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Books to Help You Build a Smaller Home

Top 10 House Plans and House Design Ideas for Smaller Homes


Way back in 1753, a French priest suggested that the Primitive Hut should be the model for all architecture. In the Third Millennium, the authors of these tiny home books would agree. See what can be packed into limited space with these books of plans and designs.

1. Nano House: Innovations for Small Dwellings

Nano House book cover courtesy PriceGrabber.com
Nano House book cover courtesy PriceGrabber.com
Author Phyllis Richardson has given us 40 ways to be ingenious and responsible, at under 650 square feet.
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2. Little House on a Small Planet

"Simple Homes, Cozy Retreats, and Energy Efficient Possibilities." More than just a collection of photos and floor plans, Litttle House on a Small Planet offers advice and inspiration with a friendly dose of philosophy. The pictures and plans focus on practical ways to rethink your need for space, and suggests rebuilding, remodeling, and redecorating solutions to use space wisely.
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3. Small Eco Houses: Living Green in Style

What makes a living space ecologically sound? Authors Cristina Paredes Benítez and Àlex Sánchez Vidiella give their points of view on small and not-so-small modern house designs.
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4. Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter

Book cover of Tiny Homes Simple Shelter by Lloyd Kahn
Tiny Homes Simple Shelter by Lloyd Kahn book cover courtesy PriceGrabber.com
A book that inspires the realization that one CAN live in less than 500 square feet? Author Lloyd Kahn helps us dream.
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5. Small Home Building Made Easy, Plan 53

Do-it-yourselfer Jim Marple has created a series of designs for simple, small homes. He walks you through the building of Plan 53, with framing details and a can-do attitude that helps you construct a 385-square-foot one-bedroom cottage.
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6. Creating The Not So Big House

Book cover of Creating the Not So Big House by Sarah Susanka
Creating the Not So Big House book cover courtesy PriceGrabber.com
"Insights and Ideas for the New American Home." Sarah Susanka, a LIFE Magazine Architect of the Year, shows how homes can be designed to feature "adaptable spaces" and how to create the illusion of space.
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7. Build Your Own Low-Cost Log Home

Subtitled, "Complete Working Drawings and Specifications for Eleven Homes Suitable for Year-Round and Vacation Use, With Step-By-Step Construction Information." What more could you want?

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8. 500 Small Houses of the Twenties

Presents 500 small-home designs of the 1920s as they appeared in a major architectural publication of 1923. Many are designed by leading domestic architects of the period. By Henry Atterbury Smith.
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9. Vintage Small Houses from the Twenties

"The Sears, Roebuck 1926 House Catalog." A vintage house plan collection showing interiors and fixtures in great detail. Sears Roebuck and Co.
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10. Small Bungalows

The word "small" is relative, and author Christian Gladu of The Bungalow Company defines small as under 1,800 square feet. But if you're a fan of the Arts and Crafts Style, the extra size may be worth a look.
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11. Tiny House Floor Plans

Book cover of Tiny House Floor Plans by Michael Janzen
Tiny House Floor Plans book cover courtesy PriceGrabber.com
Okay, so our Books to Help You Build a Smaller Home is a "top 10" list, but Michael Janzen's 2012 book has over 200 interior designs for tiny houses, and it's said to be only Volume 1. How can small be such a big topic?
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