Never say never. Part of being a Lifestylist® is that I am a curator of things I love and want to share. Usually, that’s an unusual vintage plate, a quirky chair, or a book that I can’t put down — I need a lot of space to store all of these treasures. After seeing the stunning Clayton Designer Series Tiny Home that debuted at the Cashiers Historical Society Designer Showcase, I’ve now fallen madly in love with a tiny home, and one may be in my future.
For the first time, I’m actually thinking about letting go of some of my many collections and really thinking about what is important. Besides changing my outlook on how I want to live, this home also changed what I thought a manufactured home looks like. Architect Jeffrey Dungan of Jeffrey Dungan Architects called this home “a whole game changer” and we think you’ll agree — this home will change everything that you thought you knew about manufactured housing, and show why a manufactured home may be in your future as well.
Poplar bark siding. Hurd casement windows. Seven-inch, wide-plank hardwood flooring. Hemlock beams. All of these are materials that you would never think you would find in a manufactured home, but when Clayton teamed up with Dungan to design and build a series of luxurious tiny homes that offer all of those materials and more, magic happened.
When Keith Holdbrooks, President of the Clayton home building group came to Dallas about a year ago to tour some tiny homes at a home show, he realized that this style of home could be a perfect fit for indoor construction. Clayton is always looking for areas to expand into, and this was a great opportunity to push his team to be even more innovative with the homes that they build.
After doing some research, they found there is a legitimate market for this compact lifestyle that Millennials and retirees were searching for, as well as people that just wanted to downsize. What was missing though were homes with more luxurious materials and designs. At a chance meeting in the North Carolina mountains, Holdbrooks was introduced to Jeffrey Dungan and four months later the first Low Country model debuted at the Cashiers Design Showcase.
Yes, I said four months. If nothing else, that time frame tells you how committed everyone was to making this a success story. Both companies were ready and willing to get out of their comfort zones and rethink what really could be designed in an approximately 400-square-foot home. Selling to a want — not a need — was a different approach for Clayton, which is one of the largest builders of affordable housing in the United States. The Dungan team was apprehensive about building such a tiny space and doing it in a factory (Dungan prefers to say these homes are built in a shop — we like that term too!) but they were all in for the challenge. In fact, Dungan team members Michael Curtis and Heath Clement ended up being major contributors to the end design.
Duncan shared that “he started thinking and designing in cubic inches instead of square feet,” a concept that is changing how he looks at the traditional plans that he draws as well.
The Cashiers home was the first home to be built in the new Clayton Tiny House Shop, but there are plans to build three different series with pricing that will start in the upper $40,000. General manager Gary Hollinsworth shared that by using indoor construction techniques, the homes are built in a climate-controlled area and almost all of the construction of the home is done before the home ships. Even the porch of the Cashiers home was built and in place before the home left the shop — think about what a time savings this can be!
The sales price for the Cashiers home is just under $100,000, but keep in mind when you are buying a new manufactured home the cost of the land and some other expenses aren’t included. What’s really great news to all of us in Dallas is that Texas is one of the first areas that will be able to purchase these homes! One of their Lakeside homes will be in Athens, Texas, in the next few months — we’ll share that home as well.
We can’t help but believe that it’s time to start giving factory built housing the credit it deserves. If more architects, designers, and city officials were as open minded as Jeffrey Dungan and his team are, imagine the possibilities.