Tiny Houses are big business as more and more homeowners embrace the allure of downsizing and simplifying their lives. The “less is more” movement results from a decrease in average household sizes, an increase in environmental concerns, and a continuously challenging economy.
The lure of self sufficiency, mobility, and debt-free living drives all kinds of homeowners to go tiny. Tiny Houses are popular as primary residences, home offices, in-law suites, vacation rentals, and even homeless rehabilitation residences.
uShip alone has helped transport more than 700 of these small sanctuaries over the past seven years. Still, one of our favorite Tiny House stories comes from shipping customer, Dan Louche.
If (and When) You Build It
Dan grew up in Atlanta, among a family of men who all did the same thing: construction. If you were a man in the Louche family, you were destined to build. Dan, however, had a different plan. He wanted to break the mold. He was going to become the first Louche boy to go to college. In 2000, he graduated from the University of Central Florida and became a software engineer. Nine years later, however, the tides changed and Dan ended up riding a wave right back to his construction roots.
In 2009, a series of hurricanes through Florida seriously damaged Dan’s mother’s home. Although she still inhabited the structure, the mold was becoming problematic and she had to get out of there.
The family didn’t have the money to buy her a new house, so Dan began researching options. He was somewhat familiar with the Tiny House movement, and after a bit of investigating, it became clear that this would be the best option to get his mother into a safe home quickly.
Dan created his own blueprints, and started building. He constructed it on a trailer for mobility purposes and to keep it off the ground. Dan recalls a time during the construction process when his mother came up for a surprise visit. She questioned Dan about the project, and he scrambled to come up with an explanation. His plan was to surprise his Mom, and he didn’t want to blow his cover! Dan gave her the first best reason that came to mind. He was building a float for the local high school parade, of course!
Dan’s mother didn’t question her son’s dedication to helping the local youth, and was surprised and thrilled when he presented her with her new Tiny Home months later. According to Dan, she loves her custom built space and still lives there today.
After the success of his mother’s new home, and the attention he was getting for the design, Dan realized that whether he wanted to or not, he was going into the construction business after all. He would do it his way, and it would be a great success!
Tiny House Becomes a Home
In 2009, the same year Dan founded his own web application company, he also founded Tiny Home Builders. His company provides resources including plans, videos, workshops, and guides. His resources are wildly popular in the tiny home community, and many DIY builders claim they could not have gotten their start without the help of Dan’s products.
In 2012, Dan released his book, Tiny House Design and Construction Guide. He also launched a line of trailers specifically made for tiny houses. This is where uShip comes in!
Tiny Home Builders sells 20-25 trailers per month on average, although the winter months are typically slower. Half of these sales are picked up locally, and the other half are shipped. Dan found uShip through one of the trailer manufacturers he works with. He prefers using uShip for his shipping needs, because he finds that we are easier to use than his personal list of carriers, and we are more affordable as well.
Although builder resources are still his focus, Dan offers home building services with the help of his family. He does very few of these jobs, and keeps them local. “My dad is our primary builder now,“ Dan says. “He has over 50 years of building experience and has forgotten more than I know.”
The homes built by the Louche family can be found throughout the internet’s Tiny House archives. Dan’s own websites for Tiny House enthusiasts include Tiny House Map, Tiny House Marketplace and Tiny House Directory.
Dan enjoys being a part of the worldwide tiny home community. He says that most of his customers are “people are looking into tiny houses for financial reasons. The idea of living in a house that cost less than a car is very appealing.”
As Seen on TV
Dan and his company have been featured on NBC, Good Morning America, HGTV, Tiny House Blog, and Tiny Home Design, among countless other blogs and publications. Tiny Home Builders gives back two percent of their profits and one percent of their time to local Atlanta charity, I Care Atlanta, an organization dedicated to preventing homelessness.
If you’d like to learn more about purchasing a Tiny House, or building your own, definitely peruse Dan’s websites. If you need help shipping your new home, uShip has you covered. Just check out these success stories from happy uShip customers who are living the little life.
“FANTASTIC experience! Not only was the service friendly, but they went above and beyond to help us get the tiny house setup at its destination. I wasn’t even home when they picked it up, which made me really nervous, but they managed to handle it perfectly… got her there in perfect condition.” – Sarah M
“Great guy, great service, and great price! Took very good care of the tiny house and delivered with fantastic speed. Communication was handled very well throughout the whole process. If you need anything shipped you would be crazy to not go with this guy!! Thank you very much!” – Andrew M