A flat utility trailer in a driveway is nothing unusual.
But when walls start springing up on it, that stirs some curiosity.
“Pretty much every one of our neighbors has come over and said, ‘What are you guys doing?’ ” said Devon Yeager.
What’s up with this is a tiny house in the making.
Yeager and her boyfriend Jason Heintz started building it in mid-May in this quiet Eastmont neighborhood of 1960s homes near the Everett Costco.
The tiny house is going to be a mini-mansion, with double French doors, kitchen bar, airy bedroom loft, flat-screen TV, roomy shower and oven big enough to perfectly cook frozen pizzas.
All inside a space about 26 feet long and 8 feet wide — and for less than the cost of a new car.
This couple thought of everything.
There’s a pet door for Hercules, Cinnamon and Sugar, their two wiener dogs and chihuahua. The tiny dogs came first, long before the tiny house idea.
The walls are framed so doors and windows can be moved or added to maximize the views when it becomes their permanent vacation pad near the Columbia River Gorge.
It’s a total DIY project for the couple, who gutted and remodeled their main home.
This is a smaller yet grander project.
“We’ve never been inside a tiny house,” said Yeager, 35, a material planner who makes airplane parts. “We watched the shows and saw it on the Internet and I said, ‘That would be awesome.’ ”
They were ready for an upgrade from their cozy 11-foot camper on rented property in Sunbird near the gorge.
“We were going to buy a small trailer to tow behind the Jeep,” said Heintz, 36, a Snohomish County PUD apprentice lineman. “They’re all about between $20,000 and $30,000. We’re hoping to get this under $20,000.”
Umm, she’s not so sure about that.
“With the fancy stuff that I want to put in, like the nice cabinets and countertops, it’s not going to be $20,000,” she said, “but we’ll be pretty close.”
With nothing spared. “I wanted windows. A big huge window in the front and a bigger shower,” she said.
“She wanted a real oven,” Heintz said “We have a camper that has an oven, but if you put in a frozen pizza you burn the bottom but the top is still frozen, so we wanted a real oven to bake cookies or french fries or pizza without burning it.”
One thing it might lack: “No junk drawer,” she said.
He’s not so sure on that one. “Gotta have a junk drawer,” he said. “Where do you keep your zip ties and screwdrivers?”
The couple have been together 11 years. They had mutual friends at Mariner High School, but never talked. “We ended up in the same driver’s ed car,” he said, “and still didn’t really talk.”
That changed when they met up again when they were 24.
For the tiny house, they splurged on some things and saved money on others by shopping Craigslist and Second Use Building Materials store in Seattle.
The blueprints didn’t cost a dime. “It’s all in my head,” he said.
She uses pictures from Excel to map it out.
“I used to work in new construction homes and built a couple sheds and stuff like that so I used that knowledge and kind of built it piece by piece,” he said. “Put in a window here, door here, window there.”
Yeager is his right-hand woman. “I’m a little bit of muscle and a go-fer. I do what I can, but I’m not that strong or savvy with construction, but I try,” she said.
There was only one near mishap.
“We put the walls up, just me and her. We had one come crashing down. We both ran out of the way,” he said.
“I was waiting for someone to come out and ask if we were OK. No one did, so I was like, ‘Whew, no one saw,’ ” she said.
Lane Erickson, who lives down the block, missed that episode of the live tiny house show.
“It’s kind of cool to have it in our neighborhood,” Erickson said. “We see it out the front window so it is interesting to watch them make progress. The other day they put the windows in.”
Soon, Erickson’s entertainment will roll away into the sunset.
The couple hope to move the tiny house to the gorge later this summer.
See it on Instagram: #indulgetinyhouse