After following the various blogs about tiny houses for years, I finally decided to take the leap and begin constructing one of my own. As a 21 year old college student, this is not something that many other people my age are partaking in, but I felt that a tiny house would be the most cost effective way to live upon graduation and would give me the opportunity to pay off my debts from student loans as well as save some money as a nest egg for a rainy day.
I have always had an interest in construction, so my degree is going to be in construction management when I graduate this spring. For me, this was another reason a tiny house made perfect sense. In construction, you are generally assigned to a job and will work at it for a few years before moving on to the next job. The next job can be anywhere in the country. By having a mobile house, I am more able to adapt to wherever my job may lead me. This was very important to me because it would make very little sense to build a permanent structure when I may be leaving a place in a few short years.
I am a rather tall individual for a tiny house standing at 6’3” tall, so I had to design that into my house when I began the process. I knew I wanted a loft and wanted to be able to stand on the ground level without feeling constrained. For this reason, I made the height under the loft 7’ tall. With a maximum exterior height of 13’6”, it cut the loft space quite a bit, but I am only planning on using the loft for sleeping and storage, so very little time will be spent up there. Under the loft I have the kitchen and the bathroom with the great room open to the ceiling when you walk in. This was important to me because although it is a small space, I wanted it to feel open and airy upon entry.
As previously mentioned, I am a college student, and as most college students, I am broke, so I had to find ways to cut costs without sacrificing quality wherever possible. Starting at the beginning of the project, I was able to use savaged materials my dad had laying around the golf course he works at to save costs up front. Even the trailer I am using, while it looks rough, is rated up to 11,000 pounds and I got it for a very good price from a friend of my dad’s. To further save on materials, I began going to pre-demolition sales, where you go through a house that is going to be torn down and bid on items that you want. Through this, I was able to get a front door for the house, oak flooring for only $0.35/square foot, and pine planking for the walls that came to $50 for about 500 square feet. The reason the prices are so low compared to buying new is that you need to put in the labor to remove the materials you purchase on your own. The oak flooring was the hardest to remove because it is all tongue-and-groove, so we had to be careful to not damage those fragile parts when we removed it.
For more information on my build, you can follow my blog at: Kiestinyhouse.wordpress.com
Feel free to ask any questions in the comments section below and I will be more than happy to answer them.