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He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for $16,318 in materials


This is the story of a man who built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for $16,318 in materials.

It’s located in the Florida panhandle and he even stayed in it after hurricane Michael. Now he is considering using it for Airbnb, too. It’s 16′ x 16′, 2 stories, 512-square-feet. What do you think?

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512-square-foot built for $16k in less than 4 months!

He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k

Images © JD Daley

He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k

And here’s HOW he did it…

He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k He built a 512-square-foot tiny house for his sister in 3 months and 28 days for 16k

Images © JD Daley

I Built this house for my sister, so she could come and visit me from England in 2016\. In 2015 she expressed an interest in someday moving to a warmer climate and I told her should to move to Florida with me. She was hesitant since we had met only a few times ( I was adopted in 1960 and she is my biological sister, we met in the late 1980’s). She and my biological mother said they would come visit on April the 28th, 2016 around Christmas of 2015\. I built this tinyhouse for my sister in 3 months and 28 days, start to finish. I live in the panhandle near Tallahassee. I spent 16,318.00 on materials and built it myself. I brought in helpers on the weekends. I stayed in it after hurricane Michael. My generator was more than enough to run my well and the on demand propane hot water heater and the keurig coffee maker, so at least I had coffee and hot showers for the 12 days without city power. It is not for sale, but I have considered using it for airbnb for the Florida State home football games.

This home is 16×16, 2 stories, 512 sq ft., full bath, with a lot of south facing windows, skylights, and picture windows to flood it with light

Our big thanks to JD Daley for sharing! 🙏 Share yours!

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Alex

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!
{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Betty Lynn Radcliffe
    May 7, 2019, 9:49 pm

    all these tiny houses are so awesome. I’m very impressed by the gentleman who built the 512 square foot tiny house for sister from England. What a kind-hearted gentleman an awesome brother. It’s a beautiful house and I’m sure she’s going to love every second in it. Thanks for sharing

  • Avatar Linda Baker
    May 7, 2019, 10:16 pm

    great job – wish city restrictions would allow this in my area of Mi

  • Avatar Diane
    May 7, 2019, 10:20 pm

    Wow when someone says they are coming for a visit you go all out. I bet she was one surprised sister. I know your Mom is proud of you too. I think it is so wonderful when people can come together and work on a project. I wish I could do that here as I have one that is almost done but I don’t have a wonderful brother like you. She is a lucky girl. Thanks for sharing your story. I am sure it’s furnished now and ready for vacation visitors. Enjoy it.

    • Avatar Alex
      May 8, 2019, 11:53 am

      Thanks for the lovely comment, Diane!

  • Avatar Thomas
    May 8, 2019, 6:23 am

    People with great hearts and great skill. That’s what this country is all about.

  • Avatar vickie gnad
    May 8, 2019, 6:35 am

    Would have been nice to see the actual finished interior. The pics are bits and pieces. I’ve no doubt its quite nice inside, but would sure be nice to see it.

  • Avatar Mark Walls
    May 8, 2019, 11:25 am

    Any chance you have building plans and would be willing to share them. ?

  • Avatar Eric
    May 8, 2019, 6:29 pm

    3 months and 28 days… wow, that’s splitting hairs isn’t it?

    But total Kudos on an amazing achievement.

    But, for $16k in New Zealand you’d be lucky to have the lumber for your framing… everything is so expensive here… even more so when the politicians get their grubby fingers into things. /sigh

  • May 9, 2019, 2:00 pm

    What a beautiful and kind thing to do for your sister. I love the counter top for the kitchen and the tile work for the flooring. Would love to see more photos. Thanks

    • Avatar Alex
      May 11, 2019, 2:55 pm

      More photos coming soon I think! I’ll let you know in the newsletter if we get more in!

      • Avatar Anthony c
        June 12, 2019, 3:05 am

        If we could get a list of materials used etc.. I want to build one and for that price that’s a great looking home.

        • Avatar Alex
          June 12, 2019, 10:49 am

          Thanks, Anthony, let me see what I could do!

  • May 9, 2019, 2:05 pm

    I mentioned the tile work for the flooring. I was wrong, It was pennies. How cool is that!!

    • Avatar Alex
      May 10, 2019, 11:58 am

      😀

  • Avatar Cindy
    May 10, 2019, 8:07 pm

    ADORABLE!!! LOVEEEE the “penny path'” floor, how incredibly creative. I am currently living in my tiny house. I bought one that the shell was premade, it was a 12×28 but that included a 4 foot porch. I ended up not measuring right and the stainless steel counters and shelves I ordered for my kitchen ended up being to big so to fix that issue we just walled in the porch area and now I have a kitchen I love. All stainless and I dont have cupboards because I hate them I have stainless steel shelves and I love them. I have an rv sized oven/stove and my sink was made from an old tin washbucket and for one person it is deep enough I can wash and rinse in it easily. I painted the floors with outdoor porch pain and did spatter pain colors over the top for a unique look and my walls in the livingroom/kitchen and ceiling are all used corrugated tin with all the “imperfections” because that is the look I like. The next one will have a wet room for the bathroom instead of a shower stall though.

  • Avatar Diane Gray
    May 11, 2019, 9:31 pm

    What a lovely thing to do for a bio sister! I am very impressed and wish I had a brother like that! 🙂 You should be very proud!

  • Avatar Melissa Robinson
    May 13, 2019, 10:36 am

    Hi JD!

    My daughter is a full-time student @ FSU (majoring in Biochemistry) so I often visit her from Gainesville. I’m actually in Tallahassee today but I have to head back to Gainesville this evening. Luckily, I came across this article about your house this morning and I was wondering if you ever allow people to come tour your tiny in person?

    My dream is to build my own tiny house on wheels one day but I have zero construction experience so, I know I will need a lot of guidance/help or have it build by a professional builder. I’m usually in Tally at least once every 6 weeks, sometimes more often than that. I love how you built your tiny so I was wondering if it would be possible to actually see it in person?

    Thank you!
    Melissa Robinson
    [email protected]

  • Avatar Brenda pate
    May 16, 2019, 9:16 pm

    Love what you did for your sister. Sturdy and practical use of materials. I am so envious I wish local governments would allow here in California. 10×12 converted sheds would be a special treat for some of our working poor and homeless. I have seen them for under $5,000

  • Avatar Barbara Roy
    August 28, 2019, 4:11 pm

    Mr. J. D. Daley,
    I also live in the Florida panhandle (Milton, FL) and I am very impress with your house. I hope you will provide some pictures of the interior in the future. I do hope you are fully recovered from Hurricane Michael. It is going to take Panama City Beach and the rest of the area some years to fully recover.

  • Avatar Ryda M. Stuart
    August 28, 2019, 7:00 pm

    If I am viewing this correctly you’re telling me that his posts for support of the house go to directly into the ground that there is no concrete pillar and post? If you’re spending the amount of 16,000 and some odd dollars why the hell would you go cheap here? From what I can see that’s not redwood or cedar looks like Oak, that means it rots.

    • Avatar Marcus Tempey
      November 30, 2019, 12:17 am

      Ryda–
      Let’s talk: c/o Marquis Marian Estates, 503-769-8333, 390 SE Church St., Sublimity, OR 97385, okay?
      Marcus

  • Avatar Glynis Anita Sheppard
    September 4, 2019, 11:49 am

    Hi, I’d like to discuss this project in more detail. What is his link?
    Thanks,
    Glynis

  • Avatar Vickie L Echerd
    May 9, 2020, 5:26 pm

    I like this and I really like seeing homes people live in everyday rather than Airbnb
    Oh and glad the save button is back 🙂

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      May 11, 2020, 1:30 pm

      So glad you enjoyed it! And the button.

  • Avatar Ursula H
    May 9, 2020, 7:29 pm

    Wow you are some brother! Wish you were my brother, you did a great job

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      May 11, 2020, 1:29 pm

      Right!? How awesome!

  • Avatar Noula
    May 10, 2020, 1:55 pm

    Greetings from Quebec, Canada – When my friend receives emails on Tiny houses, he forwards them to me (we are thinking maybe we could build one for our retirement, if the City bylaws allow it).
    This is the first time that I am so impressed by a Tiny house that I want to copy it! I especially love the roof and the stairs – and let’s not forget the awesome “Pennies-floor” – WOW – WOW
    Congrats to the builder, besides having a heart the size of your country you are a a hell of an artist.
    I can’t wait to see the finish product if Alex succeeds in talking-you into showing it to us.
    Thank you for sharing Sir and May God Bless.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      May 11, 2020, 1:24 pm

      So so glad it was helpful and I hope your tiny dreams come true!

  • Avatar Nicole
    May 14, 2020, 8:16 pm

    Wow!
    Love what you’ve done for your family. Mad carpentry skills and generous heart!!! Inspirational!

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