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Alexis’ $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California

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 below!

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Alexis’ $10k Tiny Home on Wheels

Alexis' $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California

Images via Alexis

Yes to a comfy couch you could nap on!

Alexis' $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California

Now that’s where I want to work.

Alexis' $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California

Related: Now You Can Replicate Dee Williams’ $10k Tiny House!

Alexis' $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California

Those doors are such a fun feature!

Alexis' $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California

I love that she even decorated the ceiling.
Alexis' $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California

I’d feel so glamorous getting ready here.

Alexis' $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California

Pebble tub! I have always wanted one of these.

Alexis' $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California

Related: Taylor & Steph’s $10k Earthship Home

Alexis' $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California

Creating her own home!

Alexis' $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California

Getting there! It’s taking shape.

Alexis' $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California

Teamwork is a beautiful thing!

Alexis' $10,000 DIY Tiny House on Wheels in California

Images via Alexis

The Interview:

What are your name(s)? Alexis Collura & Diamante Munoz

How many people (and animals) 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 build the house. Most importantly make sure you have a place to put it first!

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributor for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She's a wife, and mama of three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 27 comments… add one }
  • Zack
    March 15, 2017, 3:51 pm

    I liked the door for a moment there, but after that I noticed that it only hung so low, and didn’t make it nearly down to the floor, and than after noticing that, I realized, or thought it looked strange as well do to it being a it was hung a little unlevel…! I mean that I can’t believe that the builder made the mistake to hang a piece of wallboard that was hung with it’s bead on an angle…! And would show so badly as soon as you look at the misfit door application.. LoL….! Just look at the bottom left side of the hanging door, and you will see what I am talking about…. Well you have to give them some credit for trying right..? LoL….! Nana….!

  • Zack
    March 15, 2017, 4:07 pm

    I’m sorry, I forgot that I was looking at a house that was only $10,000.00 to build…. Don’t look…! I don’t know what I am talking about… LoL…! Darn if I remembered that before I made the comment I would have bit my tounge.. But as they say you can’t stuff the Jeanie back into the bottle right..! Listen if that is the only mistake that was made, so be it…! At that price you can’t really complain can you… Good job, it’s a nice house non the less….

  • Lyn
    March 15, 2017, 4:57 pm

    This tiny house is lovely, and I have the utmost admiration for the builders. It is obvious a lot of love and creativity went into its construction. The fake brick, the sweet ceiling, and all the repurposed touches are clever and give the home its distinct personality. It looks cozy enough that one might have a problem leaving; what better compliment to the builders?

    Unfortunately, when I visited the Airbnb website link, I had to gulp a few times. Sadly, there are misspelled words, incomplete sentences, incorrect punctuation, and an overdose of exclamation marks. Perhaps it might do to have friends or a professional editor give it a once-over before committing these mistakes to eternal cyber memory? Or does anyone care anymore?

    Bottom line: Your tiny house is very sweet, and I would be mighty tempted to book a stay if it wasn’t so far away. I do have friends in the area, though, that I know would jump at the chance to stay here. But, please have a friend or editor correct the language on the Airbnb website so it looks professional! (Exclamation point intended.) 🙂

    March 15, 2017, 10:34 pm

    Love your home, you did a great job. Can you tell me what your doing for electricity and how your dealing with it?

  • Marsha Cowan
    March 16, 2017, 12:31 am

    Comfortable looking house with a lot of cool touches like that amazing pebble shower base, and the table top that looks like a recycled freighter trunk lid. I have been looking for a freighter trunk in good condition. . .not easy to find. Yours is beautiful. Great job! Be proud!

    • Marsha Cowan
      March 16, 2017, 12:32 am

      Oh. . .and those barn doors are beautiful!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 16, 2017, 5:48 am

      It’s filled with those great touches! Love it.

  • Diane Gray
    March 16, 2017, 2:25 am

    Love the interior colors and materials!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 16, 2017, 5:48 am

      Me too!

  • Susan
    March 17, 2017, 7:49 pm

    I love all the personal touches. Looks very homey. I love the repurposed doors that don’t go all the way down to the floor. They are very unique, and the open area at the bottom helps circulate air in a tiny home. Beautiful job!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 19, 2017, 5:18 pm

      Glad you liked that feature! I just thought the doors were super creative! Great work on her part.

      • Mahogany
        July 21, 2020, 1:05 pm

        That feature would be great for my little doggie to roam as he pleases. Love the doors!

  • Sandi B
    March 17, 2017, 8:32 pm

    Very interesting both the unit and her story. I like the pebble bath, but did not see a faucet or anything so am not sure how that works. Interesting decor, not much of a kitchen. The barn doors across the bathroom are very interesting. However, looks like the track is slanted, so the door is also slanted. Also I would have put material behind the open work on the doors for privacy and something on the bottom, again for some privacy — I have a thing about in the bathroom. The Spanish design is different and fun. A very good job for a self build with no experience. Kudos to you — a good job all around. Wish you great success both on Airbnb and in your travels. Thanks for the share!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 19, 2017, 5:18 pm

      Yes a great job — she built it for her needs and in her budget, which is amazing 🙂

  • Diana
    March 17, 2017, 8:43 pm

    How did she create the pebble tub? Love iy!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 19, 2017, 5:17 pm

      I saw a tutorial online somewhere for doing it — probably on Pinterest!

  • Eileen O'Connor
    March 18, 2017, 1:25 am

    Beautiful job. Well done. Is this one meant for cold winters Is it well insulated? I have no idea what Airbnb is all about. Does a person have to have a tiny home or some kind of property to rent out in order to rent one of these tiny homes.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 19, 2017, 5:06 pm

      Hi Eileen — Airbnb is a place where you can rent anything from a couch to a whole house from people instead of purchasing a hotel 🙂 If you own a tiny house, you’ll need to either buy or rent land to put it on.

  • lori
    March 23, 2017, 2:42 pm

    Hi! I love the re-purposed materials! I was wondering about the weight of the tub since this is a THOW. Does this add significant weight? I’m about to start a build and am looking into bath tub ideas. I’d been staying away from a rock tub due to the weight.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 27, 2017, 9:03 am

      That’s a good thought! I’m sure it does add weight, but so long as the overall weight is ok you could do it. Just have to be careful!

  • lori
    March 23, 2017, 2:43 pm

    I also love the re-purposed hanging doors!

  • Vardan
    May 30, 2017, 6:34 pm

    where can I get place for tiny house?

  • Maggie
    September 6, 2017, 7:25 pm

    Hi, I do like some of the things you have done with the use of recycled items, they really personalize your Tiny House. The bathtub is beautiful and your vanity is lovely. I have to ask where do you plan to stay when people want to book your Tiny to stay in on Airbnb?
    We are retired and are talking about going tiny so I am looking at as many as I can to know what we want and don’t want when we take the Tiny step. I only thing that I wish was on every single Tiny House that is showcased is a floor plan. I find it hard to visualize how the different pictures go together on so many of the ones I see.

    • María Nieves
      November 3, 2020, 3:33 pm

      With so many good features, you focus in the bathroom doors. By the way, those doors are very interesting, it gives much character. It’s incredible what she did with $10,000.👍🏼👏🏼

  • Carolyn Vick
    October 30, 2017, 6:28 pm

    Absolutely love, love, love the outside stucco, spanish roof look. First time I’ve seen this on a TH. Have long been enamored with look since I lived in CA many years ago. Kudos.

  • Sheila Plourde
    July 2, 2018, 3:30 pm

    Beautiful and very well designed. Love her taste! Would be nice on my property here in Lake Isabella, Ca.

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