Women builds a Tiny House for only 5,000 € from a old Van base.
The journey began with a phone call from, at that time, a complete stranger to me. My phone rang and I said hello. A voice spoke back ‘Are you the girl that wants to build a house on wheels? I replied ‘that’s me’ in a stunned voice! He told me ‘I have an old van base for you.’ I mean wow God is good! We have to listen to the messages, the whispers that we are sent everyday. We have to listen to our hearts and what they are really saying.
So I began, having never built anything before other than a rabbit hutch! I watched quite a lot of YouTube videos on ‘How to build a house on wheels’! I drew my design, being careful to include everything that was important for me to have in my house and then I made a card board model of it to see if the proportions worked. It was quite difficult to include everything in a 5m x2.3m x3.6m space. The things that were most important for me to have were a full size shower, a nice kitchen area, somewhere to sit and eat or work, a good sized double bed and a record player. Outside I designed a fold down terrace that I could use for meditation, playing guitar and writing songs or just being in nature.
A lot of the materials I found by bins or by the side of the road….it was like God put them there sometimes! I found all the wood for the mezzanine floor neatly stacked by the bins outside my old flat. I found beautiful wooden drawers, which I made in to my main kitchen unit. I used two trees that had fallen down to make the table leg and the porch post, the lanterns on the porch are carved out of gourds (a vegetable that is dried out and turns to a material like wood) I found these on the bottom of the land where my house is.
The whole process from having nothing, to a finished home, took 1 year, although for 9 months of that I only worked on building it at weekends because I was working a day job on the Spanish coast in the week. 3 months before the project was completed I lost my job because the company closed and so I made the brave decision to give up my flat by the sea, that I was renting and go to work on my wooden house on wheels full time. It was crazy to not have a job and money coming in but I also saw it as a blessing that pushed me to move away from what I was trying to escape; which was working in a job to pay all my wages over to the rental estate agents. The last 3 months I pretty much worked on it all day every day.
There were so many little jobs that took so much longer than I expected, especially doing it all myself…there are only so many hours in a day, although I did work about 16 of them. I wore a head torch at night so I could carry on sawing wood even in the dark! I cant believe that I hammered more than 5000 nails in to the wooden cladding. I used thousands of screws, I insulated, sawed, sanded, routed, hammered, planed…and a whole manner of other things that were all new to me. The whole process was so much harder than I imagined both physically and mentally. There were so many times when I wanted to give up. I faced difficulties, opposition, discouragement and pure fatigue but I finally pushed through it all.
It feels amazing to say that I have an off-grid home that I built myself, away from the confines of society. I’ve learned to keep going, to ignore what other people think and follow my heart, to follow my convictions and trust that there will be a way. My home has absolutely everything I need to live and it allows me to enjoy the more simple, natural life I always dreamed of.