Microhouses for Tiny Budgets

From on March 16, 2011 in Green Remodeling

With a bit of imagination and a lot of design ingenuity, Derek Diedricksen achieves the impossible: micro-shelters for less than $200. Talk about being resourceful.

microhouses diedricksen

One particular structure, aptly named the Gypsy Junker, makes up for its scant square footage (24 square feet to be exact) with a surprisingly workable design. But this is actually the larger of Diedricksen’s models. The Hickshaw is a sleeper structure measuring only 2.5 feet wide by 6.5 feet deep. Another structure, named the Boxy Lady, stands only 4 feet tall.

microhouses gypsy junker

Despite the differences, however, all of Diedricksen’s unique designs have one thing in common: use of materials that, to others, look like trash. The Gypsy Junker is made out of shipping pallets, storm windows, and castoff kitchen cabinets.

microhouses boxy lady

The Boxy Lady also uses a series of pallets, plus a striking stained glass window by artist Stephanie Atlee. Other design touches include a porthole window constructed from a front-loading washing machine, and a metal door-turned-countertop from the same washer.

microhouses room

Most of the structures also have a transparent roof to give views of the treetops and eliminate the need for artificial lighting. The Gypsy Junker, shown above, also has a heater that runs on vegetable oil.

building microhouses

For Diedricksen, building microhouses has been more than just a hobby—it’s a fascination and a lifestyle to complement his carpentry background. He self-published his own instruction book titled, Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts, and has been working on a YouTube series called, “Tiny Yellow House.”

microhouse collection

But when asked why he only builds tiny structures, Diedricksen sets the record straight: “I have only so much yard space and my wife is only so tolerant.” Enough said.

Via Curbly; Photos by Erik Jacobs for the New York Times