The $200 Microhouse

The $200 Microhouse

Cambria Bold
Feb 24, 2011

Derek Diedricksen has an unusual hobby: he builds tiny houses from scavenged materials. Right now he has three structures set up in his backyard: the Gypsy Junker, made primarily out of shipping pallets, castoff storm windows and a neighbor's discarded kitchen cabinets; the Hickshaw, a sleeper built on a rolling cedar lounge chair; and the Boxy Lady, two cubes on a long pallet.

The New York Times recently profiled Mr. Diedricksen:

For ingenuity, thrift and charm, Mr. Diedricksen's tiny structures are hard to beat. Made of scavenged materials, they cost on average less than $200 to build. They often have transparent roofing, which allows a fine view of the treetops, particularly in the smallest ones, where the most comfortable position is supine. They have loads of imaginative and decorative details: a porthole-like window salvaged from a front-loading washing machine, a flip-down metal counter taken from the same deceased washer. Mr. Diedricksen hates to throw anything away.

Don't be fooled, though: these structures aren't serious living establishments, as they have no heating or insulation. Mr. Diedricksen envisions them more as "places to sleep for the people who say, 'Oh, I forgot my sleeping bag.' Almost like the Ewok village, all these little micro-shelters dotting my land. Or you could use it as a greenhouse... Or for music festivals, where people bring these wacky small structures."

See more photos and read more about these microstructures at The New York Times.

Image: Erik Jacobs for The New York Times

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