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Vlogger builds a $6,000 tiny cabin in his backyard after watching DIY videos on YouTube

Inspiration from YouTube Tutorials

Vlogger Jacob Harrell was in a quandary when he found himself unexpectedly unemployed two years ago. Now 27 years old, the documentary filmmaker used to work for CNN’s short documentary platform “Great Big Story” making videos.

In one documentary, he built a tiny office in a week. After he was made redundant, he thought of converting the tiny office into a house, with tutorials from DIY videos on Tiny Homes.

Harrel shared, “The idea came from mostly wanting to try to start a business renting out tiny homes as the idea was popular at the time because of the coronavirus pandemic and people wanted to go on ‘staycations.'”

The frame was built in one week and the house sits on a trailer in the countryside.


Using DIY Videos to Build a Dream Retreat

The video producer decided to build a tiny cabin in his backyard in the Cotswolds, a picturesque part of the countryside in England. Using DIV videos on Tiny Homes as a guide, Harrell built a tiny house in four months, which cost him around $6,000.

Harrell documented the whole process of building the house by following DIY videos on Tiny Homes on his YouTube channel. He launched the channel as a side hustle to keep him afloat while he searched for another job.

Using spare wood, Harrell’s tiny home has a kitchen, folding tables, solar panels, and a mezzanine bedroom with two windows.

Harrell has always considered himself as a bit of a “do-er.” Prior to the tiny house build, he once lived on a small houseboat – a Dutch barge.

Learning New Skills From DIY Videos

He learned to carry out minor repairs and improvements by watching DIY videos on Tiny Homes on YouTube. This gave him the confidence to set out on his tiny home project.

Harrel shared, “I didn’t grow up doing DIY projects or building work, everything I learnt to do I learnt from YouTube.” It took him a week to build the frame of the house, though it wasn’t fitted out or insulated. The house was built on a trailer.

He said, “The frame was essentially a shed on wheels at that point. The tiny home is completely unique – I designed it and built in the furnishings.”

As with most DIY videos on Tiny Homes, Harrell saved a lot of money by using a lot of spare wood or recycling various features of the home. The back window and French doors were donated by Harrell’s dad from their old house.

Those DIY videos on Tiny Homes certainly came in handy as Harrell built most of the house basically from scratch and used a lot of reclaimed material.

He explained, “I used recycled timber to build the tiny home, and the kitchen cabinet doors were made using leftover cedar wood. The cladding and hut were made using a few leftover boards of timber.”

The tiny home has a unique woven exterior, which Harrell created using loads of willow and hazel wood. He borrowed the idea from an artist who used natural materials to create giant nests.

These were twisted to mimic the curved shape of the tiny house, making it look right at home in the surrounding woodlands of the English countryside. The curved shape of the tiny house follows the arches in a well-known abbey in the area.

The house was built with two solar panels, but one can provide the energy needs of the home. The tiny home doesn’t have a bathroom, which Harrell plans to put in a separate structure.

All in all, the $6,000-cost of the tiny home mostly went to materials, since Harrell did most of the work on his own.

The whole process has been quite rewarding, particularly since it has been quite creative, and Harrell learned new skills from watching DIY videos on Tiny Homes.

The mezzanine comfortably fits a double bed.

A Tiny Cabin Inspired by DIY Videos

He said, “I’m quite proud of the tiny house – the process of building something with your hands is very rewarding.” He is now seeking planning permission to build more tiny houses and rent them out as holiday homes.

This process, however, has been more difficult than he expected. He stated, “That’s because there are barriers to renting the tiny home out to tourists. The process is complicated because I applied to change the use of land for tourism purposes and to rent out more than one tiny house.”

While building tiny houses has become quite popular and doable because of DIY videos on Tiny Homes, Harrell has sound advice for anyone considering following in his footsteps.

The cabin built through DIY videos on Tiny Homes fits right into the English countryside.

He said, “Building a tiny home is cheaper than buying a house and it gives you freedom – but the legalities of it are very difficult.”

Still, this tiny home is a creative, inexpensive, and relatively easy endeavor given the right skills. Hopefully, Harrell will soon be back on track to building his tiny home tourism business in the Cotswolds.

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