Charbel Najem is no stranger to having his work seen on TV.
The contractor from Capstone General Contracting, Inc. found great success after appearing on ABC’s amazing show Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
So he jumped at the chance to build a tiny house for the FIY Network’s “Tiny House Nation.”
It was his first tiny home and he was up for the challenge.
“We were on ‘Extreme Home Makeover’ in 2011, and the project manager, Calvin Collins, is the producer of ‘Tiny House Nation,’ ” Najem told The Telegram. “We stayed in touch, and he asked me if we were interested in doing a tiny house, which of course, we were. We love a challenge.”
His goal was to build a home for two people and their two cats within one week.
Najen had built a smaller house before, one that was 730-square-feet, but this would be much smaller.
Tiny houses are defined as homes that are 400-square-feet or less.
Traditional homes are 2,600-square-feet.
But the home that Najem build for Liam and Lauren Hailey was just 200-square-feet.
The Haileys spent $35,00o on their home and a 10-by-20-foot trailer so their home could be mobile.
The rest of the costs for materials was funded by corporate sponsorships from Capstone, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Koopman Lumber, and Pleasant Valley Plumbing and Heating.
The Haileys had previously lived in a 500-square-foot cottage but Lauren wanted to go smaller.
“She got locked into the idea of tiny houses, and for the last six years I’ve been hearing about them, watching shows about them on television, and last summer she said ‘let’s build a tiny house,’ ” Liam said.
“I never thought I could do it because I’m six feet tall, but it can be done.”
The Haileys were chosen to appear on “Tiny House Nation” after they submitted an online application.
In order to appear on the show, applicants must already have a budget to spend and be ready to move into their home within a few months.
“Because it’s going to travel down the road at 70 miles per hour, we had to use stronger materials for the siding and trim, and the roof shingles are rated for 125 miles per hour,” Najem said.
The home boasts a full kitchen and bathroom with an on-demand hot water heater.
The water heater is installed on the exterior of the house and hidden by a lighthouse that has a working light.
This fits in with the home’s nautical-themed décor.
It also features loft storage with a pull-out bed.
There’s even a multi-purpose room which can be closed off from the rest of the house with custom made doors.
“This is a high-end custom home in 200 square feet, with all the amenities of a full-sized home,” Najem said. “But we had to be involved from the design stage since everything had to be compact and functional.”
And Najem didn’t forget about the kitties.
They have their own custom catwalk along the ceiling and loft area.
The Haileys didn’t delay in moving right in.
“We wanted to stay on the Cape, and it is very expensive to live here, so one of the reasons we decided to go with a tiny house was to be able to save money for a home,” Liam said.
“We moved into it the day it arrived and slept there that night.”
The Haileys moved their home to Liam’s dad’s property until they can close on their own piece of land.
“We are hooked up to electricity through my dad’s meter, so we are paying him for the electricity we use,” Liam said.
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“We are not yet hooked up to water or gas, so we are using his house to shower.”
But tiny living did take a little getting used to. They had to sort out what they needed and what they had to get rid of.
“It took some adjusting to living small, but now that we are used to it, I would never second-guess the decision again,” Liam said. “It was easier than I expected.”
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