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She Built Her 152-sq.-ft. Tiny House For $12,384


A year out of undergrad, Mariah found herself in an emotional — and financial — crisis. She was trying to make sense of some childhood instability and find direction, when she stumbled upon a woman living in her tiny house. Graciously, that THOW-owner welcomed Mariah to look around, and that’s when everything changed for her.

She had no building experience (and not a lot of money), but after four years she had completed her amazing tiny house, and she’s been living in it for three years. Her self-built success inspired her to start a tiny house coaching/spacial design company, which supports her.

Some of the home’s unique features include a half-loft bedroom, sky-lit shower, and Shou-Sugi Ban clapboarding that Mariah burned herself! Enjoy the Tiny House Giant Journey interview below.

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From No Building Experience to Self-Built Home-Owner

She went with an open, minimalist design.

Her counter space folds down when not needed.

This shower is what dreams are made of!

She had barely used a drill when she got started.

VIDEO: She Built a Beautiful TINY HOUSE for only $12,384

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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.
{ 16 comments… add one }
  • ronn
    September 12, 2021, 8:47 am

    overall a pretty nice build. where is the toilet or did I miss that?

    also, what is the cost for land rental in your location?

    thx!

    • Ann
      September 14, 2021, 4:24 pm

      At 11:50 she says that there is a communal bathroom on the property, but will be adding a compost toilet in the future.

  • FRANK DAVIS
    September 12, 2021, 10:27 am

    This build is wonderful and inspiring! I love the minimalist design style. No matter what other style I’m thinking about that I want to employ I always incorporate minimalist design techniques…more space, order and escape from life’s tendency to be rather clutteristic…yeah, another one of my words….lol
    I really respect and admire this young lady…great job, Mariah! What an inspiration you are! Love your T.H.O.W.!

    • Natalie C. McKee
      September 14, 2021, 6:12 am

      “Clutterisitc” is a fantastic word. And I agree! While I’m not into the white/modern aesthetic in my own home, I have been on a mission to get rid of stuff! Less clutter, more peace.

  • Joanna Huskey
    September 12, 2021, 10:57 am

    Beautiful design. Love the clean open feeling.

  • FRANK DAVIS
    September 12, 2021, 11:24 am

    Currently no toilet as she uses a Bath House on the property…but she did say also in the video she has plans to just a compost toilet…heck, with that beautifully designed and built shower w/skylight I wouldn’t mind walking a bit to do my business…so probably she’ll have a really cool, minimalistic approach on the new ‘leu…Let’s see what she can do with say….5 sq ft…whatever she does I already know it’ll be AMAZING! I feel another video coming from her when she finishes…please share! 🙂

    • Eric
      September 13, 2021, 4:57 pm

      Except when its raining, or indeed the middle of winter.

      • Shirley
        September 13, 2021, 7:55 pm

        It’s San Diego, not Wisconsin. 😂 Weather isn’t a huge problem.
        I love it but no way would I be able to use a communal bathroom. I get up several times during the night. That’s my problem. I still love it.

        • Eric
          September 21, 2021, 7:46 pm

          Point taken… for now. But what if she moves? There’s a famous quote “Never say never.”

    • Natalie C. McKee
      September 14, 2021, 6:11 am

      Exactly! I don’t think she could go wrong. I would probably just stick a cassette toilet in the shower that could be taken out during showers. But I need to get up in the middle of the night at least once haha.

  • Kathy
    September 13, 2021, 4:02 pm

    What a wonderful place you have built for yourself Jenna! Congratulations!

  • Eric
    September 13, 2021, 5:00 pm

    Shame. If she could have only saved $39 she would have had a $12345 house. ; )

    Great house btw.

    • Natalie C. McKee
      September 14, 2021, 6:07 am

      LOL, Eric! I was impressed with how specific the build cost was ha.

      • Eric
        September 21, 2021, 7:48 pm

        So was I. But that was just too good to pass up.

  • BJ
    September 13, 2021, 8:48 pm

    While I like it. Good size. Its cost is in 4 yrs. Cost would be more for keeping it somewhere to work on and keep safe all that time. As I rent now, then I’d have to rent to do that build. But. Glad for her. It will last a good long while. Changes can always be made . & being Tiny. It can be moved or added on.

  • Marsha Cowan
    September 14, 2021, 8:45 am

    Really nice! Nothing beats making an income doing something you love. Great job!

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