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Meet the Tiny House Builders: Zyl Vardos

Tiny homes are a big trend, as Micro Week shows. They are an idea that is more popular with minimalists than with neighborhood associations and zoning boards. Many people are building their own; but, some astute companies are stepping in and building them for people who don't have the time or desire to pull together the tools, materials, and work space.

In Olympia there's a carpenter-engineer-conceptualizer named Abel Zimmerman Zyl who builds functional, structural, and artistic cohesive tiny houses at Zyl Vardos. He's also someone who has a fine time avoiding flat roofs, and in some cases avoids flat walls.There's no reason a tiny house has to be a box on wheels. Give it some curves in the metal roof, in the arched doorways, in the window treatments and artistry gets a chance to get expressive. Then, to really go off-grid, there are options for composting toilets, grey water systems, and solar power. The pricing gets tricky, and precise. Go play and live in a house that is unique and mobile.

Little Bird is about 220 square feet and about $49,500, which includes a copper roof, elegant joined woodwork in the ceiling as well as the cabinetry, and a bed on the main floor, not up some skinny ladder to a cramped loft.

Pinafore has an offset roofline that is peaked rather than rounded, which may explain the possibly higher headroom at the top of the stairs. The house is 22 feet long, so it probably has about the same area as Little Bird, 220 square feet. Is it the depth of detail that raises the price to $65,000?

Fortune Cookie gives up on the idea on flat surfaces wherever it can. The floors are flat, and so are the windows and doors, but it wouldn't be a surprise to find a later version with curves there too. The plan ranges from 18 feet to 22 feet long, so it is smaller than the others, and so is the price at $35,000. It looks like the sort of place for a hobbit with who has a bit of a dragon hoard and a need to roam beyond the Shire.
· Zyl Vardos [ZV]
· All Tiny Homes coverage [CS]
· All Micro Week coverage [CS]
Written by Tom Trimbath (whose house is an enormous 864 sq ft)