In 2010, Kunz, then 30, moved back to her parents’ house in High Falls after a 12-year absence to take a position as an art teacher at Ellenville Elementary School. She’d long dreamed of building a small house on a large property; but with a new job, “serious student debt,” and an iffy economy, realizing the dream looked a long way off. “So I decided to work backwards: Build a tiny house and save up for land,” she says….
In spring of 2012, she took the plunge, bought a 24-foot trailer, parked it outside her dad’s special-effects workshop (which is full of useful gizmos), and spent Memorial Day weekend constructing the sub-floor. Kunz was familiar with most of the tools she needed. “But I had to become adept; I’m still learning the miter saw. I used surprisingly few tools: screwdriver, circular saw, drill. The hardest thing was figuring out ways to work alone — and wrapping my head around the electric.”