Small But Comfortable

The House That I Built, by Stefan Morikawa, LLC

Small But Comfortable

I was inspired by the tiny house movement when I decided to build this house.  The whole scale down on the homesteading to scale up on the bucket list appealed to me.  In the end I decided not to do the sub 400 square foot thing but I worked hard to keep it small….. and still comfortable.


It ended up being about 1150 heated sq. ft. with three bedrooms and two baths and nine foot ceilings.   I made sure the bathrooms and kitchen were sized so as to flow well and not feel cramped but bedrooms (for me) have been places where I don’t spend much time so I went with bedrooms on the smaller size.  One was quite small at 10’x10′ and worked mostly as an office/study.  There is an oversized single car garage with workshop/storage space.   I wanted the main living area to be open and full of light so I placed many of the windows on the north side of the house, which brought in a lot of natural light without solar gain issues.

Groundbreaking & Foundation

Framing – Getting the Shell Completed

Interior Finish Work

Pics of the finished space


The Team


While many people played a part in this project none were as involved from start to finish as my parents.  My dad worked with me almost everyday for months.  And my mom too – she was always available and played a particularly strong role in helping with the wood floors.  What an amazing and wonderful gift to work with them on this project.
My mission was to do as much of this project myself as made sense.  I subcontracted out things like excavation, concrete for the basement walls and floor, the roofing system and siding/gutters.  Those were things that require special equipment or involve working way off the ground and I don’t like heights.  I’ve worn many hats on this project:  architect, draftsman, general contractor, and laborer for many trades.  I’ve shoveled, raked, installed silt fence, seeded & watered grass, plumbed, framed, sheathed, wrapped, installed windows, run a jumping jack, hung many doors including one for the garage, installed lights, fans, vents, stack boots, installed wood floors and tile floors, a one piece fiberglass shower stall, tub, tiled a tub surround, installed vanities, tops, sinks, assembled and installed cabinets, installed window and door casing, base trim and shoe, painted, built stairs, a deck, and a shed.
There were a few days, where I needed larger teams of people and was fortunate to have friends and family show up to help.
The town building officials team has been fantastic, always upbeat, welcoming and willing to help answer questions.
Special thanks to Rick Kraft of Kraft Builders, my mentor, partner and friend.
Thanks also to:  Larry, Al, Steve, Gary, Cody, Trey, Jose, Melinda, Jeff, Danny, Michael, Katy, Max, Mike, Ashley, Will, Bill, Jerry, Jesse, Mark, Violet, Kirk, Nancy and Karen.
All in all it was a great experience with lots of learning and relationship building.  It ended up being very nice place to live for a few months, I employed myself for project duration and came away making a little profit to boot.