Resourceful College Student Builds a Wheeled 145-Square-Foot Home and It’s Great

For most people, downsizing their living would mean moving from a four bedroom house to a three bedroom one, and this will seem like they’re making a huge sacrifice.
Joel Weber's tiny home 9 photos
Photo: Joel Weber
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Having plenty of living space is something you get used to very quickly, and something you’ll find very hard to get over once it’s gone. But humans are very adaptable and can make a lot of seemingly impossible situations work. Surely, though, a 145-square-foot home is too much, right?

Wrong. If you’re a single, creative, and not very demanding college student, then it might just be everything you need. Of course, you won’t find another spot that’s big enough to fit your whole stretched body other than the bed, but that’s a small price for complete independence and very, very small bills to pay.

Joel Weber is studying design at the University of Texas in Austin, but before that, he went on scouting for the best accommodation during his studies. And by “best” we don’t mean “most luxurious,” but “most affordable.”

Unfortunately for him, “affordable” wasn’t something he could find, with even a dorm room costing more than $1,000 a month (not to mention actual rent in the city), so he had to look for other options.

His solution came in the form of a tiny self-built home that cost him about the equivalent of a year’s dorm rent. $15,000, to be more exact. Taking good advantage of his skills as a carpenter and plumber, he did almost everything on his own. He also accepted any sort of donations, so the materials weren’t all that expensive.

Making such tiny living areas work requires a lot of ingenuity, and Joel’s home has plenty of that. For instance, the stairs that lead to the bedroom area also double as storage spaces, and even a desk. He used all the reclaimed wood he could get his hands on, so apart from the frame itself, a lot of it was given to him by the families that took him in while he was building his house. That didn’t just help cut costs, it also gave his house the look of a lovely hotchpotch.

He’s got a bathroom with shower and sink (which is an epoxied mango wood bowl Joel carved himself), and even a fully-equipped kitchen, although you probably won’t find him cooking dinner for six. Mostly because six people won’t ever fit in his tiny house.

Business Insider says Joel Weber intends to live in that house for as long as he can - which probably means until he isn’t single anymore. Once he’s outgrown it, getting rid of it won’t be a problem, since he’s already had a few buying offers, but he also thinks about listing it on Airbnb as a vacation rental.

Seeing Joel Weber live in a house that has a smaller footprint than some of the SUVs out there sure gets you thinking. Mostly about how lucky you are to have a job and afford a proper home.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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