Derek Diedricksen, micro-builder. (Photo: Bruce Bettis)

Building codes for new home construction can be as thick as a dictionary. Getting a loan for a home is a painful experience.

Solution? Bypass both like Derek Diedricksen by going small. FairCompanies.com, a website community that provides access to tools about sustainable culture, calls Diedricksen a micro builder. Diedricksen calls himself “bizarre-chitect or lark-chitect.” FairCompanies reports:

“There’s almost this whole outlaw aspect of it. I’ve kind of been a little anti-authoritarian most of my life playing in punk bands and what-not and a lot of the housing codes and rules to me, while some of them make good sense, a lot of them are just ridiculous and very antiquated.”

Diedricksen boasts five micro-buildings on his property, to which many building codes don’t apply, that he constructed on a “micro-budget”:

His Gottagiddaway a.k.a. “$100 homeless hut” was built for about that (or perhaps as high as $110). His 32-square-foot micro-office […] was built for $80 from barn sale/ barn demo materials.

His materials are salvaged from old buildings, lumber mills, recycyling and the dump. His windows are made from old office water coolers, soda bottles, pickle jars and even a washing machine window (a side from the same machine has become one if his drop-down tables).

One discarded cedar lounge chair inspired an entire cabin. The Hickshaw- a “rickshaw for hicks”- has the same dimensions as the chair (2 1/2 feet wide by 6 1/2 feet deep) and can be rolled by one person.

None of Diedricksen’s backyard creations are lived in full-time though he has camped in at least a few of them, uses them for a bit of shedworking for writing his blog and reserves the right to send unwanted guests in that direction.

Watch Diedricksen’s story:

Video: Tiny Homes as Punk Rock: Freedom From Codes and Loans  –  http://youtu.be/Ugx7cK_tHUw

Diedricksen said he grew up in a modest-sized home and hopes that his mini-homes will hope show people that extreme downsizing is doable:

“Why waste most of your life paying for a house you‘re never going to be in because you’re out working 80 hours a week to afford it, but you’re working so many extra hours for this huge house that you need to heat, you need to furnish, you need to maintain, you need to clean. The bigger the house, the more of your short and finite life you‘re using up to make those ends meet when you don’t really need a house like that.”

This 16-year-old did the same thing, building a small mobile home — no mortgage attached:

Video: 16-Year-old Builds Tiny Home to Guarantee Mortgage Free Future

Diedricken not only builds small spaces for clients but he self-published a book Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts, which has sold 3,000 copies and is anticipating a second edition next year. He is a part of the Small Home Movement.

Derek Diedricksen’s “weekender micro-cabin”.

The Blaze reported on other cases of extremely small homestead, which as this 441-square-foot home, an even smaller one at 320-square-feet and the more extreme 72-square-foot apartment in New York.

h/t to the Blaze


Best Places to Move… Off the Grid, for Growth, for Survival…

Checkout MC Endeavors for some creative smart-grid home building ideas perhaps better suited to most.  Great forward thinking company!

About Ask Marion

I am a babyboomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us. So far... we haven't done very well!! Favorite Quotes: "The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy"; "Do something that scares you every day!"; "The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place". At age 62 I find myself fighting inoperable uterine Cancer and thanks to the man upstairs and the prayers from so many people including many of my readers from AskMarion and JustOneMorePet... I'm beating it. After losing our business because of the economy and factors related to the re-election of President Obama in 2012 followed by 16-mos of job hunting, my architect-trained husband is working as a trucker and has only been home approximately 5-days a month since I was diagnosed, which has made everything more difficult and often lonely... plus funds are tight. Our family medical deductible is 12K per year for two of us; thank you ObamaCare. But thanks to donations from so many of you, we are making ends meet as I go through treatment while taking care of my father-in-law who is suffering from late stage Alzheimer's and my mother-in-law who suffers from RA and onset dementia as well as hearing loss, for which there are no caretaker funds, as I continue the fight here online to inform and help restore our amazing country. And finally I need to thank a core group of family, friends, and readers... all at a distance, who check in with me regularly. Plus, I must thank my furkids who have not left my side through this fight. You can see them at JustOneMorePet.
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