Tiny House Story.

This is how our Tiny House looked on 6/25/2019 the day it was purchased by Hope Village. It was built in Florida by Katee Ristuccia a traveling musician shown in the foreground. Mike Cohoon (left) and Ken Froelich (center) are from Hope Village. Ken’s truck was used to transport the 8′ x 20′ 7500 lb house 200 miles from Finland, MN to Ladysmith, WI.

This is how our Tiny House looked on the day it was purchased by Hope Village

The house had a small pot belly stove for heat, no air conditioner and no bathroom. The insulation was not sufficient to stand up to a WI winter.

Lynn Farley

While in Ladysmith, WI during the summer/fall of 2019 Lynn Farley, a Hope Village volunteer, did the following work. Insulation was added to the exterior walls and new smart siding was put on and painted the blue/gray color. New double pane windows donated by Tim McCormick the owner of Parco Windows were installed. A roof leak was fixed and roof edging was added. The ceiling was lowered to add foam insulation. Electrical wire runs were added for a heater, two air conditioners and kitchen counter wall outlets. New flooring was installed.


Here is the house exterior with the smart siding installed

Arian Berquist

The house was transported on 11/7/2019 from Ladysmith to Notre Dame by Arian Bergquist , a Hope Village volunteer.

Tom Ekstrom

Tom Ekstrom put a new electrical box inside the house and installed the cable with RV style plug on 11/14/19.

Tom Korger

Tom Korger stapled down the underlayment and glued down the vinyl floor on 11/30/19.

From left to right are Ted Derks, Al Mann and Jim Michaud from the Notre Dame building and grounds team. These three fine gentlemen decided to adopt the house and see it through to the completion of the refurbishment. They led, everyone else got out of the way.

After discovering some suspect electrical wiring Ted, Al and Jim opened up the majority of the walls on 1/10/2020 for the purpose of rewiring the entire house from scratch.

On 1/14/2020 he house was moved to be close to the Notre Dame construction shop and garage to facilitate completing the refurbishment during the winter months.

By the end of January the rewiring was complete, the walls were put back together, wood paneling (delivered by Ken Froelich and Mike Cohoon) was installed in the ceiling and on the walls. The bathroom closet was built. The back loft was made smaller, the front loft was made larger. An air conditioning sleeve was installed.

Painting preparation and initial priming or the walls occurred during the first week of February 2020. Lisa Merrell a Hope Village volunteer helped with the priming on a Sunday morning during a snow storm.

Chuck Goetl a Notre Dame volunteer did the majority of priming and painting during the 2nd and 3rd weeks in February.

During the week of 2/24/20 the majority of the finishing work was done by Ted Derks, Al Mann, and Jim Michaud.

Kitchen counter
Fire Alarm
Kitchen sink
Counter top oven

Electrical hookup
Air conditioner spot
Custom made ladder for the back loft
Custom railing back loft
Kitchen cabinets
Bath exhaust fan/light
Custom made ladder and railing for the front loft
Water Jug

On 3/3/2020 we were informed that our tiny house was awarded $1,000 from the Koh’s Grant. A team of students at Notre Dame middle school as part of a class on making grant requests wrote and submitted the request on our behalf. From left to right are Paige Anderson, Anna Thaler and Alex Tokarski. Kinley Laux is not shown. Many thanks to these talented students!

On Monday 3/9/2020 we were informed a family of 5 (mom and 4 children) in need of housing might be a good fit for our tiny house. On Tuesday 3/10/20 the air conditioner was installed, the refrigerator was delivered and the house was moved back to its permanent location. During the next 3 days Mike Cohoon delivered kitchen appliances and Nicole Estenson delivered kitchen supplies. Melanie Marie cleaned the house on 3/12/20. Matt and Ronda Elstran installed mini blinds, curtains, and all the bedding on 3/12/20 and the morning of 3/13/20. Here is how it all turned out.

Nicole Estenson
Melanie Marie

Fr. Burish blessed the house after daily Mass on 3/13/20.

Our first family moved into the house the evening of 3/13/20. While meeting folks around the parish mom related a story that a week earlier after a friend asked her where the family is going next she told her friend “God is building me a house” and it turned out to be true.