Cookevillians design, create tiny house

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Don Duffield and Tanya Ward take a break from putting the finishing touches on their tiny house in preparation for the upcoming Tiny House Roadshow.
Don Duffield and Tanya Ward take a break from putting the finishing touches on their tiny house in preparation for the upcoming Tiny House Roadshow.

COOKEVILLE — Don Duffield and Tanya Ward, both of Cookeville, have been watching shows like HGTV’s “Tiny House Hunters” and taking notes about everything they see. Duffield is the owner of D&S Tool Welding and Fabrication in Cookeville, while Ward works at Cookeville Regional Medical Center and also has an eye for design. With their combined knowledge, they figured they had enough skills to make a tiny house of their own.

“If a tiny house came on TV with a certain design piece that we really liked, we would literally stop and take a picture of it. We had tons of pictures on our phones,” Ward said. “We finally decided to go for it. So everything in our tiny house is the best of what we saw on TV. We took it and put it all in one house.”

The result is a 24-foot long space with everything a person could need to live comfortably. There’s a living room area with a couch, chair and TV, and a kitchen with a mini four-burner stove/oven, a nearly full size refrigerator, a mini dishwasher and a fold-away dining table. The bathroom has a normal-sized shower/tub along with a vanity sink, instant hot water and toilet. The upstairs bedroom has a little closet and enough space for a king size bed. The whole thing has central heat and air, surround sound speakers and plenty of storage packed into every available nook and cranny. Everything is crafted to be as energy-efficient as possible.

“It’s a little house on wheels,” Ward said.

Duffield and Ward started working on the trailer to hold the house on Dec. 30 of last year. It started as a just a for-fun project, to see what they could create. However, that changed when they went the Upper Cumberland Home and Garden Show earlier this month.

“We went to the home show here and there sat a tiny house,” Ward said. “We got to talking with the gentleman and lady there and they handed us a card about the Tiny House Roadshow that was coming up in April. Don got a look on his face and I said it: ‘We have to get ours done.’”

Duffield and Ward have been working long hours this month to get the home as complete as possible for the show to be held at the Hyder-Burks Pavilion at 2390 Gainesboro Grade in Cookeville from noon-7 p.m. Friday, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. The event will showcase tiny homes for touring and vendors who specialize in goods and services for tiny home creation.

Duffield and Ward will be bringing their tiny house to showcase and to offer to build homes for other people. They can re-create the one they have already made, or design something to precisely fit the owner’s needs.

There are many types of people who are currently interested in business homes, such as those who travel often for work, those who work at home, college graduates living at home while looking for a job, and empty nesters.

“They can pull it to a park, stay there three months, then pull up and go to another place,” Ward said.

Tickets for the Tiny House Roadshow are $10 for adults, $5 for students, free for children 12 and under, and a three-day pass is $25. For more information about the show, visit For more information about Duffield and Ward’s tiny house, call 931-252-5180.

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