The students of Weber Co. build a small house; trend could help alleviate Utah’s growing population
OGDEN, Utah – A Utah high school project has caught the attention of home builders and buyers across the state and even across the country.
From the carpet to the sofa, to interior design and interior plumbing – all were built by high school students.
Isaiah Wood, a senior at Weber Innovation High School, said he worked on the cottage for the class.
“We were here every day with a hammer and nails,” said Wood. “We had the whole tool bag.”
The newly finished cottage started out as a flatbed trailer first.
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The idea for the students to work on this project started at the district level with Rod Belnap, the director of careers and technical education for the Weber School District.
Belnap said he observed the growth of the housing market and construction opportunities and realized that this was something students could be a part of.
“The main thing was to look at the opportunities available to schools,” Belnap said.
Ryan Ortega, the construction teacher at Weber Innovation High School, said he bought the Colorado trailer and built the small frame of the house on top of it.
“The bottom line of what we do is make sure my students are learning good skills,” Ortega said.
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A sentiment echoed by Maren Malan, who has been teaching interior design for 18 years.
Malan and his interior design class at Bonneville High School collaborated with Ortega’s class.
“My students would come and paint, and tape and one thing would turn into another and another,” said Malan.
A labor of love for students and teachers, but this class project is not just a good hands-on experience.
“A house like this would be great for people to use on cabin property,” Belnap said.
It could even become a solution to an ever-growing population – so thinks Jared Wiberg, who sells a tiny house in Cache Valley.
“I would compare it to a small studio,” Wiberg said.
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Wiberg turns two shipping containers into someone’s next home, with nine-foot ceilings and space that makes you forget what the outside is made of.
“Even though it’s a small space, it’s designed to be a quality space,” said Wiberg.
Wiberg said you can stack as many shipping containers as you want for a comfortable and affordable place like a Lego set.
“This could be a very quick fix to a lot of housing issues that we’re seeing with the incredible growth we’re seeing,” Wiberg said.
Wiberg said he ranked the shipping container house in the $ 30,000 range because he wasn’t looking to make money, but just break even for construction costs.
At Weber High Innovation, they spent $ 42,000 to build their tiny house and got offers for around $ 49,000, but said if they were really looking to make money with the current real estate market, they could have listed. home for much more.
“We’ve had four or five requests from tiny clients,” said Belnap, who is encouraged by the public reception of the student project.
The construction of a second small house made by students is already underway.