My family and I moved to Colorado chasing dreams of prosperity and stability only to find the economy crash on them. We were going to be that family of six enjoying the weekends and working towards a secure retirement but fate had other plans.
After losing my job as an elevator constructor we decided to go back to our roots. Live simply and do what we love. I have built and designed portable structures since 1998 for fun, first learning basic church retreat cabins and then branching out by embracing other applications like portable coffee houses and small living spaces. Over the years, I have refined the amenities and sought to embrace all of the needs a person has for living in a scaled down portable, energy-efficient package. Some of the greatest days of my life have been spent building these simple cabins for people who value the same family togetherness while escaping the monotony of their everyday life. Since making the decision to return to our first love, incredible members of our community have reached out with open arms to help us succeed. In many ways, this story is about how we can all help each other live out our dreams.
Mixing skill, experience, and passion for what I call neo-conservationism, fuels my design concepts. My core beliefs are centered around using resources to their fullest. Having four kids and living in Colorado can give a person an intense passion for preserving the incredible beauty that we all share. By not erecting permanent structures throughout Colorado and the rest of the US, we can use only the space we need for the time we need it. It’s becoming so important these days to leave less of an imprint for our future generations. This way we can enjoy what beauty our nation has to offer without depleting it long term.
By no means am I alone in this mindset. People are seeking to simplify their living experience in droves. Awareness is being awakened at a grassroots level and the idea of living simply is gaining traction among the masses. From people concerned about their carbon footprint to ex-homeowners seeking a low-cost housing alternative, many are taking the leap and living in smaller, simpler structures.
The tangible and intangible benefits are great. Portability saves the end-user large amounts of money in building permits and fees. The size of these tiny houses brings operating costs down to pennies. Repair and maintenance are miniscule compared to even the smallest traditional home. The user can also feel
great about the smaller imprint they leave for future generations. The Hilltop Lodge uses 1/10th of the electricity a typical home uses and is capable of being completely powered by a small 2000 watt inverter generator while remaining lit and warmed on the coldest of days. This is all achieved through our innovative construction and portability techniques.
In response to the poor economy, my family has decided to take a different route than most. We want to leave a positive impact for our children's children through innovation and social change in regards to how we utilize our resources.
Looking back on the effect of the economy with respect of our young family, I find myself being more thankful than embittered. I was losing touch with my family while working my "regular" job. Since then I have made lasting friendships worth more to me than any security a "regular" job could bring. I also get the satisfaction of doing something great for the planet and our future generations. It turns out, shaking things up brought me back to what is truly important; doing what I love for whom I love. To me, that has become the American Dream.