Have you ever been to a tiny house live workshop? Are you planning to attend one?
Well today's post will give you some of the details about what those weekend tiny house workshops are like!
Specifically, Matt and I help Dan Louche of Tiny Home Builders teach his hands-on tiny house building workshop in Atlanta, GA. We've taught and spoken at more than 25 tiny house events and workshops all over the country, and we especially LOVE Dan's workshops.
The Tiny Home Builders' workshops are the right combination of hands-on building experience (yes, you get to use all the power tools!) and super educational trainings on everything from electrical, plumbing, how to choose a trailer, and off grid systems and sustainable design (my specialty!). It's part classroom, part workshop, and it's really effective to learn about something in depth via the presentations, then actually go over the the tiny house you're building and try it out yourself. (Plus there's a fully-built tiny house on site).
Some people attend the workshop to learn about the "systems" and more complex elements, others to get the confidence to use power tools (for many people it's their first time using power tools or swinging hammers!), and others come to network and meet like-minded friends.
During the weekend, Dan and I switch off giving presentations and demonstrations in our areas of expertise (me: downsizing, off-grid systems, sustainable design, solar power, mobile living, etc, and Dan: everything else like building, choosing trailers, plumbing, electrical, and much more).
I love giving our presentations and talks about sustainable design, off-grid technologies (like how to incorporate PV power and greywater in your tiny home), and I love meeting everyone and answering all the questions we get!
We travel to these workshops and events in our Honda Element turned micro-camper that we converted, and everyone always seems really interested in that (sometimes more so than the actual camper and tiny house stuff!). The Element always ends up being the real darling of the weekend, and we end up giving lots of tours of our teeny tiny car-camper.
Some people at the workshop are beginners, and I personally love seeing people of all ages and backgrounds using their first power tools - the look on their faces when they use the chop saw or impact driver for the first time is priceless!
It's awesome because it really builds up your confidence and you leave feeling like "oh yeah, I can totally do this now". I always tell people the hardest part is just picking up a tool for the first time.
One of the best parts of the Tiny Home Builder's hands-on workshop is the location and tiny houses on site. It's interesting because many of the people at the workshop have decided they are building a tiny home but have never actually been inside a tiny house in real life before, so this is a great opportunity to get a real feel for how big 14, 16 or 20 feet really is. You can climb up into the loft and see how you feel about it. This is a really important experience to have before you actually build your own.
When you attend a Tiny Home Builders workshop with Dan Louche, you also get to check out the "tiny house incubator" space, which is super cool. If you know you want to build a tiny home or renovate a trailer, but you don't have the space in your yard and you don't want to have to buy all the tools for this one project, you can rent a space in the incubator and have your own workspace and access to all the tools. I love this idea and finding the build space is such a big issue for so many people without their own land, it's awesome that Dan offers this as an option.
The display tiny house that is on-site for the workshop is very small but it's great to have an example of everything we're going over in the presentations right there.
So we can talk about how the plumbing exits the tiny house, how the windows are installed, and how the trailer is designed and then show you how it all works in real life on the actual tiny house. It's much more effective than just looking at photos!
I got to meet a few of my students from the Tiny Transition + Downsizing course, which was great! We really get to know each other in the private class forum, but it's extra awesome to be able to meet up in real life after talking and sharing in the forum for a few weeks! Many attendees said the course was a great complement to the live workshop, especially if you're really ready to live tiny. (By the way, the next session of the Tiny Transition and Downsizing course begins on May 3rd and it's already filling up, so go grab your spot!).
If you want to experience the Tiny Home Builders hands-on tiny house workshop for yourself, there will be another one held in a few weeks on May 1-3. This will be the first 3-day workshop (usually they are 2 days) and this is by popular demand. People always say that they wish they could stay longer, so Dan has put together this special 3-day experience and workshop.
Dan and I also have something really awesome we're putting together for the fall (2015), it will be a very special kind of tiny house workshop and I'm super excited about it so stay tuned for that announcement.
Have you been to a tiny house workshop?
Do you hope to attend one at some point?
What do you want to get out of your tiny house workshop experience?
Let me know in the comments below. I'd love to hear about what your ideal tiny house building workshop would entail, so we can incorporate that into our future workshops!