The tale of one woman's radically simplified 'built-it-myself' life
Ask for a tour of Dee Williams's house, and it won't take long. The 84-square-foot space is no bigger than a parking spot.
There's no running water, no Wi-Fi, the fridge is a cooler, and the toilet is compostable. Williams knows how extreme this sounds. Before she downsized, she used to worry about the mortgage on her three-bedroom home, how to outfit her kitchen with matching appliances, and the endless string of home repairs.
But in 2003, after suffering congestive heart failure in her early 40s, Williams decided to simplify. She shed most of her belongings and sold her home in Portland, Oregon.
Hey, a local woman here did a similar thing. Building your own house is a big accomplishment. Even when it’s 130 square feet.
Especially when it’s 130 square feet.
Kayla Feenstra is putting the finishing touches on her mobile home, which cost $15,000 to build over two months. Custom features include an 11-foot ceiling, a loft bedroom, a compost toilet, and solar panels to heat it all.
Three different models are proposed, starting at $25,000 for the base model, and $28,000 for the model that includes kitchen appliances and bathroom fixtures. Credit: Nomad Micro Homes Vancouver company hopes to kickstart micro home revolution with $25,000 units
Micro homes: the future of affordable housing in Vancouver?
“I had to be really conscious about road restrictions, the width and height. That caused a lot of math,” she joked. “What happens when the tire pressure drops? So many questions, that caused a lot of measurements.”
The 30-year-old Feenstra said the decision to build her own house was made out of necessity.
“I didn’t own any land, and I didn’t want to build a house and then have to leave it behind, so then I thought about putting on wheels,” she said.