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Young Lady Builds Tiny House for $10k in 10 Months

Cherie built her tiny house on wheels in North Carolina for about $10,000 in only 10 months and she did it without the help of a builder.


Her tiny home has a solar panel, rain gutters for water collection, and is built right onto an 8×16 trailer so she can legally tow it and move it if she wanted to.

Cherie has a 12V LED porch light on the covered front porch. When you go inside you’ll see she has a kitchen, bathroom, living area, closet, and upstairs sleeping loft.

She built her tiny house on a 8×16 trailer. It has a custom built 2′ wide screen door she created with a decorative sun on it (see below). Cherie also created her own door mat from rope which you can see in the video below. And she even harvests her own spring water from a nearby spring whose water originates underground.

Young Woman’s $10k Tiny House on Wheels

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Video Tour of Cherie’s DIY Tiny House on Wheels

Our big thanks to Cherie for sharing her inspiring DIY tiny house video story with us!

If you enjoyed Cherie’s tiny house story you’ll absolutely LOVE our free daily tiny house newsletter with even more! Thank you!

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Alex

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!




{ 38 comments… add one }
  • dave October 27, 2014, 6:39 pm

    Nice to see a tiny house that uses basic gravity fed plumbing, and doesn’t cost a bajillion and a half dollars. I hope she gets many happy years use out of it.

  • Ruth Ruddock October 27, 2014, 8:07 pm

    I admire anyone building their own tiny house, but this young woman has done a great job on this structure. My only other comment is that the video is so dark that I could bearly see what was being shown….perhaps it is my computer? Not sure.
    Congratulations on a nice job!

    • Harmony Kieding October 18, 2015, 10:29 am

      Yes, Ruth, I agree about the video being so dark I could hardly see what was going on. I really think the video should be re-done, because what I could make out of the woman’s work on her tiny house showed that it was really well thought out. It would be nice to actually SEE it! Congratulations to her!

  • Joe October 27, 2014, 9:55 pm

    It looks like a great place to live and a deffinate insperation to anyone thinking about building a TH of their own. The only thing I would add would be a propane demand water heater and 12 volt pump oh one more thing I’m 6ft.3in and 200 pounds that wash tub… not happening. I congradulate and admire this young lady for her drive and skill.

  • Nabila October 28, 2014, 2:20 pm

    I love her tiny house and I absolutely applaud her for building it so simple and so affordable. Sometimes it can get discouraging seeing this very beautiful but very expensive $20,000 – $60,000 tiny homes that are out of my reach for now. I’m so glad she chose to share her house with everyone and like dave I hope she gets many happy years in her home.

    • sc October 30, 2014, 5:08 pm

      “….very expensive $20,000 – $60,000 tiny homes”
      I disagree! 20k for a HOUSE, even a tiny house is NOT “very expensive”, its a bargain, especially if its well designed and well built. the same with 30-40k. Sure 41k-60k starts getting expensive, but it may hold its worth, depending on the quality of the build and the materials.

  • Renee October 28, 2014, 8:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing your tiny home. I fill more encouraged now knowing that someone was able to build tiny house for $10,000. I have the same budget. I am zlso going to be living off the grid too. I am hoping it wont take me a year to build my tiny house. My shell will be built my a subcontractor. The cost for labor will be $1,500. The interior will all be done by me and my professional free labor friends.

  • gar October 29, 2014, 11:55 am

    I’m much more impressed with stories of people building their own for a realistic cost than how a new company has just started into the business and pictures of their new $50k model.

  • Marsha Cowan October 29, 2014, 11:54 pm

    Wow! Cherie, you did a fabulous job and seem to have thought of everything! I like the water system. Do you think that an RV filter would clean up the water in the barrell enough to be able to use for bathing or cleaning? Seems ashamed not to be able to use it for at least that much so you would not have to haul up so much from the well. Just a thought. I really am impressed by everything. You obviously put a lot of thought and planning into it. Enjoy!

    • Michael December 4, 2014, 3:22 pm

      A Berkey water filter could be used to make rainwater and water from the stream drinkable and safe. They come in many sizes. They also sell filters without the containers so you could make your own water container for less money and just buy filters when needed.

      Most big cities collect water and put them through filters. Then that water is pumped through old pipes that have cracks and all sorts of debris inside them. It might be safer to filter water for yourself.

      • Lisa E. December 22, 2014, 5:31 pm

        Thank you for this information, Michael. Very helpful. Thanks, again.

  • Shawna October 30, 2014, 9:13 am

    The filming is too dark. I can’t see anything she is referring to until she goes up to the loft. Please re-film and post again. I would like to see the interior.

  • Cyndi Ann December 22, 2014, 3:35 pm

    Here’s a young lady that I admire in her determination to find her own space and to adapt to living of grid, well done Cherie. It’s really a neat tiny home.

  • Lisa E. December 22, 2014, 5:33 pm

    Yes, kudos, Cherie. It’s great to see a woman go after what she wants, build it herself and be successful at it. It was a big project but you brought it home. Great job!

  • Pam D. December 22, 2014, 10:38 pm

    Nice job! Great to see a totally self/sufficient Tiny Home. That’s what I want!

  • Gary J. December 23, 2014, 5:07 pm

    You are so right, Pam D. She did a very nice job, one she can be proud of, and the ‘OTG living’, I envy you and you have inspired me to hurry up and finish my t h. Thanks!!

  • Liz January 8, 2015, 11:14 am

    This video is so dark it’s almost impossible to see what she’s got. I don’t think you need an 8 minute video as it seems most talk way too much.

    • alm October 17, 2015, 2:13 pm

      you nay sayers, about the quality of the video, suck!! And not even one nice word about how adventurous or ingenious this young woman is to take on a project like this. Take your parents old time advice, “you have can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”. Great job Cherie! I would be more than proud if one of my daughters built a tiny house, of this quality, for herself to live in!

  • di January 12, 2015, 12:24 pm

    Love the simple off-grid ideas. The hidden commode and shower tub are great space-saving ideas. Camping shower bags can also be used to wash dishes. They’re about $30 online.

    Pull-out baskets beneath a bench may provide easier access to needed items. A simple bench on legs with lower adjustable shelving works well. Baskets are easy to carry around when cleaning up or when going to the laundry mat, etc. To sort through a basket, place it on top of a piece of furniture or counter top.

    This place seems to suit her needs. Enjoyed the quilting!

  • Karen R February 2, 2015, 6:29 pm

    As they say in the south, “Well, bless her heart”! She is quite an inspiration!

  • Edana February 2, 2015, 8:31 pm

    Cherie… I’m envious! Love your cozy place. Good for you.

  • Dennis Reynolds February 3, 2015, 7:32 am

    Cherie, first I want to say WELL DONE ! You did a great job ! Please don’t think I’m criticizing in any way, but I have few suggestions to make. To make things easier on yourself, get rid of the little cook stove you have and get a propane one. That way you only have to have 1 type of fuel for your heating and cooking. It just simplifies things in my opinion. Another thing, if you just set your water container from the spring inside instead of transferring it to your current bottle, you can get a small “motorized” pump to put into the top of those type bottles. That may not work as well for you since it doesn’t look as pretty as your current container, but I just wanted to throw that out there. One more thing, you may not want to go to the expense of putting in a freshwater holding tank (you could still fill it with bottles from the spring) and a small H2O heater (cheap, less that $100 from “Sportsmans Guide”, it runs on propane and is a small “On Demand” unit for a shower or sink) but it will sure make life so much easier on you. You could at the very least put the solar shower bag you have in the shower outside to heat up the water so it takes less energy to heat it on your stove like you currently do. I’d LOVE to meet you and see your house in person. I’m only in VA, on Smith Mtn Lake. I intend to build my tiny house someday soon, only I want to do it on my own land instead of making it mobile. You are an incredible woman who really showed the guys up on this build ! Your house is far better built than most this size. !

  • AprilMae February 3, 2015, 12:47 pm

    What part of NC are you? I have a friend moving to Franklin with her tiny house.

  • Ed Costello February 3, 2015, 12:50 pm

    Good for you! If this is your first constructive effort then you have a good future if you choose to continue in the trades. Have fun with it all!

  • Atulya K Bingham October 17, 2015, 12:43 pm

    Oh you look so happy! Well done, what an achievement. The woodwork looks great. And you are free:)

  • pat October 17, 2015, 12:43 pm

    Sherri if u come by upper peninsula in mich get a hold of me u can park on my place its a beautifull spot tiny homes r the way great job u should be proud

  • Sharee October 17, 2015, 1:22 pm

    I appreciate that she gave us brand/model/style info for items she purchased. Seems like boat supply stores are valuable places to check out for tiny homes. Thanks.

  • ken October 17, 2015, 2:10 pm

    Very nicely done. 2 things that I would like to mention. One is that the propane heater needs to be mounted near the floor. Air stratifies and you will find that the area beneath the stove will remain cold. The other concern would be the storage bin below the “couch”. The air could condense in a cold climate creating mildew in the out of season clothing. I met sailors who had their woolens mold in their un-insulated fiberglass boat. You may not have a problem if the walls are insulated but I would keep an eye out for problems. Again, a very nice bit of work…Ken

  • Martha October 17, 2015, 3:06 pm

    I would have loved to take the tour of this house but with my declining vision and the darkness of the video, I couldn’t do it.

  • Lora D October 17, 2015, 3:12 pm

    Awesome Job!!!
    Fabulous ideas!! =)
    Thanks sooooo much for sharing your home with us!

    side note …
    In reply to those that said the video was too dark too see anything =
    Perhaps, try adjusting your laptop/monitor/tv picture quality settings.
    I simply switched off my laptop’s energy saving mode (lower brightness, to supposedly save on power consumption), and I could see the video just fine. …
    Sure, it might be high-end production quality, but it probably wasn’t meant to be all that/that was not feasible at the moment.
    Regardless, it’s not completely yucky quality, really.
    I’ve definitely seen many far worse/far darker videos than this.
    Maybe that suggestions will help your viewing it better/easier.
    IMO … It’s worth the effort to check it out. =)!

  • Dennis Reynolds October 17, 2015, 4:19 pm

    I commented back in February when I first saw this video. I wanted to throw something out there for Cherie or other tiny house builders that are near Bedford county VA. I am very experienced in building, carpentry, electrical, and plumbing. I’m disabled, but currently work part time for a camper dealership. I’m very familiar with 12 volt systems. I would LOVE to help someone with building their tiny home. Please feel free to contact me rbtpartsman at yahoo dot com if you are nearby and I can help you. I’m offering very cheap and even some free labor and advice. I just want to help out.

  • randy pullen October 17, 2015, 9:43 pm

    Excellent job young lady !!!! just wondering how many sq. ft your tiny is ?

  • D.Bobson October 17, 2015, 9:50 pm

    Wow, what a cutie pie. love the house and individualistic designs.

  • lindatolbert October 17, 2015, 10:34 pm

    great job i am going to have some tiny house lots available in white co , sparta tenn 38587,soon with water and elec hookup if needed with septic dead end cove CASHDOLLAR HOLLAR.

  • Theo October 17, 2015, 11:41 pm

    At last, one built for a halfway reasonable price. However, yet again another loft.

  • Josie October 18, 2015, 12:04 pm

    Where do you purchase a galvanized wash tub with a drain hole? I am also hoping to find something with a stopper to plug the drain. Thank you! Great video.

    • Dennis Reynolds October 18, 2015, 12:28 pm

      Josie, you buy these type tubs at farm supply stores, they have several sizes and styles, and you put your own drain plug in. You simply drill a hole and you can put in a regular sink or tub drain from your local hardware store. Your drain comes with a stopper.

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