If you’ve been paying attention to the real estate market lately, you’ve no doubt seen how popular tiny homes are becoming. Tiny homes are all about maximizing your living space while taking up as small of a footprint as possible. Some people like to build their tiny homes as permanent dwellings while other folks want to be able to hitch them to their truck. For one thirteen-year-old boy, creating a tiny home wasn’t just a dream for the future, it was a plan he set in motion. Keep on reading to see the incredible tiny home that one teenage boy made all on his own for just $1,500!
Tiny Home Movement in Action
When we talk about the tiny home movement, we are talking specifically about custom-constructed buildings. Whether you want your tiny home on wheels or not is completely up to you! The primary benefit of tiny homes, from those that enjoy them, is that they allow individuals to prioritize experiences over possessions. The thought process is that tiny homes push you away from consumerism and more toward enjoyment. Having said that, some tiny homes are frankly incredible. Before we dive into the story of 13-year-old Luke Thill from Dubuque, IA, let’s show you an example or two of what we are talking about!
Modern Tiny Home Example
Here you can see a great example of a modern tiny home. As you can see, the builder of this home used vertical space in order to maximize their efficiency. Within this small home, the inhabitant will be able to do everything that they could in a more conventional form of housing. What do you think? Could you find yourself living in a place like this?
Size of a Tiny Home
While there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to sizing up your tiny home, there are some guidelines that you might be interested in. Typically, a tiny house will measure out at no more than 120 square feet of space. The goal of keeping the tiny home truly compact is that you will be able to avoid requiring a building permit for the project. Additionally, smaller tiny homes can be easily hauled behind a truck. Pretty darn cool, right? Now that you have a firm understanding of what tiny homes are, let’s meet Luke!
Meet Luke Thill
Luke Thill was just another teenage boy from Dubuque, Iowa, when he got an idea. Well, not exactly an idea, more like a feeling. Luke had wanted to spend his summer being proactive, but he didn’t know where to funnel his energy. So one thing led to another and soon young Luke was browsing YouTube.
Dreaming of his Own Tiny Home
Like any other young kid, Luke was already dreaming of leaving the family home in order to live on his own. Unfortunately for Luke, that’s just not an option for a 13-year-old kid. Seeking a way to create his own independence while wisely using his energy, Luke began to watch more and more YouTube videos about tiny homes. Eventually Luke came to a simple realization, he could build his own!
Hard Work Makes the Dream Work
Unfortunately, if you want to build a tiny home you need money and to know what you are doing. For Luke, both of those concepts would have to be handled immediately. As Luke researched tiny homes and how to build them, he began taking as many odd jobs as he could in order to raise the funds for his new tiny home project.
Using YouTube For Inspiration
As the days turned to weeks, Luke’s enthusiasm for the project never waned. Unlike most kids his age, Luke was single-minded in his focus. He wanted to create something special not only for himself, but also to show his parents how capable he was. Besides, the tiny home movement had been gaining steam and the idea of his own house was appealing. Who wouldn’t be driven to work hard for that?
Luke Embraces the DIY Mindset
Unlike most adults, Luke wasn’t exactly capable of outsourcing the construction of his new home. With a tiny budget and large dreams, Luke knew that he would have to get his hands dirty. With his parents carefully keeping an eye on him, Luke decided that he would learn how to build the darn thing himself. By working with his own two hands, Luke would be able to save serious money on the project!
Finally Getting to Work
When Luke first pitched the idea to his parents, they were a little skeptical. However, since Luke had remained so focus while raising money for the project, they let him lead the way. Besides, his parents were loving how helpful Luke had become around the house. If Luke would do all of his chores without complaint, why not let him pursue his dream?
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Like most young entrepreneurs, Luke came to realize the value of reducing, reusing, and recycling. Not only was Luke looking to save money, but he was also looking to help the environment. He quickly began to scrounge around his home, basement, and garage in order to find components that he could repurpose for his tiny home. One friend even gave him an old door!
Braving the Electrical Work
While Luke was a quick learner thanks to YouTube, there were some projects that you can’t handle without a little help. In order to take care of the electrical wiring inside of his tiny home project, Luke turned to the community for help. Luke’s neighbor, an electrician, came by to make sure that the installation process safe. With just a little help, Luke’s home suddenly had power!
Luke’s Story Goes Viral Locally
As Luke continued toward finishing his tiny home project, the neighborhood began to notice. Pretty soon, the entire community was asking Luke how the work was going. Luke was always excited to share stories about his project. Soon, Luke realized that he could create his own YouTube channel in order to inspire other kids like him. Luke decided to record the entire process and before long he had many followers!
Media Attention Begins to Pour In
Before he knew it, Luke’s work was going viral beyond the confines of his own community. The local newspaper decided to run a story on Luke’s project. How did they contact Luke? Well, by having him called to the principal’s office during a school day! When Luke went to the office, he had no idea a reporter would be there for an interview. Pretty cool surprise, right?
Staying Focused on the Task At Hand
Even though Luke was suddenly the most popular kid in town, he knew that he had plenty of work to do. So as the community watched on, Luke started to get down to business. Thanks to his summer of hard work, Luke had managed to save almost $1,500 to spend on his project. With that kind of money in the bank, Luke knew that he could make something pretty special.
If At First, You Don’t Succeed…
While Luke had tremendous success for a 13-year-old child, there were still some road bumps to deal with. At one point, Luke decided to try mixing his own custom counter top. Luke wanted to use stained glazed glass that had been broken into small pieces. While Luke worked hard on his arrangement, the glaze would eventually leak before breaking the mold. You win some, you lose some!
Hitting a Serious Roadblock
While Luke was rightfully upset about his broken countertop, that was nothing compared to what came next. It soon became apparent that plumbing would not be a possibility for his tiny house. After trying numerous times, Luke eventually realized that this was one aspect of the project that he couldn’t handle. Luke decided that maybe it was okay to run into the house to use the bathroom.
Showcasing His Project
With most of the work done by this point, Luke decided to bring his friends and family together for the grand opening. While the project had gone by relatively quickly, Luke had worked his hardest in order to facilitate an efficient outcome. His family and friends gathered as Luke took questions about the project.
Luke’s Winter Test Run
After finishing the bones of the structure, winter rapidly began to approach. With the temperatures dropping in Iowa, Luke knew that he had his first real test ahead. Could he actually comfortably sleep overnight in his tiny house when it was cold? Fortunately, Luke was better at insulating his home than he had thought. In fact, he had to crack the window while he slept in order to stay comfortable!
With all of the excitement surrounding the home, Luke hadn’t checked in on his YouTube as much as he should have. Unbeknownst to him, one of his videos had gone viral. How viral? Well, Luke had pulled together 7.5 million views as well as more than 45,000 total subscribers. Those are ‘Grumpy Cat’ numbers! What started as a summer project had turned into an internet sensation.
Taking the Official Tour
We can’t talk about Luke’s tiny home without seeing the inside of it. So, Luke decided to take some pictures to show off what he had done. Here, we see Luke sitting in the lofted sleeping area of his tiny home. The loft is a common feature inside of tiny homes because it maximizes the amount of space that you can use. Could you sleep comfortably in a tiny home loft?
89 Square Feet of Prime Real Estate
While Luke loved the loft, he was particularly proud of the downstairs area. Here you can see all of the hard work that Luke had put into the project. At 89 square feet, this tiny home was small, but it still remained comfortable. You can see the seating area, part of the kitchen counter, and some of the storage compartments in this shot.
Creative Solutions For Common Problems
We already talked about Luke’s winter experience, but we still need to talk about his summer ones, too! Dubuque is no stranger to serious heat during the summer, so Luke knew that he’d have to bring a cooling solution into the building. His home wasn’t strong enough to power an additional A/C unit, so Luke rigged up an impromptu swamp cooler by using a fan, furnace filters, and water. The evaporative cooler would be more than strong enough to keep Luke comfortable!
Embracing His Newfound Fame
Thanks to all of his hard work, Luke was quickly becoming semi-famous. Not only had he impressed his parents and the rest of the local community, but he had also begun to inspire people all around the country. If a 13-year-old kid could create a tiny home, shouldn’t everyone else be able to, too? In any event, Luke began to brand his work with t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other merchandise that he had designed himself.
Hosting Dinner for Friends
What would a house be without guests? Luke quickly impressed all of his friends by inviting them over to hang out. Guess what else? Luke was such a great host that he generously cooked his ‘camper stew burritos’ right there in the home! According to Luke, he can clean the entire home after eating in less than 15 minutes. We’re pretty jealous of that!
Luke Inspires His Older Brother
When Luke’s older brother Cole saw the tiny home, he knew that he had to have one too. Cole was so inspired by his brother that he got to work immediately on his own DIY tiny home. Cole decided to create a tiny house on wheels with a teardrop camper as the foundation. Cole also documented his entire journey on YouTube as he used only recycled materials to save money.
Learning From His Work
While Luke’s journey had been a resounding success, he still had to admit that he had made mistakes. From the countertop problems to the issues with plumbing, Luke knew that he had room to improve. Thanks to how quickly his merch had begun to sell, Luke began to realize that he could make another tiny home in the future. What’s more, Luke would use his mistakes as a chance to learn!
How Luke Became a Tiny Home Authority
Before long, Luke was getting attention from all over the place. Instead of letting the viral fame take him where it may, Luke stayed focus on helping those he cared about. Soon, Luke was working with his mother as they renovated a 1972 Forester Kayot camper into another tiny home. The entire Thill family had gotten in on the action!
The Community Embraces Luke’s Efforts
When you do a good job, it’s always nice to be rewarded. Dubuque is a relatively large city and as such, they tend to have frequent communal events. Luke Thill was chosen along with nine other individuals to participate in the ‘Movers, Shakers & Newsmakers’ event. Luke was recognized for his work as well as how he had handled all of the media attention that had come his way. Luke received an award, a fancy meal, and recognition from the city.
Luke Finds Viral Fame Online
While Thill had become something of a big deal in his own neighborhood, he was still taken aback by how the internet had embraced him. As his accounts became more and more popular, comments continued to flood in. Many young kids were so inspired by Luke’s accomplishments that they left messages of support. Some of the kids even mentioned that they were working on their own tiny home models!
There Is Always That ONE Person
While the internet can be an incredible and beneficial tool, it sometimes brings the worst out in people. As with any online interaction, you are eventually going to run into a few jerks. Fortunately, Luke had plenty of defenders online. The jaded people who sought to tear down Luke were soon quieted by the crowd.
Other Young Tiny Home Lovers
Around the country, other kids began to follow Luke’s example. Here we see another fantastic tiny home that was created by Jacob Dille. Dille, also 13-years-old, had followed Luke’s story on YouTube. Eventually, he began to work on his own model. Jacob’s tiny home measured in at 500 square feet.
Understanding the Origins of the Movement
The origins of the tiny home movement can be traced back to Sarah Susanka, author of the book, ‘The Not So Big House’. The book had come out in 1997 and focused largely on building better homes rather than bigger homes. The book helped to spur on one of the more important housing developments in recent memory!
Could You Live In a Tiny Home
It’s fine to not like tiny homes, but we still need to acknowledge what they provide. As inflation continues to wreak havoc, it is going to be more important than ever to have affordable housing. What’s more, tiny houses offer an environmentally friendly way to live close to nature. In a world beholden to the environment, it never hurts to do what you can to help. Could you find yourself living in one of these small homes?
The Inspiration Continues
In order to celebrate the completion of his project, Luke went back to YouTube, the source of his inspiration. On his main channel, Luke uploaded a video titled, ‘The Best Year of My Life’. The video showcased Luke’s thoughts about tiny home living as well as the skills and knowledge that he had acquired throughout the work.
What Comes Next
So what comes next for someone like Luke Thill? Was this just a summer project that kept him busy and out of the house? While we can’t say for sure where Luke will go from here, we can admit that he had a profound impact on his community. Even more important, Luke acted as a positive motivational force for other children his age.
Getting Bumped By a Stranger Usually Means Being Pickpocketed….. But Not In This Story!
If you get bumped by a stranger in public, it usually means you were pickpocketed. The rude distraction is an age-old technique to distract the victim from paying attention to their valuables. While everyone is recovering from the “accidental” impact, the thief is intentionally using the split second to pull a wallet or valuable from the victim without him or her knowing it. Once the thief is away, the job is done and the valuables are stolen. It’s a common problem in big cities and tourist spots.
However, for one California lady, getting bumped may have been the best thing that ever happened to her. While she was busy working on a lottery machine at a grocery store in Tarzana, she focused on spending her $40 dollars on lottery scratchers. Normally, LaQuedra Edwards buys a number of smaller value tickets with one purchase, hoping to increase her odds with more scratchers than just one big one. However, when she was bumped, it caused her to put her hand forward and hit the $30 scratcher option. Money spent, the accident committed Edwards to the higher value ticket. Upset at first, Edwards turned to see who bumped her, but the fellow was out the door without even apologizing.
Figuring there wasn’t much she could do about the situation, and the person was gone, Edwards re-focused on her tickets. Now she had a $30 single scratcher and $10 left for other tickets. She finished her purchase and then pulled her tickets out of the machine. Going through them, she realized one of them was a winner. It was the accidental $30 ticket. However, what Edwards one was a far better return on investment. She had just scored a $10 million winning ticket.
At first, she got on the highway and drove home. The whole time, Edwards kept looking back at the ticket and confirming in her mind that her life had just dramatically changed. It didn’t feel real. But, sure enough, the ticket was indeed a winner. Even the grocery store got a share of the winnings. $50,000 went to the store for hosting the machine. Unfortunately, it was a chain store, so the bonus simply went into a corporate bank account instead of a small business owner’s business. However, that’s how the system works for retailers.
For LaQuedra Edwards, however, her share is going into a home purchase and helping out start a non-profit organization to help her community. Both moves make a whole lot of sense as well as have long-term benefits.
Father Decides to Set Up Cameras After His Daughter Wakes Up With Strange Marks
What happened inside the house of an Ohio couple couldn’t have been predicted. Troublesome commotions could be heard in the wee hours while everyone slept. No one thought much of it until something strange occurred.
Darren’s suspicions were initially directed at his fiancé, who suspected of playing a practical joke on him. They staged a camera to sort things out after she denied it ultimately. The unsettling footage, on the other hand, would rock their world.
Father Takes Action After Daughter was Expelled for Appearance
Enough Is Enough
This father’s jaws fell open as he listened to the scathing remarks from his daughter’s school administrator, stating the reason for his daughter being booted from a prom event. He was at boiling point and had enough.
He thought enough was enough after only a few seconds and was ready to address the situation head-on.
40 Unforgivable Movie Bloopers
With that goes with making a movie, especially one for the big cinema screen, it’s not surprising when mistakes occur or edits are need. That’s what the editing room is for to go through the draft film and tighten up all the problems or loose spots in the film as well as to get it within the acceptable viewing time allowed. However, once in a while even the best of movies, including Oscar-winning films, have bloopers in them that just can’t be forgiven. They are such clear violations of quality film-making, people wonder how the blooper got through to the public viewing, and yet it does anyways. Here are 25 examples of film bloopers that never should have been allowed or the detail missed, but in the fictional world of movies they occur regardless.
Homeless Man Who Helped a Woman Turned Out to be a Hoax
The story of the homeless man who helped out a woman needing gas for her car by donating his few dollars went viral on the Internet and had hundreds of people wanting to reach out and help. They did so through a GoFundMe site that ended up generating a sizable amount of charity and gifts. For those who gave money, it made them feel better instantly. There was only one problem. The story was made up. The man was not homeless, and the woman had never run out of gas.
Instead, the two were involved in an online scam that ended up defrauding folks out of approximately $400,000 in online money gifts. It was not only enough to trigger a serious crime, the pair got themselves charged with a federal conspiracy case and ultimately pled guilty in a New Jersey federal court. Johnny Bobbitt and Katelyn McClure both separately admitted their crime of wire fraud. Given their involvement and degree of actions, Bobbitt is looking at a potential 10 years in federal prison and $250,000 in fines. McClure for her part faces a bigger sentence of 20 years and a similar financial penalty. Both will find out for sure when they are sentenced. In addition to the federal charges, the pair also have a second round of trials to go through with state charges as well. It was a blunt, cold ending to a story and scam that started in 2017 and took off like wildfire, far better than Hobbitt and McClure thought it would.
The story was plausible and reasonable enough. A couple told their story online about how they wanted to help a homeless man who helped them. McClure and her partner posted that Bobbitt realized McClure was in trouble, stuck in Philadelphia without gas. She needed to get home, and Bobbitt, who was nearby, realized the problem. He then gave her his only $20 to buy gas so she could travel again. To show their gratitude, McClure and her boyfriend were trying to raise $10,000 to help Bobbitt out as a thank you. The story took off.
Unfortunately, the media got involved. Loving a story out of the norm with a good newsworthy ending, they showcased the story on TV, and it got big attention. All of a sudden, what was supposed to be a little scam turned into a big one, raising some $402,706 with the added attention in a short three weeks. While Bobbitt did get $25,000 set aside by McClure and her partner, the rest of it was burned like kerosene on fire via clothing, trips, a car, vacations, gambling and more. However, Bobbitt didn’t appreciate the small share, and sued the pair for more, arguing he should have gotten $75,000 at least. GoFundMe got involved by trying to avoid bad press and making sure Bobbitt, the alleged homeless person, got his fair shake.
All of the financial attention caught the eye of the Feds who started investigating McClure. They seized well over 60,000 digital messages between the couple, which included admissions that the whole story was made up – a smoking gun text in the fraud conspiracy. Interestingly, McClure’s partner, although he enjoyed the spending of the money with McClure, was not charged or seen as involved in the conspiracy. The Feds went after McClure and the alleged homeless partner, Bobbitt, for the fraud. And GoFundMe yet again found itself in the middle of a crazy criminal scheme gone public and bad, stealing money from people who wanted to help others online. It turned out to be an odd, miserable ending to what many had hoped would have been a story of human charity done right.
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