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Interview with Robert & Bettina Johnson of Esk’et Tiny House

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This is an interview with Robert & Bettina Johnson of Esk’et Tiny House.

They’ve designed and built a truly beautiful and one-of-a-kind tiny home on wheels.

And now, it’s available as a bed & breakfast so you can try out living tiny in it!

If you want to learn more about Robert & Bettina Johnson and their Esk’et Tiny House please enjoy our exclusive interview with them below! Thank you!

Interview with Robert & Bettina Johnson of Esk’et Tiny House

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What are your name(s)?

Robert & Bettina Johnson

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Where are you located?

Esk’et (Alkali Lake in the English language), British Columbia, Canada (we are part of Esk’etemc First Nation)

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How long have you been designing/building homes for?

Robert is a journeyman carpenter and has been renovating and building homes for 11 years, both for customers on strict budgets and high-end homes. For a while, we’ve had thoughts and ideas around design and architecture, and this first tiny house build was our first opportunity to use our own custom design from start to finish, for our own purpose of using it as a guesthome.

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What made you decide to start building tiny houses for people, how did you first learn about tiny houses, and what is your tiny house company inspired by?

Shortage of housing and lack of proper housing is, unfortunately, a big issue across our country and particularly in First Nation communities. Robert being a builder, and both of us feeling like there’s always something more we can do to help people around us and confront those challenges – we wanted to work through a build of our own, gaining the knowledge and experience, and learning-by-doing what some of the challenges are for building tiny houses on wheels, especially in our colder climate. So our vision is bigger – it just starts with our own first build. We hope to inspire and encourage others to “dream big”, whatever that may look like for them. Not just for tiny house building, but in life, for using those unique giftings that all of us have! In the near future, we’d love to look more at efficient – but quality and long-lasting – small house design, specifically for our area and also offer training opportunities for our people. Our first build, the Esk’et Sqlelten (pronounced Es-KET Sk-LEL-ten) purposely features sqlelten (salmon) carvings, and art, to honour the culture here at Esk’et.

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Besides building tiny houses, what else does your company offer customers? Do you offer any plans, consultations, custom designs, tiny house vacations, tours, workshops, anything like that? If so, tell us about it!

Our first build, the Esk’et Sqlelten is now open as a bed&breakfast, for visitors who want to come experience our area, for adventure, First Nation culture, or relaxation, and anyone who wants to test tiny house living (and hopefully be inspired 🙂

We are open to custom-build/handcraft a tiny home for someone this year, whether you already have a specific vision, or want to use one of our designs.. please contact us to discuss your vision!

Our spiralling ladder design has it’s own instructional guide with all detailed measurements, for DIY-ers to recreate it for their own space!

Our first model will have it’s own complete building plans, they will be available in the coming weeks.

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How do you build for your clients? Do you design for them? Do they design?

We’re open for either working with someone’s ideas and vision, or starting from scratch with a completely custom design. Any tiny house build Robert takes on will be custom, detailed, and done right with high-quality work from start to finish.

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What helpful advice would you give to others interested in building tiny?

It’s a good idea to do thorough research on all the different issues around building and living tiny, read the blogs and newsletters, and connect with others who have been down that road. (you may learn that there are questions you never thought of asking..)

Also, be sure to spend some time in some actual tiny homes, beyond only seeing photos, to get a feeling of the space and what your personal priorities are for your own well-planned dream tiny home!

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Do you have a website, blog, or social media page where we can follow along? If so, please share it with us here.

Yes. Our website is www.eskettinyhouse.com.

Our Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeALPU-M0wtq4MslbU-1GWg.

Follow us on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/eskettinyhouse/.

And follow us on facebook! https://www.facebook.com/eskettinyhouse/.

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Alex is a contributor and editor for TinyHouseTalk.com and the always free Tiny House Newsletter. He has a passion for exploring and sharing tiny homes (from yurts and RVs to tiny cabins and cottages) and inspiring simple living stories. We invite you to send in your story and tiny home photos too so we can re-share and inspire others towards a simple life too. Thank you!
{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Robert
    April 18, 2016, 12:53 pm

    I am not a fan of rustic, but I must admit that front door is pure class!

  • Nanny M
    November 2, 2017, 11:52 am

    The carving takes my breath away. Love the exterior especially.

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