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Rich Richardson

Oahu

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It’s impossible to miss Rich Richardson’s bright red tiny home against the green hills of Oahu. Entering the property, you are immediately greeted by Rich’s two pups and the cool breeze off the Kalihi mountainside. He has a background in art and working with his hands, evident by the dried paint on his hands and pants. However, this is the first home he has ever built, in ten short months, with the help of online how-to guides and a few friends.

Rich is proud of his work. “I built it to international building code,” he says, “which was my challenge to myself.” A deck leads to a wide doorway that invites you inside. The walls are painted a soft white and all the windows are open, creating a bright, airy feel. He describes the home as “off-grid ready.” The “tiny” home is comfortably sized by tiny-home standards, measuring 18 feet long by 8 ½ wide and 11 feet tall.

It’s also powered by the sun: a modest solar panel provides for all electrical needs. The fridge and stove run on propane, and a water catcher keeps the tank full, providing enough water for a stand-up shower and a composting toilet. Even the floor is recycled from a 100-year-old house on Oahu. Rich put a considerable amount of thought into the design. “It was important to me to have a stylistic imperative,” he says. “I didn’t want it to feel like something you have to live in, but something that you would really want to live in.” 

After noticing all the homeless on Oahu and trying to think of a solution to the housing crisis, Rich was motivated to build a tiny home. He has listed this one on the market and plans to build more in the future. “I really love the hands-on nature of the work,” he says, pointing outside and smiling. "I like to imagine the future owner having a campfire outside. Living the indoor and outdoor lifestyle. It’s a great way to live simply - expand your feeling of having a nice place to live without expanding your footprint.”

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