Tiny house living catches on in Central Florida

Homes on wheels built and inspected by local contractors

APOPKA, Fla. – Robin Butler’s decades of building experience is going full circle from very large to extreme small or tiny as in tiny house.

Butler is leading a local project based in Apopka inspecting tiny house projects that average about the size of a 8x24 living room but have all the comforts of home.

“Once they’ve scaled their lives down they seem happier,”  he told News 6.

Butler, a former  building contractor  is one of a team of professionals that offer digitized inspections anywhere in the country. (Think “Face time” with the inspector.)

“The inspector is looking at exactly  what the builder’s smart device is looking at, he communicates with the builder he can freeze frame put notes and arrows and then pass inspection.

They call themselves  the National Organization of Alternative Housing, NOAH .

The group was recently recognized by Foremost Insurance Company as the standard for tiny home inspections.

NOAHcertified.org  inspects them and about 30 minutes away in Leesburg,Andrew Bennett, of Trekker Trailors, builds custom tiny homes.

“We can do wood grains and metals and things like that …base price about $49,000 with all the appliances included,” Bennet told WKMGH News 6.

The tiny homes are on wheels, so finding a place for your tiny home sweet home could take you to
a mobile home community or a parcel of land for rent.

Michelle Mann, a 30-something Orlando Business woman and cancer survivor, said she is starting her life over again.

Mann is going through a divorce and is still on disability.  The tiny house is her parents and they bought the house as an investment.  They're letting her stay in the tiny home a throwback to the 1950's, complete with turquoise fridge and microwave. She even found a tiny chandelier on Amazon.com.

Mann admitted she still doesn’t know what she is going to do with all of her clothes, but her tiny house is starting to feel like home.

“I just think it’s something different if you want to step out of the box a little bit and try something you’ve never tried before and challenge yourself.”

The prices for the tiny homes start at about  $20,000, but with extras and appliances, expect to pay somewhere between $30,000 to $50,000.

For more information on tiny houses go to: NOAHcertified.org, The American Tiny House Association.com and TrekkerTrailers.com.

Note: On Thursday, November 3, 2016 Mike Holfeld will have part two of this story on News 6 at 11 p.m.

About the Author:

News 6’s Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Mike Holfeld has made Central Florida history with major investigations that have led to new policies, legislative proposals and even -- state and national laws. If you have an issue or story idea, call Mike's office at 407-521-1322.