Tiny Texas Houses Essay Contest Winner

“How would owning this Tiny Texas House inspire you?”

We have made the decision, after long hard hours, reading, thinking, and knowing how much this meant to all those that entered. We want to thank everyone for the incredible efforts made, their time, and patience over the last few months. We are each inspired, and finally at the end, we, the judges, are the real winners. This contest has produced so many fine essays, the love and energy that their creation took demonstrates the potential that can be released through the Pure Salvage Living Movement. This proves it can grow and benefit everyone who gets involved. We are moved and hope you are too.

Congratulations to Amelia Lankford, the winner
of our Tiny Texas “Worker’s House” Giveaway Contest

Her inspiration put to words: Amelia’s Winning Essay

What’s Your Shade of Green?
by Amelia Lankford

At first glance, this house is a rare beauty. Look a bit closer and it’s a mystery. Zoom-in once more and it is a model for your own creativity! This house inspires me to dig out the hammer and power tools and begin to create my own tiny home. It longs to say, “Here I am, naturally elegant and unique, built strong of creative passion, resourceful wisdom, and compassion for all (did I mention damn good-looking?)!”

Since discovering Tiny Texas Houses, my eyes have opened to a completely new world of practical green housing options. Some are built with sand while others are dug into the earth, constructed with ready-to-assemble modules, solar panels, on wheels, or completely recycled. Each represents a piece of a revolution that allows us to finally be able to pay back a generous loan we’ve taken out from Bank Mother Earth and to express our own shade of green.

Let’s face it: our society is on the brink of drowning its own ravenous waste. Isn’t it true that there seems to be a paradigm shift moving us toward a vein of simplicity for the sake of a healthier Earth and personal liberation? Part of this new wave of freedom is to let go of old assumptions and embrace creative solutions. I am inspired to let go of an image I once had of what a house should look like, guilt from creating new waste, my lack of construction experience and, most importantly, the idea I cannot afford my dreams.

Let’s work together for the benefit of our world and ourselves to discover our unique shades of green. These will be more than just houses. They will each be a tiny sanctuary that transcends all expectations, and this is Liberation!

See more photos of the Tiny Texas Worker House.

Wow, it grabbed us and survived the very difficult process of selection. While we realize not everyone will agree with the final decision, please trust that it was done with total anonymity and giving each the respect and consideration they deserved. It has been a wonderful experience for all of us at Tiny Texas Houses!

The response and quality of the essays has been incredible. The hours spent by many are obvious, and the heart, soul, and energy fills the papers making them hard to put down without thought and consideration. Thank you for the inspiration you all have given me.

I want to say that I am humbled and amazed by the entries that have been written . It is truly inspiring for me to read and see that this movement comes from millions of us who are sharing the same pull, the same need to simplify like we intended to so many years ago when we were young and going to save the world. The “Business of Happiness” on YouTube that really says a lot about what happened to us and the rest of the world. I think it is time to listen to the many gongs a ringing and change meet the challenges at hand. That combined with movies like “Thrive, whats it going to take” and many other incredible leaders who are moving the dialogues along that will join together soon in a global chorus of change for the better, not just for money. Awaken to the possibilities that come in to play when we all act on an individual level to change the world through one more form of nonviolence.

Thank you everyone for being part of this and many dialogues that offer solutions that individuals can make happen without wars.

With that the contest is over. Thank you again, everyone, for an incredible set of essays.

~ Brad Kittel and the Staff of Tiny Texas Houses

About the Grand Prize: The Tiny Texas Worker House

This contemporary design plays with some new angles and space to create a cozy tiny guesthouse or get away space in a 10’ x 12’ footprint and a 6’ x 11’ front porch. It has all the elements needed for living in if one wanted to make a home out of our Tiny Texas House as well. The front porch supports are 125 year old Cedar posts that were once used for a pole barn on a 100 years old cotton gin in Shiner, Texas. They have some great hieroglyphic bug runs on the surface but the core is solid and bug free. The exterior siding is made from 2×8 slices of Long Leaf Pine that are nearly knot free and dating back to the 1800’s when the 200-year-old trees were cut down. It was cut from 2”x8” boards that were split with the thicker half used to make flooring and the thinner half to make the siding that is on this house. It has a mini corrugated metal on he lower half that dates to the early 1900’s and weighted sash windows from the same period.

The entire house is built with antique Pines. The tightly grained Long Leaf Pine 4×4 beams came from a Texas 1880’s farmhouse in Yorktown to carry the loft. The house has a full shower, toilet and sink in the bath. The small kitchenette has a sink, under counter fridge, and space for a cook top. It is great for short visits but could be lived in full-time as well. The interior walls are milled from 2’8’s and then the back was exposed to show off the grooves as a decorative element.

The ceilings in the loft are also made from a tongue and groove antique Pine that was milled from 2×6’s that dated back to the early 1900’s too. The corrugated roofing comes from a warehouse in Hallettesville, Texas. It is the heavy 1 ½” corrugation in a very thick metal that has plenty of protective rust and strength to last for many more years. The downstairs area will be suited to having a sectional that could be used to sleep on along with the upstairs that will hold two twin beds or up to a queen. It has room for a small desk and closet area as well. The house is designed to ventilate the heat out the top in the summer and provide the warmest place in bed during the winters. It has a nice big window for a great view and breeze upstairs as well as a wall a/c unit to help take out the humidity.

The windows have all been weatherized with silicone tubing and glazed with an age-old formula for Organic Linseed Oil glazing compound that is superior to what is normally used today. The shower is full-sized and has a river rock floor. The shower walls in the bath will be covered with 100-year-old antique galvanized interlocking roof shingles that should last for another century or two and take any scrubbing you want to put it through. This batch came from a house in Eagle Pass, Texas that dated from the 1890’s. There is a wall air conditioner hole in the loft wall if one should want it and the heater would only need to be a simple 110 volt portable unit. This is intended to keep the repair and replacement costs to a minimum.

The entire house is insulated with Icynene on all sides, top, and bottom so that there is very little heat gain or loss, nor bugs, rodents, or a danger of mold developing from moisture in the walls. With screens, it will be possible to get by much of the year without AC or heat. If living up north, it might be good to have a set of storm windows for the winter too, as we do not approve of insulated glass due to its limited longevity.

6 Responses to Tiny Texas Houses Essay Contest Winner

  1. Karma Parkerson

    Are you planning on having another contest for a Tiny Texas House? I absolutely love them!!

    May 14, 2012
    • Tiny Texas Houses

      Hi Karma. Not at this time, although we may have some other giveaways for other salvage items and tiny house plans in the coming months!

      May 15, 2012
  2. Pam

    I dont understand , she won it and now she wants to sell it ?

    wow I have always wanted wanted one of these homes . It would have been a blessing to me if I would have won such a home . wow

    Just my thoughts

    August 28, 2012
    • Leona Driver

      Pam I agree with you. I just ran across this site and was hoping I could find a way to enter the contest only to find it was over and the person who won was selling the house rather than actually use it. My husband and I are buying a small piece of land and unfortunately we won’t have the funds to buy a home like this. We will be living in a travel trailer for a few years until we can afford to build, if I could have won something like this it would have been the blessing of a lifetime.

      September 2, 2012
  3. envious

    I am sooo envious of her winnign the contest. She is throwing away such a BLESSING! What comes around goes around. KARMA can be a bitch!!!

    October 11, 2012
  4. I think we shouldn’t judge what she chooses to do with her house or why. The situation can change where people can’t live the dream they had…and maybe circumstances have popped up where she needs the money more. Certainly that’s the case for many people I know.

    December 9, 2012