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Teen 'Mini House Builder' Creates Mobile 130-Sq-Ft Dorm Room


"Hopefully I did all the right stuff."

Austin Hay is a 17-year-old senior preparing for college. While most teen's preparations include making final higher education decisions and finishing the necessary high school requirements, Hay's includes finishing his living space.

That's right -- Hay plans to bring his own 130-square-foot dorm room to college. Until then though, the house built on a trailer sits in his parent's Sonoma county, Calif., backyard.

Image: Fair Companies via YouTube screenshot

Earlier this month, Hay hosted an Open House for the public to view his nearly completed space. Don't let the size or the fact that it technically will be a dorm room on wheels fool you of its amenities. According to Fair Companies, which profiled Hay and his project when he was 16 and just provided an updated of the completed space, Hay has included a full kitchen, working bathroom (yes, there's a hot water heater for the shower) and DIY sofabed.

Here's the tiny house before it was sided. Image: MiniHouseBuilder/Austin Hay

Hay's loft bed. Image: MiniHouseBuilder/Austin Hay

Kitchen with sink complete with running water and a fridge/freezer combo. Image: MiniHouseBuilder/Austin Hay

Image: MiniHouseBuilder/Austin Hay

Fair Companies' most recent feature first gives a recap of what Hay had done before to show you his years of work. Hay then answers visitors' questions during his open house. One of the questions is if the house has been driven on the road yet. It has not. He explains the house has been affixed to the trailer using materials for hurricane resistance.

"Hopefully I did all the right stuff," he said.

Watch the feature:

In the video, Hay explains that he learned to build by watching his father, with one wood-working class and through his own experience with this house.

The whole project cost Hay $12,000. You might be wondering how a teenager could fund a project, however small, such as this. On his blog -- MiniHouseBuilder -- Hay writes that some have volunteered their time and others have donated actual funds to make his mobile dorm a reality. Grandpa played Santa Claus for Hay's cause one year.

"Like grandfathers do, I stepped in and said 'well, I'm willing to help ya,'" Hay's grandfather said. "We participated financially to help him get to where he is today with the finished product. And I'm just so proud of him."

Hay started construction on the house, a Fencl model by Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, in 2010.

"One of the reasons I decided to build a tumbleweed house is to show adults and peers that one person can help with 'the big picture,'" Hay writes. "I truly believe it is important to keep this world we have healthy. I have decided to downsize to help the environment."

Although Hay might not need to share a room with a fellow student thanks to having his own digs. Like many a college undergrad, Hay will still need to go to a laundromat to clean his clothes.


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