Tiny house, big opportunity?
Brandon Voth’s first house may be tiny — by design. But it’s also a prayer come true. And the start of a new business.
“At the very beginning, when we decided we wanted to do this, we had no capital, no savings,” Voth said. “We prayed, ‘God, can you provide a way for us to do this without a loan?’”
After more than three years of planning, learning, and building, their new tiny house is now owned debt free.
The house sits along a side street next to his backyard, waiting for its first move.
The first step in construction was to buy a flatbed trailer for the base. It was purchased from Circle D in Hillsboro.
The house was built on the trailer. It includes a kitchen, living room, master bedroom, children’s bedroom, and bathroom. It will remain on the trailer while occupied by Voth; his wife, Jana; and their two children, 5-year-old Malakai and 18-month-old Aliana. The trailer will be stabilized with 10 jacks when it’s moved to its permanent location.
With his part-time job as music director at Ebenfeld Mennonite Brethren Church and his wife’s income at Prairie View and as a day-care provider, they found they were able to make it from month to month, putting any extra money toward the tiny house.
“It took a lot of intentional budgeting,” Voth said.
They bought the flatbed in February 2015, and building the house became a long-term Saturday project.
Constructing the framework wasn’t too bad, but figuring out the electrical was a challenge, Voth said.
“I spent three months studying it,” he said.
He did most of the work including the plumbing, himself, but hired someone to install the heating and air conditioning system.
The lofty living room includes a mounted video projector/DVD player on one wall and a pull down screen on the opposite wall. Two ottomans have built in drawers, and one can be made into a twin bed.
The bathroom has a one-unit washer and dryer. A remote control allows the couple to change the color of lighting in a string of lights around the top of the shower.
“That is Malakai”s favorite thing,” Brandon said. “We just needed a little extra light in the shower.”
A sliding door between the bathroom and kitchen saves space, and specially designed drawers in the kitchen provide extra storage.
The house cost about $30,000, not including the Voths’ labor.
The family hasn’t lived in their tiny house yet. They plan to move to Washington state on June 28 to live near Brandon’s parents and sisters. They have hired a company to pull the house there.
Voth is hoping to make tiny house building into a business, and he got his first client last September, a woman from northern Marion County. He started on her tiny house in November and will complete a few remaining details in the next week.
“The second house was so much easier,” he said.
His new business, New Day Tiny Home, has three other prospective customers.
“The neat thing about this business is that I can build the tiny houses wherever I am and move them wherever the customers are,” he said.
Building a tiny house is like putting a puzzle together, he said.
“I’ve always enjoyed building and figuring things out,” he said. “Tiny houses are very large puzzles. Everything has to fit in. I love that.”
He plans to establish a website after he gets more experience and his company gets more exposure.
Last modified June 20, 2018