A Colorado man with no construction experience is building a tiny home on wheels

Nathan homeCourtesy Nathan EigenfeldNathan Eigenfeld and his tiny home.

The INSIDER Summary:

• Nathan Eigenfeld is building his own tiny mobile home.

• He’ll live in it during a ski trip to British Columbia.
• He has no substantial construction experience, so the project has been frustrating and rewarding.

Colorado native Nathan Eigenfeld, 27, is turning an 8×6 trailer into a cosy ski lodge on wheels, which he plans to live in this winter.

He’s building the tiny home with no real construction experience… though his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering certainly helps.

Nathan Eigenfeld graduated with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from University of Colorado Boulder last winter.

Courtesy Nathan Eigenfeld

He's continued working there as a postdoctoral research associate.

This winter, he's planning to take a much-needed break to go skiing in British Columbia from January through March.

Travis Halverson/Facebook

'I didn't take any breaks coming in from undergraduate directly into my Ph.D., and then directly from my Ph.D. into postdoc,' he said.

'I have been wanting to go to British Columbia for several years to ski,' Eigenfeld said. 'It's kind of the powder Mecca of North America.'

His friends are all cramming into an RV for the trip, but Eigenfeld decided to build his own mobile home to hitch to his Toyota Tundra.

Courtesy Nathan Eigenfeld

'I was going to buy a camper, but figured I would just build one instead,' he said. 'Building these rigs is definitely trending.'

He began creating the tiny home with no initial design, eyeballing measurements and taking it day by day.

Courtesy Nathan Eigenfeld

'I'd say I have no substantial construction experience, but with some common sense and YouTube you can do a lot,' he said.

Courtesy Nathan Eigenfeld

'It's definitely a learning process, because just about every single step of the process is a first try, so that can add some serious anxiety and frustration.'

Courtesy Nathan Eigenfeld

Still, Eigenfeld is making progress. He recently finished constructing and insulating the exterior.

Courtesy Nathan Eigenfeld

Next up is furnishing the inside with a wood burning stove and other amenities.

Courtesy Nathan Eigenfeld

His original budget was $3,000, but he estimates the total cost of the project will be somewhere between $4,000 and $4,500.

Courtesy Nathan Eigenfeld

'There are certain things that I ended up splurging on to make it nicer,' he said, citing double-pane windows, a hardwood door, and pine paneling.

'These are all very standard household items that are all on the cheap side, but since I'm trying to do it super dirt bag level, to me, these were splurge items. My original thoughts were to make a metal box I could sleep in, but it turned into something bigger, more of an investment.'

Despite some difficulties along the way, he believes that anyone can build their own tiny home.

Courtesy Nathan Eigenfeld

'Don't be deterred by lack of skill, because people want to help, for sure,' he said. 'If you want to do it, you totally can... with some patience.'

Courtesy Nathan Eigenfeld

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