A tiny challenge Just for the LOVE of it At Home
The Good Life|October 2020
The last thing I needed was another house — even if it was just a tiny house.
By Lief Carlsen

I have a full-size house in Chelan, a house in Arizona, two guest cabins and a motorhome. No, another roof over my head was hard to justify on the grounds of need.

Nor was I some millionaire who could afford to collect houses the way Jay Leno collects antique cars.

The truth was, building a tiny house was something I wanted to do and I would justify it one way or another. The justification I came up with was that I would build it to sell it, maybe even start a small business building tiny houses.

With an initial budget of $10,000, I knew I would have to economize.

Tiny houses are built on flatbed trailers which, new, cost about $5,000 — half my budget! Clearly I’d have to work around that expense.

My first thought was to get an old travel trailer for free or next to nothing, strip it down to the frame and axles, and start from there. As luck would have it, my brother, Hans, saved me that effort by offering me his homemade flatbed for $300. I figured I was off to a good start.

Building a tiny house is not that different from building a typical frame house; the difference being that everything is smaller — (duh!).

On the one hand, that’s good, because I could easily maneuver all the materials by myself. On the other hand, cramming a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and living/dining room into a space the size of a typical bathroom requires some serious head scratching.

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