​​Tiny House Escapade

Photos by PK Smith & Lara Bruce


Escapade:an act or incident involving excitement, daring or adventure...

Throughout each of our lives we are given tools to build things. Some of these tools are intrinsic-our intelligence, emotions, desires.  Other are extrinsic-actual tools, a hammer, pencil, teachers-to help us along our journey to building our lives. Tiny House Escapade is our story of building our dream home. It's smaller than a lot of people's dream house for certain! But our dream to live debt free, surrounded by people we love, people we enjoy being with, seeing sites that others only dream of seeing and living simply is worth the hard work. 

Our dream started becoming a reality in August 2014 with my diagnosis of breast cancer. After losing both of my parents to cancer in the previous 2 years, we decided life is too short to wait for retirement to start living! We ordered an 8'6"x 32' long trailer in November from Tiny Home Builders, picked it up from Florida the day after Christmas and began our build in early 2015 at Camp Tiny House of the Triad with John Williams. We extended the trailer to 34' long with the help of a fantastic welder, John Booe of Johnnyboxes.com. We responded to a casting call from HGTV for one of their tiny home shows and were surprised when they actually called us!

Our Tiny Home build was anything but ordinary! We started when I had just completed chemotherapy, continued throughout 30 radiation therapy treatments, pressesd on through Rafael's job loss, then 2 months later, the amputation of 3 fingers (2 were reattached!) on the table saw. After two months of slowing down for surgery, physical therapy and recovery, we then had to move from the house we were renting, to living with family, because our lease expired. We downsized in a weekend with the help of some awesome friends, sold our Hayabusa motorcycle to help pay for construction materials, and continued with our build until it was 99% completed in January 2016. We moved into our new home just before the first snowfall of 2016 and began living our dream! We named our tiny house'The Odysssey'because it was a "long, wandering and eventful journey!" Our remarkable build was captured by HGTV in March 2016 with a premier date of August 15, 2016 on "Tiny House Hunters".  

We met some truly remarkable people and forged friendships that will last a lifetime, while building our tiny. We learned, and continue learning, about things we had no idea about before we began! It's been adventure and we invite you to join us!

Kristi & Rafael Bugajski