ACE Academy Students Build Two Tiny Homes – Now For Sale!

ACE Academy students' Sweet Pea tiny house
A blue Sweet Pea! All photos via Ace Academy.

At PAD, we love supporting schools.  Seeing young people get their feet wet and hands sawdusty in a construction project just lights us up. We also love seeing people build off PAD’s plans, with the subtle but inevitable differences in approach and details to the original. So we’re excited to share this news from our friends at Portland’s ACE Academy, a charter high school focused on architecture, construction and engineering, who just completed work on two tiny houses on wheels based on our Sweet Pea Tiny House design.

A group of ACE Academy students built the two tiny houses as a senior project after learning construction skills as juniors. Now that the students are graduating, both houses are for sale – one complete and the other near complete. We’ll let Katie Hughes, the talented teacher/carpenter who led the project, tell you a little about the houses and the project.

“The houses are wooden framed with cedar siding.  Inside, the walls are covered in fir, salvaged from The ReBuilding Center and Lovett DeConstruction. Students planed each piece by hand, then sanded, then installed, then applied a finish. You can see where this is going—the floors, the hand-built bench seat and storage, the closets, the kitchen cupboards—all by hand, all one piece at a time.

kitchen-view
tiny-house-open-floor

A crew of four—Malik, Carlos, Juan and Luis—just won the Construction Student of the Year award. For the first time, the award was given to a team instead of an individual, and if you’d seen them work, you’d know why. They drew up the plans for each built-in, picked out the wood, turned it this way and that, deciding exactly how it would get installed, yelling to me, “Ms. Hughes, come look! This looks bomb!” And I had to agree.  Bomb it was.

The girls installed the ceilings of tongue and groove pine, cut and trimmed out the bird blocks.  They cut tiny pieces of wall boards for the exterior of the bathrooms, and yelled at the boys for doing it wrong.

bench-seat
kitchen-cabinet

The students followed PAD’s design, but also had professionals come in to wire and plumb the houses.  Students insulated inside and out, installing one inch rigid foam around the exterior of the house, under the siding, to create a thermal envelope.  They air sealed the entire inside with spray foam (also “insulating” rubber gloves, soda cans, their hard hats…they went through a lot of spray foam), and learned the basics of air leaks.

The houses are now for sale.  There are two: “The Blue One” and “The Orange One.” The Blue One is complete, and available for $45,000, or best offer.  The Orange One is incomplete, but is wired and plumbed, the interior walls and floors are done, and the kitchen cabinet is built.  It comes with appliances, and wood to finish the bathroom (cedar and ipe), and will need to be sealed.  It is being sold for $30,000, or best offer.

All funds go back to the school, and each house comes with a book with a photo of each student, a description of what they worked on, and their favorite parts.  The Sweet Pea doesn’t get sweeter than this.”

Great job, ACE Academy kids! We’re proud of you. If you have questions or want to inquire about buying either house, please contact Mark Clifford at mclifford(at)acecharterschool.org or at 971-888-3295.

 

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