Builders and owners Randy and Theresa Maples find more with less.
How long have you been living in the tiny house?
T: Four months. We built it to live in while Randy worked on his brother’s vacation home in Blue Ridge, Ga. It has since been to Destin, Fla., Nashville, Tenn. and now Amory, Miss.
Why did you decide to build it?
T: We were in the process of moving. We knew we were going to be building the house in north Georgia. We didn’t want to stay in a hotel or rent, so we knew this was the perfect opportunity.
How long did it take?
R: 5-6 weeks. Just me, Theresa and our son Parker worked on it. I am a carpenter by trade, not just a contractor, so we worked pretty quickly. The longest part was waiting for the trailer to come in.
How much longer will you stay in the tiny house?
R: We hope to be in our new home by Thanksgiving, so about two and a half months. We then plan to sell this one and build a 32-footer to park in Florida and use as a vacation home.
What is the most challenging aspect of living in a space this small?
T: Definitely storage space for clothing.
Is privacy ever an issue?
R: Not really, because we have doors that close to the bathroom and the master bedroom. We have two doors that shut between us.
T: And, we are close anyways. We are a very close family.
What have you enjoyed most about the tiny house lifestyle?
T: Being able to move it. We’ve had it at the beach, at Disney and at the mountains. It’s nice to sleep on your own sheets and have your own towels when you’re traveling.
R: I’m a builder, so I like quality. When I go in RVs, they just aren’t this solid.
Do you plan to make more to sell?
R: There’s a really good chance we will build a shop and make some more. Nothing major, but just as a hobby and by word of mouth. Parker (their 13-year-old son) already has a name picked out for the business. I’m getting closer to retirement, but I’m more than happy to teach him.
How does cooking work?
T: We only have the bare necessities when it comes to pots and pans, so that makes it challenging. Crockpots are great for tiny houses, though. The entire plan was built around the refrigerator, because I wanted a full-size refrigerator.
R: The next one we build won’t have one quite as big. We will scale back and use that room for storage.
Do you ever entertain here?
R: We have had family here. We can fit 5-6 people in here comfortably. We also have people over to eat on picnic tables outside.
What advice would you give to someone considering a tiny house? Would you encourage them to try it?
R: I would. As a builder, I see people borrow as much money as they can to build a home, and then something happens like one of them loses a job and there can be trouble. You can get one of these relatively cheaper than a home and they’re completely customizable…
T: We have really enjoyed the tiny home experience. My advice would be to take the paring down seriously. For us, stuff is not important. It’s more about relationships.
Is there anything specific that you look forward to about being back in a regular sized house?
R: I’d like to have some recliners.
T: Just closet space.
Interview by Carmen Cristo // Photos by Lauren Wood