If “cozy” has always been your go-to word for the perfect home, the Southern Ideal Home Show is going to make your dream come true in the extreme this weekend with a selection of model homes so tiny, you’ll feel like you’re living in a walk-in closet.
Well, the smallest model is 192 square feet, or about one quarter the size of the Oval Office in the White House.
If that’s a little too cozy, a midget mansion model is available at 363 square feet. That’s slightly bigger than half a mobile home.
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All are the work of a newly launched operation based in Spruce Pine, which is having its official unveiling at the 32nd Southern Ideal Show Friday. The show, which focuses on home renovation and landscaping trends, runs through Sunday at the Park Expo and Conference Center off Independence Boulevard in Charlotte.
Claudia Honeycutt, a spokeswoman for the tiny home builder Buck Stove, says buyers get the works, from the TV to toilet paper dispenser. She likes to refer to their models as “liveable,” which is her way of saying you’re not going to have to “go to the restroom in the shower,” as she puts it.
The houses sell for as little as $55,000 or as much as $70,000, including yard furniture and appliances. And they’re moved to your lot fully built, with a front porch. A matching storage building is also available, she says.
“I have seen tiny houses where the toilet is in the shower. I can’t do that. If you’re like me, you want the whole experience in both cases,” Honeycutt said, laughing.
“We made a decision when we got into this market that we didn’t want to have tables or beds that also serve as your dresser. We want it to be totally liveable, where you can cook a full meal, wash and dry full loads of clothes. It’s modern living at its best.”
As an added bonus, she says, the houses are “recreational vehicle certified,” meaning they can be put up at a campground, like a mobile home, and moved when you get ready for another view.
Honeycutt says her dad’s company, Buck Stove, started a division building tiny houses in January, and they view Charlotte as a community rich in potential for sales.
The Observer began writing about the tiny house trend as far back as 2014, but “tiny” back then was 500 to 600 square feet, though some are as much as 50 percent larger. Many in the small house movement see that type of growth as unsustainable and ecologically unsound, according to the popular blog The Tiny Life.
Such homes are called “accessory dwellings” and are permissible under a zoning amendment adopted by the Charlotte City Council in 2012 to help build the inventory of affordable housing. Data shows most owners of tiny homes are women and nearly 70 percent have no mortgage.
The tiny house movement fits in well with themes at the annual Southern Ideal Home Show, which is devoted to presenting the latest trends in home renovation and outdoor living in a fun way. There is an admission charge, but parking is free.
Highlights on Saturday and Sunday include celebrity guests Brett Raymer and Wayde King of the Animal Planet series “TANKED,” a show focused on their work as the world's largest manufacturer of customized aquarium installations. The duo will talk about their tank designs for celebrities.
A beer garden featuring Charlotte craft beers will also be featured this year, along with a cooking stage staffed by top chefs and food trucks.
Southern Ideal Show
Where: The Park Expo and Conference Center, 800 Briar Creek Road, off Independence Boulevard.
When: Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Free parking: WBTV is sponsoring free parking this year.
Admission: $10 at the door. Youth (15 and under) free with paying adult. Daily discounts available for seniors, teachers, active duty military, EMTs, firefighters and police, with valid ID.
Details: 704-376-6594 or visit www.SouthernIdealHomeShow.com