Episode 94 cover

This is a special live recording of a panel discussion that I gave at the Big Mass Tiny House Festival in September of 2019, all about building with reused and salvaged materials. The discussion includes an all-star panel of tiny house DIY builders and dwellers who have done amazing things with reuse and salvage materials. Featuring Alex Eaves, Vera Struck, Sarah Hastings, and Shorty Robbins.

In This Episode:

  • How do you find an acceptable used trailer or vehicle?
  • A new trailer from leftover trailer parts?
  • What other kinds of salvaged materials can you use in your build?
  • The important contribution Vera made to Alex's tiny box truck house 😜
  • The search for the salvaged: the time, energy, and know-how it takes to use salvaged materials.
  • Not all gifts are usable: how to handle the things you don't want or cannot use.
  • Keeping your heirlooms by reusing them as something else
  • Advice from our wonderful panel of tiny housers!

Links and Resources:


Guest Bios:

Alex Eaves

Alex Eaves

Alex Eaves is a reuse expert who embodies the reuse lifestyle. In 2008, Eaves began what he calls “the reuse life;” avoiding disposables and finding reuse solutions for his needs and wants. He recently completed a ~100 square foot box truck made from nearly 100% reusable materials. (Listen to Alex's interview on Episode 004)

Vera Struck

Vera Struck

Vera Struck has taken it as a moral imperative to reduce her footprint. So she set herself a challenge: To build a tiny house for under $20k, without any previous building experience, raising all the money herself, without using fossil fuels. The result is the Silver Bullet: The off-grid, water-harvesting, solar, non-fossil fuel, non-toxic tiny homemade from 85% reclaimed materials. (Listen to Vera's interview on Episode 044)

Sarah Hastings

Sarah Hastings

Sarah Hastings has a background in sustainable design and planning, geographical mapping, and historical research. Having designed, constructed, and resided in her own tiny house, Sarah embodies her values and enjoys helping other people strategize their own simple dream.

Shorty Robbins

Shorty Robbins

Shorty Robbins started her tiny house journey in a tent. Her tiny house, Nawaka, was built to replace the elaborate “tent compound” she sets up at living history events. The house is designed to replicate a small Victorian cottage, but hides all the modern amenities as well as she built her house and learned more about tiny living, she embraced the life and now lives tiny full time, in one century or another. (Listen to Shorty's interview on Episode 040).

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If you have questions that you’d like me to answer live on the Tiny House Lifestyle Podcast, I’ve opened a new way for you to submit them. You can now record a question to be answered on the show. To submit your question, head over to thetinyhouse.net/ask and hit the “Start recording” button to submit your recording today!


No need to buy a merch table when you can just use the original loading ramp!

Vera's Silver Bullet got some new water-harvesting rain gutters.


Sarah Hastings and her house, Rhizome.

A discarded shelf found by Sarah's mom comes back to life with a new coat of paint and some pretty teacups.

Shorty's house (plus Huck) at the Big Mass Tiny House Festival!

Shorty by her piano bed


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