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Former Backpacker’s DIY Tiny Home


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After traveling the world with nothing but a backpack, living tiny was nothing new to Gemma. But building a tiny house from the trailer up? Well, that was a whole new challenge, but one she met gladly with the help of her dad.

She has a whole off-grid set-up, including solar panels, a rainwater catchment system, and a composting toilet. Recycled materials helped keep costs down, such as donated insulation, and she chose to use MDF instead of plywood to further save money. You’re going to love the tour of this creative space!

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She Built a Budget Tiny House w/ Her Dad

Former Backpackers DIY Tiny Home 6

Images via Tiny Home Tours

She is working on a little garden outside of her home.

Former Backpackers DIY Tiny Home 5

Images via Tiny Home Tours

This huge window lets in so much beautiful light!

Former Backpackers DIY Tiny Home

Images via Tiny Home Tours

Here’s the little kitchen, with an extra flip-up counter.

Former Backpackers DIY Tiny Home 99

Images via Tiny Home Tours

VIDEO: Her Charming $22k Tiny Home

Highlights:

  • Gemma was a world traveler for years, living out of nothing but a backpack.
  • She didn’t want to get back into the rat race of renting apartments, so she decided to attempt a tiny house build with the help of her dad.
  • Using oodles of reclaimed and recycled materials, Gemma was able to complete the build for only $22,000 USD!
  • She chose a loft bedroom, but she now has a twin bed on the first floor as her couch, and it can be a first floor sleeping option.
  • The whole house is off-grid, with solar power, a generator, and a rainwater catchment system.

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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.

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