Can someone with no experience in building or architecture successfully design and oversee the building of their own house?
Yes, they can.
You can own a house without incurring a 30-year mortgage. You can buy a brand-new house, roomy enough for a couple, for a fraction of what fixer-uppers sell for in today’s market. You can elude onerous property taxes and stop squandering thousands on rent.
We did it. You can too. We’ll show you how.
We’re hosting a two-day workshop for a limited number of guests. In addition to sharing our knowledge about designing, moving, and overseeing-the-building of tiny houses, we’re also sharing our HOUSES. Attendees are invited to explore, and enjoy, the numerous small homes included in the workshop. Fix a meal in one of the kitchens, check your mail via the wi-fi, try out a composting toilet, start a fire in the woodstove, refill a water tank, then get a good night’s sleep in a cozy loft.
Whether you’re considering a small house for a weekend getaway, as a rental investment to add to an existing property, or for your fulltime residence, spending time in ours during the workshop will help you decide if such a home is right for you.
Visit us in the charming hamlet of Livingston Manor in New York’s beautiful Catskill mountains. Depending on your location, we’re roughly two hours from the city. There are no streetlamps on our shale road so bring a headlamp. Guests who don’t wish to sleep in a house are welcome to camp on the grounds. Everyone is free to use the bathrooms, kitchens, and showers.
We’ve designed and built four small houses. Two of them are mobile and were moved multiple times. All are open for workshop attendees to examine, study, and consider. Until then, enjoy the pictures below.
Because all our houses are largely off-the-grid, our workshop also offers an introduction to the sustainable life. Guests learn how to tap a spring for their home’s water, how comfortable and hygienic a composting toilet is, the joys of heating with wood, and much more about the greener life. If you aspire to a more earth-friendly lifestyle, come see for yourself how to reduce your ecological footprint.
Join us the weekend of October 15-17 2021. The $495 fee includes accommodations, continental breakfast, sample blueprints, sample written plans, a sample builder’s contract, a sample land rental agreement for a tiny house, and a how-to guide packed with building terms, definitions, and facts.
Attendees will learn literally EVERYTHING they need to know to design, move, and oversee-the-building of their small house:
Common misconceptions about tiny houses.
The obvious nexus, and key differences, between a tiny house and a small city apartment.
Why there’s NO need to hire an architect to design your house.
How a person with NO drawing skills can create a blueprint a builder can realize.
The varying dimensions of movable houses.
The utilities that are commonplace in tiny houses.
The handful of building terms required to correctly design your house and convey your plans to a builder.
The best model trailer for a small house.
When to begin looking for a builder, how to identify the right one, how much to pay them, and how the payment plan is structured.
Municipality building codes vis-à-vis non-traditional houses.
How to find a commercial driver, and the required permits, to lawfully transport a completed house from the building site to its new home.
Where to procure homeowner’s insurance for your tiny house.
How to locate and rent land where you can park, and live in, your house.
How to draw water from a stream or pond once you’re there.
If home ownership appears an elusive goal, the idea that a novice can design their own house must seem especially unrealistic.
It won’t feel that way after a weekend with us. We’ll demystify the process, answer all your questions, help you sidestep costly freshman errors, and provide precise instructions at every turn.
None of the information we’re imparting is theoretical. Every suggestion, hard fact, tip, guideline, recommendation, etc., has been tested in one of our houses. With working remotely becoming the norm, it’s never made more sense to own a house in the country. If you’ve already begun thinking through your tiny house, we’d love to hear what you’re working on. We’ll weigh in on the plans and, if you like, do some brainstorming with you. Like anyone else with years of experience designing, building, and moving small houses, we know how to do this.
By Sunday, you will too. You’ll return to your current home with the knowhow, and the confidence, to create your next one.