Beau and Kelly are a full time family building a Texas homestead. They are a family with five kids living in a tiny house that is just over 800 square feet and we just scratched the surface of their really cool lifestyle in this interview. If you are interested in homesteading, buying raw land or doing a shed to tiny house conversion, this episode is for you, because Beau just has so much info and he's so thoughtful about it. In this conversation, we dive into the start of their project, what the land was like when they first bought it, what they had to do and why they chose a shed conversion.
In This Episode:
- 🏡 Choosing the Right Home: Discussing housing options for Beau’s growing family
- 🏘️ Shed Conversion: The journey of finding and converting a shed to a home
- 🌱 Homestead Living: Embracing a simpler, self-sufficient lifestyle on a homestead
- 💼 Monetizing Lifestyle: Turning their homesteading experiences into a source of income
- 💰 Financial Considerations: Exploring the costs and budgeting for a homestead project
- 🛠️ Construction Challenges: Reflecting on mistakes made and lessons learned during building
- 🌍 Living with No Regrets: Encouraging listeners to pursue their dreams and passions now
- 🎥 Creating Content: Finding opportunities to share experiences through YouTube and podcasts
- 🔌 Off-Grid Aspirations: Dreaming of a sustainable, solar-powered future on the homestead
Links and Resources:
- Buying a Shed – YouTube Video
- Shed to House Conversion – YouTube Video
- Gary Vee
- Better Together Homestead Podcast
Beau and Kelly are A full-time family building a Texas Homestead….from SCRATCH! Beau and Kelly Brotherton are five years into their adventure of transforming 7 acres of raw land into a place that is sustainable, regenerative, and keeps a little bit of wild left for their 5 kiddos! They sold everything they owned to move from the Houston Suburbs to just outside of Austin and it’s like a whole new world. Instead of a traditional home, they converted a shed into a debt free house along with raising chickens, Idaho Pasture Pigs, and a Jersey milk cow. They have documented all of it on their homesteading YouTube channel and Podcast
This Week's Sponsors:
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Beau Brotherton 0:00
We bought land basically because I thought that the world was going to end in 2015 a little weird. There was like this thing about blood moons and I went a little crazy. And I've since brought it back a little bit. I will say I was only like five years early, where everybody thought that the world was going to be in 2020 I wasn't that far off.
Ethan Waldman 0:24
Welcome to the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast The show where you learn how to plan, build and live the tiny lifestyle. I'm your host Ethan Waldman. This is episode 274 with Beau Brotherton, Beau and Kelly are a full time family building a Texas homestead. They are a family with five kids living in a tiny house that is just over 800 square feet. And we really just scratched the surface of their really cool lifestyle in this interview. But if you are interested in homesteading and buying raw land, doing a shed to Tiny House conversion, this episode is for you, because Beau just has so much info and he's so thoughtful about it. So in this conversation, we dive into kind of the start of their project, what the land was like when they first bought it what they had to do and why they chose a shed conversion. It's a really great conversation, and I hope you stick around. I asked John and Finn Kernaghan of United Tiny House Association what they love about their PrecisionTemp hot water heaters. And here's what they told me.
John Kernohan 1:29
Hey, Ethan, this is John and Fin Kernaghan. With the United Tiny House Association. We have a total of three PrecisionTemp On Demand hot water heaters. The thing we really like about these and folks know this, I think they picked us up on 10. And if if we don't like something, you'll never hear us talk about it. So the two things we noticed that we noticed the experience immediately. They took painstaking effort to make sure that it was done right and installed. And so that was pretty cool right there. The other thing is the continuous on demand hot water that just ran forever without any fluctuations or anything. I can't imagine an application, especially in our environment and our lifestyle of being the Nomad, transportable, mobile, tiny lifestyle where one of these units aren't good to us.
Ethan Waldman 2:29
Right now. PrecisionTemp is offering $100 off any unit plus free shipping when use the coupon code THLP. So head over to precisiontemp.com and use the coupon code THLP at checkout for $100 off any unit. That's precisiontemp.com coupon code THLP. Thank you so much to PrecisionTemp for sponsoring our show
all right, I am here with Beau Brotherton, Beau and Kelly are a full time family building a Texas homestead from scratch. They are five years into their adventure of transforming seven acres of raw land into a place that is sustainable, regenerative and keeps a little bit of wild left for their five kids. They sold everything they owned to move from the Houston suburbs to just outside of Austin and it's like a whole new world. Instead of traditional home they have converted a shed into a debt free house along with raising chickens, Idaho pasture pigs and Jersey milk cow. They have documented all of it on their homesteading YouTube channel and podcast. Beau Brotherton, welcome to the show.
Beau Brotherton 3:40
Thanks, Ethan. I appreciate it, man. Glad to be here.
Ethan Waldman 3:44
Yeah, it's great to have you here. So wow, seven people living in 800 square feet. How is that, you have been doing it now for several years. So you must be be well practiced at it.
Beau Brotherton 3:56
Yeah, I mean, we bought our land in 2015. I had to go through marriage counseling to in that process of trying to convince my wife to sell everything we own and live in a tent on on our seven acres. And we ended up settling to on the shed to house conversion. Okay, and just through that process of from then and 2018 was whenever we actually broke ground and got the shed delivered, okay, and it's been a fun ride. We actually only had four kids then actually the whole the whole thing started we only had three kids so we actually okay started the shed to House Facebook group and the YouTube channel and we only had three kids. Okay, and with the fourth one we were like, Well, we've already started this maybe let's make it the shed just a little bit bigger. And then with number five we're like hey, we're pros. We got this Yeah,
Ethan Waldman 4:51
so maybe paint a picture for me like what was on this land like what it what was it like when you you know first closed on it.
Beau Brotherton 4:59
Oak and cedar trees okay that's that's it there was a little water hole in the back so it was like forest so oh there was nothing, yeah it's about 60% wooded is what I say, this was very like it's very unloved degraded okay Central Texas Land knock white West Texas but but pretty dry.
Ethan Waldman 5:24
Okay. And did you have to...were there structures that needed to be demolished? Or was it just a matter of like cutting down some trees or, like what was your next step?
Beau Brotherton 5:34
Yeah, so the first step was actually have a video on our YouTube channel of us. I got some, like 100 foot long rope Okay, or maybe it's like 200 foot long rope. And and we're out there it was, it was just the same as it is now right now, you know, like 105 degrees here in Texas. And I use that as our measuring tape to go from where our water meter was going to be. Yeah, and how far that was going to be and then also for our electric so that was the first two things running. Yeah, the first few things was no no, we had to get a guy in to do the land clearing that's so I did kind of multiple things all at once. First thing we did was measure. How much length we were going to need to go from where our water was going to be to the house because we can't right we can't have a water well here okay, because the shallowest for to get clean water is like 900 feet. Oh, damn. I always say the joke that Bruce Willis had to go 800 feet to break up a meteor in the in the sky and after 900 feet just to get
Ethan Waldman 6:45
just for one water? Yeah. Wow. Okay. And so,
Beau Brotherton 6:49
how do you get your water? It's just municipal water. Okay, it's not our favorite. But we also have about almost 6000 gallons of rainwater. Now which we do use for the for the animals some irrigation and yes, like at the moment it's just preparedness just in case something really bad happens that we have some some backup water. So
Ethan Waldman 7:16
it seems like pretty quickly you you you've shifted to like hey, we need a place to live we need shelter. Um, can you talk about you know why shed why you went that route?
Beau Brotherton 7:26
Yeah, it Alright, so I know that that you're the tiny house guy. So I assume that it's - do you focus mostly mostly on tiny house on wheels? Or do you like all small structures?
Ethan Waldman 7:41
I'm agnostic. I love them all. I mean, I would say that the majority of my guests are living in you know that I talked to our tiny house on wheels. But I've had I've had shed conversions buses, vans, ambulances, sailboats, tree houses, like you name it. You know, even somebody who turned a potato a giant potato into an Airbnb house. So, you know, to me, like, the, it's living small. That is what I'm curious about, and that that I'm interested in and I'm always just fascinated by what choices people make to get there. Like whatever vessel whatever shell you know, you chose so you went with the shed. And so I'm like, why, you know, like, talk me through that decision making process because ultimately my goal is like there's somebody listening right now I guarantee it who's like, I want to homestead I want to buy raw land. So they're like, Well, how did this guy do it? Why a shed?
Beau Brotherton 8:34
You bet. So well, we call in the Shed to House FaceBook Group is small house big land living. So that was that was the overarching thought is that we were living in the suburbs of Houston just outside of Houston. It's called Katy Texas very, very like just as suburb as you can get. And it just kept on growing. We had within like a 10 minute drive, we had a Costco, a Whole Foods, Sprouts. And then a Trader Joe's, like every single kind of like convenience you could ever think of. And we bought land basically because I thought that the world was going to end in 2015 Weird there was like this thing about blood moons and I went a little crazy. And I've since brought it back a little bit. I will say I was only like five years early, where everybody thought that the world was gonna end in 2020. So I wasn't that far off. Yeah, yeah. But, but mainly my wife and I, my wife Kelly and I we started talking and she was totally fine with moving on to our property. Okay, we were very big on you know, being debt free. Dave Ramsey, we didn't have any debt except for our suburban home. Okay, so we we actually even went a little bit more intense. We had a 20 year mortgage. Okay. So we didn't even sign up for the 30 year we wanted to get out of debt. Right? As fast as we could. And so what Kelly told me was a I'm totally fine with us selling everything that we have leaving all of our conveniences and living in the woods. Okay, she said her number one priority, and now is that we are able to do it. debt free. Okay. So that was basically me, the person that you know, drove my marriage into marriage counseling. Because I wanted to live I wanted to homestead that was the dream I wanted to, I wanted to do this life. The Shed to house is not the final destination for us. It's just the vehicle that got us from the suburbs, to our homestead. It's the homesteading, growing our own food, having our kids have that wild and free life. That is the destination. So I had to figure out how I can do this debt free. Okay, so we looked at Tiny houses on wheels, we looked at, you know, the whole the bus thing. We looked at barndominiums, of course, we looked at mobile homes, manufactured homes, like everything that that there is of Alternative Living, okay, we looked at that, because we knew we weren't going to build a traditional home debt free, there's just that was going to be impossible. RV we even thought about doing an RV. Yep. So what another stipulation once we got, you know, debt free, another thing my wife started saying was, Hey, I am totally fine, like traveling and doing the RV thing. But I want to have a home to come home to. So she didn't want to do RV Life and traveling and then have to come back to our property. And we live in the RV. She didn't want time. So I needed to figure out a way to be able to have build my wife, my family, a home that stayed there. So honestly, tiny house on wheels for me the restrictions of how tiny that has to be. And, and the maybe things are different back then it was like, Hey, you can do a tiny house on wheels. But probably you're going to move it maybe once or twice a year. Yeah, things might have gotten better since 2015. But the research that I was doing is like, Hey, this is not an RV. There's a reason why they build an RV the way that they do. And one reason why they, you know, break constantly like yeah, if you've ever meet families that are doing RV full time. A lot of the times that the man the husband, there they are mechanic, they are forced to be a mechanic. Right, right, because you have to repair them all the time. And that's just not me, man. Yeah, that is I'm the video geek that wanted to be at one time, I want to be farmer. And so I knew that all of those I just started narrowing all those things down. We looked into barndominiums. And it wasn't, it was it was still going to be too expensive for us to do a barndominium.
Ethan Waldman 13:01
And actually that, like I'm looking for someone to interview about barndominiums Because I am fascinated by them. But can you explain what a barndominium is? For sure.
Beau Brotherton 13:10
It's Dude, it really can be anything. Honestly, I mean, there's, you're gonna have a barndominium that is a you know, 600 square feet. I've seen we get, we get some barndominiums in our Facebook group, and I allow it, okay, because I tried to keep it a little bit focused on that small house. There. If I ever see something that's like 3000 square foot, I was like, Hey, man, this is not the group. Yeah, it's just it doesn't keep it on focus. So I mean, a barndominium at the time of 2015 was really this new thing. And it was that, hey, this is a way to get like a, you know, we're talking 1500 square foot, the 2000 square foot home. Usually they're just going to be a rectangle. It was an easy way to get a roof over your head fast and affordable, and be able to live on land. Then they started getting super what my wife calls bougie. Like, yeah, people started doing it. And they're, they're insane. I mean, honestly now after 2020 Yeah, we have friends here that they were going to do a barndominium and they ended up going back to a stick built home. Because metal was so expensive at that time. I think they built in 2021, So its really a barndominium they say a barn so it's like a condominium play on words. It's like a barn. Like if you just build a big old shop like a metal shop like a metal building would do. . Now we have friends here in our small town. And they I think had like an 1100 square foot shop, they wanted to move on to their parents place and their parents like Hey, I got this shop, maybe you could turn it into a house. And whenever we met them, all we had was our main shed to house. And it wasn't that much different. The living situation, between the two, it was a little bit bigger than what we had. But usually a barndominiums is going to be on a slab. Like you're going to have to pour concrete slab and it's going to be built there. Yeah. And so does that answer the question about the barndominium part?
Ethan Waldman 15:27
Yeah, totally. Totally, I love it.
Beau Brotherton 15:28
Okay, so I think I got a quote, just for the shell of the barndominium. It was going to be about $60,000. Okay. And we just ended up saying, You know what, let's keep on looking. I like to have all the options, we're going to keep on looking for that. And there was one day I was just driving out, here in Texas, you drive in rural rural roads, you're going to see these lots. It looks like a used car lot. And it's just these lots of all these sheds. All over the place. And, that we ended up finding this one. This one lot. And, and they actually finished them out. So you're looking at these sheds on a lot. Yeah. And I was like, let me just stop by and just look at it because I think it had like a sign that said cabin, okay. And I walked in, and I was able to walk in I have I have those like one of our biggest, like in the beginning our YouTube channel that got some attention. And we saw, I think it was like a 16 by 40. And it had a main bedroom, it actually had central air and heat. So it was designed pretty well. And add a little kitchen and just a little sleeping loft for kids. And okay, I was like, this is really cool. And then next time we were driving through there, I brought my whole family. I was like, hey, Ellie, I need you to look at this place. Yeah. And she walked in, and she was like, Okay, this is not the way that I would design it. But right, she was able to see the possibility of how to make it work. Right. Like I could live there. Exactly. Yeah. And so typically, so basically what this is, is this is a think of a barndominium kind of, or a shed, like it's just a shed that you would, you know, have in the back of your house. You know, like if you had a if you had a like a bigger suburban home, and you just wanted some extra storage space or a little shop. It's just a typical wood built. Shed. Yeah. And you're able to finish it out. So in it comes with skid like it's, it's 16 inch on center. So it's built really well. Yeah. And then they got like, big thick runners for the flooring, and you just put the foundation, typically on just cinder blocks, okay, it's similar to a mobile home. Okay, now, the reason we get a lot of questions, well, why don't you just build a mobile home? Because a lot of the times yes, you can get a more square footage, or cheaper with a mobile home. And the reason why we didn't go with a mobile home was because it all comes finished. Yeah. So no matter what you're gonna get mobile home finishes are that cheaper price. So the flooring is going to be you know, not good. You know, the kitchens, the appliances, you know, maybe they've gotten better since then again, like, you know, but just the countertops, everything. And that wasn't something that -
Ethan Waldman 18:39
you wanted to finish this out yourself?
Beau Brotherton 18:41
We did. We did and make it make it nicer. And I'll be fully transparent. And I've always said this. I also at that time was a YouTuber, I wanted to you know, our old channel was Better Together Life. And so we make all of our, you know, income from home, we homeschool our kids. So we want to do everything together. Yeah. And that was finding a way to be able to create content, this shed to house. I saw that it was a way to be able to get some excitement. And yeah, do something different. And I knew that I was going to have to put my money where my mouth was mouth is and be able to live in it. And we we actually started the process. And we only thought we were going to live in the our main shed house for about maybe two to three years, and we're just going to be a transition for us. And we just fell in love with this property. We fell in love with the house and we've been in there ever since.
Ethan Waldman 19:38
that's awesome. Can I ask how long - I know that you've done additions. You know, you've kind of bumped out on both sides, but, how long and how much did that initial build out, that like let's get shelter, Let's get living in there. Like you remember. Do you have a sense of how long and how much that cost for you?
Beau Brotherton 19:56
I do I have it on my website. Just if you want Like the whole breakdown is at Better Together Homestead. Yeah bettertogetherhomestead.com/report. And so now this, of course, is pre 2020 pricing. So everything's like I have no idea. So I mean, add 20, 50% I don't know double, I have no clue of what it would cost now. Yeah. So we got the shed delivered, I think it was in July of 2018. And then we also we moved in in November of that year. 2018. And so and I, we were living at my wife's parents house in North Dallas. So we were about three and a half hours away. So it was a long commute, going back and forth, back and forth. And I am working on it. And I actually lived in there for the last six weeks. Before leading up we just, we were busting at the seams at my in laws place. And we're like we got to get out of here. Yeah, we actually moved in. With that we moved in and we had, we had drywall, it wasn't painted. We had drywall, we had our ceiling. We had running water, no hot water, and no kitchen. So all of that. And but we did have AC, we had heat and AC, so we were able to live there as it was, we roughed it. We didn't have hot water for the first two weeks. But then we got hot water and then we got a stove. We had electricity. So that was good. I want to say and I can find it. I should have had this ready. That's okay. I want to say now, I think it's probably $80,000 All in. But that also includes like that includes our, you know, trenching underground electric or 200 feet. trenching one inch packs, or our main water line, that include like, you know, an $8,000 septic tank. Yeah, these are things that if you're going to put a main house here, you really can't change those costs. Yeah. And that also included two giant porches. So we have so our house is 16 by 48. That's just the house. Okay. Then on the front, we have a 12 foot by 48 front porch. And then on the back, we have a 10 foot by 48 back porch. So we have this huge Yeah, we have outdoor out. Exactly, exactly. And so I think that with the hiring a buddy as a contractor who was a better builder than I was to help me so basically, I was his assistant for most of the stuff. Yeah, because I've never done anything like this before. Yeah, yeah. And so I had a little bit of extra income whenever we sold our main house and I just gave it all to him to say like, Hey, I want to do this help me help me figure out how to do this. I don't have a mortgage. And so I think that the porches was at like $11,000 Okay, now we did also have some sponsorships like we got a we got Mr. Cool to sponsor our mini splits. Nice. There was a there was another company that sponsored some of the stuff like our pecks waterline. Yeah, so it could have gone even more it's, it's hard to like remember everything.
Ethan Waldman 23:26
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Beau Brotherton 25:48
The hard thing to figure out is like how much it would cost now, and then how much money you would be able to save if you really wanted to rough it. Because that's what that was my that was my expectation. Right? Right. We were going to rough it like if my wife was saying she only wanted to be in there for three years as a transitional home. But then she wanted to get like the best flooring and then she wanted to get like this really nice IKEA kitchen. And so every time I every time, she she wanted to spend some extra money. I was like, okay, honey, this is totally fine. Just letting you know, this lengthens the time that we need to stay in this space before we can upgrade to something bigger? And she was totally fine. She built a home that she loves.
Ethan Waldman 26:37
Well, that's awesome. And I, you know, just a quick Google search, you know, $80,000 in 2018 today, you know, says it's worth about 100,000 today, just just inflation, but I do know that the cost of building materials has gone up and also the, you know, the wages that you have to pay a contractor have gone up, I don't know, like, at least in my area. And you know, I'm in Vermont, it's it's really hard to get a contractor here. And you know, we just had all that flooding. So there's going to be a lot of houses that a lot of people who are really in need for contractors. And, but I think that a lot of I think that the shed path is a really good one for someone who needs to do a stationary tiny house and they want to do it for cheaper because frankly, like shed is gonna get marked up like at like a tiny house shell would get marked up. And it's also not on a trailer and trailers costs. You know, Tiny House trailers are now like $8,000. So like, especially if you're able to do your own foundation work you did you do sauna tubes, or did you do like poured footings? Or how did how did you prepare the ground?
Beau Brotherton 27:46
So so we have a it's a concrete pad. And there's one we did? Yeah, well notice I'm sorry. I'm sorry. It was I'm sorry. I shouldn't have not a concrete pad. It's a gravel pad. Okay. Okay. So whenever we got the land cleared, and I probably I would do things different. Yeah, I wanted to do like a forestry mulcher, to really feed the soil and all that and I did the easy button and I hired a country boy with a big old dozer just the plow out the home side. Yeah. And I'm still paying for it because it's still the air the grass around my property around the home side, it still hasn't recovered. So wow, I shouldn't have done that. But it made it happen fast. And that's what our family needed. So yep, that same guy ended up doing a gravel pad. And, and it's not my favorite at all. This guy didn't know what he was doing, unfortunately. And I I'm always a guinea pig for this stuff. Because people and so I'm able to say hey, a lot of my YouTube channel is mistakes to avoid. Yeah, because I've made a lot of mistakes. Yeah. Then whenever we did the pad for our studio, I was able to do it way way better. So our main house, it is high off the ground. So it's a little bit too high. And actually, what if I would have done it with the concrete tubes have footers. We've learned since then that our ground shifts crazy like it's it's some it's some crazy sand. Yeah, about the flat the top six to 12 inches. And so our neighbors did the the concrete tubes and they're having to redo their house. Re level it. So um, it's I wish I could give expert opinion and recommendations. I don't know it's tough. It's tough just to say not just to do a concrete pad. Yeah, I feel I kind of feel like if I would have done that. Then it would have alleviated a lot of headaches. You could still have the crawlspace Yeah, but but having that concrete foundation, and I would say that if you are going to do a tiny house on wheels or In RV, it's pretty nice to have that concrete pad just to rely on.
Ethan Waldman 30:06
Oh, yeah, yeah, the first like eight years, with my tiny house where it was parked, it was just parked right on a lawn somewhere. And like, we get crazy frost, you know, freeze thaw cycles in the spring. And so like, I remember there was one day that I went to the house. And like, all around, it was like mud. But the ground under the house was still frozen because the house was like insulating the ground. And like, all this water had pooled up, and I was just like, there in my muck boots, like digging a trench with a shovel like to like, let the mud water drain. And like, Yeah, I'm like the last person you need to like, convince about the importance of putting a foundation down under your house.
Beau Brotherton 30:49
Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. You know, our grandparents told us those stories. Yeah, our entire life. And, you know, you get to the point where you're about to do it. And you're like, yeah, we'll be fine. It'll be okay. Well, we'll just yeah, we'll put it figure it out. Yeah, it was put it on top of dirt. I would recommend not doing a shed house on top of dirt. At least do some kind of just dirt. Yeah. Now we're in Texas. So it's a completely different. We don't have the freezing like y'all do. Yeah, yeah.
Ethan Waldman 31:18
You have to go deep here for a foundation bed. Yeah. Um, so, you know, you're a real advocate for people leaving suburbia and kind of, you know, trading in that suburban lifestyle for more land. And less house potentially. So can you talk about that philosophy and kind of what the benefits have been for you and your family?
Beau Brotherton 31:42
For sure. I mean, we, we think of it as a less stress, more freedom life. And not to say that it's no stress, because, I mean, I feel like I'm, I'm 41 years old, and I've learned that hey, I get I get stressed out a little bit more often than I want to. And that's my own issues, so it's not a no stress life, but it is a less stress life, like, and I hate to say it, like, I don't want to beat the... But 2020 was was kind of stressful for a lot of people. And you know, a lot of people were locked in their homes, were told what they can and can't do. It wasn't like that for us. If you were on some land, and you had kids, like they had that freedom, where they could go out and play outside and not have to worry about a lot of that, you know, if you were growing your own food, that was part of you know, you didn't have to worry about some of those issues of shortages at the grocery store. If you I mean, yeah, like all of those things. And if you had now, we don't have like solar, or we do have our rainwater, so we're not off the grid. And that would be a next step for us to be able to figure out, but that's for us. The honestly, the biggest thing for for me being such an advocate of selling everything you have, if this is a dream that you want to do, if it's a dream to someday homestead, then a lot of people comment on our YouTube channel. Hey, we love your channel because we're able to, I'm able to live my life through you, I'm able to live all my dreams through what you're doing. If I only was younger, I wish I would have done what you're doing. Now. A lot of people also say, this is our plan to do this whenever our kids get older. This is our plan to do this whenever our kids, you know graduate from high school. They just come up with all these excuses of like, Hey, I would love to do this. But yada yada, yada, right? And that just ticks me off. Like, man, that's sad. It's a bummer. Like you're gonna die. And you're gonna live with so many regrets. And, and I think I heard Gary Vee once say it, Gary Vaynerchuk, yeah, that's his main thing in life is to live with no regrets. And I totally agree with that. Another guy interviewed me for a book and he said, Hey, what would you tell your 20 year old self? If you could? I was like, I wouldn't tell him anything. Like why would you? You're doing it wrong if you have to go back in time to tell your 20 year old self, because everything's gonna change, like you're gonna have a completely different life. Your completely different family and completely different kids like all that, I truly believe in that weird you know that I don't know, like the whole butterfly effect. I'm like, no, no, no, build your life what you're doing today. You know, Bloom wherever you're planted and figure out how to how to not try to pull down people down from the mountain. Just go climb your own mountain. Yep. And I love one liners. So that's my thought is, if it's a dream that you have to someday, homestead, or if you want to go full time RV and see the country if you want to go live out of backpacks and plane rides and see the entire planet. Like do that. Yep. Like why? Why wait? Another buddy of mine said that. There's this, the American dream is to work your entire life so that you can save up enough money so that you can go and take that big trip whenever you retire. And climb that, you know, Hawaiian mountain. But, by the time you retire, your knees are too old and you can't make the trip. And he told me that whenever we still lived in suburbia, and it just blew my mind. I was like, Yeah, man. No, we're doing it. Now. I will also say it's a lot easier to make that switch from the city to the homestead. Yeah, if you have kids do it when they're young. Yeah. Because it's they can't argue with you whenever they're like, you know, you know, 5, 6, 7 years old.
Ethan Waldman 36:33
Oh, I think they can.
Beau Brotherton 36:37
Okay, tell me you have stories. Tell me about that.
Ethan Waldman 36:40
I mean, I don't have I don't have kids myself. But I definitely see my friends five and six year olds are like saying like, No, you know, but I know, I know what you're saying. Like they don't. They don't quite have as much of an opinion about like, where we're living that you might just be like, yeah, we're going in the car. And here we are at our new home.
Beau Brotherton 36:57
Yeah, I mean, I don't know, maybe we maybe I did it differently. I really sold it. I was like, you know, we bought the land. And in 2015 I'm very dramatic guy. So I think I really made it a cool thing for our kids. We bought the land in 2015. And we had three years before we actually moved here. So there was time to be able to take them up here for camping trips, and really get that excitement going in. I remember there was one camping trip. We were there. We walked to the back there was like this little waterhole pond, not even a pond. Yeah, but I would tell my boys can y'all believe that someday, this big piece of land is going to be your backyard. Like this is this is going to be your playground. This is going to be awesome. Nice and really just trying to sell it. Once we ended up getting here. And it was funny, because some of our family would come and visit and they would call their house a tiny house and my oldest son at that time was probably eight years old. He got really offended that people would call it a tiny house. He had this weird thought and you know, he didn't understand that a tiny house was like this cool, trending thing for adults. He was like, someone's insulting my home, like no. And over time, they've been able to kind of understand that. And also, we've said, like, Hey, you can have anything you want. You just can't have everything that you want. So if you know, if you want, we can go ahead and we can move back to suburbia. Or Dad can go and get a full time job. And you won't see me or we can send you to public school. And we can have these different, you know, discussions of what you want to do and what you don't want. Yeah, but we feel like this is going to be the best living situation for all of us until that time. And I will say that time has come for our kids at the moment. We're planning the next step for probably a bigger home because our oldest, he's as tall as I am now. He's five nine and his head is hitting the top of his room in his sleeping loft. I did not think that he was gonna grow 13 inches in 18 months. So, so yeah. So it's all a story and all you know. I also think that that's a great thing. Like, totally build your tiny house, even if, especially if it's a tiny house on wheels. Like that's way cool because you can move it to a different part of a property and you can do an Airbnb. Yeah, I think that even if it's going to be a transitional home, it's totally worth it.
Ethan Waldman 39:49
So why not? Why not? Like, you know, get another small shed and turn that into your oldest son's kind of room. You no separate pod on the property.
Beau Brotherton 40:02
We've discussed it. Yeah, we've discussed a lot of options, maybe we'll just.. here I'm in our shed the studio right now. Like, let's just put our big boys in here. And this will be like their killer 13 year old boy pad. And we can even just connect it with a hallway or something like that. We thought of a lot of things. And I would say, for many families, that is a perfect idea. For my wife and I, having our 12 and 13 year old boys under our roof is just a part of that parenting process that we want to still... I've been a 13 year old boy, and I don't know, I completely understand that if I had my own place. I might burn it down. Like, there's so many things. So being able to, I don't know, maybe we're micromanaging our parenting a little bit. But we feel like if that's the thing that our kids are mad at, then hey, at least they'll know how to build stuff by the time they're 18. And then they can build their own home. There you go. If they were like 16 or 17? I would say yes, that would be the time to go ahead and transition them. But we're still thinking about that. We haven't broke ground on the new house. But yeah, it's, there's lots in that, there is there are lots of options for shed to houses like we could just get another one and connect them or get another one and have some sort of, you know, compound where you have a common patio space. And honestly, one of the ideas that my wife is coming up with is doing to larger shed to houses. And then have you ever heard of a dog trot run? Sure, yeah. Okay. And like connecting them with some sort of outdoor space where we have, you know, a big kitchen and living area on one side, right. And then on the other side, having all the living spaces.
Ethan Waldman 42:06
Nice. Sounds like that. You haven't fully decided yet. But it sounds like your wife, you and your wife have like a really collaborative process, you really talk things through to kind of figure out what's going to work for the for each next step.
Beau Brotherton 42:20
Yes, yeah. I love coming up with all the options and all the ideas. And my wife is very slow to make that choice. So I, we basically have said, hey, I'll come up with as many ideas as you want. But then it's going to be your home that I want you to like, you know, it was basically this main shed to house was, it was kind of like me saying, Hey, this is the best idea for us. And then then after that, you know, like, I wanted her to make the home with whatever she wanted inside the house. So then, so yeah, for this next house it is definitely going to be up to her. For sure. I want her to be superduper happy with it. I'll say this. I think that's the other thing. I think that as a family, shed to houses, you probably are understanding of this, of anything that is above the ground is extremely loud inside of the house. Like so having five kids run up and down the house jumping. It's just and especially because how high our our building is, it just echoes the like the crawlspace, everything echoes and we have spray foam insulation, and it's still incredibly loud. Yeah. So we're, we're ready for something on that concrete foundation, we're ready to have like, you know, to say, Hey, kids do jumping jacks, and it not shake everything and like being very...
Ethan Waldman 43:55
Yeah. How do you balance your time between, you know, taking care of the Homestead, you've got animals you got, you know, lawn to mow, you know, whatever chores you have there. And, you know, the time that you spend, you know, earning a living doing your YouTube channel, doing the podcasts and all that.
Beau Brotherton 44:13
It's a little different for us. So like, basically, here in Texas, this is kind of like our winter a little bit. Y'all probably shut all of your outside stuff down in the winter, you know, very little things you can do. Whenever it's, you know, all 10 degrees below or whenever it's freezing out. For us, it's very little things that we can do. Whenever it's, you know, a heat index of 115, it's just yeah, I mean, you die. So, right. So, in the summer, it's a lot of things like this, you know, we do a lot of more indoor things. We watch some movies. We don't have cable or anything like that, but we designed in our place where where we have a projector screen that comes down in the middle of our living room area, and then we shoot a projector across. So that we can set up a movie. And when the movie is done, we just bring the screen up, and then you don't even notice it anymore. So nice. It's like the kids know when the screen is down you can watch a show. When the screen is up. You got to play a board game or something. So yeah, so it's less. It's less of the working outside around this time. But a typical day is actually, we just now did add a day in the life video on our on our channel and it kind of said it a lot. So at the moment, we have a one year old, and she's still not sleeping through the night. So I let Kelly sleep in the mornings. And then typically, we do the farm chores, and I don't actually get out here to the studio to work until usually probably 11 o'clock in the morning, which is very late for me. Yeah, I hate that. Like I'm a I'm an early riser. I love to wake up at 4:30 in the morning with my cup of coffee, with everybody being asleep, and everything's just nice and dark. And get you know, all the work done before anybody wakes up. If not that so, so at the moment is a typical try to make money is between usually 11 to 5pm. And then if I ever have a project that needs a little bit more editing, then sometimes I'll I'll work a little bit later but on a non summer days, yeah, we're outside the entire day. So spring fall, even winter here in Texas. Yeah, we are outside, we are playing on the porches, we are outside, working on projects together as a family clear and making new paddocks for the animals. You know, moving the cows, rotating them, you know, going outside and fishing like on our new pond, like we're, that's the whole point is, we've found a way to be able to monetize our life, through everything that we do is a little bit less private, but it's the it's the trade off that we want to be able to make, and be able to share what we're doing and hopefully help some people do the same.
Ethan Waldman 47:22
Nice. Well, tell me about you know, what you do online? Where can people find you? You know, what kind of stuff do you put out there? And yeah,
Beau Brotherton 47:29
yeah, the main thing is our YouTube channel. Okay, it's Better Together Homestead. Okay, we also have our Shed to House Facebook group. Okay. And I'm definitely in there. A little bit more as an admin. But definitely, if you're interested in this, and even if it's not, you know, in our Facebook group it is portable alternative structures, livable structure. So, any kind of like, it's a little bit less tiny house on wheels stuff, but we have a lot of shed mostly shed to houses, some barndominiums. Yeah, some people that just convert like an old building on their property. Just any kind of alternative living there. And then we're definitely - I'm better together life on Instagram, and my wife is better together wife. And we have an inconsistent podcast. Better Together Homestead. We're trying to get back on track with that.
Ethan Waldman 48:25
All right. Well, hopefully, you know, this is a podcast, people are listening to it in a podcast app. So pop over and find the Better Together Homestead podcast while you're at it.
Beau Brotherton 48:35
Appreciate that, Ethan?
Ethan Waldman 48:38
Yeah. Well, Beau Brotherton, thank you so much for being a guest on the show today. It was so fun to chat. And I just feel like we only scratched the surface. But you've got so much out there on your YouTube channel that people can just dig in and whatever, whatever little flavor they want to get.
Beau Brotherton 48:52
I appreciate it. Yeah, we'll have to get invited again, whenever we make that full transition, and we can talk about all the decisions that we make at that time. Yeah, stay in touch. Yeah. All right. Thanks, man.
Ethan Waldman 49:06
Thank you so much to Beau Brotherton for being a guest on the show today. And thank you so much to PrecisionTemp and FOTILE for being guests on the show. You can find links to both of those sponsors in the show notes for this episode, or on the show notes page over at thetinyhouse.net/274. You'll also find a complete transcript, some of my favorite videos from Beau and Kelly, and more again, that's the tiny house.net/274 Well, that's all for this week. I'm your host Ethan Waldman, and I'll be back next week with another episode of the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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