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5+ Years Living in a 160 Sq. Ft. Tiny House w/ DIY Electric Cars Too

I thought you’d also enjoy this DIY tiny house project. It involves a really inventive man who went from 2000 sq. ft. to a 160 sq. ft. micro home.

The owner/builder has been living in it for more than 5 years now. The micro home is very energy efficient and was very inexpensive to build.

He built it with the help of his brother. They designed and built it all themselves using mostly reclaimed materials.

5+ Years Living Tiny with DIY EVs Too!

5+ Years Living in Tiny House and DIY Electric Vehicles

Photo Credit M.Barkley/Flickr

And by the way, the two vehicles you see above on the right have been converted into electric power.

This is one really interesting/inspiring guy… Not just a tiny house… But DIY electric cars, too.

I encourage you to enjoy the rest of this tiny house tour below:

LED Christmas tree lights are used 90% of the time which only consume less than 15watts. He got them on sale after Christmas for 1/2 off. The photo below was taken without flash and while it was pitch dark outside.

5+ Years Living in Tiny House and DIY Electric Vehicles

Photo Credit M.Barkley/Flickr

So this is what a tiny house might look like when it’s lived in full time. Here’s the living room with better lighting during the day:

5+ Years Living in Tiny House and DIY Electric Vehicles

Photo Credit M.Barkley/Flickr

And the bedroom is simply over to the left as you can see by the door.

So let’s turn around and take a look at the other side of the house where the bathroom, kitchen and dining areas are located:

5+ Years Living in Tiny House and DIY Electric Vehicles

Photo Credit M.Barkley/Flickr

The bathroom is behind the curtain above which you can obviously open and close for privacy/separation when you’re eating.

Below you can see what it’s like with the curtain open:

5+ Years Living in Tiny House and DIY Electric Vehicles

Photo Credit: M.Barkley/Flickr

The shower is just to the right of the toilet in the bathroom (see below):

5+ Years Living in Tiny House and DIY Electric Vehicles

Photo Credit: M.Barkley/Flickr

And later, he added a Texas-sized outhouse with rainwater collection, solar water heating, a washer/dryer, bathtub, utility sink, urinal, and composting toilet.

5+ Years Living in Tiny House and DIY Electric Vehicles

Photo Credit: M.Barkley/Flickr

5+ Years Living in Tiny House and DIY Electric Vehicles

Photo Credit: M.Barkley/Flickr

Vented composting toilet with urine diverter installed.

5+ Years Living in Tiny House and DIY Electric Vehicles

Photo Credit: M.Barkley/Flickr

5+ Years Living in Tiny House and DIY Electric Vehicles

Photo Credit: M.Barkley/Flickr

And how can I forget.. It even has a 42″ plasma TV that was purchased for less than $20 so he can be entertained while doing laundry, etc. in the outhouse.

5+ Years Living in Tiny House and DIY Electric Vehicles

Photo Credit: M.Barkley/Flickr

I’m sure the owner/builder of this micro-homestead has now changed quite a bit of his tiny house partly thanks to the addition of the outhouse so stay tuned in the future for a possible update!


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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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{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Clyde Jenkins
    January 9, 2014, 12:39 pm

    I admire the resourcefulness of this owner. The house appears to a be a total man cave, so might not appeal to a woman. I wonder, though, about creeping expansion for small house dwellers. This fellow has added an outhouse (with lots of great features). What’s next? A workshop? Guest mini-house? How many square feet are truly sufficient?

    • Mike
      January 10, 2014, 7:38 am

      Clyde, Good question. When I originally moved into the microhouse, my plans were to purchase an acre of land close to work, then permanently affix the microhouse onto the property, and expand my “Off Grid” experiments. It just took me longer than expected to finally find the land in question. I will be moving the microhouse onto the property this spring/summer, build a wraparound porch onto it, and remove the wheels/axles, bolting it to concrete runners. The “Texas Sized Outhouse” is to experiment with composting, and gray (grey) water processing for use on the property, along with solar water heat & rainwater collection for washing clothes/bathing etc. I did build a workshop/storage building as I do like to tinker with various projects and want to keep them out of the microhouse. I’m also in the process of recycling half of an old mobile home base (came with the property) by building on it, a small electronics/pc repair center, where I can work from home and somewhat retire. But for day to day living/needs – the microhouse is more than enough space for myself and Pj the cat. I’d much rather during the waking hours be up and outside doing something productive if possible, so it’s not like I’m cooped up in the house 24/7 like a prison. I’m kept quite busy, especially now trying to get the property ready for the move this spring. Once there, gardening, hydroponics, wind farm, solar trees, gasifier, free range chickens, goats to maintain grass, etc. are all projects on the books……… Each and everyone of them, getting me one step closer to no longer needing a 9 to 5 job to pay bills and live. I’m at the age, that I feel there has to be more to life then spending the majority of it working for someone else’s gain, and not your own. Going off the grid, lowering my living costs, carbon footprint, and experiencing new inventive things are enjoyable to me at least, hopefully others can take from this, and do their own thing….

      • Alex Pino
        January 10, 2014, 9:00 am

        Thanks so much Mike!

    • Alex Pino
      January 10, 2014, 9:02 am

      You gotta remember he’s hardly really in the house. He keeps busy with projects, etc.

    • January 13, 2014, 2:24 pm

      Very good question, but I’m not sure how much it really matters. I mean, the guy does answer below, buy…

      On one hand, you want to avoid lifestyle creep too much. I am guilty as the next person, but at least I live in a small 2BR house with a husband and 2 kids, a small lot, and no garage. So, we have to keep purging.

      On the other hand, what is the goal here? to be tiny just for the sake of being tiny? For some purists, I would guess so, I’ve read some comments directed towards the Tiny House Family about how they are selling out by building a “normal” sized house.

      Well, I’m not sure if it’s selling out, if living tiny wasn’t their main goal. If your goal is to live mortgage free and within your means – then, does it matter how tiny? So you live tiny when that’s what you can afford. Go bigger when you can pay cash.

      I dunno, just thinking out loud.

    • May 17, 2014, 4:05 pm

      Careful, Clyde… I was lambasted not long ago when I commented similarly on another tiny house owner. The property was beautiful and the tiny house was super, but when the camera panned around, you saw shed after shed after shed… numerous outbuldings… which ruined the scenery. A commenter responded to my post accusing me of being rude. I was not rude at all, but just commented that it would be much better without all the outbuildings destroying the scenery. Some people are touchy!

  • Beth DeRoos
    January 9, 2014, 7:13 pm

    Sorry but having toilet areas so close to where food is handled bothers me. And where are the windows, and just how much time does this man spend in this mini place?

    • Mike
      January 10, 2014, 7:48 am

      Beth, I do hear your concern, but the key is “Cleanliness” – There is in the back a VERY powerful, exhaust fan that runs 24/7 on solar energy, that I can kick into a higher voltage to distinguish any fumes if you may when needed. The curtain is actually a shower curtain, so it acts as a pretty good barrier as well. It’s actually in my mind a cleaner setup than you see in many tiny/micro houses, because it is a real commode, not one of those you have to load/unload the holding tank etc. Plus since this photo, it actually has an elaborate remote controlled bidet seat system, complete with heated water, heated seat, and hot air dryer.

    • Mike
      January 10, 2014, 7:54 am

      Beth, Sorry I forgot to comment on the other items you mentioned. The photos might not show it, but there are actually two windows on each side of the house, they serve another purpose of being emergency exits if ever were the need. The beauty of living in a small space in my opinion is it sort of inspires you to get out and do something productive during the majority of your waking hours. Instead of moping around about in a large home from room to room, etc. I get out and work on the many, many other living green projects at hand. If you were to look at the other photo sets in my Flickr account, you will see that I have LOTS of interests/projects that keep me sane….. 🙂

    • Alex Pino
      January 10, 2014, 9:01 am

      Yup you can see more photos of it here (the windows) http://www.flickr.com/photos/mbarkley/sets/72157614773321714/

    • May 17, 2014, 4:08 pm

      I have read that kitchen sinks are FAR more toxic than toilet bowls. Still, I don’t think I’ll be eating out of a toil bowl anytime soon! Yeah, I noticed the absence of window too. Maybe the owner could not afford windows. Windows are a bit part of the cost of a tiny house. Still, I think you could get some free ones on Craig’s List. I have seen free windows there several times in my area.

  • Cosy
    May 17, 2014, 5:14 pm

    Mike, I applaud your endeavors. You have many interests and your projects are very forward thinking. I really believe that truly living is living life to your satisfaction which you are doing. More power to you! We live in what has become an extremely opinionated and outspoken world where people pontificate with little regard to the feelings of others. I can tell from your responses that you take these comments for what exactly what they’re worth. Keep experimenting and inventing! We need all the help we can get. Btw, I would love to have a tv in my laundry room….

  • Stephanie Ellison
    May 17, 2014, 5:31 pm

    How many years will it be before an EV Truck like a pick-up is capable of pulling 8k-13k pounds at highway speeds. That, I would need for a DIY conversion.

  • Lebron Burton
    May 8, 2015, 12:31 pm

    Mike, I applaud your lifestyle. My wife and I are working on plans towards a tiny house existence. My wife has Multiple Sclerosis so a main floor bedroom is a must as well as clearance for mobility assistance some time in the future. Our needs will be challenging to meet in a THOW so I will likely build on a foundation at the very least limit of codes for the area. Hopefully less than 300 sqft. My passion lies in building things from reclaimed materials as well as tear drop campers, so a large shop is a big desire for me. Probably 700-1000 soft. Clyde, is that to much to be considered a tiny space? I think not.

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