I am fascinated by Tiny Houses. Gadgets and space saving tricks are so interesting in these little abodes. Plus, the notion of literally “leaving it all behind” mesmerizes me. Another perk about having a house on wheels is getting to take it with us where ever we move.
Who likes packing? Yea, me neither. I’ve done plenty of packing in my day. After moving to six different places in the last 7 years and about to move again, I’m wishing we would have just had a tiny house to pull along with us for the ride! Oh, and we are about to move again this summer.
So with all that said, in our humble town, there is a home builder that has set up shop. American Tiny House has been building energy efficient dwellings for years. Andrew, the owner, was so gracious to let me interview him regarding the building methods and materials used in creating home sweet homes.
One of the most important aspects of a tiny house is the foundation – just like any house. American Tiny House uses trailers specifically made for tiny houses and are designed to be stronger than any other trailer out there but lighter. There is attention to detail in the manufacturing such as the welded metal cap at the end of joists. Also there is underpinning that the plumbing goes in instead of just hanging under the trailer. This ensures that nothing will be knocked out of place while driving down the road. I don’t want to forget to mention that these trailers come equipped with heavy duty scissor jacks. They aren’t messing around with the foundation!
Speaking of the quality of materials used for building these homes, let’s talk about insulation. My father-in-law builds energy efficient homes, and one of the things he has taught us is the importance of insulation and making a home almost air tight. After the framing is attached to the trailer(with noncorrosive screws used for studs), American Tiny House uses closed cell spray foam insulation in the floor, walls, and ceiling. Not only does this make for some ridiculously great energy savings, the use of spray foam makes the tiny house 30% more structurally sound than usual houses and air tight to save on energy.
Latest built homes have been shipped all over the US including San Francisco, Colorado, California, and Port Naches, Texas. The owner in San Francisco reports only using solar power for electricity, but other energy options are propane and being on the grid. While stationary, the battery is stored under the trailer. With LED lights and low E double pane windows, solar energy is made even more feasible.
Other notable features of American Tiny Houses are that the heat and A/C are a mini split 220 SEER. A 50 year metal roof is used for the build. For water resistance and as an additional air barrier a zip system for sheathing is utilized. Lastly, siding can be just about anything – cedar, hardy plank, tongue and groove, metal, or metal/cedar mix.
With all this consideration for the energy savings, this builder also makes each home specific for each owner’s lifestyle. Customizations have included fold down tables, modern metal hand rails with cables, cat walks, sleep cubbies for pets(how cute!), triple deck bunkbeds, and even a litter box cubby that vents to the outside. And they can do all this in a 7 week turnaround time. American Tiny House caters to the customer and their vision of a tiny house and lifestyle around it.
Want to know more about American Tiny House? Catch the Tiny House Nation episode airing on June 4th on HGTV. They will be featured! If you are in the market for a tiny house or curious about the building process, then check out their website, facebook, twitter, pinterest, or Instagram. Or check out this local news video interview here.
(PS A new additional build shop will be opening up in about 3 months in Billings, Montana. Be sure to like, follow, or visit the social media sites to stay up-to-date on their latest news!)