Hands on workshop – opportunity to learn

We just got back from the Atlanta area and the Tiny Home Builders hands on workshop. While we hoped we would learn a thing or two and had put all our final ordering of equipment to start building on hold until we return, we did not know what to expect.

DSC_9898It was so worth it on so many levels.  The people we met, from author/instructor Dan, his right hand man Tom, Dan’s mom Kathy and step dad Rick, to each of the participants, they were all wonderful.  Their stories, their reasons for wanting to build Tiny, their ideas of how to approach various challenges were so intriguing.  We had several people from Florida, whom I can only imagine how they felt as we watched the storm approaching and being covered on TV.  Some were from the local area.  One a New Zealander, currently living in Atlanta. We even had one person who flew in from Hawaii. There were several ex-military who captivated us with their stories and perspectives during some of the breaks. All in all a very diverse group but all with an excitement and desire to learn – learn to build a tiny house.

One thing we found very interesting was the number of people whose primary objective was to build a Tiny House and make it available on AirBnB.  Young or old, these folks saw a business opportunity and wanted to get in on it.

The materials covered were great and we learned not only what will be very useful in building our Tiny home, but also in any home construction or project we may encounter. Framing, electrical, plumbing, all made simple and easy to understand. As a result, we are a lot more confident today about what lies ahead.  It gave us an opportunity to validate some of our designs and ideas as well as seek creative solutions to some of our challenges.  We got some great ideas on how to address the aerodynamics during towing as well as potential materials to use for our decking.  We also learned about some new brands of appliances and toilets we need to look into further.

It was a great venue for us to share our design plans and get people’s feedback. We were so excited since we received positive and helpful feedback. We may have to post our plans on this blog earlier than I had first planned.

Tiny house workshop - tools
Julia getting hands on with the tools
The hands on portion was great as we built a small structure, complete with house wrap, a window, and proper flashing.  One would think, if you have done this in your own home, how different could it be for a tiny home.  Well, it is different, especially if you have a tiny home going down the road at 60 -70 miles/100 – 120 km per hour.  Lots of details to take into consideration. One thing became clear – Tiny homes must be put together extremely well to stand up against the many forces they will be under during transportation.  As a result, if you employ the techniques we learned in this workshop, you will have a house for the ages.  It is going to stand the test of time.

There are great videos and lots of materials out there, but to touch and feel and actually use the appropriate tools gives you a much better appreciation and understanding.   You can also participate in discussions around why a certain tool over another and how to better evaluate what is right for you.

We would highly recommend this workshop to anyone, even if you want to learn or sharpen your skills to be efficiently handy around the house.  I believe they even offer an e-workshop that would allow you to do some of this from the comfort of your own home.

So, now back to our tiny house.  A few validations need to be made with a couple of the vendors. We need to order the trailer and the initial materials, and get any other small projects out of the way so once we start, we can dig right in.