Since I was young, I was drawn to the idea of small living spaces. Forts, tents, campers, and cabins engrossed my internet searches. Though, I never thought to live in one permanently… until now.
Fast-forward to 2012. I started dating a girl that confesses to me that she’s never wanted the ‘white picket fence’ house. To her it represents chains to lock her in one location. Being buried alive. She also doesn’t want to get sucked into the ‘rent trap.’ Spending money she’d never see again on a place somebody else owns.
I married her.
While we were engaged I flew back to my parents’ place to go deer hunting with my family. In a bitter-sweet turn of events I got a sinus infection opening weekend. I was stuck on the couch in my parents place for four days.
Bored out of my mind scrolling through Facebook I had a friend post a trailer for TINY; the documentary about a couple that builds a tiny house (it’s on Netflix). I couldn’t find a way to watch the movie, but I did find a list of links on their website to other tiny house resources… I was hooked.
I called my fiance’, ordered tickets to a building conference, and downloaded all the free plans I could find.
Over the course of the next couple months I downloaded google SketchUp and started drawing out my own plans. She started scouring Pinterest for design ideas. We put together a budget and savings plan to begin work after our wedding the summer of 2014.
At the building conference we met tons of tiny enthusiasts, people interested in building, and a few that had already started. We were offered a DEEP discount on a trailer and plans so we switched and stretched our bank accounts around and saddled up.
Coincidentally, sitting down and actually paying for the trailer was a lot like getting engaged (and married!). I wasn’t nervous at all. In fact, I was confident; driven and focused. That is, until the moment arrives. Ask her the question, walk down the aisle, sign the dotted line…
I wish I could communicate the conversations and research it took to get where we are now in less than 500 words. It honestly, took four months of convincing, seemingly infinite hours of Pinterest, and the conference for my wife to agree that we should start now.
But here we are, over a year after I drew a chalk floor plan in my parents’ driveway, made my mom stand in it, and climbed the roof to take pictures. We currently have a subfloor and two walls up.
Don’t get me wrong; this has been stressful and defeating. People are not always kind or supportive. There will be setbacks. You will question your ability and possibly your sanity. But it is fun. It’s rewarding. It’s exhilarating. It’s worth it.
“What is the most resilient parasite? A bacteria? A virus? An intenstinal worm?” asks Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception, “An idea. Resilient, highly contagious. Once an idea has taken hold of the brain it’s almost impossible to eradicate.”
If you’ve found yourself even mildly interested in tiny houses or tiny living, strap in and go for a ride. You won’t regret it.