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Taylor & Steph’s $10k Earthship Home

This is Taylor & Steph’s Incredible 560 Sq. Ft. Earthship Home in the mountains of Santa Cruz, California.

The couple built their home out of recycled materials in a way that’s sustainable and good for the environment. They had no construction skills, lived off-grid for a long time and managed to do it with less than $10,000.

Now, they want to share their journey and explain the concept of Earthship Homes via a photo book. So they started a Kickstarter campaign to help raise the funds for printing. Be sure to head over there, watch their inspirational video, and consider getting your own copy of “Nomadic Roots.”

Related: Family’s $4,627 Straw Bale Home

Taylor & Steph’s $10k Earthship Home


Our big thanks to Art for sharing!

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Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee

Natalie C. McKee is a contributing writer for Tiny House Talk and the Tiny House Newsletter. She is a coffee-loving wannabe homesteader who dreams of becoming self-sufficient in her own tiny home someday. Natalie currently resides in a tiny apartment with her husband, Casey, in Massachusetts.

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{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Love it! Truly cool place. Well done!

  • Avatar Claudia Moore

    OMG, Would my granddaughter and I LOVE to live in one like this! This is BEAUTIFUL!!!!!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie

      That it is!

      • Avatar Claudia Moore

        how can they help us start a home like this? I am 65 and disabled, my granddaughter is 14 and still in school. I want one so bad, so bad for us to have and live in but I truly do not know where to start. Last month i got a set-back in my health, but i am wanting one in the worst way, and from what I was told it should be as soon as it can possibly be. Thank anyone that takes the time to read this.. God Bless, Claudia Moore

  • Where’s the restroom?

    • Avatar Pam Kerstein-Maes

      Maybe behind the kitchen wall?

  • Avatar Dennis

    I like your house but I see that you couch in really dry. Looks like it is in the sun. Get some dr Jackson hide rejuvenator and rub several coats in like a pair of boots. It will do wonders for the leather. Do it several times a year and it may out last you.

  • Avatar JC Wolfe

    This is a wonderful home and it amazes me that they did it for $10,000. Very inspiring for me as I would eventually like to build something like this for myself and use recycled materials. It always amazes me how much some people spend on a tiny home. Part of the fun is doing it as economically as possible.

    • Avatar Rick C

      By and large earthshippers have been VERY cost-conscious. I used to be on a mostly-owner/builder mailing list a decade ago and these guys prided themselves on scrounging materials: wood and glass from construction and demolition projects, getting used tires for free, and so on. One of the design principles of earthships is using low-cost local materials (get the dirt to fill the tires on-site if possible!), which is one of the reasons these $70,000-and-up THOWs bother me. To be fair, if premium materials all the way is the way you want to go, fine, but I love seeing the ones done one a shoestring budget, too.

      • Avatar JoJo

        Me Too! I like the idea of scrounging if possible to keep cost down…..

      • Natalie C. McKee Natalie

        It’s always inspirational to see people working with recycled materials!

        • Avatar Claudia Moore

          Thanks for the information but being disabled there is not a lot I can do. Your father is wonderfully lucky!! Be very proud of him. Here in North Carolina I do not have any contacts at all, most of the people I used to be able to call on have already passed on and that is no lie. I have 1 son in Alabama but he and his wife are too busy to come here and do that for me. I keep praying and something will happen. Again, thank you.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie

      That’s the truth!

    • Avatar Glen

      I am amazed at the cost. Would love to see details on the build. Also…land cost? Such a nice place.

  • It is the typical home that strongly represents the personality and the cultural level out media, and/or standards. I like it because you can savor the desire to solve with exclusive taste, every space in different function. Really Good

  • Avatar suzanne joffe

    Gorgeous home… is there a bathroom? and where do they put all their stuff?? No storage or closets.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie

      Haha I don’t think they are big on stuff 🙂 And I think they might have an outhouse system. They are off-grid.

  • Avatar Susanne

    So cozy… Love the plants, esp. In the kitchen..:)

  • Avatar Elle

    Nice, good job, lovely digs. However, I have to ask–How much was the land? Was it given to you? Did you inherit it? Do you live on family land? What? I ask because $10K is admirably low for such a lovely job but land anywhere is expensive, let alone in mountains of Santa Cruz, CA. So, got to ask.

  • Avatar ROSEE

    You built this? I am impressed! Well done, I don’t have enough thumbs for this one! Good job!


    Awesome…! They just had these on TV the other day, very cool idea….!

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie

      Yes! They are on my list with hobbit holes and yurts now 🙂 Oh, and cordwood homes…hmmm..which will I choose!

  • Avatar Claude

    Well done, very exotic, nice!

  • Avatar Michael L

    I love this home. Nice design and I live the repurposed item. Great job folks.

  • When feelings run faster than words, maybe the sound of a song that gradually captures the memory as now the delicate and melodic sound of: “Have you ever really loved a woman”, from the film “Don Juan DeMarco”.

  • Avatar jm

    I’m not sure why they call it a “ship”. As we journey through life…?
    Most people will see a UFO spaceship before they live in an earthsip.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie

      It’s the name of the whole movement — Earthship homes 🙂

  • Avatar Claude

    The 10K didn’t include the land, so a large part of the cost is a permanent site, then you can imagine how you will create your habitat. The cheapest way to achieve your dream is to search for the best deals or buy an old flat bed truck and pick up stuff from scrapyards, construction sites (With permission) roam the streets the day before the garbage pick-up and pick the good stuff people throw away. I bet you will be able to build anything at a low cost.

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie

      Also scan Craiglist. My dad is a crazy Craiglist enthusiast, and he built a bran new home that’s filled with free or very cheap Craigslist finds, including a whole kitchen of Viking appliances and beautiful hard wood floors.

    • Avatar Elaine

      and freecycle,com

  • Avatar Claude

    I forgot to mention, it would be nice to get some friend or family members to give you a hand.

  • Avatar Chris

    I tried to reply to this before as i wondered how the county of santa cruz approved this to be built.

  • Avatar Nicole

    My fiance and i had been researching full time RVing for a couple years now…These Earthship homes combined everthing ive ever wantes to do…gardening, tiny house, solar and wind energy and self sufficiency💖 IM IN LOVE💖

    • Natalie C. McKee Natalie C. McKee

      They are high on my list of “awesome” as well!

  • Avatar sheila

    This is very nice. Everything blends with this home. Comfortable and clean looking. I love it.

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