One of the big misconceptions about tiny homes is that they are expensive -- though the cheap tiny house can also be a fallacy. In any case, there's no shortage of tricked-out $50,000 tiny houses with all manner of little luxuries and top-of-the-line materials; with a smaller square footage, some can afford to go all out with the amenities, or only have time to buy a ready-made one. But that's not what the tiny house movement is about -- it is about living simpler, within one's means, and the ultimate cost will always depend on weighing a number of factors.
Seen over at Tiny House Talk, Ethan and Kelsey, a couple living on an organic farm in Texas, tell their story of how they built a 100-square-foot tiny home for only USD $7,000. It took them about 20 days over six months to complete, due to their schedules working as physical therapists with veterans.
Ethan began by finding a used trailer base in November for USD $1,500 on Craigslist. Ethan did not have a plan drawn up, designing things as he went along, but within a month, the house's shell was finished, and he began work on laying out the interior.
Ethan explains that he used a mix of second-hand and off-the-shelf materials because salvaged materials are increasingly priced higher nowadays due to more demand. In addition, the total cost went up thanks to a few hiccups with the windows, and also due to him changing his mind about doing the electrical himself (he decided to hire a professional instead in the end). Furnishings cost USD $1,000 (apparently while at IKEA they "lost [their] minds" and splurged.
There is currently no bathroom in Ethan and Kelsey's tiny home, but before moving onto this organic farm, the couple got the farm owners' approval to build a separate, shared bathroom building. This bathroom doesn't have a shower yet (the couple showers at a local recreational centre) but they plan to install one soon. They are also hoping to create a small community they will call Tiny Town, living with other like-minded tiny house folks.
Ultimately, Ethan and Kelsey's tiny house adventure has "brought [them] closer as a couple," and brought "clarity and freedom" to their lives. They loved building this first tiny home so much that they have now built another, and have already sold this tiny home to another gentleman. Read more of Ethan and Kelsey's story over at Tiny House Talk.