I'm always happy to chat about any of the projects I'm planning or working on—click here to contact me via email, or here to reach me on Google+. Or, of course, also feel free to leave a comment below or in any of the blog's posts.


  1. Hey Jay!
    I am SO happy I finally stumbled upon your blog and The Matchbox style home you built! Like yourself, perhaps, I got my initial inspiration from the wonderful Tumbleweed homes of Jay Shafer but after looking at all of the kinds of small mobile dwellings out there, have changed my focus to making a tiny house that fits my needs better. One of the main problems I had with the Tumbleweed houses is the failure to make use of all the square footage lost because of the steep a-frame roof; your Matchbox design, like others I've seen and really liked, fully implement the available space to much more spacious results. Also, having lived in the southwest for many years, your Matchbox (with the austere rectangular face and a single door at its center) reminds me of the architecture of the tiny missionary churches and Mexican storefronts that can be found in various parts of New Mexico (I also dig the stucco paint, idea, by the way.) What's more, your house would look totally at home in Venice Beach, where I used to live in a very simple converted garage/studio space near the beach. In short, your house plan makes me more than a bit nostalgic.
    If you'll indulge me, here are a few questions (forgive me if you answer these in the blog, as I haven't read it all yet);
    1) Could you tell me the overall dimensions? Length, width, height inside the house to ceiling and height of entire house as it sits on the trailer?
    2) It looks wider than the standard Tumbleweed ones I've seen; is it? If so, I assume you need whatever permit they talk about. Was making it wider worth the trouble of always having to pay for a permit when you want to move it?
    If you have time, could you maybe let me know? I'd really appreciate it.
    Thanks so much,
    Steven Harrison, Augusta Maine

  2. Hi Jay!

    Mitchell and Nicholette here... We all met up in Portland at Caravan, and we've been so busy with our build that we just got around to checking out boneyard studios and your matchbox house. Needless to say that we both enjoyed seeing your design and are really impressed.

    Interestingly, we want to use the same process you used on your siding with our red cedar siding. We were wondering what you chose to use for conditioning/sealing the wood after you burnt your siding. Do like hot it has weathered so far? Any recommendations for products?

    Hope you're well. You can find info on our progress at
    -Mitchell & Nicholette

    1. Hey guys! Hope you enjoyed the rest of your (rainy) stay in Portland. Great meeting you both.

      Glad to hear y'all are thinking about shou sugi ban-ing your cedar—it's a really cool look and a REALLY fun project. In terms of torches, I'd really recommend a pair of these ( they're super-cheap and incredibly powerful. Then, of course, you'll need a few tanks of propane (probably best to get two shells and refill them about twice each). As for oiling the wood post-burn, folks generally recommend Penofin, which is a deep-penetrating natural Brazilian rosewood oil that really soaks in well and keeps the soot from rubbing off to the touch. It'll dry out after a year or two, so you'll have to re-oil quasi-annually, but it looks great and allows it to weather beautifully.

      Hope that information helps! Let me know if you need any other pointers. Best of luck. :)


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