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Couple’s $20k DIY Tiny Home

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This is one couple’s $20k DIY Tiny Home on Wheels.

It features a side entry and when you step inside, you’ll find a living area, full kitchen, bathroom, lots of storage, and a spacious upstairs sleeping loft.

Discover how they built their own tiny home themselves even though they never had any construction experience before they started. And how they did it even while living in an apartment and working full-time!

Please enjoy, learn more, and re-share below. Thank you!

Couple’s $20k DIY Tiny Home

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Construction of this DIY Tiny Home

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From Mountain Getaway to Full Time Tiny House

We built it with plans I drew myself, paper/pencil method. We began our floor without even loitering what the exact floor plan would be. I the took a week off the project to design it/draw it out. After several revisions while building, six months later we finished what was going to become our mountain getaway house. We ended up loving it so much we decided to live in our Tiny House full time. We found a trailer park and moved in without everything complete.

Building a Tiny House When You Have a Smart Car!

…we both drive smart cars as well. So getting supplies to the build sight was a task in and of itself at times.

We rented a pickup truck specifically for towing trailers from enterprise rent a truck both times. First time, When we purchased the trailer from Iron Eagle trailers. And the second when we moved it from green anchors, to our current place.

Finding a Place to Build Tiny When You Live in Apartment

We built in an area of Portland called Green Anchors. It’s an industrial area that rents a space to people wanting to build their tiny house.

We lived in an apartment the entire time we were building, if green anchors didn’t provide a place to build it would never have been possible.

Building a Tiny House during Raining Season

All of it was built during the rainy season in Portland winter.

We built the entire winter under the canopy. We would just pull back the canopy and work on second at a time. Using the inside of the tiny house as our workshop.

Building a Tiny House Before Knowing Where to Put It!

The entire time we were building we had no idea where we were going to place it. We thought maybe a piece of land in the mountains. Make a getaway home. But we soon realized we were building faster than we thought we could. And our apartment lease was coming up. And finally found a place that was pretty close.

Building a Tiny House Without Knowing How to Build a Tiny House

We both had no knowledge of building things at all in our lives. We watched hgtv programs ask the time as well as all the tiny house programs and got inspired.

Finally when looking on YouTube, I found two couples that had built their own tiny house and made videos about it. And we followed their videos. And found many other helpful videos online as well.


Our big thanks to Patrick for sharing!

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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!
{ 60 comments… add one }
  • Tanya Litherland Hohe
    August 11, 2016, 7:15 pm

    Absolutely love this one!!! Wonderful job!!

  • Dennis Elliott
    August 11, 2016, 7:49 pm

    O.M.G.! This is one of the best looking tiny’s I have ever seen! Nice job! And for so little cash? WOW! Just WOW!

    Thanks so much for sharing!


  • Clayton
    August 11, 2016, 7:57 pm

    Been there, Done that! I am impressed. The first shot of the kitchen is very nice; sets the tone for the rest of it. Well done. Been working on mine for more than a year, but I am probably three times your age, so three times slower? 🙂 😉

  • Kim Pratt
    August 11, 2016, 8:07 pm

    I really like the house, you all did an awesome job, love the picture window, with the awning style windows underneath, the storage areas, the stairs built in with storage underneath each step, the headboard picture of Paris. Everything looks so nice and comfortable. Your house looks like it is just the right size to be a full time residence and to travel with it so choose to do that in the future. I want to design a house on wheels with all the ideas I got from seeing all the houses, I have various ideas in my head. I would love to have one that I design. I would love to travel and live various places when I retire, from my main job. I would want to take pictures and write a journal as I go from place to place, and hopefully get a book published. I envy you all. Happy trails and happy living, comfortably in a small house.

  • Gloria M Moran
    August 11, 2016, 8:27 pm

    This is a great tiny house and I am amazed at the price. This is definitely a keeper. I could be very comfortable in this tiny house.
    Well done.

  • Ritesh
    August 11, 2016, 8:38 pm

    I want to know what is the rent for land and how is sewer facility. Is water n supply grounded

  • Linda
    August 11, 2016, 8:50 pm

    Great Job! Really like your home and is better than many I have seen!!

  • Kathy
    August 11, 2016, 9:02 pm

    Nicely done!! Amazing cost for such a well planned, roomy, comfortable looking home. Love your homey touches on the outside too. The flower boxes add a nice touch. I have to ask……the headspace in the loft appears to be higher than what I usually see. Maybe it’s just the camera angle, but is your home 13’6″ or taller?

  • Fanya Houston
    August 11, 2016, 9:42 pm

    Really nice job!! Very attractive! Looks like those you seever for $70,000, and you did it for $20,000?! Really well thought out and appealing!!

  • Eric
    August 11, 2016, 9:57 pm

    I love how, despite all your stuff, the THOW looks so spacious. Especially the bedroom… with real head height. Epically well done… Kudos to the 2 of U!

  • Keith Falkner
    August 11, 2016, 9:57 pm

    I was hoping to see the Tiny Car towing the Tiny House.
    On second thought, I think it was valiant of that little car
    to tow the trailers used for hauling construction materials.
    Thank you for an intriguing description of a fine project.
    Well Done!

  • Susanne
    August 11, 2016, 10:53 pm

    Quite lovely!! It sounds so simple; watch some videos of others building even though you’ve never built before, and you can build a house too in only 6 months! ?

  • Gene Wiley
    August 11, 2016, 11:13 pm

    Of all the Tinys iv’e seen, this catches my eye the most. Your choice of spacing is well thought out. What do you have in the other loft? Storage? What was the length and width, height. I never noticed if it was posted. Thank you for sharing.

  • Robin
    August 11, 2016, 11:32 pm

    Beautiful house! You guys are an inspiration. That kitchen is simply gorgeous.

  • August 12, 2016, 2:03 am

    I’m so impressed! Really well done, and this couple did it so fast! I too love the homey touches on the outside, and all the extra storage added. I bet this thing weighs a ton, so no smart car towing :p
    You were able to park it in a trailer park? So neat. I’ve heard of trailer parks rejecting TH’s that aren’t Manufactured Home certified, so either luck or good research there.

  • Jodi Sparks
    August 12, 2016, 8:44 am

    Your tiny house is amazing!
    I live in Vanc WA and would LOVE to see it in person….if you’d like to show it off.

    August 12, 2016, 9:15 am

    Holy moly! Did you say this was a tiny house? Everything inside looks just like a regular house. How did Patrick find room for everything? Now that is what I call well thought out planning! Good job Patrick! Now I am going to go and do some more looking at your pictures and admiring.

  • Eva Marie
    August 12, 2016, 2:56 pm

    This is such a beautiful tiny house. It looks like full sized furniture and appliances. So cozy, artistically done, practical and lovely. No wonder you gave up your apartment to live here full time. Those smart cars always put a smile on my face when I see them and your home does so as well.

  • Janet
    August 12, 2016, 9:17 pm

    I absolutely love this house. I would need a one level, but the kitchen is beautiful!

  • Marcy
    August 13, 2016, 11:14 pm

    Will you come build my tiny house?

  • Sparrow
    August 14, 2016, 4:10 pm

    If it looked less boxy, I would love this (sorry, but I love a peaked roof). Just the same, congrats! You have a lovely little home!

    • Gene Wiley
      August 15, 2016, 12:06 am

      Sparrow mentions boxy. What is boxy about it? The roof is peaked. Do you want an A frame peaked, or just a little more peak? The more peak you have, the less room on the walls. Maybe a little more head room in center of loft. I ques each to there own, that’s why they are all different in style. Love all the different style. Sparrow you just hit me wrong, but I get what your thinking. Sorry . Enjoy looking.

  • August 15, 2016, 12:18 pm

    Absolutely fabulous job –and with no prior experience!. I would agree youtube is incredible helpful to refer to, although I would definitely take 1-2 tiny homebuilding courses first if i tackled building one. Kudo’s for your tenacity and the results. namaste’, rachel

  • Jody
    August 15, 2016, 11:13 pm

    Great job you guys! No experience and only 6 months?! How did you do it so fast! I have the same price range when I start building mine. Does the $20,000 include the trailer too? Way to go and happy tiny living!

  • Tracy
    August 16, 2016, 4:20 pm

    Lovely, Lovely, Lovely!! Best Kitchen ever; lot of room to prepare food.

  • Resa
    August 16, 2016, 5:04 pm

    Great job! It just goes to show what you can do if you really want to get something done. Love the layout.

  • Gigi
    August 16, 2016, 6:21 pm

    Well done! The only thing I would question is the use of wood in the shower stall. Better to use an impermeable surface. Otherwise, I am amazed by your design and craftsmanship, and the fact that you found a place for your home.

  • Maria
    August 17, 2016, 7:52 am

    Great job Guys. Except I would have a little less kitchen cabinets on the wall where refrigerator is so I could have an eating area.

  • Linda Bowers
    August 17, 2016, 10:48 am

    I’m simply blown away by not only the beauty of this house but how well it’s built. Y’all need to start a tiny house building company: if you do, LET ME KNOW!!!!

  • Lorraine
    August 20, 2016, 1:07 am

    Okay, totally off topic here-I didn’t realize Smart Cars were capable of pulling trailers!

  • Stephen Gibbs
    August 20, 2016, 11:36 am

    Well done! What is the square footage?

  • Stephen Gibbs
    August 27, 2016, 11:54 pm

    Well done! This is very nice! What is the sq ft? Interested in building another one?

  • Cande
    August 30, 2016, 7:20 pm

    I absolutely love this, esp how y’all decorated. I’m not looking for a home to travel with, would need to modify for a foundation _ tweek it so to speak. Should be very proud of this accomplishment.

  • Susan
    September 24, 2016, 12:03 pm

    2 words: Nice job!!!!!

  • October 16, 2016, 3:14 pm

    Is an Explosion of Enthusiasm and Commintment to the Passion, the Love for Tiny House. And Go!…UP!

    • Natalie
      October 21, 2016, 1:55 pm

      🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • EJ Runyon
    October 21, 2016, 8:25 am

    I’d like the builders to talk about the lattice around the skirting, I think I see hinges, and I’m curious, what did they do there? Why, and How’s about it?

    • Natalie
      October 21, 2016, 1:56 pm

      Those are good questions! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Karen
    October 21, 2016, 11:36 am

    I love that you documented your back story… Each story is so individual. Your kitchen includes an amazing amount of storage. I for one have been discouraged to read the inspiring story of builds and then see them for sale a short time later. I hope to here more of your thoughtful evaluation of how your tiny works for you as you adapt to your new life journey in your home.

    • Natalie
      October 21, 2016, 1:56 pm

      So glad you liked it, Karen — Tiny House Talk Team

  • susan
    October 22, 2016, 2:57 pm

    Yay! A bedroom. A real bedroom where you don’t have to crawl in and out of bed!

    • Natalie
      November 21, 2016, 10:57 am

      Yes 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Peggy L.
    November 16, 2016, 12:51 pm

    Wow! It’s beautiful and I can hardly believe that it only cost $20,000. I’m mid-way into a project and the costs keep rising. I cannot do the work myself, so, of course, that about doubles the costs. I am very impressed with the quality of this THOW. Good on ya.

    • Natalie
      November 21, 2016, 10:57 am

      Yes it’s so hard when you can’t DIY! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • Shrley
    November 16, 2016, 7:30 pm

    Ahhh great job. Thank you for sharing lots of great photos. You should be very proud.

  • Joyce
    November 17, 2016, 8:55 am

    I did not know the Smart car could tow a trailer. I also like the headroom in the loft and the design of the area over the trailer tongue.Are the appliances new or used? Cost new would be over 2G. That cut into the material budget. Overall nice home for you two. Enjoy your hard work–it really shows and nicely done.

    • Natalie
      November 17, 2016, 9:56 am

      They didn’t use the smart car to tow it 🙂 They said they rented a truck. And I’m not sure about if the appliances were used. — Tiny House Talk Team

  • November 18, 2016, 5:52 pm

    This is outrageously cozy. The way I’ve wanted to live since I was a kid.

    • Natalie
      November 21, 2016, 10:58 am

      Hehe yes it is! — Tiny House Talk Team

  • November 29, 2016, 3:41 pm

    This is a great looking Tiny House! Is it possible to point me towards the plans used to build this?

  • Donna
    June 19, 2017, 8:22 am

    Yours is one of the best THOW I’ve ever seen. What a great layout and the colors, storage, the whole package – pat yourself on the back y’all, congratulations!!

  • Diana
    December 10, 2017, 11:56 am

    You guys did a terrific job! Your house looks better than some Professonaly
    Built models ! Touchee!

  • Myra Perk
    December 10, 2017, 4:32 pm

    Lovely. A real home indeed ❤️

  • Bob
    December 10, 2017, 11:42 pm

    Not only do they live tiny, they drive tiny. Watching videos, tuning into web sites like this one as well as others, I’d say they really learned a lot and easily transferred that knowledge to a beautiful home.

    Love all those little touches like the way the wheels are covered with a structure to hold flower pots, and the storage box above the front of the trailer. Plus, the grid lattice around the skirting. Very practical and simple much like driving the Smart Car.

    For larger amounts of supplies, wondering if they asked Home Depot to deliver because I know they will. Would have to decide whether their delivery charge is less or greater than the cost of the UHaul and a trailer hitch for the Smart Cars plus fuel. Just a thought.

  • Robert Sparks
    December 10, 2017, 11:56 pm

    I am 89 years old, therefore I am no longer capable of building my own tiny house. I need a (very) low cost tiny house built in Texas or built and delivered to Texas east of Dallas a few miles.
    I need the house to be furnished with electric range, sink, fridge, and bed plus other necessary furnishings.
    I also need a fixed price for this service.
    Please advise me by email.
    Thank you

  • Cori judge
    December 11, 2017, 6:20 am

    Love it. I hope to see a utube video and responses to comments. I also wonder if you’ll go into business building tinys for others. I’m interested along with many others who’s comments I see here. : ) Cheers to building a great home! Cori

  • Vivian
    December 11, 2017, 11:01 am

    I can’t think of much more to add than anyone else. I just wanted another voice to shout out to you about how wonderful this turned out. You show that quality does not have to be about spending 100K. I love the fact that you have head room in the bedroom, space to move easily around and, OMG, you actually have a place to store food and dishes. Fabulous plans!

    And, btw, whereever you go, you have to keep Mickey. 🙂

  • Ted
    August 25, 2018, 8:06 pm

    How do you post pictures of your tiny home

    • Alex
      August 27, 2018, 3:05 pm

      Hi Ted, you can send photos in to our email: [email protected] and we can post them for you 🙂

  • Jim Carter
    September 1, 2018, 12:31 pm

    Saw it ,loved it, But,,, you exposed too much Wood Shingle to the weather.You will understand why in a few years.They so much better run shorter and I don’t care what any one says about it they will last longer and they look more rustic.

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