In a town known for grandiose mansions and elaborate architecture, two friends have teamed up to create a living space that stands in stark contrast with the monumental dwellings of Bellevue Avenue and Ocean Drive. Residents Andrew Croan and Sam Leuschner are building an 18’ x 8’ tiny house on a trailer on Butler Street, and after nearly a year of work, they’ve almost completed their fantastic feat of minimalism.
Though it’s a tiny house, construction has been no small project for Croan and Leuschner. Their work started on December 13th, 2015 when they responded to a Craigslist ad and bought a 15,000lb dual axle car trailer equipped with a simple framed shed. “We were looking for a project to do in our free time,” Croan said. “When we bought it, it was just the frame. It had no floors and no paint.”
Today, the house is fully functional, professionally wired and weather proof, a transformation that took ingenuity, careful planning, creative upcycling, and a lot of elbow grease over the past eleven months to achieve. “We’ve been using any free time we had when we’re not at work to build out the house,” Croan said. “When the weather was good on Christmas last year, we were out here working on construction.”
Working with high-quality wood and reclaimed materials, the duo used their skills to construct some impressive interior features – flooring, cabinetry, countertops, a dining area, loft spaces, a custom staircase, a custom ladder wall and plenty of creative storage solutions.
“All the wood is Doug Fir and Southern Yellow Pine. A lot of the materials were left over from boat projects,” explained Leuschner, who has worked in Newport for ten years building boats. The home’s propane stove was also a boat stove in its past life.
Some features of the home took many hours to plan and construct. “The staircase stringer took me about a week to make out of one piece of wood,” Leuschner said. “I’m also planning on making several drawers to the bottom risers for added storage space.”
At the top of the staircase is a loft space large enough to fit a queen mattress. Underneath the stairs and loft is the kitchen, complete with refrigerator, countertop space for cooking, stove and a sink.
On the other corner of the house, situated above a soon-to-be bathroom and closet area, is another, smaller loft space. “It’s a great utility storage area, or it could even serve as a sleeping area for a kid,” Leuschner said. The loft is accessible by a unique, custom-built wood ladder wall.
The multi-functional dining area is a particularly creative use of space. The table and seats can transform into one flat bench space or a sleeping area, with plenty of storage space underneath.
Several areas of the home, like the bathroom and a closet space, are awaiting the finishing touches. “The bathroom will have a shower and a composting toilet,” Croan said.
Croan and Leuschner designed the exterior of the house so that a porch area could be added when the home finds its permanent location. The exterior currently has a coat of primer on it, and the guys are thinking about finishing it with a blue hue in the near future.
Croan and Leuschner are ready to put this mini marvel up for sale and think it could work well for a single person, a millennial couple, or anyone looking for a little extra space. “It would be great for someone looking to have a guest house, hunting cabin, or an Airbnb spot,” Leuschner said.
If you are someone you know is interested, contact Andrew with all inquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Tiny Home details are below.
- 18’x 8’
- Propane Stove
- 2 sinks (kitchen and bathroom)
- 1 Bathroom: Shower, Composting toilet
- Multi-functional Dining area (can transform into a sleeping area)
- Loft space to fit a queen bed
- 1 closet
- 1 storage/utility loft
- Custom built staircase
- Custom built ladder wall
- Professionally wired by an electrician: 10 indoor outlets total, one outdoor outlet. (Several outlets are GFI protected)
- Fitted with all new windows
- Lots of storage space