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Jeremy Matlock’s Custom $10k Tiny Home on Wheels

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Jeremy Matlock of Rogue Valley Tiny Home Construction in Oregon built himself this Custom Clearstory home from mostly reclaimed materials.

The little house cost him about $10,000, and he lived in it for two years before selling the 270 sq. ft. abode. Since then he moved on to his second (and now third!) tiny house build:

This is how it all began. Sick and tired of simply scraping by and throwing money away every month on rent I decided to build my first tiny house. I lived very comfortably in this 18″ house for two years and absolutely loved it. This was built using mostly reclaimed materials and was finished for under $10K. Some of it’s unique features include: Roof-top deck off the sleeping loft, gravity-fed outdoor shower/32″ indoor shower, composting toilet, removable deck, 10 windows, dog door, wood stove, drop in two burner propane stove, double basin sink, propane on-demand water heater, professional hand made couch cushions, breakfast nook, hatch loft door, and much much more.

Related: French Quarter THOW by Incredible Tiny Homes

Jeremy Matlock’s Custom Clearstory THOW

Related: Modern Farmhouse Take Two THOW by Liberation Tiny Homes

Related: Craftsman Tiny House For Sale


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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 three little kids. She and her family are homesteaders with sheep, goats, chickens, ducks and quail on their happy little acre.
{ 53 comments… add one }
  • Janet
    February 21, 2017, 3:32 pm

    With all the flooding in California, I doubt any THOW survived. The roads are a mess, with many buckling. Without sufficient warning, a THOW cannot be immediately evacuated. All mobile home parks are underwater – northern and southern CA. I’ve been re-evaluating whether or not I want a THOW. As long as we ignore our nation’s infrastructure, there’s nothing we can do in an emergency.

    • Michael L
      February 21, 2017, 9:23 pm

      Heavens Janet… that’s melodramatic. ALL mobile home parks underwater?

      • Eric
        July 25, 2017, 5:35 am

        Not at all… a lot are physically underwater and a lot are financially underwater. Well, that’s my pet theory anyway. Great thing about them is you don’t have to feed them. ; )

    • lsb
      February 23, 2017, 4:21 am

      Hardly, Janet You make it sound like all of California is under water, lol Ever try Ukiah, Santa Rosa, Eureka, Willits, in Northern California just stay away from Yuba City down to Sacramento, oh and San Jose. Yes California is getting Washington State’s water this year but California is a large state and it is not washing away. In central California just stay away from large reservoirs and the California State Water Project. My family lives in So Cal and they are getting a lot of water but it’s manageable. Remember California is nothing but a desert 200 years ago, but, thanks to foresight of pioneers like William Mulholland in 1913 and Gov. Goodwin Knight , and Gov. Jerry Brown’s father Pat, California has the most advance water delivery system of dams and water projects in the nation. They will be just fine. They just got a little too much water in a short period of time, give it another 3 or 4 weeks and it will be just fine.

      • Joyce
        April 8, 2017, 7:25 pm

        This may be a rare year for California to have a ‘surplus’ of water. Too often I hear they are fighting for more water rights. We do need to be aware THOWs are like trailer homes in the sense they are not so easy to ‘pack up and move’ when danger threatens. Mudslides can be harmful too in case you parked above the rising waters. Be safe and keep drier.

        • Natalie C. McKee
          April 10, 2017, 5:09 am

          Although open shelving could make it more challenging, and people might have a THOW that they rented a vehicle to move, if you have closed cabinets and a big enough truck, I actually think a THOW in a place with weather dangers could be a godsend. You can leave and not lose your home!

        • Evening Iris
          August 26, 2017, 8:48 pm

          I’m with Natalie. I’d rather have a THOW and a good truck than a foundation house any day. If you don’t like what’s going on, you can simply drive away. This is why I don’t like open shelving in a THOW and I’ll never have it in mine. In the event of a problem, I want to be able to be gone in ten minutes flat, and I can’t think of better bug-out plan in an emergency than all household goods in lockdown, animals in carriers, and my key in the ignition!

    • Matt
      March 3, 2017, 4:59 pm

      Tiny houses are much stronger than larger houses.
      Try breaking a 16ft wide board vs an 8ft wide board.
      Which one is easier?
      Thought so!

      Tiny houses are much quicker to evacuate than larger houses.
      Try sprinting 35ft to the middle of a 72ft home.
      Try sprinting 12ft to the middle of a 24ft home.
      Why does it take 3x less time in the smaller house.
      Thought so!

      Your comment makes absolutely no sense!

      • Eric
        July 25, 2017, 5:40 am

        That’s interesting… I’ve read your comment 3 times and I’ve come to the conclusion that your comment that “Your comment makes absolutely no sense!” makes absolutely no sense.

        Oh dear, I’ll have to have a lie down, I’m getting dizzy from all this no sense business…. ; )

    • Sandi B
      March 17, 2017, 8:55 pm

      Interesting comment — I live in Southern California, Inland Empire area and I live in an RV and none of the parks here or in San Diego or Los Angeles are flooded and under water. I have not heard any mobile home or RV parks or rigs being under water. All THOWS that I know of and there are quite a few are all standing just fine with no damage from water or otherwise. There might be some isolated instances, but non I have heard of. We are all still dry and standing.

    • Michele in CA
      September 13, 2017, 2:21 pm

      California is experiencing flooding and mobile homes are under water? Which California? The one on the west coast of the United States? Because I’m in So. Calif. and there’s no flooding here. We did have some summer rain, but not enough to flood anyone out. Maybe you’re listening to the warnings we get every time it sprinkles that threaten flash floods. It almost never happens, but we still get those dire warnings. I can assure you we are high and very dry.

    • Taylor L Parton
      December 1, 2019, 4:48 pm

      Tiny Houses would have been Pulled out of Harms way,.. Those of us with Tiny Houses , have a little more Nomad in us than you would think.

  • Donna
    February 21, 2017, 4:18 pm

    The deck off the loft is such a nice spot, always enjoy those.
    Check out Jeremy’s FB link above. He shows a trailer he used for a build, and it has a roll out deck. That may be one of the coolest THOW features I’ve ever seen!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 22, 2017, 9:13 am

      Wow that is cool, Donna!

  • Andrea
    February 21, 2017, 4:59 pm

    I want one! So creative and comfy looking, love it!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 22, 2017, 9:12 am

      Same 🙂

  • Michael
    February 21, 2017, 6:20 pm

    Refreshing different from the usual ones.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 22, 2017, 9:11 am

      I love seeing unique things 🙂

    February 21, 2017, 8:46 pm

    See what happens at the rainbows end, absolutely awesome tiny house..! Did you folks see what this gentleman paid for this house… $10,000.00 , and it just proves what I have been saying all along you need not spend a fortune to have a righteous tiny house…. And that rainbow could not be better placed by the hand of mother nature…! Awesome…..!

    • Rick C
      February 21, 2017, 10:00 pm

      Not spending $90,000? Crazy talk! 🙂

        February 23, 2017, 9:37 pm

        Paid or spent …! Bottom line is that it coast him $10,000.00 can we agree on that….!

        • Eric
          July 25, 2017, 5:43 am

          Zachary, did thoust not see the smiley face? He was taking what the British would say is Taking the Mickey.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 22, 2017, 9:07 am

      Great work on his part, for sure!

    • Bigfoot
      February 22, 2017, 6:15 pm

      He didn’t pay $10K for his house. He spent approximately that on materials & built it himself. Big difference. He also used a lot of reclaimed materials (free). This just illustrates like many similar self builds the potential savings when you supply labor & utilize salvage materials. He did a great job.

      • Eric
        February 22, 2017, 6:42 pm

        So, effectively he “did” pay $10,000 for his THOW. Just came with one heck of a lot of sweat equity is all.

        • Natalie C. McKee
          February 23, 2017, 6:27 am

          Yes, and sweat equity (when you need to pay someone else for it) is extremely pricey 🙂 I like these examples because it goes to show what you can do with very little, but he ended up selling this house for $30K because someone else paid him back for all that effort!

          July 25, 2017, 6:04 am

          No .. I did not see the smiley..

    • Michael L
      July 23, 2017, 1:12 am

      Zachary… we need to go into business together building reasonably priced THOWS. This guy did an awesome job!

        July 23, 2017, 9:45 am

        It can be done,…! I know a few carpenters who are looking for work…

  • Gayla Lesley
    February 21, 2017, 11:53 pm

    Is it possible to have a mobile commercial kitchen in a tiny house and sell out of it good quality food to the public?

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 22, 2017, 9:05 am

      Great question, Gayla. I don’t know what the rules are there. But you can have food trucks in many places, so I imagine it’s the same idea with similar regulations?

    • Bigfoot
      February 22, 2017, 6:08 pm

      Mobile kitchens & laws pertaining to them would be controlled/administered by your local health department. That’s the first place to start. Laws/codes vary from state to state, county to county, & city to city. I’m familiar with Florida requirements because my wife is ready to retire & is considering a mobile restaurant so I’ve done a great deal of research. To much info to go into here. Here’s a link to some mobile concession trailers.
      I don’t believe many people live in their mobile restaurants but I suppose it could be done.

    • Eric
      February 22, 2017, 6:45 pm

      Yes it is. There has been at least 1 THOW shown on here which does exactly that. Can’t remember when, probably 18 months to 2 years ago, but it complied with all the regs.

      If you stop and think about it, Food Trucks (or whatever you call them in the States) can get it, so why not a THOW? Only difference is the THOW is towed and a Food Truck has its own motive power.

    • Anthonie
      April 2, 2017, 6:04 pm

      Check these guys out. https://www.facebook.com/TinyHouseCoffeeCo/ I can’t imagine any municipality that would allow live/work in a space that small. Start with your town’s health department.

      • Frank Leo Muellersman
        August 26, 2017, 7:17 pm

        I know in Illinois you have to have a separate kitchen to produce food products to sell. You cannot use your home kitchen. So that would be an obstacle.

    February 22, 2017, 5:27 am

    Crazy talk is when you can not fill the fridge with grocery’s, Or able to pay that first months rent to park your THOW…..! Every dollar you save is further influence to a new life living somewhat debt free….

  • February 22, 2017, 6:36 am

    You did amazing job on your home! You put a lot of work into it!?

    February 22, 2017, 8:23 am

    First I want to comment on the cozy and well planned TH. It’s a great thing that one can make a comfortable home out of TH. Good job! The beautiful rainbow is out of this world!
    As for the story of what is going on in California, I wonder how no one realize that THOW is moveable and can be towed to another spot if the people have been warned of the flood coming. All they had to do is hook up and leave. They have a better chance of still having a home then those who don’t own a THOW. I am totally baffled!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 22, 2017, 9:01 am

      That is quite true, Rosee. It’s nice that you could leave if you had enough warning.

    • Joyce
      April 8, 2017, 7:40 pm

      Common sense tells me it is time consuming to pack with ‘open shelving’ and ‘loosely hung’ items as seen in many THOWs. A few folks do not have the necessary vehicle to quickly hook up and tow or they may be too far away shopping or working, or have to navigate obstacles to reach their home in time to safely move it. For many folks moving on a short notice is great and beneficial for those without home insurance.

  • Rick C
    February 22, 2017, 11:32 am

    Yay! Another person who realized how important it is to have a desk workspace! I love this model.

    I wonder if it would’ve made more sense to move the stove over a bit so the exhaust pipe didn’t need to jog like that.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      February 23, 2017, 6:36 am

      Love having a desk! I need one 🙂

  • Mary McGuirk
    March 16, 2017, 4:01 am

    i followed a link to CLEARSTORY tiny home and just wondered if they or you meant https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clerestory this type of architecture…they are easy to confuse and conflate on purpose.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 16, 2017, 5:47 am

      Hi Mary, Clearstory is what Jeremy named his THOW. I don’t think it has any connections to anything else since this was his DIY build.

  • Mary McGuirk
    March 16, 2017, 9:19 pm

    a clerestory house looks very much like the clearstory with the half roof at different levels and windows in the middle.

  • Sandi B
    March 17, 2017, 9:18 pm

    He did a great job on an 18 foot THOW with excellent use of space. I like the decks and for someone starting out, or someone who does not have a lot of “stuff” this type of build would be great. I look at all the “Stuff” I have accumulated over the years and shake my head. I was talking with a friend the other day and we were talking about the amount of stuff we move around with us and I had to think back to when I first moved out on my own. Everything I owned, and I do mean everything, fit in a trunk that fit in the trunk of my dodge dart convertible. I would never be able to do that now. I am also not willing to give up my “stuff”. I love to cook and I like my clothes, along with my gadgets and toys. So, I would never make it in this small a unit. However, it is really a great little place.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      March 19, 2017, 5:16 pm

      I’ll never forget moving out of my dorm after 4 years in college and being appalled at how much “stuff” I’d accumulated while sharing tiny rooms! I got rid of half of it and yet, I have accumulated all that back I’m sure!

  • Marsha Cowan
    July 22, 2017, 7:04 pm

    Very pretty setup! Love the disign on this one. Gives the loft a very open feel.

  • Frank Leo Muellersman
    August 26, 2017, 7:21 pm

    I like the trap door to the loft. It helps keep all the heat from going into the loft bedroom and make for cooler sleeping. Very well thought out design.

  • Regina Bryant
    August 26, 2017, 10:33 pm

    Honey, you can’t use a propane camp stove inside a dwelling! Not only does it produce carbon monoxide, propane is heavier than air and will build up around your feet. If ignited, it will blow you up and turn you into a big fireball! And, I see you have a wood stove which would ignite the propane gas! Get it out of your house!

  • Denis
    August 27, 2017, 4:43 pm

    Wait. Not spending between 1 and 5 million for a house in Cali??? That is ri-don-culous! Everybody buys 1 to 5 million dollar McMansions in California, don’t they? The age of tiny houses is here, and all we have to do is get them recognised by the powers that be in the planning departments. That seems to be harder than building the houses themselves!

  • September 2, 2017, 7:01 pm

    He did a great job on his thow. I saw where he is going to make a 10 x 34 next , with a deck that moves. I am making a thow on a pontoon platform . Oh one more thing. I have move 5 thows in one day, all mine. Rain is not a problem, snow is. I do not want anybody telling me how to build my tiny houses on wheels! When I get to FL, I will build a big Tiny House On The Water . It will be my first as it will be bigger than 8.5 wide and longer than 40 feet , I hope.

  • Michael L
    September 12, 2017, 11:46 pm

    This house is unbelievable! I can’t believe it’s a DIY. I wish I had the courage to do the same. I have a suspicion that being just a tad OCD I’d end taking three times as long at twice the expense! My thanks to Jeremy for sharing.

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