Lots of people talk about downsizing to a tiny home so that they can live greener lives, leave a smaller footprint, and spend less money. But all too often, tiny homes do not include tiny price tags. It is quite common for homes under 400 square feet to cost upward of $50,000, and sometimes even more than $100,000. If you have taken an interest in tiny homes partly for the sake of cutting costs, this can be very discouraging. You may wonder whether it is really possible to downsize to tiny home living on a budget.
Well, one couple in Texas has proved it can be done! Ethan and Kelsey, both physical therapists who work with veterans, didn’t have much in the way of time or money for building a tiny home, but they dreamed of a little space they could call their own. With creativity and determination, they managed to achieve that dream. The cost? Just $7,000.
It doesn’t look like much from the outside—which is exactly what I love about it. You would think this is just an ordinary trailer, but it’s so much more than that. And yes, it is very tiny, measuring just 100 square feet.
Inside, this tiny home is pure magic. There is no fancy expensive woodwork in here, no elaborately clever storage solutions, and no designer furniture. But who needs all that when you have 100 square feet filled with quirky charm and lots of love?
Ethan and Kelsey started out by purchasing a used trailer base which they found on Craigslist for $1,500. At no point did they sit down and draft up complicated plans for the home. They simply improvised. It took a month to construct the shell for the home, at which point they
could begin working on the interior.
Amazingly enough, the couple didn’t rely 100% on salvaged materials. Ironically, the demand for salvaged materials is now so high that the prices for salvaged materials sometimes exceed those of off-the-shelf supplies. Originally, they thought the house would actually cost less to build, but due to some complications with the electrical setup and the windows, they needed to tack on some extra money. Plus, they “lost their minds” at IKEA and spent $1,000 on furnishings.
The couple’s eccentric design sensibilities are perfectly reflected in the windows you see here. I love how they are all set at different levels but connected by that bordering. This provides a sense of continuity and keeps the unusual placement from seeming random.
At present, Ethan and Kelsey’s tiny house is parked on an organic farm. There is no bathroom inside, but they were able to get permission from the owner of the farm to construct a small separate bathroom structure. Right now it has a toilet, but still lacks a shower (for the time being they are stuck showering at a nearby local recreational center).
Check out a video of Ethan and Kelsey’s home here:
What are Ethan and Kelsey’s plans now? That bathroom they built is actually a communal structure for a planned tiny house community which they are referring to as “Tiny Town.” At the moment, Tiny Town only has a population of three, but they are looking to add a couple more homes. They plan to add on a community kitchen and cabana as well.
Ethan writes, “My biggest issue with some of the tiny houses I see out there is that they can seem financially unattainable to people on fixed income or low income such as myself. So I would love to help others affordably achieve their dreams.” In fact, Ethan offers free help and advice via email to prospective tiny home owners and builders at this address: [email protected].
It took the couple 20 days over the course of a 6 month period to construct their tiny home. So yes—it is possible to build a tiny house on a budget! You can read more about Ethan and Kelsey’s tiny house adventure at the link below:
Ethan’s Guest Post at Tiny House Talk: http://tinyhousetalk.com/ethans-diy-tiny-house/