These mini-dwellings — which typically max out at 500 square feet — are all the rage for their adorable utilitarian design and lifestyle flexibility. But here in our region, where bigger-is-better has always been the real estate mindset, is there really a market for homes that are more Lilliputian than luxurious? The answer, according to Greenwich-based tiny-homes builder Craft & Sprout, is yes — but not necessarily for full-time living.
“We do about half our business in accessory structures. People here want our tiny home model for man caves/she sheds, home offices, pool houses, guesthouses, etcetera,” explains Ken Pond, who launched Craft & Sprout with his wife, Tori Pond, in 2016. (Ken previously ran a building company for 20 years; Tori was the firm’s designer.)
Part of the appeal locally is that Craft & Sprout’s tiny homes are on wheels, which means you can park them legally wherever you can park an RV or a trailer. They are registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles and are not subject to Westchester’s onerous building regulations or sky-high property tax rates (owners simply pay vehicle tax). At a cost of roughly $45,000 to $100,000, adding a tiny home to your property can often be cheaper than putting an extension on an existing home, Ken points out.
Clever storage is a must!
The Craft & Sprout model home, styled by Tori as a pool house, offers 300 charming square feet. (Dimensions: 8.5’W x 24’L x 13.25’H) The kitchen includes a farm sink and surprisingly roomy refrigerator; there’s a loft bedroom; and the compact bathroom manages to squeeze in a standup shower (Ken is 6’5” and he fits!). “Also, everything is quick connect: a garden hose for water, propane for cooking and hot water, and all the electric is plug-in; toilets are either incinerator or compost,” explains Ken.
Customers work with the Ponds “from the tires up” to design their tiny homes; buildout takes place at a site in Northern Westchester and takes about three months from start to finish. Each trailer is custom-made and delivered directly to the client.
Craft & Sprout has built and sold 12 homes in total, including two in Westchester and four in Greenwich, as well as homes in Upstate New York, the Hamptons, New Jersey, and Maryland. (At press time, they were in the process of building three additional homes.) An upcoming appearance on the HGTV hit Tiny House, Big Living is likely to increase the firm’s profile. Future plans include branching out to other tiny home styles, including gypsy wagons (known as “vardos”) and Sprinter vans.