About a year ago, my wife and I discussed the idea of me building a tiny house on our property. I had been wanting to build one for several years. We decided it would serve as a much needed guest house and a prototype/model for my business. The ultimate goal would be to steer my home improvement company in a "tiny house" direction. All along, we decided that, at the least, we'd have a cool little house on our property that would increase the value of our home.
I provided her with a rough budget, and started some sketches of what the home would look like. I had picked a spot to build, but as it drew closer to reality, she chose the ideal spot; one that is absolutely perfect! Around Thanksgiving of 2014, I started on the foundation. Before I had laid the subfloor, I changed the entire design - only keeping the floor dimensions. I never even drew a plan for the changes, basically letting the design evolve organically.
I worked mostly in my spare time, making progress some weeks, and watched it sit stagnate other weeks. As the momentum grew, I spent more and more of my days working on it. Despite having years of home improvement, remodels, and commercial construction under my tool belt, I still learned all sorts of new things that are specific to building tiny houses. I also was constantly reminded how hard it is to do most of the work alone. However, the help I did receive was invaluable. I am indebted to my friend Clark Campbell for his help installing roof sheathing (and multiple calls discussing progress on the house), as well as my dad for helping me with installing the finished roof. The sloping build site would have made it nearly impossible to do any roof work alone. Lastly, my wife Shannon was a never ending source of support and incredible ideas for design, decor, and layout. She even got down and dirty helping me install siding and landscaping! Her decision making was really the driving force that got this project completed.
As I've stated in previous blog posts, there is still some work to be done, but it has already exceeded our expectations. As we were landscaping last week, I looked at the structure and could hardly believe we had built it by ourselves. I've built some pretty cool things in my life, but not anything on the grand/small scope that was all my own design.
I am in awe of the power of social media. TinyHouseTalk.com featured our tiny house on their website on Memorial Day morning. In 24 hours, my website was visited by over 1100 people, viewing 3000+ pages, and was shared on Facebook over 500 times, pinned on Pinterest, liked on LinkedIn, and tweeted on Twitter. I received dozens of positive comments across all mediums, and even had people I don't know send me personal emails complimenting me on the build. If it results in future business, that's great. If it doesn't, at least the pride in knowing that others appreciate my work and creativity has made the journey seem worthwhile. While it wasn't the latest McMansion in Buckhead, it took up a lot of our time, some creative budgeting, and kept me awake some nights.
This blog will continue regardless of when the house is 100% complete. I hope to document other builds, or my next adventure. Thanks for the support!
Some of the wonderful comments we received:
“Just perfect and so adorable. Living smartly and beautiful here!” - Bev
“Wow! This is one of the BEST home designs I’ve seen in a long time.This particular design is so thoughtfully and beautifully laid out and just flows from one area to the next. You can bet your sweet patootie I will be keeping my eye on this tiny house company” - Sally
“Pretty damn cute, and very well constructed for such a small space….and stairs, thank you very much!” - Susan
“I’ve started a notebook of my favorite tiny houses and this one will definitely be added. I ADORE IT!!! I WANT IT!!!! GREAT GREAT JOB!!!” - Margaret
“Sweet! This is one of the best looking small lodges I have seen to date here. I appreciate the style, attention to detail, materials used, layout, colors, and overall look.” - Neil
“This one of my top favorites. It may even beat my all time favorite, The Pinafore. I keep my list of favorite features and houses along with a little secret dream that I may live in one some day…all by myself.” - Kat
“Very thoughtfully planned. I love the walkway leading to the home, the stairs and the more ample than usual headroom in the sleeping loft.” - Steve