When I stumbled upon the 200 Sq ft tiny house of Jim Walters and learned that he built it for a mere $600 my first question was, alright, how?
So I visited his blog to investigate. Jim says ” …..basically made of left-overs from when we built the cabin we live in.” OK, so Jim is a builder, that certainly helps, but looking at the photos of this tiny house it is easy to notice that the windows alone could cost more than$600.
So the secret? Research + DIY + construction waste.
Do you know how much good building material goes to the dumps these days? Actually less and less thanks to good environmental practices, however, it is still a lot. And there are ways to get your hands on what you need to build a tiny house or cabin.
Get to know your local construction waste facilities and salvage companies and get creative with materials for reuse. If you are able to work with a contractor to pick up any waste before it gets sent for recycling you are ahead of the game.
There are also many Restores that sell construction waste for a tiny fraction of the original cost. If you know anyone building anything there is always waste. Ask them if you can help dispose of anything through recycling/reuse.
The key here is to use only construction waste and modify your design to suit the materials you have available. Minimize the electrical and mechanical systems with simple water retention, and passive solar where possible.
The best way to heat and cool a home is by good exterior wall design. Think double-wall or strawbale. In my next article, I will provide sample exterior wall systems.
Stay tuned for more … and see more of Jim Walters’ tiny cabin on his website – https://jjwaltersblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/tiny-house/
Article by Rod Borghese