Couple’s Big DIY Tiny House

John and Rachel built a 40-ft DIY tiny house on wheels in 2017—their dream home. The design is based on plans by Tiny House Basics. Though, they added their own custom touches, like a wine rack that can hold 70 bottles of wine! They began with a 34-foot-long trailer. Importantly, two loft overhangs bring it to a total length of 40 feet. Overall, their home is 8.5 feet wide and 13.5 feet tall which comes to a whopping 500 square feet, including the lofted rooms.

John and Rachel further expanded their living space by building a 16-foot terraced deck. So dreamy! There’s plenty of room for their grid-tied solar power and gray water system. So all the water they use in their tiny house goes through a recirculatory system, filtered, and then pumped up to a gravity feed of the sprinklers around their parking spot. Impressively, they’re using all of our water twice, not wasting anything. As a result, they benefit from having green plants all the time in their drought-ridden state when others have to turn their sprinklers off.

Cost of their Big DIY Tiny House:

“The cost for our tiny, it was $80,000 all said and done for just materials. That includes the deck and the garage and the fencing, everything that we have here on the site, and the appliances.

So Rachel was great about frugal shopping. She waited for sales for the appliances, so we wound up getting those like half off, I think. And just material-wise, having done it all ourselves, we had no labor costs. A little bit went to the electrician to just pay for his services, but other than that it was sweat equity.

I got a partial loan. I don’t remember the name of the bank, but it was a bank that did loans for manufactured homes, even DIYs. So that paid for, I think it was $50,000, $30,000, $50,000. And then I got a line of credit for $20,000. And we also had some savings at the time. So between the three of those things, we were able to finance the house.

The flat and credit we paid off very quickly because that was high interest. And so that was the first thing we tackled. And then the straight loan, the personal loan we just paid off. It was three years after we built the house. So in 2020, we paid off the house. So three years after building this thing, we had it completely paid off. And that was a great feeling.”

-DIY tiny house owners, John & Rachel, @tinyhousecalifornia

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