Retired Woman Builds Her Own Tiny House for Affordable Living

Retired Woman Builds Her Own Tiny House for Affordable Living


>>BRIGITTE: What I love about living in a
tiny house is first of all, to be in a space which I created. Nobody told me it should be this way or this
way. It’s all me. My personality. And I have to say, I don’t have to clean a
lot. That’s a beauty, too, yeah! It’s not time consuming. It just feels right. I needed a place to stay because I separated
from my husband and then I came to my friend’s house whom
I had asked, can I stay here, and she was i n the kitchen, I was in the living
room, and there was a book about tiny houses. I opened it up, looked at it, and right away:
“that’s what I want.” And it was written you can do it yourself. Yeah, I can do it. I will do it! And there was no doubt in that regard. I don’t know where I took this kind of confidence. I have no idea. And yeah, so that was it that I thought ok
I need a place and I want to build it myself, and I want to learn. It was a challenge. At that time I was going to be 62 and I saw
this as an opportunity to do something which is totally different
and that’s where it started, in reality. At that time, for one year, I did lots of
research, listened to lots of people who had building experience but I knew I had to adjust it to my needs
and that’s what I did. After one year, I started to build it. There was a person who said: “Oh, I heard
you like to build a tiny house. I have a trailer. I don’t need it anymore, you can have it.” So I bought this rusty trailer and then I
found somebody said to me: “Oh, Brigitte I heard you like to build a tiny house. What about, do you need somebody? I have somebody who is looking for work.” And I said yeah, sure. Let’s meet. And we met, and the only thing, I said you
know what, I’d like you to be very precise, and I’d like you to teach me how to do it. It doesn’t have to go fast but I want to learn. And that’s what he did. And so I worked with him for almost 1 year
and you can see the result. So the trailer is 8 foot wide x 18 foot long. I built it so that I can take it on the road
anytime without any special permission. I wanted to have one side closed in with wall
so that I can put certain things onto it, and put most windows on that side where the
door is. So when I sit, I have the view outside. And I am very lucky that I have a really nice
view onto my garden, onto the mountains, so I am really happy about that. It is almost living room and what we call
kitchen is almost one thing. And then I have the loft which is 8’x8′. This sitting area which I can use to sleep,
I can push this into the corner and here, so that some day if I am not able to climb
up anymore, I could sleep here. Or I had visitors who slept here already. The cost of the tiny house, I wrote everything
down and I would say with everything, without my labour but with the labour of my helper, was around $30,000 CAD at that time. So six years ago. When I read now that you can buy a tiny house
for $75,000-$80,000, I was lucky. And I could only do it with the help of friends
and family. So that is something where we help each other
and I believe that’s a way of beauty, too. Everybody when they come can…now my son-in-law can see: “oh look, the window, I put them in, yeah” and the kids, too, they see
it. When some people say, was it hard? The hardest part was to make decisions. What should I use? How should I use it? Why this, why not this? And every builder has a different opinion. And so at the end, I had to make the decision
and to overcome my fear to make a wrong decision. [Music Playing] I have been here for 5 years now. I pay to be here on this property and it includes electricity and internet, and I pay $300 for
it. And that is something which is really helpful
because I knew that when I would get a pension that my pension
would be a minimum pension and the rent here, I mean, I believe now almost everywhere, is very high, and if I would rent a normal
place, more than 2/3 of my income would be for rent and the rest maybe for utilities maybe then for food and nothing else. And in this case, it gives me the opportunity
to save some money and do something with the money which I still feel I would like to do. So my power, I get it through an extension
cord, I have 15 amps. That means I have to be very conscious. I have a heater over there, it is an oil radiant
heater, and here in this area we have maybe two weeks of where we get -10 to -15 degrees
Celsius. That’s no problem, I still have 19 to 20 degrees
Celsius inside here. My water, I take a pail and get the water
from the main house. In the winter I can go into the basement and
get the water over there. I carry it. And a friend of mine gave me a used RV water
tank. And I fill that up by hand. And then I have an electric water pump and
a space water heater, electric, and can wash my dishes, I can open up the tap. It looks like running water. And I decided not to have a shower here inside
because of condensation. That is something. They are all outside walls and ok, in the
summer you can have a shower and the door can be open. All the water can evaporate. But in the winter, it stays in. So I decided I don’t want to deal with that
so I have a shower outside from May on. In the wintertime, I never wash myself and
shower. No! In the wintertime I go to my daughter’s place
who is living here [in town]. If she wouldn’t live here, then I could go
to the swimming pool. They offer showers for $2. That’s not a problem. And not to have running water, the good thing
is I don’t have to deal with a freezing water line. The toilet, I have a pail here inside where
I can go do my little business during the night. I don’t have to go out. Otherwise, I have a compost toilet outside. For me it isn’t a big problem to go outside. And if I get older and feel it is a big problem,
I am able to install a compost toilet inside. But right now, I say, no, let’s get out into
the fresh air. In winter, very often I have to shovel first
the snow, and that’s good, too. Gives me some exercise. [Music Playing] To go into town I have an electric bike and
if I feel lazy or not well, then I can take the bus. There is a bus, too. And groceries, it’s not a problem at all. I can have it on my bike and then as I said,
my daughter is living here and my son-in-law. They have a car. So they will help out anyway. And that’s where I wash my clothes, too. So I bought the washing machine and said ok,
you have it in your place but I can use it. And that’s something in general which I like. To share. We don’t need everything by ourselves. I feel this should be a normal way. How we can live together and learn to share. It’s not only good for the environment, it’s
good for our pocket money, too. So that’s my approach to life in general. You know, sometimes people say, “Oh, I admire
you because you live so simple.” And I have to say, I have the advantage of
growing up in a different way. So for me, I am not afraid that I can’t handle
things. So the way how I grew up was with 4 brothers,
my mom, we had one living room, one kitchen, two bedrooms. An outdoor toilet, no running water, we had
to go to the middle of the village to pump the water, carry it, and even wash all our
clothes by hand. And we had no shower, so we had a bowl and
a washing cloth, and there we washed our body. And that was normal at that time. And I never felt dirty. And that’s why I don’t feel dirty if I don’t
have a shower every day. So that’s not a problem to me. And to carry the water in is not a problem
either. My daughter is already a different generation,
and she says: “Mom! Why don’t you bring in running water? This is crazy!” And they I say: “But I don’t want to deal
with all the other stuff.” “But you can do this and this.” I don’t want to. What I feel is if you get exposed to different
ways of living, then you don’t have to feel afraid for the future if things change. So if things change, if we don’t have enough
water and you learned how to save water, that helps you to deal with it. In the summer I do lots of gardening. I grow all of my vegetables. More than enough. And I share it with other people. I feel that’s good, too. I preserve my food, make jam, make kale chips,
and then in the wintertime, I do some knitting, I volunteer, I am a member of the book club, and I decided to learn to play the piano. Then I meet friends once a week for a cup
of coffee. Yeah, I never feel bored.>>MAT: Please share this video if you liked
it. Also, be sure to subscribe to Exploring Alternatives
and check out our playlists for more stories like this. Thanks for watching!

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    Chaz Chillings

    I would live in a tiny home and also garden all around. It would be like the opposite of what people do normally.

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    broken - heart

    life is better when it is not complicated with anything you do not want. i like her way of living. simple and practical. and its really true when you been through hard times dealing with life…later on you'd be more grateful because whenever life changes you can easily deal with almost anything…

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    welshhibby

    The more people who choose this lifestyle the likelihood that the state will want to charge some sort of property tax….it’s coming so enjoy this time

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    Collin Waldroff

    When where you live is not confined by walls . . . then you have realized that living isn't confined by walls.

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    Debbie Hennessy

    I know Brigitte is German, I am curious if she is living in Germany or elsewhere. Lovely life she has and such a wonderful attitude.

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    Heather Watson

    Good on you! I've been looking for tiny house builders here in Australia and they start at AU$165,000.00 so you where lucky you did it when you did. Well done.

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    Moonpathgirl

    I absolutely love it but I would have to have a bathroom even if it was tiny too. The older she gets and becomes more frail she will regret not having one inside.

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    Plants n Such

    What a strong, amazing lady!! At 62 she builds her own house and makes a life changing decision! At that age many would shy away from anything that would drastically change their lifestyle and stayed in the box. She is so INSPIRING!!

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    Simonne Jourdain

    How nice this video ! I am 84 years old and I wonder if I could be able to live that life ! 20 years ago, probably. I was born in Paris and I washed myself in the sink, with cold water, in the kitchen. My habits have changed and I need more comfort. I can't see myself climbing for sleeping !

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    Colleen Longardner

    Really a nice place and something I've thought about but with arthritis, there is no way I want a loft as a bedroom.

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    Marci Boecking

    Oooh, I love this so much. Her accent also reminded me of my oma and I bet she would approve of TH living. 🙂

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    luminair11

    What a woman…….still carrying her own water is going to have to change as she ages…….but meanwhile while she's strong & healthy good luck to her!

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    Dorian Danger

    This is such an uplifting view of aging. So many of us are so hesitant to accept it and feel defeated about aging, but she is ready for it and seems to have little fear. She's prepared and seems to be loving life <3

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    Marinda Slabbert

    Brigitte, I simply love your tiny house. Your attitude towards life and nature is refreshing. I have oodles of respect and admiration for you.

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    Elisabeth Gustafsson

    If you can't make your own bread and grow a vegetable garden, you are primitive. What a beautiful, rich way of living. The universe is repaying her! She is soo content.

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    KRIS DRAPER

    I totally agree with you on the way of living. I and my children grew up the same way. No running water, no electricity and sewerage. I think the it taught my children to how to live with out. To survive without such needs to go with out. I luv this video. Thank you for sharing.

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    Steph Allan

    I just love ❤️ how our Father in heaven will continually make a WAY…he definitely directed her path. Much encouragement, support and admiration to you Dear Lady! 🤔🙇🏻‍♀️🙏🏽❤️👍🏽🔍💗🕊

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    katherine ayers

    Maybe in my second life, I will have a tiny house on a few acres of land with scenery like yours! Your flower gardens are so inviting with the walking trails! You created a wonderful home to enjoy for yourself and for those who visit. Some things perhaps I will think to do differently than yours but it will be as comfortable for me as yours is for you! I also left my husband after 37 years and was 63 when I struck out on my own. It was an exciting time just to know I could then do whatever I wanted and be creative and not be faulted for mistakes I was bound to make. I've made a few but live and learn, huh? I'm 76 now and back living in one of the two houses I lived in as a young girl. Dad left me money…..but he also left me a house that was barely liveable so the money helped fix it up a bit and makes things quite nice for me and my dogs and cat. Hey, I didn't see any animals with you. They are great therapy because you have to let them out, walk them, water them, feed them and love them! My new 10 gallon fish aquarium is also a form of therapy because the 6 little gold fish are quite active and makes for something alive and moving in my otherwise very quiet home! I don't see any unhappiness in your world and I'm so glad for you. My world, too, is sooo happy and of course I give all the credit to God. He really does watch over me. peace

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    Leonora Tirazona

    How wonderful it is to know that she is enjoying the kind of living she wants at this time of her life. Very inspiring. Thank you very much.

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    justin dechaine

    I feel like such a voyeur! I live just down the street from this lady and have often stopped and pondered what is going on with that tiny home.

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    Lori Mangold

    I love your story, I respect your tenacity and independence, I lived a lot like that when I was in my 20's I had a cabin with no running water or toilet or electricity, although I am around your age today it would be a lot of work to live like that, it sure makes you appreciate simple things, with less impact on the environment, my hat is off, to you

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    Theodorej1960

    Wow, this lady is simply amazing!! I love her life philosophy and her mindset of keeping it simple. She is truly an inspiration!!

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