Tiny houses are a trend among people in their 20s and early 30s but few build their own prior to moving off to college.
Seth Chapman, a sophomore biochemistry major from Fort Worth, completed building his tiny house in March 2017 for the Tarrant County Junior Livestock Show with plans to use it for housing during his tenure in college.
Although Chapman had built the house for himself to live in, he is not currently living in it due to campus requirements for on-campus housing. Chapman is currently keeping the tiny house in town while he resides at Smith-Adams Hall.
He said it was his discovery of tiny houses as a kid that inspired him to take on the project.
“I came across a company that already had a set-up plan [for tiny houses] and that’s what got me interested,” Chapman said. “After that, it became a sort of a dream.”
One reason he said he wanted to create a tiny house was to save money coming into school, so he could have a sustainable home going into graduate school.
“I’ll be using it these next four years going into medical school. If I have to move to a place for residency I may use it then, but my plan is to retire it by then,” Chapman said.
After completing the tiny house, Chapman said to have it is “a sense of accomplishment.”
“It’s really nice to know that I started something and now I have a finished product, especially one that I can live in,” Chapman said.
He continued to work on the tiny house over the summer while he was in town for summer courses. He said it was nice to have his own space where he could work without having to go to the library.
“It was a bit of an adjustment being away from home and having to take care of everything myself,” Chapman said.
Aside from occasional maintenance issues, Chapman said it has been fine living on his own overall.
Because Chapman’s house is mobile, he constructed it to move and function like an RV or camper. The tiny house contains basic utilities like every other house: washer and dryer, air conditioning, toilet, etc.
He said that the easiest option to have it next year would be in an RV park, “…but eventually, it would be nice to have it in a lot or property.” He said he would feel in the way if he were to park it at someone’s house.
Although he has enjoyed having his roommate the past two years, Chapman said he is going to like having his own place.
Chapman said his friends like the house he built, but he wishes they had the opportunity to do the same.