Steely Cottage

The house (called the steely cottage) is designed and built from scratch on a 24×8.5 foot flatbed trailer. It has taken just under a year to complete. The charter I used to build it is pretty simple. “everything I need, nothing I don’t” The house is fully off the grid, all electrical is generated by a self contained solar system (PV panels/control center and batteries for storage)

An off-grid tiny house in New Mexico. Built by Shopdog. Learn more here.



  1. Crystal November 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm - Reply

    I love this. Especially the fact that it’s self-contained. Great job!

    • Ben November 20, 2013 at 8:55 pm - Reply

      Thanks much Crystal!

    • TRACEY ESTES December 3, 2013 at 10:15 am - Reply


  2. Margaret Mitchell November 20, 2013 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    This is beautiful and enough! Love the aqua! What are the blue tubes outside hanging from the roof? I too love that it is off the grid completely. Was it really costly for the solar,etc?

  3. jane and moxie on the road November 20, 2013 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    fabulous off the grid design and pretty nice that the bed isn’t a loft: old people,the disabled and dogs cant climb ladders!!
    also love the steel.
    because jane is left-handed the kitchen would have to be switched around, and she would add a few “romantic” touches…..but LOVE IT!
    do you need a semi to tow it? am going to look on your website for total weight and cost.
    seems like we have the same idea of what is important and what isn’t!

  4. MaryLou November 20, 2013 at 8:14 pm - Reply

    I love this! Would be perfect for me and my autistic son!

    • Ben November 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm - Reply

      The house weighs in at 11k pounds. I hauled it from Oregon with my 86 ford F250 Diesel pickup. It tows very nicely!

  5. Lorraine November 20, 2013 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    I like the fact that the bed is on the “ground” floor. As much as I like the tiny house concept, I’d been wondering how practical it was for retired seniors since so many have the bed in a loft.

  6. Teri November 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm - Reply

    It’s obvious that a lot of planning has been put in your house. And I’m amazed that you have so many “regular house” features in just 24′! I’d like to know what kind of blinds you are using to cover your closets in the bedroom? Do they raise up and stay?

    • Ben November 28, 2013 at 2:03 pm - Reply

      Yes they revise up and stay. I got them from a window blind company. They work quite well, don’t take up much room and are practical.

  7. Jean McKern November 23, 2013 at 10:24 pm - Reply

    What kind (brand) of washing machine do you have?

    • Ben B May 28, 2014 at 4:33 pm - Reply

      It is a Haier. It is quite nice, does a full load and uses very little water and my solar system handles it very well

  8. Spencer November 25, 2013 at 10:28 am - Reply

    How much does it weigh?

    • Ben B May 28, 2014 at 4:31 pm - Reply

      Hi Jean, it weighs in at about 10,000 lbs

  9. Lisa Stalcup December 3, 2013 at 9:01 am - Reply

    this is the only one i have seen that would work for us older less mobile people ,,the bed is where we can get to it ,, we can not use lofts ,, this one i could live in , i like it thanks

  10. Stavorous December 3, 2013 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    This is not completely off grid. It still requires a supply of LP Gas. Unless you have tapped in to one on your own. Oh yes where do you get your water from? Other wise it is a very nice planned out Tiny House. Love the wide pine barn boards. Adds a great touch for the home feel.

    • Kel December 20, 2013 at 4:41 pm - Reply

      There is a propane tank, such as you would use for a grill.

    • Ben B May 28, 2014 at 4:37 pm - Reply

      I do have a propane stove that I use fairly regularly. As Kel explained I use a regular grill sized tank. On average I use about one of these a year so my consumption is very low…

  11. karen lincoln December 3, 2013 at 12:17 pm - Reply

    Love this, what are you blue tubes, do you collect water, do you use on demand hot water and is it propane or electric. How many batteries are you using, love the storage under bed. For me I don’t bake that much, I’d use a frig/freezer more and a counter top gas burner. Do you use compost toilet. Love that’s it’s one level.

    • Ben B May 28, 2014 at 4:44 pm - Reply

      The blue tubes (vacuum water heating) have been replaced with a standard solar water heater that is a closed loop system that exchanges heat in my house water heater. I average 125 degree water all year. So the sun provides all of my water heating needs. The fridge has a pretty good sized freezer (SunDanzer) and I’m planning on more counter space. Yes I use the Seperette composting toilet. This thing works great! very easy to clean/empty and doesn’t have any odor at all…

  12. Ben R December 6, 2013 at 11:58 am - Reply

    What is the overall height of the trailer, what kind of batteries do you use and I looks great.

    • Ben March 1, 2014 at 7:46 pm - Reply

      Hi Karen,
      The trailer is roughly 2 feet from the ground. The solar PV system uses 8, 6 volt deep cycle sealed lead acid batteries specifically designed for solar systems. The system is 24 volt which works great with the solar hot water pump and refrigerator.

  13. heather December 17, 2013 at 7:38 am - Reply

    Love the beetle kill wood! Nice job overall!

  14. caroline stilwell January 21, 2014 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Great house! Where did you get the stainless steele (or whatever it is) water container in the kitchen? Caroline

    • Ben b March 1, 2014 at 7:50 pm - Reply

      Hi Heather,

      The water purifier is called a Berkey. It will filter out all biologicals, organic and inorganic materials. Basically I can go get a gallon of river water and make it safe to drink!

  15. […] by Ben Barthell at Shopdog. Originally shared on Tiny House Swoon and Tiny House […]

  16. Bob June 23, 2014 at 8:50 am - Reply

    How do you supply your water needs? Bathing,washing dishes and laundry.

  17. Marilyn June 24, 2014 at 1:15 am - Reply

    Wow, love it!!!! So please tell me what is the overall cost of your house?? I love the space for the bed. Im on disability and have really been reading up on the tiny houses and what it looks like to build one and find a piece of land to plant it on. Just the thought to be so in touch with nature, finding yourself in such a beautiful space…what a way to wake up in the morning 🙂

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  19. Ken July 6, 2014 at 5:58 am - Reply

    Fantastic is the work. These little homes are so cool and being Off Grid is just so liberating, it allows one to appreciate life so much more:)

  20. gretchen July 20, 2014 at 8:34 am - Reply

    Love – Love – Love this tiny home! I would live here n a heartbeat!
    What’s the approximate cost?

  21. denise eissler July 27, 2014 at 1:41 am - Reply

    Please contact me. I’m a cash buyer and love both your and one other little house (after seeing hundreds of the same). Love the uniqueness!

    Thanks, Denise

  22. A.Jones September 12, 2014 at 10:53 am - Reply

    Look good like the space for the dishes…..and i like the stove…….very nice….

  23. sarah September 22, 2014 at 10:22 am - Reply


    I love this tiny house where can i have (or buy) the plans ?
    I’m from France.


  24. regina palmer October 11, 2014 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    This is fantastic! Hi my name is Regina and I have more and more been considering tiny home living. It seems like an impossible dream but I know there is nothing impossible if God wills it. The state I live in is making it difficult to keep up with all the taxes even though I work more than full time. I love this home of yours but if I stayed in the area of the north east, the flat roof is not advised-too much snow. Do you make other kinds of roofs? I love the off grid style and solar power. Thank you! Peace, Regina

  25. Joel November 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Can you tell me more about the unit (I assume passive solar) on the front left of the tiny house?

  26. Heather November 26, 2014 at 2:36 pm - Reply

    This is gorgeous and I love that there is a washer. If/when my husband and I buy, we don’t want to depend on others or have to go somewhere just to accomplish simple tasks like washing. This is marvelous. It’s got everything, lost of storage, a full sink (which with a couple of large cutting boards would provide awesome prep space.) The kitchen with a full oven is just something else. I love this!

  27. Pete March 16, 2015 at 9:14 pm - Reply

    Very cool…how much does something like this cost ? I’m looking at some property in SW Colorado and am weighing my options

  28. Vanyel July 3, 2015 at 10:18 pm - Reply

    I’m rather disappointed by these comments. From tiny houses I would have thought the problem was obvious but no-one has said anything about obvious flaw yet. Ther are some great ideas here in implementing the off grid solution plus I also like the bed area and had planned on this myself.

    However what I don’t like is the fact is that this is not much of a home. Technically it fulfils everything you need to stay alive (sleep/eat/wash) but where do you sit to ‘hang out.’ It’s so terribly cramped to do anything but essentials. I know some of you would say that is the point but you are forgetting about the human element. Just looking at that tight space makes me want to scream and I’m not that claustrophobic. There is no room to move, forget about having guests over. Being single would be good and hope the occasional guest doesn’t mind climbing over you to use the bathroom. Everything would have to happen outside but what happens when it starts raining? Or snowing? You ant DO anything in there and good weather doesn’t last.

    With all due respect to the builder who has some fantastic ideas, the overall space doesn’t feel well designed (talking about the feel of space here) especially sfter seeing this one where the two can be balanced!

    I love the tech of it but that house just doesn’t look like a house anyone would last in for long. It looks like a house that is good in theory to those extreme minimalists amongst us until you have to live it full time, then you realise it’s just a really good (fantastic even) camper because you certainly not doing anything else in there.

    No from me.

    • Vanyel July 3, 2015 at 10:24 pm - Reply

      Stupid typos I meant ‘you can’t DO anything’ plus ‘after seeing this one’

      Look don’t get me wrong I really like the appliances fitting in plus the closets in the bedroom plus all the other great features but this is not a full time solution. I would love to travel around with it, but that is all.

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