Sep 27, 2013

Living tiny is simply better for the environment, says Dan Louche, owner of Tiny Home Builders and one of the pioneers of the Tiny Home Movement.  The Atlanta-based designer/builder will display two examples of tiny houses at the upcoming Orlando Home Show, Oct. 4-6. We caught up with Dan to learn more about this pint-sized trend in housing.

What’s a tiny house?
These small structures are built on wheels, allowing them to be easily moved to the perfect location. Our houses are designed to have a warm, open feel and range in size from about 96 to 160 square feet. They contain a sleeping loft, shower and toilet, kitchen, running water and heat/A/C.

When and how did you come upon this idea?
I began building tiny houses back in 2009 when I constructed one for my mom. At that time, the house in which she was living was falling apart and becoming unlivable, so I knew I had to find her alternative housing. After researching various options, I discovered the tiny house movement and realized that it was the perfect solution for her. My father is a home builder by trade and I am software engineer, so we joined forces to improve upon this concept.

What advantages are there to a tiny house?
Tiny houses can be constructed to very high standards and still be affordable. Since they are smaller, they require substantially less materials to construct compared to conventional homes. This translates into lower costs and a lot less effort for construction. Tiny houses can also be moved very easily. They are a perfect living solution for many of the curveballs that life may throw you. Finally, living in a tiny house leads to a much simpler lifestyle, with a focus more on what’s truly important and less on belongings, so they are simply better for the environment.

Please describe the customers for these houses?
Most of our customers are what we call the “pre- and post-family” markets. Young singles and couples without children want to live mortgage-free, don’t need much space and prefer not to live with their parents. Post-family couples are empty nesters looking to downsize their lives. We also serve people who have hit financial troubles and need affordable housing.

Where are tiny houses located?
The most common location is in the backyard or side lot of a family or friend’s house. Some people are constructing them on rural land, and we’re starting to see tiny home communities cropping up, too.

Can I build my own?
Absolutely, that’s part of the fun! We sell a design and construction how-to guide, or can construct homes for customers.


OCTOBER 4-6, 2013