A month ago I made my first actual purchase towards my tiny house, a door. And not just any door, a Therma-Tru Classic-Craft Oak Accugrain Fiberglass Full-Lite Double Glazed door. Okay, that’s not particularly exciting… But I got it for $50 off craigslist (would be >$1000 new) and it’s perfect for my house so I’m excited!
One of the plusses of having quite a while until my build start date (June 5th) is that I get to sift through months of craigslist posts for the good stuff hidden between post after post of free cardboard boxes and suspiciously stained sofas. I’ve been trawling for a couple of months now and, while the door is the first thing I’ve actually purchased, this was more for lack of funds than lack of promising materials… In fact, now that I have some money set aside, I’m already negotiating on some standing seam roofing and cedar fence pickets (for exterior siding), both likely for about 10% of what they would have cost new!
The big question that keeps coming up with craigslist options is how much labor I’m willing to put in to make up for the reduced cost. The door was a steal, but I will have to build a frame for it which would have come standard with a new door. Likewise, I plan to do the floor of my tiny house in free pallets off of craigslist but will need to do quite a bit of labor to make them nice.
To help others out with this, here’s a few links to interesting uses for free/low-cost materials in a tiny house build. I’ll keep the list updated as I find things.
Pallets – http://abuildingweshallgo.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-art-of-pallet-wood-flooring.html
Brown paper bags – http://lovelycraftyhome.com/2011/11/09/the-ultimate-brown-paper-flooring-guide/
Painted plywood – http://www.lovelyetc.com/2012/01/amazing-painted-floors-how-to/
Stained plywood – http://cirajames.blogspot.com/2011/11/frankly-mdear-they-are-hardwood-floors.html
Cedar fence pickets – http://thegardenfrog.me/2014/08/18/my-300-rustic-picket-garden-shed/
Pallets – http://livinginatinyhouse.blogspot.com/2014/05/pallets-more-of-same.html
Air-to-air heat exchanger (important if you want to build an airtight house which you will have to vent so you can breath! – more on this in a later post):
Soda cans – http://tomtomheylen.com/categories/DIY/Air_heat_exchanger.php
Solar air heater:
Soda cans – http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Build-a-Soda-Can-Heater/
Solar water heater:
Scrap lumber and insulation (if you can find used copper pipe, good on you!) – https://youtu.be/tOpoupq7DRI
DIY solar panel:
Chipped solar cells (lots on Ebay) – http://www.mdpub.com/SolarPanel/
Got any other interesting ideas for using craigslist finds? Please share in the comments!