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‘Proof of concept’: Developer finds success with Milner tiny homes

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Milner’s Cheney Creek Tiny Homes 6 Unit Project, developed by Michael Buccino of MicroLiving LLC, offers achievable housing options.
Susie Romig / Steamboat Pilot & Today

Developers with key workers living in Milner’s Chainy Creek Tiny Home, from school teachers to bus drivers, are more achievable in Laut County by other entrepreneurs replicating his “proof of concept”. I want to build a good house.

“I would be honored if someone could duplicate what I did and make it better for our community,” said Michael Butcino, project designer and general contractor. “I want everyone to steal my idea and start over.”

After more than two years of planning and construction work, including the excavation of two deep wells to avoid impacts on the water supply in the neighborhood, a complex of six units in a one-third acre small house thrives. increase.



Buccino, owner MicroLiving LLCHe said he was willing to help other developers duplicate the concept to alleviate the plight of housing in Routt County.

For Andrew “Shams” Brune, a science teacher at Hayden High School, and his wife Jennifer, who works at United Way in Routt County, housing search seemed “dark” until a small house project was found.



“There was no way we could even quit our job in Michigan and move here,” said Brune, who owns one of the small homes with his wife. “It really worked.”

Buccino was keenly interested in showing the Routt County community that the concept of a small house would work locally. He has been a volunteer board member of the American TinyHouse Association since 2019 and has long served as a resource for people inquiring about educational panels and small homes.

“I wanted to reach out to the building sector and local financial institutions,” Buccino said. “The subdivision process was long and complex so that homeowners could own the soil below and take out 30-year mortgages on a regular basis.”

Completed in Milner, the Chainy Creek Tiny Homes Complex contains six units for sale or rental, with two levels and a loft bedroom.
Michael Buccino / Photo courtesy of

Buccino said the development is more unique across the country because homebuyers own small lots rather than paying as much as mobile homes. Rareer than a small house with wheels, the house is built with rods on a foundation with a 60-inch high crawl space to provide protected storage.

After some road clashes with three other lenders, Brunes was able to fund the purchase of their small home with a traditional mortgage.


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The complex has a central open space with a gazebo, a small shared laundry room and designated parking. Small homes for sale range in price from $ 200,000 to $ 230,000, featuring all-electric services and energy-efficient construction, making them more affordable than the smallest condominiums on steamboats.

Four of the units are 357 sq ft with downstairs kitchen and bathroom, upstairs loft bedroom, 200 sq ft crawl-type storage space, and wraparound front porch. Two of the units are 6 feet long and feature 437 square feet of living space, 260 square feet of storage under the crawl space hatch, and a rectangular front pouch.

Efficiently designed units include 6-9 windows, built-in storage cabinets, open stairs, small pantry, convection microwave, induction stove, and full bathroom, making the interior feel cramped. It is not.

Completed in Milner, the Chainy Creek Tiny Homes covers the front porch leading to the entrance area.
Michael Buccino / Photo courtesy of

Buccino hopes to build similar small house projects in Hayden, Oak Creek and Steamboat in the future. Within the next four years, he hopes that the concept of subdivision of small homes will become very seamless and will be included as an option in the Brown Ranch, a property purchased by the Yampa Valley Housing Corporation.

Buccino, a member of the Steamboat Springs City Council, bought one of his own small homes to offer rentals to the staff of the Steamboat Interiors business in the interest of seducing new quality employees.

“If you’re smart, it’s like what you’re doing,” Buccino said of offering rental housing as a recruitment tool.

The development of an innovative small house was completed in December 2021 with several ongoing finishes, including the construction of a privacy fence this week to block highway traffic.

According to Buccino, one of the units for sale promises to be purchased by the primary school caretaker. The rent for a small house is $ 1,800 per month and includes all utilities and Wi-Fi.

With all the plans needed for the first project in Routt County, Buccino sweated a lot and had a double duty for months to make the project work. He said the project went bankrupt financially, but similar projects in the future should take an easier path.

Buccino named the project Chainy Creek Tiny Holmes, as well as his own pioneering spirit, after Chainy, a pioneer in Milner’s history.

Another small house project in western Routt County, 12 units Hayden Village Town Homes The development of the mini-duplex offers more housing options.

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