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The Big Idea of Going Small

PAD is dedicated to the big idea of going small. Based out of Portland, Oregon, we focus on the Do-It-Yourself crowd – the people who want to design their own home, build the tiny house of their dreams, or create a small, meaningful community. We offer workshops, e-books, e-plans and a variety of consulting packages tailored to fit your unique needs.

Our work centers on tiny portable houses – mindfully constructed; designed to be kind to the planet and strategically integrated into the broader community. We believe positive change really does begin at home, starting with what it is and where it can go.

Your tiny house might be the place that you sleep, and where you live your day-to-day. It might be a writing studio, guest room, and an Annex to expand your existing home in just the right way. Whatever your goals for building a tiny house, PAD can provide you with the information, skills and resources that you need to make your tiny house dreams a big success.

PAD was established in 2009 by Dee Williams and Katy Anderson with a focus on workshops and building tiny houses. Our current focus has evolved with the changing landscape to a design consulting company guided by Dee Williams and Joan Grimm, with consulting support from Master Carpenter Katy Anderson and and a community of experts in home design & construction, housing codes, community-building, and sustainability.

If you are thinking about building tiny, and you want to do it right the first time, attend our workshop or shoot us an email to find out if we can help you!

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Dee Williams

Dee is a designer, builder and tiny house resident and advocate with a background in architectural engineering and environmental science. In 2004, she constructed an 84-square foot home with the dream of living more simply and happily in her friends’ backyard. Since then, she’s introduced thousands of students, young and old, to the world of tiny houses; she’s taught workshops across the country; authored a how-to e-book titled Go House Go; and has consulted with hundreds of people designing and building their own small homes. She’s been featured extensively in the media. To date, more than 20-million people have either walked through her house or toured it virtually; the house has been featured in Yes!Magazine, TIME Magazine, on Good Morning America, NBC Evening News, National Public Radio, and other media.  In 2008, Dee won the Washington State Governor’s Award for Sustainable Practices.


Joan Grimm

For the past 25 years, Joan has designed and delivered local and international environmental education and sustainability programs for both public and private entities. She is the founding board chair of SCRAP (the School and Community Reuse Action Project) and the Oregon Green Schools Association. In recent years, Joan has been instrumental in creating a pocket community in her backyard–POD49. The community includes a tiny house built by Katy Anderson and a common yard shared by their neighbor.

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Where can I see a  PAD tiny house?

If you sign up for our Design Workshop in April, a tour of a tiny house in a pocket community is included, otherwise, tours can be arranged up request by emailing us at: joan@padtinyhouses.com

When is the next workshop and what will it cover?

Please take a look at our workshops section. Please join us!

How much does a PAD house cost?

The cost of your little house will depend on the quality of materials and the size of the project.  As a rough estimate, consider the following common costs for ‘buttoning up’ the exterior:
•       New Utility Trailer — $2500 to $3500
•       Nice Windows & Doors — $1000 to $3000
•       Lumber, Plywood, Roofing, Siding (and the works) — $5,000 to $15,000

That doesn’t include the interior insulation, appliances, electrical system, plumbing or other common goods, but should give you a good starting point.  You might also be able to cut the price by using salvaged materials and consider going with something even smaller!  Dream BIG but Build SMALL.

Can someone from PAD help me design or build my house?

Yes, please refer to PAD’s consulting services. Contact us for specifics.

Where can I get more information about little houses?

Our workshops might be just the ticket; take a look at our Workshops.   The e-book Go House Go also offers great information about getting started construction, systems, legal standing, moving, and green building alternatives.  The folks at Rowdy Kittens, Tiny House Design, Tiny House Talk, Tumbleweed and other awesome blogs also provide great information about living small.  Take a look at their FAQ pages at: