for exploring ways to live a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle. He currently lives in rural Tennessee in a tiny home that he and his partner, Mary Beth Duda, designed and built from the wheels up. When they aren’t working on crafting fermented delicacies in their kitchen or inoculating mushroom logs out back, they enjoy watching the birds in the forest and taking photographs of the beauty that surrounds them.

You can follow them on Instagram.


Our Podcast Team:

Carla Tilghman and Jessica Mitchell
Music: “Marathon Man” by Jason Shaw

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