TAMPA, Fla. — Paul Lynch, an attorney with Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick, LLP, a full-service business law firm, is building a tiny house on wheels in his backyard with his eldest son, Corbett Lunsford, to promote quality control known as “Home Performance” in construction practices.
The father-and-son duo is constructing the tiny house at the Hillsborough County base of operations – the backyard of Lynch’s Valrico home. The 200-square-foot home will have solar panels, a composting toilet, sensors built into the walls to measure performance and the highest-quality non-toxic materials from manufacturers around the world.
“I started woodworking as a hobby in 2006 when we renovated our house,” said Lynch, “and took classes to perfect my craft, so this project was naturally something I was really excited about. To be able to do something I love with my son, and have an impact on people around the country, was extremely appealing,” he said.
Lunsford, a Home Performance Testing Specialist, left his home and client base in Chicago with his wife Grace, a voice artist and filmmaker, to move to Florida. He’s constructing the custom tiny house full time with his dad’s assistance from November to February, when the couple will also welcome their first child.
“Quality, efficient home design and construction is something I’m passionate about, and it’s a dream come true to begin this journey with my family here in Florida and then share it with people all over America.” Lunsford and his wife, newborn baby and two cats will take the home on the road, across country, to 20 U.S. cities starting with St. Augustine, Fla. in April 2016.
This tiny house on wheels is being called the “Tiny Lab” because of its unique construction. “Everything in this home will work as a system, making it extremely efficient,” said Lunsford. “We have manufacturers who have donated products, which will work in harmony with each other to shine a spotlight on quality control and efficiency in home building.”
Some of those manufacturers include Purebond formaldehyde-free plywood, Zehnder ventilation, Panasonic solar panels, RAB LED lighting, Dwyer Instruments and Mitsubishi heating and cooling.
“Mitsubishi has a product that uses an infrared eye to sense which area of the home needs the temperature adjusted, and it sends the cool or warm air there,” said Lunsford.
One of the main factors contributing to an efficient home, he says, is its air tightness, and this home will include several different layers of air tightness. “Air sealing is more important than insulation; air goes right through insulation and can lead to condensation, mildew and mold,” Lunsford noted.
The Lunsfords crowd-sourced the locations for their tour with a RocketHub crowdfunding campaign that raised $71,490, 119 percent of the couple’s goal of $60,000. The tour is called “Proof is Possible” and the Tiny Lab will stop in for showings and seminars based on fan input. That list includes 20 cities: St. Augustine, Raleigh, Washington DC, Baltimore, Dallas, San Diego, Phoenix, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Ithaca, Cincinnati, Birmingham, Atlantic City, New York, Washington Township, Princeton, Rochester, Atlanta and Wilmington, Del. The map is available at ProofisPossible.com.
“We’re hoping to change the expectations for residential construction across the country with our tour and encourage legislators to pass more high performance codes,” said Corbett Lunsford. “Other places around the world like Belgium are leading in this area, and we hope to encourage those changes here.”
The Tiny Lab and team will spend one week in each city and offer tours, workshops and contractor training for the public.
“We can’t wait to show off the best performing and smallest home people have ever seen,” said Lunsford. “We’ll show people that they can do this too.”
About Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP
Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP is a full-service business law firm with more than 240 lawyers, 60 paralegals and 495 employees in five offices: Toledo and Columbus, Ohio; Tampa and Sarasota, Florida; and Charlotte, North Carolina. In each of its markets, Shumaker is the premier provider of quality legal services to individuals, small businesses, health care providers, nonprofits and Fortune 500 and international corporations.