Interview: Anderson Page – The Unexpected Beginnings Of A Tiny House Company
I first learned of Anderson Page from a posting on Reddit.com. He had uploaded a couple images of a tiny house he built along with walkthroughs of the interior and electrical system. After looking through the pictures, I started reading the comments and saw that Anderson was very active on the forums and replying to questions and offering advice. I had some questions of my own and sent him an email to see if he would be interested in an interview. He messaged me back saying he would be glad to and as it turns out he actually owns his own tiny house company in southern Vermont!
I’m pretty excited to be presenting this exclusive interview with Anderson Page, the owner of TinyHouseCrafters.com. Make sure you check out the time-lapse and walkthrough videos below, pretty neat stuff!
Could you tell me about the first tiny house you built?
I had spent most of summers and a short hiatus from college working for construction crews and I was always interested in becoming a carpenter. My senior thesis advisor was very non-chalant about what I did so I was able to work a tiny house into the guidelines.
The first tiny house I built was as my senior thesis project 2 years ago. My plan was to live in it after I finished school but an amazing opportunity opened up to move to Vermont so with the house 80% complete I sold it to a woman in upstate NY.
Time-lapse video of Anderson building his tiny house senior thesis project.
Where and how did you decide where you wanted to build it?
I finished up my class work a semester early so I had a semester’s worth of college as a budget for housing and to build the house. I wanted to find a warehouse I could build it and live at the same time. I went to college at Northeastern in Boston but that type of place just didn’t exist in the city, unless you had 10k a month. I finally found a fantastic place in Holden, MA (central MA) that Kate and I turned into a little apt/work space. It was quite the adventure, probably not the healthiest decision ever made but a ton of fun!
Were you nervous? Did you have any reservations before you built it?
A ton! I had spent 4 months planning for the build but it almost seemed to not matter once I started building.
What were some challenges you faced?
Realizing how long construction projects take. You can spend half a day just setting up for a 1-hour take. I would get really frustrated after working for 10+ hours and feeling like the project was going nowhere.
What did you learn from it?
How to build a house! A tiny house on wheels, while indeed very funky, is built no differently than a normal sized house. For my houses I do everything, the framing, all the utilities, the roof etc… and they are such fun and useful skills to have. My dream growing up was to build my own house someday and I am slowly learning all the skills to do that.
What inspired you to create your company Tiny House Crafters?
I had no real intention of starting a tiny house company per se but after the first one sold I got a contract to build a shell for a woman in Rhode Island. After a brief hiatus over the winter my girlfriend/building partner Kate and I decided to make a go of it. She is in charge of all things related to logistics and marketing. We built 2 more and successfully sold them and are hoping to build more this upcoming summer.
What are your most popular models?
We currently have 3 models, the Oacoma, the Islander, and the Sherwood. The Sherwood is our most popular model.
How long does it take from the order being placed all the way to the house getting built and delivered?
Anywhere from 3 to 6 months. It really depends on the design. If someone wants a design we have already built then it would be closer to the 3 month period.
What do you find the most rewarding about running the company?
1) Taking on projects and learning the skills that I want to. I have worked for a bunch of carpenters in the past but I have learned way more since I have branched out on my own. I find myself much more motivated when I am my own boss.
2) Having my own schedule. I love having an erratic schedule; working the long days when necessary, which is often, but then being able to take a little time off here and there whenever I want.
What would you say is the most challenging part of running this company?
Figuring out all the red tape and legalities of it! Thankfully there’s not too much. It’s all good stuff to know but I would much rather spend my time building.
What are you plans for the future for yourself and the company?
I would like to turn Tiny House Crafters into a broader building company than just tiny houses. I am hoping to branch out to other shelters on wheels such as tear-drop trailers and others that can’t be named yet.
What do you think the future looks like for the Tiny House Movement?
The Tiny House Movement is an extreme reaction to the ever-growing and ever-wasteful modern American residence, which I think is way overdue. I am worried that the movement is getting too caught up in the “cuteness” aspect of the houses and are becoming more of a fashion statement. They are in fact a very practical and should be a very beautiful housing solution for millions of Americans. I see them as a very wonderful blend of the luxuries that the 21st Century can provide to make our lives easier and more fun, while at the same time being mindful of where you live and realizing you don’t need a ton of space to be fulfilled.
What advice would you tell people out there looking to build their own personal tiny houses?
Any budget you have, double it, and any time frame you have, triple it. Also to take risks. Building a house, tiny or not, is not rocket science, and things don’t need to be perfect, houses should have character.
Anderson gives a walkthrough tour of the Sherwood Tiny House.
Anderson currently lives in southern Vermont in a town called Londonderry with his girlfriend, 2 roommates, and his two cats; Tina and Phyllis. He enjoys hiking, napping, and bicycling during the summer and skiing and snowboarding during the winter.
For additional info or to reach out to Anderson, please see links below: