*as seen in The Logbook.
Tiny Eco Homes UK Ltd are pioneers in the custom construction of tiny houses for the UK holiday and boutique residency market. Road legal, safe and each one being completely unique, founder Chris March has not found a single design that he could not create. With touches like solar paneling, indoor heating, plumbing and entirely customized interior and exteriors it’s no surprise that some boutique enthusiasts are deciding to permanently live in Tiny Eco Homes. If home is where the heart is, why shouldn’t you take it with you?
THE STORY BEHIND TINY ECO HOMES
Chris reveals that, considering his background in creating custom built road towable vehicles, it may seem like a natural progression to move into building these tiny eco-friendly homes. But it wasn’t until he saw one in America many years ago that he thought it would be a good investment of his time.
“Nobody else was doing it in Britain,” he says, “So I took the opportunity and built a proper house that you can tow behind a car.”
THAT CUSTOMISED TOUCH
There is a wonderful magic about Tiny Eco Homes. They are embodiments of the perfect dream house, specifically made to a client’s specifications and totally their own. Chris explains that he oversees the construction of each Tiny Eco Home personally, working with a team of subcontractors to shape each one from scratch. No two are alike and each one comes with its own list of challenges and unique peculiarities.
“Each person has something different that they want,” he explains, “There may be a standard foundation to work with, for example for road towable the homes are generally 7m long and about 2.5m wide and can even be double storied, but every other detail comes from the client. There are some provisions to be made regarding what is safe, but beyond that we encourage our clients to think outside the box and put down all of their ideas during the planning stages.”
After all, these are not just houses, nor are they caravans, they are homes. And this is an important definition for any client and it explains why Chris takes the time to get things absolutely perfect. Homes are important. Homes are made. They are built, and they are cherished by those who live in them.
“A client comes to me with a sketch,” he says, “That sketch represents a vision that they have, a dream. It’s my job to turn that into something that they can actually stay in, that they can actually see, travel with and love.”
WHAT TO EXPECT
A standard order will take around eight weeks to process from first contact to finished. For more intricate orders, that may require more planning and construction time, these may take up to twelve weeks. Chris is realistic with clients regarding the timelines on such orders and will generally know how long it will take before he begins.
Once completed and thoroughly tested at base, the Tiny Eco Homes are delivered, or in some cases set up onsite. This gives him the chance to demonstrate the intricacies of the Tiny Eco Home to its new residents.
EVOLUTION OF TRADE
Chris explains that he’s always been involved in building and that building Tiny Eco Homes has been a natural progression of his trade. He’s been making them professionally now for almost six years. They also build mobile bars, and a few other variations of the Tiny Eco Homes.
“I had ten years prior experience in designing and constructing of road transportable buildings,” he says, “This experience has been very important because I know what is required to make each home safe on the road. It is easier to be creative within those parameters than the other way around.”
The business is constantly evolving, he says, in addition to the road towable homes they also build park homes, lodges and homes on site. The Tiny Eco Homes are particularly useful in Glamping because they can be erected in locations where easy access is restricted due to terrain or trees.
Thanks to his background of taking on projects that have to be aesthetically appealing and yet sturdy enough to be towed behind a vehicle, there aren’t many places where Chris would feel out of his depth.
“Glamping is a great industry,” he says, “Unique accommodations in unique places offering unique views and experiences provide guests so much value for their money. However, there are few manufacturers who will build something bespoke and customized at an affordable price. But we will visit the site, discuss what needs to be done, build on our premises and assemble it onsite.”
The holiday market is a sector that Chris is interested in breaking into properly. At the moment the business runs very much on him and his project pipeline looks set to keep him very busy for the future. In addition, he is also involved in another business, an off-shoot of Tiny Eco Homes.
“It came about as a solution to a problem. We had a situation that there were no trailers or chassis available to build a tiny house on. We built our own for trailers, road transportable vehicles and cabins,” he says, “We have the corner of this market and our chassis now are sold throughout Europe. If people build a tiny house that is road towable, chances are they’ll be using one of our trailers.”
Chris responds very well to challenges and sees his business continuing to develop on a natural evolution. Looking back, he can see that his business has grown like this throughout the years. One of these natural evolutions includes involving clients in the business.
“For a number of our clients we offer a commission if they refer us to a colleague, friend or family member who wants a house,” Chris says, “This works well if they have a Tiny Eco Home at their place of residence which can be used as a viewing example. We also have a girl who works with us who used to be a client. For people who want a Tiny Eco House to live in she will source a plot for you and your little home. It’s a great set up and both of these came about through a natural progression of working together and trying new ideas.”
As Tiny Eco Homes operates in a niche market place, building and pivoting according to new ideas, suggestions and opportunities has proven to help Chris stay ahead of the competition by not always following the usual path. This works with the fact that he also is a self-confessed workaholic who is deeply in love with what he does.
“I love creating and building things,” he says, “It is what I do in my spare time, so it never feels like work to me.”
Where does Chris see his business this time next year? He reveals that they are moving to a new site after outgrowing their current one, this has been ongoing for a full year.
“It’s a bit of a logistical challenge,” he says, “We’re buying the land and it’s at the most awkward bit of this process, but it’s going to be totally worth it. We’re going to have a commercial workshop on 30 acres of land on the outskirts of a village in an area of natural beauty. It’s a development that’s going to open up a lot of doors to new ideas and possibilities. I am very excited for the new year.”
CONTACT:01434 673 798