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‘Labor of love’ took year to build

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A recently completed “Tiny House” on wheels at the home of Debbie and Ron Etheridge sits behind the couple’s side yard fence.

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin/

POSTED February 7, 2018 1:05 a.m.

Ron Etheridge at one time worked on Boeing 747s — some of the world’s largest jets.
For the past year the Manteca resident has been working on building what is arguably Manteca’s smallest house.
Building a “tiny house” has been “a labor of love,” according to Ron Etheridge’s wife Debbie. That is in line with their decision to get married during the past year of working on the project.
It took nearly a year of her husband working on his project after coming home from his “day job” in Livermore at night and spending weekends building the tiny house that is just over 30 feet long and 13 feet high.  It is just the right size on top of its trailer to pass under bridges and freeway overpasses, meaning it doesn’t need a pilot car as an escort.
It has 14 windows and two lofts for additional beds.  The interior is just over eight feet wide and has an electrical system that will work with a generator or by being plugged into an A/C power source. 
It includes a Frigidaire refrigerator, a Tempest water heater with on-demand heat and air conditioning along with a flat screen television.  The toilet facilities and shower are located at the end of the house with a “barn door” providing the needed privacy.  Etheridge said a pocket door could be an option in the shower area with a storage area below the stairway to the loft.
A rheostat controls the lighting so that the downstairs illumination can be controlled from the loft beds above the main floor, they noted, making it much safer going down stairs during the night to get a drink of water or to use the bathroom. 
A transport trailer for the Tiny House can cost as much as $10,000, Etheridge noted.  It is an important necessity, he said providing brakes and a way to bolt the house to the trailer base with flanges around the sides to keep animals from bedding down underneath, he explained.  He went on to say that now that the “Tiny House” public interest has increased, transport trailers can be found that are manufactured specifically for the little houses.
They are hoping to sell their “Tiny House” for $62,500 now that it is completed and ready for occupancy. For more information Debbie and Ron can be reached at (510) 290-5049.

To contact Glenn Kahl, email

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