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Mar 7, 2014

“Small House Movement” House of Female Self-Builder Pioneer, Dee Williams – Humans Can Live and Work Differently –


“Small House Movement”  House of Female Self-Builder Pioneer, Dee Williams
 – Humans Can Live and Work Differently –

My family consists of my wife, child and me. We live in a small house, slightly larger than this house. It is a small log house, which cost a total of 2.5 million yen including foundation cost. A small house has merits a big house does not have. No family member is isolated thanks to closer matrimonial and parental relationship. We cannot live comfortably without careful attention to one another and as a result, we get to realize my own and others at a deeper level. Another merit is no need to borrow money from bank because it costs less. If we borrow money from bank, we wind up having to pay back as twice money as the debt to it and we have no money to spare.

Since we are free of debt, we can enjoy having French cuisines at a restaurant when we want to do. When we have 10 million yen, we can enjoy having French cuisine dinner 1,000 times. You will see how huge burden to household economy debt from bank is. As a result, a couple has to work like a horse and spoils an important personal relationship such as conversation between husband and wife and conversation between parent and child.

In a word, it is something like offering life quality in security to build a fine house. This article gives a message that humans can live and work differently.

Masatoshi Takeshita
March 1, 2014


English translation of an excerpt from a Japanese article: Martin Island ‘Sky, Forest and Water’ – February 28, 2014 –


Among the “small house movement” leading figures is only a female, Dee Williams.

It seems that she originally had a job related to environmental protection. She was clearly conscious of environmental issues. When she was at a loss as to what to do specifically as daily activity, she encountered with a small house designed by Jay Shafer and built this house on her own.

According to her, she got sick of maintaining a big house of 140 square meters she had because she knew the reality that they lived with too few things in developing countries. Then she immediately sold out the house, got a drawing of small house by Shafer and took three months to build this house at the garden of her friend’s house.

Amazingly, it cost approximately 700 thousand yen in total to build her house. The main body cost less than 400 thousand yen if subtracting trailer base and solar system. This is thanks to recycling wood scrap she found. Considering costing less, I suppose DIY devotees might be motivated to follow suit.


According to her, she has less than 300 things in her house. The room interior is quite simple and on the contrary looks wider. The house of about 9 square meters gives the impression of being spacious.


She found a company to support self-builders to follow after her by utilizing her experience of building a small house.

Many female participants are seen in a workshop at home she gives. You just have to buy a kit of small house and have working tools and know-how in order to open up a possibility. Being easy to deal with is a merit that two-by-fours have.

Small house life is supposed to be one proposal for new living environment in the age to come. It is highly likely that independent individual ECO consciousness of ‘simple and small’ will spread as a movement among people. I feel that power to voluntarily put into practice instead of loudly appealing will produce a big swirl.



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