This Teen Has Her Own House, You'll Never Believe Why

We all wanted our own houses when we were teens, for some wacky reasons usually, but this Georgia teen managed it for real, with her family's support.

A Big Step

A Big StepSuzannah Kolbeck

There's probably not a teenager in the world who hasn't dreamt of living on their own. After all, how else are you going to get a home with a built-in water slide and endless video games? Well two years ago, this Georgia teen managed to swing it, minus the water slide and all the video games.

Meet the Owner

Meet the

Marietta, Georgia, native Sicily Kolbeck is not just the proud owner of this house, but she can also boast the titles of chief architect, builder, and even fundraiser.

It's Not What You Think

It's Not What You ThinkUnsplash /

Unlike most of us who wanted our own home for primarily selfish, and often, extravagant reasons, Kolbeck's home began as a school project when she was only 12. It certainly tops science fair volcanos.

How The Idea Came About

How The Idea Came AboutSuzannah Kolbeck

The internet can be thanked for so much of our progress nowadays, and it was no different with Kolbeck. It was the discovery of an online community of DIY builders that piqued her interest. This community focused on downsized dwellings.

Getting It Started

Getting It Startedklimkin /

Kolbeck got plenty of help from her parents; Dane, a sailor and woodworking aficionado, helped Sicily with blueprints and crafting test versions, building birdhouses and scale models. Sicily's mother, Suzannah, worked at Sicily's school as her teacher and school's founder, and she was able to serve as the home's project manager.

Funding It

Funding ItB3R3N1C3

It was in January 2013 that Sicily got started on her new home as she initiated a fundraising campaign online that would go on to reach more than her $1,500 goal, in less than a month.

Why She Opted for Tiny

Why She Opted for Tiny3211043 /

A bigger house obviously requires more funding to come together, and Sicily has said that, "My decision to build a tiny house was partly economic, partly the desire to be free."

Quality Over Quantity

Quality Over QuantityUnsplash /

At only 12, Sicily had far more foresight than most pre-teens, saying that she was sure the project could earn her "stability, possibly for the rest of my life if I build the house well."


Sicily was right when she talked about learning "life skills that really matter" from this process, including construction tools. While most 12-year-olds would just be excited to have a place of their own, Sicily was more thoughtful, saying, "Building the house I can know what labors go into a home and truly appreciate what I am living in."

Moving It Along

Moving It AlongSuzannah Kolbeck

Though working together required some initial getting used to, Dane and Sicily became a good team, helped by his newfound ability to let Sicily take the reigns.

Tragedy Struck

Tragedy StruckFacebook

On Feb. 16, Dane was suddenly taken from Sicily, and as soon as he passed, she lost the drive to continue the special project without her partner.

Going Back Home

Going Back HomeSuzannah Kolbeck

A few months after Dane's passing, Sicily was back to working on their house, with the help of Dane's old friend, Luke Blair. Blair is also a professional home builder, and he, along with others close to the family, and neighbors, were all began to pitch in with the project. The house now had much more significance to Sicily than at the beginning of the journey.

A Different Sicily

A Different SicilySuzannah Kolbeck

Though Sicily did eventually return to homebuilding, which now consisted of upgraded blueprints, she wasn't the same as before. She didn't possess the same enthusiasm for her life that she once did and found herself not paying attention in school. To take a break from her new life, Sicily and her mom took a road trip for a few weeks. By the time they came back, Sicily was determined to finish the house.

A New Start

A New StartSuzannah Kolbeck

Sicily was using some new methods to finish up her humble abode. Friends, tiny-home enthusiasts, and experts were all lending their hands. Her roof was even put on for free by a generous roofer, and she learned to wire her home from a retiree. Others helped her with the logistics of keeping a home, such as plumbing.

La Petite Maison is Revealed

La Petite Maison is Revealed

Now the image of a professional, Sicily announced in April 2014 that her home, nicknamed La Petite Maison, was finally finished. The charming home took a year-and-a-half's worth of work and $10,000, and it's on wheels so that Sicily and her mother could bring it with them on their move to Maryland. As of 2014, Sicily was embracing her newfound handiness and planning to rebuild a vintage Volkswagen Beetle.

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