Building Tiny Homes as a Form of Addiction Therapy

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Christopher Merklinger, a 56 year old recovering drug addict, build his first tiny house with the help an Amish community near Owen Sound, Canada. Today he runs his own tiny house company, Litl Hausen, and the daily effort of constructing these homes has become an integral part of his healing journey, and life in general. Chris is also sure that it is the low cost and small size of tiny houses, which can give people struggling with addictions, homelessness and trauma a safe place to call their own. With his company he hopes to pay it forward, by offering affordable and well-built tiny homes, which can also be taken completely off-the-grid.

frame

The tiny houses Chris builds are made of cedar wood, and finished with 1″x2″ tongue and groove. Cedar wood contains oils that naturally protect against mold, temperature variations, moisture and insect infestation. The cabins are also fully insulated using urea free spray foam insulation, with optional Rfoil Insulation. To make them easily transportable, the cabins are built on 16′ or 18′ trailers, depending on the size.

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side

The cabins are heated with a Dickinson Newport Heater 9000, which can double as a fireplace. The combustion process of this heater is totally isolated with a unique direct vent system. For the off-the-grid option, future owners can opt for Solar Packages by Go Power. All wiring is done to code by Dunn’s Electric of Owen Sound, while the company also installs all solar panels.

kitchen

The cabins come with a steel roof and critter proof flashing. They are also fitted with Low E thermal arctic series windows, to ensure maximum insulation properties even in very cold climates. The add-on options include a water heater, a fully equipped kitchen, and a bathroom with a shower and toilet. All the electrical, plumbing, and gas hook ups are installed by certified professionals.

living

The prices of the cabins depend on the level of extra options the customer opts for. The off-the-grid option is a great choice for using as a guesthouse, cabin, or the primary residence for anyone wishing to experience the simple, clutter-free life.

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  • Jamie Bellomy

    We live in Columbus Ohio where there is a ministry for addicts. They started a small business called Como Restoration where the people in recovery do painting, landscaping, remodeling, plumbing, electrical, etc… I think this is a great idea both from a living perspective as well as a work perspective.

  • Alexander López

    It’s amazing how meaningful manual work and increased nature contact are so efective to overcome addictions. There’s a lesson in there for all of us.

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