While some people are increasing the size of their homes, others are opting to live more simply or even become nomads. That explains the continued interest in tiny homes, which allow people to streamline their lives.
The Maricopa County Home and Garden Show will highlight at least a dozen tiny homes of different styles and sizes when it runs April 30-May 2 at WestWorld of Scottsdale. Visitors can tour mini “mansions,” container homes and tiny homes with porches and other amenities.
Tiny houses tend to be 400 square feet or less, although some are larger. They’ve been on display at past home and garden shows, but this is the first time the Scottsdale location will feature a tiny home showcase.
Show Manager Katie Jones said there are several reasons for the interest in tiny homes: the popularity of HGTV shows about the homes, as well as the trends of people wanting to downsize, be more mobile or have additional living spaces on their property. Tiny houses can be used as primary homes, rentals, vacation cabins, “mother-in-law suites” and mobile homes.
Visitors can explore tiny home options at the home show.
“Even though they are small, they’ve used every space so efficiently. It’s really neat to get in there to see how different it is, but you can actually really picture yourself in one when you see it for yourself,” Jones said.
Why the tiny home trend is taking off
A builder called Uncharted Tiny Homes will show its smaller Limited and larger Mansion Elite models at the show.
Uncharted Tiny Homes has been building and remodeling homes for 12 years and got into the tiny home business five years ago. Its options include chateau, bunkhouse and mansion-style models. Tiny houses are built similar to full-size homes, except for their foundation is a trailer, not a concrete slab.
“We can recreate any design, style or shape you want. We contemplate the weight, obviously, but there are a lot of products out there that are lightweight that we could make look like a real house on a foundation, which is what we try to do. We try to keep it feeling residential,” Uncharted Tiny Homes owner Mike Partanna said.
Partanna tries to avoid features such as fold-out desks or beds because he wants people to be able to live normally in the little homes. His team uses creative layouts, including lofts, to fit everything needed inside tiny homes.
“I like to design these as a residential house. It gives you the exact feel. It’s just in a smaller package. I’m a firm believer that you don’t have to put your life away every day to use your house,” Partanna said.
The structures can be customized to meet specific needs. The company has designed tiny houses with downstairs bedrooms, nurseries, offices, walk-in closets and solar energy systems.
Partanna said buyers include first-time homeowners, retirees and families. One advantage of this style of home is that it can be more affordable than a full-size home. And financing is becoming more widely available.
Uncharted has seen the demand for tiny homes grow recently. In the past, it built about 15 tiny homes a year. In the past two months, the company has sold 10 tiny homes.
“It’s becoming more accepted and people know about it more, so it’s going crazy right now,” Partanna said.
Trends: Outdoor spaces, tile, flooring
The Maricopa County Home and Garden Show also will offer DIY workshops, make-and-take crafts and opportunities to meet vendors and contractors. There will be more than 700 booths where visitors can meet with local professionals.
“Most of the time when you come out to the show, you are talking with the business owner and not just a salesperson at the booth. It is a trade person who also owns their business,” Jones said.
Many homeowners have put a greater focus on home projects during the pandemic. They have also begun to reimagine their spaces, such as by using a closet as a home office.
Jones said many vendors will focus on outdoor entertainment and living spaces, backsplashes, tile, cabinetry, landscaping and pool products and services. DIY workshops will provide tips on shower remodels, efficient use of storage space and trends in tile, flooring and fixtures.
“What we learned at the last show and what is carrying over to this one is people are ready to hire people to come in and fix those DIY mistakes that were made. We are still focusing on the DIY because that is extremely popular. People are wanting to save money and do it themselves,” Jones said.
More home show highlights
Attendees can make and take a variety of crafts: bath salts or bath bombs, “Home Sweet Home” or “The Desert Is Calling” signs, prickly pear terracotta pots, potted agave or dandelion weed string art, beeswax candles and more.
There also will be honey sampling, obedience and dog trick demonstrations and landscape consultations with take-home designs.
Visitors celebrating their birthday month will receive a gift when they visit the information booth.
COVID-19 precautions include requiring masks (complimentary masks are available) providing sanitation stations throughout the show and widening the aisles to facilitate distancing. Many exhibitors are limiting the number of employees in their booths, sanitizing tables and chairs between uses and using digital platforms.
WestWorld of Scottsdale is a COVID-19 vaccine site, so home show visitors should use the entrance at 94th Street and Bell Road.
Maricopa County Home and Garden Show
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday-Sunday, April 30-May 2.
Where: WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 N. Pima Road. Use the entrance at 94th Street and Bell Road.
Admission: $5, $2 for ages 3-12, free for age 2 and younger; $2 for all between 2 and 5 p.m. Friday and Sunday; $2 for age 60 and older from 10 a.m. to noon Friday; $2 for military; $10 (cash only) per vehicle for parking.
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