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TCAT building house for HOME
TCAT Builds Tiny House 1.jpg
TCAT Building Construction Trades instructor Randy Richards and his student Thomas Covert have been working on this tiny house for HOME since Feb. 28. They have made much progress despite being just a two-man team. - photo by Bethany Porter

A team of two from Tennessee College of Applied Technology is tackling the challenge of building a tiny house for HOME and is making substantial progress.

TCAT Building Construction Trades instructor Randy Richards and his class of one student, Thomas Covert, are in the process of building a tiny house for the Homeless of McMinnville Effort. Richards is teaching a new construction program and volunteered to build one tiny house. 

“HOME was building them and Sheila Fann contacted the school and they got a hold of me. We started a new construction program in January so we volunteered to build one,” said Richards. “The weather kind of got us behind a little bit, and it was slow getting off the ground but we are off the ground now.”

Despite only having one student taking the class and helping with the house, Richards and Covert are moving right along. They started building Feb. 28 and in roughly five days they were already ready to put the roof on. Richards says they hope to be finished by the end of April.

“It will be just like a normal home. It is 12 by 20 feet and we will build a bedroom, bathroom, and a little kitchenette and it will have a little heating and air system,” said Richards. “Students are on spring break next week so we won’t be back out here until the week after next. There will be a week or so of getting the plumbing and electric worked in and then we will be back out here doing the finishing work on it. We are trying to get it finished by the end of April.”

The new construction program started in January and Richards says the word is just now getting out about it so generating more students will take time. The class started with three people including Covert, but the other two withdrew. Richards hopes the program will start to take off and that it will help teach construction skills.

“There is a high demand for any skill in the construction industry," said Richards. "There is just a high demand right now for skilled labor and that is what we want to try to offer and try to help out with that need.”

The new tiny houses for HOME are located at Sunset Point Road and will help the homeless in McMinnville get back on their feet.