How one couple built a 300-square-foot expandable tiny house on just $25,000 using scraps from a film set and the town dump


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Five years ago, Chloe Barcelou and Brandon Batchelder set out to achieve financial freedom by living tiny.

The couple began building a 300-square-foot tiny house in New England on a very tight budget. “We would pay our bills, and whatever little money we had leftover, we used on materials,” Chloe told Business Insider. “In the long-run, it’s been great, because now we own it free and clear.”

They turned to recycled materials from the town dump’s recycle center, the side of the road, and the film sets they worked on to build and decorate their tiny house for just $25,000, she said. 

As the recyclable materials indicate, this isn’t your average tiny house. The couple also designed the house so it’s expandable, providing more living space when it’s parked. And, in contrast to the minimalist aesthetic that typically characterizes tiny houses, they decorated the tiny house with a maximalist cottagecore-meets-steampunk vibe.

Here’s how they did it all.

SEE ALSO: How a tiny-house couple used $35,000 to hack their 290-square-foot living space, rejecting minimalism and maximizing practicality

DON’T MISS: Here’s what living in a tiny house is really like, according to people who traded their homes for minimalism

Chloe Barcelou and Brandon Batchelder live in a 300-square-foot tiny house in New Hampshire.

The couple runs a production company together.

They began building the tiny house in 2015, a process Chloe said was fun but challenging. The most challenging aspect was building during the winter, she added, which was seeing record-breaking snowfall in New England at the time.

At the time, they were filming for HGTV’s “Tiny House, Big Living,” which put them on a tight deadline. 

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“We had a giant tarp, which we used to clip around the outside of the house, and it was constantly tearing off in the steady winter wind,” she said. “We used a kerosene heater to take the edge off, but, still to this day, we’re very cold-sensitive. I think the combination of the snow, cold, and stress has left our nervous systems forever changed.”

But finding land to build on was easy, she said, thanks to a kind couple who responded to their Craigslist ad and let them use their backyard for free.

Their financial situation was also challenging. “We decided to live in a tiny home for financial freedom, but it was hard while we were building it, because we had to pay for everything in cash, upfront,” Chloe said.

Chloe said they worked paycheck to paycheck during their build, which meant they had to get “highly creative.” They often took free materials from the town dump’s Swap Shed or the side of the road.

They told Architectural Digest earlier this year that they built a shower from $25 worth of reclaimed scrap metal. They built a medicine cabinet out of a turkey roasting pan and a mirror from the Swap Shed.

They also found budget-friendly items at flea markets and yard sales.

They also salvaged building materials from their film sets, which helped them design their old-fashioned timber frame with a French Tudor …read more

Source:: Business Insider


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