Celebrating Labor Day and Our American Workers
Labor Day weekend is finally here! Not only am I excited about doing some grilling, spending time with friends, and enjoying my favorite farmers markets,but this year I’m also going to be thanking our American workforce and celebrating the innovative solutions they come up with every day.
Workforce and affordable housing is something I champion and work hard to improve every day. People who work so hard daily to provide for their families deserve a safe and secure place to live. This is why I’ve become such an advocate of factory built housing - it’s a true symbol of how innovative our American workforce can be.
A year ago Keith Holdbrooks, President of Clayton Home building group discovered he had the opportunity to try building a new product and push his company to become more innovative with the structures they built. When looking at options for expansion, they looked at some tiny houses on display in Dallas and thought the concept might be something that Clayton could build, but build it better.
Instead of building what they have always built Holdbrooks challenged Gary Hollingsworth - General Manager of the building facility - to “go out of our comfort zone” and come up with a unique design and floorplan. They wanted to “sell to a want, not a need” and listen to what consumers wanted instead of telling them.
Fast forward to four months ago when Holdbrooks presented this challenge to Jeffrey Dungan, a luxury home designer that shares on his website that “he brings passion, depth and an endless enthusiasm for the people he works with and for.” After now spending hours on his website and social media, I’m still speechless as to how beautiful, and thoughtful his homes and designs are. And those of you who know me know that I’m never speechless!
Not only did Dungan fall in love with this challenge, his team did as well. Clayton was willing to “get out of the box” and Dungan is always open to ways to challenge himself and his team. When Dungan went back to his team and told them they were going to design some manufactured homes, there was a collective gasp and then they got right to work. Two members of his team, Michael Curtis and Heath Clement were particularly excited about these tiny homes and have had a major voice in having these homes become a reality.
I truly feel the results of this team have the potential to change how we build and think about housing. Dungan shared that instead of thinking about building by the square foot he now approaches design by the cubic inch. Think about it. That’s a really profound statement and such a different approach, it’s a game changer. He also is insisting on talking about how these homes are built in a shop, not a factory. The word shop makes me think of craftsmen in a happy environment perfecting their craft. You are right Jeffrey - perfect description.
The proof of how committed this dream team was to making this happen debuted at The Cashiers Historical Society Designer Showcase in Cashiers, North Carolina. Even though this home allowed Clayton to experiment conceptually through its building method of large-scale, indoor construction and apply it to tiny houses, this home is anything but a traditional manufactured home.
Many people put their time and energy into making this home a reality, and the best is yet to come. Some of the other plans included in the Designer Series Tiny Houses will be shared soon. Both the Clayton and Dungan teams continue to make changes and improve each cubic inch of their homes, and we can’t wait to see the rewards.
Thank-you to all of our American labor force and Happy Labor Day! You make this country a very special place to live, work and play. To find out more about these homes, you can visit DesignerSeriesTinyHomes.com