Tiny houses have been a trend in the US for quite some time now. While some people see them as an unreachable dream, others have set their mind to leaving behind big and ostentatious houses in favor of smaller, more affordable and sustainable ones.
The latter group are the ones “Tiny House Nation” focuses on. Since it premiered in 2014, the show has gone through several off-camera changes, but to build tiny houses that customers want to make their dream come true, is a goal which remains the same.
If you were one of those who loyally followed “Tiny House Nation” while it aired, you’re probably worried that it’s been a while since we watched a new season premiere on TV.
So what happened to the series? Was it cancelled or is it going to return sometime, hopefully soon? Here we will tell you everything related to the show’s whereabouts and its future, so stay with us!
- 1 What’s Up With “Tiny House Nation”?
- 2 Legal Problems
- 3 How Were People Cast In The Show?
- 4 How Much Does It Cost?
- 5 What Is John Weisbarth Doing Now?
- 6 What Is Zack Griffin Doing Now?
What’s Up With “Tiny House Nation”?
It’s undeniable that alternative or out-of-norm lifestyles are common when it comes to reality TV. What feeds people’s curiosity about these types of shows, is mostly peeking into the workings of strangers’ lives without necessarily getting personally involved with them.
This winning formula for TV is what positioned “Tiny House Nation” as one of the most famous and watched DIY series of its time, setting itself apart from others for not only focusing on renovating or constructing these dwellings, but also giving the audience an exclusive insight into how families and individuals manage to adapt to their new and small living residences.
Knowing all of this, it’s surprising we haven’t heard anything regarding “Tiny House Nation”s renewal since 2019, but there’s an explanation for it. As it happened, the show aired its first four seasons on the FYI channel, and was later moved to A&E for unknown reasons.
This unstable broadcasting situation only worsened when by mid-fifth season, the show left traditional TV to continue airing the rest of the season on Netflix.
Supposedly, these changes are speculated to mean that the series was burned-off TV, meaning that it was allegedly cancelled before it completely aired, leaving the remaining episodes to be broadcast purely for legal reasons.
Will It Come Back To TV?
Although the show’s supposed cancellation is accepted as a fact, no news about it ever came from A&E, or the show’s production company. However, judging by how long it has been since the show aired for the last time, it’s safe to assume it’s not coming back anytime soon.
Despite the bad news and the lack of explanation of the show’s situation, starting from 2020, “Tiny House Nation” was syndicated to air on National Geographic. As well, the show’s last two seasons are available on Netflix.
While this isn’t exactly the best news for those who are still waiting to see John Weisbarth and Zack Griffin back on their TV screens, it’s at least relieving that the show hasn’t been completely forgotten.
Though it’s theorised that “Tiny House Nation” could have been cut-short due to low ratings or a budget shortage, it’s speculated that the several legal problems that those who were involved with the series faced along the years, potentially caused its unofficial cancellation.
As it follows, these are some of the most commented-on legal issues related to the show:
Out of all the legal misgivings that we know “Tiny House Nation” has been involved with, the most famous is probably the accusation of stealing someone’s house.
It goes back to 2018, when Ben and Rebecah Richards contacted contractor Mike Bedsole for the purpose of moving their young family into a little house.
Bedsole, who was then a contractor for “Tiny House Nation”, apparently informed them that by appearing in the show, the production staff would pay for their trailer.
Knowing it was a good money-saving deal, the Richards family accepted the offer, only to later be told they were obligated to pay for the trailer provided by Bedsole’s supplier anyway. Despite the bad news, the couple paid $11,500 to Bedsole, in addition to providing him with the necessary documentation to register the house.
Fast forward to a couple of months later, and after some problems regarding their participation in the show were sorted out, the Richards’ house was finally featured in “Tiny House Nation”. Nonetheless, after filming wrapped up, the young family couldn’t obtain a quote for their remaining debt from the contractor.
As they later discovered, Bedsole registered the trailer under his own name and the family was forced to move out of it. According to the Richards family, “Tiny House Nation”s production staff made it clear that they held no responsibility for the incident, leaving the legal issue to be solved between them and Bedsole.
The TV Stations Lawsuit
Although the dispute between the Richards family and Mike Bedsole was apparently never taken to court, problems didn’t end there. As it happened, the fact that the issue involved a famous TV show was enough to quickly attract the media’s attention, resulting in an apparent massive backlash against Bedsole.
Due to it, in 2020 Bedsole filed a $250 million lawsuit against two Californian TV channels for defamation.
As stated in court papers, the stories shared by these stations allegedly implied Bedsole had committed illegal activities related to his dispute with the Richards family, which had ultimately negatively affected his business Tiny House Chattanooga, and his personal reputation.
Meanwhile, defendants argued that their content was meant for audiences in California, and so was out of the jurisdiction of Tennessee, where the case was filed. However, both TV stations failed to base their reports on the court’s documents issued when the Richards were evicted from the trailer in dispute, as the case’s judge noted.
As of late 2021, the case is still in court, but has kept the media’s attention for more than its involvement with “Tiny House Nation”, as it’s been deemed a case of infringement to people’s freedom of speech. As well, it’s been argued that the case is of general interest due to the public nature of the show.
The $1 Million Lawsuit
It’s worth noting that by appearing in “Tiny House Nation”, the builders’ business usually gains more recognition. Conversely, negative opinions about their work could easily spread like wildfire, affecting their companies more than it would if they didn’t appear in the show.
Knowing this, it’s only understandable why a negative review about builder Charles Brzezinski made him start a million-dollar legal battle. It all dates back to 2016, when Jared Logan and Vanessa Wesley were showcased in a “Tiny House Nation”s third season’s episode. Although nothing wrong was visible on screen, behind the scenes the homeowners were quite displeased with Brzezinski’s work, a feeling they openly expressed on an online review of his business later.
The couple accused him of unprofessionalism, leaving their house incomplete, with severe unfixed problems, holding their home hostage until they reviewed his work positively, and even alleging that Brzezinski wasn’t legitimately licensed as a contractor, perhaps something that should have been established prior to contracts being signed?
Word about Brzezinski’s apparent less than favorable work ethic spread, leading him to file a lawsuit against Logan and Wesley, demanding $1 million in damages for the alleged negative effect their review had on his reputation. Though it’s unknown what the court’s final decision for the case was, Brzezinski’s business is apparently still active, but negative reviews on his website are numerous.
Unfortunately, when it comes to contracts and money, it’s only natural for somethings to turn out badly. However, it’s another thing when serious mistakes happen just a little too often.
The latter explains very well the situation with Scott Stewart, one of “Tiny House Nation” builders who despite normally doing a great job in the show, apparently didn’t satisfy his off-camera clients.
It turns out that Stewart had repeatedly failed to refund many of his customers’ commissioned houses. The reason behind his apparent lack of compromise at finishing these projects wasn’t revealed, but due to it, at least seven complaints from his former clients were filed from 2014 to 2019 in Colorado, Georgia, California, Arkansas and New Mexico.
As is apparent, the cases hadn’t prospered until the General Attorney from Arkansas – Leslie Rutledge – sued him for fraud in 2019. As stated, the lawsuit could prevent him from ‘taking advantage’ of more customers, whom he’d apparently billed for $115,000 by then.
In 2020, Stewart was finally ordered to pay $240,000, split between restitution to his former clients, civil penalties, and fees.
How Were People Cast In The Show?
There might be little chance of “Tiny House Nation” ever coming back to TV, but that doesn’t mean hopes are completely lost. Knowing that, it’s understandable that many people want to know how the participants were cast in it, just in case the show ever does return.
Judging by the casting requirements the show posted back in the day, applicants should have had over $40,000 to afford the project. It doesn’t mention if owning a foundation or a trailer was required, but by reading past participants’ shared experiences, the latter was apparently provided by the show.
However, money is only part of the equation. To participate in “Tiny House Nation”, homeowners must have had a strong will to embrace the tiny housing lifestyle without inconvenience. While this requirement isn’t explicitly mentioned, since it should be obvious, it’s evidently a strong factor to consider, despite the resource advantages that it provides.
As reported by the website Apartment Therapy, tiny houses are not only a matter of adapting to limited spaces, it also entails problems with zone regulations for those who travel with them, in addition to the sometimes expensive costs related to maintenance, moving, and most of all, the possible difficulties that plumbing, piping and electrics represent for these homeowners.
How Much Does It Cost?
Besides the obvious costs of buying or leasing a foundation or a trailer, improving the latter could mean a financial challenge for many people.
As affirmed by “Tiny House Nation”s hosts John Weisbarth and Zack Giffin years ago, the costs of building your dreamed tiny house vary depending on what each homeowner wants. The least expensive project presented in the show was $40,000, but both of them had known about other basic projects which cost $35,000, including design, materials and workforce.
Projects as cheap as $8,000 aren’t impossible, though in Weisbarth’s words, finishing these depend mainly on the homeowners’ disposition of working themselves and obtaining donated materials.
Nonetheless, according to Insider, tiny house prices could be as high as $80,000, due to the quality of build and rise of demand as of 2021. While these new market prices might be warding off the lifestyle from its original affordable premise, it probably also means that those who still wish to adapt to it could level-up their DIY home-improvement skills for the sake of saving money.
What Is John Weisbarth Doing Now?
He was always the most known face of the show for a reason. Although brief, his career as an actor includes movies such as “No Brainer” and “Mission: Irreparable”. After debuting in “Tiny House Nation” in 2014, he moved on to host other shows such as “Unplugged Nation” and “Roadstead Nation”.
However, it’s been so long since we watched new episodes of “Tiny House Nation” on our TV screens, that John has been creating content on other platforms, such as YouTube with his “Covid Cocktails” series.
As well, he’s active on the Cameo platform, on which his subscribers could enjoy personalised content and videos from him.
Recently, John has been involved with the Man & Woman of the Year, a campaign which collects funds in favor of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
What Is Zack Griffin Doing Now?
Knowing how good of a professional background Zack Griffin has, it’s not a wonder he led the expert side of the show. Griffin has built several normal-sized and tiny houses throughout the years. As well, he’s the living proof that the tiny house movement is alive and going strongly, having even built his own for ski trips.
While there’s no information about Zack’s return to TV anytime soon, he and John are currently hosting the “Operation Tiny House” podcast, on which they inform about and discuss several topics related to said housing movement. While that’s obviously not the same as “Tiny House Nation”, fans should be happy to see that both of them are still actively creating content related to it, despite the uncertainty surrounding the show’s future.