Students get hands-on experience by building tiny home


RACHEL, W.Va. – Students at the Marion County Technical Center are getting some real life hands-on experience. The students are close to finishing their two-year project of building a tiny home. 

The house is built on a 12-by-36 foot frame. All the dry wall, insulation, electric and carpentry work was done entirely by the students from start to finish. The house has one bedroom, one closet, a full bathroom, a living room and a kitchen. 

Kitchen cabinets inside the tiny home

“It was totally built by the students here at the tech center,” said Tech Center Instructor, John Pheasant. “I do some demonstrating but if they mess up, we sometimes start over, but they do the work. Because of that it comes out very well. I’m very pleased with what they’ve done over the course of the last couple of years. Sometimes they get upset with me because I push so much and expect it to be pretty neat – accuracy is important – but I know that once they leave here, they’ll find that accuracy comes as, or more important than it was here.” 

Years ago, the Tech Center built four tiny homes for flood victims, and wanted to continue building them afterwards. Pheasant said the hands-on experience allows the students to be ready for the specific career they want to go into, when they graduate.

Bathroom inside the tiny home

“I’ve always liked building stuff with my hands, and so it’s really cool to learn how to do it,” said Tech Center junior, Rory Philips. “So far all my friends and family have been amazed that I’ve gotten to do it cause it’s not something that everyone gets to do, so they all think it’s really cool.” 

Philips came to the program while the frame was built, but has done most of the finishing work on the house. 

“I was glad that could do it,” said Tech Center senior, Wesley Allan. “It’s kind of hard to pick a favorite part of it just because it’s just a neat project to do. Because of going through this program it has, helped me with the job that I want to go after and get that I have now achieved.” 

Allan’s dad and uncle both graduated from the Tech Center. Allan previously volunteered to work on past tiny house projects, even before he was officially in the program.  

Image of tiny home being built

Instructors said the house will be ready to roll out the door after a few finishing touches. The new owners would need a site for the tiny house to hook up the power and water. The house is on a metal frame, so the new owners will need a permit to move. 

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