Texas Design Student Builds Awesome Tiny-House To Live Debt-Free Near Campus

Amanda Froelich | TrueActivist

Joel Weber aims to graduate debt-free, so built a mobile tiny home to live in while he studies.

It’s not easy being a student in the United States, where universities are notoriously expensive and the prospect of a job is insecure. For those invested in pursuing their education, then, it becomes a task to keep costs – such as housing and food – to a minimum so student loans may stay as low as possible. Joel Weber, who is a design student in his third year at the University of Texas in Austin, knows this as well as anyone.

In Texas, the average tuition at the University of Texas in Austin is about $9,794 per year, resulting in the average student having a debt of $22,600. In addition, housing near campus costs upward of $800 per month. Weary of high expenses, Weber decided to build his own mobile tiny home to live in during school and likely even after he graduates.


The almost 13.5 sq. meter house cost $20,000 to build and was constructed with the help of a volunteer carpenter and an electrician. As The Telegraph shares, the main floor has a sitting area, kitchen, workspace, countertop, sink, and shower.

The stairs – which double as shelves – lead to his bed which hangs above the entrance of the home.

Credit: Joel Weber

Credit: Joel Weber

In total, the design took about one year to build and was made with eco-friendly materials such as reclaimed wood, energy efficient lights, and plenty of windows for natural lighting. Some of the materials were even donated by locals in the community.

The one unfortunate downfall of the design is that the home does not have a toilet, so a nearby bathroom has to be utilized.

Credit: Joel Weber

While $20,000 is a large sum of money, the tiny home investment will reward Weber in more ways than one even after he graduates.

Besides schooling, Weber also holds down two jobs: landscaping and babysitting. And when Weber is hired by locals, he gives back to his community by charging them less.

Credit: Joel Weber

Credit: Joel Weber

As The Independent reports, the living space of Weber’s tiny home is mortgage free with minimal utility costs. During the summer it was parked in his hometown of Dallas, Texas, but was moved near the University once school began again.

In the future, Weber hopes to improve the design by adding solar panels and rain collection to become self-sufficient. At the young age of 25, he feels that this could be his home forever and foster a simple lifestyle to appreciate more from life. “It’s more about how I can live simple and still be grateful,” he told the news source.

Credit: Joel Weber

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