This is Alexis’ $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California that’s loaded with personality!
She spent a year creating her debt-free tiny home with the help of her friend, Diamante, and other tiny house enthusiasts in her area. She kept costs low, and as you can see from the pictures below, created a truly one-of-a-kind home with amazing details! You have to check out her tub, and I love the faux brick walls.
Be sure to read our interview with Alexis on the last page!
Alexis’ $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels
Yes to a comfy couch you could nap on!
Now that’s where I want to work.
Those doors are such a fun feature!
I love that she even decorated the ceiling.
I’d feel so glamorous getting ready here.
Pebble tub! I have always wanted one of these.
Creating her own home!
Getting there! It’s taking shape.
Teamwork is a beautiful thing!
What are your name(s)? Alexis Collura & Diamante Munoz
How many people (and animals) will are living in your tiny house? Currently just myself and my cat but the dog comes in if he behaves. I have a twin bed in the loft but it can sleep two people without the bed in there. I also have a futon sofa bed that can fit two people. I’d say about 6 people can hang out in the house comfortably.
Where do you live? I started building the house in San Jose on my roommates driveway but now I live in the house in Fremont where I rent a vacant parcel.
Why did you decide to go tiny? What are you hoping to get out of living tiny? I decided to go Tiny cause I like to travel and wanted to be able to move it around if necessary. I also wanted to be able to design a space of my own that I can say I built. Living Tiny has its ups and downs. The point for me was to have my own personal space and not spend so much money. I see people now buying Tiny House for $60,000 – $100,000 and wonder how does that make sense if you want to save money? That’s why I built one myself and only spent about $10,000. I could have just bought a shell but I’ve learned and grown so much through this process. Makes you feel like you can do anything.
How did you first learn about tiny houses? I first learned about Tiny spaces in Miami, when container homes were becoming a big thing. When I moved to California I did some more research and learned about the Tiny House on wheels, which I liked cause I could move it if need be. I still would like to try a container home once I get property of my own.
How long did it take to finish your tiny house? It took me about a year to complete which was only because time and money was an issue. We only worked on weekends building the house and had the shell up in a matter of months. It went up fast but it started dragging once I had to start buying the more expensive materials.
How did you build your tiny house? Did you have any help? Did you do it yourselves? It was my idea to build the Tiny House and I enlisted my best friend Diamante to help me because he knew a lot more than me, though neither one of us ever built a structure like this. I bought a 20 ft by 8 ft flatbed trailer from Trailer Plus in Fresno. We then started working on the foundation. Once we were going to start putting up the walls, I posted my build on Tiny House Meetup and people actually came out to help and be a part of my journey. Dave, Brian, and Crystal were my life savers and helped us very often. They have become really great friends and now that Brian is doing the Van Life thing, we return the favor by helping him out.
How did you find a place to park and live in your tiny house? Finding a place to park and live was a little stressful. It was originally parked in my friends driveway but as the structure became bigger I had to move it. I looked on craigslist for vacant land space for rent. I was coming up empty for a while because most places are for storage and not live in. I came up on a location past Gilroy, where a guy was renting space in his yard for $500 which included water but it was just way too far of a drive. I then found a vacant space in Fremont which was nice, big, and private but it was $1,000 a month and I couldn’t afford that on my own. Luckily I was able to convince Diamante to move on the property with me so we can both split the rent. That worked out and I’ve been on the property for almost a year now.
Before going tiny, what was life like? Before going Tiny I was renting out a room in someone’s house for almost $800 a month. Granted I made a really good friend and had some good times, I just needed my own space. The house was becoming too crowded. I’m originally from Miami, Florida so California was a big adjustment. California is so beautiful and there is so much to do but it is extremely expensive so I see myself moving out of California. Thankfully the Tiny House scene is becoming more and more accepted.
What benefits are you experiencing after going tiny? Some benefits I experience is being able to design my own space and have the freedom to do what I want when I want. Also I embrace the outdoors a lot more now. It’s become a part of the living space. I can also use the house as a way of making a little extra income by putting it on Airbnb.
What about some challenges? Some of my challenges would be having to remove and fill the water tank as well as the portable toilet I have. Obviously there are many options for plumbing and toilets but those at the moment are out of my budget. Also I do have gas heaters that I use in the night when it’s cold which works great, but always having to refill them or if they run out in the middle of the night can be a little frustrating. Being that I’m not a builder and have no experience in the field, building the Tiny House in general was a challenge in itself.
What makes your tiny house special? What makes my house special is the love and hard work I put into it. The house itself is more of a simple build and layout but the design style is all me!
What is your favorite part of your tiny house? My favorite part of my house is how cozy it can be and how nice it looks with candlelight. I’m also proud of the tile work I did in the bathroom. It was no joke!!
What helpful advice would you give to others interested in going tiny? I would tell others if you’re interested in going Tiny, then give it a try. Making a Tiny House is possible. Not spending a ton of money is also possible. Just before starting make sure you have a plan A, B, and C. Make sure you have a good amount of money save and you have the time it takes to building the house. Most importantly make sure you have a place to put it first!
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Natalie C. McKee
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