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Building and Moving into a Tumbleweed Tiny House by Laura Lavoie

Guest Post by Laura Lavoie

Trust me, I never thought I would be the kind of person to downsize my life and move into a 120 square foot house.  I didn’t like to be outside. I didn’t like to get dirty.  I didn’t like to try adventurous things. A few years ago, something changed for me. I realized that living conventionally didn’t inspire me and I finally decided to do something about it.  When the idea came to us about building a tiny house it seemed like the perfect thing.

Our first taste of adventure came when we decided to move away from everyone we knew to Atlanta.  It was still a safety net, though, because it was a job that moved us here.  We knew we wanted to do something more. We had fallen in love with the town of Asheville, just three hours away from Atlanta. We started to spend more and more time up there and talked about buying some land and building our own house. Our minds were made up when a friend shared Tumbleweed Tiny Houses with us.  This teensy, portable house was perfect!


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Laura Lavoie building her tiny house

Photo Courtesy of Laura Lavoie

We ended up deciding to build our house on a foundation because we were building it on a mountain. We did all the work ourselves with the exception of some help from friends here and there.  We did have friends more skilled in the areas of roofing and electric to do those parts too.  Otherwise, the two of us did everything.

One of the things we loved about the Tiny House Movement was the idea that individuals could take control over their homes. We felt empowered to build it ourselves. To select the perfect materials and create the perfect design for our own lives. And our little house is a monument to that movement – the ultimate do it yourself project.  We could take control of the way we choose to live our lives.

Laura in South Africa Building Shelters for Orphans

Building the tiny house has led us to so many things. We’ve met some amazing people who are also building their own homes. We also had an opportunity to go to South Africa to start a project to build a shelter for orphans. None of that would have happened if we hadn’t taken this leap.

We finally moved into our tiny house. Here we do all the things everyone else does.  We make delicious meals, we waste time on the internet, we sleep comfortably in our loft at night and our cat sleeps comfortably in the loft all the time.  There is nothing else that I need.

Interior of Laura's Tiny House

Laura Lavoie lives in a tiny home of her own with her partner in North Carolina. She’s a full time writer who has recently spent some time in South Africa to help build shelters for orphans. You can visit her at her tiny house blog called ‘Life in 120 Square Feet’ to learn more. 

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Mike P
    May 22, 2012, 10:23 pm

    Great story. I feel compelled to try out the small house thing. I’m in a 2200 sq ft home in Boise and know I could get by in far less space. One more kid has to grow up and move out then it will be time to get started. Thanks for your web page. I also lived in Asheville for a year, but we moved back to Boise because there are more recreational opportunities and the cost of living is way less that North Carolina.

    • May 23, 2012, 4:45 pm

      Thanks Mike! Glad you like the site and ideas here.

  • Bohemiansunsets
    May 23, 2012, 8:20 am

    Thank you for this post!!! Love to hear that they’ve used their passion and tools in Africa to build. Would love to learn more about their build and more pictures of their finished home.
    Thank you!

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