Mike’s micro cabin: no plan, no pressure & nearly no money

With typical Midwestern modesty, Iowa resident Mike Tucker says he only knows “some basics” about homebuilding. Nevertheless, the 57-year-old landscaper and hobbyist craftsman felt confident enough to start on this 48-square-foot micro cabin without blueprints, a design, or even a plan. “I just winged it as I went,” he says. He did know he wanted something that would be easy and safe to take on the road, so he built on a small but exceptionally robust welding trailer rated at 10,000 pounds, giving himself a very generous safety margin. He found the trailer on Craigslist, and many of his other materials came from the same source, including the reclaimed barn wood siding and the antique door. New 2×4s, particle board, Tyvek and windows ensured that the house would be sturdy and weatherproof. Mike sourced the cedar for the interior walls from all the way in Arkansas, but it was quarter-inch, edge-cut wood and very cheap. Altogether, he spent less than $3,000, including new heavy-duty trailer tires. It has no plumbing (Mike keeps a camping toilet inside for emergencies), but it is wired, so he’s be able to have a microwave, coffeemaker and TV. And maybe a hi-fi system… since Mike didn’t have an endpoint in mind when he started, he says that the hard part now is knowing when to stop – it may not be until he’s completely out of space inside. You can take a look at proud son Jay’s Imgur for more info.


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