Teen Works Through Tragedy To Build 128sf Tiny Dream House

What started as a school project for Sicily Kolbeck soon turned into a life changing event. She knew she had to complete a project for a small, independent school in Marietta Georgia, just outside Atlanta. With her mother being the school principal there was no getting out of it.

Maybe a natural makeup line or some research project…

Eventually she came across the interesting idea of building a “Tiny House”. Taking the niceties of a modern home and shrinking them into less than a couple hundred square feet sounded like fun and a bonus would be a cool place to hang out. Construction began in January of 2013 with mother Suzannah running the project and her father Dane being the muscle. Being a woodworker, Dane would teach Sicily the ropes on how to build things.

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Excited about the project, Sicily launched her own blog called La Petite Maison and created a fund raiser that quickly surpassed the $1,500 goal they set. As the project began, both father and daughter not only learned how to build the house but how to work together. Then came the dreaded moment we all never want to face. While out of town, caring for a relative, Suzannah received a call at 4am on February 16. A voice not familiar to her said that Sicily was safe in bed at home but Dane had been in a car accident. A mother and daughter’s world came crashing down and along with it the project. Dane passed away.

The project was put on hold while the process of mourning took its course. Then Dane’s best friend decided enough was enough and they needed a distraction. Looking out the window he knew what would be the best thing for all and that was to finish the project the family was working on together.

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Well after a little over a year the project is now finished. “My house is DONE,” Sicily wrote on her blog. “Yes, yes, yes. I know. Who would have thought I would finish? Not me. Just kidding. (Kind of.)”.

“I don’t think I’m ever going to be 100% great, or 100% OK,” Sicily said. “It’s not like learning how to forget him, but learning how to go through life remembering him — and still kind of living and being happy.”

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The home now sits in the back yard. It is a Tiny House on wheels and the project cost about $10,000 when all was said and done. The Tiny House will be moved to Baltimore this summer, Suzannah’s hometown. Sicily is already thinking of her next project, which is to rebuild an old Volkswagon Beetle.

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Image Credit: CNN & Edward M. Pio Roda