Written by Audrey Sochor
With the weather heating up many people want to be on the water as much as possible. For some, living and working on the water is an option thanks to Jim Mittler and Tiny FloatHouse.
Started in 2017, Mittler and his company have been making tiny, floating Adirondack cottages geared toward people who live on the waterfront and want additional space for a retreat.
“This really started when we left Texas,” Mittler said. Prior to moving to Michigan he worked on offshore oil rigs for 12 years as an engineer, where he traveled the Gulf of Mexico, and the shores of Scotland and Alaska. But the Ohio native started to miss the Great Lakes. “We found this area and just fell in love with it.”
When Mittler and his family made the move to the Blue Water Area they wanted to be on the water even more than just on the water so they thought about building a boathouse. Turns out boathouses are restricted in East China unless the structure is grandfathered in, so the idea of the boat floathouse was born.
“We enjoyed it so much and so many people loved it we thought we could build these and sell them.”
Mittler gives all his floathouses unique nautical features. Every boat comes with a moon pool, which is a hatch in the floor opening to the water. He also uses reclaimed doors and windows off of Michigan homes and navigation lights off old Chris-Craft boats.
“We really try to work in the charm any way we can,” Mittler said.
Built on pontoon hulls, each floathouse takes about two months to build from design to engineering to finishing touches. The base price for one is $25,000.
Mittler said Tiny FloatHouse is a family business geared toward families. His daughter designed the logo, his son helps him haul parts and his wife helps with staging and finding nautical accents. His ideal client is a family who will relax and enjoy the space together.
That picture translates into his business philosophy – floathouses are not a fast moving boat, but a peaceful cottage retreat. “We want you to go slow and enjoy life,” Mittler said.
To learn more about Mittler and his tiny floathouses visit tinyfloathouse.com.