Tiny House Canada Tour FAQ

Tiny House Canada Tour FAQ
Tiny House Bridge
THGJ Canada Tour

Our tiny house successfully crossed the border, and Guillaume and I began our two week open house tour through Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, before returning to the USA via ferry.

Canada was breathtaking. The autumn leaves gave us a colorful greeting and an even brighter farewell, as if they were saying: “Come back soon!” We were tried desperately to see as much as possible in our 17 day trip, and I intend to post detailed stories of our Canadian adventures very soon. In the meantime, be sure to visit our Instagram page for up to date photos of our journey.


Our Canadian open house tour was sponsored by our beautiful roof, made from Onduvilla 3D shingles. We showcased our house at Materio (St Jeromme and Terrebone) and Kent Supply Stores (Fredericton, Moncton, and Halifax).

Materio Onduvilla Tiny House - 0001

Each of these stores were extremely accommodating, including knowledgeable staff members that bent over backwards to make sure the events went smoothly. Not to mention that Materio and Kent stores are stocked full of wonderful materials for any home building project! We even ended up purchasing a few items to improve our home.

Kent Store

We opened our tiny door and tiny curtains, and people lined up to tour our home! Some visitors had been interested in tiny homes for years and were so excited to step foot in one, others were just curious: “What in the world is this small structure in front of my local hardware store?” Hundreds of people walked through our home at each event and we happily answered thousands of questions.

As always, the MOST frequently asked question about our house was: “What kind of roofing is that?” Well, it’s Onduvilla 3D shingles, made by Ondura, and we love it!

Tiny House Giant Journey Ondura Onduvilla 3D Shingles Roof - 0029 Tiny House Giant Journey Ondura Onduvilla 3D Shingles Roof - 0040

Below are other FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS we were asked on our Canadian tour, just in case you missed us!

Can your roof endure high winds?

Yes! Our roof is made to withstand intense wind uplift. We’ve tested it going 75 mph down the highway, during a hailstorm, and it’s still going strong!

Can your roof get scratched?

Yes, all roofing can, but if it does our shingles are still weatherproof! Because our house is mobile, our roof has occasionally taken a hit from low hanging branches, and it has weathered these scratches without a problem. It also resists corrosion and cracking (unlike metal roofing). To top it off, the roof has a limited lifetime warranty!

Can you hear the rain on your roof?

Yes. We have a tiny home and we sleep in the loft only inches from the outside world. But, we find the dull drumming sound to have a calming effect. A metal roof would produce a louder, higher pitched rain song, one that I personally would find less appealing.

How do you heat your house?

We purchased a Kimberly wood burning stove made by Unforgettable Fire and plan to install it in the next few weeks. It burns on dry wood, creates 42,200 BTU/hour of heat and could burn a log for up to 8 hours. The air intake is through the floor, so it won’t burn up our oxygen. It’s one of the cleanest burning stoves available and it’s all stainless steel. It can use a 3 inch double wall chimney pipe (cheaper than regular piping). We our confident the Kimberley will be PLENTY to heat our 135 square feet.

What is the insulation?

3-1/2” of rigid foam board insulation in the 2×4” framing, with “Great Stuff” to fill the gaps and cracks. Read our post about insulation here.

What is your roof made of?

Our roof is composed of recycled organic fibers (about 50% of the product is made from recycled materials) and the company uses natural pigments for coloration. The company also maintains a low carbon footprint and reuses some 200,000 tons of post-consumer recycled material each year.

How much does your house weigh?

Our tiny house weighs 9,700 lbs.

How do you avoid bridges?

Our house is 13’4” tall. It can fit under any interstate bridge, and we use an Rand McNally RV GPS to navigate, which alerts us of any low clearances.

How much did your house cost to build?

We have spent about $30,000 USD, but the average builder using these plans and basic appliances would spend approximately $23 – 24k. If you use many reclaimed materials, you can save even more. It all depends what you want and how resourceful you are.

Is the roofing a proven product?

While new to North America, it’s a proven product. Onduvilla has been used around the world for more than a decade and is made from the same materials as Ondura which has been around dozens of years.

Is the roof easy to install?

Yes! We did it ourselves and we had no experience. See our post about it here.

How does the toilet work?

It’s a composting toilet and it doesn’t require the use of water, which makes it very eco-friendly. Our toilet is called the Nature’s Head and it has two chambers: one for urine and one for… solids. We use peat moss in the chamber for solids and we aerate the compost using a crank on the side and a 12V vent. It doesn’t smell, at all. We empty the urine chamber every three-four days, the solids is rated for 90 uses. Find out more by visiting the toilet’s website.

How does your tiny house tow and what do you tow it with?

Our house is a tank! We haven’t had any problems in over 5,500 miles of travel. It’s heavy and not exactly aerodynamic. We get about 10 mpg driving at 49 mph on average. We tow our house with a 3/4 ton 2006 Ford F-250 6.0L Turbo Diesel truck, but we are looking to upgrade to a 1 ton dually truck.

Your roof has an interesting look, what is it based on?

The design is based on Spanish tile, so it’s eye popping and comes in a variety of colors. It’s also much lighter than tile because of the lightweight materials used.

Tiny House Peggy's Cove


We hope this FAQ list is helpful. More information, including a list of our materials used, can be found here.

As always, thanks for reading!

– Jenna




  1. Eric Hopkins
    October 10, 2014 / 8:48 am

    Hey, we’re in Oakland Maine, 1hour north of Portland, and we’re building a 20 footer. Would love to see your design and or share ours when you return from Canada. I see you’re coming back by ferry, if you’re landing in Bar Harbor we’re on the way south.
    Here’s our blog.

    • User Avatar October 10, 2014 / 8:51 am

      Hey Eric, glad to hear that you’re building your own! Unfortunately though, we are about 3 weeks late on our blog compared to “real life”… The best way to know where we are live is our Facebook Page.
      Right now, we are parked in Boston and might have an open house next week (still figuring it out), and we probably won’t drive back north from there…

      • Eric Hopkins
        October 11, 2014 / 5:12 am

        Well sorry we missed you, safe travels.

  2. Tracy
    October 10, 2014 / 8:40 am

    Love following your journey!! You know what I’ve been wondering…where are all your clothes?!?! I didn’t see any where to store them on the video tour! 🙂

    • User Avatar October 10, 2014 / 8:42 am

      Haha, it’s a common question. We are able to fit pretty much everything inside our staircase, shelves in the bathroom and inside our ottomans under the bench.

  3. karen lincoln
    October 7, 2014 / 7:25 pm

    gps don’t always work, I drive semi and not all marked, love following you

  4. Terrie Jordan
    October 7, 2014 / 11:37 am

    Love your posts and looking forward to your notes along
    the way. I will see you in or near Sacramento, California in the Spring!

  5. Boyd Slauenwhite
    October 7, 2014 / 11:10 am

    Love keeping up with your posts: following your journey both in Canada and through the US. The pictures are awesome! Keep up the good work.
    -Boyd S.

  6. Alvin Sargent
    October 7, 2014 / 10:20 am

    The photos are great. I am on Your tour , imagoning every beautyark and each road bump

    Sent from my iPhone


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