Story by Ray Bragg, photo by Billy Calzada in San Antonio Express-News, December 25, 2011
“LULING – Although Brad Kittel runs a construction company, he’s really in the deconstruction business.
As owner of Tiny Texas Houses, located on hilltop that overlooks Interstate 10, he builds homes that are a fraction of the size of the modern McMansion. His basic sales pitch: sometimes a little is more than enough.
“This is about keeping it simple and building a new global consciousness,” says Kittel, a former land developer in Austin. “It’s no longer cool to have ostentatious houses. It’s no longer cool to have the biggest house on the block.”
The numbers agree with him.
The U.S. Census Bureau says the average size of new single-family homes dropped from 2,438 square feet to 2,377 last year. Surveys of builders indicate new homes will shrink 10 percent by 2015.
That trend, says blogger Kent Griswold, is being accelerated by the weakened economy.
‘For years, it was a dream for a lot of people who wanted to cut back as they got older,” says Griswold, who writes tinyhouseblog.com. “But in the last year or two, people have been forced to look at their money differently. They want to simplify and they don’t want to be saddled with a huge mortgage.…’”