DANVILLE -- Tiny homes give new meaning to the word “cozy.”
Imagine living in a place with your possessions, all within a 232-square-foot house. For one thing, you’ll probably need a lot fewer possessions.
But Denise Ryals, who builds tiny houses with her husband, Tommy, said a buyer can pack their possessions -- and the house itself -- and drive it anywhere.
“It’s all street legal,” she said. “It’s classified as an RV. (Tiny homes) are a little bit of a gray area right now.”
The Ryalses’ company, Hummingbird Housing, has been around less than a year, but will have their model tiny home featured on HGTV’s “House Hunters” Friday night at 10 p.m. It will be one of three featured as a tiny-home buyer from Savannah decides which one she wants.
Ryals said she and her husband began building tiny homes when they saw a California-based company build one for $65,000. She said she thought they could build one that was better-designed and cheaper. So they designed a tiny home that still had all of the amenities (including a full-size bathroom), but which only costs $28,500.
The house weighs about 7,500 pounds and can be hauled with an SUV or pickup truck, Ryals said. Its dimensions are 22 feet long by 8 1/2 feet wide by 13 feet high.
For that price, the house includes a loft for the bed, a full-size shower and toilet, a fold-out sofa bed, a flat panel TV, a small-sized refrigerator, a stove top, a built-in microwave, an A/C unit and a gas-powered fireplace among its amenities. The only thing not provided is a mattress for the upstairs loft. Ryals said she thinks customers will want to choose their own mattress.
Most days, the Ryals keep their tiny home at Stuckey Boone Lake in Wilkinson County, which serves as their weekend getaway.
Ryals said they designed the home to give even a big person ample room to move around, even more so than in an RV. Of course, size is relative.
“When the (HGTV) crew was here, I think they sent the biggest guy they had,” she said. “He was in there pretty tight.”
Tiny homes are a relatively new phenomena, Ryals said, and there aren’t many builders in Georgia that make them. When the woman from Savannah was trying to find a tiny home to look it over, she had to come to Danville to see the Ryalses’ house. Ryals said they were the nearest one the woman was able to find.
The episode will feature three tiny homes, Ryals’ house and two others. The episode will show the Savannah woman choosing among the three. The tiny home will become her permanent residence in Savannah.
Ryals said the growing popularity of the tiny homes is in part due to the small environmental footprint they make.
“There’s been a lot of interest in them (since we started),” she said. “We’re hoping the HGTV (episode) will propel us in this business. I think a lot of the people who buy them like them because of the small imprint they make on the Earth. ... I can’t hope to replace RVs, but this market is part of a growing trend.”
To contact writer Phillip Ramati, call 744-4334.