Tomas and I are both in our 30s and home ownership has been on our minds on and off throughout this stage of our lives. Prior to owning the tiny home, we’ve always rented, neither of us owning. We both lead busy lives: I work full-time and take classes at PSU, Tomas keeps busy as a self-employed illustrator, and neither of us has the skillset, the patience, nor the knowledge of intimidating carpentry and city codes. It was for these reasons that we decided to hire builders rather than build a tiny home ourselves.

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Since we hired contractors and because we were 2 hours away from the build-site we relinquished a lot of control of certain outcomes of our home. We weren’t fortunate enough to be present for the entire process so we were unable to have an easy conversation about things we liked and what we would have preferred to do differently. We didn’t even see some of the finalized decisions until delivery day. We had relied on the builders to send us pictures and blog about the build process but this was not always reliable.

Needless to say, the house is in our hands now. Tomas has loved it since day one and since then has felt empowered because he finally had the opportunity to contribute his creative ideas and energies into our home that he wasn’t able to during the build. It has taken me a bit longer to warm up to the place. Not that I don’t love living in a tiny space, I do, but I had to face the reality that the house I had pictured in my mind was different from the one that was delivered (darn expectations). Initially, I saw the mountain of tasks that needed tending to as more burdensome than empowering.

Part of the learning curve is that I saw the home through renters eyes, as if this structure dropped off in our lap (or in the driveway rather) was permanent and I was powerless to change it. But something that has been empowering to me: understanding that for the most part (aside from the major structural foundation) everything is changeable. We can re-arrange, swap out, paint, “nest”, do whatever we please to make it our own now. Home projects are intimidating to me and I’m incredibly thankful Tomas has confronted our challenges thus far with such enthusiasm.

Moving itself can be stressful under normal circumstances. We are truly “trying on” a different lifestyle and there are many unknowns about this adventure. It has been an adjustment to living in this new space. It takes some time (and rugs and curtains) to make it feel more like home. It was a bit foreign at first.  And I’ve learned that there’s an emotional attachment surrounding home-ownership that I wasn’t aware of before. The concept of “home” is a very personal idea, and the result of one’s home can be very different for those who have built their own and for those who have hired contractors. We’ve been able to make it our own by cleaning, making curtains, decorating, etc. It’s amazing how homey a spice-rack can make a kitchen! Someday (far, far away) we may build our own, but for now we’re going to make the best with what we have.

A few future projects we’d like to tackle:

  • varnish the floors, cabinets, and walls (have to wait for drier warmer days)
  • painting the exterior with some fun red trim (again, have to wait until after winter)
  • change out the bathroom walls to stainless steel
  • build a cat-ramp
  • set up a grey-water system
  • build a protective box around the water heater outside
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