03/08 Tiny Houses In Boise Still Face One Big Problem

Tiny house built by Shaun Wheeler, to be completed by the home's new owner, Shawna Embry

Tiny house built by Shaun Wheeler, to be completed by the home’s new owner, Shawna Embry

The house Shaun Wheeler is standing in can only be described as tiny. It’s 310 square feet, half the size of a semi trailer. He designed and built it from the ground up. When it’s done, it’ll have everything a normal house has, in a fraction of the space.

Wheeler owns Wheeler Homes, and builds tiny houses. He used to build typical homes, even mansions in Sun Valley. But after going to college, his mentality about housing changed.

“My college degree was in environmental studies and sustainability, so I started looking at construction differently, the way we build houses differently and couldn’t really justify doing the same old status quo,” Wheeler says.

The tiny house he is currently building is a rich midnight blue with cedar. Wheeler says although it may be simple, it’s got everything you need in a house, and more.

“We are standing in the kitchen. The whole time we’re in the kitchen and the bathroom, we’re underneath a loft. This loft is the master bedroom.”

But there’s just one problem: Once Wheeler finishes this tiny house, there is nowhere to legally park it.

The city of Boise doesn’t allow builders to put a house on a foundation unless it’s bigger than a few hundred square feet. A work-around is to build them on trailers.

But since trailers are on wheels, they fall under the jurisdiction of the Idaho Transportation Department, like an RV.

However, people aren’t really supposed to live in an RV year-round.

Read more – http://boisestatepublicradio.org/post/tiny-houses-boise-still-face-one-big-problem


Elaine Walker