Hey, guess what? We won a tiny but perfect house in a raffle held by an organization called Way of the Bard. The house was actually built by a group of teens with the help of a master craftsman, and the raffle was held to raise money for a trip to Wales, Iceland, and some other ancient sites. Anyway, I found this description of the house on the Treewild website, so I thought I’d share it with you.
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 first learned about the raffle for the small house in 2020, when my sons were attending a school on the site where the house was being built. I believed the raffle was supposed to take place that fall, so I bought several tickets even though I knew the odds weren’t in my favor. I thought the cause and the prize were worth it. However, I later found out that the raffle wouldn’t take place until the fall of 2021, and I thought my chances of winning were slim. The school even had a booth at the popular Shelburne Farmers Market, where I ended up buying one more ticket on a whim with the ten dollars I had left in my pocket at the last market of the year.
On October 30, the eve of All Hallows’ Eve, our ticket was drawn, and we unexpectedly won the tiny house. While winning the house was the easy part, getting it to our home proved to be more challenging. The house was located 1.3 miles from our home, which was just close enough to avoid requiring permits and incurring additional costs.
Our tiny house is 8×8 feet, but it has a tall sleeping loft, which makes it taller than most other tiny houses. When it was placed on a flatbed for transport, it was taller than many of the electric wires hanging on poles between its starting and ending points. We received quotes for moving the house ranging from six to ten thousand dollars, which included removing the roof for the move. However, the roof wasn’t designed to be taken off, and we were worried it wouldn’t be the same if it was removed.
That’s when we met George McRae, a renowned tow truck driver from Milton, Vermont. He claimed he could move the house without a flatbed and without lifting any electric wires (just a few telephone wires would need to be moved), using only his wrecker and two 6×6 beams. The total cost for his services was only $600. He could only give us a one-hour window for the move.
On the day of the move, I was at work when George called to say he was ready. He hitched his tow truck to the beams that the house was now attached to and pulled it right through town. We collected helpers and curious glances along the route. The house-dragging operation was almost perfect, except for one unused telephone wire that the house snapped.
Using ropes and a willow tree for leverage, George managed to place the house on a pre-laid grave pad, demonstrating his mastery of real-world physics. There’s a little more backstory in Seven Days newspaper if you’re interested.