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Tiny-inspired high performance comfortable house plans

420 square foot tiny home exterior

Welcome to Compact Home Plans!  If you were looking, you’re in the right place.  We’ve rebranded ourselves to better reflect our mission to design compact house plans for single family homes and backyard guest houses (aka accessory dwelling units or ADUs).

Ranging from 384 to 1,500 square feet (36 to 140 m2) you’ll find a variety of “standard plans” presented and for sale here.  Consider these to be inspiration plans to show a range of ideas, styles, and layouts to spark your imagination.  We’re happy to prepare custom plans to suit your exact wish list, whether it involves simple revisions to our standard plans or creating a brand-new design just for you! 

Galley kitchen in a 420 sf natural house

Our Mission

We strive to make sustainability affordable. Energy efficiency should not be limited to smart homes that incorporate the latest cutting-edge gizmos. Our homes are designed for high performance, but they do not demand a small army of specialists to keep all that technology running. If you're intrigued by the tiny house movement but don't want to downsize to an 8’ wide structure on wheels, you'll find our plans are designed around full-size furniture with generously sized spaces that won't cramp your lifestyle. Compactness breeds simplicity, which gives you more time to spend on family, travel, or whatever you care about most.

Compact Living

It's not about saving money (although that's nice too).  It's about reducing the stress, distraction, and seemingly endless maintenance of our "stuff". Spending too much time running your house? Reduce your home size and everything becomes easier to maintain. Always chasing your phone, reading glasses, or other things?  It’s only a dozen steps between the dining area and any point in our smaller house designs. Aiming to reduce your carbon footprint? Smaller buildings take fewer resources, use less energy, and reduce your consumption since you won’t have space to buy things you can live without. One big move to downsize your home provides many interrelated benefits to improve your quality of life.

3D rendering of fireplace built-ins: craftsman-style home
Cute compact house in mountain town

Enhanced Efficiency

We don’t aim to design the thermally perfect house.  It’s easy to spend tons of money chasing down every little opportunity to save energy.  We focus on thicker walls with more insulation, incorporating thermal mass to even out temperature swings, and designing for passive solar heating and natural ventilation.  By plucking this low-hanging fruit, you’ll end up with a home that is more comfortable, in tune with seasonal cycles, and more affordable to heat and cool.  Our plans include details and specifications to let you build a really good house that only costs a little more than an everyday code-compliant one.  If you want to go net-zero, that’s awesome, but we’re not snobbish about performance--if you don’t want to build any more than what’s required in your area, that’s OK too.

Steve Layden, Founder

I’ve lived in tents, sailboats, and houses medium and small. My current home (top photo) may qualify as a tiny home, but that’s not my focus. I found that I did not like having to “convert” one room into another or to fold away one thing to make space for something else, so you won’t find anything like that here. My philosophy is to reduce duplication of space and inefficiencies while producing rooms that are functional and that work with everyday furniture. Please browse these plans, videos, and other information.  Happy house daydreaming!

Steve Layden, president of Compact Home Plans

Copyright 2024 by Dumb Home, LLC  dba Compact Home Plans

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