Sixteen-year-old Celina Dill (“Celina Dill Pickle” on her blog) of Whidbey Island is not only building her own tiny house from her own plans, but she’s cutting her teeth on architecture and building with Ross Chapin. Celina is an intern for the Pacific Northwest architect who is famous for his small homes and “pocket neighborhoods“.
Celina decided she wanted to build her own tiny house after living in 15 homes with her parents. Since she is close to moving out on her own, she figured a tiny house on wheels would be the perfect solution to having a place of her own at a cost and size that she could handle.
“I think tiny houses are in the future,” Celina said. “Living with less.”
She designed her 10 foot by 18 foot house with Google Sketchup after reading a book recommended by Chapin: “A Pattern Language” by Christopher Alexander.
“Before reading the book, I had a few ideas for the layout,” she said. “But as I read, the design unfolded in wonderful ways. As I spent days and weeks thinking about it, everything seemed to find its place in my small space.”
The house will be 14 feet tall with a gambrel roof and will be built with Celina’s version of SIP panels (outer plywood wall, small studs, ridged insulation, inner plywood and paper maché). It will include a sleeping/working loft, large windows, a bathroom and an outdoor shower that Celina wants to build out of an old British phone booth. Her wish list (besides help with electrical) includes a crystal chandelier, a pedestal sink, a SMEG fridge and a comfortable leather chair. She acquired her chassis foundation for $250, a 1950s Dixie RV stove for $20, a pot-belly wood stove for $75 and a farm-style kitchen sink for $175. She got her water heater free from a demolition project and salvaged some wooden beams and logs to be used in the construction. Celina wants the bottom part of the house to look like a French Country kitchen. She plans on building a small bistro table, and will build some rolling chopping blocks.
She decided to build the house on wheels since her family does not own property. Her goal is to purchase some property, park her house and also have a little farm. Most of her money is going toward the truck that will tow the house.
Celina, a 4.0 grade-point average student, decided after three semesters of high school that she wanted to learn on her own and is currently “unschooling” herself. She’s using the welding skills she learned in her metal shop class, and is adding skills from her carpenter father. She earns her money by teaching dancing at her family’s dance studio: “Everyone Can Dance”.
Photos courtesy of Celina Dill/My Tiny Abode