You may recall from a previous blog post, my husband and I built a tiny house.
Just the two of us, with a budget of $1,000. Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but it turned out to actually be doable.
And now it’s almost done – done enough for a blog tour! Everything has been installed with the exception of a modern bathroom (we do have an outdoor shower with running water), a functional kitchen (good thing I married a grill master), and AC/heat source (currently going old school on this).
While our tiny house isn’t currently HGTV standards, it’s been a really educational experience (never thought I could actually build a house), along with providing a super low cost project with awesome return (thanks to my squirrel-like salvaging skills, we currently have less than $800 in the entire tiny house build).
The house provides us both a place to “go chill” and allows us a place to catch up on some uninterrupted R&R without breaking the bank or disrupting our penny-pinching savings plan.
The do-it-ourselves tiny house project has remained one of those perpetual back burner ordeals, thanks to unexpected post-war surgeries and our work and school schedules. Despite multiple timeline disruptions, we ended up getting it wrapped up in just a few months. If you had greater time availability, along with some chump change for subcontracting some of the heavier lifting items, you could probably knock out a build of similar size in two to three weeks, even with limited construction experience (hello YouTube!).
The Tiny House Specs
General specs: the Becker Tiny House was built on a 16-foot bumper pull trailer and has a square footage of 124, with additional loft space.
Our initial plans and design ideas looked pretty different than what we built, due to budget restrictions and available resources; however, we did want lots of light (see the windows), good ventilation, plenty of storage (for fishing, hunting, and riding gear) and a loft that would accommodate for a queen mattress.
Oh yeah, and it needed to be dog-friendly (the dogs pretty much claimed the entire downstairs as their “living space”).
The Tiny House Main Floor
Walking in the tiny house door (a $10 Habitat for Humanity repurposed construction materials find), you enter the main living space, an area that currently houses a modified IKEA couch, soon-to-be kitchen area, additional furnishings, and the will-be-bathroom.
Unable to find repurposed flooring, and on a time crunch, we bought the hardwood tongue and groove new from Lowes. Given that our entire house is essentially the size of a walk-in closet, the flooring materials were under $100. All windows, doors, and ladder that you see in these photos, along with finishing wood, were repurposed from previous construction projects and salvaged buildings.
The Tiny House Loft
To provide us with room for a queen-sized bed, along with additional storage, we added a loft into our original tiny house design. Because we still don’t have air conditioning in the tiny house, we opened up two side windows within the loft to provide additional ventilation. The loft ladder was built from some old house framing two by fours, and was supposed to just be a temp solution; however, we liked it and decided it should stay.
I was really surprised at how much additional storage space the loft provided. I was worried about where in the tiny house I would be able to store my clothes and books, and the additional loft storage space ended up providing plenty of room for two people’21st-century excess. We’ve talked about adding in more structured storage, but so far, the open shelving has been more than enough.
The Tiny House Future
We’re talking about investing a couple grand (around $1,000 for the bathroom set-up, $1,000 for alternative utilities, and $1,400 for roadworthy needs) into the tiny house over the next year and moving into it full-time. Over the summer, we rigged a pretty primitive outdoor shower off the side of the tiny house and cooked over an outdoor grill. Before winter sets in, we’ll need to finish out both the kitchen and the bathroom facilities.
My husband’s ready to dive head first into tiny living, but I have some hesitations. Given that I spend a lot of my workday in a home office, I’m a little concerned regarding how the whole work-from-home in the middle-of-nowhere would work without a home office, but I’m eager to minimize our expenses so we can invest more into our farm, so we’ll see. Until then, we’re using the tiny house as a weekend/holiday housing destination.