Tiny homes have been in the limelight for several years, but what makes Margo and Eric Puffenberger’s custom-built tiny house unique is the many recycled materials that were sourced from their family members. Throughout the Puffenberger tiny home, you’ll find wood from Margo’s grandparents and sister, shelves made from her great-great-grandmother’s buffet and windows and a door from her old, demolished elementary school.
Building the nearly 190-square-foot house was prompted by a casual car conversation. The 4- and 6-year-old kids, Avery and Bennett, loved the idea, and the rest is history. First, the couple bought a used 16-foot trailer with a 10,000-pound towing capacity. Margo sketched out the floor plans, and construction for the tiny home began. The couple chose cedar siding for the exterior based on its light-weight and low-maintenance qualities as well as how lovely it ages. A durable standing seam roof complements the cedar.
Plenty of windows provide natural ventilation and light — some windows were retrieved from the now-defunct elementary school. The bathroom door was also salvaged from the school and glides like a barn door. The couple designed screened window systems that hook open from the inside encourage air flow while discouraging bugs from coming into the home.
The tiny home’s walls are covered in white oak and beechwood salvaged from the grandparents’ corn crib. This wood was also used to build sleeping and storage lofts as well as kitchen counters, the shower basin cabinet, trim and half of the floors — the remainder is tongue-and-groove maple flooring salvaged from Margo’s sister’s old farmhouse. The kitchen cupboards are crafted from her great-great-grandmother’s buffet. Eric designed and built a couch with a fold-out bed and window seat that converts into a dining table.
The Puffenbergers hit their goal of completing the project in less than two years. Just this month, the family traveled from Ohio to Colorado with their home in tow, and it was a family adventure they’ll cherish for a lifetime.
Images via Margo Puffenberger