By Laura LaVoie
Before building a tiny house, the most home improvement work I had ever done was painting. But that was the draw of doing something that I had never done before. There were two of us, which made the process easier, but that doesn’t stop most tiny house builders from moving forward.
Our motivation was to build something by ourselves with our own hands. Since it took us so long to build our tiny house, each week would be a new and interesting project. We would spent time throughout the week learning how to build whatever was next. Was it post and pier foundations? Was it framing? Was it roofing? Was it insulation? Flooring? Siding? Windows? The list goes on and on.
I believe that the Do It Yourself spirit lives within most tiny house builders.
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Macy Miller, who writes to blog Mini Motives, is a prime example of the DIY spirit. She not only designed her tiny house but has done the majority of the building on her own, even if that didn’t always work out the way she intended.
Laura from the Tiny House Ontario blog, with whom I share a strikingly large amount of things in common including family ties in the same small Canadian town, has been building her small space making changes and improvements along the way. When you read her blog you can tell she loves to tinker.
Andrew Odom began his process as a way to have financial independence for himself and his family. Not only has he designed and built his own tiny house, but he has begun a virtual tiny house empire at the Tiny r(E)volution website. I had the pleasure of joining Andrew for one of his podcasts recently and very much enjoyed speaking with him about what tiny living really means to both of us.
The DIY nature of tiny homes goes beyond the building for me. In our tiny life there are a lot of aspects that seem more do it yourself than a traditional living situation. We gather our water. We create our own entertainment. We are constantly fiddling and making changes along the way. We can’t stop for very long without wanting to work on the next project. DIY is in our blood and our bones.
Certainly there are tiny house dwellers that have purchased their homes but the vast majority of stories you read are about individuals, couples, or families who do all the work themselves. For hundreds of years humans have built and lived in their own small structures and it feels as though we are simply reclaiming that tradition, with a bit of a modern twist. What is the draw of DIY that makes people want to build small? Is it because we have the freedom to build small that we have the confidence to do it in the first place? Why are you interested in the tiny house movement?
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