From Trash to Treasure

I kept on hearing from people, ” You don’t realize what your getting yourself into with building this tiny home..”  How hard could it be? Four walls and a roof.  I just want a big box with a wood stove and a loft.

The full reality of building this home is starting to dawn on me. As I learn more about building and what it takes to make a house- I am starting to realize that I want a little more then just a box.                 I would  like a kitchen with running water, and allot of natural light. Meaning many windows. I am even trying to figure out how to install a light weight skylight.

I am also warming up to the idea of having electrical wiring in the walls rather then just an extension chord running through a hole somewhere.   I have lookied into solar panels- and am beginning to learn all the complications and other gadgets and expenses that go with those.

So this project is turning out to be allot larger then I had originally anticipated. I had thought I would be spending next to no money on this home,  and to be fair- I’ve salvaged thousands of dollars worth of material. It’s blowing my mind how much free and cheap materials there are out there. Allot of which  people just throw away.

So yes, though I’ve salvaged allot of free materials through Craigslist, demolition sites and word of mouth, I am starting to see I will have to invest allot more time and money into this home if I want it to be the beautiful little caravan I am starting to imagine. Though allot of money to me- is nothing on the scale of what most home builders spend.

I have been greatly inspired by the stories of other people with little experience , building tiny homes. There are a group of people on Cortes I found a blog about( http://tinyishome.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/cortes-portable-cabins/ ,http://overgrowthesystem.com/sizing-up-the-tiny-house-movement/  ) that have built a cluster of such homes. One of the dwelling owners built the original structure(they’ve since added on) for $1200! $600 of which was spent on the wood stove. The vast majority of supplies salvaged for free.

So I guess what’s starting to to stand out to me is this- yes, one can build a tiny home for relatively cheap, and yes, there is allot less work involved then an average sized home. But there are many small steps that I had not considered that are building up into a much more complex project then I had originally anticipated. As well as the time commitment needed to make a home liveable in 3 months is considerably more then I had bargained for. Though I don’t regret it for a minute. With these challenges and complexities comes a realm of learning I had never even thought about…or even thought I’d think about! flanges and joists- welcome to my vocabulary.

So far I’ve demolished a rotten trailer down to the frame and with the help of a good friend and Adam, who are helping me with designs, planning and building – have started laying the foundation and will soon be constructing the walls. I will post pictures of my progress as well as give a general list of salvaged materials I’ve collected so that people can see that building your own home doesn’t have to leave you in debt with a 40 year mortgage. That with some creativity and hunting- you can make something beautiful from other peoples trash.

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