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He Built A $20k Tiny House w/ Reclaim Fencing


Jesse started his tiny journey as a van-lifer, before upgrading to his own DIY tiny house on wheels, with clapboarding inside and out created from old fencing that was going to be thrown away!

The use of reclaimed materials allowed him to spend just $20,000 on his home. Jesse (@_moving_castles) even built the house around old windows he had salvaged. The whole thing runs off-the-grid, with a solar setup and rainwater collection system that feeds the home’s plumbing and indoor shower (he chose an outhouse for his toilet, since he didn’t want bathroom germs mixing with his kitchen area).

I particularly love the layout of his THOW, with the staircase at the back of the home, allowing more useable space in the main living areas. Enjoy the video tour with Bryce from Living Big in a Tiny House at the end of the post.

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His Off-Grid THOW on a 400 Acre Farm

Here’s his solar set-up, and outhouse toilet.

Here’s his L-shaped kitchen and living room.

There’s a storage staircase at the back of the home, and behind the door is his shower.

Looks luxurious! Love the tile he chose.

He has a tiny wood-burning stove to keep warm.

Video: Super Affordable Off-Grid Tiny House Built From Fence Palings

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Our big thanks to Jesse for sharing! 🙏

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Natalie C. McKee

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 two little kids. She and her family just purchased a small fixer-upper and are starting a self-sufficient homestead on their happy little acre.
{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Linda Baker
    November 5, 2020, 12:30 pm

    Well done! Wondering if that is a microwave/oven near the floor in the kitchen, the wood stove is too small to cook on. Seems like all things aligned to make this happen – materials, labor, location – lucky man

  • Avatar Marsha Cowan
    November 5, 2020, 5:21 pm

    Really nice! Lovely, too. Love the warm wood hues, and the clever placement of the shower. It’s a wonderful setting, too.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      November 6, 2020, 1:48 pm

      The shower was brilliant!

  • Avatar Theresa Perdue
    November 5, 2020, 11:48 pm

    Very nice. Warm and cozy but also open and airy. Hope he gets his water sorted out soon that would drive me nuts (yes I’ve heard, short walk😂) That shower is fantastic 😍 He’s done a great job of it.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      November 6, 2020, 1:46 pm

      Well what’s funny is his reason was that he didn’t want to “sh*t where he eats” — so he deliberately chose the outhouse! I think I would still have that toilet in there LOL

      • Avatar Theresa Perdue
        November 9, 2020, 10:42 am

        Me too! 👍😄

      • Avatar BryanB
        December 2, 2020, 9:01 pm

        I agree with the author. I live in a trailer now. The indoor unit worked but had some problems so we built an outhouse. It is cheap, requires little maintenance and best of all, no smell inside the living area.

  • Avatar Stephan of Arkansas
    November 30, 2020, 7:28 pm

    Beautiful design and implementation! Well done! But may I add a polite note of caution about the use recycled wood — especially fencing materials — for INTERIOR application: Please ensure that the wood is NOT pressure-treated which means toxic chemicals may be present in the wood that might out-gas if used INSIDE the house. As example, an acquaintance of mine used pressure-treated pine lumber (butt-jointed nailed together) for the floor of his house’s new sun room addition. It was a pretty country look and use of the water resistant lumber seemed logical as he and his wife love to grow plants. They planned to use the new sun room to over-winter tender garden plants which meant regular watering. His wife had a bad reaction from off-gassing when the winter heat was turned on. This comment is respectfully submitted. Stephan of Arkansas

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee
      December 1, 2020, 9:08 am

      Thanks for that warning Stephan!

    • Avatar Kathy
      December 29, 2020, 6:02 pm

      Stephan, thank you for that very important info. You may think you are sparing the earth by using torn down barns and fences for your tiny home or other indoor application in a house. But you may be hurting yourself and those who live with you. Wow!

      • Avatar James D.
        December 30, 2020, 6:03 am

        Yes, this is especially true of treated wood that was processed before 2004, before they finally started switching to less toxic treatments… Anything from 1993 and earlier would be especially toxic. Though, elements like arsenic may be more of a threat from being physically absorbed through the skin or somehow consumed rather than from off-gassing, which the old Chromated copper arsenate (CCA), a mix of chromium, copper and arsenic formulated as oxides or salts, treatment wouldn’t do unless the wood was cut or burnt or from chemical reaction with some molds, zinc, aluminum and acid bases… Though, in an area that is constantly watered, such as a garden, it’s possible one or more of those conditions where met… Like if the nails used had a zinc coating, for example…

        However, old wood stains, glues, etc., especially in engineered or laminated wood products, can contain formaldehyde, along with other toxic volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) and are the usual suspects when dealing with toxic off-gassing. Products used on flooring have been known to have this issue before most companies moved towards low VOC solutions…

        Though, the threat can be contained by a coating of pigmented, wood-penetrating oil sealant. Some organizations, such as the Environmental Working Group (EWG), disagree with the EPA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on how often it has to be applied but rather than annually they suggest every six months is the minimum to make it safe to leave in place but masks and proper protection should be worn if cutting or burning it… While treatment may be required to be more often, depending on the use of the space and whether that activity may wear away the coating faster…

        But, there is unfortunately many things that can be unhealthy to be around that is commonly used in homes and is one of the reasons people are drawn to the Tiny House movement because it allows people to have enough control over what goes into their home to help ensure it’s healthy to live in but people still have to be careful and not every threat is something well known or easy to avoid…

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