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Couple Build DIY Reclaimed Off Grid Tiny Cabin for $7k

This is the story of a couple who teamed up and decided to build their own 250 square foot tiny cabin made out of mostly reclaimed materials for only around $7,000 in material costs. They did all the labor themselves.

And since they built their tiny home on a foundation on their own land they continually make improvements to the place to better meet their needs. For example, they’ve added a porch and a bathroom so far to the original design.

Originally the structure was 12’x20′ until they added the porch and bathroom which extends the footprint to 18’x20′. Lots of the materials were salvaged from a barn along with other random finds that they repurposed.

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Couple Build Debt-free $7k DIY Off Grid Tiny Cabin


Images: PreciousRoy

It’s 13-ft. by 22-ft.


286-sq.-ft. plus an 8-ft. by 22-ft. covered porch.


They built it back in 2009 for around $8,000 to $10,000.


All of the work was done themselves.


Growing your own feed can be the best feeling.


This little cabin even collects rainwater.


Rainbow, happy dog, and a tiny cabin.


This outdoor kitchen is perfect.


Look at all of the wall storage.


One room for everything because it’s a micro cabin. You can see the actual layout below.


Outdoor space, too, though.


Recycled window separator. Love this!


Outside, from another angle.


They used recycled movie theater seats for the covered porch.🎬


It’s kind of nice how the seats go up when you’re not sitting, which saves space. Kind of makes sense in a tiny house. It’s like the Murphy bed of chairs, isn’t it?


How cute is that!


Couple living tiny with two pitbulls.


It’s all good!


The sun feels so good on this pup!


Rainbow over the tiny cabin.


The floor plan and layout.


Another design sketch.


They Built A 250-sq.-ft. Eco Cabin

Couples DIY Debt Free Tiny Cabin They Built for Under 10k

Images: PreciousRoy

Read the original story here.

Even more photos on their Flickr.

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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!
{ 37 comments… add one }
  • Terrie Williams
    July 23, 2014, 5:55 am

    I love it–and it accommodates two dogs as well!

  • kevin
    July 23, 2014, 12:12 pm

    I’m curious if these guys were able to buy this land or if it’s leased/rented in a mobile home park?

    • Alex
      July 23, 2014, 1:31 pm

      Pretty sure they are on family land.

  • 2BarA
    July 23, 2014, 12:57 pm

    You guys are smart and clever! You have a very affordable house with everything you need and, it appears, enough room to move around and your design is unique. Enjoy!

  • Brian
    July 23, 2014, 4:24 pm

    Well done, I am very impressed with your super home and especially the planted out wall railing. There are many ideas you have built into you home. Cheers from Australia

  • Charlie
    July 23, 2014, 6:10 pm

    If they are handy enough to build this great little house, they should turn that queen bed into a multi-functional Murphy bed and really free up some precious space during the day and have a bigger table or desk which disappear at night.

  • Dave
    July 23, 2014, 7:20 pm

    I remember this couple/house from 2009 or so, but they have done more to it. Glad they are still living the tiny dream.

  • Elle
    July 23, 2014, 7:51 pm

    This is truly a living house. Very unique and creatively designed in a way that will allow you to keep expanding and/or rearranging. The nice, open floor plan make it seem much larger than 250 sq ft, especially the way the french doors open onto the porch. And what a cozy porch. It’s very private but open, with a beautiful view and a perfect dining nook.
    The bathroom is cleverly designed using the corner spaces in a way that make it comfortably roomy, and the choice of wood and steel combined present a visually attractive space that looks clean and sleek but very cozy.
    And wow what a beautiful site! I didn’t think it could get any better…then I saw more pictures showing a cat and a hammock. Rainbows, trees, mountains, a perfect little home, 2 darling dogs and a beautiful little cat! (Avid animal lover here.) It doesn’t get much better than that.
    This is clearly a labor of love and it looks like you’re truly enjoying every step of the way. Thank you for continuing to inspire we Tiny House lovers and dreamers and thank you for sharing your beautiful work. I hope you will continue to share your progress on what is already a quite a little gem.

  • Rue
    July 23, 2014, 8:40 pm

    The way this couple has repurposed all those bits and pieces really lends their little cabin a lot of character. It feels real and lived-in and unique.

    Some good ideas there, too. The railing micro-garden is genius, and the reclaimed theater seats make me smile.

  • Marsha Cowan
    July 23, 2014, 8:48 pm

    I love, love, love this tiny house. It is so cleverly done, especially the bathroom and the porches (I am an outdoor person, too). Well done!

    • hermie
      September 4, 2014, 1:17 pm

      Do they need a permit to built this tiny house with kitchen and additions going on?

  • Natalie
    July 24, 2014, 3:07 pm

    Those theater seats are brilliant for saving space! They automatically fold up when you’re not using them.

  • Juan Galeano
    July 25, 2014, 1:48 am

    AWESOME! Really cool to see people shove it to the MAN!!! God Bless!

    • Alex
      July 25, 2014, 11:00 am

      Thanks Juan. Blessings to you too!

  • Raúl Miguel
    August 1, 2014, 10:13 pm

    A beautiful home. I admire a lot. Greetings from Argentina!

  • Carlyn
    August 4, 2014, 4:38 pm

    Love this house (and the dogs)–brilliant!

  • Randy
    August 5, 2014, 3:42 pm

    Nothing makes a little house a home like a dog! Loved the dog shots!

    • Dominick Bundy
      September 4, 2014, 5:03 pm

      I so totally agree. Dogs and Cats help make a house a home…

  • Dawn
    September 4, 2014, 7:27 pm

    The house, nice work folks. You look happy and that’s the most important thing (even though some people don’t realize it).

  • Cosy
    September 5, 2014, 10:30 am

    I like the house but what struck me was how the photos show this family is truly happy, content & love their life. The raking leaves & planting herbs on the porch. What truly stole my heart is the dog dancing to the rainbow. Stellar!!!

  • Rosemary Moore
    September 15, 2014, 3:42 pm

    Great way to live life. I am very impressed with their choices inside and out. Congratulations!

  • Rebecca
    September 22, 2014, 8:14 pm

    Awwww I love the theater seats. Obvious only after you see it done!
    Wonderful location. Code?
    We can all live well and free in this “free” country if we “just say no” to consumerism. This is a great example.

    • Alex
      September 23, 2014, 9:32 am

      Love the theater seats too. Smart idea 🙂

  • Mark
    October 25, 2014, 10:25 pm

    So where in the land of the free can you build this without inspectors/cops coming to kick you out for building code violations?GOTTA GET EVERYONE PAYING THOSE MORTGAGES (MORT_GAGE IS FRENCH FOR ENGAGED TIL DEATH)

    • Carol
      November 12, 2014, 2:36 pm

      Mark, I live in a rural county in TN. As long as you’re outside the city limits, they really don’t care what you do, as long as you’re not dumping raw sewage on the ground, etc. Just down the road from us is a motorhome set up on a plot of land as a permanent home. It sets in between 2 regular houses and no one says anything that I know of.

      • jenna
        May 11, 2015, 12:11 pm

        I’m super interested in how one would go about doing this. I’m listing my house (very soon) and want to buy land and save for a home like this one. I also live in a rural county of tn where it would be 100% Legal with no codes department in my county!!!! Any input you have from building yours would be greatly appreciated! I am housing an adult, one toddler, 3 dogs (1 large, 2 tiny-small) and 2 outdoor cats….

  • wim
    November 12, 2014, 7:37 pm

    i really liked this house and floor plan! but the real bonus is the most adorable and happy dogs!

  • Muhammad-Maqsood
    November 19, 2014, 12:42 pm

    beutifull homes tiny house

    I need a small tiny house perches home and land full price send me
    Florida city A_eara okay i wite for you

  • Hinemoa samuel
    March 29, 2015, 8:13 am

    I love the little cabin it will be just right for my dad he is 77yrs of age he is the oldest in waharoa matamata n.z wea I CME from my homelands I was raised on the land wea our marae is I am hopeing to move my dad on the land b4 his 80th if nt sooner this house will be ideal and affordable yours sincerely concern daughter hinemoa samuel

  • Gail K Dolly
    May 11, 2015, 12:17 pm

    What I liked the most was the “bathtub” fixture — 21 years ago when we first moved to this rural area we bought a similar “tub” to bathe and flea-dip our four large dogs … and it is still outside doing nothing. I would repurpose it for the bathtub in my dreamed-of tiny home. Just love it! And I like the toilet seat on the triangular piece of wood. What is underneath? A composting something-or-other? Great arrangement!

  • Mary McGuirk
    May 11, 2015, 2:46 pm

    seems that unlike many homes built from reclaimed material, you have some mad skillz as a carpenter…nice work!

  • SteveDenver
    May 12, 2015, 2:03 am

    There’s a wonderful eye toward economy and lightness at work. I also appreciate the humorous touches: the ceramic shelf made from a toilet tank lid: pretty, easy-to-clean, a nod to traditional toilets, and functional.
    I have reused theater seats in my bedroom and dining nook. They’re great for comfy seating that needs to move out of the way for access.
    Everything I see from the trim of deck rafters to the divider of window frames shows thoughtfulness and skill.

  • Dawn
    May 14, 2015, 2:08 pm

    This looks so familiar. I believe we saw this couple/ home some months back. The home was less finished at the time which garnered a few snarky comments from some people but, the overall response was really encouraging. It was great to see them working with repurposed materials. The house has really come along and looks very homey now.

  • Rebecca
    December 3, 2015, 9:59 am

    I completely missed the toilet lid shelf first time I looked at this. This is a clever home and looks nice to live in. My plan keeps getting small and is about 400 so now. I live in old mobile 840 and now use obligation 400 so to test drive the down size. I am soon slow.

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