13-Yr-Old Builds Own House For $1,500: Look When He Opens Door And Reveals 89 Sq Ft Masterpiece
It’s safe to say that most people at least have one childhood memory of working on an arts and crafts project of some sort. Whether it was building a birdhouse, painting a mug, or making pottery, nothing seems to come close to the project completed by this one 13-year-old builder.
Luke Thill is a 13-year-old from Dubuque, Iowa. Luke being the energetic young man he was at the time needed something to fulfil his summer break from school. Instead of playing video games inside all day or watching TV, he decided he wanted to build himself a mini home in his families backyard. Luke even found ways of sourcing his own money and materials to complete this project. When his parents got wind of his summer project they were actually thrilled and let him get to work “It was a chance for a kid to do something more than play video games or sports,” said his dad Greg. “It teaches life lessons.” But how did a 13-year-old boy from Iowa build a bouse all by himself?
Luke got to work on raising money every which way a 13-year-old boy could. He cut lawns around the neighborhood, recycled everything he could find, and walked all the dogs in town. Until a year later and Luke realized he had quite the cash stash for his exciting new project. Luke had raised a whopping $1,500 and collected enough recycled building materials to begin building. In fact, up to 75% of Luke’s house was crafted from recycled materials making it a pretty environmentally friendly building. Once Luke began the building process he noticed something interesting.
There had been so much talk around town of what Luke had been doing that everyone seemed interested to see what he was doing. So Luke decided he would document his journey and put his progress on Youtube for all to see. It wasn’t long before his channel began to bring in views and everyone around town and in school knew his name and his story.
Luke’s story was spreading through the town like wildfire and taking the internet by storm. So much so, that one day Luke’s school principal called him into his office one day. This was at first very alarming for Luke. “I don’t go there very often,” Luke said in one of his videos. “I’ve never gone there for anything bad.” He wondered what it could be for.
Funny enough even Luke’s own school principal was good friends with a reporter from Indianapolis, who wanted to feature Luke and his project in the local newspaper. Luke was flattered but he was far from done with his project and he wanted the whole thing completed before another could get the inside scoop or lay eyes on it. Luke had big plans for his tiny house.
Luke even decided to go the extra mile and create a one of a kind homemade countertop, crafted from stained glass and liquid glaze. Luke got the idea from watching various videos on YouTube. Unfortunately, the stained glass project did not go so smoothly for Luke and the liquid glaze ended up leaking all over the place. This was just a small bump in the road for Luke. He came too far to just turn back now.
Luke was even reached out to by a representative of TinyFest Midwest, a festival centered around bringing attention to tiny houses and small living. Luke was not only to present his creation at the festival but they wanted him to be their main speaker for the event as well. Luke recently earned a public speaking merit badge and was eager to use it. Everything with Luke’s tiny house was coming along great but there was one last thing.
Luke’s tiny house was finally complete on the outside but he still needed to create the space of his dreams. Luke added a few homey touches to the inside and outside of his house so that it would not only be useful for everyday life but so it would show his personality as well. The finished product was incredible.
Luke after a year of hard work had built an 89-square-foot house. The mini home also included a micro living room, complete with a TV and couch, a lofted bed, and a kitchen area with an electric griddle. Luke spends his days doing homework and hanging out in his little house. The internet although the project is finished, still cannot get enough of the young boy’s mini-masterpiece.
After speaking at TinyFest, Luke’s story littered the Iowan newspapers, the Des Moines Register and the Telegraph Herald. Luke’s story even reached Good Morning America. Out of all the crazy interactions with the media one really stood out to Luke the most.
Luke was contacted by Derek Diedricksen, who pens a guide about designing and building tiny homes. Derek’s book was actually the inspiration for the teen in his mission to build his own tiny house. Diedricksen sent him messages of support and encouragement and the two soon became friends. With the encouragement and wisdom of his idol, Luke then moved on to even more exciting projects.
In a recent video on his YouTube channel, Luke shared the news that his brother Cole was starting to build a teardrop camper. Like his brother, Cole was relying on using the same method of reclaimed materials and a tight budget for his build. Luke helps his brother with his project and also documents it over on his YouTube channel.
Luke has over 9,000 subscribers and it’s growing each and every day. Luke also goes around showcasing other people’s small living projects in his community, such as a sheepherders wagon and his mother’s renovation of a classic 1972 camper. Luke may be only 13, but he had already created a name for himself in the world and he has proven to have a ripple effect.
Though Luke does plan to go to college, he also likes the idea of inspiring other kids to do what he did. “I want to show kids it’s possible to build at this age,” said Luke. Although he may not have his whole life planned out he knows he is already capable of building something beautiful.