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tiny house in progress

Jason's Tiny House in progress.

A Tiny House in Beckley

Jason, a person with a disability, was watching a television show one night with his father about tiny houses and it got his attention. Subsequently, he had several conversations with his father about tiny houses, and what it would take to build one.

He started with an outbuilding, a shed. It was an average sized shed outbuilding and he could rent to own it. Which he did.

His first step was to insulate it to make it warmer as he was working. Then he put up walls over the insulation.

Jason had learned a lot about construction and general building maintenance from his father and was putting to use everything he had learned from him. He also had training in a vocational school which came in handy. While building the tiny house, there were a few things that he learned on his own. He was committed to the tiny house as his new home.

The next step was electrical wiring. As he worked he was now able to be both warmer and he could see better.

We asked Jason if he had help from anyone to draw plans for the house and he tells us that he had it all in his head and worked from there.

There were some kitchen challenges because its not like he could go to the local building store, like a Lowes, and buy cabinets off the shelf. Jason has a friend who is a carpenter and he specially built the kitchen cabinets for him. And he also built a place for the smaller kitchen sink that he had selected for the kitchen.

As for the stove, he would need a smaller stove too, and he found one in a camper. It was both smaller and lighter weight, and it runs on propane gas. The carpenter helped with a special case for the stove. Jason decided on a hardwood floor for the kitchen, one of the benefits of his construction talents. He installed a ceramic floor in the living room, the bathroom and laundry room. He has a 6 by 10 hot water tank and water line system for laundry and shower.

Jason discovered that in Beckley a house needs to be a minimum of 600 square feet. Most tiny houses are smaller, at least Jason's is; and, there is a county ordinance that would not allow him to have it considered as a home, which means he could not hook up to city water or power.

Right now, his tiny house is under construction in the yard behind his father's house. His goal is to get a piece of property and build a foundation to move his tiny house onto his own land.

Jason believes that the tiny house is the future for so many who are disabled and elderly. Being on one level it is accessible, easier to maintain and get in and out of.

Jason believes that this is an experience of a life time, to learn the ins and outs and how to do weight control to put it on a trailer. He knows there is more than one way to do about everything he has done building his home, a much different scale of building with the focus being on the need to conserve space.

Mountain State Centers for Independent Living is supporting Jason's wish to make his tiny house a permanent home and is helping him to advocate with the Beckley City Council to have the county ordinance changed.

All of us here at Mountain State are very proud of Jason, what he has learned and how has made a dream a reality. We hope that this turns into a business for him so that he can continue to live independently and make a living.

Mountain State Centers for Independent Living