One Couple Transformed This Dumpster Into an Off-The-Grid Tiny House

published Jan 29, 2017
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(Image credit: Bigelow Built)

One man’s trash is another man’s tiny house. With $800, the scenic boulders of Florence, Arizona and a whole lot of vision, Jamie and Brad Bigelow purchased a dumpster in hopes of turning it into a 176-square-foot vacation home.

(Image credit: Bigelow Built)

“Our family goes out there a lot so we wanted a little house as a base that we could stay at,” Jamie told TODAY Home. “We just love going out there and stargazing.”

General contractor Brad, whose inspiring work can be seen on Bigelow Built, got busy with his brothers and nephews to create the couple’s desert hideaway. But turning a large capacity trash receptacle into a cozy home proved to be a challenge, with the couple noting that the most difficult part of the project was creating openings for doors and windows, as well as securing the studs, siding and drywall to the dumpster’s walls.

(Image credit: Bigelow Built)

After spending $13,000 on their tiny house transformation, Jamie and Brad say their dumpster domain is “totally off the grid,” although they do use a generator to power the lights and give them access to an outhouse next door.

Outside, a wood deck made from scaffolding they found in California wraps around the structure, ideal for nights spent looking up at the stars. Inside you’ll find a wood-burning stove to keep the couple warm when temperatures drop, a vintage bed frame, tables and lantern.

Next for Jamie and Brad? They’ll attempt to transform a Volkswagen bus.