The $200 tiny "pod" home, courtesy of recycled materials

Posted by Susan DeFreitas, EarthTechling

Dream of building your own home, but lacking both cash and time?

Well, a natural builder raised a tiny home in rural Oregon over the course of just two months, at a total cost of just $200 — the cost of screws, nails, tarpaper and sand.

The builder is Jeffrey the Natural Builder, and the “tiny dome home” (which comes to us via Treehugger) was constructed on land provided by Aprovecho, a sustainable education and research center located near Cottage Grove.

His aim in constructing this little cabin was to source as many building materials as possible from the local waste stream, to familiarize himself with new techniques and to test out the possibilities of such structures in "pod living."

Pod living, as the builder conceives of it, works best in a community, where occupants of distributed tiny homes such as his have access to a communal kitchen, bathroom and social areas. He sees this as a possibility not just for sustainable-minded communities in woodsy settings like Aprovecho, but for co-housing developments as well. By having to actually leave the building where you sleep to, say, have breakfast, each occupant is brought into greater contact with the outdoor environment, encouraging a lifestyle that is more connected with nature.

"I also see pod living as a possible solution to my generation’s dilemma of homeownership,” the builder says, on his website. “How do we live in our own homes without building up crushing debt and being stuck in jobs we hate for most of our lives[?] What if you could build a small, affordable pod and join a like-minded community?"

The home — like virtually any structure consisting largely of recycled and reclaimed materials — was an exercise in scavenging as much as it was in building. Jeffrey used wood salvaged from a torn down shed and concrete pier blocks that were found on site, as well as from pallet wood fastened together using plumbing wire around hubs made from PVC pipe.

For insulation, the project also made use of rigid foam from a pile of deconstruction waste, a “slip chip” made from wood shavings coated with clay slip and packed into a form, and sheepswool sourced from local sheep — which the builder washed, carded, and sprayed with borax to prevent insect infestation.

Susan DeFreitas, EarthTechling