Handmade tiny house becomes trigger for personal adventure

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A tiny home waiting to settle into. Its new plot sparked the interest of commuters at the Harding Theological Academy Wednesday.

Brandon "BJ" Bland, who is waiting to move his 180 square foot tiny home to its new plot in the Raleigh area of Memphis, said he lives a very simple lifestyle.  Despite being a self-proclaimed introvert who's looking forward to settling down with just his dog, Bland enjoys having visitors to his tiny home.

The best thing about having people come is their desire to share their dreams with him.

"As soon as people walk in it seems to be, more often than not, they just start talking about their hopes and dreams. I don't know what it is about building something like this, but it kind of gets people excited- going out on a limb and trying something new and going on an adventure."

His own dream of wanting to be more self-sufficient made him want to build a tiny house. He said he hopes the skills he's gained will help others in need.

"I'm never always going to be able to give money to people, but I can always give time and manual labor, and manual labor is a little more valuable if you can do stuff," Bland said. "So, I wanted to learn to do everything on my own as far as electrical, plumbing, contractor work that type of thing. "

Bland spent two years working on his tiny house. The first four to five months was spent "YouTubing" and learning how to do stuff from the internet. The rest he learned from trial and error.

"The biggest hurdle was my ignorance because I didn't know anything before I started. So just trying to figure stuff out and then I basically built this home twice cause of all the mistakes I made," Bland said.

At one point Bland and some family members helping him push a wall up. Bland realized that he had measured a wall incorrectly and had to do it over.

Another hurdle: working with the city to make his tiny home a reality. Bland said many of the regular things home builders face like insurance and code didn't know what to with a tiny home.

Bland said he's had to share what he's learned with them in order for them to help him.

"Telling them how I was hooking up to land, what I was doing with it. They didn't know what it was going to look like. I just told them what I was doing," Bland said. "They had a lot of questions because they didn't know what to picture and so just trying to educate as I went along."