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He built a debt-free tiny house for only $15k and it even has an elevator bed!


This is the story of Tyler and the tiny house that he built for only $15,000 USD thanks to the help of friends, family, and recycled materials. Isn’t it pretty cool that tiny houses on trailers can be an inexpensive and mobile housing option?

Tyler is an engineering grad who built a budget-friendly DIY tiny house to give himself the gift of a debt-free home, and because he enjoyed the challenge of bringing a project like this to life.

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Tyler’s $15k Tiny House Built Debt-free

Video Tour: Engineering Grad’s $15k Tiny House

When we first heard about Tyler’s tiny house, we didn’t have many details about his build, so it was a complete surprise when we walked in and learned about the really innovative designs he used for his elevator bed and for his radiant heated-ceiling heat system.

We were also impressed with home much of his build was done with reclaimed materials, resulting in a budget and eco-friendly project that came in at $20,000 CAD (~$15,000 USD).

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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!
{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Susanne Boyd
    December 5, 2018, 4:14 pm

    Absolutely amazing ideas!!! I’m super happy for you and your creation!! I have a question for Tyler……is it, or could it be, equipped for solar power (or generator powered) if the electricity ever goes out in the park you live in??
    Thank you in advance for your time😊

    • Avatar Alex
      December 8, 2018, 7:09 am

      Hi Susanne, it definitely could be hooked up with a solar system along with a battery bank.

      • Avatar Susanne Boyd
        December 8, 2018, 8:30 am

        Thank you so much!! Goals….I have lots of goals 😊

  • Avatar Sheila Plourde
    December 5, 2018, 9:20 pm

    Impressive. He had very good taste. Love the heated ceiling idea. The roof and the outside was smart. Very nice inside. The elevator bed. Very cool!

    • Avatar Alex
      December 8, 2018, 7:10 am

      That’s the first time I’ve heard of a heated ceiling! Very cool… Especially for a tiny house where you sleep up in the loft.

      • Avatar James D.
        December 8, 2018, 6:31 pm

        Radiant can be placed just about anywhere… Just a question of cost and how you want the heat to spread… But it can also be used for cooling and creating thermal mass effect when using hydronic or similar…

        Radiant ceilings are one of the options that can be done during a home retrofit that can help earn points towards LEED certification…

        SSHC, Inc… INDEECO… AERO Tech Manufacturing are examples of commercial manufacturers of radiant ceiling panels…

        Some have even done the floor, walls, and ceiling for a complete envelope but that’s a bit overkill and expensive…

        • Avatar Alex
          December 12, 2018, 4:34 am

          Thanks for the good info, James!

  • Avatar Sandi B
    December 7, 2018, 10:52 pm

    Very well designed and organized. My favorite part is the bed — it is a great solution for many people who do not want to sleep in a loft. I have seen these beds in toy haulers. To be able to have your “bedroom” up and out of the way and be able to have double use of space without a loft solves a lot of problems for many people.

    The heated ceiling is also a good idea and how he went about designing it — I agree, it is better than a heated floor. However I do like the wood/pellet stoves as well for the ambience they provide and they do a good job of heating as well for minimal cost and you do not have to worry about propane etc.

    I also like the bathroom going across the trailer — I hate bathrooms that are part of the kitchen area — rather have a rear bathroom and a pullman kitchen or whatever. Kudos on this build — super job, well though out!

    • Avatar Alex
      December 8, 2018, 6:58 am

      I agree – I love the idea to avoid lofts and still have the space saving benefits of a loft. Even though usually with these bed lifts your bed ends up sitting up higher than usual which can be uncomfortable to access so it wouldn’t work for everyone.

      • Avatar James D.
        December 8, 2018, 6:58 pm

        Could actually design it to lower all the way, just depends what you have under it…

        For an example of a more flexible design, check out Houses Built Tiny Youtube channel and watch the “The Biggest 200ft Tiny House Ever” video… At the 12 minute 20 second mark he shows how the elevator bed can be lowered to normal bed height…

        But everything has its trade offs and there’s other reasons why an elevator bed won’t be for everyone…

  • Avatar >>>==James===>
    June 1, 2019, 8:10 pm

    Just wondering why I haven’t seen anyone using hammocks as a sleeping option in tiny homes? When not in use they can be tucked away anywhere taking up no more space than two grapefruit. They can easily be hung at whatever height is convenient and who can deny a hammock is about the most comfortable thing this side of heaven?! I’m 50 years old and have slept in a hammock for the last five years and mine is adjusted so I can get in and out of it easily even with my legs, which are feeling the degenerative effect of 32 years of diabetes. Plus the total cost is less than $100! The weight is negligible too. They can fit easily even in narrow homes as well.

    • Avatar Donna Millermcnutt
      June 2, 2019, 10:00 pm

      I cannot imagine sleeping in a hammock!! I have a Pauley’s Island 🌴 (S.C.) very high quality with authentic hand tied and knotted rope, I’ve had it for 20+ years. I can sit in it for a while, I’ve TRIED to sleep in it but it is not comfortable at all. Maybe it’s just me…..

  • Avatar keepyourpower
    June 1, 2019, 8:50 pm

    Now you need Simpli Safe to protect your home. Do you pay home insurance? RV insurance? How much?

  • Avatar Donna Millermcnutt
    June 2, 2019, 10:07 pm

    I love, love, love to hear stories like this one. The young man is REALLY LIVING “MORTGAGE FREE”. I hate to hear how people are “living mortgage free” when the tiny house cost them UPWARDS OF $70-80-90 thousand dollars!!!! Seriously! If someone has that much cash laying around, then WHY are they building a TINY house?? And if they borrowed the money 💰 then they are NOT MORTGAGE FREE, now are they?

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