From beginning to end, Weed High School’s tiny house was built entirely by students with “blood, sweat and tears,” said freshman Carson Bolyard. “I think that anyone who gets this will be really happy with it.”
“It was great to see it come alive,” said senior Heaven Mason who has worked on it since the beginning, when all they had was a trailer frame.
Heaven said it was a big surprise to her that they could actually put a house on it.
Damon Zeller’s construction classes started building in November 2015 and finished last week.
The tiny home on wheels is 200 square feet with a dining nook, kitchen, bathroom, closet, and bedroom loft.
Pine T&G walls, R14 fiberglass insulation, electrical system, fresh water and waste water RV hook ups, five-gallon electric hot water tank, shower, RV size refrigerator and propane range are all included.
Custom features that make it unique include: a table that folds down and out of the way, a window seat with storage underneath, shelving, a custom made front door with window, and pocket bathroom door.
Manvir Sandhu, a sophomore, designed the decorative wood and metal pocket door for the bathroom. She said she had to use materials that wouldn’t be too heavy.
The counter tops and shelves are made from the school’s old wooden gym bleachers. Sanded and stained they are a beautiful piece of school history.
Carson said Zeller likes putting a piece of the school in every project. “That’s why we put the bleachers in it,” he explained.
Heaven said fitting things that a regular sized house has into a tiny house was a challenge. “There was a lot to change because it was a tiny house,” she said.
One thing that surprised Heaven most was how much customizing could be done, and how they had to decide where to stop customizing.
The kids chose many of the custom features, said Zeller. It was a group effort done in the planning stages.
For freshman Dallas Lane, the hardest part was the roof. He explained that to reach it they had to build an extra platform on top of their indoor rolling scaffolding.
The most tedious part for him was staining the exterior, which is made of cove ship lap cedar. The roof is made from metal.
Heaven said the best and worst part of building was putting the insulation in.
“It was itchy, annoying.” She said they measured each slot in the wall, cut it the insulation and put it in. Manvir liked the partner work involved in putting in the insulation.
Carson worked on the floors, finished the stairs, cabinets and counter tops. “Overall a really fun experience,” he said.
He said they made mistakes and had to redo a lot of stuff.
“It had to be right, because we’re building it for a customer,” said Zeller.
“I’m really proud of the students,” he said. They learned construction skills, safety, measuring, and skills they’ll use for life.”
“When I first got here, I barely knew what the heck Zeller was talking about,” said Dillon.
Carson said he was ready to quit at first because he was getting a bad grade. But after Zeller talked to him, he pushed through and started learning. “It was worth it.” he said.
Now Carson, Dillon, and Heaven say they feel confident they can do repairs on their own home someday.
Heaven said she understands the whole thought process that goes into making a plan to build something.
Carson said students would sometimes come in early or stay after school to get it done.
“This is our passion. We love doing this,” he said. “It brought us all together.”
Dallas said they laughed a lot and, “It feels great to build something.”
Zeller said it’s rare for a school to do a project like a tiny house.
He explained that it’s built with all quality materials and 90% of the materials were purchased locally from Solano’s.
Carson said he feels good because of the way the tiny house looks.
Now all it needs are photos of the new owners hanging on the wall, said Dallas.
Zeller said they will be showing it off for a while before holding a silent auction to sell it in September.
Their tiny house made its debut at the Siskiyou County Fairgrounds for the Sportsman’s Expo over the weekend. It’s built on a trailer and can be pulled behind a pickup truck.
The money raised from the sale of the tiny house will fund the next one. A new trailer already waits outside the school’s shop for their next tiny house project.
For purchase information contact Weed High School at 530-938-4774. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com