Ashley and Chad spent one year taking their dreams of tiny living and bringing them to life building their very own DIY THOW. Now the couple is expecting a baby, and planning to continue their sustainable, mortgage-free life as a family of three!
They had a budget of $35K for the build, and came in spending about $40K for their 28-foot home on wheels. They did try to use second-hand and repurposed materials as much as possible, and designed the interior with a retro 70s flair. Neither of them had any building experience, so YouTube University taught them everything!
Right now they are parked on some farmland in British Columbia, and they talked to us about their tiny life below. Also, there’s a video tour from their YouTube channel you can enjoy.
When his parents sold the family vacation cabin so they could buy their dream home, this man decided to buy some Canadian prairie land and build a 96 square foot cabin that could fit his family of four and keep them warm in the subarctic temperatures of Treaty 6 Territory. They live off-grid on the 141 acre property for about 125 days a year.
He didn’t have a lot of time to get the cabin built before winter set in, but in 12 days spread out over about 3 months, he and a couple friends managed to build this fully-functional little cabin for just about $3,000 (USD) in 2016. Since then they’ve added solar panels, a propane heater, and other little touches which brought the cost up to about $4,300. Still incredibly impressive for such a little space!
By keeping the cabin under 100 square feet, he’s able to keep the land labelled as agricultural, which saves on property taxes. He made an awesome video about his build, and a second video outlining his costs, which are great resources for anyone interested in doing something similar!
This is a 345 sq. ft. tiny house built in 2012 by college students Ashley Haugstatter and Michael J. Zella in Endicott, New York.
The two built the house together. It cost them about $35,000.
Ashley just shared an update in the comments about where they are now, and I thought you’d be interested:
Hi everyone! I’m the girl in the video, this is our beloved tiny house 🙂
Our original hope was to have a tiny house on a trailer to take with us, but due to the zoning laws, we found this to be our best option. $35,000 includes the land, the home, all of our landscaping, retaining wall, driveway paved, etc. We didn’t skimp on finishes, but we didn’t go super pricey either.
We did indeed build it just the 2 of us, which is why it took a while. We worked 10-12 hour days for about 2 1/2 months. It was grueling, but so worth it! It was actually costing the 2 of us ~$12,000 EACH for room and board at Binghamton, per year. So with my having 3 years left and Michael having 2, it didn’t make sense to stay on campus. Plus the accommodations at school are less than stellar. And we couldn’t have our puppy at school 🙂 We also saw renting as a waste of money — the cheap rentals are in the downtown area that we wanted to stay away from, and the newer nice rentals were way overpriced. We did end up selling the house and got all of our money back. We have re-invested and now have built another lakefront home on Oneida Lake in Syracuse where we moved following graduation. I’m a nurse in a Pediatric ICU here and Mike is a Mechanical Engineer at Carrier. We would have stayed, we both had good paying jobs offered to us, but I wanted to work in a PICU, and there are none in Binghamton.
The desk did go underneath the loft, across from the clothes. It was a perfect set up! It really couldn’t have fit our needs any better. The outdoor area was also great for having people over. I do miss it, but our new house by the lake is also beautiful! I am so happy that we had the experience though. It was an amazing place to live for 4 years.
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How These College Students Built a $35k Tiny Home!
After just about a full year of designing, testing, and re-engineering, EcoCabins is now able to build you either a 24′ or a 28′ model of the Morrison Tiny hOMe on Wheels with pricing starting at $54,900 and $59,900 respectively. And I’m excited to announce that the first three hOMe models have already sold and EcoCabins is ready to take new orders.
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