Building the Tiny House – Photos (1)

Chase framing the roof.

Chase framing the roof.

I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I’ve wanted to build a tiny home for quite some time. My boyfriend Chase and I had many drafts of the type of small cottage we wanted to build, but then we happened upon a picture from Jay Shafer’s The Small House Book, and it inspired us to create our own plans for a tiny house on wheels. A house that was mobile and could not, in theory, be taxed because it was not a permanent structure was very appealing. Through our local Transition Town group we connected with a small scale commercial farmer who was open to the idea of land leasing. The farmer was looking for help to ease financial burdens and needed help with the neglected property. He liked Chase’s ideas for using the land to try out various permaculture techniques and the idea of land leasing. The farmer had an old RV rusting away on his property and so we agreed to do a work exchange for it- replacing his barn roof in exchange for the RV to customize. The farmer agreed to let us use his fields and build our tiny house on his land in exchange for help towards his yearly taxes in the form of low monthly rent.

Chase began building the off-grid tiny house in September with the help of two friends who had built houses in the past. The fact that this house would be completely off-grid was exciting to all of us involved and, through the help of our local Transition Town, we met others who were inspired by our project and helped by donating materials and encouragement.

Below are pictures of the initial stages:

The original RV being stripped down.

The original RV being stripped down.

Chase building on the frame/base and preparing to insulate it.

Chase building on the frame/base and preparing to insulate it.

Framing it up.

Framing it up.

Porch and door.

Porch and door.

Roof added and all Tyvek'ed up.

Roof added and all Tyvek’ed up.

Finishing the insulation.

Finishing the insulation.

More pictures to come …


7 thoughts on “Building the Tiny House – Photos (1)

  1. Genevieve Espinosa says:

    Hi!!! I am Genny Chase’s older sister , I came across your blog trying to see how my brother is … I just want to say that your tinny house is very pretty and darling and amazingly creative 💕

    • Hi Genny! It’s good to hear from you! Thank you so much for your compliment – I will be sure to tell Chase, he will be so happy to hear that you like it! 😀

    • The building of a tiny house and its off-grid systems can vary, depending on what you feel you want/need and how far you and those building your house are willing to think outside of the box when it comes to materials used and labor. I was lucky in that my boyfriend and friends helped with construction and the contractor who worked with them did not charge me his usual fee because we are friends.

      My house materials are a mix of purchased items and reclaimed/donated materials. All together it cost me just under $15,000 to create my tiny house and its systems. I’ve heard of people building their tiny house for only $3,000 because they built it themselves with friends and exclusively used salvaged/reclaimed materials that were free. Tiny house companies like Tumbleweed and Four Lights sell already put-together tiny houses for anywhere between $50,000 -$70,000. To me that’s outrageous, but again – it depends on what you feel you want and what you think you need. I guess when you consider that a house in New York’s current housing market can run you $250,000 and up, the price is not so bad.

      • Personally, I would love to either build a houeboat, or a cob house. I haven’t decided which one yet. Maybe I’ll do a combo. Anyhow, granted the opportunity I would prefer to build my house out of salvaged materials and deadfall tree logs.
        With that being said I was wondering…

        1) what is the processes do you have to go through to repair salvaged building materials, and how much does it cost?

        2) where can you find salvaged materials, for free?


      • Ask neighbors, construction workers, etc. a lot goes into processing it – you have to pull out nails, etc. It is definitely work and the kind of work you need to build relationships with people to complete.

        If you get a chance check out the book Unbuilding by Bob Falk and Brad Guy – lots of great info and how-tos. 🙂

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