The tiny house movement has begun sweeping the country, with a healthy social media buzz and even a couple of television shows dedicated those who build and buy the diminutive dwellings.
And Marshall County is home to a premier tiny house builder, Doug Schroeder and Timbercraft Tiny Homes opened up shop in Guntersville back in November 2015.
Doug, a general contractor had been building custom homes in and around Marshall County since 2006 when, in 2013, he took a sabbatical and moved to Indiana temporarily to help his father, also a builder.
It was during his time in Indiana that the tiny house craze caught Doug's attention and he built his first little house.
"I picked up a book by Jay Schaffer and started reading it and it kind of intrigued me," Doug says. "There's something about a small building that looks so cool."
He starting looking on line and quickly realized the substantial interest in the structures and decided it was something he wanted to try his hand at.
"I just jumped in ... built it at night and on weekends ... on the side while I helped my dad," Doug says.
A veteran designer and seasoned builder, Doug knew the easiest way to start was by learning what others had already discovered the hard way.
"Instead of blundering through it, I bought a set of plans," he says. "From there I just designed my own."
Doug isn't interested in being the cheapest builder of tiny homes, rather, he's chosen to focus on quality of materials and workmanship as well as giving a lot of attention to the little details.
But for those who have discovered Timbercraft, and Doug's custom approach, they have also discovered that Timbercraft homes are a much greater value than those produced out west where production costs drive up prices.
Doug says a comparable home to those he sells for around $55,000, would cost a buyer nearly $80,000 from other manufacturers.
And folks are taking advantage of the fact Doug will deliver the homes, with his next home headed to San Diego, Ca.
"I try to put a lot into the design, the details," Doug says. "I'm a sucker for details."
For the 38-year-old father of three, building and selling tiny houses when he returned to Guntersville was a bit of a romantic notion.
"My dream was to build little houses by myself, just one guy, go home for lunch and all of that."
Boy was he in for surprise when the demand for his houses caused orders to stack up twice as fast as he could build a tiny house.
Though he still makes time to mountain bike each morning, a hobby he's enjoyed since childhood, Doug's had to hire two additional carpenters and things show no signs of slowing. In fact the momentum just continues to build for the busy builder.
"The demand has just called for a lot more than I anticipated," Doug says.
So far all of Doug's customers have lived outside of Marshall County, but that may be changing soon, as a tiny home community called River Rocks is presently in the pre-development stage in Guntersville, and Doug already has the plans drawn for the Timbercraft model home slated for the River Rocks community.
For more information on Timbercraft Tiny Homes, you can visit Doug's website www.timbercrafttinyhomes.com.