Building a “Tiny House” for a BIG Cause

The 2016-17 school year marked the beginning of a momentous project, as Hill Country Builders Association (HCBA) members joined forces with Fredericksburg High School (FHS) to implement a Concept House construction education program. HCBA members donated their time to provide students valuable on-the-job training right on campus.

The kids worked closely with local builders and contractors to earn school credit through building a Concept House from the ground up. So, what is a Concept House? For starters, a Tiny Home is typically less than 400 sq. ft., whereas a Concept House is small but can measure up to 1000 square feet.

“We’re all about joining forces to promote pride in building craftsmanship and to teach kids valuable life skills,” said builder Richard Laughlin, HCBA Trades Program committee chair. “We aim to soon create a model program that high schools around the nation can follow.”


The U.S. Department of Labor’s recent reports indicate that for every five skilled tradesmen that retire, only one will enter the workforce.

“Couple the shortage of labor with the remarkable community growth in the Hill Country region and you’ve got a high-demand construction job market,” said builder Todd Eidson, President of the HCBA Wine Country Division. “Our hope is that the Concept House program will spark students’ interests in pursuing rewarding careers in the building industry.”


The FHS Concept House (dubbed ‘Casa Über Alles’) took eight months to build and included a comfortable living area, dining room, full kitchen, full bath, one bedroom, 16 feet of closet space and laundry area, totaling approximately 576 sq. ft.

Shortly following completion, Casa Über Alles was unveiled during a “Move That Bus” event in April and later sold in a live auction. Auction proceeds and HCBA fundraising events will help to fund the 2017-2018 Concept House, including the annual Sporting Clays Tournament organized by Trades Program committee member, Matthew Schumann.

Currently, the HCBA is working with several local area high schools to implement similar career education programs. To see the Concept House build in action, follow the ‘Casa Über Alles’ Facebook page.

Did you know?

The average age of a plumber is 65

The average salary of a journeyman plumber can top $70,000

5 to 1

For every 5 retired tradesmen, only 1 enters the workforce