Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page April 2017 - 23 GUEST VIEW Dick Grymonprez One Person’s Take — Mine — on the Tiny Home Concept During the last couple of years, there probably hasn’t been a more talked- about housing choice in America than a tinyhome.IfyoueverflipTVchannels,I am sure you have come across a tiny home show. The builder displays a very creative design of around 250 square feet.They have small appliances, handy storage spaces, a small loft for a bed — andaveryexpensivepricetag.Mosttiny homes are $60,000 to $100,000 which is $240 to $400 per square foot. Even so, the tiny home movement is growingfastintheU.S.wherepeopleare choosingtodownsizethespacetheylive in. Folks are joining this movement for many reasons, but the most popular arguments include environmental concerns, financial reasons and the desire for more time and freedom. For park model RV manufacturers like me, these tiny homes have helped us to increase our business; at the same time, however, they have caused us some huge concerns. As many of you know, a couple of years ago, HUD (the Department of Housing and Urban Development) called the park model manufacturers out for building struc- tures that they felt promoted fulltime living and not temporary, seasonal or recreationaluseliketheywereintended. A small group of us met with HUD Administrator Pamela Danner and her staff at the HUD offices in Washington, D.C. Danner showed us advertisements and websites of park model manufac- turers talking about housing — and she was especially upset about porches which were screened. She felt that this showed intent to enclose — which would make them greater than 400 square feet where they would fall into HUD coded manufactured homes. HUD-coded homes have thermo- and wind zones as well as other con- structionfeaturescreatedandapproved for fulltime living. She wanted the porches to be included in the 399- square-foot maximum limit, which would have hurt the park model RV businessandthepeoplewhopurchased them. Luckily, through the hard work of the Recreation Vehicle Industry Associ- ation (RVIA), National Association of Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) and many concerned individuals, we were able to convince HUD that this was not agoodidea.Still,this“scarebonded”the park model RV manufacturers together. AtournextRVIAparkmodelcommit- tee meeting, the park model builders decided to clean up our act and stop usingthewordhomesorhousinginour marketing material. In fact, Champion, the company I work for, was using the Athens Park Homes name for our park models. We decided to change this nametoAthensParkModelRVsanduse it only for a brand name for our park model products. Well, right after we got this mess all cleaned up, here came the tiny homes movement. Many tiny-home builders are build- ingthemintheirgarageorbackyardand not building them to any code. Others have applied to RVIA and have been ap- proved to build them under the A119.2 code, which is for travel trailers. Park model manufacturers have been asked to show our products at tiny home shows and jamborees — which are very tempting because we know we have a better product, but also scary because HUD is still out there watching what is happening. I have trained our sales people at the eight plants around the U.S. where Champion builds park models on how to sell against the ones not building to the ANSI codes. Our park model RVs are built to the ANSI (A119.5) code for park model RVs so customers can find financing and insurance — and can put them in most RV campgrounds, resorts and communities. Is there really a place for a tiny home built to no codes? People may buy one — and then find out they made the biggest mistake of their life with nowhere to go with it. Personally, I don’t understand what all the fuss over a tiny home is all about. If someone wants to downsize and be mobile, there is nothing better than the many styles of recreational vehicles that are being built today. If they want to downsize, but live permanently in one area, the manufactured housing indus- tryhasmanysmallmodelsbetween500 to750squarefeet—andmostallcanbe put on private, rural property or in a manufactured home park or commu- nity. And if they are looking for a destination area for a weekend getaway or vacation property, there is nothing better than a park model RV. Allofthesearemuchmoreaffordable per square foot than any tiny home that I have seen. They also are enjoying a huge audience and their popularity has never been greater. For now, we will continue to enjoy the extra sales and exposure that the tiny home folks have brought us. Afterstartingoutinthemanufactured housing business in 1981,Dick Grymon- prez,directorofparkmodelsalesforTroy, Mich.-based Champion Home Builders, firstgotinvolvedintheparkmodelbusi- nessin2004asaco-ownerofAthensPark Homes.Grymonprezassumedhiscurrent position in 2012 when Athens was pur- chased by Champion,which builds park models under theAthens Park Model RV nameplate. Champion also builds tiny homes. A former president of the now- defunct RPTIA,he’s currently serving his third term as a board member of the RecreationVehicle Industry Association (RVIA). WCM