By Carol McIntire
DELLROY – Chris and Shannon Boone recently became part of a new trend sweeping across the country known as the Tiny House Movement.
The couple traded their 2,200 square foot, two story home in Sherrodsville for a 480 square foot tiny house near Dellroy and they love it.
It all started in October 2016 when Chris and Shannon purchased 10.25 acres of vacant land on Glendale Rd.
“We are fans of the TV show Tiny House Nation and had plans to build an 800-square foot home on the property,” Shannon explained. “I was tired of taking care of a big house and felt all the time I spent taking care of the house was taking away from time I could spend with my daughter, Kathryn.”
Luck was on the couple’s side when Chris came across a 12×14 Weaver barn his employer had for sale.
“The building was used to house med flight supplies and was insulated and had air conditioning. It also had a loft in it,” Chris said. “When I saw it, I texted a picture to Shannon.”
“It was perfect and his boss sold it to him for a very reasonable price,” Shannon noted. “I knew when he wanted to buy the building, he had a vision.”
That was the beginning of the tiny house.
Chris was involved in the construction industry most of his life and, with the assistance of his son, who is a carpenter and operates his own business, began building the tiny house.
“Family and friends provided a lot of the material for the house and deck,” Shannon explained. “They installed a pier foundation (poles in the ground with beams) to set the building on. One end of the barn was opened up to build an addition and loft and the other end was opened up and French doors were installed.”
A septic system was installed and Chris added a portable water system that chlorinates water from a large tank located outside the house and then utilizes a carbon filter inside the house. Chris said the system works fine, but they plan to drill a well at the home in the future.
Using Chris’ carpentry skills and expertise and Shannon’s decorating creativity, the couple set about to create their dream home inside.
They utilized every available inch of space. Cupboard drawers are hidden away, pots and pans are on hangers in a drawer that pulls out under the sink to save space. Even the pantry pulls out of a wall that separates the living room from the bathroom. Every inch of closet space is used to its maximum potential, and a washer and dryer fit snuggly into the ground level of the addition.
“With the limited amount of closet space, you have to make sure you rotate your wardrobe for the different seasons,” chipped in Shannon as Kathryn “Kat” pointed out her favorite features during a tour of the home. “Also, if you get something out, you must put it back. There’s no leaving things lying around,” she added.
“Kat uses the loft in the original barn for her bedroom and playroom,” Shannon explained. “Chris and I have our bedroom in the loft portion of the addition. For privacy, we built a wall between the two lofts with a door (small size, of course) for access to the other loft.”
The kitchen includes all the essentials: a 24-inch range, full size refrigerator and microwave. The living room/dining room includes a love seat, kitchen table and chairs and TV, mounted on the wall.
Kat’s loft extends about halfway across the original barn and along one side, which provides an open ceiling for the living room. Kat’s bed is snuggled into the side of the loft and overlooks the living room.
Chris used laminate flooring on the walls and knotty pine for the ceiling. The décor, on the railing (Shannon’s touch) along Kat’s bed gives the home a true country feeling. The bathroom features a tile shower and adequate room for moving around.
Heat and air conditioning are provided by a scaled-down unit hung on the wall that is controlled by a remote. They moved into the home in October 2017 and said they had no problem heating the home during the winter months.
When asked to provide advice for others considering a tiny house, Shannon was quick to reply, “Go for it. It will change your life forever and for the better!”
“There is not one negative thing about this change,” she continued. “Everything is positive. It was the best decision for our family. And, remember, tiny houses are low maintenance.”
The family unveiled their new home to friends during a Memorial Day picnic. The celebration started outdoors, but a storm forced the event indoors.
“We had eight people in here,” Shannon said pointing to the living room from the kitchen sink, “and it worked!”
Kat, who will be a second grade student at Conotton Valley elementary this fall, was happy to report she hosted a couple friends for an overnight stay. “It was fun!” she exclaimed, adding they slept on a blow up mattress in the living room.
Shannon and Chris noted that as Kat gets older, they plan to add an addition on the side of the house to provide a lower level bedroom for themselves and give their loft bedroom to Kat.
For now, the property is taking shape. A three-sided building is home to the couple’s horse and Kat’s pony. A pasture field is divided into sections for grazing. An enclosed trailer is the feed and tack room for horse supplies. And, of course, they have a few chickens on their tiny farm.
Kat is already making plans for a tiny house in her future.
“When I grow up I want a tiny house on the other end of the property!” she exclaimed.
Shannon looked down at her daughter, patted her on the head and replied, “I think we can arrange that.”