For anyone who believes that tiny houses are for tiny people, the company known as Maximus Extreme Living Solutions invites you to consider the “Stew Test,” named for one of the company's founders, Angus Stewart MacInnes.
This test – a series of challenges, really – is designed to demonstrate the capacity for their tiny homes to accommodate over-sized occupants. It simply starts with a tour of the home by MacInnes, often accompanied by a measuring stick or a large friend or both. The concept behind that is simple. MacInnes was a two-time Academic All American guard and tackle at Weber State who went on to play in the trenches for the Seattle Seahawks in 1988. He comes in the door at 6 feet, three inches tall, weighing 285 pounds.
If MacInnes or any of his Brobdingnagian buddies feels cramped in one of the company's homes, then it does not pass the Stew Test. With that in mind, this model, the Acadia, seems to pass with flying colors. Let's have a look.
Maximus Extreme builds each of their tiny houses on an eight feet by 20 feet movable steel platform. This house looks short, but the home is designed to make maximum use of a shared-space model of building, which means every space (except, maybe, the bathroom) does double-duty. A dining room table is a desk is a drawing station is a card table -- you get the idea.
Above is a look at the large room and one of two bedroom lofts. You'll notice the tall shoulders of the ceiling in the middle of the building, thanks to dormers on each side of the roof. The company also says the lofts of this home hold two king-sized beds -- a very generous layout for a house on wheels.
The kitchen sink, stove and refrigerator all share one space (on the left). The shower in the background is full-sized. It passes the Stew Test. But the ladder going up to the loft also passes the owner's challenge. While some tiny homes have wispy ladders that can fold up for storage or move out of the way, this one is plenty strong enough to hold a big guy.
This angle (above) shows how strong that ladder really is. The hardwood floor is also one of the Acadia's bragging points, as is the flush toilet (above and below).
OK, it's a toilet. OK, it's a flush toilet in a tiny home. Can we move on now?
The shot above, however, highlights the point that the toilet actually passes the Stew Test. By projecting into the center of the room, instead of hiding alongside a wall, this toilet has room for a large person's knees, hips, and all the rest that comes with being a plus-size individual.
Two stuffed chairs above -- big enough for two big guys.
The Acadia has two large lofts. In addition, each of them is six-feet, 10 inches off the floor allowing the average National Basketball Association player to stand under them without hitting his head. (The average height for NBA players has been between 78 and 80 inches since 1980, according to seatsmart.com.)
The heater is tucked out of the way with exhaust exiting quickly. Many tiny homes on wheels feature propane cooking stoves. This one is electric.
A tiny house on the go. The brown trim for the windows offers a departure from the red siding. And that's a side-entrance for a front door, large enough to accommodate almost anyone.