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Couple Build and Live in Tiny House for Less than $20k

See how this married couple, Peter and Shannon, built their own tiny house for less than $20,000 and how they are living simply in it.

This is one of the most amazing tiny homes I’ve ever seen. I think you’ll be really impressed once you see what it’s like inside.

Inside this little cottage on wheels you’ll find everything you want from home… A 28″ flat screen TV, washer/dryer, kitchen with large sink, staircase to the loft, and lots of windows and natural light throughout. All for under $20k.

Great work Peter, Shannon, Peter’s Dad, (and their friends, family, and building team). This is yet another amazing example of what you can do with your own custom tiny house project with enough dedication and good old fashion hard work. Please enjoy the photos, video and re-share with your friends below. Thanks!

Related: This Couple is Now Living Tiny with a Baby!

Couple Build and Live in Tiny House for Less than $20k


Images © Peter and Shannon/TinyLike.us

























Images © Peter and Shannon/TinyLike.us

Video: Shannon & Peter’s $20k Tiny House

Learn more: http://www.tinylike.us/


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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!

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{ 59 comments… add one }
  • Bev May 15, 2015, 7:58 am

    Thank you for sharing your first home! Smart living just starting out, and building your family is so very special. Congratulations on your baby and wishing you every happiness. You built a very smart and comfortable home for yourselves.

  • Holly Morrison May 15, 2015, 8:38 am

    This is such a well planned space. I love all of the storage. I am wondering, however, how baby is going to fit in… It’s especially impressive that they managed a full bath and clothes washer. Well done!

  • Alex May 15, 2015, 8:38 am

    One of the most creative, unique and thoughtful tiny houses I’ve seen in a while. They did an amazing job, didn’t they?

  • David B May 15, 2015, 9:18 am

    LOVE the house and the design. Refreshing to see someone put so much extra thought into storage, loft access, etc. Many designs just seem to cut this stuff out and, as a result, seem a lot less “livable”. I wonder how they will adjust with a baby on the way. That will bring on a whole new set of “stuff” they have to fit in there. Maybe they will add on a “tiny nursery”?!

  • Resa May 15, 2015, 9:29 am

    I love the creative use of space, especially for storage. I love all tiny houses and can see wonderful things in almost all of them, but the two most common shortcomings that I note are the abysmal lack of storage for clothing and the lack of a real seating area for relaxing and visiting with friends. I think that those two things are the ones that most commonly cause people who give up when trying to go tiny. No doubt most of us could easily do with far less than we own, but a life with almost no possessions is not for everyone. This is going on my list of favorites.

  • JC May 15, 2015, 9:41 am

    I think Shannon and Peter are geniuses! This is such an incredible design. They really built themselves a beautiful home and they have everything you’d need in a comfortable home. What I especially like about their home is that although they don’t have extra “stuff”, they aren’t living a bare-bones minimalistic lifestyle either, which I think can be hard for some people. Love the staircase, washer/dryer and full-sized tub. And, like Peter, I would want a comfy living area to relax in and they really nailed it with this design. So great to live mortgage free in a beautiful house in pricey Seattle!

  • jAN May 15, 2015, 9:45 am


    • Tracy May 15, 2015, 11:51 am

      Sorry I clicked “report comment” when I meant to just reply to this comment. Another couple, Shaye and Tom of diyhousebuilding.com, put their baby in the loft space of their tiny house in a bassinet on the floor. I’m having a baby soon, so I asked her what it was and she said it was called a “cane bassinet.” In the U.S., we call them wicker bassinets. They are not used much anymore here, but you can find a few on Craigslist. If you find one that has a detachable basket, you could do what they did and put this on the floor of the loft next to mom. I found that what is more common on Craigslist and could serve the same purpose is cradles that are on stands. If you find one where the top part of the cradle detaches from the stand, you can put this top part on the floor, just like Shaye and Tom did with their cane bassinet. Once the baby outgrows the bassinet, there are portable or “mini” cribs, some of which fold up, that you could put in the living space downstairs. I’m sure that this creative couple will come up with good solutions. But I agree that it helps to have a bit of extra space for baby stuff. Having a little storage shed outside could help.

      • jAN May 15, 2015, 1:20 pm


    • Kim May 15, 2015, 1:19 pm

      Honestly people really do not need all the things listed. A simple small bed such as a pack n-play would meet most of the babies needs until they are almost 3 years old. I never had walkers, swings, high chairs and that STUFF that everyone seems to think a baby needs. A place for the child to sleep that can be folded down during the day is simple. No need for a highchair as the baby could sit on their lap or a simple tied on chair on a regular chair works wonders. Ok they walk a lot so a simple umbrella stroller would be great and that can be kept in the car. They already have a bath, that is all I every used and the pail could go in the bath until it is needed. Since they have a washer and dryer a baby does not NEED a ton of clothes either. Having a young child would be simple in this well laid out home.

    • JanneZack May 16, 2015, 7:11 pm

      Babies are tiny, but if we let their things get out of control, then a lot of space is required. I can see them putting the baby (infant 0-6mos) in a bassinet beside their bed in the loft, but once the baby gets to crawling around, or outgrows the bassinet, I see them doing something else downstairs. The only think I’d miss in a tiny house with a baby would be a swing. They take up a huge amount of room, but in a tiny house, that would be impossible, maybe they could rig a natural swing from the rafters and hook it out of the way when not in use.

      Babies really don’t need all that we buy for them, they will never miss the things. I think this will be a fabulous adventure for them.

  • SusieM May 15, 2015, 9:51 am

    Congratulations on your tiny home and your coming baby! What a wonderful start you two have in life now.
    Great decision to gable the roof in the other direction – this is only the 2nd THOW that I’ve seen done this way and it certainly opens up so much more space. Love your storage block in the kitchen and that you have a tub in the bathroom – s0 important with a little one on the way – plus I just love to soak -lol – I agree – a comfortable sitting area is vital for a comfortable home.


  • Jay May 15, 2015, 10:14 am

    That has to be one of , if not the most, well planned tiny houses I have ever seen. Good luck and best wishes for your famiy.

  • Mardee May 15, 2015, 10:18 am

    I really like this one…enough space and storage…

  • Connie Murray May 15, 2015, 10:40 am

    Love your tiny house but with a new baby you will need to make a whole lot of changes. Where will baby sleep? My two children slept in a crib because I was worried they might be smooshed by either my husband or myself while asleep! Didn’t want to take any chances with my babies! And tiny babies quickly become active toddlers who are into EVERYTHING! Just some things to think about. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

  • Kara M. May 15, 2015, 10:44 am

    LOVE the layout and the fact that they have a “normal” number of possessions, and place to put them all. They may want to consider temporarily flipping living room and bedroom once the baby comes — installing a murphy bed in the living room and putting on-the-floor seating upstairs, perhaps? I have four kids (and have co-slept with and breastfed all of them) and the idea of a baby rolling down those stairs, or falling over the railing once old enough to stand, gives me the willies. But with all of the great ideas they’ve had so far I’m sure they’ll come up with some great ones to accommodate the newest member of their family. Congratulations!!

  • Karen R May 15, 2015, 10:51 am

    I am SO impressed! I agree with Resa that so many Tiny Houses lack seating and storage, but not this one. Jan, I lived in a three story home when my last baby was born, and she had only a crib (can get fold up models) and, when she was a little older, a high chair which folded up. The umbrella stroller was in the car. Baths were in the kitchen sink (I bleach EVERYTHING) and then the tub, diapers were disposable as cloth caused a raging rash and are no more environmentally friendly (she never used more than half a dozen disposables in a day). No walker or playpen, so our girls crawled early and walked before they were 10 months old.
    We simplified even back then!
    Now there will eventually have to be a baby room . . .I see a pop-up roof and a second loft in this clever couple’s future . . .

    • Debra VS May 15, 2015, 11:39 am

      Karen R, thanks for telling people how easy it is to keep the baby items to a minimum. Seriously, if you’re living tiny and as clever as these two are, you’ll (THEY’ll) figure it out. Bassinette/basket in the loft when the baby’s very small, and then, since the table folds down, a crib and small dresser with a changing mat on top in the living room is my guess.

  • Cindy May 15, 2015, 10:52 am

    Congratulations on your home and baby! This home is impressive, and very well done. A tub, washer and dryer, all the strategically placed storage. You thought of everything. Best wishes and blessings to you and yours!

  • Jane Ferguson May 15, 2015, 10:59 am

    Are you in BC Canada? I see the Queen of Capillion sail by in your video. I live in Bowen Island, BC

  • Diana May 15, 2015, 11:05 am

    I love it! So well thought out and just very unique. Really everything you would want in a tiny home. I was wondering what the dimensions are. Great job!

  • Peter May 15, 2015, 11:09 am

    Hey guys. Thanks for all the compliments on the design and use of space. It has been working really well for us. I see lots of comments about where the baby and its stuff will go. Right now we are optimistic that we can make it work. We have a little box for it to sleep in that fits in the loft that will work while the baby is small. After that we will have to get creative. We figure a pack-n-play can unfold when needed in the living room. We have room under the floor for baby stuff as well as an empty cabinet and empty baskets, all reserved for baby stuff. Other than that we plan to be fairly minimal about what we bring into the house for the baby. If we have to adjust, we will. Sounds like we might need to make a video update in a few months when we are living with the baby :)

    • dea May 16, 2015, 2:27 pm

      Love it!, its different and you’re a family…fantastic…many blessings to you, there’s so much more to enjoy! all of it, no kidding the closeness and creativity oh, you seem so happy already, just blooming. I grew up an old air stream when family hit hard times lol, those were my favorite, probably because everything was more focused and intentional…and baby things? there’s way too much on the market (fun to look at but ugh, right) baby’s best toys, fingers n toes! ok, mine like pots’n pans too ha.. I think we are looking forward to your updates, because you two are so real and true in your design and space use..not too much not to little…kudos

  • Shelmadene Owens May 15, 2015, 11:51 am

    This has got to be my favorite one yet I wonder if there’s a company that could build some of these to sell..I don’t think My husband or I could do a build he’s on disability cause of cancer and whenever he does anything it wears him out just can’t do the work anymore. This is my dream tiny house best one yet excellent job Peter and Shannon….

  • JC May 15, 2015, 12:09 pm

    This is a very nice tiny house. I love the staircase to the loft. A lot of people, including myself, that are interested in tiny house living are retirement age. Climbing a ladder to a loft is not only dangerous, but many older people aren’t able to do this. Incorporating a staircase with storage solves this problem. This way you can keep your tiny house into old age.

  • Lebron Burton May 15, 2015, 12:52 pm

    Just want to congratulate you two on a FANTASTIC design. Among the best I have seen. It’s like the tent in Harry Potter. From the outside very unassuming but when you enter it’s a whole different animal. So many well thought out nocks and crannys. You’ve got everything so adding a baby should be a cake walk for you guys. Way to go!

  • Tina H May 15, 2015, 1:41 pm

    Excellent use of space. I like your trailer pick and kitchen design . The bathroom door glass and full bath room are major plus A+ . Congratulations on your new little one. I am sure He or she will be very happy being close to mom & dad.

  • Kim May 15, 2015, 1:43 pm

    I would be a small cantilevered area on the back of the house, similar to a bay window, could work perfect for a child’s room when the time comes the baby needs a bed of their own. I think it would be a magical place for a child to sleep with a little curtain across the opening for privacy.

  • Tim May 15, 2015, 1:45 pm

    Beautiful tiny Home !! I really like the way that you created a full size bath in such a small space. Also like the washer and dryer. I do not like carting stuff to the laundrymat. As I get older, I really, really like the staircase instead of the ladder. Great job and God Bless!!

  • Gail K Dolly May 15, 2015, 1:55 pm

    What can I say that hasn’t already been said by all the other folks? This is a tiny, perfect gem of a tiny house. Down the road y’all may decide to build another tiny house that is land-based and keep the original TH for road trip vacations. Whatever you choose to do you will be able to incorporate all of the ingenious (to say nothing of pretty and attractive) solutions into whatever you build, only on a somewhat larger scale.

    Your attention to detail and also the serenity of your home and the very attractive way you have set it up just blows me away! I think that living and working together during the construction of this TH (and also the “manufacturing” of a baby) shows that you both are the very best this country has to offer! I am so impressed with your attitude and your planning ability … you both are the BEST!

  • Rue May 15, 2015, 7:02 pm

    Wonderfully efficient use of space. Dishes stored above where they’re washed. Clothes stored next to where they’re washed, with a mirror for dressing in the bathroom door. TV above the desk could be used as an external monitor for a laptop.

    Plus…stairs, a real couch, and a tub!

    What impresses me even more, though, is that they did all this with no prior construction experience, even if they did have help from handy friends. That’s just amazing.

  • Steve May 15, 2015, 10:33 pm

    Oh wow! Incredible! What an remarkable husband and wife team. Sorry but I get so tired of looking at unrealistic tiny house designs where form came before function. Or trust babies who build a tiny house for a vanity project, that they never intend to live in. I know I’m belly aching but really it becomes monotonous. However, these folks are the real deal. They are living out their dream, they did it, and it’s incredible, probably one of the most effective little house floor plans I have seen. You can tell the posers from the real deal because the real deal has stuff in their homes that you got to have to exist. We should know, we have been living small for 10 years now with 4 children.

    Peter and Shannon you have done something great. Don’t listen to the nay-sayers about not being able to raise a child in your existing environment. Nothing is farther from the truth, mere arm chair philosophers with excuses for not doing what you have done.

    We went from 2600 square feet to 270 square feet when we downsized, the 4 kids ages 1, 4, 6 & 7 respectively. The kids kept growing as kids will do. So we built a 520 square foot home, and they kept growing so we built a 650 square foot home. When we down sized absolutely everyone thought we were crazy, we were living little, when little wasn’t cool.

    Additionally we built 4 small businesses that we operate without employees, only our family. It has been a hoot! Best thing we ever did, debt free and loving every day of it.

  • Dr. Lyman Shaw May 16, 2015, 8:37 am

    Great design and an awesome commitment to this lifestyle…Kudos..!! The continual question(s) I have is where and how do you deal with incoming drinking water, waste water disposal, and heating cooling demands. These issues are poorly covered in all presentations I have viewed, and only rarely is a glance at a wall heating / cooling unit, or pellet stove afforded…I live in Indiana, but you would be surprised at how many sub zero days we get here. Outside pipe exposure would be, I would think, a daunting task in the winter..

    What kind of resources do you or any one have for these two cold/hot weather issues..?

  • Dr. Lyman Shaw May 16, 2015, 8:38 am

    Finishing this submission, thanks

  • Kathy Fatheree May 16, 2015, 4:35 pm

    For me, this is one of the best house designs I have seen. They won’t be able to stay in it long once the baby arrives but if they incorporate some of the same design a little bit larger home should work out fine.

    • terri May 30, 2015, 11:50 am

      Why in the world would having their baby dictate whether or not they could stay in their home? What a ridiculous idea/assumption. If you read the other comments, many of them contain ideas for what/how to fit the baby into the TINY HOUSE LIFESTYLE. They are a very intelligent/resourceful couple that are extremely committed to making it all work for them, and I think they will continue to do so. They will probably surprise us with their ingenuity. You might enjoy seeing the youtube video about Alysha St. Germain who lives in a TH with two young children, maybe ages 3 and 5. Her husband passed away and she designed and built her TH for her growing little family. She is an inspiration to many of us, just as Pete and Shannon are.

  • Catherine Wilson May 16, 2015, 5:58 pm

    Super design! Thanks for posting it!
    Can’t fine your homes dimensions. Could you post that too?
    (Couldn’t see it on your blog either)

  • Catherine Wilson May 16, 2015, 6:02 pm

    Oops! just found the answer to my question in these comments!!!
    As a second comment; I think the “split level” design is another space extender for tiny houses.

  • lisa Cuddy May 27, 2015, 11:09 pm

    Not only was the house incredible with their thoughtful storage and vintage sink, this was without a doubt the BEST video of a tiny house I’ve seen (and I’ve seen a lot!). Thank you so much for your well made house and video and blessings to you for you baby.

  • Robbin Garza June 2, 2015, 10:59 pm

    I really love this tiny house. Many times I see pictures of a tiny house that no one lives in yet. This example shows how people function in a tiny house. Everyone has to have some stuff just not a lot.

    • Lisa E. June 13, 2015, 4:24 pm

      I agree. Seeing a THOW up, running and functional with people actually living in it gives us a unique view into the end game of our hopes and dreams. I think this couple have put a lot of good thought and planning into their THOW and it shows. There are several ideas here I’ve made mental notes to myself about so when it’s time for my build, I will have put in the thought and planning also. Thank you for sharing your wonderful home with us; it was a very rewarding experience.

  • carolyn G. June 10, 2015, 5:10 pm

    The tiny house is just beautiful,I Love It !!! Thanks so much for sharing.
    BUT… PLease let us know about the baby and how you make it work because it’s quite obvious the two of you will make it work and it’ll be great!!! Congrats to all of you.God Bless your little one. Love to all…..

  • Harold Surguine June 12, 2015, 11:47 am

    Lovely Tiny House. You are inspiring! Thanks for the enthusiasm!

  • Brian June 13, 2015, 5:11 pm

    Hi Alex. I want to thank you for a previously wonderful newsletter which I looked forward to every day and I believe was a great success due to its interesting format and presentation. As a subscriber it was interactive and allowed everyone to contribute their thoughts and ideas if they so wished. As you have now removed all the facinating reader comments I find it no longer has the same magic as the original format. I am unsubscribing to the newsletter as of today and I wish you every success in the future. Should you reinstate the reader comments let me know as I would resubscribe in a heartbeat. Thanks for sharing and cheers from Australia.

    • Kathleen-Florida December 9, 2015, 1:18 pm

      Alex. I have just re-visited this blog post from May and then went to Peter and Shannon’s blog for an update. I wondered if anyone else who may be following the comments ALSO wanted to see pics of the baby and how they are managing the ‘stuff ‘. So I am posting their link. I hope that is OK :o) http://www.tinylike.us/

  • Lynnette June 13, 2015, 7:00 pm

    I can’t tell you how much I love this story. It’s just a down home American story and a dream of such a lovely young couple. They TRULY maximized every bit of space on the home without looking too crowded or junked up. Now when the baby comes, mmmmmmm…definitely going to be challenging especially when the little stinker starts walking etc. They may need an addition lol Congratulations little family. Dream big ♡♡♡

  • Trish June 13, 2015, 7:38 pm

    I love the interior of this tiny home, but would like to know if there is any relaxing space. All I see is a counter with two stools. Is there space for comfortable chairs or maybe a love seat?

  • Shelby Solski June 13, 2015, 8:01 pm

    LOL Brian there back – I mean they had to be there since you left one right??

    ANYHOW — amazing absolutely amazing. It seems smaller then most tiny houses on wheels — I pictured it as a neat camping house that you could move from campsite to campsite – though my understanding it tiny houses such are these are not really designed for frequent moves.

  • Cynthia June 14, 2015, 10:00 am

    This is my favorite so far. Lots of storage. Steps instead of a ladder and all the appliances needed to live comfortably.

  • Alisa Carter June 21, 2015, 11:32 pm

    I love this! I like the layout and all the storage. And I like that you showed the family living in the space. I am so glad they shared their space!

  • Marsha Cowan June 30, 2015, 10:58 am

    Great, great, great house! Everybody has said what I would have said already–great comments, by the way–so I will just add that I always used a baby swing that hung in the doorway so I could move the baby to whatever room I was working at the time. I could move past the baby if
    I needed to, and as they grew, it served as a walker because they would “walk” as far as they could, then bounce back. It was a riot! Anyway, perhaps a swing could hang from the ceiling or doorway somewhere, or just not have one at all except in the yard. We had a porch swing, too, that would hold a baby on one end and an adult or two on the other, so
    I laid my babies on a pillow and rocked them to sleep on that swing while I sewed, or wrote letters (before iPad and smartphone days), or paid bills, or read a good book. It was great…but I digress…babies do not have to have all the ammenities that our society makes us think they do. Why not have a “future fund” basket set up for baby and people can donate to this fund at the baby shower with funny cards filled with donations. They don’t have to pick out your baby things for you; you can take the funds and buy what you know will work for you in your space. Just a thought…

    • Sondra July 15, 2015, 4:19 pm

      Brilliant idea Marsha on the In-Door baby swing, I used one of those 20+ years ago when my kids were little too. Maybe be creative P&S on using it as a swing and highchair, they are sitting and you have their full attention haha. There is nothing more to add to these comments other than I watched your video, read your entire blog and looked at all your pics, you my friends by far have the most incredible ideas and suggestions and the most information to share, Love it all !!

  • Bluesgirl December 13, 2015, 2:29 pm

    Wow, What a nice space you have.
    Less is better from what I’ve seen in your tiny house.
    You have every comfort a person would need and then some.
    Maybe some day, I would like for every single homeless person have a secure and safe tiny house to call home….that is my wish.

  • Theo December 14, 2015, 5:07 pm

    The steps to the kitchen are cute. And an accident just waiting to happen. And yet another loft.

    I’d have found an older travel trailer on craigslist, for around $2k, or even less. Most I have seen are in decent condition, and could pretty much be used as is. I’d gut one, and refurbish it. It’s been done, and is usually quite economical, with pleasing results – and no steenkin’ lofts.

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