13-Yr-Old Builds Own Home For $1,500. A Tour Of The House Will Leave You Impressed
At 13 years old, most boys might build houses out of LEGO, or even help dad with a treehouse or fort in the backyard. But 13 year old Luke Thill of Dubuque, Iowa built a home – complete with carpet, electricity, and a kitchen area – in his parents backyard, all for around $1,500.
The thrifty eight-grader funded his “starter home” as he calls it by cutting lawns, raising money online, gathering reclaimed materials and bartering for labor. He cleaned out his neighbor’s garage in exchange for help with electrical wiring. He mowed lawns in order to get carpet in his loft bedroom. He even used leftover material from relatives’ houses to build the walls and door.
At just 87 square feet, Luke’s tiny house is cozy, but, he says, “I liked the minimalism. And I wanted to have a house without a huge mortgage.”
Luke’s parents not only supported his venture when he began planning 18 months ago, but they also encouraged it.
“It was a chance for a kid to do something more than play video games or sports,” his father Greg said, “It teaches life lessons.”
Those life lessons included construction skills, working with adults and the many tough financial decisions required for such a project.
The custom built tiny home is 5 1/2 feet wide and 10 feet long. It includes a small deck outside, a kitchen area finished with counter and shelf space, a large ottoman, and even a wall-mounted TV. There’s also an upstairs loft area with a mattress. But while the house is wired for electricity, it still lacks any plumbing, which means the city classifies it as “a glorified shed.”
Still, Luke’s house has garnered quite the attention online and locally. He has a Youtube following where he documented the construction process to his viewers and was even asked to speak at a recent tiny house festival in Colfax.
Luke hopes that in a couple of years, he can build an even larger tiny home on a trailer, which he might use as a cheaper living option for college. For now, Luke enjoys using his tiny home as a place to spend after-school time, do homework, and occasionally sleep. Tour Luke’s impressive creation below.