As the concept of tiny homes gains headline coverage, is the 300-or-below square foot home format a keeper or a fad bound to fade? Critics argue that it only works for young people on a tiny budget. However, Rod Stambaugh, founder of La Junta, Colo.-based company Sprout Tiny Homes, believes that tiny homes have wider appeal than that. Construction Dive staffer Emily Peiffer and Stambaugh explore the future of tiny homes and his company. Peiffer writes,
Stambaugh shrugged off any concerns that the tiny house movement is just a passing fad. He did note, however, that in his experience, most buyers aren't millennials struggling to purchase traditional-sized homes. Instead, the majority of Sprout's customers are baby boomers looking to downsize after their children left the family home. "(The trend is) taking off because people are making lifestyle decisions and choices to live smaller. We see the market a little bit different than what you see on television. Most of our customers are baby boomers," he said. "They're still entrepreneurial, and they're doing it as a lifestyle decision as opposed to for necessity. And honestly, that's the kind of folks that these communities need. They're still good contributors to the local economy, and they're doing it by choice."
In an effort to cultivate that growing group of buyers looking for a lifestyle shift to tiny living, Sprout has worked with cities and communities to examine their zoning ordinances and possibly implement more tiny house-friendly regulations. "We have some experience in that now, working with several towns. They're actually asking us for recommendations on changes to zoning they need to make to satisfy the demand," Stambaugh said.