Tiny House Workshop vs. Tiny House Conference

Between the end of January and beginning of May, Tish and my time and brain power were focused on school. As a full time graduate student, doing research and writing papers is about all I have time for outside of the part time job I had; and Tish spends the majority of her day grading, prepping for class, answering an astounding number of e-mails from students and attending faculty meetings. Since we knew we wouldn’t have time to really start researching for our tiny house, much less start building one, until the summer months, we decided to attend a workshop and conference in an effort to feel like we are moving forward, and to absorb as much information about building (and living in) a house as we could.

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In February we attended Andrew and Gabriella Morrison’s (from TinyHouseBuild.com) first ever Tiny House Workshop in Orlando. This was the perfect opportunity for us, since we had already fallen in love with their hOMe design and our ticket to the workshop came with the plans for hOMe and the “How to Build a Tiny House” video series they put together. The workshop began with a tour of several tiny homes in a tiny house/mobile home community a few miles outside of Orlando, followed by two days packed full an incredible amount of information, not only for those building the Morrisons’ design, but for anyone planning to build their own tiny house. Andrew’s 20+ years of experience in construction proved to be invaluable and his and Gabriella’s cheerful, laid back (and hilarious) personalities made for a warm, welcoming environment. Despite coming to the conference with zero building experience, we left with more information than we could possibly remember. Andrew covered all things involved in building a tiny house and touched on topics like zoning and building codes, tools needed, tips for staying sane through the process and everything in between. They closed the workshop with a mindfulness exercise that truly helped secure for Tish and I that this is the right path for us and gave us the confidence we hoped for to go forward in the process. Due to high demand, Andrew and Gabriella have expanded their workshops to several more cities — if you’re thinking about building (or even just interested in what this whole movement is about) I’d highly recommend attending one! Find out more here….

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In April, we decided to go to the Tiny House Conference in Asheville, which was put on by Ryan Mitchell and Amy Henion. While we though this conference was designed to be a much different experience than the workshop we attended, it turned out to also be for folks who were thinking about building and/or about to start their own build. The list of speakers ran through considerations to keep in mind when planning your tiny house, things like design and efficiency, cost of the project and what kind of toilet you should use. A lot of the information was helpful, albeit brief in nature, but we felt the conference really missed out on a chance to create a sense of community among the attendees. There was very little space for networking and interacting, aside from the cocktail meet and greet the first night of the conference and the “Open Spaces” exercise at the end of the last day. We were fortunate enough to meet some great people though! We met a couple that are building here in Richmond, and the folks over at Another Tiny House Story, Jess and Dan. We loved having the chance to tour several THOWs and found some inspiration for our own build.  We hope to be able to connect with more tiny housers as we continue (start?) our own journey!

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