This is a guest post from Ally & Priyan at Palm to Palm – Alternative Dwelling Design, Build and Consult.
My husband and I have a dream of creating a sustainable micro-homestead on a tiny backyard plot. We built this 120 square foot home on a limited budget with zero construction experience. Neither of us had ever swung a hammer before starting and we had less than $6k in the bank upon breaking ground. As far fetched as it all seemed, we decided to trust that anything is possible with inspiration, vision and enthusiasm.
We learned framing, sheathing, roofing, drywalling, tiling, flooring, plumbing and wiring mostly from YouTube and a few select books. Each part of the project had a steep learning curve as we gathered the necessary tools and materials and knowledge. I mostly had to learn the art of patience and the supreme importance of good prep work !!
We designed the shell to be simple + approachable for first time builders. And because our budget was as tiny as the house, we used as much salvaged, reclaimed, restored, discounted and second hand materials as possible. The chronic lack of funds inspired a lot of creativity and I discovered an amazing alchemical skill for transforming trash to treasure. The whole thing cost less than $8500 to build and took about 9 months to manifest.
What a tremendous journey to build a house! Besides being a dynamic, hands-on education, it was an absolute joy to see our vision manifest and take shape, step by step. The result is a gorgeous labor of love that fits our simple lifestyle like a glove.
We have plans to develop the edible landscape with recycled grey water irrigation and to build a tiny greenhouse, rainwater catchment system and matching chook house.
Having completed this project, Priyan is now interested in the creation of tiny home communities where beautiful, functional, sustainable homes are affordable and available to average people. Such communities would offer shared utilities and facilities and create safe, legal spaces to live large in tiny homes.