Life Style

A swallow quit her job to build a tiny house

PrivateSchornbach, a 1,800-person town near Stuttgart. Detached houses, a small church from the 15th century, a multi-purpose hall. Anyone who has ever heard of it would not call it a cool hub where new trends emerge.

And yet there is an object in Schornbach that is known far beyond the local border and that has attracted the attention of minimalists and sustainability fans all over Germany. Even the taxi driver at the train station in the city of Schorndorf knows immediately where you want to go if you want to be driven to the Schornbach district: “You want to the House, right? “

Yes exactly. The legendary house is just 20 square meters in size and parks – yes, it is on wheels, so you can park it – currently in a driveway. It is the tiny house that 35-year-old Madeleine Krenzlin built herself. Two years ago, she decided to quit her energy job and put her savings and time into her own tiny house. She has spent the past year and a half planning and building her own house and also founding her own company – or, as she puts it, “turning her life through a meat grinder”.

“I didn’t know anything about meditation a year and a half ago, but now I meditate almost every day,” laughs Krenzlin, but he’s not kidding. Because she not only put all her muscular strength into the building, it also cost her a lot of stamina and patience: “I had stamina before that, I had to learn patience first.”

The Tiny House calls it “Junta”

The tiny house is standing, but inside it’s just a construction site. The 35-year-old has recently plastered the walls and is currently looking for an electrician to lay the power lines. So far, she’s done most of it herself. She looked at tutorials, read blogs, asked experts for advice and accepted help from her father or friends whenever she needed it. For this reason she calls the house “Junta”, Spanish for “bring together”.

Building sitePrivateFor the most part, she installed the heating and sanitary facilities herself, but now she is reaching her limits when it comes to the electrical system. But the money is getting scarce. She wants to put 40,000 euros in the Tiny House, this calculation should also work. But since construction took significantly more time than planned, the cost of living and expenses for setting up a business affect your budget.

Krenzlin fulfilled a childhood dream with the construction of the Tiny House. Good thing it would be a tiny house, she decided only two years ago. But the interest in architecture has always been there: “As a child, I went into unfinished buildings or old houses to see how they were planned. As a teenager, I drew the first floor plans. “

Read also: “Life on 9 square meters: there is a tiny house in the middle of Munich”

As an adult, she had almost forgotten the dream. She studied languages ​​and economics, became interested in renewable energies and worked 40 hours a week as a consultant in an office.

“A few years ago, a personal loss made me realize that life was finite.” It is a loss that Krenzlin does not want to talk about. But he made her think back to what she really wanted to achieve in life: she always wanted to build a house herself. “When I do something with my hands, I feel how I create something new.”

A friend had told her about Tiny Houses once, so she started reading about it on blogs and forums. She traveled to Philadelphia, USA, and attended a tiny house workshop. And then she made the decision: “During the workshop, I wrote on a piece of paper that I would quit and build a tiny house myself.”

The tiny house is said to be self-sufficient

And that’s exactly what she did. She designed her tiny house herself and developed an energy concept so that the house is also self-sufficient. When you are a guest in her tiny house today, you can hear the gas heating whirring quietly in the background. She also plans to install solar panels on a canopy to save on electricity costs.

Madeleine KrenzlinPrivateOn 20 square meters, Krenzlin has accommodated a surprisingly spacious kitchen corner, a sofa with a table, a large bathroom, as well as a work area and a bed. A rope ladder leads to the study under the ceiling. So that she can also sit upright while working, Krenzlin has left a gap open on the back of the wall to place her legs through the gap on the kitchen shelf below. The sleeping area is located above the closed bathroom and is accessible via steps.

As soon as the Tiny House is ready, she plans to move it from the entrance of her parents’ house to its destination: a weekend house place near Bonn. Then she would like to live in it, use it as an office, advise people on tiny houses, or rent the house to those who want to try out life in the smallest of spaces.

From tiny house dream to reality

Krenzlin once read that the largest group of people interested in tiny houses will never build one in the end. These tiny house dreamers, as Krenzlin calls them, are said to make up 90 percent. And that’s not just because – unlike in the United States – building a mobile tiny house in Germany is not that easy. In this country you can’t park your tiny house on wheels in the middle of the forest or in the garden of your relatives. As soon as you live in it, it has to be connected to traffic and supplied with water, electricity and sewerage – or you have to register it at a weekend house place or campsite. It is a hurdle, but not an insurmountable one.

Krenzlin thinks that there are hardly any tiny houses in Germany alone, but also because people simply dream of the tiny house without knowing what they want from life and whether the tiny house would fit into this life.

Tiny housePrivateThat is why Krenzlin has founded her own company called Indiviva, with which she wants to advise prospective customers and manufacturers of mini-houses. In her opinion, it is mainly singles in their early 20s or older people who live alone for whom a tiny house could be a good solution. It could also be interesting for traders such as hairdressers or therapists.

“The tiny house is often just an introduction to wishes that go deeper. It is a materialization of other desires. For me, it was the desire for freedom. “Because who saves on space to live, creates space in the head, so her mantra. Krenzlin likes to travel to her second home, Chile, among other places, and she doesn’t know where she wants to live in five or ten years, so she built her tiny house on a trailer.

Tiny houses are currently not included in the building law

Madeleine Krenzlin
Madeleine Krenzlin

Precisely because tiny houses offer a chance in the discussion about poverty in old age and the increase in single households, Krenzlin wants something to change in the building law and mobile tiny houses have special regulations in it. For example, the 35-year-old has installed a compost separating toilet in her tiny house and therefore does not need a sewage connection, which is however required by the building law.

In the past two years, Krenzlin has not only acquired a lot of knowledge about tiny houses, it has also made mistakes from which others can learn. In the wall she has laid pipes for cables that are “nonsense from today’s perspective”, the water connections in the bathroom and kitchen she has placed on the two extremes of the apartment and on opposite sides.

“I stand by everything as it is today and I’m happy with it, but a second tiny house would still look different.”

Would you like to learn more about Tiny House? We have summarized the most important tips and information for you:

This article was published by in December 2019. It has now been checked and updated again.


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