It’s been a while since we’ve talked about steel framing so I thought it would be timely to invite Jay Leopold on the show. Jay is the chief engineer and designer at ThinHaus, which exclusively builds steel framed tiny homes. In this conversation we’ll battle it out over Steel Framing vs. SIPs, talk about the building envelope requirements for a steel framed home, and take a deep dive on certifications.

In This Episode:

  • Is the process for building with steel different than building with another material?
  • The difference that two feet can make
  • Jay explains the “poplar sandwich” sheathing and insulation methods
  • Uses and benefits of diatomaceous earth
  • Will a steel frame interfere with internet and radio?
  • Two problems with SIPs
  • How RVIA and NOAA certifications work for a builder
  • Advice about talking with zoning officials
  • How much does it cost to move a tiny house?
  • Should you build your own tiny house, have a builder, or both?
  • Composting or flush toilets?
  • The scoop on solar

Links and Resources:

Guest Bio:

Jay Leopold

Jay Leopold

Jay is the Chief Engineer and designer at ThinHaus … makers of the allSteel ThinHaus, Custom ThinHaus, and New ThinHaus models of tiny houses on wheels. As licensed contractors, we bring a formal sense of practice and construction to the tiny house world. Not only will a ThinHaus make it down the road in one piece, but it will work and survive for many years once you set it down and likely receive all the permits you'll need from local officials. Jay builds houses … they just happen to be thin and on wheels.





This Week's Sponsor:

Tiny House Decisions Cover

Tiny House Decisions

Tiny House Decisions is the super helpful guidebook that I wrote 5 years ago to share all of the knowledge and decisions that I made to build my own tiny house, along with what I did right, what I did wrong, and how I would change things. The guidebook, now in its second edition, has been completely rewritten and expanded to reflect how tiny houses are being built today and it also includes several new tiny house stories from other tiny house dwellers. The guidebook has been expanded to include things like SIPs, metal framing, and different types of insulation, and I seriously think this is the most helpful thing you can buy if you are thinking about living in a tiny house. If you go through the guidebook from start to finish, you will have a solid plan for all the systems and everything else that’s going to go into your tiny house. The second edition has been a long time in the making and I’m really excited to share it with the world. 

To learn more you can head over to


More Photos:

Rendering of the ThinHaus

Rendering of the ThinHaus

Steel framed ThinHaus


Living space and front door


The view of the stairs and another loft


All lit up at night

Kitchen and bathroom


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