A humble home or cottage (AKA… a tiny home) workshop intensive:



My name is Dr Christopher Cooper… about 35 years ago I started my career as a hands-on architect and engineer, designing and building small homes (under 400 sq. ft.) for the Japanese market. I guess I was ahead of the times as a few were designed and built to be movable (on wheels). The modular prefabricated timber walls, roof, and floor sections were built here in Canada, and then sent off to Japan via container ship. It was, and still is a passion of mine! The challenge in building small homes or cottages is to provide lots of storage, all the while providing an open, non-claustrophobic environment.

In this intensive, I will teach you how to build your humble house on a small budget. How to look for that perfect piece of property and build in a modular format to be able to build your wall, roof or floor sections… anywhere! Once you are ready, you can then ship to your property and possibly set up the enclosed shell over a long-weekend!

A little backyard cottage built entirely out of architectural salvage materials. The total cost was for the screws and the final paint.

Some of the things you will learn:

  • Use tools safely,
  • All Ontario and National building code requirements will be discussed,
  • Learn how to find, collect and use architectural salvage to reduce your budget,
  • A complete review of the budget and costs involved,
  • The design philosophy… learn how to build a beautiful and bespoke humble house from the ground up including the timber frame structure, interior and relevant renewable systems,
  • How to build a scale model of your dream humble home,
  • Build several of the modular floor, roof and wall sections of a humble house, and understand the advantages of different layouts,
  • Foundations… will your humble house be on wheels, or a permanent foundation?
  • Clad and insulate the walls,
  • Basic electrics, including renewable energies,
  • Build different types of roofs and their materials,
  • Install windows,
  • Include a composting septic system, and basic plumbing,
  • Heating your humble home,

Floor Plan
A Humble Cottage Plan that can be built for under $25,000, with the tools of knowledge this course provides.

Jam packed with hints and tips you’ll leave this intensive course feeling ready to exert your artistic flair on a humble house or cottage of your own or to act as an educated general contractor. Whether that’s a little off-grid homestead or cottage, a workspace in the garden or a camping pod for summer getaways. We only have two days to do this, so you won’t build a humble house from start to finish, rather we’ll have some pre-made elements to avoid unnecessary repetition and to help you progress through all the elements of the build in good time. As an added benefit you will take home a complete set of drawings of our humble micro-cottage to get you started, a $500 bonus.

The Homesteader can be built for under $40,000, with the tools of knowledge this workshop provides.

Things You Need to Know:

Due to the nature of this course some practical work will be done outside. We strongly advise you to bring waterproof clothing and steel toe-cap boots. Work gloves and safety glasses are mandatory.

You must be over the age of 18 years when this course starts.


Price $300.00

Full payment is due upon booking your place, remember this course sells out very quickly. There are no reduced rates for couples. However, large groups (6 or more attendees) can be discounted at the Edifice Atelier’s discretion.

The Edifice Atelier reserves the right to cancel any courses. Deposits and fees will be returned in full should this happen.

As this workshop fills up quickly and is on a first come first serve basis our cancellation policy is to provide credit for another workshop time of same value if you cannot attend.


Located at the Edifice Atelier Oxford Campus, just 5 minutes west of Cambridge, Ontario

867395 Township Rd 10, Bright, ON N0J 1B0

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