Chico Tiny House - Tiny House Blog

Chico Tiny House

chico tiny house

by Ally Nithya

My husband and I have a dream of creating a sustainable micro-homestead on a tiny backyard plot. We built this 120 square foot home on a limited budget with zero construction experience. Neither of us had ever swung a hammer before starting and we had less than $6k in the bank upon breaking ground. As far fetched as it all seemed, we decided to trust that anything is possible with inspiration, vision and enthusiasm.

We learned framing, sheathing, roofing, dry walling, tiling, flooring, plumbing and wiring mostly from YouTube and a few select books. Each part of the project had a steep learning curve as we gathered the necessary tools and materials and knowledge. I mostly had to learn the art of patience and the supreme importance of good prep work!!

We designed the shell to be simple and approachable for first time builders. And because our budget was as tiny as the house, we used as much salvaged, reclaimed, restored, discounted and second hand materials as possible. The chronic lack of funds inspired a lot of creativity and I discovered an amazing alchemical skill for transforming trash to treasure. The whole thing cost less than $8500 to build and took about 9 months to manifest.


What a tremendous journey to build a house! Besides being a dynamic, hands-on education, it was an absolute joy to see our vision manifest and take shape, step by step. The result is a gorgeous labor of love that fits our simple lifestyle like a glove.

We have plans to develop the edible landscape with recycled grey water irrigation and to build a tiny greenhouse, rainwater catchment system and matching chook house.

living room

Having completed this project, Priyan is now interested in the creation of tiny home communities where beautiful, functional, sustainable homes are affordable and available to average people. Such communities would offer shared utilities and facilities and create safe, legal spaces to live large in tiny homes.

If you are interested in learning more about our projects and visions please find news and updates at our burgeoning FB page: Thanks for reading! Many blessings on your journey.



living room kitchen

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Brenda Lee - March 5, 2014 Reply

This is beautiful! How inspiring that you had no prior experience yet built this lovely home.

    carrie - March 5, 2014 Reply

    Stunning..what an awesome job and the design is great. I do need a ‘staircase’ not a ladder and a closed not ‘open’ loft for safety. And our standard poodle sleeps with us….he needs a secure way to get to the loft.

    You must have been art majors as the beauty here is not seen in many many tiny homes. An honorary PHD to you 2>>>>’Perfect Home Design’ !!!

Dominick Bundy - March 5, 2014 Reply

I like it, Very well put together. And the price is right..

Sarah - March 5, 2014 Reply

Thanks for sharing your lovely home! Very inspiring story!

Marsha Cowan - March 5, 2014 Reply

I absolutely love this tiny house! It is so beautifully decorated and laid out., and I like having a large door on the side. I have lived in two tiny houses now. The first one had only chairs downstairs on which to sit. The one that I am in now has a 6′ sofa/bed downstairs on which to sit, and I can tell you that it makes all the difference in comfort during the day and evening when you don’t want to crawl up into the loft yet, but still want to watch a little iPad television. It was also a lifesaver when I had a stomach virus and found myself using both my composting toilet and a bucket at the same time. There was no way I was spending the night in the loft that night. My point? Even if you have a sleeping loft, having an additional area downstairs on which to sit or lie down is important. Just a thought from long time tiny house dweller.

Ann Possis - March 5, 2014 Reply

What a wonderful feel your new home has! Well done. Hope you have much happiness there. 🙂

Mags - March 5, 2014 Reply

Because space is at such a premium, I urge tiny home builders to consider what you will put in storage spaces before building them. Ex, if you want to shelve quart canning jars, why make the shelf any higher? You can get at least a whole extra shelf with proper spacing. Ex, Bookshelves should be different heights for trade paperbacks vs hard covers.

Cosy - March 5, 2014 Reply

A tiny home with style! Love it! I am inspired by your story & it proves that building tiny can be achieved on the tiniest of budgets with creativity & patience. I also love that you want to create a community. One vision leads to another & there begins the endless possibilities. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. I hope that you will keep us updated on your community project.

Sue - March 5, 2014 Reply

I am SO interested in being part of a community, as I know others are as well. Will check out your FB page.

Rosemarie - March 5, 2014 Reply

It’s hard to believe that this was your first project. How beautiful and functional. I would love something like this.

Timaree - March 5, 2014 Reply

This is beautiful. I love how spacious it seems. I saw you only have chairs and no couch of any kind and someone mentioned that it’s not good. I would do it in a heartbeat myself as I don’t sit on couches but only hard chairs for my back and the time (someone else mentioned being sick) I had food poisoning, I just lay on the bathroom floor finally; I really didn’t care where I was since I was so sick and it looks as though you have floor space. As for the person talking about saving space for another shelf of canning jars, well, aesthetics plays a part in not feeling crammed into a tiny place. This space around the jars adds space to the house so you don’t feel claustrophobic. There is more to living in a small space than seeing how much you can cram into it. I see nothing to change in this house. The builders did an excellent job of making something they can call a home rather than just a space to exist. A space that can uplift their spirits after a day of work and a place that doesn’t bear down on them due to too much in too small a space!

    steve - March 6, 2014 Reply

    Well said. I was about to post a similar comment. The pictures of this beautiful home show it to be comfortable, inviting even large and roomy. I find some people must criticize everything. These builders are sharing their wonderful home and obviously did a lot of planning. I am pretty sure they didn’t want a couch and crowded shelves. What I really liked was how different this home is from of the tiny houses we see here.

    Ann - March 6, 2014 Reply

    Hi, I agree with you and steve, I was so in “awe” over the coolness of the pictures that I forgot to mention some things and you both hit the nail right on the head and wrote the words floating around in my head. I hope to some day be able to build a place as nice.

Bob Ratcliff - March 5, 2014 Reply

Impeccable taste! To think you got this much home out of 120 sf has me blown away while you attained such practical storage solutions that’s both easy to use yet looks great. The best part about your learning from the ground up experience is there’s no doubt you’ll be happily married forever. You guys are a REAL example:) Those who work TOGETHER stay together…….. (this game from one who’s been married to the greatest wife for 31 years)

Joy - March 5, 2014 Reply

It looks great! Best wishes for your future plans!

Deb Durham - March 5, 2014 Reply

Darling, darling darling! And so inspiring that you did it with no previous experience. Bravo!

Deb Durham - March 5, 2014 Reply

P.S. Is it really only 120 sq feet? Looks much larger

Annette - March 5, 2014 Reply

Great Job! How satisfying it must be to build such a cute and useful space. Love the well-organized galley kitchen. Good luck ahead.

Wendy - March 5, 2014 Reply

A rolling futon (thick pad that rolls up like a sleeping bag) would be an easy answer to the problem of occasional sleeping down below- or the random guest. They are very comfortable, and roll-up and tie for storage, so don’t take up much space. Easily stowed in a corner or storage area. I agree with everyone on the “style” of this house- it is so bright and cheery. Congratulations on a great job!

Mary D. - March 5, 2014 Reply

Now this is more like it!! Built with as much recycled materials as possible and for a cost that is far more reasonable and true to the spirit of these tiny homes. GOOD JOB!!

Mary Miranda - March 5, 2014 Reply

Absolutely beautiful, I love it. Good taste, well distributed and decorated; inspiring story, one of my favorites! You kept it simple and functional. Looks like sometime I can have one tiny house too here in the mountains of Puerto Rico. Wishing you the best!

Sorry, my blog is in spanish. I just change my website to a blog and will start using it as soon as possible.

BECKY - March 5, 2014 Reply

Love it!!! 🙂

Shelley Noble - March 5, 2014 Reply

It’s beautiful in every way. Congratulations on a job well done.

I’d like to stay in touch with your plans but don’t go to FB. Newsletter sign-up.

Najja Foluke - March 5, 2014 Reply

You gotta love it! And, besides having no previous building experience, makes it all more lovable and inspirational to others who may want to do the same. It goes to show that there must be some truth to the saying, “You can do anything if you just put your mind to it.” Thanks for sharing.

Anne - March 5, 2014 Reply

Very nicely done. Certainly doesn’t look like a first attempt 😉

Otessa Regina Compton - March 5, 2014 Reply

Highly impressive!!! Alex, please urge your community of people that you know, to make these homes for the handicapped and disabled folks; I am not one of these people, but please use your influence these home MUST be built. Also, for a family with children. PLEASE USE YOUR INFLUENCE, HOMES SUCH AS THESE MUST AND SHOULD BE BUILT!!!!

Anne - March 5, 2014 Reply


Lyd - March 5, 2014 Reply

Wow! Its so beautiful. How in the heck did you get the price that low? Can you do another post to talk about how you managed that? It would be great to learn from.

Queen - March 6, 2014 Reply

How is the composting toilet on a daily basis? Does it hold up like you thought it would, or do you wish you had selected some different mode of dealing with sewage material?

Ann - March 6, 2014 Reply

Just beautiful. Good job, it came out really nice.

Br. Curt Beardsley - March 6, 2014 Reply

What a beautiful dream come true! I hope, one day, to have the joy and satisfaction of building my own tiny and beautiful home. I will definitely friend you on FB and follow your progress. We definitely need tiny home developments. I’d like to see 20 acres with large community veggie plots and outbuildings for chickens, goats and, possibly, aquaculture.

Valerie R. - March 6, 2014 Reply

Outstanding ? Love it ! Best wishes.

curt - March 6, 2014 Reply

nice! The loft looks appealing to me with the nice big window looks so comfortable. A window that size you could escape out of in case of fire. I think the white ceiling also really helps the loft seem not as oppressive as some of the other designs with wood pineboard ceilings . noticed the electric outlet next to compost toilet is a electric one in the future planed?
The exhaust fan in the bathroom important glad you did it- moisture in small house during the winter just safer. Ikea cabinets- do you need to heat the house?

David Remus - March 7, 2014 Reply

Very nice job! Recycling rocks, thanks.


Priscilla Carbone - May 23, 2017 Reply


Did you already have the appliances, or did you find them at a deep discount?

Also, how can I find a suitable house plan for the climate and terrain in Puerto Rico? Would yo ube anle to send me some resource materials on how to go about the process in that location?


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