The Tiny House that Could

We won a little house.  A real little but perfect little house, built by teens with the guidance of a master craftsman.  The house was raffled by a group known as Way of the Bard to finance a trip to Wales, Iceland, and a few other ancient sites.  What follows is a bit of a description from the Treewild website.

 Twenty young people are working together to build a tiny house from scratch – literally. They have milled up logs to get their boards, chiseled out mortise and tenon joints, and inlaid wide pine boards between the hemlock joists.

This 8×8′ house with an 8′ sleeping loft and a 4′ porch will be a fabulous Thoreau style cabin for the person who wins our Way of the Bard raffle.

I learned about the house in 2020 when my boys attended a school on the site where it was being built.  I think it was intended to be raffled off that fall.  I bought a lot of tickets thinking the odds weren’t great but the cause and the prize were worth it.

Then I learned it wasn’t going to be finished and raffled until the fall of 2021 I thought I didn’t stand a chance.  The school even had a booth at the popular Shelburne Farmers Market.  At the last market of the year, I had ten bucks in my pocket leftover and bought one more ticket.

Two weeks later on October 30 on the eve of all hallows’ eve, our ticket was pulled, the one I bought out of a whim and we now had a tiny home.

Okay, so we won the tiny home, that was the easy part.  Getting the tiny home to our home was going to prove to be the bigger challenge.  It was 1.3 miles from our home.  If it was 1.4 it would have meant permits that would have increased costs and likely not something we would have committed to.

As little houses go, this one is little, little 8×8  but taller than most with a spacious sleeping loft. Resting on a flatbed it’s taller than many of the electric wires that hang on poles between the two spots.   We had quotes from six to ten thousand dollars, which would include removing the roof for the move.  The roof wasn’t built for removal and we felt it would never be the same if did come off.

Enter George McRae, a legendary tow truck driver out of Milton Vermont, who claimed he could move the house without a flatbed, without lifting any electric wires (a few telephone wires would need a nudge), and only using his wrecker and two 6×6 beams.  Grand total is $600.

He’d only be able to give us a one-hour window.  I was at work when he called a few days later.   He hitched his tow truck to the beams the house was now attached to and pulled it right through town.

We collect helpers and stares along the route.  The house dragging operation was nearly perfect except for one unused telephone wire the house snapped.

Mr. McRae showed off real-world physics by managing to place the house over a pre-laid grave pad using ropes and a willow tree for leverage.

There’s a little backstory in Seven Days, check it out. 

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