A little show titled Tiny House Nation has everyone wishing they can move into a tiny home of their dreams. As the tiny home movement is starting to grasp onto the hearts of many, the show makes us think whether this lifestyle is for us. The ingenious designs seen on the show is enough to make anyone want to give up their conventional homes in exchange for a tiny one. Although it was set to premiere its 6th season in March 2020, the show has stopped production, fueling rumors that the series has been cancelled.
After airing episodes for a few years on A&E and FYI, Tiny House Nation has found its way streaming on Netflix in 2019. Throughout its four seasons, the show follows families, couples and individuals on their tiny house journey. Whether it’s a micro-apartment in New York City or a micro-sized mobile home for the nomadic traveler, this series has covered all sorts of mini homes no larger than 500 square feet. The show also prioritizes creative and inventive designs, instead of size or budget – proving it’s not your typical design show.
Along their journey, they’re met with hosts and renovation experts, John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin. Many of these homes are not cheap or easy to build, which often results in little snags in the project. While most of the designs are extremely innovative, it’s also quite ambitious. Unforeseen things like forgotten plumbing system or unmet building and safety codes can find its way into the project. Co-hosts John and Zack tend to parachute in just in time when things aren’t going to plan and save the day with their expertise.
Who are the Hosts?
Tiny House Nation is hosted by builders John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin – a lively and dynamic duo that come to help make the people’s tiny house dreams come true. They are good at re-designing and troubleshooting issues to ensure that the homes are built to a standard.
With six regional Emmy Awards under his belt and more than a decade experience of live television work, Weisbarth is one half of the charismatic host duo. He got his love for all things building, constructing, and designing from working with his handyman father after he graduated college.
Passionate about building small, Weisbarth is very enthusiastic about helping people become tiny home owners. He constantly encourages them at every step of their process to ensure they are building the home they envision.
There’s no better person to host a show about tiny homes other than someone who actually owns a tiny home. As a professional skier and contractor, Giffin built a mobile tiny ski house for himself and lived in it full-time for years. As someone who built his home out of his profession/hobby, he’s keen to help others build projects that are tailored to the homeowner’s needs and lifestyle.
Giffin is also vice president of the Tiny Home Industry Association. When Los Angeles recognized tiny homes as an accessory dwelling unit, he called it “the biggest thing that has ever happened to the tiny house world”. Giffin continues to advocate for the tiny home industry by providing his broad knowledge as a host on Tiny House Nation
Problems with the Show
As a series about building houses with various groups of people involved, it won’t easily be free from conflict. In one of the seasons, one of the contractors sued two of the clients. The clients blamed a contractor for some shoddy work and wasn’t being redone or replaced. However, the contractor revealed his job was done to a high standard. It was in fact, the clients that made a mess of his work after trying to do their own upgrades. Oops!
Case of the Missing Home
In the latest season, a Southern Californian couple had their newly built tiny home stolen. Rebecah and Ben Richards ended their tiny home dream in a claim of theft not long after they appeared on the show. The couple worked with builder Mike Bedsole from Tiny House Chattanoga, who told them about the possibility of appearing on Tiny House Nation. For their mobile home design, the Richards paid Bedsole $11,500 for the trailer, as Bedsole couldn’t accept the trailer that was provided by the show. The Richards received around $47,000 in materials for the home, but were unable to come to a conclusion of remaining balance with Bedsole.
The couple and their daughters moved into the house, which remained on Bedsole’s property as he finished working on it. Months later, Bedsole was being evicted and the family had to also move out of the house within 10 days. It was only then did they find out that Bedsole registered the home under his name instead of the Richards. Unfortunately, the producers of the show were unwilling to get involved in their conflict. It didn’t take long for the Richards to set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for a lawyer to retrieve their stolen home.
Tiny Homes: Not family-friendly?
For advice on tiny homes, look no further than the knowledgeable tiny house expert and host of Tiny House Nation. According to Giffin, tiny homes may not be the perfect option for families, contrary to preconceived notions. The show perpetuated the idea that tiny houses will work well for families – not just singles and couples. However, he backtracks on that thought.
He told Insider: “We were constantly putting families in tiny homes, essentially, because it creates better drama. It creates better television, right? It’s so much more of a challenge when you have a family with five kids trying to move into a tiny home. Naturally, casting and production is going to prioritize working with those types of stories.”
Giffin believes the idea that the show is perpetuating can be harmful for future homebuyers. As tiny homes are more catered towards singles and couples without children, these groups may find it hard to buy a home if local government continues to disallow tiny homes. While family drama makes for good television, it is the other demographics that will benefit more from increased housing options.