Julie Olson needed a traveling home for her mobile dog training business. With no architecture training, she drew up plans for exactly what she needed and sent them to Jason Dietz of Molecule Tiny Homes. Over a couple of months he built her home to her specifications: a fold-out porch, storage stairs, 2 lofts (1 for sleeping, 1 for storage or 2 sleeping quarters), a slim closet, and a bathroom with tub, composting toilet, tiny sink and escape window/door for viewing nature.
The 136-square-foot home can run completely off grid with rooftop photovoltaic panels, solar batteries, a propane tank and a tankless water heater. Total cost was $45,000, but Dietz says you could bring that down by about half if you built it yourself. Part of the reason small homes on wheels cost more per square foot is because they require structural support to survive on the road.
The home was built in Santa Cruz, California and it made its first trip over 3,000 miles to Maine where Olson moved in with her cats and dog to travel and study. She writes on the Tiny House Blog, “I love the tiny, green, portable, multi-use, minimalist, hunter gatherer life! It is solar and tankless and can be hooked up to city lines in a snap… My favorite space in the house is beneath the skylight that opens up.” It’s even inspired her to become a tiny house builder: “My next house will be bigger and made by me (5-7yr plan).”