Stock Show vendors hawk saddles, tractors and lots of cowboy hats and boots to large crowds looking for a Texas-sized experience.
But a few vendors this year are going the other direction: Tiny houses are on display at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.
The little homes are a growing industry, made popular by shows on HGTV. They are typically between 100 and 400 square feet. Many can be towed, and they attract people looking to travel, save money and/or reduce their impact on the environment, among other uses.
“A lot of people didn’t expect to see a tiny house at the Stock Show,” said Santiago Serrano of Superior Concrete Products, based in Euless. “Most of them have seen them on TV and want to come inside and see what they’re really like.”
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The Superior Concrete tiny house is about 200 square feet, with a kitchenette, a tiny bathroom with a small washing machine that doubles as a dryer and a loft that can fit a queen-sized bed but not much else.
Many of the visitors looking at tiny homes at the Stock Show were there out of curiosity. The crowd may not seem to fit the mold of typical tiny-house buyers, but the little homes are versatile.
“It’s not something I was thinking about or expecting,” said John Martin of Fort Worth. “But it seems like a practical idea for a lake cabin or guest house that I hadn’t considered.”
Other ideas: “For some, it’s a hunting cabin,” said Alex Hammons of Tiny House Outlet, based in Greenville. “For others, it can be a mother-in-law suite. And some people turn them into rentals.”
Many Stock Show visitors have land, Hammons said, giving them more possibilities for placing the moveable houses.
While the popular TV shows have helped the industry, they tend to represent the smallest and most expensive tiny houses, he said.
“To me, that’s not practical living,” Hammons said.
The Tiny House Outlet open house at the Stock Show is nearly 400 square feet. The price tag: about $27,000.
“This product is something you can actually live in and feel at home in,” Hammons said.