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Under-$5k, 75-sq.-ft. Garden Tiny House Built on Budget


For years, Thilo has wanted to live off the land. When he got the opportunity to buy an old home with lovely property in Southern France, he jumped at the chance. But, he wanted to wake up and see his gardens — so he decided to build a budget tiny house!

Legally, he’s living in the tiny house while renovating his home across the street (he can have a trailer on a construction site, and it’s taken him since 2018 and he’s still “renovating”). Meanwhile he lives in the 75 square foot home with windows on three sides. It’s beautifully simple inside, with his bed, wood-burning stove, and a cooktop. He also has a nearby outhouse.

When you see the land (and his sheep!) you’ll understand why he’s chosen such an idyllic life! He shares his story below.

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He Built A Garden Tiny House In South France For Less Than 5,000 Euros

Budget 75 Square Foot Garden THOW in Europe

Images via Thilo

Now that’s a view I could wake up to!

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Images via Thilo

Here’s his bedroom.

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Images via Thilo

Here’s his desk.

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Images via Thilo

And his cooktop/camp stove.

Budget 75 Square Foot Garden THOW in Europe 5

Images via Thilo

His heat comes from this wood-burning stove.

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Images via Thilo

The home is solar-powered.

Budget 75 Square Foot Garden THOW in Europe 6

Images via Thilo

Here are some construction photos.

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Images via Thilo

Framing the house.

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Images via Thilo

He chose a shed-style roof.

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Images via Thilo

And used wood fiber insulation.

Budget 75 Square Foot Garden THOW in Europe 8

Images via Thilo

Shiplap on the walls.

Budget 75 Square Foot Garden THOW in Europe 7

Images via Thilo

Here’s his outhouse.

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Images via Thilo

These were his plans.

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Images via Thilo

You could easily replicate this one!

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Images via Thilo

Here he built his outdoor pool.

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Images via Thilo

Enjoying his pool.

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Images via Thilo

Here’s his greenhouse.

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Images via Thilo

He also has sheep!

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Images via Thilo

Here are his raised beds.

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Images via Thilo

Would you live here?

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Images via Thilo

Seems like an awesome place.

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Images via Thilo

Look at his happy garden!

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Images via Thilo

And a root cellar.

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Images via Thilo

Thilo’s Story:

Hello! I built this ‘tiny house’, I call it ‘trailer’ from July to December 2018 (all
alone). Cost I’d say less than 5000 euros. Since then I live in it all year.

It is situated in the south of France, in Aveyron. I am born in 1967, since many years I dreamt of living on the land. 2018 I purchased an old house with 430 + 1700 squaremeters of land.

Plans were clear that I’d use the bigger property for gardening. I built raised beds because I have a little disability. Surely, I wanted to live with view on my gardens, so I built that trailer.

As it has so much windows, it’s like I was always outdoors. I have 3 solar panels of 80 wattpeak, a solar charger and a 100 ah lead-acid battery for light, computer. The inner surface is 6,7 squaremeters. I have bed, table, oven, gas-stove + some
racks.

Insulation is 10 cm wood-fibre pads + it has thermal insulation glass. I own an old stone-house on the other side of the street, where I only stay in
summer when it gets too hot.

The trailer is obviously muuuch easier to heat than the old house. The problem is rather that it get’s too hot if I put too much wood. Very often, I’m in shorts. I’d say from 12 degree celsius outside, there is no need to heat.

And as it has a lot of window surface, when the sun shines, it’s like a greenhouse.

I built it as trailer for legal reasons: I am not allowed to build ‘anything’ on this property. If I wanted to put a trailer on the property for more than 3 months, I had to get the permission of the local community.

But if you have a construction site nearby, you are allowed to put a trailer for the time of the construction.

So… I am renovating my old house which takes some time…

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Our big thanks to Thilo for sharing! 🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

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 two little kids. She and her family just purchased a small fixer-upper and are starting a self-sufficient homestead on their happy little acre.
{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Alison
    February 9, 2021, 5:02 pm

    I love his explanation. I hope it takes him a very long time to complete renovations on his old house! This trailer home is tiny, but he has all that beautiful outdoor space. Looks like a lovely life.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      February 10, 2021, 1:58 pm

      We could all use some more outdoor space!

  • Avatar Marsha Cowan
    February 9, 2021, 7:17 pm

    Pretty cool! I like the little cabin, and the gardens are fabulous!

  • Avatar michael Edward hale
    February 10, 2021, 12:34 pm

    This Tiny House newsletter article I have stored in my archive file. Maybe the most profound difference yet between U.S. / city dwelling and E.U. / rural dwelling. My dream would be to borrow what of Thilo’s example
    we can for Minneapolis, Minnesota. Our weather brings out the best of our citizenry. With Thilo’s lessons we could meld medium urban density and the gifts of rural life and the great outdoors. I will get to work on that thinking today! Thank-you Tiny House and Thilo!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      February 10, 2021, 1:51 pm

      I am so glad it has sparked your imagination, Michael! Thilo is an inspiration, for sure.

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