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Five-Year Update: Built his Tiny Cabin at 17

Remember Jesse? The 17-year-old who was living in a tent (on purpose) and decided to build his own cabin from reclaimed materials? Well, it’s been five years since Florb’s last interview with Jesse, and guess what — Jesse is still living in his DIY cabin, now with girlfriend Jayne.

They’ve made plenty of adjustments to the cabin to make it couple-friendly, but they’ve also taken advantage of the land they’re on by building a screen house, sauna and pizza oven to expand their living space. It’s quite the awesome off-grid set up!

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Their Off-Grid Set-Up with Cabin, Sauna & Screen House

He Built This Cabin at 17 – 5 Year Update (He has a GF Now!) 4

Images by FLORB/YouTube

Jesse says Jayne has brought organization to their home.

He Built This Cabin at 17 – 5 Year Update (He has a GF Now!) 5

Images by FLORB/YouTube

Most of their main cabin is dedicated to kitchen space for cooking.

He Built This Cabin at 17 – 5 Year Update (He has a GF Now!) 3

Images by FLORB/YouTube

Jesse’s outdoor oven got an upgrade!

He Built This Cabin at 17 – 5 Year Update (He has a GF Now!) 2

Images by FLORB/YouTube

Jayne shows off their bug-free outdoor room.

He Built This Cabin at 17 – 5 Year Update (He has a GF Now!) 9

Images by FLORB/YouTube

Flashback to Jesse when he was 17.

He Built This Cabin at 17 – 5 Year Update (He has a GF Now!)

Images by FLORB/YouTube

Constructing the cabin.

He Built This Cabin at 17 – 5 Year Update (He has a GF Now!) 6

Images by FLORB/YouTube

Their “screen house” from the outside.

He Built This Cabin at 17 – 5 Year Update (He has a GF Now!) 7

Images by FLORB/YouTube

Here’s the sauna they built.

He Built This Cabin at 17 – 5 Year Update (He has a GF Now!) 8

Images by FLORB/YouTube

VIDEO: Update: The Teenager who Built His Own Tiny House

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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.
{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Steven Tinling
    March 28, 2022, 11:13 am

    was the outside bake oven prefab or home built?

    • James D.
      March 28, 2022, 8:17 pm

      Home built, it’s among the information provided in the video tour…

  • Eric
    March 28, 2022, 3:42 pm

    What’s the function/purpose of the screen house? And no, I don’t watch the videos because I have a hearing loss.

    • James D.
      March 28, 2022, 8:15 pm

      Most youtube videos do have the option to enable CC so you can read what they’re saying, you can even leave it on by default the same as autoplay, which it’s right next to along with the settings button…

      Anyway, it’s a summer guest-tent house. They used to have a Yurt but found that hard to maintain and this sheds snow better. While having more natural light, still provides shelter for friends and guest who stay over, especially during bug season, provides good view of the surrounding forest, and she also uses it as her yoga studio.

      Except for the panels and little solar setup, they made it themselves with reclaimed and wood they milled themselves, the same as most of the structures on the property…

  • Linda Baker
    March 29, 2022, 12:31 am

    wondering what their water source is and what they do to earn $ – rustic living at its finest!

    • James D.
      March 29, 2022, 3:45 pm

      Off-grid, so they have a hand pump well, nearby stream, and rain barrels they use during the warmer months. While they don’t specifically say but it appear they have various jobs, and she did mention working for an organic farmer in one of their posts. Along with milling lumber, making maple syrup, cranberry harvesting, and general gardening… So they likely do some bartering with others in the area…

  • April 4, 2022, 8:34 am

    I’m 57 , I’ve wanted to do exactly what they’re doing since I was a teenager. I knew it would work just fine . The issue I have with most of these folks is the lack of gainful employment. You need health insurance, an emergency fund , a retirement fund and other essentials. I wanted to live this way as a means to avoid becoming a slave to the system rather than a means to avoid participating altogether. Work hard a few years ,live cheap and be a free man the rest of my life . With a ton of cash working for me behind the curtain. All I ever got was discouraging remarks to the idea . I never have taken the leap to make it happen. However, my five year old townhouse is paid for, I’m debt free, have an emergency fund , health and life insurance and a sizable retirement account. I made it happen, just took the other trail .

    • Liz
      August 29, 2022, 10:52 pm

      Darrell, wait no longer. You have all it takes to get away and enjoy the rest of your life in the way you want. My husband and I retired at 59 when so many said that we were too young to retire. Three years later Jerry was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer (2 years later and he is doing great). You have a great opportunity to do what you want so don’t wait.
      Git to goin’ now. Hear? 😊

  • Marsha Cowan
    August 29, 2022, 6:13 pm

    Wow! I had forgotten it was like post and beam construction. Pretty cool! It’s nice to be able to build whatever you need and live off the land a bit. I know it’s hard sometimes, but living through the winter gets you to spring, right?

  • Liz
    August 29, 2022, 10:40 pm

    First, is that a real live buck with a beauty of a rack behind and to the right of the sauna?

    Love everything about the home, outdoor room (which looks like it could withstand an earthquake and tornado all at once), and sauna. The home looks so cozy and rustic.

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