LEE WARD: No little house for me | New


A young man named Luke Thill learned valuable skills, including construction and independence.

The Dubuque, Iowa, 17-year-old caught the media’s attention because he built his own tiny house for $1,500 – when he was 13.

And the 89 square foot abode is no cabin.

It’s heated and air-conditioned, with a stove and mini-fridge in the kitchen, living room, fold-down dining table, and loft with a bed.

“I had a lot of friends and we watch movies, cook, go out or play games,” he said.

Working through the summer, the tiny house-obsessed boy raised $1,500; he also bartered and donated a few items to help him complete the project. His mother and father also helped in the construction and design.

I’m fascinated by this kid.

Sure, he’s industrious, smart, driven, committed and talented, but I admire his ability to get by with his own home at 13.

When I was that age, I would have been afraid to be alone in a house all night. I don’t know if he spends the night there alone, but he has a bed, so I imagine it happened.

More importantly, how did he get his parents to trust him in his own home?

It might be a boy/girl thing, but I’m sure my parents would never have allowed me to be alone at that age, even if it was in our backyard. I know he wasn’t really and really alone; I imagine most nights he was in the “big house” having dinner with the family, but my parents always watched me very closely. Were they afraid something would hurt me? Or was there a lack of trust? I still don’t know, but I guess either could be true, although they must have thought I was pretty stupid if they expected me to throw a wild party in the garden.

To be fair, my parents wouldn’t have to face this issue with me because there’s no way I could have completed such a project even now, let alone at 13. I’m not sure I could have raised enough money but I know I couldn’t have built the house. It’s just not in my skillset.

Besides, what good would it do if I got scared and went back to the big house in the middle of the night?

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