Tiny houses, big plans: Partnership starts from great minds thinking alike

Custom home contractor H.B. Sager sits on the steps outside a tiny home he constructed. It's parked outside Shenandoah Woodworks in Maurertown. The home, which is mounted on a trailer, can be easily transported as an RV. Rich Cooley/Daily
H.B. Sager sits inside a custom tiny home he built. The 128-square-foot home is an alternative to a tradition home. Rich Cooley/Daily
The tiny home includes a kitchen sink and a bathroom. Rich Cooley/Daily

MAURERTOWN – Big things can come in small packages. Just ask Woodstock-based contractor H.B. Sager. Usually a builder of full-sized homes, his latest ventures are anything but.

Sager has begun building tiny houses, made popular by television shows touting the low maintenance and high efficiency benefits of the structures. His first offering, a pale blue and white, 128-square-foot dwelling, has been sitting in front of Shenandoah Woodworks at 24694 Old Valley Pike in Maurertown for the past three weeks and is “going viral.” Sager said that he’s received hundreds of visitors and phone calls related to the house.

Listed at $25,000, the tiny house is the first installment in a partnership between Sager and Shenandoah Woodworks. The project manager for Shenandoah Woodworks is Jason Rohde. Both said more are planned and the pair will build as many as the market dictates.

“This is about as small as you’re going to see,” Sager said. “We plan on building much bigger ones in the future, so this is a base model, price-wise.”

Rohde said the partnership between Shenandoah Woodworks and Sager was a case of great minds thinking alike.

“It was funny,” Rohde said. “We were planning on venturing into (tiny houses) ourselves and H.B. came in and said he needed some cabinets for this one and it was literally at the same time, so we went ahead and it worked out perfect. … I think it’s going to really take off. There’s a big demand and a big interest in it.”

The house, which sits on a trailer, is built much the same as a normal house, Sager said. The buyer would be buying the trailer as well, for which he or she would receive a title. In the eyes of the government, the house is classified as a recreational vehicle and falls under the personal property category.

“It’s constructed just like a house,” Sager said. “It’s the same materials you would use in a house – two-by-fours – and this siding is something you would typically see on a house. Everything is built to code. The electrical and plumbing is all to code.”

The house comes complete with a sink, a bathroom with a shower, a sleeping loft and a custom murphy-style bed slated to be added.

Sager said that of the throngs stopping by to satisfy their curiosities, all demographics have been represented. Tiny houses have become popular in recent years among first-time home buyers, younger people and those looking for lower maintenance and costs.

“Everybody (has been asking about the house),” Sager said. “It’s a phenomenon. … There’s like a revolving door of people coming by wanting to look at this thing. It’s the first one in the area. … (Younger people) love this idea. (They say) ‘I don’t want a house payment. I don’t want a mortgage payment. I don’t want to take care of a yard.'”

The house can be hooked up to plumbing and electricity and is set up for a window unit, and, due to its size, Sager said a space heater is more than adequate for heating the building.

“It’s built a lot differently than an RV,” Sager said. “It’s very heavy duty. It’s much heavier, and I spray-foamed this whole thing so it’s super insulated. Very little heat and very little cooling is needed to get this thing up (to temperature). … It’s got more than enough electricity.”

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com.

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