I am so lucky to have a sister and brother-in-law who live in the wonderful city of Austin, TX. Not only do I have a great place to visit but also a wonderful awesome family who indulges my search for Tiny Homes. As soon as I land and by soon I mean by the airport exit, my sister happily says, “I have to take you to The Noble Pig“. Whaaat??? Pork belly and fried egg, yup! Let me just say that my sis feeds me something awesome and fabulous as soon as I get off the plane.
I have digressed because Austin food is amazing. Not only are they known for food trucks but they have amazing music festivals(Austin City Limits). And, if you need a really good walk (or if you are like my sister and need to reach 25,000 steps on your fitbit), well you can walk miles and miles and miles searching the many murals of Austin. Make sure to bring some ice water (for those wonderful HOT days) or grab a snow cone along the way.
So, back to my visit to Austin – other than food, music and murals, Austin has an amazing tiny thing going on. My sister and brother-in-law, though their home is far from tiny, indulge me and support me in my tiny home enthusiasm. So, when I share with them that we must go seek out a local tiny house builder – Bo Bezdek, my sister drives me to go find Bo. At first, we thought; we must absolutely be in the wrong place as we were on a dirt road that google maps happily put us on. But, as we drive past a big gate, I scream “STOP, I see it” – two tiny houses in the back of what appeared to be a home. There is a number in the front and I call and leave a message. My sister, brother-in-law and I go grab a bite (of course we do) and Bo calls me back and even though it is late, he kindly invites us over to view the tiny homes he’s working on.
Bo and his lovely wife greet us at the gate along with their dogs and cats and gladly give us a tour. He explained that he was working on several projects. His office, he built from mostly recycled materials was his first building on the property to be built in a sustainable fashion. He explained that prior to building tiny homes, he was in the business of building big homes. He had another vision. A vision for a more sustainable and simpler life. Bo and his wife are currently building a tiny home on this same property for their family of five.
He then took us further into his property where he was working on two tiny homes, one was about a 14 foot home that someone started but realized they could not finish. It was TINY! Then he showed us one that a young couple asked him to build, with plans that they purchased from another company. Bo tweaked the plans to meet the couples needs and their own design ideas. I can tell you that Bo is building that house for about half of what it would have cost to have another company build it. He explained electrical and plumbing things to me. He also shared that a side entrance gives you much more floor space. He shared the practicality of using certain materials as opposed to others. He told me to research local kitchen, window and door companies, who will sometimes sell materials for a lesser cost because they could not use it on a particular job and now were stuck with it. Some great tips and things to consider! Stay tuned to HGTV where in July, Bo and this tiny house will be featured. He is an incredible talent. If you are in the vicinity of Austin and are planning to build a tiny home or are just thinking about it, please check him out at Austin Tiny Homes.
I can tell you one thing that I have found about this movement; people are gracious and always willing to talk to you about the process of going tiny. I have found most people to be so generous with their time and knowledge.
A special thanks to my sis and brother for not only supporting me and driving me around, but for being especially inquisitive along with me. A special thank you to my sister who, may think I am slightly crazy because her closet is about the size of my dream home, but, her husband secretly would love to live in a tiny house 🙂
Stay tuned for my next post; Austin Tiny Home Community that Rocks!