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Laura and Chad’s Beautiful Tiny Home – 5 Years In The Making!


This is the story of Laura and Chad’s beautiful tiny home on wheels. You may remember their previous 5th wheel turned tiny home from several years back. Well, today, 5 years later, they have their dream tiny house!

It’s a 38-ft. long tiny home built on a trailer that’s completely custom and beautiful inside-out. I think this THOW will really WOW you! Best bathroom award? You’ll see what I mean – please enjoy and let us know what you think in the comments. Also be sure to catch the video tour towards the bottom of the story.

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Couple’s Custom Tiny Home on Wheels with the Most Amazing Bathroom You’ve Ever Seen In A THOW…😍

The Cost Of Tiny Homes… Not Always Tiny!

When we started our journey exactly years 5 ago with the dream of building our own Tiny Home on Wheels, we didn’t know it then, but we had ALLOT of misconceptions of cost. We figured, based on looking into the cost of other self built units, that we’d need $30,000 CAN to do it. Looking back on that budget, we realize that we were quite naive. What we’ve learned on our journey since then, is that Tiny Homes, despite their size, come with constant customization; essentially the time needed to modify each detail = $$$.

Hired Master Carpenter To Help w/ the Build

I work part time while Chad [works] as a full time Heavy Equipment Diesel Mechanic, so it allowed me time to literally research and buy most items on sale or at significant discounts allowing us to save approximately $10,000 over the entire build. We also hired my Master Carpenter cousin Jeff, who discounted his regular $45 hour to $25 and built our THOW to Ontario Building code standards.

Jeff Ahier Master Carpenter and Builder 343-363-6718 located in Central Frontenac Ontario, Canada. You can also contact him via email at [email protected]

Discounted Trailer

As I have grown my audience on this journey, it has allowed for some leveraging with larger purchases, like the custom built trailer frame from Tow Tek Trailers in Mitchell, ON. We saved about $4K on that purchase too, and I really want people to understand that just because it’s a smaller home, doesn’t mean it’s going to be a small budget!

Cost to Build this Tiny House

I have kept a to-the-penny accounting of this build, and with construction costs, professional trades of electrical, propane and plumbing, we are just under $76,000 CAN. This includes the entire home from the frame up and everything you see inside from soft furnishings, to storage and heating items, appliances and even the carpets outside.

And It Should Have Cost More!

And for all of your readers out there who think that’s too much money, just imagine what the costs would have been had I have not designed and decorated it for free, sourced all the trades, deals, free and re-used items along the way or if Chad had charged for his hours on this build, and my cousin charging his full hourly rate, etc. We would definitely be closer to $95K for this build! So as far as we are concerned, those who will continue to slam the price of Tiny Homes are clearly not educated or experienced in the process and I gotta say, it is VERY upsetting to us and to the movement in general.

Our front door was a showroom unit found for only $700 but involved a 2 hour round trip for my cousin to pick it up for us. Our bathroom vanity was only $200, and the tub $650, but we found them 5 years ago and they’ve gone from being in free storage to up 3 flights of stairs in our apartment, to in and out of Uhaul’s and into our RV for travel up to the build site. Every window we saved between $50-$150 each, but again the work and traveling involved to get them on site ultimately adds up! When you factor in what Chad and I have gone through logistically to make this tiny home a reality, I realize and hope to make the readers realize, that the price tag on our home and on most of the tiny homes that Tiny House Listings features is more than justified.

The Alternatives…

Chad and I have lived in the Greater Toronto Area for these past 5 years, newly built townhouses in the area are starting at $1.5 MILLION! Single family homes are easily twice that. Dive 1 bedroom apartment rentals push $1,200/month. The cost of our Tiny Home is extremely low when you factor in the average cost of housing in the area we live. $1.5M vs. $76K = VERY LOW COST HOUSING!

From RV to Tiny House on Wheels

Just to be clear for the readers who still have doubts, we wouldn’t even consider selling our unit for anything less than $140,000CAN. Baulk if you must, but it’s a reality of the hard work, hours in, talent, customization and a professional quality built unit that will withstand our harsh winter climate and last for 25-30 years as is. You can easily spend this kind of money on a decked out RV, but from our own experience in living in one over the years, the money spent on a plastic unit with near zero R-Value can be a real waste…

It’s Still A Work In Progress 🙂

Now as with all things custom, there are still a few small details that Chad and I have to tackle before we can call our abode complete, so please forgive some pictures that capture these unfinished details. The biggest one being our washer cabinet and clothing armoire that because we chose to set them off the fenders and the wall by 3 inches, there are 2 gaps that need a decorative strip installed to disguise it. We have some baseboard trim left in the loft, and we ordered another IKEA kitchen cabinet to install on top of the armoire as we needed a wee bit more storage! Next year we also plan on building a nicer deck and stairs into our house. The ones you see in the pictures are the original stairs we built for our RV, we do as much re-using as possible around here. Also, our bathroom door and Lexan shower ‘glass’ are yet to be done.

We wanted to create a Tiny Home that felt grand and luxurious, so we avoided using tongue and groove anything on the walls and ceiling, opting instead for flat sheet wood Revolution Plywood which is a full wood product that is lightweight and flexible. I tell ya, it sure does make it easy to hang things on wood walls! We wanted our tiny house to feel like a real house, so we made full-sized kitchen, bathroom and loft spaces and included full sized appliances and fixtures to further drive home the point that our house is a ‘not so typical tiny home’ full of beautiful finishes that rival many full-sized newly constructed homes on foundations that cost a large fortune.

The dinning table is a modified sofa table, so the depth needs to ‘fixed’ by moving the leg to the back and making a new skirt to cheat the table into looking like it’s depth is full-sized too.

Highlights & Specifications

Weight: 19,220lbs fully loaded with all you see in pictures
38ft Long, 13’6″ High, 8’6″ Wide
Spray foam insulation throughout and foam board outside OSB
ESA Certified electrical
Professionally plumbed
Propane installation Certified

Dive Deeper w/ Laura – She’s A Tiny House Consultant

We invite your readers to find me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/tinyhomedecorconsultant I can answer detailed questions about our build and offer my services to those who really need an experienced consultant for their upcoming Tiny Home build. The experience I’ve gained and the mistakes we’ve made along the way, make it worth it for new Tiny Home dreamers to chat with me about their build. Experience saves time and money, and I have it in spades!

I also invite your readers to check out my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCVkygSRvo4m1xACOnlwFCA Among my many RV and Tiny Home journey vids on there, I created a 15 part series detailing our Tiny Home build and it’s pretty cool to watch back and remind ourselves that we actually achieved our dream! I hope your readers will find helpful tips for their own build!

Shout-outs And Credits To Those Who Helped Build Laura and Chad’s Tiny House

If you are dreaming of building or owning one of these Tiny Homes, remember that you will need a talented army to help you along the way. I’d like to give a should out to my amazingly talented, Master Carpenter, Cousin JEFF! Without his skills and everything he did to help us get this home built, Chad and I really don’t know how we would have gone about this! Our frame builder, Ron Watterworth of Tow Tek Trailers, our hauler, Ken at Titanic Trailer Services in Brampton, ON. Without a professional driver to move our unit for a VERY reasonable price, she’d still be sitting on my cousin Jeff’s property and our living in it, a mear dream.
I also want to thank Luc Lalonde – he was our RV hauler and without him I wouldn’t have had a place to live while on the build site…or windows, bath furnishings, garage door, etc! Luc is in the Ottawa area and a real pro hauler who can assist your lighter hauls for very reasonable prices too.
Our professionally licensed trades, friends and family who’ve supported our dream. Remember to stay positive, stay focused, research, learn, and talk to people like us who have gone through it. PLAN! PLAN! PLAN! And ALWAYS make you sure you have access to at least 30% more in funds prior to your build.

Enjoy the pictures! Hopefully they are enjoyed by your readers, it took me over 7 hours to shoot them and edit them! If there is anything else your readers would like to see, I encourage them to follow me on Facebook as I update often and am happy to provide specifics pictures and info to those who askI look forward to continuing the journey with you, and hope to talk to your readers soon!

VIDEO TOUR – Laura and Chad’s Custom Tiny Home

More Highlights

  • Inside width is 7’1″, exterior width is 8’6″
  • Interior height is 11’6″, exterior height is 13’6″
  • Beautiful and luxurious interior
  • Incredible bathroom with views
  • Wonderful staircase with storage built-in
  • L-shaped couch that looks roomy and comfortable
  • Two-toned exterior siding
  • Myriad of windows and lighting
  • Built for approximately $77,000 CAN (that’s with the builder cutting his rate in half, Chad and Laura doing lots of their own sweat equity, and over a year of sourcing materials at lower costs)
  • Laura’s master carpenter cousin, Jeff, was the main builder
  • It was built to code with 2×4 construction, 16″ on center
  • Plumbing was routed under the unit to increase headroom in the loft and because of the extra height, adults can easily walk around while being bent over at the waist. This helps when making the bed and vacuuming.
  • It is ESA certified
  • Spray foam insulation so it’s winter ready
  • On demand water heater (propane)
  • Propane stove
  • Washer and dryer
  • Incinerating toilet
  • Onboard garage with separate entrance (upcoming tour)

Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/tinyhomedecorconsultant

Our big thanks to Laura and Chad for sharing!🙏

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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!
{ 33 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Laura
    November 21, 2019, 7:28 am

    Really hope you enjoyed our Tiny Home!

    • Avatar Denise
      November 21, 2019, 4:19 pm

      You did such a fantastic job; what a lovely use of space and colours to achieve your dream space. Everything is so comfortable and welcoming. And the bathroom isn’t just a tiny space as an afterthought but a place that looks like a spa where one can relax in a space of recovery from a stressful day. The finishing touch? Those kitty cats, because a house isn’t a home until it has a cat or two in it. Bravo on a job well done.

      • Avatar Laura
        November 21, 2019, 9:03 pm

        Meowwww! Thank you Denise!!! The tub be a saviour that’s for sure! 🤗😘

  • Avatar Lee Ann
    November 21, 2019, 10:40 am

    Beautiful space! Love the cats, too. 🙂

    • Avatar Laura Sauve
      November 21, 2019, 12:17 pm

      Haha! They are pretty wonderful eh? 😉

      • Avatar Lee Ann
        November 22, 2019, 10:41 am

        They sure are! 😀

  • Avatar Jane Ward
    November 21, 2019, 11:27 am

    Love this! Very elegant and modern w/o cold o or sterile. Yes, I LOVE the bathroom!

  • Avatar Barb
    November 21, 2019, 4:03 pm

    Very elegant. Any place with horses is a good place, but the design really is lovely.

    • Avatar Laura
      November 21, 2019, 9:03 pm

      Couldn’t agree more Barb! 🤗

  • Avatar april hunter
    November 21, 2019, 4:27 pm

    OMG. THIS IS PERFECT. And it’s so stylish and beautiful…they didn’t give up who they are for space. I love, love, love the art everywhere and how it’s painted.
    Amazing job. This is, hands down, one of The Best tiny houses I’ve ever seen.

    • Avatar Laura
      November 21, 2019, 9:04 pm

      April! Thank YOU!!! Such inspiring compliments, hugs to you 🙂

  • Avatar Michael
    November 21, 2019, 5:29 pm

    Huge, nicely done and it shows love to details as well as detailed description.
    In general, I don’t like sleeping loft and dining arrangement aside each other. Prefer a shower instead of tub.
    And disproportion of width height ratio.
    For FL climate it lacks of shutters and outdoor shade but ON has a different climate.

    • Avatar Laura
      November 21, 2019, 6:54 pm

      So I guess the National library…the Sistine Chapel and basically any cathedral are also disproportionate in height?! 🤔 Craziest perspective I think I’ve ever heard considering tall ceilings are sought after, lol. There is a shower, maybe you didn’t see those detailed pics? This unit ain’t goin’ anywhere near Florida, so no shutters required 😁

  • Avatar Katherine Thompson Whirley
    November 21, 2019, 5:56 pm

    WOW…such a beautiful tiny home, I love everything and the price of things usually go with being good quality.

    • Avatar Laura
      November 21, 2019, 9:07 pm

      So true…’the bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of the price is forgotten’.

  • Avatar Paul Larsen
    November 21, 2019, 7:13 pm

    Very nice layout ! Stairs to the loft too !and best of all their is a cat or two in the pictures! Now why would I think of Gandalf fighting the Balrog , when I saw the mountain picture ? 🙂

    • Avatar Laura
      November 21, 2019, 9:08 pm

      Wish I could say, lol 😉

      • Avatar Jane
        December 7, 2019, 6:07 pm

        Love the house and the BIG art. Lawren Harris rocks!

  • Avatar Candace W Bogardy
    November 21, 2019, 9:22 pm

    This is nothing short of stunning. Beautiful design but lived in.

    • Avatar Laura
      November 22, 2019, 12:02 pm

      Glad you love it too Candace!!! Thank you 🙂

  • Avatar Robert M Worth Jr
    November 21, 2019, 11:29 pm

    Of all the Tiny Houses I’ve looked at over the last few years, this one is the best of several that I like. The lay out is very nice. Doesn’t look to cozy. Maybe it’s the color scheme or the fact that an expert put all the right touches in the right areas. Stairs are super even though I can’t deal with them. Nevertheless, there are ways to overcome stairs – might cost a little more for a chair lift elevator though would be worth it with this styling and effects. If I win the Lotto, I’d purchase one in a heart beat – though I wouldn’t be doing any sweat equity because of disabilities and age. Better to have younger people do that kind of stuff.

    • Avatar Laura
      November 22, 2019, 6:53 am

      Robert! Thank you for the kind words AND the idea for a motorized lift on the stairs!

  • Avatar Dave
    November 22, 2019, 3:18 pm

    Really nice job, and the decorating accents really make it pop.

    One thing I noticed, it looks like you’re using concrete blocks to support the middle of the trailer, and the wheels are off. You might want to check them. The strength in those blocks comes from when they are laid down, not standing up, with the holes facing up. Take a look at a conventional foundation.

    Would hate to see those blocks crack or collapse under all that weight, and put stress or even worse, have the house tip to that side.

    • Avatar Laura
      November 22, 2019, 4:19 pm

      Hi Dave! We have over 30 cinder blocks propping up our tiny home. They are all topped with thick wood ties, we used the same teqniques when supporting our RV without issue. Thx for the concern tho and the kudos! 😉

  • Avatar Heather HJ
    November 22, 2019, 3:54 pm

    Wow what a beauty! Too much to say how much I ❤❤❤ envious of the tub. I rarely see incinerating toilets, but thats what we will be putting in ours. Way to go! Seriously 💙💚💛🧡💜❣

    • Avatar Laura
      November 22, 2019, 4:21 pm

      Heather! WOOOOT! I am going to recommend you look into the Cinderella toilet instead of the incinolet…we haven’t been terribly pleased with this unit. Thank you for being ‘speechless’ haha 😉

      • Avatar James D.
        November 26, 2019, 4:05 am

        Well, all incinerating toilets will have their issues which is inherent with how they work… But I wouldn’t recommend the Cinderella over the Incinolet because the Cinderella costs much more but performs about the same. While in the states, there isn’t an official reseller and those that will import them are notoriously shady and give very poor support.

        Though, you can get a gas version for the Cinderella, which you can’t for the Incinolet, but that generally means more consumables and more maintenance over time as you’ll have more components that can wear out over time with the gas version.

        While Incinolet is actively trying to improve their product, recently having improved the energy efficiency and is presently working with Core Housing Solutions LLC to get one to work on a solar power system for a tiny house but I haven’t heard of any improvements to the Cinderella in years… Though, your mileage may vary…

        • Avatar Laura
          November 26, 2019, 5:54 am

          One usually gets what they paid for…Cinderella is in Canada and for the exchange rate, the US dollars spent would make it even more cost efficient. I’ve heard great things re: cindarella.

      • Avatar James D.
        November 26, 2019, 7:50 am

        People have also said good things about the Incinolet… Can’t always believe what you hear, especially when some companies pay/post their own reviews and copy and paste them to multiple sites as basically a form of marketing made to look like actual reviews, which is unfortunately very common for toilet reviews… So actual break down of the specs and true 3rd party reviews, if they can be found, are what I try to go by…

        Mind, incinerating toilets have been around for decades. The first Cinderella toilet was manufactured in 1999, for example, and they still sell it as the “Classic” model. But that shows the technology hasn’t changed all that much in all that time and there are reasons why incinerating toilets aren’t more widely used.

        Like one of the few improvements over the years is many of the latest incinerating toilet models now make use of catalytic converters to clean the exhaust and eliminate odors but some people can still be sensitive to what odor remains, while others may smell nothing at all. For just one example where your mileage may vary and it may or may not live up to what the marketing would suggest for someone… It is also one of those products that you have to be sure it is installed properly and operated correctly… Along with proper maintenance as it is something that will wear out over time and needs to have consumables replaced, like the catalytic converter, but misuse can cause premature break down and other issues… So different people can have very different experience…

        While the cost of the Incinolet is actually a lot less in the states than it is in Canada and it’s a lot easier to get the Incinolet serviced in the states as well versus the Cinderella that’s manufactured in Norway and again has no authorized re-sellers in the states…

        The reverse may be true for you in Canada, especially as Canadian markets tend to price products from the states much higher (for example, it’s often cheaper to buy from the US Amazon store than it is from the CA Amazon store even with added import and shipping from the states fees), some products from Europe may also sell better in Canada and Australia than they will in the states but the point I’m making are for people in the states and how that compares…

        • Avatar Laura
          November 26, 2019, 9:57 am

          You need a hobby James.

      • Avatar James D.
        November 26, 2019, 10:05 am

        Nope, already got that covered, thanks…

  • Avatar Laura
    November 26, 2019, 10:00 am

    You are just plain wrong in regards to US being cheaper for us Canadians. But I know you know everything, so I best not ‘argue’.

    *rolls eyes*

    • Avatar James D.
      November 26, 2019, 10:30 pm

      Sorry if I offended you somehow but you can just look it up and see for yourself. Everything I’ve stated can be verified independently and so there’s no need to take my word for it…

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