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69 Year Old Single Woman Builds Tiny Home in 4 Years on Nights and Weekends While Working Full Time!

This is the story of Nancy Park who finished her tiny house project earlier this year. She’s a 69-year-old single woman who spent FOUR YEARS building her 24ft tiny house on wheels.

Nancy works full time as an accountant so she’s been doing it on nights and weekends after taking a workshop back in 2013. After deciding on a shed style roof, Nancy bought a 24ft trailer from Ronco Trailers in San Diego and started building the tiny house right in her garage!

She did most of the work herself besides getting help with the roof, electrical, and plumbing. It’s called the High Desert Tiny House and it’s now it’s available on Airbnb! In her own words,

“I love my tiny house.   I’ve been living in it for the past 2 weeks trouble-shooting problems before I listed it on AirBnB… and now I don’t want to move back into my house!   I’d like other older people (especially women) to know that it really is possible to do this and have FUN doing it!”

Related: How I Built My Tiny House on Nights and Weekends While Working Full Time

Nancy’s DIY High Desert Tiny House! Built in FOUR YEARS on Nights and Weekends!

Related: How She Did It


Our big thanks to Nancy Park for sharing!

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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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{ 27 comments… add one }
  • JoLene December 4, 2017, 9:55 pm

    Congratulations Nancy! You have created a beautiful home for your future guest’s. The elevated kitchen is nice and I like the refrigerator door matching the theme of your cabinet doors. I can imagine working at the desk and enjoying the view. Thank you for being an inspiration to those of us who dream of going tiny.

  • Kim Pratt December 4, 2017, 10:10 pm

    This is little is so nicely done, and I love the woodwork through out, and it matches the kitchen and bathroom. I love that the couch/slide out bed is all on one level. I can not get up and stairs or latters, and I am 60 especially if I wanted to carry a snack, or a laptop. I love the table and office chair where the laptop is sitting on. This house is nice and cozy. I also love the deck right outside the doors. The front of the fridgerator is a nice touch.

  • Cheryl Mellblom December 5, 2017, 7:42 am

    Beautiful home and the closet makes it close to perfect!

  • Karl Wheatley December 5, 2017, 1:45 pm

    I’d tweak some details based on my own tastes, but the overall layout, with the Minim-style bed sliding under the kitchen but the end of it being used as part of the couch is REALLY clever and efficient. Kudos!

  • Millie overbee December 5, 2017, 4:11 pm

    Why are you selling it …… I take that it was for sale when you said listed it on HBnB..plus the comment you “getting the bugs out before listing …”. I hope you keep it I love it it took some grit to tackle a job this size and working full time. ….I am so inspired to take a project on that was so time and money

    • Kelli Smith December 8, 2017, 6:26 pm

      Hi Millie,
      Just thought I would share with you that AirBnB is a site that allows you to list your property for short or long term lease like vacation rentals or apartment rentals. (i.e. the BnB in the name is taken from Bed ‘n Breakfast). So, she’s not selling but listing it as available for rental. 🙂

  • Carolyn Contois December 5, 2017, 4:37 pm

    You go girl!!! What an inspiration to a 62 yr old women on the brink of making career and lifestyle changes!…. thank you

  • Lyn December 5, 2017, 5:32 pm

    Gorgeous home. I can only imagine how wonderful Nancy felt when it was done.

    I’m a very active, physically fit, healthy single woman who just turned 70 in October (YAY!). A lot of us in this generation of 60- and 70-yr olds are NOT like previous ones, especially women. We can, and do, take on projects without thinking we aren’t smart or strong enough. Nancy is proof of that. You go, girl!

    I could easily live in this beautiful TH. Nancy did a first-class job. (Maybe she will end up listing her conventional home on AirB&B and move into the TH permanently?!)

  • Marsha Cowan December 5, 2017, 5:35 pm

    It’s absolutely lovely and spacious. Great job! Love the beadboard! And the clever bed design. You should live very comfortably there.

  • Carolyn Vick December 5, 2017, 6:11 pm

    OMGosh, this TH is really terrific. If I Built it I would not be able to let others live in it. Multiple kudos Nancy!!

  • Roche December 5, 2017, 6:43 pm

    Love your set up are the plans custom. Would it be possible to get a list of the vendors you used for the project. And how would one get a reservation to stay over in it?

  • Roche December 5, 2017, 6:45 pm

    LOL I see the link (for Air BNB) NOW!!! :>

  • Evening Iris December 5, 2017, 6:51 pm

    Great job! This looks fabulous! I’d live here in a red-hot NY second. I’d love to know about the land it sits on. Did she have any speed bumps with the local codes or zoning? Congratulations on your beautiful new home!

  • Dominick Bundy December 5, 2017, 7:43 pm

    What a fabulous job she has done.. Congrats to her. and two thumbs up…

  • Bob December 5, 2017, 8:41 pm

    As a 74 widowed male, my brain always wants to do something and then my elderly body kicks in and says NADA. Oh well, at least it’s wonderful to see what others in my age group can do. Just think about the ability to go wherever you want just by hitching it up to a SUV or pickup truck. Never having to “live” out of suitcases, sleeping on a “foreign” bed or dealing with the austerity of a Motel 6 or the expensive J W Marriott hotels. And, be comfortable with your surroundings 24/7 while enjoying the natural beauty of the world where you want to visit.

    Nancy has done a terrific job in the kitchen as well. Love how she has everything orderly placed for easy access. The refrigerator is charming as well as blending in with the cabinetry. Plus, just the idea of being able to change the front of the door is definitely appealing. The closet space is terrific and just right, unless one tends to have a lot of clothes though I’m thinking she has that covered.

    The pagoda looks large and probably functions as the “party” building where large groups of friends could gather. If it were possible, put a fire pit right in the middle of it and you could have a wienie roast with marshmallows and all other kinds of indoor cooking.

    • Carol February 28, 2018, 10:48 am

      Bob – I’ll be 75 in July and I’m selling my condo [horrible places those condos] and am buying 2 – 3 acres in No Florida and will build a tiny home or redo something already there. I’m in good health [although I get tired sooner than I did] but am still more energetic and capable than 50% of people half my age. So I won’t let age limit me [my Mother is 105 and still having dinner out and drinking Prosecco].

      If you really want to make a change, you can as long as health has no major limitations. And don’t listen to people around you if they try to discourage instead of encourage – it’s envy and their motives are questionable. Besides, they’re afraid you might ask them to help.

      The best to you – my faith strengthens me when I get lazy so I pray a lot.


      • Alex February 28, 2018, 12:04 pm

        God bless you, Carol! You are inspiring, thanks for sharing.

  • Gabriella December 5, 2017, 9:28 pm

    Yes, it is an Amazing Reality!

  • Sue Moenius December 5, 2017, 11:12 pm

    We are the same age, and I LOVE this tiny house. I live in area where TH zoning is not truly available, but if it were and if I had the money, I’d go for this home. In a perfect world, my black lab rescue pup and I would plop this in the yard of my son…where I could babysit gdaughter without a commute.
    I can no longer climb ladders to a loft on a regular basis, so appreciate homes where lifts are storage only.
    Were I planning, I’d like stacked washer/dryer and some thought given to aging in place…e.g., what if back goes out, or arthritis makes too hard to pull bed out each day? This is just conversation, though.
    Very nice job!

  • Nancy Park December 7, 2017, 10:54 am

    Thanks for the great comments. I’m proud of this and it’s fun to have TH enthusiasts make comments. Most of my friends just think I’m crazy. Roche, I spent about $25,000 but I bartered with contractor clients of mine for help with electrical and plumbing! Here’s the vendor list:
    Girard On-demand Hot Water Heater
    Norcold 3-way Frig
    Atwood Range/Oven
    Naturehead composting Toilet – with a roof mounted solar fan
    Dickenson Marine Heater
    Frigidaire window A/C
    Renogy 100 watt Solar Panel (2 gel 12-volt batteries)
    2×4 construction
    hard foam and green fiber insulation

    I took a Tumbleweed class, bought plans, but then got scared of trying dormers so just made it up as I went. I could understand a shed roof!

    and BOB… this took a lot of Ibuprofen! But I got in the best physical shape I’ve been in since my 30’s. Better than going to the gym.

  • John December 8, 2017, 6:57 pm

    Congratulations, I am impressed with this build. I am in the process of turning my 10×16 storage building into a livable cabin. It has two lofts for storage space. It will be nothing when compared to what you have done.

  • Jim December 10, 2017, 10:35 am

    You did a beautiful job on this Nancy.

    Can you please share information on the Stainless Steel Heater you are using.

  • Nancy Park December 11, 2017, 10:53 am

    It’s a Dickenson Marine heater. Propane. I bought it from Atlantic Marine. (Online). It’s way more heater than I needed in my climate, but works well. I designed to be off grid. If I had it to do again and I knew I’d always have house power, I’d go with a mini split.

  • Thea February 27, 2018, 1:56 pm

    Nancy Park, you are AMAZING! I am very inspired by what you’ve done.

  • Tyrannosaurus Chex February 27, 2018, 9:55 pm

    I just have to comment; I adore this house. This has, out of the multitude of tiny houses I’ve looked at, my favorite kitchen design bar none. Small, but still roomy and it’s eat-in! The aesthetic of everything is lust lovely.

    I completely agree with everyone who says Nancy is an inspiration; and not just for us ladies.

  • Kurt September 23, 2018, 5:35 pm

    I like the dual-purpose bed/sofa. What’s the yurt for? I’m a bit younger than Nancy was when she built her tiny house and I couldn’t do that because of spine issues.

  • Nancy Park September 24, 2018, 1:34 am

    We use the yurt for yoga classes, tap dance classes, meditation, drumming circles, women’s groups. I’ve hosted a couple of weddings also.

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