I remember a two years ago one night I was on the phone with my mom and talking to her about what I was going to do the following year. I was stressed working two jobs and facing the prospect of having to move every 9 months or so(like most college students) and I started talking to her about tiny houses. It didn't take too long before I realized that if I ever wanted to do a tiny house, now was the time before I get bogged down in college debt and working 40 hours a week. I talked to my dad about it the next day and he said he'd let me live at home(rent free) and use his tools until I graduate and move into my completed tiny house. Once I decided I was going to build a house though, I also realized it was possible for me to graduate school debt free, or nearly debt free*, a huge bonus. So, like I said earlier, I wouldn't have even been able to do any of this without help from my parents.
Fast forward to building. If someone thinks they can build a house all by themselves(like maybe I did), they're crazy. Sure framing and subfloor might be easy, but as soon as you have to get 4x8 pieces of plywood on the roof and walls, tin on the roof, and windows in there's no way you're doing it alone. For all of this I am grateful for my boyfriend John, and my dad. My dad has had a lot of good insight and tips and has helped with those 4x8 sheets, tin, and windows and other things I just didn't know . And John, well sometimes I feel sorry for him. I don't think either one of use knew that when I decided I was going to build a house it really meant WE were going to build a house..he has kinda been forcibly, but happily, chained into the passenger seat of this car I'm driving. He's even described this whole building process as "driving a car down the highway at night with no lights...except maybe you have a flashlight, but I can't see anything."
Beyond the physical challenges of building a tiny house, there's the motivation problem. I really didn't have much building experience before this. I was comfortable around tools and have used a lot of them, but I never did a project to prepare me for the tole it was going to take on me mentally. There are days where I feel like I'm never going to finish the house and everything is going to fall apart as soon as I put something else on top of it. It's really hard to get out there and do work when you're feeling like that. Then there are days where I don't even want to stop to eat because I'm so focused. But it's those times when I am down that I wasn't prepared for. Right now, as the exterior is almost finished I'm having less and less of those and it's becoming more exciting. I'd like to thank John, my mom and my dad for helping me though those rough times though. I hate quitting things, but this could have been a project I would have had to quit if I didn't have their support.
So, all of those thinking about building tiny, or just curious about the process, don't forget it's hard. That doesn't mean it's impossible or not worth doing, but just know it helps to have a few people in your corner...and thank those people frequently.
*I expect to have $2,000-$3,000 to pay off after I graduate.