Macy Miller, an Idaho architect, has built a home for just $11,000. She was inspired by a dream after losing her home to foreclosure. So what did she get for her tiny budget?
And why would anyone want to live like this?
In 2011 Miller had a dream where she lived in a tiny property. She had previously lost her home to foreclosure, and the idea of building a small property which would cost so little to buy and run appealed enormously, so she bought a trailer and started working on the 196 square foot home.
The end result is not going to scrimp on the mod-cons - even within the confines of the space and the budget. The Daily Mail reported that she has a king sized bed, a shower, fully fitted kitchen and washer/dryer (as well as running water and electricity). The most expensive purchase of the lot was a $2,000 toilet. The finished result also looks stunning, and includes a porch she can sit out on.
Take a look inside the tiny house:
Living smallThe property is impressively tiny - especially when you consider that the average home in the UK is 818 square foot. Even the much-maligned new-builds are an average of 495 square feet, and many residents complain they are too small and have no storage space.
She is one of a growing movement in the US known as the Tiny House movement, which is thought to be a reaction to the collapse of the American Dream in the foreclosure years of the financial crisis. Couples and families are exploring how much space they really need, and are keeping their budgets to a minimum.
Other striking examples include the Tiny House. Although it is 320 square feet (which is palatial compared to Miller's home) it houses a family of four in the Blue Mountains in the US. They scraped together the items for their home largely from Craigslist for just $12,000, and they have a lucrative sideline with a book on how they did it, and a consultancy to help others do the same.
In Ireland, one man's reaction to the financial crisis was to build a home for €25,000 with three bedrooms cleverly arranged within a shed-like structure. He even published the details online to enable others to follow his example.
However, in the UK, there are those who have taken the idea still further. These include smallholder Michael Buck, who built a one-bedroom property on his land for just £150, using reclaimed and recycled materials. The cob house is built from earth, dung, clay and straw. It has recycled floorboards and a thatched roof. For that money you don't get electricity or running water, and the composting toilet has to be in an outhouse, but the house is an impressive feat.
Even with a few more mod cons, Steve James from Dumfries managed a similar style property, with a kitchen built from a cedar that had blown over in a park, a Moroccan marbled shower room, and lights that run off a car battery. He spent £4,000 on his home.
But what do you think, does living small (and frugally) appeal to you?