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Teen Builds Her Own Tiny Home for $9k

Meet Sicily Kolbeck of Tiny Maison and her newly built tiny home on wheels.

She’s a young lady who finished building her own DIY micro home for $9,838.69.

I believe you’ll find her story inspiring and her tiny house, well, amazing.

And she still did it even with the most insurmountable of challenges.

La Petite Maison Tiny Home

Video Tour: Sicily Gives you the Grand Tour of her Tiny Home

Sicily Tells Her Story in a TEDTalk Speech

Visit her official website/blog here.

Donate to her project here if you’d like to. (Donate button on the right)

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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!
{ 28 comments… add one }
  • Nancy
    June 3, 2014, 4:01 pm

    Curious to know other than rectangle structures what about dome or octagon tiny houses? Are there any such designs with the same Sq ft?

    • Rhion
      June 11, 2014, 9:05 am

      Quite a few, actually! It’s just that many tiny homes focus on how easy it would be to move them. Cob, yurt, papercrete, adobe, earthbag – all of these are frequently used for living in the round or building in the round. There’s oodles of designs, but they’re not covered on here as often, because, again, much of the focus is on homes that are transportable.

  • Jerry
    June 3, 2014, 5:02 pm

    I don’t know the proper word to describe it. Seeing this young woman finish her house after her father passed away. Hearing her say she knows she is not independent, but rather grateful for all the help she has received. Watching her thoughtfulness as she thinks of the future. This gives me a feeling of hope for the future that most people just don’t recognize in the faces of our youth. We are not a lost cause, we only need to learn to embrace hope!

    • rick
      June 3, 2014, 9:33 pm

      well said

  • Rebecca
    June 3, 2014, 5:20 pm

    Lovely house and great young woman. I don’t see the lost generation, I intetact with too many good ones.

    • LK
      October 18, 2015, 4:44 pm

      She is a remarkable young woman.

  • DTumbleweed
    June 3, 2014, 11:48 pm

    13! Persevering on in spite of the loss of her father. Her friends supporting her in a team effort. This young lady will go far in life! I wonder what great things she will do?

  • Linda
    June 6, 2014, 3:26 pm

    Way to go, Sicily!!!! You go, girl!!
    I especially loved the bathroom and the staircase. This house rocks!

  • Glema
    June 8, 2014, 5:00 am

    Nicely done dear! An idea rather than curtains that isn’t real expensive maybe to use a shutter for the closet “door”. Just paint it the color you want if they don’t have it in the ones you want. Often times mistakes are made in shipping and half a window dressing is broken leaving one lone shutter, you could probably get it from a store free or cheap. Won’t hurt to check it out right? 🙂 If you’re interested in the idea that is. Same goes for the under sink area, I think shutters are nice, lets air in but not much else. Stick close to God and you will NEVER be alone! I will pray for you just as I do for my daughters. May God bless you and your family. Happy Trails!

  • July 13, 2015, 8:22 pm

    you remind me of my daughter struggling in other country just to help and support our family…I’m so proud of her… you’re such an inspiration
    to others…stay healthy and GOD bless you always….

    from Philippines
    Thank you

  • Liz
    October 18, 2015, 2:33 pm

    Just love your tiny house.
    Way to go girl!

  • LK
    October 18, 2015, 3:32 pm

    Love what she did! Very pleasing to the eye, too.

    Please stop calling women who build young ladies. Teen age girl, young woman – but not young lady. There is something about it that rings of a time when women were not expected to be builders, or to be powerful in any way outside of the home. And when in the home, they were not expected to fix or build things around the home.

    • theo
      October 18, 2015, 4:17 pm

      She is definitely young. But your statement makes it sound like you think she is not a lady. So, I’ll call her a young lady, until proven wrong.

      • LK
        October 18, 2015, 4:48 pm

        I think that young lady should be considered appropriate when and if it is standard to call young men, young gentlemen.

        • Elaine
          October 18, 2015, 6:04 pm


    • Elaine
      October 18, 2015, 6:02 pm

      I agree LK – the tem “lady” is very outdated. And I can’t imagine a 13 yr old girl being called a “young lady” without seeing the OMG eye roll! I’m 50 and I don’t like being called a lady. I’m a woman. A competent independent woman. I’m not a woman who worries about being well dressed and proper with good posture. I DO have good posture. I do yoga. But you know what I mean… 🙂

      • BK
        October 18, 2015, 8:50 pm

        Good grief. Nobody cares.

  • Theo
    October 18, 2015, 4:30 pm

    Nice looking, looks well built, the price shows you don’t need to spend major dollars making one of these. If it is ever moved tho, loads of stuff to move and or secure. Do not care for the bathroom opening directly into the kitchen, the door could have easily been placed next to the stairs. Ah yes, the stairs, narrow, no anti-slip surface, no safety rail of any type. And then there is the loft. Seems like most ‘designers’ consider nothing but lofts for sleeping, and that’s about all you can do in that one, you sit, lie, or hands and knees, back down the steps, praying you won’t slip. I doubt there is much getting dressed while up there, and I would even get undressed below. Oh yes, if all she will do is shower, I would get rid of that watering trough, and put in a proper shower stall.

    • Elaine
      October 18, 2015, 5:53 pm

      Yes, Theo, if she ever moved the house things would need to be moved or secured. I doubt that would be a regular occurrence. The bathroom door could NOT have been easily placed next to the stairs. The stairs, I believe, went right up to the exterior wall. You would lose the stairs and the storage space if you moved the door. If I’m wrong there is still the fact that there is a toilet on the other side of the wall where you would want the door to be. The way she has it is really the only way it works. And I like it. Yes, the stairs are narrow. She’s 13. I think she can handle it. I’m 50 and I could handle it. Yes, it would be difficult to get dressed in the loft – and this is a problem, why? Her clothes will be downstairs so it would make sense to get dressed downstairs… Yes the loft is only for sleeping and what is the problem with THAT? And if you think a standard “proper” shower stall would fit in that bathroom then you are delusional. I love the little tub and I think it would work great. That house is very tiny and I’m impressed with how much she was able to do with the space and have it very functional. I was amazed that you were able to find so many things to criticize!

      • Theo
        October 22, 2015, 7:06 pm

        I figure it will probably be sold before it is thought of moving it , so that is pretty much moot . Lose what storage space? I didn’t see enough to matter, however did see space that could easily be converted to storage areas. In fact, the entire bathroom could easily be made smaller, without losing any of its function, that has been done countless times. News flash, I’ve hated lofts since before you were born. Sleep in one for awhile, knock your knees a time or two in the middle of the night, maybe even slip off the stairs, then tell me how enchanted you are with lofts. When I wake up, I want to swing my legs off the bed and sit for a minute or two, then stand up, and get dressed. It is a PITA to have to crawl out of bed, then go down steps, with no handrail, and get dressed. Surprised at how much I found to criticize, eh? Don’t be, I could have come up with a whole lot more, however just kept it to the really major things that irritate me. I come up with this stuff from personal experience, not from just not caring for something. Sleep in a loft, I have no issue with that at all, just don’t expect me to want to.

  • Aloszko
    October 18, 2015, 5:09 pm

    Dear Sicily,

    I urge you to contact One Young World, I’m sure their ConstruCyle will be of interest to you.

    It’s so good to know that the next generation is not completely emo with anger management issues.

    You deserve to have a bigger audience.

  • Sharee
    October 18, 2015, 5:43 pm

    Beautiful young woman and beautiful tiny house.

  • October 18, 2015, 8:14 pm

    Very inspiring and heartwarming. Hard for it not to bring tears to my eyes. Nice to see a young person doing something so constructive.

  • jane
    October 18, 2015, 10:05 pm

    I admire her perseverance, but I was looking forward to an article about a teen who built a house. If I recall correctly, she had a really tremendous amount of help. And there is nothing wrong with that, but it’s not really accurate to say she built it.

  • Nanny M
    April 13, 2018, 6:20 pm

    Inspiring young lady, so there. I prefer being called a lady to a woman and don’t have the connotations you mention. What a wonderful job she did creating her own design. Yes, she is a powerhouse with a wonderful future ahead. I know Dad is watching over her with love and pride.

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