Her Builder Bailed with Kate Bohn

I’m excited to share Ethan’s interview this week with Kate Bohn. One of the inspiring members of Ethan’s online tiny house community, Tiny House Engage. In this episode, Kate shares her journey of turning her tiny house dream into a reality, even when her original builder couldn’t finish the project. With her husband by her side, Kate tackled the challenge of completing the build from an empty shell while navigating rising costs and learning new skills.

Together with the help of a plumber and some supportive friends, Kate and her husband completed their tiny home, Lycaenidae, in just 10 months. Now living in Arizona, Kate is still working on becoming more off-grid, but she’s already achieved so much. Along the way, she encountered a few bumps in the road, but her perseverance and hard work paid off.

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In This Episode:

  • What went wrong with the builder
  • How Kate saved money amid rising costs
  • Interstate travel with an unlicensed trailer
  • Thoughtfully planning how you’ll use your space
  • Her favorite features and biggest regrets

Did you know that the average American home is around 2,400 square feet, while the average tiny home is around 400 square feet? According to the Tiny Home Industry Association, the tiny home movement has grown by over 200% since 2013. However, building a tiny home is not without its challenges, and my journey was no exception.

The Idea

I first became interested in tiny homes after reading about their minimalistic lifestyle and affordability. As someone who loves to travel, a tiny home would allow me to have a place to call home, wherever I went. After months of researching and planning, I decided to take the plunge and build my own tiny home.

The Builder Bailout

I had found a builder who seemed to be a perfect fit for my project. However, as construction began, the builder unexpectedly bailed out, leaving me with a partially constructed shell and a lot of uncertainty. I was devastated and unsure of how to proceed. I turned to social media to share my story, and the response was overwhelming. Friends and strangers alike reached out with support and advice.

uncompleted tiny house

Kate’s builder couldn’t complete the entire home, so they negotiated on a shell

The DIY Route

After much consideration, I decided to take matters into my own hands and finish the construction myself. I had no prior construction experience, but I was determined to make my tiny home a reality. I spent countless hours researching and watching YouTube tutorials, and slowly but surely, the tiny home began to take shape.

electrical box

They finished the tiny house themselves including all the electrical work

The Challenges

Building a tiny home comes with its own unique set of challenges. One of the most significant challenges I faced was the limited space. Every inch of the home had to be planned and utilized efficiently. Another challenge was the need for multi-functional furniture, such as a bed that doubles as a storage unit. Additionally, sourcing materials that were both affordable and of good quality proved to be a challenge.

kitchen cabinets

Kate’s aluminum cabinets are super light – and beautiful

The Finished Product

After several months of hard work, my tiny home was finally complete. The feeling of accomplishment was indescribable. The home featured a cozy living area, a functional kitchen, a bathroom with a composting toilet, and a loft bedroom. While the tiny home was small, it was perfect for my needs.

dog on the tiny house floor

The dog loves the electric radiant heat in the floors in winter!


Building a tiny home is not for everyone, but for those who are up for the challenge, it can be a rewarding experience. My journey was not without its setbacks, but I learned a lot about myself and gained a newfound appreciation for the value of hard work. I hope that my story can inspire others to pursue their dreams, even when the road ahead seems uncertain.

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