Tiny Homes in Texas Are Making a Big Statement, with Mimimal Environmental Impact

Painted Lady Victorian home

The tiny home movement has been well-documented over the last few years. From Ikea-cized shipping containers to groovy green treehouses, folks are pro-downsizing, as long as the digs are stylish. One company in Luling, Texas, is making tiny homes.

It’s not just the urban hipster crowd who’s into tiny homes. Brad Kittel, founder of Tiny Texas Houses, has done more than just create a demand for his salvaged material custom homes; he’s built an entire community and culture around them. (For starters, TTH accepts barter for specific goods including video production equipment and computer software for their online tutorials.)

Texas-based Kittel’s ethos of “pure salvage living” means using “materials that are 99-percent American-grown, -mined, -smelted, -formed, and created when we had such in our craftsmanship, and built to last for centuries.”

Kittel has more than 30 years of experience in salvage mining and building, so he knows his stuff. TTH uses reclaimed—and usually antique—doors, flooring, windows, hardware, windows, stained glass, claw-foot tubs, pedestal sinks, lumber, siding, roofing, cabinetry, railings, porch posts, and other decorative add-ons. The wood is usually yellow pine, old-growth fir, cypress, long leaf pine, oak, cypress, walnut, or mesquite. Low-voltage wiring for solar power options means your tiny house can even be wired off-the-grid. The goal is to create a sweet custom home, cabin, or retreat that offers a “sub-zero carbon footprint.”

spiral staircase

While that may be overstating things a bit—siting a home, no matter how small, even if it’s on wheels, still leaves a footprint, however minimal, but there’s no doubt Kittel has created the anti-pre-fab pre-fab. As its name implies, TTH designs are generally rustic, with a distinctly Western vibe. Whether you fancy a miniscule Victorian “painted lady,” Craftsman bungalow, nano-barn, modern “homesteader,” or mining shack, TTH can design your dream.

tiny house

TTH’s services range from plans and shipping of materials to building and relocating your new home. Kittel also offers workshops and the aforementioned tutorials. Expect to pay at least $50,000 for a 10’x12’ home, but with quality materials like this, you won’t be slapped with sticker-shock a few years down the road, replacing worn-out materials. When it comes to tiny homes, don’t mess with Texas.

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All images: Tiny Texas Houses