Tiny House on the Big Island

Tiny House on the Big Island

I’m done….for now anyway. After a lot of long days solely focused on building my treehouse, alone in the jungle. I have returned home to Idaho to relax for a couple weeks and to prepare to go on my second potato tour for the Idaho Potato Commission. I wasn’t able to keep up with the daily journal logging the last week because I was too exhausted at the end of the day. I’m satisfied with the amount I got done. The tree house is finished with the exception of the water system being hooked up and the floors stained, which I think I’ll send my mom to go do in a month or so when she has the time.

There are a lot of little things I want to add in subsequent visits to the island that I’ll be sure to update yall on. I made this little video the on the last day in Hawaii that will give you an idea of the space. I also have professional photographs coming that I will post as soon as I get!

26 Responses to Tiny House on the Big Island

  1. Ruth Koson says:

    Hi! I have never left a reply, but have followed your highly interesting endeavor from the beginning to where it is now. I must say that you are exceptionally creative and I do hope that you enjoy your tree house for many years to come, What an inspiration that you have been. I came up from the Florida Keys and bought 5 acres of land in the Ozark mountains putting a tiny Jay Shafer copy on it five years ago and then moved on to build a one bedroom, one bath cabin out of many salvaged materials. I do believe that after being one of the early birds of the tiny movement and watching it grow and watching others and of course, watching and following you that we are rapidly seeing Americans finding ways to build and develop stylistic housing and learning many ways to grow and become more self-sufficient as our World around us changes. I enjoy living debt and mortgage free and think it would be so cool to do the same in Hawaii. Thank-you so much for sharing your story with us!

  2. Harper says:

    Hi Kristie! Like Ruth, I have followed you on this build for a while but this is my first time posting. I think your house is fantastic!

    I am in the “newly inspired” stage of building my tiny house and I can tell you, you are very inspiring! I’m 45, grew up in the New York area and am moving permanently away to Florida this July. Once settled, I will start building my tiny house there. Originally I thought I’d build it the common way on a trailer with wheels, but more and more I’ve thought about putting it up high on stilts because it’s very swampy. Then I saw your video! I had a much better sense of what you were doing in the video than from the photographs. That shower is perfect! I could go on…

    Anyway, thanks again for sharing all this and being an inspiration!


  3. gen says:

    I just love this treehouse!! Im still in daydream phase at this stage… but have you got any info on the budget spent for this project? I understand if you dont want to share on the public platform, so if you are happy to let me know, my email is gen_ackland@hotmail.com

    • kristiewp says:

      Hey Gen,

      Thank you! I haven’t really looked at how much I spent but I took $15,000 to Hawaii and that paid for rent, food, flights, and truck as well as the treehouse itself :)

      Hope that gives you a better idea.

  4. Gen says:

    Oh my! Kristie, you have no idea what that means to me. That is SO inspirational. I live in Melbourne, Australia, where the housing prices are so unaffordable and my own home sweet home seems so out of reach. Your home is just beautiful, and to know that it’s affordable at the same time is just amazing. Thank you so much for sharing, you have made my day!!

  5. Jhonis says:

    Hi Kristie. that’s just like Gen said above, it’s truly inspirational, and worth each minute spending watching your building work. I’m an brazilian architect, i’m just in the beginning of my profession and all this help me to see how people can create their own living space with intelligent ideas in add of a gorgeous shape, functional divisions and equal efficiency respecting our nature.
    Building a tiny house like that is some of my dreams, and im happy for you to make it done, the philosophies on projects like that are deeply rich and brings more sense to life, because i believe that our homes are an extension of ourselves and when it’s built by our hands it’s even more, it’s us, our ideas and our ways materialized.
    Thank you for shared all those informations about the house, and im sure it’s encouraging many people too work in their own space by making great living homes through simple means.

  6. Jill Stewart says:

    Hi Kristy, I live in Volcano, and just built a house off the grid, from what you say we must be close neighbors. I am a raw foods chef, with a greenhouse and growing food on the big island. It would be wonderful to meet you in person and share stories. Let me know if you would be interested.

    • kristiewp says:

      Oh my gosh! I would love to meet up. I’m on a nationwide tour for work right now so I won’t be back in Hawaii till October. I’ll get in touch with you then :)

  7. Aloha Kristis,

    I’ve read and watched (YouTube stuff) quite a few articles/stories on Tiny Houses, ESPECIALLY those built/planned in Hawai’i. I have acreage there which I will be doing very nearly exactly the same thing, except I’m guna’ try for a wider wrap-around deck, maybe up to 10 feet, and I might shoot for a second story and have a ‘Crow’s Nest’ deck/roof. My property is very close to yours (Kaunalipo side of Fern Forest). By FAR and AWAY, your mo’olele was the BEST of all. Even better than a couple of books I bought which BOTH left a LOT to be desired.

    I live between Southern Oregon and Hawai’i and so my time is a bit chopped up and so my construction efforts will be in ‘phases’ as I go. I DO have a live-on caretaker so I’m NOT so much concerned about security, BUT does lead me to the next question: Are you concerned about the security of your place there? I remember you mentioning your neighbor(s) so I kind of assume they’ll watch over it for you. That whole area of Puna can be a bit ‘dicey’ (I’m pretty sure that’s why people who live there are called ‘Punatics’ 😉 ) and so my BIGGEST concern/worry is the safety/security of anything I build there. As I said, I DO have a live-on caretaker and so my question was more a request for more information as it may apply to OTHER potential ‘Punatics’ looking possibly to build as you have in that area!!

    MUCH Mahalo for your article/videos. I LOVED them and SUPER appreciate you sharing the ups and downs (LITERALLY) you had building your COOL little Hale!!!

    Ke Akua pu, Kristie, e pili mau na pomaika’i ‘ia ‘oe a hui hou kakou ~ ~ ~

    Terry ‘Kailaoha’ Ridge

    • kristiewp says:

      Hi Terry,

      I’m glad the info was helpful. So I was there for 2.5 months and during that time pretty much everyone I met told me the same story of people stealing and looting lumber and empty houses. I was a little paranoid at first and was very careful to lock everything up and block the road so that people couldn’t see that construction was happening. Which is quite the change coming from Idaho where I leave the car key in the ignition! But I do have to say even after I lightened up, I didn’t have any problems with theft at all. Everyone was so kind and helpful. I do have a very sweet “neighbor” who is close enough to go check on it and he does about every other day. The best advice I got was that thieves are lazy and are opportunists. I think just using a little common sense goes a long way.

  8. SORRY! I meant ‘Kristie’ ~ 😀 ~ <3 ALOHA <3 ~

  9. Ann W says:

    So in the end… were you able to finish within your proposed budget range? I know the island prices have a way of adding up! Love what you’ve done, and thank you for your documenting. Truly helps to inspire and reassure us all. :-) Ann

    • kristiewp says:

      Well I didn’t have a budget I only had a certain amount of money before I would go broke and yes I managed to not spend it all.

  10. Kel Collins says:

    What a great job in design Kristie! You’ve managed to utilize readily available local materials, while maintaining a common thread of related finishes to carry out the theme and function on a restricted budget! Proof that good design doesn’t need to be expensive, …it just needs to be mindful.

  11. Braxton says:

    I was just looking at your page on airbnb. I was wondering how you manage to keep the place stocked with supplies while not being on-site. Do you have someone that does it for you or some other system? I just thought it was interesting.

  12. Tim says:

    I stumbled onto your blog through a tiny house email I get and just read and watched your Hawaii posts. Its very inspiring and thank you for sharing your experience. I admire the way you’re living your life. You seem to appreciate simplicity and are not at all deterred by a difficult task. You see the oak tree in the seed, and its nice to see someone bring their ideas to life. I look forward to following your posts.

  13. I did not understand your explanation of the toilet-sink situation. Could you explain that briefly again? Thanks!

    • kristiewp says:

      Hey Danielle,

      Of course. When you flush a normal toilet clean water refills the tank. Essentially what I did was reroute the tube that brings in the clean water and funnel it through a faucet first. That way you can wash your hands with the clean water that is going into the tank anyways plus it saves a ton of space.

  14. Donna says:

    would love to see the video on putting the windows in your tiny home on the big island.

Leave a Reply

hawaii treehouse airbnb