Do you dream of building a tiny house with your own hands?

Person in raincoat and tool belt stands outside tiny house during workshop

With this class, you’ll learn how to make that dream into a reality. The in-person and online portions of this tiny house workshop combine to cover everything from creating your own tiny house floor plans, to choosing whether to build on wheels or on a foundation, to budgeting your build, to integrating natural building and green design.

In fact, students can get their hands on all of these aspects of building a tiny house, and more. There are many ways to do most of these steps, and we’ll dive into at least one way to do everything that’s practical and effective, based on our experience. 

What our students say

This tiny house course is appropriate whether you are an experienced builder or are an enthusiastic novice.

Students and instructors pose inside tiny house during workshop

During most of our class time, we split the students into two groups, each with a lead instructor and usually an assistant.

During the first two and a half days of class, everyone gets to learn about and participate in building a pier foundation and a floor system. Newbies learn safe and effective hand and power tool use in a small group setting, while more advanced students go on tours and explore more of the subtleties of foundations and floor systems. Those who need tool instruction will get a bit of these other exciting things too, but more advanced students will have more time to sink their teeth in.

Everyone will get a chance to learn in a way that’s tailored to meet them where they’re at. 

Together, we build tiny houses from the ground up.

person using a cordless circular saw to help build a tiny house

Applying the ideas and concepts you learned in the online lecture series will bring them to life and anchor your learning. For example, we’ll learn about wall and roof systems conceptually, then get out and build some.

As a result, you’ll leave the class feeling primed and inspired to build your own tiny houses or other buildings. In fact, many past participants have gone on to build tiny homes in Asheville and beyond!

What to expect from this tiny house workshop:

5 students with their arms around each other pose in tiny house during workshopBetween the online and the in-person content, you can expect to learn the nitty gritty details of how to build a tiny house. This comprehensive tiny house workshop even includes the basics of plumbing and electrical, plus how tiny homes can fit into community living. This is not a three-day overview or intro class. On the contrary, with the online content and in-person practicum combined, it’s an all-encompassing program that will not only get you ready to build your own tiny house, but also prepare you to create your own design, source the best materials, and understand more deeply how tiny homes can fit into your life.

Not to mention, it’s a great way to meet other folks who are excited about tiny houses and building for the people, by the people. Keenan, one of our lead instructors, has often been struck by the sense of community that grows from this workshop. “Folks absolutely bond with one another as they build together. Sometimes people come from the same state, county, or town having never met, but they get along incredibly well and stay in touch.” 

During our time together, we’ll focus on hands-on tiny house building and cover the following:

Male and female student work together during all genders carpentry class

  • Foundations
  • Floor systems
  • Framing out wall systems
  • Erecting wall systems
  • Framing out windows and doors
  • Roof rafter pitch determination, cutting and installation
  • Wall and roof sheathing
  • Depending on the build, we will possibly get into window and door installation
  • Tiny and not-so-tiny house, plus natural building tours (for students who don’t need a tools basics classes)
  • You’ll even experience a real-life tiny house community!

And here’s what you’ll learn in the online lecture series:

Electrical box sits on a table during tiny house workshop

  • Steps of building a building
  • Tiny houses on permanent foundations vs. on wheels
  • Tools of the trade including: measuring and marking; plumb, level, and square; power tools and more!
  • Designing your own tiny house
  • Ecological awareness in building
  • Building site assessment
  • Passive solar design
  • Legal considerations for tiny homes
  • Pros and cons of natural building techniques
  • Basics of electrical: theory and install
  • Basics of plumbing
  • Tiny and not-so-tiny-tours
  • Tiny house foundations 
  • Tiny house floor systems
  • And so much more!

Foundations, floors, walls, and roofs – Learn the basics for any building

Five women raise wall during tiny house workshop

Whatever the size, a building must have a solid foundation for safety and function—even if that “foundation” is a trailer. We’ll get into this, and also cover floor systems, walls, and roof systems. All of this information is crucial for building a solid, sturdy tiny house, or any kind of structure, no matter the size. In fact, one of the great things about the tiny house class is that you learn all the basics of building a house, but in a much shorter timeframe than it would take to build a traditional house.  

Tiny House Plans

Woman poses in front of plans during tiny house workshopPlanning your ideal tiny house takes some skill! And a good design can translate into a smoother building process and more beautiful and liveable space. 

In the online Tiny House Academy (included in the in-person class), we provide an overview of the design process that includes site analysis, sketching, and architectural and construction drawing exercises. We don’t share cookie-cutter designs with you, but rather teach you the skills you need to create your own customized tiny house design.  

The best of both worlds: Nine days of hands-on tiny home building classes, plus 20+ hours of online instruction

Two students build foundation during tiny house class

We believe this is the most comprehensive tiny home building class you’re going to find. That’s because we cover so much breadth and depth. To do this effectively, we provide the lecture portions of the class in an online format, leaving the entirety of our in-person time to focus exclusively on skills that are best taught—and practiced— in-person.

It’s a hybrid structure that maximizes our time together, and provides you with ample take-home resources to consult as you work on your own projects.

Before the in-person class starts, you will be invited to virtual presentations of the plans for the hands-on build project options. This way, you can decide which one you want to join when you get here.

You can get just the online portion only through our Tiny House Academy

Online Tiny House Academy displayed on desktop computer, laptop and phone

If the in-person class is inaccessible to you for whatever reason, you can get access to the online portion as a stand-alone. The Online Tiny House Academy is a comprehensive program that walks you through at least one way to do every step in the process of building a tiny house, plus more, via on-demand video lessons. These include a ton of how-to’s, along with a library of tutorials, lectures, and demos. The best part is that you can refer to whatever you need help with, again and again, throughout all your building projects! And, you get access to one of our lead instructors to answer your questions via the online classroom. 

The Tiny House Academy is a $697 value, making the in-person Tiny House Workshop an amazing deal. You basically pay for nine days of in-person instruction and get the online Tiny House Academy as a sweet bonus.

*All in-person tiny house students receive access to the Tiny House Academy as part of their registration.*

The Wild Abundance Tiny House Class Building Projects

Students peek out of tiny house during tiny house workshopWe break the class up into two groups to accomplish our tiny house builds. This happens after the first two and a half days of class, when we focus on foundations, floor systems, tours, and tool classes for those who need them. Both tiny house projects will be relatively similar; we break the class up so that every student gets more attentive guidance and so that there’s plenty of space and tools for everyone to feel comfortable.

Two building locations: Nanostead and Paint Fork

Tiny house built at Nanostead campus

One build will happen at Nanostead, a modular and tiny house company in Marshall, NC run by one of our fabulous instructors. This 4,000 square foot pole barn is on the edge of a quaint town by the French Broad river and is a great place to work and learn.

The other build will take place at our Paint Fork Campus (the newer campus), under a large roof. Camping is available here for students working at either build; there is no camping at Nanostead. Those working on the build at Nanostead will commute from their campsites in Barnardsville to the build site. The rural Paint Fork campus features a lovely mountain creek, an outdoor kitchen and other facilities for campers. 

Both tiny houses that we build will be either on a trailer or on “skids.” Skids are basically large beams that can act as supports and runners when moving a building that doesn’t have a trailer base. They’re a great option if the tiny house is going to move only once or twice from the place it is built, as trailers are a huge expense and building onsite sometimes isn’t practical. 

Not-So-Tiny Houses

Bedroom in a log cabin not so tiny house

In addition to true tiny houses, this workshop applies to not-so-tiny houses (400-900 square feet). We applaud your enthusiasm for downsizing, and want it to really work! For some folks, especially when there will be multiple adults and/or kids living in the house, a not-so-tiny house can be way more appropriate than a truly tiny house.

Along with exploring several not-so-tiny houses, we’ll engage in an honest discussion of the pros and cons of downsizing. Central to this is the importance of good design when you’re living and/or working in a small space. Plus, we’ll talk about and check out large covered porches, outbuildings, outdoor kitchens, shared infrastructure, and other strategies that can make tiny house living feel more spacious and doable. Both the hands-on aspects of the class and the lecture subjects will be applicable whether you are building tiny or not-so-tiny! 

Earthen paint in a natural built tiny house tourEcological and Natural Building Considerations

For our projects, we use materials sourced from a variety of places, including an onsite forest, a local sawmill, clay from near the site, the local lumber yard, and the big box building store. 

We encourage students to mix and match natural and conventional building styles based on their interests, skill set, resources, and desired outcomes. Just because you take a natural building course doesn’t mean you have to build 100% natural in order to apply what you learn. You can find your own sweet spot according to your available time, budget, and whether you’re going with a mobile unit, or a tiny (or not-so-tiny) house on a foundation.

The online portion of the class explores the pros and cons of several natural building modalities, which will help guide you toward which of these you might want to explore. Additionally, in the online portion, we discuss regenerative timber harvesting, milling your own lumber, the ecological impact of various building materials, and creative sourcing for up-cycled and lower footprint options. For a hands-on deeper dive into natural building, check out the Natural Building Add-on described below.  

Tiny House Workshop 2023

Student shows strong arm while posing on ladder during tiny house workshopThere is a very real housing crisis going on, and it’s not going away anytime soon. There just simply aren’t enough homes available for people in our area, and around the country. Compounding this, prices are being driven up by inflation. This combination online and in-person tiny house workshop will equip you with valuable skills to start taking control of your own housing options.

You’ll learn carpentry, best building practices, design, utilities and systems, legal ramifications, how to budget your tiny or not-so-tiny house, and more. Getting this information out to as many people as possible is important now more than ever.

Practical Choices for Tiny Houses

Student on ladder installing windows during tiny house classThere is a lot of hype out there about building tiny houses and natural buildings, and many people who claim that they will solve all of your problems, in a short amount of time, on an extremely low budget. We’re here to offer an encouraging and supportive voice of reason. Our team has decades of experience, and we’ve tried many of the tricks and shortcuts out there. In other words, everything you learn in this class will not only be cool and inspiring, but also practical and time-tested. 

In the online and in-person portions of the class we discuss the real implications of various choices and techniques, including their pros, cons, appropriate applications, and tradeoffs. For example: salvaging materials can save you money, but in some cases you’ll end up paying in time, labor, or exposure to environmental toxins. We offer guidance on when it makes sense to salvage, and when it’s more practical to buy new, and discuss the practicalities and appropriate use of various natural building approaches and ecological materials. We want you to succeed in your building aspirations, so we’ll discuss, in detail, how to decide on a recipe for what to salvage, what to buy new, and what to source from the land.

Experience a Real-Life Tiny House Community!

Exterior of two log cabin tiny houses shown during tiny house class tourDuring the tiny house workshop you’ll get a feel for “Tiny House Asheville.” In our neighborhood, you’ll see tiny houses of several different shapes and sizes that utilize an assortment of construction techniques, from conventional to adobe. Luckily, where we live, it’s legal to build as small as you want, which is part of why this tiny house community is possible. The area surrounding and including Wild Abundance’s Sanford Way campus is a great example of how tiny houses can allow people to live together and share resources, while still preserving the autonomy and personal space that many of us cherish.

Dynamic Video Tours Exploring Asheville’s Own Tiny House Nation

Tiny house students walking on tour to earthen paint adobe tiny home

In the online portion of the class, we take tours of tiny houses in and around Asheville, NC. You’ll get to see a variety of tiny home designs, materials, and sizes…It’s Asheville’s eco-conscious, DIY spin on Tiny House Nation!

In the in-person section, if you aren’t taking the tool basics class, you will also see, touch, and learn about various building styles, including timber framing, log cabin construction, adobe, cob, strawbale, hempcrete, wattle and daub, and earthen floors. Additionally, you’ll see how tiny houses can work in a community setting and can provide a viable option in an area with a housing crisis.

Two students laugh together during tiny house workshopHands-On Tiny House Building

Once the theoretical groundwork is laid, we’ll divide the class into two crews, and dive into building two tiny houses from the ground up. During the majority of this workshop, you’ll work with your build crew for most of the day. 

Our instructors provide lots of guidance, answer questions, and share what they know throughout the process. In fact, the mentorship, camaraderie, and “team spirit” of building together is often our students’ favorite part of the workshop.

Natural Building Workshop add-on to this Wild Abundance Tiny House ClassStudent participates in natural building portion of tiny house class

Natural building is a strong thread at Wild Abundance, and we love teaching about how to use natural materials in construction. You’ll get a selection of lecture-style natural building instruction through the online portion of the class.

If you want to actually get your hands on natural building techniques, you can add-on a four day session in the summer (August 12-15).

This option is available to you no matter when you take the nine day workshop. Simply add it on during your checkout process. In both the online and in-person natural building sections we’ll explore the following:

  • Cob
  • Adobe
  • Hempcrete
  • Slip straw
  • Bas relief
  • Wattle and daub
  • And more!

During the add-on you’ll also engage in hands-on experience with two of the above techniques, plus you’ll learn to use natural plaster to create beautiful wall finishes. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to have basic carpentry skills to take this class?

This class is designed to be accessible to building enthusiasts of all skill levels. For those who have never used tools before, we dedicate a day and a half to getting them up to speed. However, during that time they miss content that other students get to take part in. It’s also important to consider that having a basic understanding of tools will help you understand concepts in a different way throughout class. You will get more out of the class if you come with some very basic skills, such as using hand and power tools, and measuring boards. 

We offer both women’s basic carpentry classes and an all genders basic carpentry class, so if you’re a true beginner, consider taking one of these before your session of the tiny house workshop, if you’re able. They will deepen your understanding and learning during the tiny house workshop. Basic carpentry skills, including tool use, are included in the online Tiny House Academy, so there’s an opportunity to watch the awesome lessons and do some practice at home to get up to speed before the class. If you’re not sure if you’re ready for this class, please contact us at and we’ll help you get clear.

I am considering taking Wild Abundance’s basic and advanced carpentry classes as well as the Tiny House Workshop. Do I need all of these classes? What’s the best order to take them in?

The tiny house workshop is a stand-alone class that’s appropriate for a variety of skill levels. That being said, we offer several different building and carpentry classes, and they fit together beautifully. This class is open to everyone, even if you have little or no experience with carpentry; however, if you’re a beginner and you’re able to come for more than one class, you can start with one of our basic classes (women’s basic carpentry or all-genders basic carpentry) to set a strong foundation ahead of time.

In order to accommodate a range of skill-levels during this tiny house building class, we break-out during the first couple days and cover basic tool use for those who need it; these students will miss some tours and also the most in-depth discussion of foundations and floors. Taking a beginner class before this one will mean you’ll already be proficient with the tools, so you’ll join all tours and lectures.

Along with basic carpentry and tiny house building, we also offer advanced women’s carpentry and all-genders advanced carpentry. If you’re really wanting to dive in deeply, you can start with a basics class, then take the advanced class, then take the tiny house class. If you’re planning to take the advanced carpentry class, we recommend that you take it before the tiny house class, and not after. The more classes you attend, the more comfortable you’ll get with the material, and the more it will stick in your muscle memory.

Will we learn about building codes and regulations?

Yes! The online lecture portion of the workshop includes a discussion of building codes and regulations that are specific to tiny houses. Our focus is on North Carolina regulations and codes, however navigating them is usually pretty similar wherever you are in the continental U.S.

How much does it cost to build a tiny house?

Good question! The answer is “it depends.” The final costs for the tiny houses that have been built during our workshops have ranged from $6,000 to $44,000. There are many factors that contribute to how much it will cost to build a tiny house including:

  • Are you building on a trailer, on skids, or on a permanent foundation?
  • What sort of wall system will you choose?
  • What kinds of fixtures, like lights and a kitchen faucet, will you choose?
  • Are you planning to do all of the work yourself, or hire people to help you?
  • Will you buy salvaged windows, or fancy brand-new triple pane windows? 
  • Are you planning on buying wood from Lowe’s or a lumber yard, or are you hoping to mill wood off of your own land?
  • Do you plan to use natural building techniques with local materials, or to buy all of your materials?
  • Can you work on your tiny house for 10 hours/week or 50 hours/week?
Does Wild Abundance have multiple tiny house workshops in 2023?

Yes, this year we’re offering a few sessions of this class. If you’re reading this and they’re already full, be sure to get on the waitlist or standby list, in case a spot opens, and to stay up-to-date with any changes. Our online Tiny House Academy opens for registration a few times a year, and has a greater capacity for students. Be sure to check that out, too!

What makes this Tiny House Workshop special?

There are a lot of tiny house classes out there. Most take place in big lecture halls with 50-200 students and only last two to four days. In these shorter, more impersonal workshops, you may learn a lot of information, but there is next to no hands-on experience and practice. In contrast, our Tiny House Workshop is extremely hands-on, along with being informative. During the nine day workshop, you actually get to be an integral part of every stage of the initial build of a tiny house. Plus, ours is the only tiny house class that incorporates ecological building considerations (as far as we know). Additionally, the online lecture and demo portions of this workshop will be yours to keep and refer back to. All in all, this class will give you more of the tools that you need to actually build a tiny house from the ground up!

Please note, not all instructors will teach for every session of this class


Natalie Bogwalker

Natalie Bogwalker

Natalie (she/her) is the visionary behind Wild Abundance, as well as a primary instructor for many classes. She’s passionate about teaching and sharing skills to help all kinds of people live in an empowered and Earth-centered way. Natalie and her family live at the Wild Abundance homestead campus in the Southern Appalachians. She balances her ...

Jeramy Stauffer

Jeramy (he/him) and his company, Nanostead, focus on small footprint homes and homestead design, including tiny houses on wheels and on foundations. He’s built and lived in many tiny homes, and teaches about building and living tiny, along with homesteading and sustainable living.

Ella Scotto

Ella (she/her) took a carpentry class with Wild Abundance in 2017. After that, she bought an acre of land in Barnardsville, NC, and began building a house. For over a year, she worked with Barron Brown, learning everything she could about carpentry and construction. Ella is always eager to learn more, and is constantly honing her ...

Mollie Curry

Mollie (she/her) has been practicing natural building for about 20 years and is still in love with the mud! Natural paints and plasters are her favorite techniques, and she has plenty of “structural” experience with things like straw-bale building, earthbags, adobe, cob, straw-clay, and that most familiar of natural materials, wood. Besides building, she loves ...

Keenan Phillips

Keenan (he/him) had always dreamt of building his own home one day and finally embarked on that journey 6 years ago. It’s still a work in progress, but it caught the attention of friends and neighbors and resulted in the accidental creation of his small construction/renovation business, KSPhillips Contracting. He is now assisting a friend ...

Pete McKelvey

Pete (he/they) has lived in Asheville since 2009 and works full time as a construction supervisor with Habitat for Humanity. In the last decade, he has spent time as a bicycle mechanic, graphic designer, bike safety instructor, lead carpenter, and handyman. He’s also ridden a bicycle from California to South America. Pete loves sharing knowledge ...

Class Location

This class is held in Barnardsville, at our home campuses, and in Marshall, at the Nanostead sister campus

Our tiny house building classes are held at the Wild Abundance home campuses and at Nanostead in Marshall. All students are welcome to camp at Wild Abundance, a beautiful location with mountain views about 25 minutes north of Asheville. You’ll receive detailed directions on how to get here upon registration. Campers have access to an outdoor kitchen and other facilities. 

The Nanostead sister campus is a ½ acre facility with a 4,000 square foot covered workshop right in downtown Marshall, about 30 minutes from Asheville. You’ll receive detailed directions on how to get to Nanostead upon registration. Unlike our other campuses, Nanostead is not a rural homestead or farm, but instead is a bustling tiny house workshop, within walking distance to local restaurants, bars, and the other artsy attractions of quaint Marshall, NC. 

One of the tiny homes we build will be at the Wild Abundance Paint Fork campus, and the other will be at Nanostead. Depending on which build crew you join, you’ll be spending the bulk of your hands-on building time at one or the other location. If you have a strong preference to be at one or the other location, our staff and instructors will likely be able to accommodate that.

Please note: our campuses are all unconventional, with rustic amenities and uneven ground. Read more about our campuses here.

Local Accommodations and Facilities

Note: Camping for classes held at Nanostead is available at the Wild Abundance paint fork campus, 30 minutes from Nanostead.

Wherever you’re coming from, you’re welcome to pitch a tent in one of our flat camping spots in the woods or field, or to tie a hammock in the forest. If you live locally, you may prefer to commute from Asheville (25 minute drive). If you choose to camp, please bring your own bedding and rainproof tent or tarp. In the early spring and late fall it can be cold at night, so please bring warm bedding if you’ll be here before May or after September. We have a lovely outdoor kitchen equipped with a stove and running water, an outdoor shower, and an outhouse available to campers.  In extremely cold weather, the sink and shower may be out of operation due to water freezing.

If you prefer something with more creature comforts, we suggest you browse Airbnb for numerous options close to the campus. We will send Nanostead’s address upon registration so you can also check out local motels and B&Bs within a 10-15 minute drive to Nanostead in Marshall.

Registration Info

Pricing for Tiny House Workshop

Regular Pricing: $1,800 – $3,600
Pricing for Natural Building Add-on on August 12-15 : $600 – $1,200

We strive to make our classes accessible to those who wish to learn. Please pay what you can afford on the sliding scale. The median price covers the full cost of producing the class. Please select the low end of the sliding scale if you are low-income. If your household income is over $115,000/year, please select the maximum fee. Please place yourself in this range where you deem appropriate, based on your income.

All lectures will be online, hands-on content will be in-person and outdoors.