Pete Gorter and Jenna Ruck stand in front of the small houses they are building at the corner of 10th Street SE and 2nd Street SE in Pipestone. The first homes are expected to be completed in about a month. K. Koval

Two unique Homes are being built on the corner of 10th Ave. SE and Second Street SE in Pipestone. It’s unique because it’s less than 600 square feet.

Pete Gorter originally planned to build tiny homes, defined by Minnesota building code as 400 square feet or less. However, those plans changed, and he and Jenna Ruck, both of Pipestone, chose instead to build tiny homes, which Gorter said is a 400- to 600-square-foot home. The two homes now under construction are 528 square feet.

Gorter and Ruck began building the homes in July, and the first home is expected to be completed in about a month. They did most of the work themselves. It’s work Gorter knows well after 47 years in the construction industry.

The overall layout of the homes includes an open plan living room/kitchen space, one bedroom with bathroom, and a utility room containing a washer, dryer, oven, and water heater. Each home will have an air conditioning heating and cooling system and foam insulation, which will help with energy efficiency.

Gorter and Rauck plan to build two more small houses on the site later, one of which might have two bedrooms and be a little larger. Two of the four homes will have attached garages and that will be optional for all four homes, Gorter said.

The homes will have a shared driveway and the homeowners will eventually be part of a homeowners association through which they will jointly pay for the maintenance of the driveway. Homeowners will be responsible for mowing their lawn and removing snow from their property. The lot area will be approximately 60 by 50 feet.

Gorter also described the area where he lives as quiet and peaceful.

He and Ruck invite people to stop by and check out the homes during the Pipestone County Fair. They also plan to have an open house at some point. The tiny homes have already attracted some interest, they said.

“We’re excited about all the excitement,” Rauck said. “People are always asking questions and stopping by randomly.”

They said they had to calculate the final costs before setting a selling price. They expect the homes to be particularly attractive to single people or seniors looking to downsize.

Gorter said he wants to build the tiny houses to develop some housing and remove some of the dilapidated homes in the neighborhood. He and Rauk plan to build additional small homes on other adjacent lots Gorter owns.

“We plan to have seven or eight of them here,” Gorter said.

The Pipestone City Council granted Gorter a conditional use permit for the development of the first four homes, which are considered a planned unit residential development. City code requires a conditional use permit for such projects.

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