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Wind RIver Tiny House

A Tiny House in a Tiny Community Outside of Atlanta

By Tobias RobertsRise Writer
Apr 14, 2019

One of the most exciting developments in housing is the explosion of tiny house communities springing up around the country. These communities take away some of the challenges associated with tiny house ownership—such as zoning requirements and simply finding a place to put it—and allow likeminded homeowners to develop communities that model more sustainable livelihoods. 

RISE recently sat down to talk with Vicki Williams, the proud homeowner of a beautiful, 204 square foot tiny home located in a unique tiny home community in the Appalachian mountains of northern Georgia—about a two hour drive northwest from Atlanta.

The Home

Vicki’s tiny home was designed and built by Wind River Tiny Homes, a construction company specializing in tiny home construction located out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. While Wind River Tiny Homes built the home on wheels, Vicki had her home professionally set on piers and skirted to get it situated into the community. While the relatively mild climate of Georgia didn’t make skirting a necessity, the extra insulating material tucked around the bottom of the home reduced the amount of cold air flowing into her tiny house on wheels, protecting the exposed utility and significantly increasing the thermal performance and energy efficiency of the home.

Wind River Tiny Homes
Photo Courtesy of Wind River Tiny Homes

Vicki had the tiny home community owner do the site work for her with the skirting, along with placing river rocks situated beautifully around the foundation of the home. The community also helped get into place the pathways and utility hookups for her home.

Wind River Tiny Homes deck
Photo Courtesy of Wind River Tiny Homes

For bathing, Vicki’s home has a unique outdoor shower. A site-built deck adds outdoor living space for the home, with an awning and booth where the outdoor shower is located. Inside, the unique floor plan maximizes the amount of livable space. Vicki also worked with the builders to include all different types of deluxe features, including custom cabinets, stainless steel counter tops, and a built-in couch with custom upholstery.

Tiny Homes kitchen
Photo Courtesy of Wind River Tiny Homes

The Community 

Vicki had lived in different homes of reduced square footage in the past. A 200 square foot home on wheels, however, would most likely have led to certain legal challenges had she tried to find a plot of land for the home on her own. Fortunately, she was able to find Little River Escape, a unique tiny home community located in the beautiful, mountainous landscape of Lookout Mountain in northern Georgia. 

Little River Escape is a private gated community that only allows tiny houses to be built. Nestled into the woods atop a 1,500 foot mountain, the community is composed of 50 acres along the East Fork of the Little River. Surrounded by forest and nature, the rustic community encourages biophilic architectural design, allowing the homesteads to blend into the surrounding natural landscape. 

The community sells plots of lands for tiny house construction, many of which are located next to the river. They also offer five year leases on 3/4+ acre wooded lots. The lots are completely move-in ready and include a driveway, patio, utilities, and natural landscaping. The community also includes a common guest house, a community pool, and river-front activities. 

An Interview with Homeowner Vicki Williams

Tell us a little bit about your house. What are the main features?

My tiny house is 24 feet long and 8.5 feet wide. I have a beautiful deck with an outdoor shower. My kitchen has stainless steel countertops and dark blue cabinets with a farmhouse sink. I decided to use a turbo, convection cooker instead of an oven with a 2 burner induction cooktop.

Tiny Homes bedroom
Photo Courtesy of Wind River Tiny Homes

Wind River built a storage couch that folds into a bed. There are storage stairs leading up to the loft, and I have four small closets for hanging my clothes and everything else. I wanted a house with a modern design, so there are nine windows and a full glass door. I like Nordic design, so we choose blue gray paint for the walls and kept the trim natural or medium stain. I have a washer and dryer combo with full shower and lots of storage.

Tiny Homes bathroom
Photo Courtesy of Wind River Tiny Homes

Why did you choose to live in a tiny home? 

Eight or nine years ago I sold my home and moved; first into 650 square foot cottage, and three years later into a 450 square foot home. I have always been somewhat of a minimalist and conscious of what was going on with the environment. I also enjoy being outside hiking, cycling and just sitting around. A friend told me about the tiny house movement, and here we are. 

I understand you live in a tiny home community. Can you tell us how that works? Does the community aspect help with codes and zoning laws? 

Little River Escape is the name of the community, and Ed Watters is the landscape architect who owns this beautiful place. He does work with the local government of the county in Georgia where we are located. It’s rural, so the zoning rules aren’t so restrictive, and he was able to develop this community. He does charge a fee for set up of your house, electric, water and septic. He is very helpful with every aspect of the move, and he has wonderful people for building the deck, sidewalks, patios, etc.

What is your favorite part of your tiny house? 

I love my kitchen; I’m standing at the counter right now. I actually love everything about this house and where I live. I feel like I’m on vacation!

tiny house stainless steel kitchen
Photo Courtesy of Wind River Tiny Homes

What would you say are some of the biggest challenges of tiny home living? 

Other than finding a place to put your house, I think storage is the biggest challenge. One of the many things Wind River excels at is creating functional and aesthetically pleasing storage. If you are attached to your stuff, it will be harder to go tiny. 

Why did you decide to have your home skirted? Does that help with energy efficiency and the thermal performance of the home? 

Our climate is not so cold that I have to skirt, but all the houses here have a mountain vibe. The sidewalk, patio, streets all are rock. It’s quite lovely.

Tiny Homes back deck
Photo Courtesy of Wind River Tiny Homes

Anything you can tell us about the natural surroundings of your home? 

We are located on Lookout Mountain in north Georgia. There are lots of trees, and when the leaves are out you feel like you have no neighbors. The lots are ¾ of an acre, heavily wooded. It’s beautiful. I can lie in bed and watch the sunrise and from the deck or from any west facing window, watch it set. 

If you could offer one piece of advice to people interested in building and living in a tiny home, what would it be? 

Do your homework and find a good builder. Know where you are going to live before you build. Unless you are building your own home and have land, most people underestimate the cost.

Disclaimer: This article does not constitute a product endorsement however Rise does reserve the right to recommend relevant products based on the articles content to provide a more comprehensive experience for the reader.Last Modified: 2020-04-24T02:28:02+0000
Tobias Roberts

Article by:

Tobias Roberts

Tobias runs an agroecology farm and a natural building collective in the mountains of El Salvador. He specializes in earthen construction methods and uses permaculture design methods to integrate structures into the sustainability of the landscape.