A smaller home to live a bigger life

By Brady Bateman
January 3, 2019 - 5:00pm

Less can be more, or at least that’s the idea which in recent years has seen the rapid expansion of the tiny home movement.

Defined as a home between 100 to 400 square feet, tiny homes can come in all manner of shapes and sizes, ranging from prebuilt fabrications, to renovations of school buses, cargo vans and even ambulances.

Members of one Prince Albert based company hope to see the tiny home movement grow larger, and influence people to live their lives a different kind of way.

Paved to Pines, founded and operated Mitchell Rosko and Steven Glass, started as an idea between two college roommates which quickly turned into not only a full-time business, but a lifestyle.

“It all started back with my first school bus,” Glass said. “I had a motorcycle back in the day that I couldn’t sell, but I ended up getting an offer for a school bus that someone wanted to trade for the bike. It got me thinking and looking into the possibilities of living in a school bus, and that started the one year conversion of working on the bus every weekend.”

Having been inspired by their own experience of building a liveable bus, Glass and Rosko set out with the idea of creating these moveable homes for others to enjoy.

Paved to Pines will soon celebrate its one year anniversary, and in that time the business that was once only an idea, has expanded greatly with those interested in the tiny home movement providing a variety of vehicles to customize.

“We address anything from school buses to ambulances, all the way to cargo vans and sprinters, it’s really all up to what the client wants,” Glass said. “Price ranges for homes like these vary a lot. Someone who’s looking at something like a school bus might start around $60,000 all the way up to $120,000, depending on how off-grid you want to get and all the features you want, it’s just dependant on the client.”

Those who choose to live the tiny home lifestyle vary greatly, according to Rosko. Clients have ranged from younger couples visiting Canada for a short period of time, to older individuals looking to see the country in a different way.

“Business has just been awesome so far,” Rosko said. “I think minimalism is just becoming really big. People are trying to create a positive eco-footprint and live a greener lifestyle. You can move these and live wherever you want, you really live a picture perfect lifestyle when you live in one of these things.”

Rosko and Glass added they see the tiny home movement as a large community, with those who become involved making connections with others involved in the movement.

Paved to Pines will soon expand farther into the rental market, allowing those who are interested in the tiny home movement to test the waters, without the commitment of purchasing.

Tiny Homes have gained international attention in recent years, with people around the world interested in making the lifestyle switch.

Sarah Hall and her husband Patrick decided they wanted to travel throughout Canada in 2017 but had no way to do so as they lived in Australia. They soon found Paved to Pines, which made their dream a reality.

“About a year ago we decided that we wanted to pursue this (travelling Canada) however, our major problem being that we didn't have our little home on wheels to make this dream come true,” Hall said. “We purchased Stanley (the van which was converted) in Calgary. Steven made the huge trip from Saskatoon to pick him up and drive back to begin the build – a commitment many businesses certainly wouldn’t offer.

“The best thing we could have done was leave a lot of the build up to the guys because they really know what they’re doing. We are still finding out bits and pieces about our build that we’d never have thought of but are endlessly useful.”

Glass and Rosko noted they believe the growing tiny home trend will continue to grow in the future, as more people seek out lifestyles that are minimalist and more eco-friendly and added they want people to live more outdoor-focused lifestyles.

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