Most people would probably have finished building their dream home when they’re at least 30 years old. The exhilarating feeling of building the home of your dreams with your bare hands is incomparable. Imagine envisioning a plan, pouring your blood, sweat, and tears, and finally seeing it to fruition.
That’s what Tom did. With the help of his craftsmanship, resourcefulness, and resilience, he was able to turn his dream into a reality. And guess what, he’s only 17 years old when he started!
It was the high prices of houses and Tom’s desire for freedom that motivated him into building his humble abode using recycled materials. He realized that he could build everything from scratch—all while using recycled materials and staying on a budget.
“My idea on building the hut was to keep it all simple and just live that simple life stress-free, to be honest. Well, I own everything I’ve got, and I’ve paid it all off—it’s all mine.”
Now that Tom is 20 years old, he’s relieved he doesn’t have to spend his hard-earned money on rent. “It’s just a simple life and all you’ve got once you’ve built it, it’s just yours…” Tom said.
Tom’s home is in his grandfather’s expansive land. You can still see that he maintained the traditional English and rustic feel with a window atop the sidings. He bought the trailer when he was 17 and started the build immediately while working and going through an apprenticeship in carpentry, which he just finished in late December.
Tom used larch wood on the front, which he bought from a local lumberyard for a lower price. The sidings on the back and front are fence panels. All the windows are recycled that Tom bought from a site selling secondhand materials. He installed the deck recently after he went to a scaffolding company to buy planks along with other secondhand and scrap wood he got from work.
When you enter Tom’s home, the first thing that will catch your attention is the beautiful reclaimed timber and a poster featuring a picturesque lake scenery. “That was my goal there along just use reclaimed timber for the build because it’s on a budget,” Tom said. Most of the wood Tom used in his home were ripped out from houses. He took those wood all by himself, sanded them up, and reused them again.
The living room has a tiny workspace where Tom uses the space for work and meals. You’ll see a standard couch and wall-mounted television. In the future, he wants to replace it with a versatile couch with built-in storage.
Tom also loves how his kitchen turned out. He built a fully functional countertop using recycled materials such as scaffold planks, which he spent hours sanding them and finally applying varnish. The kitchen also has essential appliances such as the fridge, stove, and handy toaster.
The bathroom is located at the opposite of the countertops. It’s got a tiny chemical toilet with an electric water flush. The shower room features corrugated sheet iron walls. The copper pipes and the taps are reminiscent of a rustic and simple farmhouse-inspired bathroom.
When you go back to the living room, you’ll notice an overhead ladder connected to the loft. The ladder can be lowered, bringing you to Tom’s small yet cozy bedroom with a double mattress.
Tom started building his dream house when he was 17 years old, with a total of £6,000. He was paid £4 per hour. Despite his small income, he was able to put most of his earnings aside, which he used to build his home using recycled materials for a cheaper cost. Imagine what his house would look like once he finishes all the upgrades he has in mind!
Watch the video below for a full tour of Tom’s house:
Story and video h/t: Living Big In A Tiny House