Small Living in East Texas

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Grace Baldwin
(Bethany) Grace Baldwin has an Associate Degree in Journalism from Angelina College and is working on a double major of English and Journalism at Stephen F. Austin State University. She thoroughly enjoys reading, writing, and has an indelible passion for words.

Fuller Springs native Amber Cranford always knew she wanted a tiny house.

When she and her mom would watch shows about tiny houses on HGTV, Cranford was further reminded that this is what she wanted one day.

“I just always wanted [a tiny house],” Amber said. “I don’t ever want a big house. I’ve seen people convert the sheds you can buy at Home Depot, and I said, ‘I want to do that.’”

And so she is. Amber teamed up with her father, Bobby Cranford, and several other family members with construction, drafting and other related skills to create her dream tiny house at 760 square feet.

“We started planning it while I was in nursing school,” Amber said, “and as soon as I got a job, we started clearing the land.”

Amber now works for Chi St. Luke’s Memorial Hospital in Lufkin on the medical surge team, and construction of her tiny home is well on its way.

The home is being built on land owned by her family. It is designed to be completely open other than one sliding barn door into the bathroom, including the second level. 

With the addition of her home to the others on the land, the previously unregistered dirt road that sits beside her home needed a name.

“Well, if I get married my name will change, but at least my road won’t,” Amber said.

Amber said the most exciting thing to her about having a tiny house is that she will own her own house at 22-years-old. She said she will have it paid off by the time she moves in because she has been saving since childhood.

“I told her if she ever wants to go hunting she can roll right on her bed and shoot one right out the back window,” Bobby said.

Amber said she eventually wants to own other tiny houses in the mountains or on the lake.

Some of the costs have been cut by having family do all but the roof, Amber and Bobby said. Both Amber and her father do not like heights, and since they had to raise the roof much more than originally planned, they decided to hire some help.

Originally, the building was supposed to be the size of their shed, but they kept raising the roof 2 or 3 feet at a time until it was 19 feet tall.

“I can tell you it doesn’t look that high,” Amber said. “But when everything’s not walled in, I couldn’t even get on the top.”

The family plans on having the house “dried-in” as soon as possible by enclosing the structure in metal and placing the doors and windows they have ordered in to avoid rain and cold from harming the inside. Amber said the construction is set to be complete by the end of April.

The living room.
The shower.
The bedroom upstairs.
There will be a carport on one side and a patio running around two thirds of the house. Amber said construction will be finished at the end of April.
The outside of Amber’s tiny house.
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