Tiny houses have become a very big deal. Popular shows on HGTV and the DIY Network focus on homes that are smaller than many people’s living rooms.
Jose Gaytan of Grand Island is one of the people who loves watching those shows.
He is building a tiny home himself behind Vida Nueva Assembly of God Church, where he is an elder.
Gaytan, 38, plans to take the house on weekend fishing trips. “I like to fish,” he said. “I got fishing fever when I moved to Nebraska 18 years ago.”
The home is about 40 percent complete on the inside and 70 percent finished on the outside.
Eight feet wide and 18 feet long, the structure is built atop a double-axle mobile home trailer, so he can tow it behind his pickup. His fishing destinations are 50 or 60 miles away.
Gaytan calls the structure, which has a V-shaped front, a “one-bedroom apartment on wheels.”
He has been self-employed for six years. His skills include drywall, roofing, concrete work, siding, framing, painting, flooring, building decks and patios, landscaping and replacing window and doors.
Gaytan is doing much of the work himself. The plumbing will be done by Carlos Barcenas Sr., the pastor of Vida Nueva. Gaytan’s friend, Andrew Tobin, will handle the electrical work.
The structure will have a toilet, shower, a small septic system and a generator. The outside is covered with vinyl siding and corrugated steel metal, with a flat rubber roof on top. He will eventually add a deck on the side.
He could build it elegantly, but for his purposes there’s not much point.
Gaytan believes in repurposing whenever possible. He obtained the four windows from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.
Building the tiny house is cheaper than buying an RV or a fifth-wheel, he said. When he’s done, he will have pride of ownership.
The project will cost about $8,000 in materials.
Gaytan understands why people are interested in tiny homes. Because of the lower cost, the smaller homes give people freedom from mortgages and the freedom to move. By having less, they can appreciate life more, and indulge in their love for the outdoors.
He put a lot of thought into the layout inside, which will include a pull-out king-size bed. It’ll also have “some type of a small closet for a guy like me.”