Big Project = Big Community!

Today was a very typical day at the beginning. It is my day off, which is very much appreciated. We had plans to do a ton of laundry, and sort through it as we went. Dividing into our keep and give away piles. We have so much laundry to go through, which is ironic, because I swear I never have anything to wear! Yet, we have two closets full of clothes, plus a hallway of dirty laundry… it’s actually a little crazy.

While in the midst of all of this crazy, I got a call from a lumber place that I was interested in. They specialize in reclaimed wood. The idea of using an old barn as the inside of my tiny house is very intriguing to me, nothing goes to waste. It ties in very well with my love of all things natural. Well, the man told me that reclaimed barn lumber starts at $9.00 per square foot!!!! So that means, for my tiny house, I would have to pay $2,880. That is a huge chunk of budget just for a teeny floor that is literally smaller than my current living room.

Next, we talked about bamboo flooring, which starts at $3-5 per square foot. That’s a little more to my liking but would still mean over $1,000. It’s really not a bad price, but I’m looking to save money at any chance I can get. I mean the more we can save, the less budget I have to come up with, and the less I have to spend extremely long days away from my children.

I told him I would think it all over, and call him back if we wanted to purchase from them. I took a break from laundry, and had a cup of coffee. I was reading this story about a woman who built a tiny house for $3,500 but she got almost everything for the house for free from craigslist! I think that is just really incredible. Logically, the next thing to do was open craigslist and see what awesome scores I could find.. And that’s exactly what I did.

The very first listing I saw was for leftover bamboo flooring. It was a light color floor that is absolutely gorgeous and was tongue and groove. I love the complete simplicity of tongue and groove floors or walls. It really makes putting it all together so much easier for this DIY girl. I literally have not one clue about building things. Luckily, my husband, father and father in law, all have excellent building skills.

He said he had some scrap left because he is a contractor of some condos that are being remodeled in North Seattle. Now, if you know me at all, you know that I DETEST driving into Seattle. It is always the absolute last thing that I will willingly do. But, I had a good feeling about it. I called right away, and he said he still had it and I could come pick it up. I packed up the kids, and my hubby and we set out for the hour plus trip, in traffic. Ugh

When we got there, we found out that not only did he have “leftover”, but it is BRAND NEW floor that he just didn’t need at all. And, there aren’t just scraps, but enough to do the whole entire floor in the tiny home! OMG!!! I was freaking out on the inside! When I told him what we were planning to use it for, he also gave us a complete sub floor of cork! And even a beautiful light fixture for our kitchen. This little $20 trip to Seattle saved me over $3000 easily!

It is just astonishing to me. When people find out that you are doing a huge project like this, a sense of community immediately happens, and they want to help. That was part of the best advice I have seen so far through this project planning. When you meet someone who has free materials like this often, share your story. They may help again in the future. This man totally made my day. God used a complete stranger to make things a little easier, cheaper, and better for our family.

It’s people like this, which make you really feel good about people. That there are good people still, and they want to be helpful to others. People still pull together, and have a community. I love this. It gives me such a nostalgic feeling, it’s a bit hard to describe. It also gives me hope that even on a tiny budget, our tiny house dream will come true!!
Here are some pictures of our awesome flooring!

bamboo floor corkfloor floorinvan


One thought on “Big Project = Big Community!

  1. Wow, loved reading this, my hubby and I had some similar experiences using Craigslist, getting freebie stuff and really REALLY cheap stuff to build with and start our new off grid life with.

    I am a contributor and moderator on, I just approved your comment over there and decided to check out your page. My hubby and I have lived in our off grid home since Dec ’07, we purchased our property and began building immediately, that little box we moved into evolved into a small castle in the sky.

    It’s good that you are documenting your journey here, it’s fun to go back and read about your beginnings, and it’s fun for other people to read. Looking forward to more… 🙂


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