Using Salvaged Materials To Build Micro Homes

Using Salvaged Materials To Build Micro Homes

Derek Diedricksen's tiny houses are surprisingly cheap and are made from discarded junk.

Naresh Kumar
  • 1 march 2011

Derek Diedricksen builds small homes out of junk and when we say small, we mean really small. Take the “Gypsy Junker” for instance, which at 24 square feet, is the largest of his creations and uses everything from discarded shipping pallets to dumped kitchen cabinets to old washing machine spares in its construction, and has its bunk and heater running on vegetable oil. Or “The Hickshaw”, a sleeper home which has its foundations on an abandoned cedar deck chair on wheels. The “Boxy Lady”, at 4 feet high, is the smallest of his microhouses, and is basically a pair of plywood cubes mounted on a slab of wood, and features two wheels and a post leg, and again all of it coming from salvaged materials.

Diedricksen’s creations, all of which have been set up in his own yard, were built at an expense of less than $200 each and while not too practical for everyone to live, can be taken as an inspiration for setting up environmentally-friendly homes with minimalistic features.

New York Times took a tour of his homes:

He leads the way down the hill to his backyard, where there are three structures of diminishing size, and shows the reporter into the Gypsy Junker. With a roof height that ranges inside from 5 feet 3 inches to 5 feet 10 inches, this is one that Mr. Diedricksen, who is 6-foot-4, can almost stand upright in, at least in some places. Like many a fancy camper, it also has a bump-out — an 8-foot sleeping pallet — although this bump-out is permanent. Guests can sleep on the four-by-six-foot floor, although if they are tall, they would have to sleep diagonally.

Sawed-off yellow, blue and green wine bottle bottoms make for a colorful lower-level window in the guest area, and there is a heating unit with an exterior vent built from a frying-pan base, with a broken brass cymbal that serves as a heat reflector. (Vegetable oil is the suggested fuel.) The most expensive items were the four sheets of corrugated plastic on the roof, which came to $80.

NY Times: “The $200 Microhouse”


Dubai And The Future Of Humanitarian Design

Design & Architecture
Technology october 21, 2016

Concept Camera Designed To Only Take Unique Photos

Camera Restricta is tool that prompts photographers to only capture one-of-a-kind images

Design & Architecture october 21, 2016

Fragrance Will Release The Smell Of Data If Your Private Information Is Being Leaked

The device is designed to create a physical cue for the potential dangers lurking online


Get PSFK's Related Report: CES 2016 Guide

See All
Retail october 21, 2016

LYNK & CO Is A New Auto Brand That Promises Mobile Connectivity On Wheels

Online access and mobility sharing are driving the company to disrupt the auto industry

Related Expert

James Keene

Community Builder

Travel october 21, 2016

Become A Citizen Of The First Nation In Space

Asgardia is a new concept for a floating society above Earth

Entertainment october 21, 2016

Speaker Displays Song Lyrics As Music Is Played

The device is able to generate the graphics on a translucent screen and retrieve the words from a connected database

AI october 21, 2016

Travel Assistant Scans Your Emails To Make Planning Easier

This AI add-on will sync with your inbox and sends reminders to make sure you don't miss anything important


Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry

PSFK Op-Ed october 21, 2016

Health Expert: Nutritional Meal Replacements Are A Solution To Corporate Wellness

Ample Foods Founder Connor Young explains why supplements are the next food trend coming to the workplace

PSFK Labs october 21, 2016

PSFK Picks: Top 5 Performance-Enhancing Wearables

Our new report looks at innovations pioneering the future of performance through intelligent activewear and predictive analytics

Millennials october 21, 2016

FOMO Survival Kit Helps Millennials Cope With Social Anxieties

The satirical product is meant to be a playful diversion for people who feel like they are missing out

Food october 21, 2016

New York Restaurant Uses Tomato Sushi As Its Newest Meat Alternative

fresh&co is using sous vide Roma tomatoes to create a vegan option that has the texture and taste of tuna

Advertising october 21, 2016

Red Bull Converts Sao Paulo Payphones Into Data-Driven Bus Schedules

The booths allow city residents to check local transit times through a simple toll-free phone call

Retail october 21, 2016

Why Experiential Events Could Replace Trade Shows

Marketers are seeking creative and impactful new ways to connect with influencers

Children october 21, 2016

Modular Kit Teaches Kids How To Make Their Own Robots

MODI features magnetic modules and a platform for programming to encourage experimentation

Infants october 21, 2016

Work Table Doubles As A Baby Seat

Designer Kunsik Choi created the furniture to facilitate emotional communication between between parents and their children

Technology october 21, 2016

Album Turns Into Something New Each Time It’s Streamed

Bill Baird's new album explores the relationship between time and music through a website crafted by design team, One Pixel Wide

Technology october 21, 2016

Wearable Device And Lamp Recreate Beautiful Sunsets In Your Home

Sun Memories can record up to six hours of natural light and reproduce it via a connected light at a later date

No search results found.