William Yudchitz and his son Daniel had already built one modern cabin on their land in far north Wisconsin, but it cost close to $100,000 and they wanted to prove it was possible to build a well-designed tiny home on a budget.
Using salvaged material and their own labor- they worked weekends for about a year-, the two architect/builders built the 9-foot-by-12-foot structure for about $10,000. Eschewing a full-perimeter foundation for eight concrete piers and screw jacks saved not only money, but left a smaller imprint on the surrounding nature and allows the family to adjust the settings as the home settles.
The facilities are quite basic (e.g. a rainwater shower, a composting toilet and an outdoor kitchen), but most of the furniture transforms a Murphy bed built from a $300 kit (with hydraulics), a kinetic bathroom that enlarges for use, a fold-down dining table and collapsible chairs hung “Shaker-style”.
There are beds both on the ground floor and in the nine-by-five-foot sleeping loft. There’s a roof deck fitted with a telescope for viewing the surrounding forest and Lake Superior. The black metal matches the surrounding tree trunks and the 12-foot-high, white-oak rainscreen doors close the place shut when not in use.
The Yudchitzes believe their design, which they named Nest, could be copied by anyone because they’re not finish carpenters and the only skill tool they used was a miter box.