This 28-Year-Old Pays $62 A Month To Live In A Dumpster He Built For $5,000 — Take A Look Inside

Last October, I returned to London after working abroad for about a year in Central America and Southeast Asia.

Finding an apartment on a budget was not easy. The average cost of a one-bedroom is in Southwark, an area in south London $1,850 per month. This represents more than 75% of Lee’s income as an architectural designer.

At 28, my goal is to save up for a home of my own one day. But I didn’t want to move to the outskirts of town, so I started looking into the possibility of living in a motorhome—or, as it’s called in the States, a dumpster.

Harrison’s tiny house is situated in an empty lot in south London. The land was given to him by an arts charity called Antepavilion.

Photo: Gerjana Popova for CNBC Make It

I run a small architecture firm called Cocoin Studio. We are done working with Skip gallerywhich commissions emerging artists to create artwork within the boundaries of Trash.

After hearing about my project, I contacted an arts charity Antipavilion You gave me a piece of ungrassland in Southwark to put my house on. I am currently renting a dumpster base from Waste management company For only $62 a month (although I haven’t been charged for that yet).

The construction process, which began in December 2022, took three weeks. I’ve worked on similar projects in the past as an architect, so I had all the tools and knowledge I needed. Most days my friends would come over and help.

The little house can be moved like a dumpster, so moving it from the construction site to the grassy area was easy.

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Photo: Gerjana Popova for CNBC Make It

It cost me about $5,000 to build the house:

  • Building materials (Including lumber, insulation, and fixings): $4,620
  • interior furnishings (Including storage and foam mattress): $380

I used my savings to fund the expenses, paying the movers $635 to haul the trash from the manufacturer to the construction site, and then to where it stands today.

My electric bill is so small that it’s covered in the care of my land, and my water supply consists of a hosepipe running from a neighbor’s property.

Harrison says it’s hard to take a shower in his tiny home. He gets water from a hose outside and stores it in a glass container.

Photo: Gerjana Popova for CNBC Make It

For Wi-Fi, I use a mobile data dongle to watch Netflix and take Zoom calls on my laptop. This costs $20 a month.

The litter box is only 25 square feet, so I had to make the most of the size to make the space livable.

The entrance to the house is up a small staircase and through a hatch door.

Photo: Gerjana Popova for CNBC Make It

I have four built-in wooden chests to put my clothes in. I’ve always lived a minimalist lifestyle and traveled a lot for work, so limited storage worked for me. I didn’t have to give up any items.

Upstairs is my lofted mezzanine-style bed.

The vaulted ceiling gives Harrison plenty of space in his mezzanine-style double bed.

Photo: Gerjana Popova for CNBC Make It

Since kitchen space is limited, Harrison mostly cooks one-pot meals and often eats with friends.

Photo: Gerjana Popova for CNBC Make It

Windows on either side of the house provide plenty of natural light and ventilation, making the space less claustrophobic.

The toilet is outside so I need to leave my house every time I use it. There is no shower either, so I will be using it at work and at the gym for the foreseeable future. I wash clothes in a laundromat.

Harrison’s toilet outside the tiny house.

Photo: Gerjana Popova for CNBC Make It

I’ve been living here for a few months now, and the annoyances are slowly getting easier to manage.

But this is a great location in London. It’s a 15-minute bike ride to work, and I like to spend my free time exploring the area or meeting up with friends.

My biggest challenge was adjusting to all the attention. Many people stop because they saw me on the news.

The tiny house allows Harrison to live alone in a city that is considered a luxury, and has amplified the conversation about London rent prices.

Photo: Gerjana Popova for CNBC Make It

With his ups and downs, I turned my living situation into a piece of art. It highlights the absurdity of London’s housing crisis in a way that makes people smile And He thinks.

This has been a unique experience, and I am so grateful for her patronage. But I do not recommend repeating it. I Hopefully I can move out soon, but I definitely wouldn’t switch it up without savings and a little damp room. It’s strangely comfortable.

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Harrison Marshall He is the founding partner of Cocoin Studio, a design studio specializing in community and impact-based projects. He holds a master’s degree in architecture and has worked on more than 50 projects around the world. Harrison combines his background with his passion for social impact to create joyful and thought provoking experiences. Follow him on Instagram @tweet And @tweet.

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