When we know that $50,000 is the average price for a fully equipped home on wheels, the idea of getting yourself a cheap small house for less than $2000 sounds impossible. Still, it can be done. All you need is some knowledge, a lot of skill, and several great friends ready for adventure.
The key is to refurbish, repurpose, and reuse whatever you can. Besides significantly lowering the overall cost, you will also do a great service to the environment. That’s great since sustainability has a major role in the whole downsizing concept.
For a start, try to find an old trailer or an RV with a well-preserved base. The cost of a new trailer can go well over the budget we discuss here. The solution is either to reuse, or to go stationary. Doors, windows, and many small parts are totally acceptable as second-hand building items.
You can also take the extreme road and build an entirely unique structure from old tires, bottles, glass, plastic, and broken bricks. In that case, and with a little help from your friends, the house would be almost free. The downside is that you’ll have to struggle with legislation, but there are ways to use the codes in your favor.
On average, a simple, square-base 14-by-14-foot cabin plan can be adapted to fit your budget and needs. If you build a full loft upstairs, it will have well over 300 square feet of living space. The cost of lumber depends on what you can get, and at what price. Look for discounts, but make sure to get a decent quality. The structure of a cheap small house is one of the few segments that shouldn’t be messed with.
The cabin walls are commonly 2-by-4-foot lumber. Roof and floor can be made of 2-by-6-foot lumber. For both lumber and insulation, ask for a bulk discount from suppliers.
Second-hand doors and windows can be obtained from abandoned houses or places designated to be demolished. Mostly those will need some refurbishing, which is easy to DIY.
Foundation can also be DIY; you just need to learn the proper way. In this case, the weather is everything. Never make a foundation base during rainy days, as it will not dry properly and will not hold for long.
Find a professional electrician that you can negotiate with. Wiring is another segment of building a cheap tiny house that has to be done correctly, as it tolerates no mistakes. Safety comes first.
Furniture can be obtained second-hand, but, even better, you could design and make it on your own. That way, you won’t only save money but also have a chance to utilize every corner for storage.
In short, yes, it IS possible to build a cheap small house for around $2,000—just not in a mainstream way. With some creativity, skill, and out-of-the-box approach, it’s possible to get a new home in just a few weeks.
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How to Build a Small House Easily, Cheaply and in Just Days, Without Making Costly Mistakes
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