Looking Back On 2012 & Forward To 2013

Happy New Year everyone! I thought I’d start off the new year with a retrospective look at Humble Homes. I started Humble Homes for 3 main reasons:


1. To Provide People with High-Quality, Low-Cost Plans

About 5 years ago, before I started designing tiny house plans, I was keen to purchase a set of plans for the Lubsy by Tumbleweed. The only problem was that I wasn’t able to afford them (this isn’t a dig at the price of Tumbleweed’s plans – I actually find them to be reasonable and priced at the going rate). And so, when it came to creating Humble Homes I decided that I wanted to drastically reduce the cost of my plans, allowing a kid with a weekly allowance to be able to buy them.

2. To Promote the Small House Movement (SHM) in Europe/UK

If you didn’t know this already, I’m from Ireland and while the plans I’ve developed have been created and designed to the US codes and requirements (because 90%+ of the visitors on this website are from the US) I’m very keen to introduce smaller, sustainable living within the EU. That’s not to say we don’t have people living sustainably in small abodes, but we usually don’t have them on the same scale as tiny houses on wheels. Just recently I was contacted about doing an interview for a magazine regarding small houses, and people downsizing, and I also found what I believe to be Ireland’s first tiny house on wheels. The SHM is slowly but surely making its way across the water.


3. To Generate Some Cash For My Own Tiny House

The most selfish of the 3 reasons. I’d like to have a tiny house of my own,  no surprises there! I spend a lot of my time designing tiny houses for others but don’t yet have my own. When I started Humble Homes I decided that the money I earned from creating customised plans and stock plans would go towards my own tiny house. (When I do get around to building my own tiny house, it’ll be well documented with pictures & videos!)

The website for Humble Homes went live around February 2012, although it probably took me to around May before I had plans up for sale – I’d never created a website before so it took me quite some time to figure out what I was doing (and to be honest, I’m still fumbling around, tweaking things).


In the space of around 9 months I’ve released 9 tiny house plans (16 if you include the variations) and I’m hoping to release the newest model next week, the house with the slide-out bed (another thing I’m terrible at – coming up with names for the houses!).

The first 6 houses I released are the cheapest, since then I’ve gone on to produce some more complicated tiny houses with prices ranging from $99 – $249. I’ve set myself a maximum price that I’m willing to charge people for a set of stock plans, $250, which tends to be the cost of plans on other budget tiny house websites.

I sometimes get people asking me to sell them a set of plans for $10 or less; I even get the occasional cheeky request of ‘can I get it for free’, but when you’ve spent in excess of 100 hours developing a design from it’s initial idea to a finalised set of plans, selling a set of plans for 10 bucks is soul destroying.

All in all, 2012 was a pretty good year for Humble Homes and I’ve been working pretty much constantly on tiny house plans and customised plans since July. In 2013 I think I’ll take a break from producing any more tiny house designs, but I will be releasing some of the customised plans that I’ve undertaken for clients. I’ll probably also create some more 3D animations of the other homes given how popular the ‘Slide-Out Bed’ house animation was.

I wish you all the best of luck in 2013, and thanks for visiting Humble Homes – do come back often!

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. i think your plans are very reasonably priced. . My favorite is the “Bedroom House” I like that it has a more modern feel and a downstairs bedroom. I’m glad that the SHM is catching on in Ireland( I wish there could be some to look at when I visit Ireland in April :-) ) I hope you are able to start on your own tiny house very soon.

  2. Thanks Nico! It’s always great to get some feedback on what people think. I’ve seen more and more tiny houses popping up this year (mostly in the UK, but I’m sure it’ll come across the water as well).

    I hope you have a great trip and that the weather holds out for you, haha! There is one tiny house in Ireland that I’m aware of – I did a post on it (https://humble-homes.com/a-tiny-house-on-wheels-in-ireland/) although I’m not sure if the owner is taking visitors!

    1. Ah yes, i saw that, It’s lovely! I’m sure I will find plenty of other things to do. (like visit the Phil Lynott statue, haahaa)

      1. Lol, sounds like we’ve got a Thin Lizzy fan! I’ll admit I haven’t seen the statue yet myself!