This past weekend, Dee Williams and the PAD crew held the Casa Pequena Tiny House Building Workshop at the Casa Verde Earth Day Festival in McMinnville, Oregon. Workshop participants got hands-on experience building and expert instruction on the construction issues specific to tiny houses, and festival-goers were introduced to the tiny house world as a practical way to reduce their environmental footprints and living expenses. The now-framed tiny house, “Casa Pequena”, will be completed in a series of follow-up workshops on specific subjects like electricity and plumbing, and the design itself will be available for sale at the Shelter Wise website. Read on for Dee Williams’ rundown of the workshop!
Over the years I’ve built go-carts, chicken coops, backyard saunas, lumpy cat-scratch towers and tiny houses. Building is one of my favorite things to do in the world, but last weekend’s Casa Pequena Tiny House Building Workshop stood out as one of the coolest builds I’ve ever been a part of.
Derin Williams of Shelter Wise masterminded the event with the goal of building a complete tiny house exterior in just two days. Derin designed the house, dubbed Casa Pequena, and prepared the construction materials to give our workshop participants an action-packed experience that used their time efficiently. Lina Menard of Niche Consulting helped us out as well, and you should click over to her great blog This is the Little Life to hear her Casa Pequena experience too! The rest of the team was our fantastic workshop participants, who came together from as far as Utah and California to get their hands dirty building tiny.
To begin, participants built the floor into a twelve-foot trailer, cut and fastened the walls together and raised them up. By the end of day one, everyone in the class had a chance to fire up drills, chops saws, the table saw and more – and they enjoyed it!. As one student put it: “I didn’t expect to have so much fun. Plus I learned how much I already knew, and what I need to work on before I start building my own little house.”
On day two of the workshop, we finished out the walls and worked as a team to lift the roof into place. After securing the roof properly, we rolled the tiny house into the center of the Casa Verde Fair so fair visitors could see what we were up to and maybe take some inspiration from the tiny take on eco-friendly living. Over fiddle music and preparations for the annual chicken tractor race (What’s a chicken tractor race, you ask? Click to find out!), we continued building. Workshop participants learned how to install windows and wrap the house to keep it moisture-proof, how to install shear panels, and how to configure the house to address wind shears and earthquake-like highway travel.
By five-o’clock Saturday afternoon, we had a road-ready tiny house and were laughing about the crazy-awesome time we’d all had. Everyone learned something new, had fun and made new contacts to support their upcoming building project. Everyone left with a shared feeling of accomplishment, but also the readiness to move forward on their own individual tiny house plans.
Many thanks to the students, Derin, Lina, DK (Derin’s pop), and Joan from PAD and Andra from Shelter Wise for making this event happen. I loved every minute of it – even the part where I went home with indestructible glue all over my hands that made a lady at work ask if I wanted to use her hand sanitizer… twice.