Local residents have a new option for inexpensive housing through Black Hills Tiny Cabins and Cottages, of Spearfish, South Dakota. Owners Molle Palmer, Joe Palmer, and Corey Aldrich build homes smaller than most apartments and at a fraction of the cost of full-size houses.
Though small and far less expensive than traditional homes, these buildings are not cheaply-made. They are built small, but built well, and built to last, the owners say.
The company, originally Molle’s idea, was over a year in the making. It took Joe Palmer and Aldrich two months to build their show model, which is nearing completion, though they expect that they can now build a tiny house in a single month’s time.
Especially on the inside, their tiny house doesn’t seem all that tiny. But, at 308 square feet, plus an 88-square-foot, low-ceilinged loft, it certainly meets the ideals of the tiny house craze that’s recently swept the country…
Palmer and Aldrich live in tiny houses themselves. Palmer and his wife, Molle, built a pole barn, planning to live in it as they built a house. But they loved the 250-square-foot space so much that they decided not to build the house, preferring to live in the smaller space.
“I just liked the simplicity. The other day I cleaned the house and it took me 20 minutes to clean it, top to bottom,” said Palmer.
Palmer admits that it’s not for everyone, particularly not families with multiple children. “But for some people it could just change their whole life,” Palmer said.
Aldrich, who lives in a fifth-wheel trailer with his large dog, nodded. “Simplify it,” he said.
“I had a house that was about 1,000 square feet, just me and the dog. I didn’t need it,” Aldrich said.
For him, the smaller house size meant freedom…
The company will build their houses at their Spearfish work site, where their model home stands. A finished house will be moved to the customer’s land in one piece and lifted onto its concrete foundation with a crane.
The house can’t be over 14 feet wide if it is to be moved by a truck, which keeps the house’s final dimensions small.
These houses offer a smaller living space, but don’t skimp on amenities. The model house offers a small living room/dining room, a kitchen, a bedroom just large enough for a queen-sized bed, a bathroom with shower and flushing toilet, a bedroom closet, a utility closet, and a loft. It comes furnished with a washer and dryer, dishwasher, four-burner stove, and microwave, as well as standard hookups for electrical power and sewage…
Both Palmer and Aldrich are finish carpenters with more than 25 years of experience between them. They built their sample house to demonstrate their work.