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Family’s Designs/Builds Small Home… Mortgage-free!


This is the story of the Ruthardt family’s mortgage-free small house on a foundation.

Over four years ago, they built this beautiful 700 sq. ft. cottage on 8 acres in Oklahoma.

It took them a total of 9 months to design and build it. It wasn’t long before they were living debt free and eating healthy.

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Young Family’s 700 Sq. Ft. Tiny Home in Oklahoma

Young Family's Debt-free Tiny Home on a Foundation in Oklahoma

Young Family's Mortgage-free Small House on a Foundation – Ruthardt Family – Plans to Build Your Own Available

Young Family's Mortgage-free Small House on a Foundation – Ruthardt Family – Plans to Build Your Own Available

Young Family's Mortgage-free Small House on a Foundation – Ruthardt Family – Plans to Build Your Own Available

Fireplace in the Ruthardt Cottage – Small House

Young Familys Tiny Home on a Foundation – Ruthardt Family – Plans to Build Your Own Available

Young Familys Tiny Home on a Foundation – Ruthardt Family – Plans to Build Your Own Available

Young Familys Tiny Home on a Foundation – Ruthardt Family – Plans to Build Your Own Available

Young Familys Tiny Home on a Foundation – Ruthardt Family – Plans to Build Your Own Available

Young Familys Tiny Home on a Foundation – Ruthardt Family – Plans to Build Your Own Available

Young Familys Tiny Home on a Foundation – Ruthardt Family – Plans to Build Your Own Available

Young Familys Tiny Home on a Foundation – Ruthardt Family – Plans to Build Your Own Available

Young Familys Tiny Home on a Foundation – Ruthardt Family – Plans to Build Your Own Available

The first thing they did when they got their land was to build a barn. It’s a 12 x 24 x 8 barn.

The trailer was useful for clearing brush and, as you’ll see later, for going to buy construction materials. Nope, it WAS NOT used to build a tiny house on. 🙂

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

The little tractor we bought. Our work truck. Couldn’t have done any of this without both of these!

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

I was able to cut some 14′ poles out of the old barn already on our land and save some money on the new barn. They are old solid heavy poles.

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

First trip to Lowes

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

Framing the Barn

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

Two days we had it framed up. Casey and I.

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

Making sure the tractor fits!

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

Built with blood and sweat…

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

Built my own door. Turned out great. Though I should have built it to open to the inside and not open out. Ill know next time!

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

This was the next weekend. All done except some trim. We have a place for the tractor and 4wheelers and now a place to lock up and keep our tools.

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

Another trip to Lowes

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

Was going to fill the barn with gravel then cement it, but decided to just lay a wood floor.

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

2x6x12 floor joist

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

The Barn Finished!

Ruthardt Family – Barn Construction

Preparing Land for their Tiny Home…

Ruthardt Tiny House – Preparing Land for Construction

Ruthardt Tiny House – Preparing Land for Construction

Ruthardt Tiny House – Preparing Land for Construction

Ruthardt Tiny House – Preparing Land for Construction

Ruthardt Tiny House – Preparing Land for Construction

Ruthardt Tiny House – Preparing Land for Construction

Ruthardt Tiny House – Preparing Land for Construction

Ruthardt Tiny House – Preparing Land for Construction

Then they built their tiny cottage on a foundation (on piers recycled from telephone poles!).

Ruthardt Tiny House Construction – Foundation – Telephone Pole Piers

Ruthardt Tiny House Construction – Foundation – Telephone Pole Piers

Ruthardt Tiny House Construction – Foundation – Telephone Pole Piers

Ruthardt Tiny House Construction – Foundation – Telephone Pole Piers

Ruthardt Tiny House Construction – Foundation – Telephone Pole Piers

Yup! They used FREE utility poles from the electric company help build their tiny house. Cool, right?

More Materials… (Lowe’s Run)

Ruthardt Family Tiny Cottage on a Foundation – Picking Up Materials – Lowes Run

Framing the Tiny House Foundation…

Cutting my post with a chisel to set our beams on! Hard work!

Ruthardt Tiny House Construction – Foundation Framing

Hand saw crosscuts to make chiseling easier

Ruthardt Tiny House Construction – Foundation Framing

Ruthardt Tiny House Construction – Foundation Framing

Ruthardt Tiny House Construction – Foundation Framing

Turned out pretty good. But this is going to take forever.

Ruthardt Tiny House Construction – Foundation Framing

Casey starting a post

Ruthardt Tiny House Construction – Foundation Framing

Floor beams

Ruthardt Tiny House Construction – Foundation Framing

Framing

Ruthardt Tiny House Construction – Foundation Framing 008

Young Familys Small House on Foundation – Ruthardt Family – Construction 001a

Young Familys Small House on Foundation – Ruthardt Family – Construction 001b

Painting the Tiny Cottage – Ruthardt Family

So now they have just the right tool to build a good life…

A wonderful debt-free small home.

Ruthardt Tiny House Family – Ruthardt 4 Adventure

But soon, their desire to live and travel on the road as a family grew and grew…

Ruthardt Tiny House Family Adventure Travel Trailer and Vans

So they started planning to hit the road and put their tiny home on the market so they can sell it and live on the road instead while homeschooling their kids and starting their own business.

Within weeks, they had over 600 people attend their open houses and they sold their small home and got this…

Ruthardt 4 Adventure Tiny House Family with a Travel Trailer and Van

Ruthardt 4 Adventure Tiny House Family with a Travel Trailer and Van

Ruthardt 4 Adventure Tiny House Family with a Travel Trailer and Van

Ruthardt 4 Adventure Tiny House Family with a Travel Trailer and Van

Now they have left corporate life and are traveling the country.

And they’re helping others who are interested in building a similar small home as theirs by working with an architect to produce plans to build their cottage so that they can offer it to others.

So in a way, their small house still lives on…

Now anyone can buy their small house plans and build a “Ruthardt Cottage.”

Ruthardt Family Cottage Plans

Ruthardt Tiny Cottage Plans

Ruthardt Tiny Cottage Plans

=> Get the plans here.

It includes the materials and framing and is all up to code.

If you’re interested, you can learn more about the plans in print or digital.

You can also follow the Ruthardt family on their website, Instagram, and Facebook.

We are a family of four who have sold everything we own, including our self built tiny homestead. We left the corperate life behind to chase our dreams to travel the country. We are biking, hiking, paddling, skating, and fishing and have started our own business along the way. We are passionate about sharing our journey with others as we go and love to help others also live their best life!

Sources

  1. https://www.ruthardt4adventure.com/
  2. https://www.instagram.com/ruthardt4adventure/
  3. https://www.facebook.com/ruthardt4adventure
  4. https://www.ruthardt4adventure.com/store/tiny-house-printed
  5. https://www.ruthardt4adventure.com/store/house-plans
  6. https://www.ruthardt4adventure.com/store

Our big thanks to the Ruthardt family for sharing!🙏

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Alex

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!

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{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Avatar Kathy Collier March 2, 2019, 7:00 pm

    Perfection! I absolutely love your little home. I wouldn’t change one single thing. You guys have embraced a vision for life that is far from the norm and so inspiring. Well done!

  • Avatar Michael March 2, 2019, 8:21 pm

    Well done. However, travelling and hit the road is a better option when you are still capable. Settle down is better when you are aging. You have then still all memories and the good feeling that you didn’t missed much.
    That’s why I would like to encourage those who want to see more than their hometown.

  • Avatar martha worley March 3, 2019, 10:21 am

    Beautiful home, lovely story, and so nice to see a home on foundation that is easier to live in than THOW, because of laws! I so often see interesting tiny homes that have no information for interested prospective homeowners, so I love that the family has made this home accessible to other tiny home enthusiasts.

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