MONROE – History may be made at South Piedmont Community College on March 9.
SPCC is auctioning off a tiny house that was made by students in the college’s Construction Academy. If the buyer lives in the Monroe, they will be the first-ever owner of a tiny house in the city limits.
At least legally.
The tiny house is 128 square feet and features a full bath. The Craftsman-inspired home is furnished with an interior much like a studio apartment and house is pre-fitted for utility connection and meets all Monroe building codes. Proceeds from the 9 a.m. auction on March 9 will benefit the Construction Academy at SPCC.
“There is so much interest nationwide in tiny homes,” said SPCC Construction Academy instructor Dennis Baucom. “As far as codes go, they are not very kind to a tiny house, but they are changing codes as we speak. They are adding codes to help out tiny homes just to make them possible. The was the first time anyone from the City of Monroe had done a tiny house, legally. There may be some around, and they said they have gone to court because someone had built one illegally. It can’t stay in one spot for more than two weeks, but ours can.”
The reserve price has been set at $9,000 and one must be present at the auction to bid on the house. SPCC has had at least two local auctioneers offer their services for free for the auction.
“The dollars we make from this tiny house auction will go right back into the program,” said Julie Sikes, vice president of institutional advancement. “The next class starts just a few weeks after the auction. It would be ideal for someone that would want to have a structure at a hunting camp. It’s a small space but the quality on it, it is built so well.”
Construction Academy students designed and built the structure at the SPCC campus in Monroe. Students installed all the wiring and plumbing to make the structure move-in ready.
“This was our first round, but it has certainly brought a lot of attention to the program,” Baucom said. “It was a good project for the Construction Academy. They got experience dealing with inspections because everything had to be up to code. It gave them a lot of hands-on experience. I taught carpentry for several years for the college, and it takes a hands-on project to get the students to understand what they are doing.
“You can sit there all day long and show them pictures, and sometimes it doesn’t click until they put their hands on it.”
The Construction Academy offers comprehensive trade classes in general carpentry, residential wiring, residential plumbing and general home repair. The next 16-week class begins March 18 and people can register right up to the start of classes.
“We were looking around as a college and discovered there was a need for general laborers and contractors and things like that for construction,” Baucom said. “We are trying to train students to go into a field and be useful to a contractor.”
And it appears the program is benefiting local contractors as several students found employment before the tiny house was actually finished.
“It ended where there was only one student towards the end of the class,” Baucom said. “It took a little longer to finish, and it was a little more work for me. But I can’t complain because that is what we are here for, to give them the skills so they can get a job.”
The school also bought several items to “dress up” the tiny home.
“We have put some furnishings in it to make it feel like a place someone would be comfortable in,” Sikes said. “You will be impressed with what we have in that space.”
Baucom said if the auction brings in more money than it took to build the house, those funds would be used to buy materials for the next tiny house.
“We are not out here to make money,” Baucom said. “If we do profit from it, we will use that to make the program better. We will buy nicer tools and we will be able to train students better. We will be happy if we get back everything we put into it.”
For questions about the house including specifications, dimensions and features or to set up a time to view the house in person, email Baucom at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 704-290-5222.