Building On A Budget: The Incredible $8,000 Tiny House

Building On A Budget: The Incredible $8,000 Tiny House

I am pretty excited to introduce you to Wesley Birch who just completed his tiny house. He and his wife purchased the hOMe plans early 2015 and hit the ground running. They modified the plans themselves, customizing them to fit their needs exactly. The end result is the incredible $8,000 tiny house: a pretty darn impressive 24′ self built tiny that includes a full bathroom and kitchen, a living room with a 7′ couch (that pulls out into a bed), two lofts, stairs, and more. Honestly, we were so impressed by how they worked the floor plan to fit so many things into the space, and their resourcefulness that we asked Wesley if he would be willing to share what he learned. World, meet Wesley!

Building Tiny On A Budget

By Wesley Birch

Wesley and his wife's self built $8,000 tiny house

Wesley and his wife’s self built $8,000 tiny house

So you want to live the tiny life? I’m sure one of the reasons that most of us make the leap into the tiny world is because we are tired of the financial burden of the typical home. While researching tiny homes, my wife and I got a little overwhelmed by the $60,000 and up price tags on some of these tiny houses. We were then still overwhelmed by the $25,000 average cost to build a tiny house. We got creative and decided to build a twenty four foot tiny house with a $7,000 budget; we finished the build with about an $8,000 dollar price tag.

This 7' couch opens up into a bed

This 7′ couch opens up into a bed

For $8,000 dollars we built a twenty four foot long, eight foot wide, thirteen foot tall tiny house with a full bathroom, full kitchen, a living room with a seven foot couch, and two lofts. The bathroom has a composting toilet, sink, and a bathtub/shower; the kitchen has a full size gas range, dishwasher, double basin sink, mid-size refrigerator, a very large pantry, and plenty of storage, our loft fits our king size bed, fits all of our clothes, and has stairs instead of a ladder; the spare loft can fit a standard twin size mattress and has storage for clothes; the living room/entryway has a seven foot couch with storage underneath and can fold out into a guest bed. So, you want to live the tiny house, but don’t want to spend over $10,000? Then hopefully you can use the following tips and tricks to make your dream come true without the bank account nightmare.

Stairs up to the master loft that fits king mattress

Stairs up to the master loft and their king mattress

To start off, this is not a list of ways to cut corners! Please follow safety precautions, and DO NOT buy things that will put you, your family or your home in harm’s way; for example, DO NOT buy a trailer to use as a foundation that has been rusted out, even if it was only $200.

Tips to bring your cost down to an appealing number:

1.      Unless people offer help for free, do all of your own work, unless you don’t feel comfortable with it. Labor is incredibly expensive, and the majority of a tiny house build is actually fairly simple. You can learn to do anything after watching enough Youtube videos. The two biggest things that you may want to get help with if you are not comfortable doing the work yourself are the electrical set up and the plumbing set up.

Very functional kitchen

Very functional kitchen with a dishwasher

2.       Learn to love second hand material. With a little bit of elbow grease and care, a lot of second hand material will look brand new.

3. should become one of your best friends. The best part about building a tiny house is that when contractors order for building project, they tend to over order, and what they have left over is enough to use for a tiny house. The free section on Craigslist is a terrific resource. Before and during my build, I would check the free section on Craigslist multiple times per day. Here are some of the things that I used in my home that were found free on Craigslist: Vinyl siding, double basin sink, ¾” tongue and groove hardwood flooring, dishwasher, plenty of pallets, and much more. I was amazed at what people are willing to give away for free

4.       Check out what local second-hand building supply stores are in your area. The stores that are at my disposal in Portland OR are the Habitat for Humanity Restores. Check out these stores frequently. The deals at these stores are incredible. Here are some examples of purchases that I made at my local Restore: bathroom sink for $2.50, 5 gallons of exterior house paint for $20, insulated roofing foam for $70, bathroom vanity for $8, ceiling covering for $72, windows for between $10 and $25, ceiling fan for $20, and much more. These stores get all of these materials donated which is why they are able to sell for so cheap. Also check the culled lumber section at your local big box hardware store.

Bathroom with composting toilet

Bathroom with composting toilet. The shower is to the left of the sink.

5.        You may want to consider investing in a truck if you don’t already have one. Lots of free material is only available for a short time. It is very difficult to be the first person to grab free material on Craigslist if you also have to coordinate borrowing a truck from a friend. A trailer also helps. I was able to buy a truck on craigslist for $1,300 and it will tow my house. I also picked up a fourteen foot flat bed trailer for $800 dollars and later sold it for $1,300.

6.        Start collecting your materials early! Never wait until the last minute to buy a piece for your house. If you wait until the last minute to buy something, odds are that you will not find what you want used and you will be forced to buy brand new merchandise. Before you even lift a hammer, write down a list of materials that will be needed and start gathering them right away.

7.        Do not buy windows to fit your frame; frame your building to fit your windows. Windows are incredibly expensive to buy brand new, so buy them used and frame your walls to fit them.

The secondary loft

The secondary loft

8.        The trailer frame can be purchased used; plenty of people are selling trailer frames on, but we decided to get ours custom built. If you do decide to get yours custom built, ask family and friends if they know anyone that does custom trailer fabrication. It turns out that one of my wife’s family friends owns a metal shop. He only charged us for materials for our frame.

9.        Do not be shy to tell everyone about your upcoming project. It is human nature to help other fellow humans. So when you tell people about your tiny house, don’t be surprised if people start offering too much material, knowledge, or help.

10.       Barter Barter Barter! Go ahead, the worst thing someone can do is refuse your offer.

View looking down into their kitchen

View looking down into their kitchen

11.     There are things that I did not feel comfortable buying used. The electrical hardware, the plumbing supplies, and the framing lumber. Just because I didn’t buy them used, does not mean I paid full price on all of them. When buying your framing lumber, do not just go to your local hardware store and buy the lumber; get quotes first. Look on still; people do sell brand new things on there for cheaper than the store.

12.   And NEVER buy the cheap beer during your build; you will need the good stuff to keep you going.

So you want to live the tiny life, but you can’t spend over $10,000? With these tips, a lot of hard work, and lots of creativity, your tiny house dream can and will come true.


Video tour of their hOMe inspired tiny house

Video tour of their hOMe inspired tiny house

Want to learn more about tiny house living and how to build a tiny house? Want to do so for FREE? Sign up for our totally free 7 Day Tiny House eCourse! Find out more HERE.

229 Responses to Building On A Budget: The Incredible $8,000 Tiny House

  1. Diana September 11, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

    What type of truck did you buy for $1,300?

    • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 6:49 am #

      It’s a 1988 Chevy c3500 with 240,000 miles on it.

      • Darren September 12, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

        I learned from someone’s *costly* mistake: make sure you don’t use the OD (overdrive) on the transmission when pulling the trailer – it will break your tranny! Make sure the OD is *off* before moving.

        Thank you for sharing your story! It gives me hope!!

        God Bless

        • Darren September 12, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

          Actually that’s the 4th gear OD, maybe a 1988 doesn’t have a 4th gear? Anyways, I heard it from the local Ford dealer – they replaced a tranny that cost the owner thousands ($8k if I remember correctly) on a two year old truck.

          • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 4:25 pm #

            Yes I have heard about horror stories. I will not be using over drive. We plan to only move it once.

          • John Doe March 25, 2016 at 5:00 am #

            That is why I don’t drive an automatic. A couple hundred for a cluch is way better then thousands for an automatic. Go diesel if you can.

        • Lacie Vandeweghe February 1, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

          Also make sure that you DONT have your 4×4 engaged. Theres a few things you want to keep up with on your truck. a V8 or bigger is better … more power does mean more gas but if you have a smaller engine you are going to ruin your truck and then youre sol for going anywhere.
          Keep the fluids topped off at all times. Make sure you check them atlas once every two weeks.
          Have the ERG valve and hose checked every so often. Yo don’t need your truck stalling out in the middle of a pull on a highway. While your at it the fuel injectors need to be checked at the same time. Its more fuel efficient to keep both optimal and its going to give your truck more life. If you have a check engine light on or you feel the truck acting like a bronc at the rodeo please pull over immediately and get your engine checked out. Driving the truck after that will compound the situation. Even if its something as tightening your gas cap and thats what is causing the light to go off its better to stop and do the easier fix than to keep going and need a new engine which is thousands and possibly blowing a rod through the block which basically means new truck…. You’re living tiny and thats great but that makes your hauler your home and your hauling vehicle a part of your important needs for daily living. Always make sure you keep the oil change in your schedule to be on time. Dealers say every 3,000. Most mechanics will tell you that the way vehicles are built is can go to 5,000. Vehicles will also last longer than they did years ago. Now theres nothing to the thought of having 250k miles before there are serious problems. Always ALWAYS make sure you know how much mileage you have on your engine… if you’ve replaced it then the amount will be different on it than the body/chassis/frame. the engine needs cleaning with special products to keep if lubbed and working right…The right type of OIL is a must. New engines can handle something different than say an older engine needing a mix that will help it last longer… There are some people that will cover up a multitude of sins in an engine by filling it with heavier oil than is supposed to be in there. Make sure you know what oil should be in it and what it should look like in the different stages… new used and old… , don’t be afraid to pop the hood and get a look at the dipstick…. plugs wires cam shaft drive shaft heads so many things go into the engine to help it work. Some thing as simple as a small hole in the back of your engine can cause it to act up. Keep yourself up to date on any possible recalls and safety reports. You want a vehicle that has a past of other years not having a lot of problems. You want a dealership/car company that has shown integrity in their make and models. You want a car that high marks in safety rating…. on that note also make sure you check the city/highway milage estimates. Using a Hummer will give you the power whether its a full version down to the hum3… BUT they are jokingly referenced as getting 7 gallons to the mile. More to the truth they get 3 to 7 miles to the gallon. Really not a good idea on the wallet…. Jeeps are good. Ford 250 is good. Ive got an 05 Dodge Dakota…. Brings up another point. Do you want a tag along hitch or a fifth wheel. Tag along (I might have the name wrong.. sorry) is the one you pull behind you. Fifth wheel is what connects to the center of the bed of your truck to be pulled. There are those really smart people who convert buses or RVs that can be driven… no worries there on trailer woes.
          I realize this is a bit all over the board. Im trying to keep it condensed but Im trying to give in-depth info as well. Make sure that when you but a truck its from a dealer you’re able to trust … that its NOT sold “as is” that means problems… Don be afraid to invoke the lemon law… lemon law is where you repeatedly have similar issue after issue that is never fixed or you keep having other problems… and no matter what when you turn it over to the dealer or mechanic to fix its never really quite fixed or something else pops up. I think five times is the least amount of issues to go thru before invoking and all those times the vehicle has to be worked on by a qualified mechanic. Theres also a time limit… correct me if Im wrong but I thinks its about up to 90 days after purchase… each state is probably different this is just a general guideline.

          • Lacie Vandeweghe February 1, 2016 at 9:27 pm #

            please forgive any typos. I am dyslexic and I have tried to catch them all but Im not sure if i did get them when i went looking to make sure they were cleaned up. I usually leave a few…

          • /bob February 2, 2016 at 6:46 am #

            Sounds like you’re talking about RV living but saying tiny house living. There is a BIG difference. Yes, everyone can live the tiny “life” in any sized house or RV or other structure. If you want RV living, it would be best to get a RV since they are less cost and actually better made for regular travel, and all the suggested points do apply for that of course. I still believe as the original intent of tiny houses that the idea is simply to own a house, planted, permanently connected as many are if not off grid, and *some* (not all) being able to be moved to that location where it is intended to be due to being built on wheels. It’s a relatively recent idea of using a tiny house as a RV, and then now also adding bump-outs and other features to make them *bigger*. Which to me seems to negate the real original purpose of building a tiny house in the first place.

          • Kevin Monasmith May 31, 2016 at 4:03 am #


        • Karly December 6, 2016 at 10:00 am #

          What is the land taxes and the other kinds of taxes if I were to buy a tiny hose for 2.000 dollars

          • bernadette gardner January 29, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

            I am middle age woman my daughter is about to move out and go to college and i want a tiny house very much i have been saving but if i did move into a tiny house i would have to have solar panel is that the cheapest way. And also i really need help getting started on this project

      • Romania Myers September 13, 2015 at 9:42 am #

        Hi Wesley, we just purchased our plans from Tinyhousebuild.Com we bought them with money we’d saved in a jar (mason jars) which will be incorporated into the intro design someway. ( not there yet) we now are saving to buy the trailer (in a jar) lol. We too are purchasing a custom built trailer which will be 28ft. Long. Now that we have the materials list we have NO idea WHERE to start to gain movement. Lol
        Could you help us with a starting point. Absolutely NONE of our friends have ever seen it done up close. My 23 year old son us watching closely. Lol so ANY SUGGESTIONS would be great. We have a special email for info. Myermason730@ gmail.Com
        We also have started downsizing to fit into our new home.. faith has carried us a long way. Also if you’d like to see video. Visit my facebook (my husband is an officer so he doesn’t have one. ) Ramona Myers.. thanks in advance!

        Awesome job!!!!

        • Wesley September 13, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

          I sent you an email.

          • Michael September 17, 2015 at 5:02 am #

            Hi Wesley, I would like to know about the permit process also. Please copy me in to your info.

          • Mila October 13, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

            I’d be very interested in receiving information as well! I’m starting to get plans ready and am very excited to be on this journey. Thanks in advance for sharing!!


          • Thomas December 3, 2015 at 12:20 pm #

            About how long was your build time? And what do you think of using a concrete foundation so I can add on later?

          • callahan April 20, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

            Can you send me information on where you started also and the permit process? My boyfriend and I were just about to buy a 10 year old tiny house and it fell through..I’m happy we didn’t get it though it was because it was 17,000 and we couldn’t get a loan for it. 8,000 is more feasible. I love your story!!! It will deff help us get to where we want to be in our early 20s.

          • Leslie Guimaraes September 7, 2016 at 2:51 pm #

            Wesley, I too am interested in the beginnings “Where do I start!?”

            If you would be willing to shed some light for me as well of just send me the same good tips that would be awesome! Thank you for sharing!!


          • Chasity Kaegi February 4, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

            Hi I’m near Portland Oregon too and I just settled my divorce and want to Boulder a tiny house on wheels instead of buying a motorhome or other rv because I want a solid wood structure with a wood stove, I am looking for the right person to walk me thru it and help me get it built, obviously I will pay for such help but I don’t know where to find someone that has that kind of expertise that won’t charge me a leg lol, I know it’s not exactly a cheap ordeal however
            If you could refer me to anyone I’d be grateful I’m in a time crunch as our house is being sold from divorce.
            I only have like a month lol.
            My email is I just can’t get it done alone with a little one quickly and I can’t see paying a ton in rent, It’s highway robbery these days lol.
            Thank you, kindly, Chasity.

          • Aaron cole February 9, 2019 at 3:17 pm #

            My 14×70 trailer
            (approx 8ft high)
            caught fire, ruined
            3-4 trusses and the
            Rubber roof melted in spots, so would need new roof. It’s a total loss of appliances, furniture and sheet rock, more so from extreme heat than actual fite.,
            water and smoke all through it so I’ve gutted the soggy soot drywall, EVERYTHING is stripped out to studs. Any thoughts on using existing shell, I’d like to build it highet to allow for lofts and storage, while Incorporating some of these tiny living ideas. It’s a solid metal frame and needs a new roof anyway so I’m thinking raise the roof and rebuild what I got?

        • Wesley September 13, 2015 at 5:26 pm #

          Actually it didn’t go through. Is this the correct email address?

      • patricia January 22, 2016 at 9:46 am #

        Wesley I am doing a story on tiny houses can you eme would love your take on actually living in a tiny house not just building it. thanks so much

      • linda wright July 20, 2016 at 7:21 am #

        hi Wesley, im starting my little house. I had major back surgery, starting over. thank you.

        Linda can u please send me info about permits?

      • JF July 27, 2016 at 9:01 pm #

        Good year for Chevy my 88 s10 was 900 bucks on Craigslist with 200something miles on it and wore her out several thousand miles later with putting zero dollars back into it except for gas and oil changed. End of story is I scrapped it for four hundred and only lost five hundred on the initial investment

      • Chris Alers June 12, 2017 at 8:26 am #

        Where did the actual build take place? I live in the city and this is my biggest problem finding a build space.

      • Genny November 17, 2017 at 7:39 pm #

        We are actually in the process of building our tiny home. We are building a 12×24 home off wheels on a piece of land. Awesome job. And thank you for great tips.

      • Heather Paulk July 20, 2018 at 11:27 am #

        Jey wesley any ofo you could swnd me qould be hreatly apprecoated. I jave a 10000 budget and am abput to movw to applegate oregon with my hrandma. I just dont wven know where to start. Thank you so much for spreadl 8p ng the knowledge and love! you are a true inspiration

      • Carol February 2, 2019 at 3:20 pm #

        Hello have you got information about tiny houses in Germany ?
        Many thanks for the info…

  2. Wesley September 12, 2015 at 6:52 am #

    As you can see, the outside is not quite finished, we will be trimming out the siding with cedar fence pickets, and we will finish the paint.

  3. Sue On the Anarchist September 12, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    what composting toilet? Is you water piped in from the city?

    • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 2:20 pm #

      We have the separett villa composting toilet. The whole house is plumbed with pex, and it has rv hookups. We do have it attached to city water for now, but we will be going off grid in the next year or so.

      • Julie B June 24, 2016 at 7:36 am #

        I think he meant to say, “What is a composting toilet?” I wish people would say what they mean. The reason I think he meant to say that is because of his improper use of grammar in his second sentence as well. Anyway, great job on your home! Thank you so much for all the helpful advice!

      • Lisa Dutter July 23, 2016 at 8:20 am #

        Hi Wesley, great job on your tiny house. I am in the market now for land to build my own. I am wanting to be off grid by next summer. My kids are not too happy about it but they will be off to college in less than four years. My biggest cost I believe will be getting a well done.

  4. Amanda September 12, 2015 at 10:57 am #

    Wesley, do you have a website? I would love to see/hear more about your place!

    • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 2:22 pm #

      I’m so glad that you are so interested… Unfortunately, I do not have a website. This article and these pictures are just about you will find on line about my house :(.

  5. Tina Gallagher September 12, 2015 at 11:34 am #

    As someone on a tight budget (think strangle hold), I need to build one of these for my brother, who may need a place of his own very soon. I would LOVE to learn more about your build- do you have a blog in which you could let folks know more about how/what you did? The couch sounds divine- do you have plans you could sell/give away on your site?

    • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 2:25 pm #

      Unfortunately I do not have a blog. I have never really thought about starting one… I might have to do that.

      • Sara January 24, 2017 at 4:12 am #

        Which tiny house plans did you use for your $8,000 tiny house? There are so many plans but I need something under $10,000. I know price also depends on. Finish,appliances & material cost.

    • terry simmons January 7, 2017 at 12:34 pm #

      I love your ideas! looking for used materials is FUN for me and getting Deals! I”m starting my tiny house on wheels soon!

  6. Maggie September 12, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    awesome build and price… thanks for the tips. where are you hooking up your house? mobile home area? we live in san diego and find it difficult to find places.

    • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 2:28 pm #

      I am fortunate enough to live on 100 acres with family…. And the property has full rv hookups. We are looking to find property off the grid though and when we do, I will be draining all gray water into a tank with a pump to water non edible flowers and lawn with the rest flowing into a drain field. I don’t have any black water, and the fresh water is attached with a simple fresh water rv hose.

      • Amy Gutowski September 13, 2015 at 9:12 am #

        I am looking to build off grid. What are you planning on using as a water source.

        • Wesley September 13, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

          We are thinking of using a cistern until we can affor a well… Depending on the property we buy.

  7. Greg Brooks-English September 12, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    Wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing with the world about boot-straping the hOMe! I’m feeling inspired… despite being able to afford the $60K, I love the idea of doing it for under $10K. Amazing! I believe you could write a book about your experiences and self-publish it on or something as a PDF file, and help support your livelihood. It’d be a win-win situation. I’d buy the book. 🙂 Good luck and I’ll be keeping an eye on your evolution. Big hugs and gratitude! Greg

    • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

      Hey Greg, thanks for your support. I could use the $60,000 if you want to send it my way. 😉
      I don’t know about the book, but I might consider a blog. I honestly had no idea how much people would be interested in this houes.

      • Paula Howley September 19, 2016 at 10:00 am #

        I think there would be huge interest in building a tiny home for this amount of $. Our family is seriously looking into it but we don’t want to/can’t afford much more than $15,00 Canadian.

      • Rachanee Gregory June 17, 2017 at 7:22 pm #

        Hi Wesley,
        Did you ever write book or get. Blog going about how you built your home? I would be interested in your advice for tiny house building under 10k.

    • D September 12, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

      I concur! An e-book is a great idea (Thanks Greg!).
      Please consider this Wesley!

    • tamara September 24, 2015 at 7:29 am #

      Agreed! It seems to defeat the purpose of going tiny but spending so much to build it! I always believed a tiny could be built for less than $10K… now here’s the proof!

    • Rene September 30, 2015 at 12:05 pm #

      Do you have plans for sale. You incorporated everything that is important to me as well. I want the experience of finding my unique pieces and building my own as well.

      Great job!


  8. Linda September 12, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    Excellent! Very resourceful…thank you for sharing! Very inspiring and encouraging!

    • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

      I’m so glad you think so. My wife and I are so happy living life in the tiny world. And you’re welcome!

  9. J September 12, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

    hOMe exoskeleton with kitchen up front and Bath in back. Exactly my design configuration (except more windows,a french door, and a roof-deck.

    Do you have plans you could share, at least in preview mode, so I can see if it’s something I’m interested in replicating?

    • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

      I used, for the most part, the plans from hOMe. I studied many many different tiny houses, but I always seemed to come back to the hOMe plans. I could share the google sketchup plans that I created, but I don’t think I will… I’m not trying to be rude at all, but one of the BEST parts about building my house was making it my own. Get creative and make it to fit your needs. My kitchen was actually changed half way through the build. Right after we finished the electrical, I decided to move the dishwasher to a different location.
      Good luck!

      • D September 12, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

        Wesley – you could sell your plans…but I understand if you don’t want to – because making something unique/custom is very cool.

  10. Jen September 12, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    Love it!
    What is your foundation? Is it mobile? Is it included in your cost quote? How much was it?

    • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 2:39 pm #

      It is a custom built 24′ trailer that was built for me for $2,600. It was built by a family friend that owns a machine shop. And yes it is included in the cost. Get on craigslist and start looking early on for a trailer; there are plenty of used trailers out there that would be perfect for a tiny house.

      • Dorothy September 14, 2015 at 5:44 pm #


        I found a cheap travel trailer, would that work for a tiny house? or does
        it need to be reinforced?

        • Wesley September 14, 2015 at 6:24 pm #

          The first tiny house I built was on a mobile home trailer and here are my thoughts on it… First, find out how much total weight the axels can handle and make sure the tires can hold the same amount. If you are using a travel trailer frame, you will need to build a subfloor. I used 2×6 16 inches on center. I found a travel trailer frame that I used for my first one, but we had to seriously cut down on weight because it could only hold 7,000 pounds. It is only 8′ tall with no lofts and pretty much no amenities. Custom built, or heavy duty is the way to go in my opinion. Just be very conscious about weight.

        • Joni L Loverin September 15, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

          I built my 22ft throw on a old travel trailer frame, it’s been moved a few times on very rough roads and held up great. I had the frame reinforced. Used 2×3 for framing, has full loft upstairs.

          • Wesley September 16, 2015 at 2:41 am #

            Thats great! Do you know how much the trailer was rated for? And about how much the final weight was?

      • Courteney February 13, 2016 at 12:15 am #

        I have a single wide mobile home that I own and I want to make my own tiny home out of it but I just got the electric work fixed and heater replaced. I’m a single mother with a toddler.
        Would it be better to sell it and use the money for my budget?

      • Kammy July 15, 2017 at 5:00 pm #

        Hi Wesley, I was wondering what kind of trailer you had built? Do you recommend a bumper, gooseneck, or fifth wheel hitch? Or? Do you know perhaps this question is for the folks, since this is your first build and you will be paying someone to transport your home, due to it being oversized. Please let me know what you recommend as I am trying to price what it will cost for the trailer deck, Thank you so much and congratulations!

  11. Kelsey September 12, 2015 at 1:19 pm #

    Great article – I don’t have a lot of $$ so to hear that you did this for less than 10K inspires me – and I have become a pretty good scrounger, plus I already have one window for my tiny house on wheels!
    Thanks for the info!
    Pacific Grove, CA

    • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

      I’m glad I could inspire! It is truely one of the best feelings ever to move into a house that you built. We paid for our build as we went. My wife does not work, I have a newborn baby, and I only make $13/hour. I worked full time at my job and came home and worked full time on the house. It took me from April 15th 2015 until the end of July to have it move-in ready. I just have to finish the exterior and some trim work.
      Never make excuses as to why you can’t do it! If you want it that bad, you will be able to finish it.
      Good luck!

      • Olivia March 13, 2016 at 6:21 am #

        Through you, can I buy a tiny house from? I can’t afford much at all. However I’m soon to be filing for a divorce and wish to own my own home. I will soon have my own money from my Disabilty case. I just want something safe and simple for me and my almost 5 year old daughter.

      • Sharon Breslin May 31, 2016 at 7:47 am #

        That’s awesome Wesley that you put your mind to what you wanted and went for it. Also knowing that you didn’t have money up front is an inspiration in it self.
        That has been my excuse is I don’t have the money to start. And now reading your story and all the comments I already started a Material List and started looking on Craigslist for free stuff. And I to have a Habitat for Humanity Restore here in my city. I live in Worcester, Massachusetts. I have been interested in building a Tiny House for myself for sometime now. But haven’t really had enough confidence in myself to actually start it. And again reading your story has giving me more hope and inspiration to star. My whole life I have done painting , tiling. And have been around construction there is no reason I can’t do this. Now I just have to find a place to star the build. Thanks Welsly. And may you and your family live a Happy , peaceful life.

      • Julie December 17, 2018 at 3:34 pm #

        Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!! I cried after I read this. I know that this is an old post. But I am so thankful that it is still up. I’m sure you’ve had endless amounts of people saying that you inspired them.. I just wanted to let you know that you still are inspiring by just leaving this online. I have been struggling to figure out what to do for my aging mother who has a fixed income of $600/mo. In California it is impossible to find housing for her with that. I don’t have the space for her in my small home that I live in with my sons. But I do have space in my back yard to put a trailer! So I am going to start saving for a trailer first and then keep saving for the rest. You are a light for so many needing an affordable housing solution.. So so much appreciation and gratitude for you taking the time to write this all out and for your many responses! <3

  12. Shanda September 12, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    So awesome you have inspired me even more as I have wanted to build my own but seen most people’s cost and its way over what I could ever afford!!
    Being a single mom now I know there’s hope at owning a tiny home one day!!!
    Thank you so much and good luck to you

    • Tiffany April 13, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

      I know what you mean. I am single too with 2 kids. I bought a cheap large travel trailer and will rehab myself off grid and caravan with others and homeschool. At least that is the dream and I am half wa there. So far only 1200 into my project!

  13. Sarah September 12, 2015 at 3:07 pm #


    Thank you so much for sharing how frugal you can be with your build!! I love the idea of spending less than we planned throughout the building process. My fiancé and I committed to building a tiny house after graduating college and realizing we never want to have to take out a loan again and we are all about living within our means. Right now we are in the baby stages of the build. We bought ourselves a teeny plot of land and are stocking up on the tools and supplies we will need to start building this upcoming spring (totally AMAZED you built a house in 3 months by the way…) My question is, did you run into any snags when applying for building permits and such? This part of the process scares me a lot more than the actual building of the house. I want to be upfront and honest with officials in my area about what we are doing. I can’t think of anything worse then someone coming and shutting us down in the middle of building our dream home. One of the biggest things I have seen while doing my research for our tiny home is getting around building codes and having to lobby for changes to them.. Was any of this an issue for you? Any advice???

    Thanks again for sharing!!!!!

    Columbus, OH

    • D September 12, 2015 at 3:43 pm #

      Hi Sarah,

      If you build a “home” on a trailer or in an old bus (conversion) then it classifies as a RV (it has wheels), not an actual “house/home” on a permanent foundation.
      It is completely legal to build your own RV or trailer. 🙂

      However, keeping it on your land/property as your home….well, that *might* (or might not) become an issue if someone in your neighborhood complains.

      It’s always best to check with local officials to see what the law says about living in an RV on your own land. In many counties/cities (check with both) it is a “grey area” in the law code books.

      God Bless,

      • Bob September 13, 2015 at 2:02 pm #

        The issue of land/property that is free from restrictions has been the biggest obstacle in pursuing this dream of a mortgage free, maintenance light, living arrangement. I am 61 and like many people do not see retiring an option any time soon because of mortgage debt. To live off of social security, I would need to do this – and I want to do this. The land issue here in Florida though is not that easy.

        I have a friend who bought 10 acres of rural land many years ago and he built a tiny house of sorts to live on it as he had no money and this was all he had after a divorce. It was an idyllic location, heavily wooded down a dirt road, but like all rural land around here everyone else is looking for it to build their “Country Estate” well outside the city but with all the city amenities. That is what happened around him and now he is continually harassed for home owner association fees that he never asked, or wanted, to join.

        It would be nice to do this, but every article I read about someone accomplishing this has been blessed by circumstances on the really big hurdle to jump before living like this – having access to affordable land without restrictions. Building a tiny home is a piece of cake, its finding the affordable land that you can do it on where you won’t end up like my friend or find county inspectors swarming you when you get started.

        I’m still inspired, but before I can even start dreaming up plans, the issue of affordable land with water access that isn’t under restrictions for what you can put on it to live in is going to be the biggest obstacle. A budget of 10K for the house is one thing, but if you got to add another 40 – 60K for enough land that allows privacy in the right location that isn’t in a flood zone or being eyed by a developer……..

        • Joan September 13, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

          Hi bob, it was nice to find some one else in Florida, that is looking into tiny house.
          But unfortunately I live in Kissimmee and I just turn 50 and find my self just wanting to step back a bit I have 5 children they are in the navy and marines collage they are a blessing but it is just that I would to focus on writing a book.
          But I find myself trying to find land that would allow such a building, I do wish you all the best if you find out anything please sent me a comment, again have a bless week.

          • naomim September 14, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

            I believe there is a tiny house community in the Orlando area. Check this website out

            I live in cape coral, fl and wanted to buy a canal property for my tiny home…. guess what… nothing smaller than 1000 square feet or “trailers” allowed in this city. Grr..

          • Jasmine Gold January 3, 2016 at 11:16 pm #

            Finding land seems to be the biggest issue especially if you want a perminate home.

    • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 4:29 pm #

      Unfortunately where I’m at, only a certified rv manufacturer can build a certified rv. We plan to buy property off the grid and fly under the radar. But we’ll keep that hush hush.

  14. Carlos September 12, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

    Hi Wesley,
    Congratulations for the tiny house and thanks for share your ideas 🙂
    I’m a website developer, if you want I can develop your website + blog for free. It should take just a couples of days to finishi it.
    It’s up to you 🙂

    • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

      Really?!?! You would develop and design a website for me? I would love that. Please email me at and we’ll talk more about that!

    • Nick March 15, 2017 at 1:44 pm #

      Hi Carlos…would you please email me if you are still available and wiling to develop a website/blog for free….I am also doing a tiny house project and it’s 100% non profit and we will be giving it away to someone in need. Thanks!

  15. Carolyn Graham September 12, 2015 at 7:57 pm #

    I feel so indebited to Gabriella and Andrew Morrison, and Wesley Birch and wife. Finally, I found a perfect t.h. plan (G & A) that morphed into a even better plan for me (W & w). Thank you so much for the common sense, cost-saving ideas that do not compromise the feeling of home and comfort, flow, purpose, or everyday living – seems like good feng shui!
    Other plans drive me crazy because they make you walk through a narrow and busy kitchen to get in/out of the bathroom, but this plan maintains the kitch at one end and bath at the other.
    Wesley, pls advise about final weight of your home and how to keep the weight as low as possible.
    Gratitude, Carolyn

    • Wesley September 12, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

      I’m not sure what the final weight is, but here are some ways that I kept te weight down. Vinyl siding, extremely light weight! Duralast membrane roof, much lighter than metal. Studs at 24″ on center instead of 16″ on center. Rv style shower. And other weight conscious things like a fiberglass sink instead of a cast iron sink.
      I’m so happy that my house idea has inspired you!
      Best of luck and keep the dream alive!

      • Nick October 4, 2015 at 7:12 pm #

        How do you supply your electricity, solar? I’m thinking about the weight of batteries.

  16. Daniel September 12, 2015 at 10:52 pm #

    Hi Wesley,
    impressive! Most impressive! 😉
    Have cou got any clue what your hOMe would have cost if you’d have bought all things new and wouldn’t have build it yourself, i.e. would have paid workers to build it?!
    Thanx in advance.

    • Wesley September 13, 2015 at 6:43 am #

      I have absolutely no idea. The only thing I can say is it would have been way too far out of our budget to even consider it. Maybe in the ball park of $40,000

    • Gabriella September 13, 2015 at 8:28 am #

      Hi Daniel! The bids we have seen for a contractor to build hOMe are in the $70-80,000 range. EcoCabins can build them (they use a very streamlined system) for close to $60,000.

      • Gabriella September 13, 2015 at 8:34 am #

        By the way, that’s for the 28′ version of hOMe

  17. Jerry September 13, 2015 at 3:55 am #

    Thanks Wesley for sharing all the tips and the photos of your tiny. Nicely done! And thanks again to Gabriella and Andrew for all the careful thought that went into the hOMe design, and for continuing to share the positive ripple effect it’s having in the world.

    • Gabriella September 13, 2015 at 8:26 am #

      Thank you Jerry!! 🙂

  18. Katy September 13, 2015 at 9:41 am #

    I think before starting a blog or writing a book you should do a video tour of your place! It’s always difficult to really “see” something with just pictures and I’d love to see the layout through a video!

    • Wesley September 13, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

      I sent Gabriella a couple videos. I wouldn’t be opposed to her posting those. Gabriella, would you be able to post those two videos on here?

      • Gabriella September 13, 2015 at 5:35 pm #

        Just uploaded video! It’s on th bottom of the post now

        • Marilyn September 13, 2015 at 10:22 pm #

          Gabriella, I have searched high and low I can’t find the red door for the video anywhere. Is it possible to copy me in or clue me in lol
          Thanks for the help!!!

          • Marilyn September 13, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

            ooooooops found it i went down instead of up lol sorry. thanks for the help and the video checking it out now! 🙂

        • Wesley September 14, 2015 at 7:44 am #

          Thank you Gabriella!

    • Gabriella September 13, 2015 at 5:36 pm #

      Just uploaded the video Katy! You can see it on the bottom of the post now

  19. Terri September 13, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

    Have you gotten a website yet? Where is the video?

    • Gabriella September 13, 2015 at 9:59 pm #

      Terri, the video is on the bottom of the article above. There is a shot of a red door. Click on that and it will play 🙂

    • Wesley September 14, 2015 at 7:45 am #

      I have not yet heard back from Carlos about the website. I will let everyone know if/when I do.

      • barb July 16, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

        I think he offered to “develop” or create the website, but may be more interested in having you pay him to HOST it, as in a monthly fee for keeping it on his servers. there are plenty of places to create a free boilerplate style website, but you have to pay “the rent” every month to have it hosted.

  20. Steven Sent September 13, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

    I am an author.

    I would be willing to write your book, at no charge.

    You would own it and carry all rights to it. I would have no rights to anything, except ownership of a personal copy and the notes. And a personal referral I can use for other copywriting assignments.

    Why am I doing this?

    Mortgage free for most of is ISN’T $60k. Unless one has already made their fortune.

    This book NEEDS to be written. You did it. You accomplished the American dream.

    Seeing this book completed would be doing good service for others (and put a few dollars in your pocket as well).

    It’s up to you

    Steven Sent

    • Wesley September 14, 2015 at 7:46 am #

      I will think about it… Though I am leaning more towards writing it myself.

    • Danyelle February 3, 2016 at 5:39 pm #

      I agree!

  21. Marilyn September 13, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

    Hi Wesley,
    Im 58 female on disability, but i do for myself, Im in Canada and really want to build a tiny house for myself so bad. I know come retirement age (65) I won’t be able to afford housing being Im single and rent is expensive. I don’t want any bills hanging over my head come that time in my life. I have to say you have made me one happy lady!! Your encourage and directions about finding material I will need without the high price tag is a dream!!! My issue like others I think is finding land that is affordable and is liveable for me….water etc. I have been considering renting a storage unit to put material in as I get it so I can be ready to start building in the summer…I live in an apt. right now and the rent is crazy 1000.00 monthly that would look much better in my pocket when I get this done.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you so much for putting the spring back in my step and making my dream seem reachable again, I had almost given up with the prices of tiny houses. If you do a website, book, video please please copy me in so I can stay on track. I would be more than happy to pay for it!! Reach for the stars!! Stay safe on your journey and God Bless for all you’ve done!!!! hugss to you and your family!!!!!

    • Wesley September 14, 2015 at 7:43 am #

      Any dream is reachable with enough faith and passion!
      I have seen and heard WAY too many people tell me that they are going to start the tiny life or get a new job or change there life for the better… And years later, they are doing the exact same thing as they were earlier.
      Keep on livin’ life Marilyn!

    • Julie B June 24, 2016 at 8:04 am #

      Marilyn, try doing some research about off-grid living. You can purchase a water catchment system for your water, use a composting toilet so there’s no black water, & use solar panels on the roof for electricity. A tiny house won’t need much power. If you MUST have gas, as in for a stove instead of electric, you can install a propane tank at the end of the house where your kitchen will be. There are so many options for going off grid. You don’t need a well or power lines or water lines. You simply need a bit of ingenuity. Good luck!

    • Phyllis November 12, 2017 at 1:32 pm #

      I know what you mean, \i am 50 and have sever disablilities so this is my dream to have a tiny home but no way to my assistance chek of 997.00 after 843,00 house payment it doesnt leave me with much to live on. So I guess it is a pipe dream I would like 4 or 5 acres in the wooded park of Greene County AR and a tiny house with it but I know it is a dream

  22. Dylan September 14, 2015 at 5:11 am #

    I absolutely agree with Steven Sent and others Daniel; writing a book to add your insight and perspective to this would be a fantastic way for you to create an additional stream of income!

    • Wesley September 14, 2015 at 7:37 am #

      I will look into writing a book.

  23. Kirty September 14, 2015 at 6:44 am #

    Hi Wesley! Thank you- this is so inspiring for me, as money is a huge hurdle right now in my Tiny dreams. What YouTube videos do you recommend people watch? Thanks!

    • Wesley September 14, 2015 at 7:36 am #

      Haha that’s a funny question… The only reason I think it is funny is because I could not possibly write down all of the videos I have watched… I have seen countless hours of youtube. But here is what you should watch… Let’s say you are putting in the windows. Just search “how to install windows” and start watching. Or how to frame a wall. Or how to install a dishwasher. You can learn anything from Youtube.

      • Wesley September 14, 2015 at 7:50 am #

        Okay I’m feeling a lot of peer pressure to write a book. 🙂
        If I do write one, what do you all want included in it? Do you want a how-to book to build an affordable tiny home? Or something else. Let me know!

        • Diana November 28, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

          how-to book to build an affordable tiny home
          i’d buy it! but free would be even better,
          thanks Wesley your posts are invaluable, cheers

      • Kirty September 14, 2015 at 10:31 am #

        Thanks Wesley! I wasn’t sure if there was a specific YouTube author you enjoyed more than others, but it sounds like I’m on the right track. Have a great day!

  24. Wesley September 14, 2015 at 7:51 am #

    Okay I’m feeling a lot of peer pressure to write a book.
    If I do write one, what do you all want included in it? Do you want a how-to book to build an affordable tiny home? Or something else. Let me know!

    • Kirty September 14, 2015 at 10:33 am #

      I would definitely be interested if you ended up writing a book (or I would definitely follow a blog if you decide against a book). Affordable tiny home design would definitely be a good topic including more tips and tricks like this article covered- already super helpful! Maybe also dos and don’ts of used appliances/windows/etc? Good luck and thanks again for this aricle!

    • Danyelle February 3, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

      How to would be awesome!!!

    • Julie B June 24, 2016 at 8:10 am #

      You should include the best materials that are lightweight AND cost effective. I do have a question about insulation, though. I’ve seen lots of tiny homes being built on tv, & they all had insulation in the walls, right? Well, I live in the midwest where it’s scorching hot in the summer & freezing cold in the winter. Why don’t I ever see anyone putting insulation in the floor &/or the ceiling? I think that’s quite odd. Regular houses need this type of insulation. So, why wouldn’t a tiny house, especially one that’s on a trailer and not on the ground where the floor would be naturally insulated. Did you use any insulation in the floor or ceiling? Why, or why not?
      Thank you!

      • /bob June 24, 2016 at 9:20 am #

        Julie B, rather than rely on what you see on TV you should look up some of the construction of Tiny Houses done in the last 10 years on a few more sites online. Most Tiny Houses I’ve known about ( the construction details at least) do have insulation in the roof and the floor. Look up Jay Shafer’s initial tiny house builds and construction processes for the base of his Tiny House designs. I believe he was advocating flashing on the bottom of the floor framing (to keep critters and bugs out) and insulation filling in between the floor framing on top of that. Also PAD (Portland Alternative Dwellings) and Dee Williams plans where they also follow that same idea, flashing on the bottom with insulation (often foam board) on top between the floor framing. Also look up Ella Jenkins and her Little Yellow Door tiny house blog where she shows using wool insulation in the floor and ceiling as well as walls. The roof and ceiling insulation isn’t talked about much in most construction details but it is there. You might also want to look into FPSF (Frost Protected Shallow Foundation) designs for Tiny Houses on a slab or foundation (my preference). These allow a slab with shallow depth to work well in northern areas by raising the frost line under the foundation to within 18 inches or even less, keeping the floor warmer in those areas and also eliminating frost heave issues (I do agree with putting insulation under even a foundation for this reason). I also have been looking into unvented roof designs, which really amounts to adding insulation panels above the primary roof deck to eliminate condensation on it, resulting in no need for venting under that roof deck. This may allow a slightly thinner roof profile saving headroom inside a Tiny House without compromising moisture protection of the roof covering, deck and underlying structure. All of these ideas likely reduce some of the materials needed and still provide a well insulated living space in almost any environment, both hot and cold. Of course all of these ideas rely on moisture and air infiltration/flow control (something Andrew has posted about elsewhere in this blog web site). I am still researching and learning about these ideas but they look very promising and advantageous in Tiny House design.

        • /bob June 24, 2016 at 9:23 am #

          Forgot to include that in unvented roof systems insulation is both above AND below the primary roof deck. Re-reading what I wrote above seemed to imply insulation only above, but that is not so.

        • Julie B September 27, 2016 at 6:23 pm #


  25. Jennifer Birch September 14, 2015 at 4:55 pm #

    So proud of you.

    • Wesley September 14, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

      Thanks Jen! Love you!

  26. Nate September 14, 2015 at 9:19 pm #

    I helped a friend with his tiny house build in Portland OR and found that the free and inexpensive used materials are endless there! I am now building a tiny house for another friend in Laramie WY and have found it much harder to find used materials. There is only one craigslist for the entire state of Wyoming and its not very active. Few people post and few people “shop”. I tried to give away a shovel handle in Laramie and didn’t get a single response. That same shovel handle would have been gone in minutes in Portland. Unfortunately the closest Habitat Restore is 49 miles away, so I can’t just pop over and see what new materials are available. I’m not trying to be a total downer, but its not really fair to suggest that anyone can build as frugally as Wesley did. If your not lucky enough to be building in Portland or another major Metropolitan area, you can still find used materials, but its much more difficult and time consuming! You may need to start gathering materials a year or two in advance to find inexpensive and used materials. Like Wesley suggested design your house around the materials that you can find for a good price, don’t start building and then look for material to fit your design. There are certainly used materials going to waste in the smaller towns, they just aren’t getting posted on craigslist, so look in construction dumpsters, talk to contractors, and maybe try posting posting a materials wanted add at your local hardware or building supply store.

    • Wesley September 15, 2015 at 9:00 am #

      That is good to know! Have you looked into other used material sites? I know in the Portland area we have many Facebook for-sale pages, and there are also many iphone and android apps just for selling stuff.

      • Nate September 15, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

        There is one called Laramie Rebuild on Facebook, but its also not very active, but does occasionally have some good stuff on it. I’ll have to look into the android app as well.

        Also, I wanted to edit my previous post, but couldn’t figure out how. I didn’t want to discourage anyone from building a tiny house on a budget. I think that what you’ve done is awesome! I just thought you might like to know that Portland may be the best place on the planet for getting used and salvaged materials. Others will have a much harder time getting the kind of deals that you got on materials and will have to be patient and wait for materials to become available.

  27. Gwen September 15, 2015 at 4:25 am #

    Wow amazing. I’ve been wanting a tiny house for years but can’t afford the 30-60+thousand price tag. This gives me hope. Not only the cost but that you did it in 3 months while working fulltime??? Wow incredible!! Best wishes to you and your family in your new home sweet home.

    • Wesley September 15, 2015 at 9:12 am #

      I am thrilled that so many people are inspired by my build!

      • Sharon November 29, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

        I certainly have been inspired. I love the confidence. And the if you want something you have to just do it attitude. I sent a post back in May of 2016. I now have so many materials gathered for my tiny house. The guys at work tease me about all the things im collecting. Im a painter by trade, and we come across all kinds of materials being that we flip houses.
        But like so many it’s finding a place to 1) built and 2) put my tiny house. I live in Massachusetts and it’s tuff. But I haven’t giving up. Ill find my spot .
        Thanks again Wesley take care and be well. Enjoy living off grid w your family.

  28. Cindy September 15, 2015 at 6:23 am #

    What an inspiration you are! Thank you for the story of your build. My goal is to build a tiny house and retire in 8 years, your story is my step in that direction. One request, the attached video stops at your wife and child. It doesn’t show this lofts or bathroom. Is there a second video? If not, could I impose upon you to give us a look? Please!
    Thank you for your story and all the wonderful help!

    • Wesley September 15, 2015 at 9:04 am #

      Yes I had to break it into two videos. I will have my website up and running in a couple days. I will be borrowing a much nicer camera, and I will put up a full video tour. The website URL is but it will just show a “website coming soon” page. Just keep checking in on it.
      Keep the dream alive!

      • Cindy September 15, 2015 at 12:36 pm #

        Thank you Sir! I’ll save the website to my favorites and try to be patient.

  29. Beth September 15, 2015 at 7:49 am #

    For what to put into your book, I would be interested in an itemized list of the expenses–everything that you bought and for how much (including the free things, too.) I will definitely buy your book!

    • Wesley September 15, 2015 at 9:06 am #

      Okay that is good to know. I think I might try to do it in Parts. Example: Part 1, our story, part 2, materials list, including tools, Part 3, how to build.
      I am still brain storming, but I think that’s what I’m leaning towards.

  30. Ginger September 15, 2015 at 8:03 am #

    I cannot view the video. Is it on youtube? Very inspiring. I am in the process of building my tiny abode. Looking at being under $10,000.

    • Wesley September 15, 2015 at 9:11 am #

      The video is not on Youtube. I ask you to please hold out for a couple of days though. I will be re-recording it and putting it up on my website in the next week or so. My website URL is, but right now it will just say that the webpage is coming soon.

      • Ginger September 15, 2015 at 12:07 pm #


  31. Brent September 15, 2015 at 8:58 am #

    I absolutely, 100% agree with Wesley’s philosophy/thoughts. I am a retired building contractor with almost 50 years using hammers & saws. For most of those years, I was/am also a dedicated salvager/re-user. I rarely had to use a dumpster, because nothing was wasted that could be used. I have, however, been a dumpster diver, recovering lots of perfectly good materials destined for the landfill. My own little {900sq.ft./not Tiny} house in So. Oregon is about 80% recycled materials. I think my costs are about $15 to $20 per sq.ft. {not including my labor}, And it is very attractive & comfortable. I built my kitchen cabinets for under $200 including counter tops & hardware. People seeing them think they are fine, custom cabinets.. because they are. Bravo, Wesley. And, Bravo Andrew & Gabriella for what you do!

    • Wesley September 15, 2015 at 9:10 am #

      Wow! a 50 year experienced building contractor that agrees fully with my thoughts? I never thought that would happen.
      Thank you! and I am glad to hear that you are so frugal, I absolutely HATE walking by a construction zone and seeing all of the perfectly good materials in the dumpster. Especially all of the plastic.

      • Brent September 15, 2015 at 9:44 am #

        Wesley, It is very gratifying to find Conscious, kindred spirits who appreciate the finite resource of the earth & Hate Waste. Thank you for using the term, “Frugal.” Some misguided people (including my X) mistakenly called me “cheap”. I tell them: I’m not cheap; I am a very good money manager. Part of the reason that I can Not waste wood is because I have great reverence for the trees that gave their lives for it… especially the ones that were hundreds of years old when they were cut down & made into lumber. I consider these few remaining forest sacred.. as well as the old lumber in buildings. The last several years of my career I was a home & building condition inspector. When I would inspect an old house with this beautiful old growth framing I would tell my clients: “See this wood? If you ever remove any of it Do Not throw it away. If you do you will go to Hell.” That was a joke.. but it got the point across. And, the only “Hell” I believe in is a state of mind of our own creation. We can be in Hell in paradise or in paradise in Hell.

        • Wesley September 15, 2015 at 10:48 am #

          Oh you will appreciate this then. I went to a second hand lumber store in Sherwood to get the rest of my knotty pine paneling. The associate showed me the 1×6 and said it was 55 cents/ft. He then said he had some really ugly ones that got wet that he would sell to me for 40 cents/ft. I took them all, sanded them down, and now that wall is my favorite wall in the house. So many different blues and reds. It’s unbelievable that someone would look at that and say it is so ugly. and I absolutely HATE it when people white wash these beautiful pieces of old growth. It’s a shame.

          • Brent September 15, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

            Oh, yes! I would have reacted the same. AND, I also think it is a “sin” when beautiful old wood is painted.
            You might be interested in this article published in the American Chestnut Foundation newsletter last April about the kitchen cabinets I built from salvaged AC.
            Winter 2013-2014,Page 4

          • Kaitlyn September 16, 2015 at 12:16 pm #

            Fellow PDXer here about to start our build in March. Which store in Sherwood? I’d like to pay them a visit here soon.

          • Wesley September 16, 2015 at 4:05 pm #

            Building materials resource. 14175 SW Galbreath Dr Sherwood OR 97140

  32. Lonna September 15, 2015 at 4:32 pm #

    You are really an inspiration to us. We have designed our own plans and are just waiting to retire in two years. We are beginning to downsize and to save money. We don’t have any retirement savings left because of many emergencies over the years, so we need to be off grid. In looking at your pictures, we would like to know if you built the couch/bed yourself or if there is a place where we could find out how to buy one or to build one ourselves.

    Thank you

    • Wesley September 15, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

      The couch was built by me. The couch base cost right around 15 dollars (I got all of the plywood for free, and the cushions cost about 40 dollars. I am in the process of building my website, When it’s up and running, I will be posting a video of how to build the couch.

  33. Denise September 15, 2015 at 10:44 pm #

    I didn’t see it, but could you post a list of approximately what you spent on each part of the build?

    • Wesley September 16, 2015 at 2:38 am #

      I plan to discuss all of that in more detail in my book. As of now I am planning on writing one. Is there a specific part of the build that you are interested in knowing about cost wise?

  34. MollyG September 16, 2015 at 7:23 am #

    You’re truly an inspiration and a talent!
    Thanks for sharing!

  35. Kaitlyn September 16, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    Hey Wesley,

    We are in PDX too and about to build our THOW house in the spring. I wanted to know more about your window choice. I have been cautioned by many home builders older and more experienced (including ones that built their house with their own hands) than I to NOT under any circumstances install used windows. Mostly because the removal of said windows is often done inexpertly or hastily damaging the seals, plumb of the frame etc. I’ve been told this makes them difficult to reclaim and install. Also, since moisture is such an issue in our region, I really didn’t want to invite mold into our new house by making the wrong choice. What are your arguments against these naysayers?

    • Wesley September 16, 2015 at 4:00 pm #

      I bought my windows at the portland habitat for humanity restore. They work just fine. I would just inspect them for moisture inside. I would also only buy the ones that still have nailing flanges on then, just for ease of install. Also, are you planning on moving your house a lot? You might want to consider tempered glass if you are. We are planning to move our house once, so we decided against the tempered glass to save money.

  36. Dr. C. Roe Goddard September 16, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

    Hi Wesley:

    Wesley, I have to share this observation with you. You have responded gracefully to more comments and questions to a post than I have ever seen with such a generosity of spirit that I feel compelled to jump in to give back.
    I just turned 59 and after 25 years as a tenured professor (forced to retire with the failure of my school) I am on the job market busily looking at a broad variety of positions, some educational, some not, for the next 6-10 years remaining in my work life.

    I have read all the entries and your responses, and not once did you seem annoyed or grow impatient with often similar posts and questions of you. For this you should be commended. You are a more gentle man than I am.

    That said, I have been to China over 75 times, taught in an American school as well as two Chinese universities (EMBA), am a Vietnam-era Vet, have authored or co-edited several books, written numerous articles on International Political Economy and the Chinese economy, consulted on many corporate projects in China, but would like to use my writing skills to push your kind work forward.

    In this spirit, as long as it is under 150 pages, I would like to offer my editing and writing skills to your proposed book. For free, I will edit, rewrite sections when necessary, talk with you about the organization, whatever, of your proposed book so that it can come to publication. I have been a writer for most of my professional life and served as an editor for an academic journal. If you email me, I will share with you my personal phone number, we can talk, and get this project moving forward.

    I too have reasons beyond minimalism (although important) for being taken by the tiny house life. One, overseas I have seen real poverty. Two, the ability to reuse things is astounding. Three, I owe a considerable amount of student debt for my daughter’s college education. Four, I like the freedom, economically and physically, that Tiny Houses provide. I have not started building, but have a woodshed full of reclaimed wood, 6-8 books on tiny houses, attended a Tumbleweed workshop to build my own house and the first annual Tiny House Jamboree both in Colorado Springs, and don’t want to saddle my daughter once my wife and I pass with a burden of debt.

    So, give it some thought, talk to your better-half, and feel free to email me.

    • Wesley September 17, 2015 at 2:58 am #

      I would love to get in touch with you to talk more about this. And thank you for your observation. I really appreciate it! I’m hoping to publish my website later today – – and my email for it is Feel free to contact me through there.

      • Dr. C. Roe Goddard September 30, 2015 at 11:50 am #

        Hi Wesley:

        Thanks for responding to what must have been your 100th post. I am the retired professor, out job hunting for about 8 more years of work, who offered to voluntarily work with you to write your book.

        You suggested I contact you and I am doing just that. By the way, with your newfound notoriety, if you so desired, I bet you could be increase your income quite a bit by just becoming somewhat of the poster child and speaker for the Tiny House Movement. I suspect that everyone seriously involved with the movement has heard of you.

        Writing is a very mechanical process, so I always told my students it is, contrary to popular belief, 90% mechanical, and 10% creative. Before much time passes I would suggest that you sit down with your wife and anyone else who was involved with the build and outline every step in the process. Here you could also personalize it by adding humorous or frustrating things that occurred along the way. Fill your initial outline with your emotions felt at each stage that way readers can empathize with your story, whether joy or frustration. Don’t worry about fancy words, put it in your own language and it will be more enjoyable and authentic.

        Then see where the natural breaks fall between sections, such as design and purchase of the trailer, for example. These represent different chapters. The chapters will naturally vary in length.

        After the outline, then you begin to outline with just a few word sentences things that you want to include in each chapter. This book can be 75 pages or 200. You can use, with their permission, since I believe you did not take many pictures, other people’s pictures to illustrate a point of the build process you are writing about. Make sure to include the little tricks, like someone who is mechanically-challenged like me, need to know to make it interesting. Things that puzzled you. Here the more thorough you can be the better. You can always go back and add things that you just remembered later in the writing process.

        While I want you to be the final voice on phrases used and chapter titles, pictures selected, I can give you some ideas but it does NOT want to read like it is from an academic. It is your book and your life struggles that should be apparent. Many people in this country of the 1% and 99% are struggling just like you and you may be the brightest spot of hope that they have heard in a long time. Let that hope and optimism shine through.

        Once you have done all this, and you should go back through it several times, then send it to me as a word file and I will see what I can do to make it publishable. I will edit it, add transitions, create subsections, rewrite sentences, insert questions for you to answer and then send it back to you. We will probably have to go back and forth 5-8 times before it is ready for publication. Most books, while they have a single name as the author, are actually read and edited by many people before they go to print. Books are really group projects.

        I have a friend who published a book herself and I can talk to her about whether or not that is the best income generator for you or if you should go with a publisher that is insured to get you into Barnes & Noble or

        How does this sound to you? I want zero compensation other than maybe mentioning my name in the Introduction along with others that helped.


  37. Diggy September 21, 2015 at 7:39 pm #

    Hi Wesley. Can someone help me out on the exact measurements of the door, windows, and other necessary materials. I just want to be certain that I wont be “tricked” by any carpenter into buying more than what is actually needed in building. I tried hiring a carpentry who spent 1 whole day installing our air conditioner. We had no idea that he dud not even know how to mix cement. Although to be fair on his part, he volunteered to install it for us.

    • Diggy September 21, 2015 at 7:41 pm #

      (Oops typo errors)..
      I just want to be certain that we won’t be “tricked” again by any carpenter into buying more than what is actually needed in building. I tried hiring a carpenter who spent 1 whole day installing our air conditioner. We had no idea that he did not even know how to mix cement. Although to be fair on his part, he volunteered to install it for us. Still, the pay and time was not worth it because we had to hire another person.

      • Wesley September 22, 2015 at 12:39 am #

        When buying the doors and windows, you can get any size that fits your needs. I went with a full sized 36″ entry door, and the windows are all different sizes. Just follow the proper instructions for rough openings in the frame when you’re building. Rough openings for windows should be .5 inches bigger than the window; if you have a 12″x12″ window, the rough opening in your frame should be 12.5″x12.5″. The rough opening for the door should be 2″ wider than the door and 2.5″ taller than the door.
        I hope that helps,

        • Diggy September 22, 2015 at 6:11 am #

          Thank you so much, Wesley. Yes, you are a big help to all starters. I am actually designing my own tiny house. I have been drawing the designs manually (just pencil & paper). I was really moved that tiny houses are now the best option to living big. 🙂

          • Wesley September 23, 2015 at 12:53 am #

            That’s great that you are designing your own! I love seeing people get creative with their design and customizing it to their needs.

  38. Steve September 22, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    I have been a builder for 42 years (retired in 2006) and now I travel the state fairs selling scooters. In my travels I have notice that no one has a tiny home set up in a booth to sell.
    So, as a builder I to can construct a tiny home for a very low investment and then resell at the fairs to people who can not build for themselves at a low price of $20,000 – $25,000.
    Just think of the attention a tiny home would get at the larger fairs.

  39. Diggy September 23, 2015 at 8:25 am #

    Thank you, Wesley. 🙂

  40. Jan September 23, 2015 at 4:42 pm #

    I m wishing there were more posts from those in Texas. The state is changing laws for trailers, even those that carry lawn equipment. They will have to be inspected just like your vehicle. So the purpose of building a tiny house on a trailer in Tx, will be difficult to get inspected in the future. Finding land is at a premium in this area. We are experiencing a housing shortage, due to large corporations moving in. SO………is there anyone out there from Texas that can give me some suggestions. I’d like to build myself but no place to build it & no experience. I need someone to guide me. My other option is buy pre-built. Not sure which way to go. Any suggestions!!!!!

    • /bob September 23, 2015 at 6:20 pm #

      Don’t know in what area of TX you are but if you don’t mind moving to Spur they changed their building codes last year and have an ordinance that allows variance to build a tiny house and place it on a city lot as primary residence. See the details in a few of the blog posts here on the first tiny house friendly city or go to There are even more than one tiny/small house there now. The first one is a tiny house on wheels. The variance requires the trailer be placed on blocks or foundation and the axles removed with permanent hookups to basic utilities but the axles are stored and can be reattached if the house needs to move. Much like a mobile home setup, and same as that first tiny house that was located there.

    • tamara September 24, 2015 at 7:13 am #


      Thanks for sharing so much info. What were your lumber and trailer costs?

      • Wesley September 28, 2015 at 5:49 am #

        The trailer was $2,600. It was brand new and custom built, but I only had to pay for materials. Lumber was right around $1,000 I believe.

      • bobby mcdog March 22, 2016 at 11:06 am #

        what are those

    • tamara September 24, 2015 at 7:17 am #

      What part of TX are you in? There’s a group in DFW that’s pretty active.

    • Shari October 22, 2015 at 7:13 pm #

      I totally agree with you Jan, being a single female & No experience I definitely need someone to guide me & walk me through each step. I’m not afraid of hard work or using tools – just need help & guidance. I have looked & have gotten quotes on pre-built with a price tag of $70,000 – $125,000. Again, there is No where to put a tiny house here in Texas.

      • /bob October 23, 2015 at 5:52 am #

        As I mentioned earlier and also per posts here on this blog… Spur, TX does allow tiny houses to be placed on a city lot as the sole primary residence. Can be THOW or on foundation. If on wheels it would need to be set up just like a mobile home would be… on concrete piers with wheels removed (and stored for using later if there is a need to move at any time) and tied down with tornado straps (what I would recommend anyway). I’ve read on other blogs about there being other places also in Texas where a tiny house can be placed. Keep looking. Use the resources on this and other web sites for Tiny House Map like Also check out the FAQ on this web site for where to park a tiny house. There are places, just not obvious where to find them.

      • Brenda McDaniel July 6, 2016 at 2:23 am #

        I am in Austin Texas, I have deferred going tiny for years, because there is no where to put a tiny house. I found a listing on local craigslist of a planned tiny house community in Manor , which is a few miles out of Austin. Other than that, there are several rv parks in the area. Renting a space will cost less than $400/month. Totally doable in my opinion.

  41. belinda September 29, 2015 at 1:07 pm #

    thanks for your article. we bought an older 35ft. fifth wheel trailer to put a tiny house on. half will be deck to carry generator, propane tanks and 10ft boat. we are building to camp off grid. but we are also going to do a second tiny house to live in. we are going to use the 36ft fifth wheel we currently live in.a lot of work ahead of us. but we are excited. it will be our retirement home which is only couple yrs away. we are going to go 10ft wide, cause I have to use canes every now an then to get around. we live in northern alberta, Canada. need that extra insulation in walls and floors. it will be set up in one spot for now. we know we will need a semi to move it. could you suggest the best type of siding to use. money is very tight so we are reusing whatever we can. thank you.

  42. Elaine September 30, 2015 at 2:45 pm #

    Man, I give you guys BIG KUDOS on this one. You really did your research, were discerning in your collection of materials and did a fabulous job of applying elbow grease. I’m very impressed at $8,000. Very, very nice.

  43. Mick October 1, 2015 at 3:18 am #

    Excellent!! My dream would be a similar build incorporating my existing recording studio equipment into the design, which I know is doable. Thanks for the info!

  44. Roberta October 5, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

    Question. What format is the attached video using? I can download it but unable to play it.

    Thank you!

    Best wishes from Texas! 🙂

    • /bob October 6, 2015 at 6:10 am #

      That’s a .MOV file which is the Apple QuickTime Movie format. It is usually compatible with MP4 but more limited (MP4 is the international standard). If you have a program like VLC (what I use) you should be able to play it. VLC is a free program for Windows, MAC and Linux. You may have to download and install additional codecs (special programming drivers for certain formats) to play it. This link shows what programs will play this video on various operating systems:

  45. Michelle October 6, 2015 at 5:29 pm #


    I’m curious how the home is insulated and heated! I’m interested in tiny houses but live in Atlantic Canada where winters are brutal. Most tiny houses I see are built for warmer climates.


    • Holly March 1, 2016 at 8:32 pm #

      I was thinking the same…I live in Manitoba and -40 wind hills are no fun!

  46. Joanne October 24, 2015 at 9:50 am #

    This is so exciting! We are looking to have a retirement in 3 years without debt. Our plans are to make our Tiny Home into a house boat here in Portland Oregon. If we have a motor there will not be the huge moorage fees for a slip. The cost for mooring a house boat can be 1/10th the cost for a float home slip fee. We will also have the mobility for cruising the river.

    There are so many ideas on how to build cost effective and thank you Wesley for being so gracious in answering questions.

    We are researching how to place the tiny home onto a barge or pontoons. In order to be considered a house boat it will need a boat motor and all that implies.

    Research and help like this site is giving us the tools at 68 yrs. old to start this new phase in our lives with confidence.

    Thank you,

  47. Michaela November 5, 2015 at 9:23 am #

    I absolutely love this! This is an incredible resource for DIY’ers and those of us who don’t have experience who may be a little nervous about building our tiny home. And I had a good laugh at #12. I will make sure to keep a good stock of my husband’s favorite beer when we begin building.

    Thank you Wesley so so much for your experience and for this resource!!

    Michaela in Nampa, Idaho.

  48. Jasmine Gold January 3, 2016 at 11:03 pm #

    What square footage did it end up being? How long did it take to Bulid? Where did u Bulid it? I’ve been interested in having a tiny house for a while to live in and maybe then later use as a voice studio space for teaching students(I don’t expect to live in one forever) which obviously means on the larger side of tiny homes if that makes sense. You’ve given me home that it dosent have to be light years in the future but where do you start?

  49. Adria January 14, 2016 at 7:58 pm #

    Hey Wesley. I love the suggestion to buy things early. I live near one of those salvage building supply companies. They have windows and vintage stoves-things I will want in my tiny house.Problem is that I don’t have a truck or land to stockpile things. What would you suggest for storing building supplies in the meantime?

  50. francisco January 21, 2016 at 5:21 am #

    I would also like information and plan on building a tiny house in the near future.

  51. Susan Adkinson March 19, 2016 at 12:52 pm #

    Hi Wesley, I hope you are still keeping an eye on this post and I will admit I have not read every single reply, so please forgive me if you have answered this. My daughter is graduating in May and she along with her boyfriend are planning to build a tiny house. I purchase for her the 24 ft low wider trailer from tumbleweed for her grad gift. Then she started looking for plans. She really loves the hOMe plans but they are made for a 28′ trailer. I see you made yours as a 24′ base. That is EXACTLY what she would love to do. Are you willing to sell your adjusted plans? Or can you tell me how difficult it was to adjust the length if you are a first time builder? I am forwarding her the link to this site. I have been researching things for her for months and just now came upon this post. You would be our hero if we could purchase your adjusted plans. Hope to hear from you soon! Thanks!

  52. Emma Williams March 25, 2016 at 12:39 pm #

    Hi Wesley,

    I am doing a research paper for a school project on tiny houses, and I am wondering if you wouldn’t mind talking to me about yours? It would be extremely helpful!

    Let me know, thank you,

    Emma Williams

  53. Lydie March 31, 2016 at 2:47 pm #

    Curious if I could get a copy of Ur Floorplan?
    I really like the double lofts and everything U have in it.

    My sister is wanting to move up to where I live (in about 2 yrs) and this would be awesome for them to get started here.

    Thanks a bunch.

  54. Karen April 11, 2016 at 10:27 pm #


    My question is, if I am on an extremely tight budget (need to keep my tiny house under $10K) but am a single woman with no friends or family that can help me build it, will it be possible? This is something I really want for myself but I’m afraid it won’t happen for me. I do have the option of buying an RV but it just won’t feel like “home” like a tiny house would.

    I’d appreciate any suggestions!


    • Gabriella April 12, 2016 at 7:25 pm #

      Hi Karen! So great you are wanting to build tiny! I would highly recommend that you join the Facebook group: Tiny House People. There are over 26k people in there and thousands upon thousands that are in the same boat you are in. I bet you will have an entire network of support and cheerleaders in no time. Keep us posted! 🙂

    • nate April 28, 2016 at 9:00 pm #

      Where are you located I’d love to help. Post email I send a message.

  55. Ivey April 15, 2016 at 7:21 pm #

    Hi! Very interested in buying one of these!! Me and my wife have been talking about it and 8000 is definitely doable!!! Who can I contact for more info??

  56. Muriel April 21, 2016 at 6:23 pm #

    I would really like to watch the video tour of this house. Is there a link to watch it?

    • /bob April 21, 2016 at 6:46 pm #

      I do notice when I click the red door picture at the end of the blog the video tour gives a corrupt file error. This is using Firefox for my web browser. I also tried using Chrome browser and the video file downloaded and I could run the video file in a movie player on my computer BUT the video was rotated on it’s side rather than straight up. I use Linux on my computer so don’t know if you’ll get different results in Windows or Mac. I can usually get things to work on my computer that won’t work on other systems.

  57. Mario April 28, 2016 at 12:35 am #

    Cheapest and Best Quality Tiny Houses prices 5000 usd in Europa

    lets Check it

  58. Kelly May 8, 2016 at 8:58 am #

    Is there a video of the whole house available for viewing? The video link in the article is only 54 seconds long and only shows the kitchen and cuts off at your wife and baby on the couch. Would love to see the rest of the living space. How long did it take you to build?

    • Natasha May 17, 2016 at 5:00 am #

      I’m also looking to see the video, the link says it is corrupt

  59. Danie May 17, 2016 at 10:20 am #

    Love your Tiny House! I’ve been following Tiny Houses online for about 3 years now and haven’t seen ANY this nice for WoW! $8,000! The biggest problem I see besides $ is where to park permanently in California without being on someone’s property like a granny’s quarters in their backyard, and that is only just beginning to be allowed for example – Fresno. I’m looking to be part of a community with a Tiny House permanently. Thanks so much for your share. It gives me hope for the price. Now, just need a place to park it.

  60. Krista June 9, 2016 at 10:31 am #

    Hi I also live in Oregon and love your story. I was wondering how much of your budget was used for the custom built trailer? Housing and rent is crazy right now in Oregon and I am thinking a tiny house is the only affordable way to go.

  61. Kea B July 2, 2016 at 4:40 pm #


    Thank you for sharing your story!

    I would like to build my own tiny house in Los Angeles. Do you have any tips or advise in regards to the permits and zoning laws? Where should start?

    Thank you for you time!

  62. jennifer July 13, 2016 at 6:24 pm #

    I am wondering about where you got your trailer.

  63. Ethan July 31, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

    How much did you spend on lumber?

  64. Cindy K. August 5, 2016 at 12:08 am #

    Hello, I am a single home owner and starting to drown in all the bills and repairs, but I love my home and do not want to sell… So I’ve decided that building a Tiny Home is the way to go; I can stay on my property, live in the Tiny Home for awhile and rent my house out for extra income and cut my work hours abit while I catch up financially and improve on the larger home (which isn’t that larger either 1100 sq. feet) so aaany information you can share will be most helpful. I don’t really want to build on a trailer; I prefer to have the Tiny home affix to the ground… where do I start with the legalities of that part with permits and such. Anything (info) you can share would be appreciated.

    • Brandon Deel August 23, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

      You’ll have to check your zoning codes. Some areas only allow for a single living space. If you were to build permanent and the zoning in that area doesn’t allow it, it’ll be a waste of money. If you built on a trailer, you could sell your tiny home once you’ve caught up on everything and move back into the house. On top of it all, you’ll have some extra cash from selling you tiny home to put back into your house. Keep this in mind too… Most people who rent don’t respect the condition of the property and you’ll most likely have to do some repair. At the minimum would be paint and that can get expensive too. 5 gallons would paint a 1100 sqft home plus a gallon of white for trim and doors, material and miscellaneous items could cost you $300 easily. You’d definitely be better off building on a trailer in my opinion.

  65. Antionette August 13, 2016 at 4:26 pm #

    Did you hire a electrician? How much it cost you?

  66. Kristie August 14, 2016 at 5:43 pm #

    Hi Wesley! I’m not sure if you’re still responding to comments on here or not, but I’d love to see a breakdown (or even an excel spreadsheet) of the original $7k budget, just to reference. I think that specificity would help out other newbie (and wanna-be) tiny home builders like myself.

  67. Brandon Deel August 23, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

    Hi I’ve been so interested in the tiny house life, I’d really like to know more from someone who has the experience of building one. I’ve never owned and at 31, I think it’s about time I did. I’m hands on, can do electrical to code, plumbing, carpentry, roofing, siding, etc… But as far as cost and efficiency goes, I lack in that field. If you’re still keeping up with this blog, send me an email! I’d love to talk about your experience in more detailed conversation! I don’t want to blast my email on the net, hopefully you’ll see it after I fill out the fields below. Thanks!
    – Brandon Deel

  68. Tiny Can Be Good August 27, 2016 at 12:05 pm #

    Yes, I think the Tiny House life is great for whatever reason. You spend a lot of time outdoors but tend to make your fit that lifestyle. i like the homes that open with hinges to the outside and can use the wall as a table from the outside. I like hOMe as well. I think the full kitchen, composting toilet, cabinet space for electronics and utilizing stair space as clothes storage is genius. With propane and solar panels stored nearby to harness power for computers, etc. you can stay off-grid forever if you like.

    Am just now starting to gather things, making my list as I go, and search site between Dallas, TX and Waco, TX as I have a business to be near in southern Dallas. Waxahachie area would be more or less ideal. Actually i would like to have a permanent home around 1000 F2 with a detachable tiny home that still is utilized every day, but when I am read to hit the road everything just goes as is. I have 4 dogs so i need the space….and I wanna grow my own food, develop my entire self-reliance disposition I’ve been hiding for 50 years.

  69. allan jay September 22, 2016 at 2:45 am #

    Hi WESLEY thank you for this info.

  70. Wanda Lozier September 30, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    Thank you kindly for all the info regarding building a tiny house. I have a dream of either building or owning a tiny house because that’s the only way I’ll have a home of my own. Both my biological dad and my mother had promised to leave me a place to call home at their death, but it turned out to be not true. So here I am at 62, divorced and without any children, trying to make it in this world. I am in what they call the “waiting room” for disability. It has been about 2+ years now, so hopefully I will have a hearing regarding my case.

    I was so excited to see the video of your tiny house built for $8,000, but it only played for I think about 52 seconds. (It ended after you described the 3 x 7 bed your wife and baby were sitting/lying on.) I would love to see the complete tour if possible. It’s about the only thing I have to look forward to — besides the return of our Lord.

    Thank you for your thoughtfulness. If I should ever be blessed with building a tiny house of my own, I will likewise “pay it forward.”

  71. nick savage October 14, 2016 at 8:25 am #

    I hear people talking about rv living and tiny house living. I have both.

    Here is why you want a tiny house. You want something that resembles a house. That is what you want.
    You do not plan on moving it often.

    You want it to be self sufficient on its on land.

    Yes you can do that with a rv too. It is just their are times for a tine house and times for an rv.

    You can actually get much more room for the price with a tiny house, especially if you follow the authors tips. I also loved culled lumber from home depot, they also give away pieces that have been cut at some lumber yards, if they don’t give it away they sometimes throw it away. Remember you can always splice two 2 x 4’s and they will be just as strong as one if done right.

    I like insulated walls and the only thing I usually cannot find at a discount is sheetrock 1 inch.

  72. Lynae November 2, 2016 at 10:23 am #

    Hi, I’ve been thinking about a tiny house for a while now but have askways been scared away but the price. I love your story. How do you guys run the power, plumbing and what not ? I’ve been thinking about buying a lot and parking it there but there wouldn’t be any plumbing hook ups or electrical there so I’m not sure. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?

  73. Chad December 23, 2016 at 7:20 pm #

    What is the process of having a plug to run electric to your fuse box like on my park model trailer it runs off the breaker box but plugs inn like a regular camper so no converter

  74. Bryan February 17, 2017 at 7:30 am #


    Im sure you will not see this as your comment is over a year old but I don’t agree that RV and tiny homes on wheels are the same sort of thing and i have no idea where you have found an RV for cheaper than you can build a tiny home. A tiny home is better insulated for cold winters where I live. A tiny home on wheels is just an adaptation to the tiny home movement and idea. instead of having to buy land you can just find land to rent or park on for free depending what your needs are. Land where I live is crazy expensive, being able to move your tiny home easily makes it easy to find places to put your home and change locations based on the cost of rent or availability. The cheapest land near me where I work is 215,000 and thats quite a ways out from where I need to be plus that land would probably not allow a tiny home to be on it without a regular home as well. It just makes more sense to live in a tiny home on wheels to me.

  75. don February 28, 2017 at 11:10 pm #

    Rule #1: Do your research; no one will do it for you (unless you pay them to teach you, and you learn from them anyways): ie how to frame, what materials are used, where to get them etc.
    #2: Identify your priorities
    #3: Follow the above guidance
    #4 Do more research
    #5 Create a plan
    #6 Execute your plan
    #7 Be aware of the law’s power and it’s limitations in the area you plan to park your tiny home
    ex: I can’t live in an 8×20 home on wheels in my city as a stand alone living space because the city enforces a provincial (like state) building code that requires a foundation (cement base). But my family owns land and the law says you can park a trailer on land with a primary dwelling. That’s my loophole. You can also put your home in an area no one will see if the land is big and treed enough. There will be no nosy neighbors there who believe they have nothing better to do with their time than to complain.

  76. Brenn March 1, 2017 at 10:33 pm #

    Wesley our dream is to build our own custom tiny home and to do it for under 10thousand like you did. Your story is an inspiration and give us hope. Anything that you could please send us that would help us in any way to accomplish this goal would mean allot to us. My email is we appreciate your time and help. Thanks.

  77. Heather March 5, 2017 at 11:10 am #

    I live in Fl, I am intrested in knowing what kind of permits are required for building a tiny house. Not looking for it to be on wheels like an RV. I am intrested in buying land to put it on. I’m also intrested in know what does the land need to be ready for a tiny house

  78. Zara Hubllot May 1, 2017 at 11:10 pm #

    Aw, this is so cute! I totally understand how can housing fee is so expensive! This tiny cute house is definitely a life saver! I wouldn’t mind moving in into this tiny house. I mean of course it would take sometimes to adjust to the tiny spaces and all but I bet it will feel like home in no time. Just look at how much cash we can save if we built ourselves this tiny cute house. And most importantly this is a green environmental friendly! What more can you ask??? If you are into the cost-effective and environment-friendly project, you should go and check They definitely just what you need and they care about our environment as well and oh man, they are amazing! You should come and visit their website and see how right I am! Thank you.

  79. Linda Guillot June 15, 2017 at 10:36 pm #

    Most people assume that a comfortable house is a large house with large land and design that looks luxurious. In fact, to get a comfortable house does not always have a large area, because with a narrow land we can also make a comfortable home. For example, building a tiny house could be the best solution for us. In addition to reducing the financial burden of the house, we can be creative also to design our tiny house. I think this is great idea, very inspiring and encouraging. For you who interested to build small house and affordable one you can check at Check it for you, their incredible portfolio. They are the best and give satisfaction to us.

  80. Joe Rodden September 11, 2017 at 1:20 am #

    Tiny home is certainly cheaper than large house. The tiny home is made adjusted to our needs and perfect for the needs of the simple couple as well. If you are interested in a project with cost-efficiency and environment-friendly then you can check ; They do amazing works and they’re really care about their customer’s satisfaction.

  81. Rosemary September 13, 2017 at 8:25 pm #

    Your tiny house costs are ultimately up to the choices you make and what you need. Whatever the reason is you have your own decision which is best. You may need a solution to find an ideal residence, I suggest; They are professionals developers and guarantee you a perfect house for you.

  82. David Kimes September 23, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

    Are you by any chance selling the plans to this house ? I already have my land patiently waiting for a house to be built on. I would be so happy if you emailed me at about the plans and I would pay a good amount for them if you are willing to sell them . So please if you see this could we possibly talk about a deal?

  83. Dylan October 23, 2017 at 4:05 pm #

    This is beautiful!
    I would love to do this, any chance you’d be willing to share specs like diagrams, sketch ups and part number listings? And where you got the trailer for or if you welded it together and got it inspected by the DMV yourselves?
    I’d really be grateful for the help, thank you!

  84. Sophie Valoz November 24, 2017 at 12:25 am #

    I want to build a small house and find your home concept in this blog. I like it very much. Hope you can share more specs about this house. Thank you for your help. If any of you want to build a house and need a solution for your home, I recommend, they have a variety of concepts ranging from eco friendly home concept with affordable price and also cost-effective.

  85. kennis June 14, 2018 at 6:37 am #

    Woow thankyou for the home inspiration. Small house with low budget is really nice, the house is make from container. That’s type not spent too much land. And also thankyou for the tips this is so useful. tedbiesterbos

  86. Jay June 20, 2018 at 11:49 am #

    I really liked that you mentioned looking for second hand material. People often are willing to throw out old bricks or ready to mix cement. Catching these deals requires some good deal hunting skills, but you can find a lot out there.

  87. Todd Utley July 19, 2018 at 2:12 pm #

    I find it interesting that so many people are buying new custom built trailers for their tiny house project. Re-purposed RV trailers are perfect for a build. I have been stripping them down for the last two years and selling the frames. Everyone that has bought one has been thrilled with my prices that range from $1500 to $3000 depending on the length and tire and axle ratings. These trailers are predominately deck over design with straight axles. I have sold a few with drop axles but not many. Most are six lug or eight lug and can carry between 8500 lbs to 14000 lbs. They have electric brakes and I often will put a fresh coat of paint on the for customer. Anyone can buy an old RV and strip it down to the frame but it is a ton of work believe me. But I have developed my own methods of demolition which allow me to do one in about two days. Then a day for paint and it’s ready to go. I will often get trailers that are less than five years old so they are well built with very little road time on them. Ideal for a tiny house. Feel free to email me with any questions.

  88. Tiffany Sampson November 20, 2018 at 1:42 pm #

    HI there,

    I really hope you are still responding to this,

    My wanting to build a tiny home began 4 years ago and still here I am renting. I still don’t know where to began, not really anyone in my life that have any interest in this at all so no support from any direction. I have learning disabilities and just don’t know where to start. I Live in Cincinnati, Ohio and I haven’t seen any sign of a Tiny house movement here, no pocket communities just nothing. I have no family that own land so I would have to buy.
    Help, where to even begin. I would love a few mentors, thanks for listening.

  89. Daniel April 2, 2019 at 3:06 pm #

    My wife and I want to build a tiny house for ourselves. We are just in planning phase and realizing how little money we have. Do you have an itemized cost of your build? What did you do for the structural components new or used? Any help would be amazing! Thanks

  90. Anthony Shalala April 25, 2019 at 1:39 am #

    Thanks for having this article, it helps a lot. It’s a well-written blog and it is very informative. Keep on blogging, looking forward to see more of your posts!

  91. Maria Gomez May 3, 2019 at 3:54 pm #

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