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6 DIY Tiny Homes You Can Build for Under $15,000

6 DIY Tiny Homes You Can Build for Under $15,000

The tiny house movement has taken the world by storm. After decades of houses getting bigger and bigger, many people are looking for a cheaper and more efficient lifestyle. There are many great tiny house builders, but the beauty of small homes is that you can build them yourself. If you play your cards right, you could build a customized tiny house and live a lifestyle that is debt free. A recent survey concludes that the average cost of a DIY tiny house is $23,000. However, you can actually do it for even less. The following six homes were built for less than $15,000.

A $500 Tiny Home

A tiny home from $500? That sounds nuts. But it’s exactly what Scott Brooks was able to do in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, he estimates it cost far less than that! Brooks is a firefighter who built a one-room cabin that is only 83 square feet. It has an outdoor shower and bathroom, but it also has an amazing picture window which looks out over the edge of the great Northwest forest. The home also has skylights, a window, and a wood-burning stove to keep things cozy and warm.

Concrete Dome Houses


Tiny homes are endlessly creative. People use different materials and create homes that are reflective of who they are. These concrete dome homes are truly unusual, because they use concrete in a new way. The Binishells are made by pouring concrete over an air-pump bladder to make a dome (with a rebar framework). This creates an amazingly strong house that withstand any dramatic weather, like hurricanes and earthquakes. The original Binishell creator says his homes have survived lava flows from Mt. Etna. Binishells were once used as emergency shelters or as outbuildings, but the tiny house community has embraced the idea. Costs run about $3,500.

An Upcycled Home

Marcy Miller’s 196 square foot home has seen her through major life changes. She originally bought an old recreational vehicle for just $500, and then spent two years making it into a beautiful home with mostly upcycled materials. The siding, for example, uses wood from shipping pallets. The house has a composting toilet, and also has radiant floor heating for the cold winter nights. During the two-year project, Miller got married, adopted a large Great Dane and had a daughter. The Millers still live in the home and find it perfect for their family. The final tally was just a little over $11,000.

A Treehouse for $4,000

Some people never give up their dream of living in a tree house. For Dave Herrle, the eureka moment came on New Year’s Eve, when he got drunk and told his wife he could build her a tree house/vacation home. In just six weeks, Herrle fulfilled his promise. The home has a raised deck and used an aluminum roof and basic natural wood siding. As a master craftsman, Herrle was savvy about using salvaged materials. Herrle was once an office worker, but when he hiked the Appalachian Trail at age 27, he realized he would be happier in the woods making things. His wife is glad he did!

Tiny Vacation Home

Most regular people can’t afford a vacation home. But a vacation home is more affordable than you think if you build one yourself. Architect Joshua Woodsman started a company that sells plans for small homes. His Cheryl Cabin is a 107 square foot home that has an amazing 47-square foot porch. It cost him approximately $2,900 to build. You can buy the plans for just $29.

Tiny Home Arched Cabin

Another unusual building plan comes from Arched Cabins. These smaller dwellings are sold as kits which come unassembled for just $6,000. They also come assembled with upgraded fixtures for only $12,300. A crew can come to your site and set it up in a day. The smallest house is 14 x 20 square feet.

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Katie Zahel
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