Latrobe woman’s tiny vacation house gets online magazine spread

For Jessica Hooper, element of the attractiveness of small household living is that “when you strip absent the muddle and interruptions in life, you are capable to target your electricity on what is definitely critical.”

That is what the Latrobe resident instructed viewers of Small Home Journal, an on the web publication that attributes her little getaway getaway on the deal with of the existing problem.

The 160-sq.-foot structure fulfills Hooper’s desire of remaining ready to find the money for a holiday vacation household in the Laurel Highlands, the place she vacationed with her loved ones as a little one and now will take advantage of the hiking trails, ski runs, paddleboarding and whitewater prospects.

She phone calls the house “Eventyr,” a phrase with Aged Norse roots that implies “an adventure, fairy tale (a folktale), a little something extremely good.”

She purchased the residence as a shell and spent 18 months working on it, completing the project very last April. She purchased a lot at Roaring Operate Vacation resort in Donegal Township, where it now sits amid the woods.

Hooper, a mechanical designer for Elliott Group in Jeannette, said she’s a member of “the pretty tight-knit little residence community” on the internet, where persons share inspiration and information and facts about the minimalist way of life.

The publisher of the online magazine observed her Instagram tale and invited her to create about it.

Hooper at first intended to invest in home prior to getting the household, knowing it could acquire time, taking into consideration zoning polices that frequently need greater square footage for everlasting constructions. But right before she identified land, she uncovered the specific shell she required in Plymouth, Mich.

Hooper and her boyfriend, Nick Song of West Mifflin, towed the shell again to her residence in Latrobe, where it drew curiosity from passersby and even Latrobe police.

Then it was time to get to get the job done on the inside.

Trial and mistake

“I’m a self-taught builder, so there was a whole lot of demo and error,” she said. “I definitely did a lot of in excess of-engineering, making factors a lot more robust than they wanted to be.”

“This create taught me so much about myself and challenged me in techniques that I under no circumstances could have imagined,” Hooper instructed the magazine. “There were being assignments that I concluded, tore aside and then finished all over again. Some days my nerves have been at their breaking point.”

The shell was wired and plumbed, with partitions concluded in shiplap. The rest was a blank slate.

Hooper, with aid from Song and other buddies, built two sleeping lofts, just one large ample for a queen-sized mattress and the other keeping a double. The kitchen area has a sink, whole-sized refrigerator, open shelving, cabinets and a 4-burner propane-powered range with oven.

The sitting down space has a propane fire and sleeps one on a futon. The lavatory incorporates an oversized shower.

White partitions are accented with pops of turquoise, brown and gold. Electrical warmth retains the room cozy in chilly weather.

“I preferred a vibe that was a tiny bit rustic, with some modern-day touches,” Hooper claimed.


Courtesy of Jessica Hooper

Jessica Hooper’s small dwelling sits on a ton in Roaring Operate Resort in Donegal Township.


She and her good friends knocked out a deck in about 4 several hours in excess of the summer months, much too. She programs to include benches to the deck and skirting close to the foundation this year. Regretably, the vacation resort explained no to a incredibly hot tub.

The very long look for for residence finally finished when Hooper observed an advertisement for long term campsites for sale at Roaring Run Resort.

“I was selected I experienced observed each individual campground in the Laurel Highlands and none of them experienced aligned with my eyesight or they didn’t let small households,” she claimed. “I quickly contacted the resort manager and shortly soon after, I was touring the property.”

It had everything she wanted, together with mountaineering trails a number of ways absent, proximity to the other outside pursuits she enjoys and on-website amenities.

“I just fell in enjoy with it,” she said. “It’s pretty non-public and anxiety-no cost. There is a pool and food stuff vehicles in the summertime, mini-golfing and other routines.”

Following she acquired the assets, relatives customers told her about a tie to Roaring Run that she was too young to try to remember. Her uncle experienced been a manager at the vacation resort through the 1980s.

There to continue to be

Hooper compensated $30,000 for the shell and put in an further $20,000 to $25,000 to finish the create. She pays more on the financial loans each and every month and anticipates obtaining equally house and assets compensated off in 5 yrs.

She discovered economical willpower from her grandparents, who elevated her.

“I purchased my house in Latrobe when I was 23,” she said. “My grandparents taught me that, if you want a little something, you have to go soon after it.”


Shirley McMarlin | Tribune-Evaluation

The sitting down region of Jessica Hooper’s very small residence.


Even though the home is now closed for the winter season, Hooper has served pay back down the loans by leasing it as a result of Airbnb. It rents for $160 for each night time, bare minimum two nights, and the vacation resort handles the bookings.

Renter assessments have been beneficial.

“There was only a single man or woman who mentioned it was also little,” she mentioned. “What did they hope? They rented a small residence.”

When it is compensated off, she claimed she might give up on leasing — or else she’ll keep renting and establish another small house on a nearby ton.

“I just do not at any time want to move it yet again,” she mentioned.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Evaluate staff author. You can get in touch with Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or by way of Twitter .

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