Photo by JC Amberlyn.
KINGMAN – The tiny house being built by Jeff Holdsworth in the Butler area feels a little cramped for the normal household, and might barely suffice as a walk-in closet for some people.
But it fits the minimalist lifestyle sweeping the nation. Tiny homes use less energy, less water and take up less space.
The house is 14-foot-by-20-foot, or 280 square feet, roughly one-sixth the size of an average three-bedroom home. It has a full bathroom and galley kitchen with full-size appliances.
The main room is multipurpose with a bed and dining table that unfolds out of the wall over the couch. The television mounts to the wall. It’s got a small front porch and skinny back door.
Tiny homes are targeted toward young adults who may have just moved out of their parents’ home and haven’t accumulated a garage full of junk, or single retirees who need a place to themselves. Maybe a truck driver who’s on the road more than at home.
“I think it’s all a matter of perspective,” said Holdsworth, owner of Holdsworth Design and Construction. “Everybody has a different perspective about things. Apparently, there are people that want something small.”
A lot of people live in studio apartments, which are about the same size but lack the privacy, parking and yard that comes with the tiny house, Holdsworth mentioned.
And it’s cheaper. Holdsworth hasn’t yet calculated his exact selling price, but it’ll be around $50,000, he said. It’s the first tiny house he’s built, but if there’s interest, he’d like to build more.
Holdsworth said he’s fielded about 10 inquiries on the house just from the “For Sale” sign in the window. He’s yet to advertise it.
The challenge with tiny homes is that the city of Kingman won’t allow a single-family residence under 800 square feet, Holdsworth noted. It’s not part of the building code, just a quirky city rule, he said.
“Why? I don’t know. It doesn’t make sense,” he said.
That’s why he built his tiny home in unincorporated Mohave County, which follows the International Building Code for “essential space.”
When he went to Mohave County Development Services to apply for a building permit, people started coming out of the back offices to look at the plans, Holdsworth said.
Many municipalities across the nation have changed requirements for lot sizes to allow for tiny homes, he added.
“It’s kind of a craze in the country. They’re selling thousands in the country and interest has been phenomenal,” said Holdsworth, who taught industrial arts at Kingman High School for 13 years.