Tiny House Festival comes to Vero Beach

Filed under: Florida Events,Florida News |

The first Tiny Homes Expo & Street Market in Vero Beach was held on Saturday 22nd inside and outside of the Indian River Mall and we made a quick trip to take a look at how the Tiny Homes business is developing. The last time we took a look was in November 2016 when we visited a similar event in St. Augustine.

Promoted and organized by Specialty Pop Up Events, the festival saw 18 Tiny Home owners display their homes / businesses. The event also saw numerous local business vendors turn out inside the mall to give the event an all round flavor of fun as well as a great shopping experience.

Numerous different styles of Tiny Homes were on display from homes built inside vans and school buses to full blown 30 foot homes built on trailers. Core Housing Solutions from Leesburg showed their $28,000 Tiny Home manufactured using SIPs (structural insulated panels) technology. The company owners Bruce and Shari Chatterton (pictured above) spoke about their home and how they wanted something that would be affordable but structurally sound.

“We started this business because there was a dearth of low-cost, high-quality tiny houses,” said Shari. “Tiny houses should  be about affordable housing. The shows you see on TV are focused on simplifying and downsizing, but they often feature $70,000+ houses. In reality, there are a lot of blue-collar folks who need a quality home but can’t pay that much.  Our newest, 25-foot house sells for $28,000, that’s about half of the typical low-end price for a similar home.”

“Although SIPs (structural insulated panels) are not new to the tiny house industry, metal SIPs are atypical.” said Bruce. “Thin, powder-coated steel sheets are strong and light, and they look good and stand up to weather,” said Chatterton. “We use 3-inch-thick SIPs for walls and 4-inch for the roof. They have closed-cell foam between the outer sheets. That’s a lot of insulation.”

From our look at their unique product it struck us that this type of home would be the perfect solution to housing crises around the country. In the event of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane, it seems obvious that a home like this could easily be taken to a location where there is an urgent need and used to solve an immediate housing need. The Chatterton’s seemed to feel so as well and they were happy to inform us that some progress is being made in Government as they were recently invited to appear at the inaugural Innovative Housing Showcase hosted by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) featuring new building technologies and housing solutions.

Another couple displaying their home at the festival were Richard Tilford and Elizabeth Hensley of “Little House on the HWY” who purchased a 1996 Thomas International school bus in April 2018 and converted it into a tiny home on wheels outside of Atlanta, Georgia. The couple moved into their “skoolie” on August 1st, 2018 and have now traveled through 25 states in six months. Their budget for the whole “skoolie” project was $10,000 including the purchase of the bus and they have done a terrific job of converting it into a spacious home.

“We met on a cruise ship in 2010. Traveling and working in small spaces, we got used to tiny living. Exploring together was new and exciting. It was start of something beautiful.” said the happy couple.

Brody Pankratz of Tiny Buildz brought along his 24 foot “The Spruce” model (pictured above) valued at $75,000. The home has all the comforts of a modern home including a full kitchen, bathroom with 36″ x 36″ shower, air conditioning, bay window, washer and dryer combo, propane tankless water heater and many other great features that make this a true home from home.

On a smaller scale, Kat and Mea, were happy to show us their converted 2018 Sprinter van with 85 square feet of living space. The van was nicely presented and showed what can be done if you have the desire to get out and travel on a budget. A simple but effective layout, as shown in the photo above, shows the work the two ladies put into their van. Kat and Mea built the van themselves and said “We purchased a new van for a variety of reasons and the first thing we did was cut six holes in it for windows. We were very nervous about it as we had never done this before but we learned so much along the way.”

Going even smaller with her Tiny Home was Jesse (pictured above) who showed us her van with her bedding arrangements perched on top. Next to her were Patti and Amber of pattican-gypsywagons.com displaying their custom-designed Vardo-style travel trailers (pictured below.) If you’ve ever dreamed of getting out and about and traveling this great nation then they would be delighted to make your dreams come true with a custom gypsy wagon!

So. after our visit, it was great to see that the Tiny House movement is alive and well and trying to make a huge difference in people’s lives. It is also certain that many folks are interested in tiny houses and the opportunities they afford. Naturally affordable housing is a key concern but these homes also offer their owners many other advantages such as flexibility, independence, financial prudence and an opportunity to live your life on your own terms!

If you’d like to see more photos from the festival, they can be seen at www.FloridaLeisurePhotography.com






2 Responses to Tiny House Festival comes to Vero Beach

  1. This is one of the best articles with great pictures of any tiny house show I have ever seen. Your choice of the various examples of tiny space living was very good along of your descriptions of the pictures. I bet it would be nice to see something like this ahead of an event, so crowds can see what to expect. Great job.

    Pat Dunham
    June 28, 2019 at 6:47 am

  2. Thanks for your kind words Pat. We would love to feature the Tiny House community more often but sometimes getting information about events can be a little difficult. Thanks again for taking the time to comment. We appreciate it.

    Admin - Nigel
    June 28, 2019 at 7:27 am

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