Homes Magazine - Page 20 - Tiny homes, big plans

Homes Magazine
- Page 20
Tiny homes, big plans
A talk with the founders of Mid-Atlantic Tiny House Expo

A few years ago, the collegeage daughters of longtime friends Frank Hazzard and Kirk Johnson got interested in tiny houses – small dwellings, sometimes on wheels, that typically cap out at around 400 square feet.

The girls’ interest faded before their fathers had time to build them tiny houses of their own, but Hazzard and Johnson were hooked and quickly realized there were few local resources for people interested in the tiny house lifestyle. Johnson, a retired executive recruiter with building experience, and Hazzard, a retired Baltimore City fire chief with a background in marketing and trade shows, combed their talents to create the Mid-Atlantic Tiny House Expo, which debuted last fall.

This year’s Mid-Atlantic Tiny House Expo will take place at the Howard County Fairgrounds on Oct. 6 and 7. Ahead of the event, Hazzard and Johnson spoke about the appeal of tiny houses, what to expect at the expo, and what’s happening in the local tiny house industry.

What is the appeal of tiny houses?

Hazzard: There are four reasons people want these tiny houses. The first and foremost is financial – if you don’t have an expensive house to buy and maintain, you gain a lot of freedom. They range from $30,000 to $80,000.

The second reason is geographic mobility: people want to be able to hook their house on a vehicle and move without a lot of effort. Third is environmental sustainability. Some of these houses are completely off grid. And fourth is sense of community. They want to live in communities of tiny houses with other people who share their priorities in terms of finances and being carbon neutral.