Charles Finn might just be the ultimate tiny house Renaissance Man. He’s a self-taught woodworker, an author, freelance writer, editor of the High Desert Journal, a literary and fine arts magazine, and his custom microhomes also allotted a full color spread in Lloyd Kahn’s “Tiny Homes, Simple Shelter” book.
Charles is originally from Vermont, but lived in Japan for a few years and admired the Japanese tea house designs. He eventually found himself in British Columbia living in a 7×12 foot vardo made by a woodworker friend. The vardo had no electricity or plumbing, but did have a 3-burner propane stove, a Jøtul woodstove and a set of deep-cycle batteries to run his laptop. After his first experience in a tiny home, he built his first “microhome” in Potomac, Montana out of lumber dismantled from old barns. The 8×12 foot cabin with a five foot loft became known as the Potomac Cabin.
“The entire cabin began with a daydream of wide windowsills so my cat, 42, could sit and look out,” Charles said in Kahn’s book. “The next winter I built a second and towed it into Missoula to show at a Farmer’s Market. It sold to the very first person who cycled by, along with a promise to create another.”
Charles is now building custom microhomes out of reclaimed and available materials. He mentions on his site that something the size of the Potomac Cabin will cost approximately $22,000 and a smaller 8×12 (like the Blue Room shown below) will cost around $14,000.
Photos by Charles Finn/A Room of One’s Own