Paddy’s Poorboy Special

This is Paddy’s tiny house which is located in Harbert, Michigan. He calls it his Poorboy special because it’s built on a low budget, although you can’t really tell from the photos because he’s done such a nice job with the house. Currently it’s about 75% complete and built with second hand parts and building materials bought on sale.


Here’s what Paddy says about his tiny house:

The Poorboy Special was built on a very limited budget although I had to hire a carpenter to give me a hand because of my failing eye sight. Very basic carpentry and the exterior is trimmed in 2×4’s and 2×6’s. However I did break down and buy some really nice cedar siding at Von Tobel’s that was on sale.
The interior is not yet finished. I will be using inexpensive sheets of wood paneling for the interior walls. You don’t have to spend tons of dough on a handsome tiny house if you sit down and do the prep-work on lumber and supplies. Buy what is on sale and save a bundle. Lowes, Menards, and Home Depot always have sales on lumber. Be frugal and save yourself a bunch of money.
I even bought the metal roof off of eBay and saved over $100. Try second hand shops for doors and windows. Bought a couple of brand new windows at a second hand shop too. They were covered in mangled plastic and covered in dirt and dust. I ripped off the plastic and washed down the windows and found brand new windows under all that dirt and crud. I saved a couple of hundred dollars on my window purchase. Shop around and save money.

I’m not sure what the total bill for Paddy’s tiny house will be but what really seems to be the lesson here is that scrounging, careful shopping, and pinching pennies can yield more house for a lot less money. It takes time to do all the scavenging but it can often pay off big. Thanks again for sharing your story and house with us Paddy.


10 thoughts on “Paddy’s Poorboy Special

  1. James Jarrett says:

    This is just proof positive of my motto:

    Good, Fast, Cheap
    Choose any two!

    You can build a good quality house cheaply if you take your time, shop around and do it right.

  2. Paddy says:

    I would like to to think of it as a mean, lean, muscular version of the Tumbleweed Houses. It suits my needs and my personality.

  3. Michael Janzen says:

    I actually asked Paddy the same question by email. Here’s what he said:

    “I really don’t know what kind a trailer it is? I traded a home made hot dog cart for the trailer. The Guy who owned the trailer used it as a pallet hauler. The trailer looks like a 4 sled snowmobile trailer. It was in very good shape so I decided to go with this trailer for my building base for the Poorboy Special.”

  4. James Jarrett says:

    If I may ask where did you get the trailer it is on? the only thing keeping me from starting a project like this is the massive shell-out for the trailer.

    • Patrick says:

      @ James Jarrett …. I bought a travel trailer from craigslist for $300.00 then scraped the aluminum and stuff at the recycle yard for about $225.00 so after all the hard work I only really spent $75.00 for the frame with a title and saved myself a few things like a kitchen sink a bathroom sink windows which im not using but hey depends on what u find keep looking and have fun .. you can always follow my super low budget build @

      Hope you get started soon:D

  5. AL HARDEN says:

    Why can’t these be used as shelters for the homeless who are living under bridges and own our city streets. The cities might find it cheaper than the alternitive.

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