When you see them being built, it’s soon clear just how different the houses are. Much of the material in one of the houses is recycled. The customer brought along a door and other furnishings for incorporation into the finished home. Mullioned windows and good, solid materials create a traditional feel. Out in the yard is another house, which will soon be ready for delivery. It has a washing machine, built-in wine cooler, and the lighting is all controlled by an app. In one part of the house there’s a separate study that will be home to a height-adjustable desk.
Nothing’s impossible for Fabian and his crew. Their houses have included everything from bathtubs and pianos to professional kitchens. The kitchen was for a woman who now runs a small bakery from her tiny house. Tiny houses are more common and popular internationally than in Sweden – so far. There’s a growing interest in this type of housing throughout the Nordics. The tiny house trend began in the USA when the financial crisis led many people to invest in them not just because of the difficult times, but also to avoid expensive home mortgages. Fabian and his partner built and lived in a tiny house themselves for a couple of years when they were newly arrived in Tidaholm.
“We didn’t feel ready to settle down, find steady jobs and buy a house once we’d finished studying. We’re from Germany and we wanted to travel, first in the Nordics and later to southern Europe. Our first stop was Tidaholm and we only intended to stay here for three weeks. That was back in 2007 and we’ve never left, we like it so much here!” says Fabian.
The couple lived in their tiny house for a couple of years before renovating a deserted house on the outskirts of Madängsholm. When a friend asked if he could buy their tiny house, they put it on the market to get an idea of what it might be worth. There was much greater interest than they’d expected, and some of the people wondered if they could buy a newly built house from Fabian instead. And this is how Treesign, Tiny Homes of Sweden, began.
Unlike many other tiny house manufacturers, all production takes place in Sweden. The factory is beautifully located in an old spinning mill that is part of a larger industrial area in Madängsholm outside Tidaholm. The River Tidan flows right next door, and one of the company’s neighbors is a small hydroelectric plant that supplies Fabian’s company and his neighbors with locally generated energy.