Spencer Sousa constructs houses that are just like any other – except there’s one catch.
“The tiny house has everything a regular house would have,” Sousa said. “It’s got a refrigerator, a gas burning range, it’s got a microwave, a washer dryer duo. Everything a regular house has, it has just on a smaller scale.”
Sousa, a Conway native, started building the houses as a freshman in high school after being inspired by a video he saw on YouTube. Now, he’s sold two homes and is working to sell his third and most expensive.
“I thought it was the coolest thing,” Sousa said. “At that point I was kind of into construction and building and I enjoyed it and I built the first, sold it, and started the second and sold that one and now I’m on the third and looking to sell that as well.”
Building tiny houses comes with challenges, Sousa said. While he designs them all himself, he said that aspects such as storage become more difficult.
Now, his third home is 350 square feet and is built on a 36-foot trailer, making it the biggest ones he’s built. Outside the house is donned with rough sawn lumber, cut from trees in Aynor. Inside, the house has two lofts, a kitchen, bathroom and ‘living space.’
Sousa said he is selling the home for $57,000, and hopes to start on other homes shortly after. Sousa said he one day wants to live in a tiny house himself.
“When I started my first tiny house my intentions were to live in it and it actually started gaining popularity in the area and I ended up selling that and I started on the second,” Sousa said. “I’d eventually like to live in one myself and build one specifically for me and keep on with the building.
“Obviously, living in a tiny house, you gotta be able to give up like a lot of clothes and just a lot of things,” Sousa said. “If you wanna go tiny you’ve gotta get rid of stuff, but living in a tiny house, that can save you a lot of money and you’re able to travel more, be outdoors more and not care so much about your house and stuff and your things.”
And for South Carolina, tiny homes are starting to catch on.
Sousa said that tiny houses are more common in California and in Western states, but that “a trend’s starting to pick up around the area.”
“What gets me excited about building the tiny houses is I can build a house that’s cost effective and that somebody can live in full-time,” he said. “You can live in a smaller home and not have to, you may have to give up some things, but you can still live a simple life.”