If you’ve ever been to a large city’s suburbs, you know the houses are packed together like sardines. Many houses don’t even have yards. And while a tiny house is teeny compared to a regular house, one thing that you need when you’re building is space. You need space to put the trailer, and then you need space around the trailer so you can lay out your walls and cut lumber and store tools. And one thing that Boston does not have is space.
Seth and I are Boston-area transplants. We’re not used to having neighbors in every direction, peeking down into our business. So when we were figuring out the logistics of building, we knew we didn’t want to try to build in our apartment driveway, where half the town could see what we’re doing, and the other half could probably hear it. On top of that, we’re renting and our lease just doesn’t line up.
We were at a loss for a good part of the winter. We had some promising leads that didn’t pan out, and I’m not gonna lie — morale was low. The avalanche of snow didn’t help much either. Our dreams of starting in April were dashed.
But thanks to some good luck and good people, we’ve teamed up with Grace Congregational United Church of Christ in Framingham to build on their property starting this month.
Grace Church is an open and affirming church located about ten minutes from the farm. In fact, they have a share through the farm, which they pick up weekly and drop off at one of the area’s food pantries. They organize a styrofoam recycling day several times per year, facilitate several community garden plots around town, and love dogs (that one’s for you, Pastor Brad).
When Seth and I met with Grace Church’s congregation to talk about building our little house in their backyard, I asked why they would so generously offer their space for nothing in return. Mary, the volunteer coordinator, said, “Well, I read your email and your proposal and I thought, ‘Tiny house, tiny church! It just seemed right.’” And we laughed, because the Grace Church is indeed small. However, our values line up quite well, and we had a good discussion about eco-friendliness and sustainability in addition to logistics.
We’ll be building in a little field behind the church and then moving the house once it’s complete. Because after all — it’s on wheels! I feel lucky to have found this unexpected community in our quest for the tiny house. Seems like the flowers opened up just for us on this one. Thank you Grace Church!