In 1997 a man named Jay Shafer, who grew up in a 4,000 square foot home, decided to leave the "rat race" and downsize his life. He wanted to build a home that would meet his domestic needs but have limited unused space and be environmentally friendly. From this dream came the first Tumbleweed home which was 89 square feet. Since then Shafer has designed hundreds of "tiny houses" and makes the plans and tools available so that customers can build their own home based on his designs which have all been composed with meticulous attention to light, warmth, energy efficiency and proportion.
"The simple, slower lifestyle my homes have afforded is a luxury for which I am continually grateful," said Shafer.
After learning about this new home option, Ranken’s Carpentry department decided to incorporate the construction of two of the homes into their evening school curriculum.
"We thought it was a great alternative to the modular homes we used to have them build inside the shop," said Carpentry Instructor Jeff Bosick. "Once the homes were completed we would have to tear them down and most of the used materials would go into the dumpster. With the Tumbleweed Homes our students still learn the skills they need to learn and the finished product can be sold and lived in."
The two homes built by Carpentry students are now for sale and include 65 square feet of living space, a kitchen, bathroom, lofted bedroom and water hookup. The selling price for each is $6,200 and includes the trailer and title.
"This was a great educational opportunity," said Ranken President Stan Shoun. "In this day and age it is important for all of us to look for ways to do things in a more environmentally friendly way and these homes are a great way for our students to not only learn their trade but to learn the importance of green technology and sustainability."
To take a tour of one of the homes or for purchasing information, please contact Bryan Hicklin, Carpentry department head at firstname.lastname@example.org or (314) 286-4832. To learn more about Tumbleweed Homes visit www. tumbleweedhouses.com.