Longing for a simpler life? Ready to get rid of the excess and streamline your budget? You’re not the only one. The tiny house craze is proof that plenty of people are switching to the efficient lifestyle.
Big houses stuffed with unfinished projects are traps for debt and a bloated lifestyle. Some brave souls have left it all behind in favor of the tiny house. Sometimes just 200 square feet, these miniature versions of homes give you everything you need without all the other . . . stuff. Architect Arielle Condoret Schechter in Chapel Hill, N.C. recently told Professional Builder magazine, “Tiny houses [are] a healthy reaction to the supersized culture that we Americans have had for so long, not only in food but in housing.”
If it’s time to remove yourself from the stress of the unfinished, and underuse of the excess, a tiny house might be a great solution for you.
What’s a tiny house, exactly?
The tiny house is not a new idea. They’ve been around for about a decade. They can range in size from 200 to about 1000 square feet. A tiny house comes equipped with everything you need for comfortable living—just on the smaller side. You’ll have a fully functional kitchen, bathroom, living room, and even a decent-sized bedroom. Many tiny houses have screened porches, walk-in showers, dishwashers, entertaining areas, and a spot for the outdoor grill.
Most tiny homes are built on portable trailers so they can be classified as RVs for legal purposes. But others are more permanent and include things like full basements, and larger lots.
Despite the portability of many tiny homes, they look more like permanent fixtures. They have traditional roof lines, wrap around porches, and large windows. Architects and designers take on the challenge with zeal and the result is stunning.
For instance, take the tiny house of Austin, TX featured on FYI’s Tiny House Nation. The custom design fit the Bohemian and classic tastes of the owners to a T.
Can life in a tiny house really be bearable?
That’s the first question most people ask. If you think about how much of your current home you actually use, it’s probably not as much as you think. The majority of your time is spent in a few key areas: bedroom, bathroom, kitchen.
Comfort in a tiny house also depends on how many people will live in the space. Most people who love the tiny house idea are single, couples without children, and the aging population who are downsizing their space anyway. Designers take into consideration the unique needs and habits of the owners to create spaces that work with current lifestyles and demands.
Decreased cost alone might make tiny house living very bearable. The price tag can be well under $50,000. Many owners take the opportunity to splurge on some extras that they might not be able to afford otherwise, like custom tile flooring or an upscale marble vanity.
Life in a tiny house is usually not a difficult transition as long as you have plenty of nooks and crannies for storage and you only bring in what will comfortably fit. It may seem difficult parting with favorite pieces of furniture or boxes of old pictures but you’ll find it’s freeing to declutter.
What’s the future for tiny houses?
As the tiny house revolution gains momentum, the future is bright. Builders and architects are in planning phases for tiny house communities with shared amenities that are a far cry from their counterparts, the mobile home park. Others see tiny houses as affordable solutions to poverty and homelessness.
Cities are relaxing their building codes and ordinances to be more tiny-house friendly. And developers are recognizing the need for communities, parking, and smaller lots that will attract tiny home owners.
The next step is mass production, which will make tiny homes even more affordable and quicker to assemble. It seems that the tiny house will become more and more common and a solution for all kinds of home buyers.