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Life Inside A Box: How Much Did Our Tiny House Cost?

This is a breakdown of what the couple behind Life Inside A Box paid to build their own tiny house on wheels.

Their total final cost was…. $34,667.23

This includes tools, renting a location to build, registering the trailer, appliances, materials, the trailer, etc. They contracted out the insulation, drywall, or kitchen countertops. Besides that, they did 95% of the labor themselves!

Watch the entire video below so you can learn more about where they spent their money on their tiny house project including a breakdown of costs.

How much do you expect to pay for your tiny home? Let us know in the comments.

Related: Q&A: How Much Does it Cost to Build a Tiny House?

Life Inside A Box: How Much Did Our Tiny House Cost?

Related: Why do Tiny Houses Cost so Much?


How much do you expect to pay for your tiny house project? If you’ve already built a tiny house, how much did you end up spending?


Related: Married Couple’s Tiny House on Wheels: Life Inside a Box

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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!
{ 16 comments… add one }
  • January 3, 2017, 4:40 pm

    That’s surprisingly expensive. I mention it because of the question asked above. In 2011 we built our tiny house for $17K (http://www.thesmallhousecatalog.com/afewsmallwords/the-moschata-tiny-house-free-building-plan) and in 2014 finished the Beekeeper’s Bungalow, a 765 sq ft 1.5 story energy-efficient small house for only $55K. Potential clients email me all the time inquiring about costs and I base them on my own DIY experiences. Where do think the biggest costs were incurred in your own project?

    • Alex
      January 4, 2017, 1:56 pm

      Good point, Shawn! They seemed to have spent a lot on their kitchen ($5.5k) and the trailer ($4.5k). I still think they did a good job for the money. Can you imagine if they also paid for labor? Yikes 😀

      • Janet
        January 7, 2017, 5:52 pm

        The reason they spent so much on their kitchen, is because Hannah has her own YouTube channel: High Carb Hannah, a vegan channel where she shows lots of cooking recipes and how to cook them. The kitchen was necessary!

        • January 8, 2017, 9:06 pm

          Nothing wrong with investing in a great kitchen. Curiously, my wife and I are also plant-based…

    January 4, 2017, 12:51 am

    I like it and they kept their costs down to a minimum, which leaves plenteous for their own little items in order to complete the tiny house with personal touches….!

    • Alex
      January 4, 2017, 1:58 pm

      Yeah I’m really excited to see the rest of their story/homestead unfold!

      • Janet
        January 9, 2017, 1:10 pm

        Alex, it’s so nice to see a positive comment on this tiny house. I’ve been a fan of “High Carb Hannah” and “Life Inside a Box” for two years. Derek and Hannah explained wanting to live in a tiny house and their reasons. They went through the process of researching and sharing that with us. When work began, the videos became more in depth. Everything was explained – why, how, and why this way and not that way. Costs were included as well. Two years of videos are all to be seen at “Life Inside a Box.” Derek explains why the cost on the kitchen, why he didn’t do the drywall, why the tiny house is still on wheels, why they chose the piece of land in that particular location and the costs. I’m so excited to see their channel here, and yes, I’ve been writing a lot in defense of many of the comments, but Hannah and Derek truly go to great lengths over a long period of time to really show what’s it’s like to build a tiny home from start to ongoing. When someone makes a suggestion, Derek will speak with them personally. How many people do you know are humble enough to do that? They are showing their water collection and fence building adventures, internet connection while being off the grid and so much more to come. Derek and Hannah are the most generous people and I’m proud to be subscribed to their channel. Thanks again.

  • Glen
    January 5, 2017, 6:57 am

    Seems like a lot considering they did most of the labor. Why sub out the sheetrock or insulation job? That’s pretty easy work if you did the framing and all of the rest. Also…the video? Very lame. I stopped watching when I didn’t see any video of the house. Also if you paid 5Gs for that kitchen….LMAO! Hoodwinked.

    • Kevin
      January 5, 2017, 8:57 am

      @Glen. Sadly I agree with you.

      Most Tinyhousetalk articles have at least one or more of the following nice characteristics: charming, interesting, lovely, clever, stunning, homey, economical, informative, or just fun.

      Personally, I am groping to find any of the above categories that include this article.

      • Janet
        January 7, 2017, 6:00 pm

        If you went to Derek’s YouTube channel, you would have every answer to your questions! Derek shows the building of the tiny house from day 1. He explains why he didn’t drywall the tiny house. I won’t tell you, but you can find the answer in the YouTube video. Did you really expect to find ALL your answers in these few videos? Is it too much trouble for you to go to “Life Inside A Box” and watch the videos? I can’t believe all the criticism from so many people without watching Derek’s videos.

  • Kevin
    January 5, 2017, 7:40 am

    Even with drywall inside, and wood outside, it is still legally and practically a trailer. And so, $35,000 is within used Airstream prices range. I have lived in three trailers, they were a great way to live at that time (even owned an Airstream). So, in my humble opinion, a self made tiny “house on wheels” needs to be cheaper than that to make fiscal sense. Of course, “just” buying a trailer does not afford one to have a blog or web site about it. But, as an alternative idea, quite frankly, if one has property, simply building a tiny Earthship house may make more sense, the near and long term, in that climate — and that would be a very interesting web site or blog indeed.

    • Natalie
      January 6, 2017, 11:43 am

      Trailers can make great tiny homes. 🙂 — Tiny House Talk Team

    • Janet
      January 7, 2017, 6:07 pm

      Have you considered the zoning laws regarding RV’s (tiny house on wheels) vs tiny house on slab? First read the zoning laws and then decide if your tiny house should stay on wheels or you can put it on wheels. Some counties require one or the other. Some counties have an either or decision = RV pay no taxes while a tiny house on a concrete slab must meet square footage requirements and also pay taxes. Every county in every state is different. Derek explains why his tiny house is on wheels, you should find the video!

    January 7, 2017, 11:51 am

    So glad they explained all the cost of building this TH. Hope they both will enjoy the fruits of their labors, especially for a hard working young couple like them. I give them two thumbs up!

    • Janet
      January 7, 2017, 6:13 pm

      Hi Rosee, Please go to their YouTube channels. Derek isn’t stopping his videos at his tiny house! He’s continuing with water collection, building a fence to keep the coyote’s out, and more. And yes, they are the cutest and nicest couple on YouTube: Hannah makes the best vegan food and videos that for her channel and Derek shows the woodworking. They get together and answer questions, and provide us with so much information and fun. They work very hard and deserve all the good coming in their lives.

      • ROSEE
        January 8, 2017, 8:56 am

        Thanks, Janet. They sure are the cutest couple and I did go on the you/tube and checked it out.

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