If you missed out on the first part of Tiny House Realities, be sure to check out that post for a fantastic point of view from Jessica. This is my view of the reality of building a tiny house.
When we first decided we wanted to live in a tiny house, we decided to have someone else build it for us. That landed us in a world of misery and lost us about six solid months of time we could have been building ourselves. Hindsight is 20/20, bobloblaw.
We then thought, why don’t we just build it ourselves? It was a great idea, and it was loads of fun… at the start. I drove a Uhaul F-150 up to Austin to pick up our shiny new trailer. I got loads of wood at Lowe’s and went to town on building the floor joists.
We had just gotten our 50% deposit back from the guy that didn’t build us anything, and we were pretty flush with tiny house / living funds. I did a couple of web development jobs and focused mostly on building, building, building. I was really on fire for those first couple of months.
Before I knew it, the floor was done. Wow! Then the walls were up. We had windows. The roof was on – HOLY CANNOLI! And then, the big ideas started to become life’s harsh realities.
Niggles and Real Life
Soon it became very difficult to decide whether I should be out at the build site or at my computer building websites and running SEO campaigns. Money became tight as we had to decide between going out to the build site and buying more supplies from Lowe’s or staying in to build our funds.
There came a time when I would get a gig, earn the income, spend as much as possible on materials, and then stress over whether I should continue building or continue hustling. To add to the stress, I have something like six jobs.
Self Employment, Casey Friday style
Building websites isn’t enough for me. Should it be? Perhaps. But I feel like I always need to be doing, creating, making, contributing. So not to leave well enough alone, I don’t only build websites. I also run SEO campaigns. I also rebuild iPods into audiophile devices. I also build niche SEO sites. I also make YouTube videos. I also buy and resell electronics. I even just started buying broken iPhones to fix/resell this month (that is most definitely coming to an end).
The crazy thing about that huge last paragraph? Almost every line-item in that paragraph has at least two sub-items. For instance, I’m not only building audiophile iPods, I’m also making video / text tutorials on how to do it.
Oh yeah, and I’ve split our car maintenance over the past two weeks into driving back and forth to the shop (six times, 20 miles each way) and doing some of it myself. And I flew to Ohio last week to pick up a used car we just bought (we’re selling the Beetle).
So I’m freaking stressed beyond belief. There’s no doubt about it. I try to give 100% of myself to everything I do – all fifty things – and it is quickly wearing me down. I need some order, and I’m going to have to figure out a new workflow very soon.
The State of Life Today
So as Jessica told you a while back, we bought a piece of land with a little cabin on it. Awesome! But now I’ll have to go out and paint the walls, mop the floors, and build a shower / toilet situation so that we can live in the cabin while we’re finishing the tiny house. It’s all just a lot.
And I’m stressed. I don’t ever want to say that in a public forum, because I feel like it’s admitting defeat. I’m stressed, and although I’m still making all of my commitments, I’m ready for a vacation. I just want to relax with my wife and enjoy life for a little while.
So there you have it. Life is not all pretty and roses when you’re building a tiny house. It’s fun and exciting at first, and it quickly turns to shit. Well okay, I’m exaggerating a bit there, but it’s stressful beyond belief. Will it be worth it when it’s done? Abso-freaking-lutely. Will it be hell until it’s done? Yes.
I’m not trying to turn anyone off from living this sort of lifestyle. I obviously enjoy my life at least a little since I haven’t gone running back to a desk job. I like hectic. I like meeting deadlines. I just want a break. And I will get one. Soon.