“The craze got me,” says Santerelli, who first discovered the movement while shopping for an RV. After comparing tiny houses to RVs, he concluded “there is no comparison.”
Although most RVs aren’t up to his luxury standards, tiny houses can be tailor-made to fit any aesthetic — and, perhaps more important, budget. They’re also mobile, and when done right, built to last.
“You may go through a couple of remodels, but with a tiny house, you have something that’s going to last 60-80 years,” Santarelli says. “Dollar for dollar, I believe the value is just superior to a recreational vehicle.”
Convinced the tiny trend is one with staying power, Santarelli set out to put his own high-end spin on the small spaces, starting with a version for himself. When it’s completed — and it’s close — he plans to tour the country with his wife, hopefully creating interest along the way. He shouldn’t have any trouble; drawing on more than three decades as a builder, he pulled out all the stops.
At around 455 square feet (on the larger side for a tiny house, which can start at 100 square feet), Santarelli’s custom creation has cedar siding, an all-metal roof, vaulted ceilings, and insulated windows. It also boasts a garage big enough to fit a pair of Harley-Davidsons or a golf cart — a first, according to Santarelli. “It’s going to be fully equipped,” he says, “all the bells and whistles.”