When Luke Thill was 13 years old, he bought the house.
In the backyard of his parents, a high school student from Dubuque, Iowa, finished building a miniature house of 89 square feet.
He started working on the project when he was just 11 years old and completed it in a year and a half with a budget of $1,500 that he got from doing chores in the neighborhood.
The journey that Luke was on was only just getting started.
Luke Thill, 17, added a teardrop boat to their growing collection of tiny houses with his brother Cole. Luke tells Insider that he wants to live a minimalist lifestyle.
Luke told Insider that it was “a terrifying experience” to build the tiny house. My life was definitely altered by it.
Luke did not find the summer of 2016 interesting. Because he had no immediate plans, the 11-year-old discovered the small home business while looking for projects to work on YouTube.
He was inspired to construct his own tiny home, which he did.
Luke and his father came up with a figure of $1,500 for how much it would cost to build a simple, modest house before they started.
Like many young people, Luke started saving money by helping out in his community.
Everything began with a straightforward plan that called for Luke to work one summer doing odd jobs and mowing lawns to earn money for his grandparents and neighbors.
He began constructing his future cottage shortly thereafter.
This was Luke’s biggest yet, even though he said he was good at small home improvement projects.
Luke claims that the majority of the building materials utilized to construct the house were salvaged. Friends, neighbors, and members of the family donated, particularly windows and doors, to cut costs.
It took Luke about 18 months to finish the venture with the assistance of his folks.
His mother designed the interior while his father worked on the building. Luke turned 13 in the fall of 2017 and already lived in a small house.
Because he insisted that he never intended to live in the tiny house permanently, Luke avoided plumbing, which would have been costly, time-consuming, and challenging to implement.
The house was meant to be a place where friends could escape and get together.
The straightforward layout of the house demonstrates this. The living room has a drop-down dining table, an electric oven, a microwave, and a small kitchen with a worktop.
Luke sleeps in this attic room on occasion and hosts guests for movie nights via a ladder.
Luke even hosted Thanksgiving one year for his family.
Having constructed a little house, Luke was prepared to begin another business.
His twin, Cole, worked on his project and began building the teardrop wagon from the ground up.
Luke stepped in to assist halfway through the project. Luke claims that the brothers purchased the 36-square-foot tent when they were just one year old for approximately $2,500.
Luke stated that this undertaking was unexpectedly more challenging than building a small house.
According to Luke, everything had to be perfect: When you’re going 75 mph on the highway, you don’t want anything to break.”
Luke and his brother were able to spend time together once more in the camper. Since the building was finished in 2018, they have gone camping more than 50 times in Iowa and neighboring states, according to Luke.
Luke made significant modifications to the rip truck in 2020. He completed the interior woodwork, installed new cabinets, and replaced the trailer’s wood.
Luke realized how important it is to have a strong sense of community.
Luke said that building a tiny house when he was young taught him a lot of important lessons, like how important it is to be determined and dedicated.
However, Luke claimed that one of the most significant lessons he acquired was the significance of group membership.
He stated, “A small project in my backyard united a neighborhood and a community.”
After building the caravan, Luke stated that he was prepared for his next venture. He stated in high school that he also valued work, spending time with friends, and finishing assignments.
Luke said that even though he was concentrating on high school right now, it would still be important for him to live in a small space. Since he’s going to college, he might even think about building a bigger version of his current residence.
Luke claims that to construct, he required the assistance of his neighbors.He traded things with a neighbor or offered electrical assistance for garage cleaning.