About Us & FAQ

Who are you guys?

Hello! We’re Erin and Rob Hayward. We’re live on the Space Coast in Florida with our super cool dog, Proton.

Rob is a research physicist developing software for medical physics applications. Erin runs Proton Paperie & Press, a boutique printmaking studio (because her art degree was her backup plan in case physics didn’t work out).

Why are you doing this?

After graduating from Georgia Tech with our PhDs in nuclear engineering, we moved to France for a couple of years. There, we found that living in a 500 sq ft apartment gave us more than enough room… and Erin found out about the tiny house movement and quickly became obsessed. Now that we’re back in the US, we’re building a tiny house to master new skills and to bring us closer to our goals of financial independence and freedom.

Do you know what you’re doing?

Hmm… not really. We have no background in construction, but we know how to do our research! We’ll probably make a lot of mistakes, but hopefully we’ll have something resembling a house in the end.

Why put a house on a trailer?

The tiny house movement started to put houses on trailers as a way to get around building codes — many places around the US declare a space unfit for habitation if it’s less than several hundred (and in some cases, several thousand!) square feet. While there are some reasons behind these rules, the general premise that a house needs to be huge is just silly.

Additionally, the house can move!! Before our move to Florida, careers in academia seemed likely… and the life of an early-career academic can mean moving a lot, every couple of years. In the end, Rob got a permanent industry job, so we’ll be staying in Florida for quite a while. When we finish the house, we’ll probably find a place for it to live semi-permanently (and Florida is a pretty RV/travel trailer friendly place)… but I envision a huge long-term roadtrip sometime in the house’s future! πŸ™‚

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14 Comments

  1. I am so exciting to discover people right down the road that are exploring the tiny home dream! You guys sound awesome! I’d love to lend a hand to help you but I’m not too skilled. Let me know if there is something I could do to help. I’ve been looking into a tiny home but am fearful I don’t have a “legal” spot to home it. Do you have a place picked out for yours? Blessings in your journey!

  2. hi there! I saw your tiny house on Pinterest and was inspired to build one of my own. I am currently in the planning process of building one myself and was curious to see one in person to get a feel for what the space is really like. I also have questions regarding your choice on materials and construction style, probably too much to list on this email 😊
    Anywho, I enjoy watching your posts on Facebook as the house is being built, especially the purple siding!

    Regards,
    Jennifer Cintron

  3. Love your guy’s blog! Lots of useful information and helpful pictures.. I am in the beginning process of building my tiny house too got the trailer and lots of free materials from a remodel I was working on.. just unsure of using steel or wood yet.. Living in Idaho insulation is a big factor in considering which materials to use! I hope to start a blog as well I will let you guys know πŸ™‚ I am happy to see you guys are making excellent progress! Good luck with the rest of the build!! πŸ™‚

    Westin

  4. Crazy to stumble across your blog. I am from Cocoa but am currently living in northern Alabama. We are researching tiny houses and plan to attend a HOMESHOW this weekend to tour tiny homes and speak to various builders, attend seminars, etc. I was researching land options online back in Brevard county when I came across your blog.

  5. Hey Yall!

    Yall have been so helpful as I build with steel as well! Also “Steel House Frame” book you suggested, has been a a holy grail of knowledge for steel framing dummies.

    Question,

    Why did yall choose to go 16″ OC rather than 24″ OC (from the looks of it)

    Thanks you two,

    Best,

    • Glad to hear you’re finding it helpful! We didn’t really decide to go with 16 oc… It just kind of appears that way because we have so many windows. Windows require studs in certain spots, and we tried to minimize the overall number of studs (for weight) while maximizing the convenience of using building materials sized for 24 OC…. If that makes sense. Basically everything was so customized that we didn’t end up with very standard spacing sometimes!

      • Gotchya! Thank you for the speedy response, yeah I just looked at it and thought “hmm maybe they did 16 oc…” and wanted to know why if so. Yeah my design is filling up with jack and king studs quick! But that makes sense now. Theres been a few times my eyes get real close to the screen looking at the detial of yalls design.

        But thank you, y’all have really been the only in depth review of steel framing with a small house i’ve really found and it’s been wonderfully thorough. I owe y’all dinner if you even come to the Hudson Valley region of Upstate New York.

        Have yall found any condensation down the road? Yall seemed to have created a good barrrier for that.

      • Thanks Lucas! Yeah, windows are interesting for framing, aren’t they? As far as condensation, we haven’t had much trouble. Where we still have exposed studs or sheathing (a couple maintenance locations), there are no issues whatsoever. We do get a little mildew on the vinyl windows now and then, and we got rusting on our metal ceiling panels in the bathroom – mostly because I didn’t like to use the fan when I was showering because it made things cold, and it got super humid in there sometimes. But overall, nothing steel framing related!

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