St George Inventor Creates Affordable Tiny Home Concept – St George News

ST. GEORGE —An entrepreneur with deep ties to the community has invented a small house concept that is affordable and easy to assemble, with future goals to include water conservation for the livelihoods of their communities.

Inventor Mike Taggett stands in his shop, July 17, 2022, Hurricane, Utah | Photo by Jessi Bang, St. George News

Inventor Mike Taggett has a lifetime of business experience that stems from the variety of inventions he has created.

“The biggest challenge is getting your ideas out there and getting someone interested enough to spend time and learn,” Taggett said. I think we need to give individual inventors more time to tell their story and hopefully I can do that.”

Taggett said he originally worked in construction through college and then became a river guide in Moab. He was then hired as a guide in Hurricane to lead wooden boat rows through the Grand Canyon. In the off-season, Taggett said he bought a sewing machine and started making different styles of eyeglass cords. He came up with his own personal design and turned it into a successful, full-time business.

“They just left,” Taggett said of Chums, his glasses case. “I received a large order from Swatch watch. The owner of the company loved them and wanted to add them to their line.”

An image of Mike Taggett's glasses case for Chums is shown |  Photo Courtesy of Mike Taggett, St. George News
An image of Mike Taggett’s glasses case for Chums is shown | Photo Courtesy of Mike Taggett, St. George News

Taggett said Swatch placed a test order of 10,000 units and then placed an order for 290,000 units. He grew the company to 60 employees and made about 30 eyeglass cords in 18 years. He later sold the company, which is still active in Hurricane to this day.

“I’m quite a resourceful, enterprising person and I’ve always been self-employed,” Taggett said.

Taggett said he moved to Detroit, Michigan for a few years and learned metalworking, casting and precision machining. He developed his own steam engine, with a focus on alternative energy and waste heat recovery.

The market never developed for that niche product and he moved on to other things, including the exercise machine called “Human Dynamo” which he invented in 2010. The fitness machines are designed to generate electricity, including a desktop model that charges a laptop by simply pedaling. Working in a competing company with liability issues and equipment failure, he had to put that project on the back burner.

An elaborated concept for the Rambler Homes shows the exterior of the house |  Photo Courtesy of Mike Taggett, St. George News
An elaborated concept for the Rambler Homes shows the exterior of the house | Photo Courtesy of Mike Taggett, St. George News

In recent years, Taggett has worked on several projects, such as biodegradable coffee cups made from pine-based coatings and the “Arica Toilet”, a small urinal hybrid that uses only 12 ounces of water per flush.

“My job as an inventor and entrepreneur is to get a big developer, ‘this is a really cool idea, we’re going to make 10,000 houses in phoenix next year with the toilets’ and, ‘I have a guy at American Standard who would looking at this thing,” Taggett said. “That’s kind of the starting point as an inventor with different projects.”

With the current housing market and the price of even small homes expensive per square foot, Taggett said many hopeful homeowners have limited options. That led him to his latest project: building unique and imaginative tiny houses.

A detailed concept for the Rambler Homes shows the interior of the house |  Photo Courtesy of Mike Taggett, St. George News
A detailed concept for the Rambler Homes shows the interior of the house | Photo Courtesy of Mike Taggett, St. George News

With his background in construction, Taggett has spent time planning and creating cardboard models for what he calls the Rambler House. With 750 square feet plus 250 square feet in the loft, these 1,000-square-foot homes would feel more spacious than a standard tiny house at a much lower cost.

In terms of water conservation, Taggett said the average person uses about 150 gallons of water per day and hopes to reduce this consumption to 30 gallons with the Ramber Homes. While most areas don’t currently allow rainwater reuse, he hopes to change that.

“They don’t let you take your shower water or washing machine water and keep that in a tank and also don’t use it in the yard or trees, which is ridiculous because we’re in a drought,” Taggett said.

A photo shows plans for a Rambler Home community |  Photo Courtesy of Mike Taggett, St. George News
A photo shows plans for a Rambler Home community | Photo Courtesy of Mike Taggett, St. George News

In addition to conserving water, the plan for the Rambler Homes includes a lower cost of ownership through the use of wall modules that bolt into steel frames, making it easy for carpenters and workers to assemble. While the cost of materials will be about the same as other houses, the labor costs will be significantly less because of the time it takes to build them.

“It’s really about the methodology. A team of four could make the frame and modules in a week, while conventional framing has so many bits and pieces and busy work,” Taggett said.

With the design and engineering for the homes already in place, including drawings of the framework completed by a mechanical engineer, Taggett’s goal is to create a village of 30 Rambler Homes at a retail price of $275,000 each, with a mixed-use community with a few stores open to the general public.

“I’m looking for like-minded people to work with. I would be the designer and lead the architect and put together the whole vision, and then be a minority partner,” Taggett said.

For more information about Rambler Homes, contact Mike Taggett through his website.

photo gallery

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

Leave a Reply