Luke Thill is a 13-year-old boy who just built his own house for $1500. First of all, it’s insane how a 13-year-old boy was able to make a house all by himself.

Many people in their twenties are still figuring out how to make toast – trust me, ask my roommate! Second of all, he was able to do it with such a small budget.

For the price of a Macbook, Luke made himself a dang house! Luke is definitely an inspiration to anyone with a dream, and after reading this story you’ll understand why it was absolutely necessary for Luke to build his own house.

Video can be found at the end of the article.

For most teenagers, summer is the best time of their lives. They don’t have school and for the entire summer break, they can just have fun or simply do nothing.

It is easy to find a distraction, and if nothing, you can always play video games or chat with your friends.

But, believe it or not, not every youngster wants to spend his summer break relaxing. Some want to be productive as well.

One of those kids was Luke Thill, from Dubuque Iowa. During his summer holiday, he was bored, and he was determined to find something interesting to do.

Why just waste your days, when you can use them to try doing something new? Therefore, he asked for help from a place that always has all the answers, the Internet.

He immediately turned to Youtube and used it to find some fun DIY projects.

An Idea

While browsing the internet, he came across something that caught his attention. He found many instructions on how to build a tiny house.

If you don’t know, making tiny houses became very popular a few years ago, when people realized that living in small houses can serve the same purpose as living in big houses.

Except the beauty with small houses lies in the fact that they are cheaper, eco-friendly, and more practical.

Luke was amazed by the tiny house tutorials so he made a decision that he would build one as well.

At the time he was only 12 years old, and he showed us that age doesn’t matter as long as you have a strong will.

He wanted to build the house in his family’s backyard and he started developing a plan that would bring his idea to life.

Massive Support

Of course, before doing anything Luke had to talk to his parents. Luckily, they were great, and they were fully supportive of their son.

They were very proud of Luke for wanting to do something that other kids don’t do in their free time.

But even though they gave him support, they weren’t going to fund the project. He had to earn the money by himself.

Making Money

It is not easy to earn a lot of money when you are a teenager, but Luke was not going to go down without a fight! The word of his project started spreading throughout his neighborhood and people were actually willing to help him. Luke cut a deal with those who were interested in his project. He started helping them in return for money. Brilliant idea!

In order to increase his budget, he did whatever he had to do. Luke mowed lawns, cleaned out garages, etc. He wasn’t ashamed of doing anything, and he was proud of himself. While working, he thought of one more important thing. Why not use as much recycled material as he could? When he cleaned garages, he noticed that people accumulated a lot of things they would never use again. Their trash was his treasure.

A New Platform

Everyone wanted to be aware of his progress, but Luke didn’t want to be busy answering questions all the time, so he came up with an easy solution – his own YouTube channel! That’s how Luke kept everyone happy and informed, and the channel allowed him to encourage more teenagers to start doing the same. He started recording his building progress, and currently, he has over 60k followers.

Say Cheese

Much to Luke’s surprise, his neighbors weren’t the only people who wanted to help him. One day when he was in school, his principal called him, and clearly, he thought that he was in some kind of trouble. But he was completely wrong! A reporter from the local media came to see him and ask him for an interview. He wanted to write an article about Luke’s project. Slowly but surely, Luke was becoming famous.

Let’s Go!

He gained large media attention, and finally, it was time to start building! Luke had gathered enough material, and with all his hard work he managed to raise $1,500 for his project. His dream was about to become a reality, and everyone was eager to see the final product. Yet, his journey wasn’t easy, and he came across many obstacles along the way.

Pushing Through!

YouTube can give us a detailed explanation of how to make something, but success is not always guaranteed. That’s what happened to Luke when he tried making a countertop using broken pieces of stained glass and glaze. After arranging the shards of colored glass, he added the glaze, but the liquid leaked through the mold and created a big mess. But Luke wasn’t discouraged, he cleaned everything, and continued to work.


Wiring a house for electricity is no joke. It would be incredibly dangerous for Luke to handle all the wiring on his own, and he was aware that someone with experience would need to help him. Luckily, one of Luke’s neighbors agreed to wire his house for electricity, and in return, Luke cleaned his garage. Great deal for both of them!

Win Some, Lose Some

Luke’s house was almost complete. It had electricity, which was a major plus, but one thing was missing. The plumbing! Every house needs running water and a bathroom, but sadly, Luke wasn’t able to get those in his house. Luckily, his tiny house was right behind his parent’s house, so he could just go there and use the restroom.


The tiny house was missing another thing as well, air conditioning. But Luke had another crafty solution to this problem; he decided to do his DIY magic yet again. He bought cheap furnace filters, sprayed them with water, and placed them next to a window. When the air goes through the wet filters it cools down. So, if you ever need a cost-effective A/C, here’s how you can make it.

Welcome to My Crib

Now that Luke’s house was complete, he couldn’t wait to sleep there. The first time he spent the night in the tiny house was during the winter. Outside it was freezing cold, and everything was covered in snow, but Luke needed to see if his new home could withstand the harsh weather.

Even though Luke worked hard to perfect the insulation, he didn’t know what to expect during the night. He didn’t know whether the house would be warm enough at such low temperatures. After sleeping there, he said that it was very warm and that he even had to open the window to let the cool air in. Overall, the tiny house turned out to be perfect.

Not many teenagers have their own private homes where they can stay at, so like it or not, most teens are stuck with their parents until they grow up. But thanks to his project, Luke would not have the same fate as his peers as he has his own private home now. Because he is still so young, his parents only let him sleep in his tiny house a limited number of times a week.

Spread the World

Now that Luke’s house passed all the tests, he decided to record a house tour and share it on YouTube. The video went viral and millions of people have seen it so far. His followers were thrilled to see what he accomplished and he received many positive comments. You don’t always hear about a 13-year-old who built their own house!

Role Model

Because his videos gained so much popularity, Luke was able to start a movement and inspire others to build their own tiny houses too. His peers were happy to follow in his footsteps, and Luke was incredibly happy to share his knowledge with the world. He detailed his entire experience and also offered advice on how to create the perfect tiny home. He became a true role model for his generation.


Luke’s house is small but you would be surprised by everything that is inside of it. The tiny house has a kitchen, living area, dining area, and a separate bedroom. The bedroom is located in the upstairs loft and it is separated from the rest of the house. So, if you want to be alone, you can go there to hide. Of course, each segment of the house is rather small, but they serve their purposes perfectly.

Overall, Luke’s house measures 89 square feet, which is really impressive. In the kitchen, there is a small fridge, an electric stovetop, and bottled water. In order to make the inside more appealing, he even laid floor linoleum on the walls. Under the countertop, there is storage, so essentially, this house has everything you actually need.

But the best part of it is the living room. Even though it is very tiny, it fits a couch and a TV. Let’s be honest, what more can you ask for? In this tiny house, you can feel as comfortable as you do in every other place, just one thing is better – everything you need is at your fingertips.

Save Your Time

One of the best things about the tiny house is that you don’t need a lot of time to clean it. Luke said that he needed only 15 minutes to clean the entire home and that he did that a few times a week. That’s how he has more time for doing other things, and what he likes the most is having people coming to his place for a dinner that he prepares in his tiny kitchen.

Tiny House, Big Success

Luke’s tiny house was a massive success. People around the country wanted to see it, and Luke got invited to participate in the ‘Tiny Fest Midwest’ festival, which celebrates and promotes tiny houses. It was a big honor for Luke, and he was even asked to give a speech. He also was featured on the Tiny Fest website as a speaker.

Big News

Luke didn’t stop shocking the public, and people continued to talk about him. Therefore, many newspapers were interested in him and his project. At the age of 13, he made the front page! The ‘Des Moines Register’ and ‘Telegraph Herald’ wrote articles about this wunderkind. And the best was yet to come- ABC’s show ‘Good Morning America’ went to his tiny house where they did a full news report from the inside!

Young Inspiration

Age doesn’t matter and Luke is living proof of that. Not only his actions are amazing, but his words as well. During the building process, he was asked why he wanted to build a tiny house. His answer was fascinating! He said that he “wanted to have a house without a huge mortgage”. Pretty brilliant for a 13-year-old kid, don’t you think?

More Ideas

Luke’s tiny home project also motivated him to take on other projects, but those would require money too. Luke was able to capitalize his large following and create his own line of merchandise that he could sell. He started selling t-shirts and sweatshirts that he designed by himself.

Runs In The Family

Luke is not the only one in his family who likes building things. His brother also started doing impressive DIY projects too. He made a teardrop camper, which is basically a tiny house but on wheels. He also had a limited budget and used recycled material. Based on their projects, we cannot wait to see what the future holds for this creative family.


Video down below:

It goes without saying that we are thrilled by Luke’s project. We hope that many will follow his example and start creating their own homes. Living in a tiny house comes with many advantages, and if you are ready for a new adventure, why not try to make one for yourself? Just look at Luke, he proved to us that anything is possible, and we love it!