30 Fantastic Tiny Homes Built With Recycled Materials
The DIY tiny house movement is all about reducing consumption. Check out some tiny homes that took it a step further by building with recycled or reclaimed materials.
Going to School
School buses are a favorite for DIY tiny house builders because they already have wheels. But what’s more amazing is the amount of space a school bus can offer, including room for a separated bedroom and living area like in this school bus conversion. Plus we love how the knives are magnetized for easy storage on the refrigerator. Check out some of the most incredible space-saving hacks for your kitchen.
Home for a Horse?
You’ll never believe that this tiny home was built from an old horse trailer. The interior is so ornate and detailed, it’s hard to imagine the house’s equine origins. There is, however, an homage to the dwelling’s past life—in the form of a galvanized steel stock tank as a tub inside.
Don’t horse around when it comes to looking for a bathtub, see what you need to know before making a purchase.
You’ll stay cool in this old refrigerated truck. The conversion made it completely solar-powered, so it’s an especially eco-friendly option. Find out if solar is right for you and find out if the savings really do pan out.
Back to the Future
This 1967 Airstream trailer has been overhauled to look like a country cottage, complete with a roomy kitchen and a clothes washer. We love the white mini subway tiles in all the wet areas. See just how creative people have gotten with reclaimed barn wood projects.
Ship Out in Style
Shipping containers have become a viable option for conversion into tiny homes because of the low cost of the containers and the amount of space they can provide. This 20-foot container spills melds indoor and outdoor space and makes excellent use of reclaimed wood. Did you know you can even order a tiny home to your house?
The Boulder model tiny home from Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses uses reclaimed corrugated tin and cedar boards prominently as siding. Inside portions of the home use old barn wood. This model with recycled house material starts at $35,000 and is available in 16-, 18- and 20-ft. trailers. Pack up and jump into one of these available tiny homes today.
Macy Miller started building a tiny home in 2011 and it has since expanded to include a family. She and her husband utilized shipping pallets for siding originally and reclaimed windows. Tiny homes are great for those motivated to downsize, check out some incredible tiny homes perfectly fit for retirement.
Aaron Maret’s Pocket Shelter DIY tiny home puts an emphasis on using recycled and reclaimed material, from the pine floor to the barn wood siding. The entry doors are also reclaimed material. Love the look of a rustic barn door? See how to make one without using old barn wood.
Borrowing heavily from an old barn design, the Bitterroot model from Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses has its share of reclaimed corrugated metal for siding. The barn-designed roof actually helps create more loft space in the home. And check out all the built-in storage! Check out a lofted bed that squeezes in a car.
The Rustic Modern Tiny House
Get an authentic tiny home experience by staying in this tiny home via Airbnb in Portland. Building materials for this recycled house include pieces salvaged from construction jobs, windows that come from an old horse farm, and a kitchenette stove/refrigerator from a history museum. Catch a glimpse at other amazing reclaimed barn wood creations.
Lifehaus is a prototype home with recycled tires as some of its material. Pallets and old utility poles also get thrown into the mix as building material for the house, which seeks complete self-sufficiency. It recycles water and incorporates wind and solar power. It’s an ambitious project for founder and architect Nizar Haddad, who is determined to reduce the carbon footprint of humans with the home. See the incredible things solar power can do, like fuel a moped. Or find out why a rain garden can help solve a damp basement.
Curved Roof Tiny House
Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses uses reclaimed corrugated metal and cedar for the siding of this tiny, recycled house. But the curved roof really makes it stand out. The additional headroom leads to a storage area/guest loft, in addition to the main sleeping area is on the main level.
Corrugated metal is as utilitarian as you might imagine. See how corrugated metal can make an attractive backyard fence.
AA Tiny House
This DIY tiny home utilized reclaimed, repurposed and local materials for its construction. Its interior features beetle kill pine, barn wood and a salvaged kitchen sink. One of the biggest adjustments with a tiny home is figuring out to cook with less space. See what can be done with these tiny home kitchens.
This behemoth, relatively speaking, 34-foot tiny home takes the name Red Mountain and is the largest created by Rocky Mountain Tiny Homes. There’s even a fold-down porch as an entryway, and two sleeping lofts. Much of the cabinetry is made of beetle kill pine, from dead trees decimated by beetles.
Great things can be made from salvaged wood, like these gorgeous coasters.
Into the Sticks
Over in the UK, Andy Gill and Kate Fox have a tiny home tucked away where they’ve watched otters, badgers, kingfishers and foxes. Inside and out, much of the building material came from recycled and reclaimed sources. If you want to try out tiny house living, it’s available as a vacation rental. Crates make a kitchen look great, discover the beauty of produce crates.
House Alive pre-dates the latest small home craze, taking its start back in 2002 with a mission to build natural homes out of cob, which is a mixture of sand, straw and clay. House Alive says on its site that a cottage for a small family can be built for as little as $5,000—and some have spent less than $1,000 on a home.
Tiny house living sounds pretty amazing as way to escape the entrapments of modern living but there are a number of things to consider before making the leap to tiny living.
A Pirate’s Life: Charleston Harbor, S.C.
Give this tiny house a trial run, and you can take in your morning coffee and evening cocktails on the deck — along with a stunning view of Charleston’s harbor. Featured on Tiny House Hunters, the interior of A Pirate’s Life crafted almost entirely from reclaimed materials. Check out the coolest tiny houses in all 50 states.
Louvre Barge: Paris
This tiny home is in a historic Dutch barge moored on the left bank of Paris, between the picturesque Pont Neuf and Pont Des Arts bridges. Enjoy a glass of wine on the deck, or under-deck at the gorgeous reclaimed wood bar in your fully equipped kitchen. At night, the Louvre Museum and the lights of Paris are out your front door.
Related: These 13 genius kitchens pack a whole lot of utility into a tiny home.
Tall and Airy Guesthouse
Designed and built by Nanostead tiny home builders, this woodsy guesthouse offers just over 400 square and is bright and airy, thanks to ample windows and a loft design. There’s storage tucked away everywhere and by tiny house standards, the kitchen is huge. Learn the secrets of tiny house living from a tiny house builder.
Todd and Pemly Fink downsized from a 1,800-square foot home to build a tiny home filled largely with reclaimed pieces. By using reclaimed wood and other salvaged building materials, the Fink’s created a home that works well for their individual needs. However, the 20-inch stove is not the place to roast a large Thanksgiving turkey. But it works perfectly for these two empty nesters. Learn more about the Finks’ tiny house.
Content with a Container
This lean and well-designed shipping container-turned-tiny-house sleeps up to four people, thanks to bunk beds and a futon that folds out—once the folding dining table has been tucked away. It’s currently parked in Arizona. Find out about another unique design when you take a look inside this tiny home.
Up, Up and Away
Tiny house builders can rely on a variety of materials and this Oregon tiny home incorporates windows from a Boeing airplane. The 8-foot-6 wide, 20-foot long, 13-foot-10 tall tiny home also has a skylight to view those airplanes flying by.
Find out how to work with rough sawn lumber to create a rustic look like many of these tiny homes.
Louisiana Saturday Night
This Louisiana tiny house is Louisiana in a lot of ways. From the cypress wood to the antique New Orleans corbel brackets, this tiny home was made from recycled house materials that capture the spirit of the Bayou State. Like the look of reclaimed wood, then you’ll love this reclaimed wood beer caddy project.
Barn Wood Elegance
B & B Micro Manufacturing has created a tiny house that is closer to a high-end RV than a tiny home. This model, “The Arcadia” includes three skylights and a reclaimed barn wood ceiling. Making a skylight leak-proof would be especially important in a tiny home.
Learn how to build your own beautiful and affordable tiny house or add the perfect cabin on your rural property with Family Handyman’s DIY University Build Your Own Tiny House course.
Road Less Traveled
Tiny house enthusiasts often turn to old school buses to construct their abode, like this one in Nebraska. Once inside it hardly looks like a school bus with wood floors, a wood stove and a great looking wood table. You can’t go wrong using recycled house items even if you’re in an old bus.
Storing wood can go wrong if you don’t stack it right, see the right way to stack wood.
Industrial Chic Containers
We love the industrial-chic feel of these container homes from Container Building Group in Australia. They’ve come up with some genius space-saving tricks, especially in the fold-down beds and generous storage. See why you need to add geometrics to your home decor now.
This Oklahoma DIY tiny home combines new with old by using old wood from semi-truck trailers and galvanized steel from a 50-year-old barn. The result is a cozy, country feel. Working with recycled house items is rewarding but there are some things you should never buy.
At Home On the Road
Take your show on the road with this school bus conversion that sleeps up to five people. We love the bright white interiors, ample light from those old bus windows, and the cozy raised beds tucked behind curtains.
This tiny home doesn’t use granite for its countertop and neither should you. Check awesome countertops that aren’t granite.
The Little House
Reclaimed Space has inverted the notion that everything is a little bigger in Texas with The Little House. The home features board and batten reclaimed from an 1830s whiskey refinery. Inside, reclaimed wood from Texas farmhouses makes up the floor, and beadboard from a Texas church went into the ceiling. Try converting a shed before venturing into tiny house life.