Luke Thill bought a house when he was 13 years old.
In the backyard of his parent’s home in Dubuque, Iowa, the middle school student had completed building an 89-square-foot tiny house.
With a budget of $1,500 that he had acquired through doing chores around the neighbourhood, he began working on the project when he was just 11 years old and completed it in a year and a half.
Luke’s journey had only started, and that was only the beginning.
As part of their expanding collection of tiny houses, 17-year-old Luke Thill and his brother Cole have built a teardrop camper. Luke, who spoke to Insider, wants to adopt a tiny-living lifestyle.
According to Luke, constructing the tiny home was “a huge experience.”. Undoubtedly, it changed how I live.
Luke expected his summer of 2016 to be uninteresting. The 11-year-old came across the tiny home movement on YouTube while searching for tasks to complete because he had no immediate plans.
He was convinced and decided to build his small cottage.
Before they began, Luke and his father calculated the money he would need to construct a simple house and came up with $1,500.
Like many young people, Luke started saving by taking on odd jobs in his neighbourhood.
It all started with the simple idea that Luke would spend one summer working to pay the bills by mowing lawns and doing odd jobs for his grandparents and neighbours.
A short while later, he began building his tiny future house.
Although Luke claimed to be skilled at modest home improvement projects, this was his most significant project.
According to Luke, most of the building supplies used to construct the house were salvaged, and windows and doors were mainly donated by friends, neighbours, and family to reduce costs.
Luke took about a year and a half to complete the build, with some help from his parents.
His father and his mother assisted with the construction and interior design. Luke had his own tiny home by the time he turned 13 in the fall of 2017.
Luke could avoid installing plumbing, which would have been expensive, time-consuming, and challenging, by claiming he never intended to live permanently in the tiny house.
The house was supposed to be a retreat and a place for friends to get together.
This is demonstrated by the home’s straightforward design. It has a small kitchen with a countertop, a micro-fridge, an electric burner, and a living area with a drop-down dining table.
Additionally, a ladder leads up to a lofted area where Luke spends some nights sleeping and hosts visitors for movie nights.
One year, Luke even hosted his family’s Thanksgiving meal.
After finishing the tiny house, Luke was prepared to start a new endeavour.
Cole, his twin, was working on his own project and had started building a teardrop camper from the ground up.
About halfway through, Luke stepped in to help. According to Luke, the 36-square-foot teardrop camper cost the brothers about $2,500 by the time they were both 14 years old.
Luke asserted that this project was surprisingly more challenging and intricate than building a tiny house.
You’ve got to do things right, Luke retorted. “If you’re traveling at 75 mph down the highway, you don’t want anything to fall apart. “.
The camper gave Luke and his brother a chance to get back together. Since finishing the construction in 2018, according to Luke, the two have taken more than 50 camping trips in Iowa and nearby states.
In 2020, Luke made significant adjustments to the teardrop camper. He redone the camper’s woodwork, installed new cabinets, and stained the interior.
Luke’s main takeaway was the value of a sense of belonging to a community.
Luke claimed that his early experience building a tiny house taught him many important life lessons, including the value of perseverance and fiscal responsibility.
Luke, however, asserted that one of the most significant lessons he learned was the importance of group membership.
Luke claimed that he needed assistance from his neighbours while he was building. For instance, he would trade goods with a neighbour or offer electrical help in exchange for garage cleaning.
He said, “A simple project in my backyard brought the neighbourhood and community together.
Now that the camper is finished, Luke claims he is ready for the upcoming endeavour. As a junior in high school, he asserted that he also values working, spending time with friends, and finishing his assignments.
While focusing on high school, Luke stated that small-space living would continue to be vital to him. He’s even considered building a larger version of his current residence to use as his residence when he enrols in college.