tiny house in the woods
Brittany Hambleton
Brittany Hambleton
September 3, 2020 ·  4 min read

Man shows the inside of his tiny home in the woods

Just a few years ago, Kris Harbour’s daily routine consisted of waking up at five o’clock in the morning, sitting on a train for two hours to get to work, working for a full day, and sitting on a train for another two hours home. He had fun on the weekends but never found he had enough time or energy to do many of the things he really wanted to do [1].

Finally, he decided enough was enough. He sold his home in London, quit his job, and purchased eighteen acres of land in Wales where he began to build his own home from scratch.

A Tiny Home Built by Hand

The 31-year-old found that life in the big city was unfulfilling. He had left school at the age of sixteen and began working right away to pay his bills. By all accounts, he was doing really well- he had a good job, and thriving social network, and a house- but he was unhappy and knew there was more to life than just trying to get by.

After he purchased the land off of Ebay, Kris spent the next year and a half travelling back and forth from his flat in London and his property in Wales where he spent one thousand hours building his dream home from scratch.

Using primarily wood and a mortar made of clay, sand, and straw, he built the home from about ninety percent natural, recycled, or found materials. 

“There is some foam installation that isn’t natural in the roof. Then just things like screws, some pipes and fittings and things like that,” said Kris [2].

Take the Tour

Despite its outward appearance, Kris’s home is far from primitive, and contains many of the modern conveniences most of us have become accustomed to. He has wireless internet and a fully functioning stove, and he says the sturdy log walls of the home keep the rain out all year round.

He uses a wood-burning stove to keep his house warm in the cooler months, and a hydro generator using water and a turbine provides his home with all the power he needs. Solar panels on the property also supply a certain amount of power, however this is not adequate year-round.

The home also has a fully-operational kitchen, with lamps to keep it well-lit, and the home has plenty of windows to provide natural lighting, including a skylight over his bed, which is located in a loft near the ceiling. 

The Happiest He’s Ever Been

Since moving into his new home, Kris has never looked back at his life in the city. 

“At one point I had two mortgages which I think totalled nearly £400,000, I had a car, and all the bills and mortgages, electric, water, internet, TV licenses, insurances,” he said [2].

Despite earning good money, so much of it went toward paying his bills that he virtually had none of it left. Today, he earns significantly less money, but without so many hands in his pocket he says he actually has more money than he did before.

When he initially moved in he was worried he might be lonely, but he found he’s really enjoyed it. 

“At no point was I wondering what I was doing or why I had done it. I was just really happy.” [2]

Initially, his family was uncertain whether Kris’s decision was a good one, but after seeing what it did for his well-being, they got on board with it. Now, he thinks everyone’s a bit impressed with what he’s doing.

Read: Mountain Refuge is a concept for a tiny cabin that could be built anywhere

Plans for the Future

Kris has plans to turn his land into a fully sustainable homestead, and built a workshop on site for him to do just that. His goal, however, is to build a larger workshop and eventually a two-storey home.

Before he began doing that, however, he wanted to first live on the land for a number of years to see how it reacted in different seasons.

“I wanted to see what areas got flooded, learn where the sun tracks across the sky, so I would know, when I build the house that will hopefully be the house I will live in for the rest of my life, that it’s in the right place,” he explained [2].

Kris believes his current home will last twenty years with minimal maintenance, and longer with more intensive care. For now, though, he is spending his days building new structures, maintaining the land, and surfing off of the Welsh coast.

“Right now, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.” [2]

Keep Up With Kris

Unlike many who chose to live remotely, Kris has not become a recluse by any means. Today, you can follow his progress and learn more about his lifestyle by visiting his website

Kris is happy to share his journey, and hopes to inspire others to live in a way that fulfills them. On his website, he encourages others to see themselves differently:

“I think we as people have been told that if you’re not a builder you can’t build. If you’re not a plumber you can’t plumb, and if you’re not a carpenter you can’t do woodwork. I now know from experience that this is simply not true, and I want everyone else to know it as well.” [1]

He concludes by telling his followers that they can take back control of their own lives, discover talents they did not know they had, and make a difference in their own wellbeing and their environment.

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