by Noah Hedges
A new kind of Tiny House is being created on the eastern edge of the Continental Divide, where the Badlands meet the forest of the Rocky Mountains in Dubois, Wyoming. A product of their environment and culture, Frontier Fortress is building with strength, durability, and sustainability in mind. Several functions set these Tiny Homes apart from the crowd: most importantly their use of big, strong, posts and beams. The goal was to design and build a Tiny House that combines these elements in an artistic approach – they've taken the craft of building with big timbers and joined it with modern architectural flair.
Frontier Fortress Tiny Homes start with a modular post and beam design. The "frame" of the house is built from 8″x8″ pine and fir logs, held with timber frame joinery and connected with the patented Timberlinx system. The size of these pieces can be handled by two people and assembled and disassembled with ease. 8″x8″ timbers were chosen to accept conventionally framed 2×6 in-fill panels. This combination of a robust timber-frame and substantial wall-panel framing propagates a building which is super-strong and highly insulated. All created with natural materials, non-chemical finishes, energy efficient utilities and appliances, keeping a minimal carbon-footprint in mind.
Functionality is very important to Frontier Fortress. All homes must be intended to live in. Whether a permanent dwelling, vacation home, accessory building or retreat – a Tiny House must feel more than tiny, it needs to have personality, warmth, compatibility, and an inviting character. These are real places to dwell within, start a family, write a book, run a business or a safe hide-out on the weekends.
Customization is an important feature of a Tiny House. Frontier Fortress works with the customer to select interior and exterior finishes, color schemes, appliances, utilities, window and door specifications, lighting and more- because they know every end-user has varying preferences. The home starts as a "basic" shell created with locally-sourced materials and may be finished at their shop or at the customer's location – this enables the most efficient use of materials.
Frontier Fortress is designing within the 200, 400 and 600 square-footage categories because they believe that these three will fit any household's needs- also, their modular approach allows them to be added or multiplied when necessary. The debut model "Tie-hack Fort" is a two-story house sitting on a 10′x12′ platform; it achieves almost 100 square feet of upstairs space with a full-sized downstairs bathroom and kitchen with plenty of work-space. This house showcases their post and beam system on a compact footprint, includes many features yet to be seen in a Tiny House and can be owned for less than $30,000.
The Frontier Fortress Tiny House is meant to last a lifetime and feel extraordinary for the duration. Please visit their website for more photographs, technical drawings, ethos, commentary and specific model information. www.frontierfortress.com