What brought you to the tiny house movement?
The short answer is that in 2009 my wife and I were looking for affordable housing. We were victim to the “American Dream” ethos. We found a home and were approved to buy it. However, I was working a dead-end job and she was working a seasonal position; we didn’t have anywhere near enough money for this little home. To combat our trepidation we started looking at non-traditional homes. That led us to everything from an igloo to an RV, a cabin kit to a tiny house on wheels.
Your family has lived in more than one tiny dwelling. Can you tell us about your first tiny house? Did you design/build it yourselves? How long was the build and how long did you live in it?
Our first tiny house was 30’ long and was single level. We designed it as a napkin sketch based on what we needed to live. It was built on a salvaged Shasta RV trailer and took us nearly 14 months to build. We did all the labor except the metal roof. We had professionals install that. We lived in it for 2 years.
You sold your tiny house a few years ago and bought a travel trailer. Was it a hard decision to let go of the house? How did life compare in a travel trailer?
It was bittersweet, yes, because we put so much of “us” into our tiny house on wheels. However, we were ready to move on to the next adventure. We lived on the road for two years. I can’t possibly sum up in just one answer how life compares. I encourage folks to visit my Tiny r(E)volution website to read all about the similarities and differences.
Living "tiny" is about more than square footage, but your current 860-square-foot house wouldn't be considered "tiny" by purists. Still, you appear committed to the movement. Before we talk about the street festival, can you tell us about other projects you're involved with?
I am the Managing Editor for Tiny House Magazine. I blog weekly on Tiny House Listings and Tiny House Blog. I have two self-published books on tiny house sponsorship. I have been a keynote speaker or a featured speaker at a dozen tiny house festivals. I do about one workshop every two months or so. Plus, I am mentoring a local school system on building their own tiny house on wheels. I am all over the place!
Now, for the 2017 Tiny House NC Street Festival...what was the inspiration for this event?
Passion for non-traditional houses and passion for the great state of North Carolina.
Since this isn't being called a conference or a workshop like many other tiny house events, what can attendees expect to hear and see at the street fest?
Builders will have houses on hand. We will have a wealth of speakers. Vendors will be set up. It is truly a celebration of tiny houses in North Carolina.
Any unique features of the festival you'd like to point out?
Perch & Nest Tiny Homes will be showcasing a Feature House, which means we will be putting their unique home on a city lot complete with landscaping, etc. We want to show what a tiny house on wheels would look like in a more traditional neighborhood setting.
The festival is being held in Pink Hill, NC. It seems that North Carolina has become one of the nation's tiny house "hot spots." Can you talk a little about that?
I can talk a lot about that. *laughs* Our state is so dynamic. The western part is full of beautiful mountains. The central has some dynamic metro areas like Charlotte and Raleigh/Durham. The east coast is on the Atlantic Ocean. All between are beautiful farms. We are into agriculture as well as industry and technology.
Visit the Tiny House NC Street Festival website for more information about the April 2017 event.