Ingenious Austin student builds his own tiny house and lives debt free
KVUE — A University of Texas student has found a way to live debt-free in Austin, and it involves living in his own tiny home.
Joel Weber, a junior design major, came up with the idea to build the 145-square-foot home in 2014 so he wouldn't have to pay rent in a city known for the high cost of living.
"It's never become okay with me to be able to buy something that I can't actually afford," said Weber. He estimates his tiny home, which is on wheels so it can be mobile, cost around $20,000 to build.
Weber said he didn't pay that much, though. "I saved thousands because I used reclaimed materials, talked to businesses and told them what I was doing and they helped me out."
Inside his abode there is a kitchen complete with a sink, oven, work space for preparing food, and a mini refrigerator.
The bathroom has a sink, toilet, and shower. The tub was a recycled find.
"I repurposed a horse trough because I wanted a certain shape and it's cool because I can wash my laundry if I need to," Weber said.
The stairs up to the loft double as extra seating, a desk, and storage. There are a total of two loft spaces for beds and the couch on the main level can be turned into a third bed.
"I love when my friends can hang out," said Weber. "I want to make them feel comfortable and not like they're in a coffin or something like that."
Weber bartered with an Austin homeowner to park his home in their backyard in exchange for being what he calls a "manny," or professional nanny. It's another way to save on rent while he finishes his degree.
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