Derek Diedricksen has loved tiny homes since he read Lester Walker’s “Tiny Tiny Houses” as a ten year old. It was the same year he built his first “non-fort tiny house” (complete with insulation, electricity, bunk beds), mowing lawns to raise the money for the two-by-fours.
Nearly three decades later and he’s still building and has turned his childhood passion into a career. He runs one of the original tiny house blogs (relaxshacks.com), has authored a graphic novel/ DIY instruction manual “Humble Homes, Simple Shacks, Cozy Cottages, Ramshackle Retreats, Funky Forts“, hosts tiny house building workshops (his next is Nov 22-23 in Carolina Beach, NC), builds tiny shelters/treehouses for clients and even raps about the genre (e.g. in his music video Lollipop Fort of Death).
His backyard (what he describes as a Mad Max/ Sanford and Son mashup) is always filled with “curb sale” materials (mostly items he’s found on the side of the road, especially old windows) and whatever tiny shelters he’s currently building or ready to put up for sale (through word of mouth; and he’s sold every one of them).
He’s constantly sketching ideas for new hideouts (which he shares in his book and hopes people will take the plans and run with the ideas) and writing music for his two bands (he’s a drummer and vocalist/lyricist) or reading from his extensive tiny house book collection. He jokes he must have ADD, but when pressed he admits it’s a labor of love.
“It sounds lame, but I just enjoy life and have a lot of fun with doing what I do and I don’t know I wish that life was much longer because there’re so many things. And I’m a bookworm so I wish I could live to be 200 years old so I could just hole up in a tree in the woods and just read a lot of books.”