Teenagers are often wrongly accused of being lazy and spending all their free time in front of the television, cell phones or video games. It has to be said that many young people are full of imagination and spend their weekends working on fabulous projects. This is the case of Luke Thill who built his own house with only $1500. Discover the fascinating story of this teenager.
1. Here is how the idea for the project came about
When you are a schoolboy, summer is the best part of the year. You can relax and play with your friends. But Luke Thill, from Dubuque, Iowa, was getting bored. He was tired of having nothing to do.
He “wanted to have something to do during the summer”. So he went on the Internet to find fun things to do during the summer holidays. This energetic boy wanted to do something outdoors, which led him to look for interesting DIY projects on YouTube.
2. He discovers videos on YouTube
He, therefore, discovered multiple didactic videos to build small houses, also called “Tiny House” on YouTube. For those who are not familiar with the term, “Tiny House” is a movement that advocates living as simply as possible in small houses. Houses, although tiny, can meet all of a person’s needs in the same way as a normal-sized house.
At the age of twelve, Luke decided that he too wanted to build his own little house in his family’s backyard with the help of craft videos. But Luke is not just an ordinary child. When he does something, he does it with amazing results!
3. Luke starts building his house
It is not easy to undertake a project like building your own home, however small it may be. Knowing that he would need a number of different remedies to launch the project, he asked his parents for permission.
Luke’s parents were very supportive of Luke building his house and thought it was a great way to get him out of the house in the summer, unlike many kids who spend their summers on the couch watching TV or playing video games. But his parents thought he would have to work to get what he needed.
4. He takes himself in hand
The news of his ambitious project quickly spread throughout the neighborhood and everyone was impressed by Luke’s decision. In order to start saving money for the project, he did odd jobs in the neighborhood. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to make his dream come true. Luke mowed lawns, cleaned the garages and did whatever else he could find. He also wanted to stick to the spirit of the Tiny House movement and use as many recycled or recovered objects as he could find.
The small house philosophy not only promotes the simplicity of living and small houses, but it also encourages the use of recycled and reappropriated items for the construction of the house. People collect a huge amount of scrap metal that usually accumulates in their garages and hangars and is then thrown in the garbage. Luke Thill was cleaning these garages anyway and found a lot of equipment he could use. A family friend even had an old front door from which he was more than happy to part. One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure, after all.
In addition to offering his services for money, he also worked in exchange for assistance in his project. There is a limit to what you can learn from a DIY video, after all. And there are some things, like wiring a house for electricity, for example, that require an expert.
It is not without reason that we say the phrase “don’t try this at home,” it is because if you don’t know what you are doing, you will hurt yourself. One of Luc’s neighbors agreed to help him connect the small house to electricity in exchange for cleaning his garage.
5. People are informed of Luke’s progress
News of Luke’s small house project spread like wildfire and, very quickly, he was asked to report daily on the progress of the work. Although he was delighted that people were excited, he didn’t want to answer the same question several times a day.
The solution? YouTube! He was already there watching videos to help him build the house, so he created his own channel to keep people informed and record the construction process.
6. The house attracts media attention
One day when Luke was at school, he was called into the principal’s office. Such an event is often stressful! Not knowing if he was in trouble, he went to see the director. But it turned out he didn’t have any problems.
Luke’s exposure on YouTube and word of mouth caught the attention of local media, and a journalist wanted to interview Luke about his project for an article. He was becoming famous! This same journalist was, in fact, a good friend of the headmaster of his school. But what about the house itself?
7. How was the construction of the house carried out?
Luke Thill had collected enough materials to start the construction process. Thanks to all his odd jobs in the neighborhood and some savings, he managed to raise a total of $1,500 for his small house project. For someone so young, it’s quite impressive.
Luke was thrilled with all the buzz and media attention and ready to get to work. He had the equipment and had done extensive research. This does not mean, however, that the project went ahead without any setbacks.
8. A creative counter
Luke decided to be creative with his DIY skills and decided to create a beautiful counter using broken pieces of stained glass and glaze. He watched a YouTube video on how the process works and said he was confident enough to create a cheap and interesting counter. Unfortunately, the experiment ended in disaster. After placing the coloured glass shards in the positions he wanted, he added the glaze. But the liquid eventually flowed through the mould he used. Let’s just say it was a hell of a mess to clean up. This didn’t discourage Luke from finishing his project, however.
9. Is Luke’s house fully habitable?
Luc’s hard work certainly paid off: his house was almost finished. The house even had electricity! But what about plumbing? Every house needs running water and a bathroom. Unfortunately, it was a little more than the 13-year-old could do!
He tried to find many ways to create plumbing infrastructure, but they all turned out to be far too big a task for him. Since the small house is in his parents’ backyard, Luke can simply use the family home’s toilet. Moreover, there is no air conditioning…
Luke Thill was eager to spend a night in his little house and check if it was habitable, even before it was officially finished. Thus, at the height of winter, with temperatures well below freezing and a snow-covered landscape, the young man decided to spend the night in his tiny house.
Although Luke had worked long and hard to provide for his small house with adequate insulation, it was still not certain that the house would be warm enough for such low temperatures. After sleeping in his new bed for the first time, Luke joyfully announced that the upper attic was so warm at night that he had to open the window to let in fresh air.
10. Final result
Once the house was finished, Luke made a video and uploaded it to his YouTube channel. The video quickly became viral and was viewed nearly 7.5 million times! Currently, his channel has more than 16,000 subscribers who listen to his videos.
Luke’s video received hundreds of comments. Almost all of them are extremely positive. Many people expressed their support, saying that Luke helped them to be more active and engage in a project. Others shared their own experiences of what they did when they were Luc’s age.
Keep reading to get a look inside Luke’s extraordinary little house.
11. A place that Luke can take over
Okay, so you probably think the house looks decent on the outside, but you wonder what might be inside and if it’s habitable. The answer is yes! Prepare to be impressed. The small house includes a kitchen, living room, dining room, and a separate bedroom.
Technically, the living room and dining room are two in one, but there is a folding table that distinguishes each “room”. The bedroom is located in the loft on the first floor separate from the rest of the house, which allows for some privacy.
12. A perfect look
The small house is 89 square feet. The kitchen is equipped with a small refrigerator, an electric stove and a bottle of water. Luke even put linoleum on the walls to give it a tiled look.
Under the marble countertop in the kitchen, there is storage space. The defective stained glass counter is located underneath, the mould is now used for storage purposes. The kitchen even has several electrical outlets! But you’ll never believe what’s in the living room…..
The living room, although small, is decorated with a sofa and a television. It’s every teenager’s dream. Luke’s parents also find the small house acceptable. They even allow him to sleep there a few times a week. Although he now has his own house, he is only 13 years old. So he doesn’t intend to leave right away. And there’s the whole bathroom issue… Without plumbing, you really can’t live there all the time.
13. Inspiration and admiration
When asked why he decided to build this little house, Luke Thill said it was to fight boredom and said something very mature. He said he “wanted to have a house without a big mortgage.” We do not believe that these words were never spoken by a 13-year-old child.
About 75% of the small house was built with recovered materials. So, not only is the house super cheap, but it is also environmentally friendly! Maybe if we all lived more simply and in smaller houses, we would have more money, less stress and would be happier in general.