If your typical middle-schooler was having a boring summer, the last way you’d expect them to liven things up would be by building a house. But that’s exactly what 13 year-old Luke Thill of Dubuque, Iowa did. Not a full-sized house, mind you, but a tiny house. But this is no tree house: we’re talking professional-quality construction; it’s just that there’s only 89 square feet of floor space. As his dad Greg told a reporter, “It was a chance for a kid to do something more than play video games or sports. It teaches life lessons.”
Luke got the idea after seeing stories and videos about tiny houses on the internet. He’d already learned how to use all sorts of tools from watching his dad working on projects. He was able to recycle some material from his grandmother’s house and barter work for services (for example, a electrician friend of his dad’s did the wiring) but he still needed to raise about $1,500. He earned most of that by mowing lawns and his parents gave him some money as well.
After about a year, Luke was ready to start building. Framing was the only really serious challenge, but he learned by doing and the end result is really spectacular, even if it only measures 10 feet by 5 1/2 feet. It’s also a teenager’s dream: his own space, complete with microwave, TV, a barbecue, and a loft he can sleep in. “I liked the minimalism and I wanted to have a house without a huge mortgage.”
Check out the video we’ve posted below. You’ll hear more of the story from Luke himself and also get a tour of his tiny house. He’s already planning to build a second (slightly less) tiny house for himself!
Impressed by this budding architect and builder? Ever try to build something when you were his age? Tell us all about it in the comments at Facebook. Don’t forget to like and share!