This site is about very small, one-person houses I call
What is a Basic Personal Shelter?...........A basic personal shelter is a very small house for one. I began working on small houses in the 1970s. For me, it was a desire to simplify. The architect in me wanted to design the smallest, simplest house I could. I have kept working on them all these years. The internet, cell phones, and computers have made life in a small house seem much larger. You can now be connected to the world and not restricted to life in the small house. A small house is also affordable to more people. It provides privacy that an apartment does not. I believe my interest in small houses coincides with society's simplification of clothing and food. I see simple t-shirts becoming accepted clothing. I see food bowls replacing 3 course meals. My interest in small houses has always been in simplifying and affordability. In a BPS, I see life becoming fuller because the maintence of our home is simpler and less time-consuming. It leaves us more time to explore all the other aspects of life. I now see the Basic Personal Shelter as a modern house for a modern person.
A friend and I wrote a book about my work with BPSes.
The book cover is to the left.
It will give you some background on my ideas.
The drawings and photos in the book are on this page.
You can read it by clicking on the PDF symbol below.
Basic Personal Shelter (BPS) - 240 square feet - Early picture
Article 2017 about Jeff and his 240 sf BPS - Picture good, type difficult to read.
My 240 sf BPS - Recent photo
Inside the Main Room:
Kitchen is to the right.
Bathroom is behind kitchen to the left.
There is no built-in furniture. Each person sets up the main room to live in as they see fit.
This is not a "tiny house". This is a small house. The rooms are normal size. Just fewer of them.
My early BPS sketches:
WHAT IS NEXT?
Next for me is to build a BPS smaller than the 12 ft X 20 ft shown on this site. That size was based on the smallest size I could build at that time and still meet local building codes for a permanent house on a lot in my city. I have proven to my satisfaction that 240 sq ft is liveable and actually more than what is really needed. My next built house will likely be 12 ft x 12 ft. I believe that size is also liveable, and small enough to be affordable by many. I may have to request a code varience if it is too small to meet current building codes. We shall see.............
See my working design sketches of the 12 x 12 in the drawings below:
If you build a house based on what you see on this website,
it is your responsibility to confirm you meet all building requirements
which are applicable in the place where you are building.
What you see here might not comply with what is required in your location.
This is the site of Jeff Abrams, AIA Architect.
You can communicate with me by email: Jeff@VerySmallHouse.com
Or phone/text: 803-447-6231 USA
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SITE UPDATED April 29, 2018.........Counter shows visitors since September 1, 2013.