Gabriola Island Is a gorgeous little island about 3.1 miles off Vancouver Island In B.C. Canada

Photo source:  Flickr/ActiveSteve


Home to about 4,000 people, it can be reached via ferry or floatplane. (This photo was taken from a float plane.)

Photo source:  Flickr/Jo-in-BC


Arriving on the by boat is a beautiful trip as well. The weather is mild, the air is clean and nature abounds.


Sam’s design is modern and chic. At less than 108 sq feet, the tiny house would pack in a lot of features and great design inside.


With his design ready, he got to work on his site, which was on an open piece of land, at a distance from any trees that might fall during storms.

This site was actually his second choice. His first choice was a site amongst trees, but luckily a storm came in before he started building and after the site was hit with deadfall crashing down, Sam realized he needed a more open space for his building.  It’s awesome he discovered that before he built his cool house.


Working mostly on weekends once or twice a month, Sam tried to “chunk” project parts for each weekend.

On the first weekend, he got the post sets and the concrete poured for part of the foundation work.


He used string lines to help him line up the brackets for the beams, which would be dropped into poured concrete.

He was nervous something would shift, but luckily the beams dropped in perfectly and the brackets were aligned and at the right height.


The floor of the tiny house cabin is supported by two large 16’ beams resting on concrete piers. This part was a lot of work to make sure everything was level and square.



The floor was built with beams bolted to the piers, joist handers, and joists.


The floor surface consisted of ¾” treated plywood that was laid down with glue and screws.


Sam didn’t have a workshop at the site since there was no power there. He broke down the building into modules.

The framing work was done in his garage, which he then tagged and took over to the site in his truck. 


At the site, he assembled the tagged bundles. He says it didn’t take long but he had to make a few dozen trips to his truck to charge his drill (since the site didn’t have power).


He assembled the wall and roof units in a weekend, using print-outs from Sketch-up diagrams that helped him make sure everything was in the right place.


Sam enlisted the help of a friend to assemble the wall and roof since it was easier and safer that way.


Luckily there is a building supply store on the island, which Sam pre-ordered metal roofing from so it would be ready when it was time to do the roof.


Sam’s cabin is off the grid, but he gets power to his cabin using parts purchased online* to make use of solar power.

Once he set this up, he was able to power his tools, laptop, lights, and a music player.  

*The solar parts he got were from Renogy on Amazon.
In the winter, he ended up getting an MPPT controller which helped him in lower light conditions. 


He got the insulation in, the wiring done, and vapor barrier installed in a weekend.


Sam got some nice pine tongue and groove paneling. Amazingly, he used a hand saw for this! Wow, it’ was lot of work but it sure looks beautiful.


While building his tiny house cabin, Sam had visits from several tree frogs, who seemed to like the cool metal window sills.

He also saw deer, eagles, a mink, ravens and a hummingbird while working his project.


Sam’s house has a really tall ceiling, lots of windows and a loft. These features make the house seem so much bigger than 108 square feet.


Sam refinished an old desk top that somebody was throwing out, and turned it into his dining room table.


The table turned out great!


The view from the window in the loft is breathtaking.


In the loft, he can see the stars above from his bed, or nature outside during the day.


For the exterior, he used stain on cedar siding for the bottom half.


He found some rough cut shakes on Craigslist which he used for the upper half of the exterior.


The view from the kitchen is beautiful.


The kitchen has a sink, a countertop, and a coffee maker. He bought an RV gas range to install later.


He installed a wood stove before the cold weather arrived, which he bought from the “Four Dog Stove” company in Maine.


When the weather was warmer, he completed the exterior painting and built a deck.


It is impressive and inspiring that Sam built this amazing tiny house cabin despite having no workshop and no tools when he started. He says he learned a ton along the way.