Allen is a self-described “farm boy” raised in a small home in rural Nebraska. Like so many Americans who experience divorce, he listed his home for sale. Unfortunately, it was 2008, and the real estate bubble just burst. Owing more than the house was worth, Allen was forced into a short-sale and realized that everyone else was profiting from his misfortune.

Soon after, he struck a deal with his employer – he could build a tiny house in an unused corner of the factory. With each paycheck, Allen purchased materials (some new and some recycled) and went to work. Months turned into years and by 2013, he built himself a tiny house modeled after the Tumbleweed Elm.

His portable tiny home that traveled the country with him from job to job. At a cost of just $13,000, the house was rough but serviceable. As so many DIYers know from experience, it was never completely finished on the inside. Eventually, Allen decided to upgrade and “outsourced” his 2nd tiny home.

Allen’s DIY Tiny House

He was inspired by the Tumbleweed Elm

Did you know that Tumbleweed will take your unfinished tiny house in trade?
Allen did it, and you can too. Learn more.

I upgraded just a little bit. I actually purchased this one through Tumbleweed Tiny Homes because I do like their designs.


Allen shares his story in this amazing video by Tiny House Expedition. Step inside this Elm 30 Alta and discover cool tiny house hacks everyone should consider.

Pots and pans decorate the kitchen from above.

He cut a slice into his countertop for knife storage.

Homemade ventilation system for the mattress.

The home office doubles as a guest room.

Photos courtesy of Tiny House Expedition.