Carol turned her dream into reality by building her own small house called “The Dragon’s Nest.” It’s a cozy 320-square-foot home tucked away in a peaceful forest on Vancouver Island. This house is a result of Carol’s determination and skill.
In 2019, faced with the challenge of building it alone, Carol took it on. She made sure to keep track of every nail, screw, and drop of glue used in the process. This deep understanding allows her to confidently maintain and repair her home.
The Dragon’s Nest reflects Carol’s artistic spirit and her love for the 1800s Roma vardo wagon style. It’s adorned with antiques and vibrant colors, creating a space that resonates with her.
Unlike her previous larger homes, The Dragon’s Nest is a downsized version, driven by a desire for simplicity. Carol started working on it in 2016, collecting reclaimed items and garage sale finds to bring her vision to life.
Building The Dragon’s Nest was a lesson in resourcefulness and patience. Carol started with a commercial earth-moving machinery hauler as the base in 2018. Due to unforeseen events, she ended up building it alone, except for installing a couple of windows. Her commitment led her to pay for new materials like plumbing, electrical wiring, and propane appliances out of pocket. Remarkably, she kept her expenses under $20,000.
Carol’s meticulous nature extends to her record-keeping. She maintained a detailed history of The Dragon’s Nest, documenting every expense in a book. This not only helped her track expenses but also showed her commitment to the project.
Carol’s building skills, developed through volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and guidance from her brother-in-law, Gary, were crucial in bringing her tiny house to life.
Living off-grid, Carol has adapted to a challenging yet rewarding lifestyle. She hauls and treats her water, relies on solar panels for electricity, and heats her home with a ventless propane heater. Waste management includes a composting toilet and a greywater pond.
Despite challenges, Carol finds peace in her tiny home, surrounded by miniature carriage horses, Toggenburg goats, chickens, heritage-breed turkeys, and bees.
Finding a legal place to park was a significant challenge due to zoning issues. However, she found a landowner willing to let her live on his land in a zoning gray area. This arrangement, though not entirely legal, provides her with a temporary solution.
At nearly 70 and living with Lupus, Carol’s choice to live in The Dragon’s Nest is not just about affordability; it’s a lifestyle choice that aligns with her values and needs.
Her community involvement continues through volunteering at the local food bank and Habitat for Humanity. She also shares her knowledge and experiences of tiny house living through her Facebook page, “The Dragon’s Nest.”
Building The Dragon’s Nest was a labor of love, filled with challenges, hard work, and moments of doubt. Yet, through perseverance, Carol created a space that is uniquely hers—a miniature paradise she loves coming home to.