Tours

Single Mom Builds Her Own Tiny Home From Container

December 8th, 2018

Tiny home living is giving people a new lease on life. Take Lulu for example.

Tiny living has given the single mom a home and allowed her to spend more time raising her daughter.

“I had to move out of the house I was living in and a friend said: ‘Why don’t you just build something?” Lulu explains to Fair Companies.

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Lulu went back to school and didn’t want to have to work full-time just to pay her rent.

So, she decided to build a home out of a shipping container.

“I think I’m a little claustrophobic so the storage container was a little daunting, but I got the container for free,” she said. “It went back and forth from China. So, it had been at sea.”

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She spent two to three months searching dumps and other places for free or inexpensive building materials like windows, doors, and flooring then spent about a month building her home.

She had remodeled a boat before but never built a home from scratch.

She would use 2×4’s to create the traditional framing of the interior of the home. She also installed the denim insulation, drywall and did some light plumbing. Bubblewrap protects the wood framing from condensation.

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“It’s really well insulated,” Lulu says. “If anything, it gets too hot.”

She used a jigsaw to cut openings for the doors and windows, which used up several blades.

The 160-square-foot container consists of a play area, couch, bookshelf, and a kitchen that features a sink, a propane camp stove, and a small refrigerator.

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“The benefits of a container is you can move in right away, you have a house right away,” Lulu said. “It’s pretty incredible.”

A separate room houses a large clawfoot tub, sink, and toilet.

Hot water comes from a camping water heater that runs off propane. Lulu decided that she and her daughter needed a bit more space.

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So, she built a separate unit on a flatbed trailer with the frame bolted to the trailer and is basically built like a shed.

This unit contains some general living space, Lulu’s bed, and a loft where her daughter’s bed is.

“It’s really mostly built like a shed. It’s a nice looking shed, but it’s really an 8 by 16 shed with windows in it,” Lulu said.

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This unit was built with lots of windows so that natural light floods in and Lulu and her daughter can gaze at the stars.

They’ve had “a million astronomy sessions.”

“It’s been amazing to spend so much time looking outside,” Lulu says.

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Lulu says that it’s “incredible” what you can find in a dump. She grew up in Argentina so she’s used to living modestly.

“When you don’t have money you just have to get creative,” she said.

Lulu said she spent about $4,000 creating her home and doesn’t regret downsizing.

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“Material things, all of it is on borrow right, we’re all just borrowing stuff… None of this is ours and we try to secure ourselves in these identities like my house, my wife, my car, my children, my career. You know the bigger the more, I’m sure that I am myself and it’s like oh no, this house is really a prison and I’m tied to the bank,” Lulu said.

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She hopes to soon build a second bedroom and a greenhouse that connects the current bedroom structure to the kitchen and living area.

Her daughter will then have the bedroom shed all to herself.

“I mean this was really a choice about, you know, how many hours do we have to our life and how do I want to spend those hours and really about do I want to go and work more than 10, 20, 30 hours a week so that I can pay rent to have a big house so that I can be a healthy normal mom. So this was my choice and she’s [her daughter] definitely complained at times, but I also know that we have spent way more hours than I would have if I had to pay rent,” Lulu says.

Get a full tour of the home in the video below.

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Source: Kirsten Dirksen

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