STANDARDS

CCSS: 6.G.A.4, MP4, MP5, MP6

TEKS: 7.9D


Tiny Houses!

Miniature homes are popping up across the country

Nicki Kohl/Telegraph Herald via AP Images

Luke Thill, age 14, standing proudly in front of his tiny home in Dubuque, Iowa

Could you build a house for less than $1,500? That’s how much 14-year-old Luke Thill spent when he built a tiny house in his backyard in Dubuque, Iowa, last year. The 55-square-foot home includes a kitchen and sleeping loft and is wired for electricity!

Although Luke’s tiny home is a part-time getaway, many people are deciding they can live with less stuff and less space. They’re building tiny houses to match their downsized lifestyle. Many tiny homes are smaller than 300 square feet, or one-third the size of a typical classroom.

Could you build a house for less than $1,500? That’s how much Luke Thill spent to built a tiny house. The 14-year-old built it last year in his backyard in Dubuque, Iowa. The 55-square-foot home includes a kitchen and sleeping loft. It’s also wired for electricity!

Luke's tiny home is a part-time getaway. But many people are deciding they can live with less stuff and less space. They're building tiny houses to match their downsized lifestyle. Many tiny homes are smaller than 300 square feet. That’s about one-third the size of a typical classroom.

Tumbleweed Tiny House Company

This tiny home in Mt. Hood, Oregon, has everything you need packed into 233 square feet.

Though smaller homes may seem cramped, they can offer big benefits. They’re less expensive to buy and easier to clean. Compared with larger homes, they’re more sustainable, meaning they’re better for the environment. The average tiny house uses less than one-tenth of the lumber needed to build an average home. Smaller homes also require less electricity—914 kilowatts per year compared with an average household’s 12,773 kilowatts.

To build his home, Luke spent a year planning and collecting building materials. Many of his materials were recycled, says the eighth-grader. The next year, Luke spent almost every weekend building the house. He watched YouTube videos and got help from friends and family to build it. Luke also bartered with neighbors to learn new skills. He cleaned the garage of an electrician who lived down the street. In exchange, the electrician showed Luke how to wire the house. 

Smaller homes may seem cramped. But they can offer big benefits. They're less expensive to buy and easier to clean. They're more sustainable that larger homes, too. That means they're better for the environment. The average tiny house uses less than one-tenth of the lumber needed to build an average home. Smaller homes also require less electricity. They only need 914 kilowatts per year. An average household needs 12,773 kilowatts per year.

Luke spent a year planning and collecting building materials for his tiny home. Many of his materials were recycled. The next year, Luke spent almost every weekend building the house. He watched YouTube videos for instructions. He also got help from friends and family to build it. Luke also bartered with neighbors to learn new skills. He cleaned the garage of an electrician who lived down the street. In exchange, the electrician showed Luke how to wire the house. 

Now Luke sleeps in his tiny house every couple of weeks. If you want to build your own tiny home, Luke recommends finding materials to reuse rather than buying them. “When you’re a kid, you don’t have much money,” he says.

Now Luke sleeps in his tiny house every couple of weeks. If you want to build your own tiny home, Luke recommends finding materials to reuse rather than buying them. "When you're a kid, you don't have much money," he says.

Get four sheets of paper, a ruler, and a pencil. Use the information above and a ruler to draw nets of small-scale versions of the tiny homes shown below. The dimensions of each tiny home are listed below. Draw your nets at a scale of 1 foot = 0.25 inch. Record your work and answers on our answer sheet.

Get four sheets of paper, a ruler, and a pencil. Use the information above and a ruler to draw nets of small-scale versions of the tiny homes shown below. The dimensions of each tiny home are listed below. Draw your nets at a scale of 1 foot = 0.25 inch. Record your work and answers on our answer sheet.

Back to top
videos (1)
Skills Sheets (4)
Skills Sheets (4)
Skills Sheets (4)
Skills Sheets (4)
Lesson Plan (2)
Lesson Plan (2)
Read Aloud