A tiny house can range from 100 to 400 square meters, but the average tiny house is usually just under 200 square meters. What is tiny house living like?
The inhabitants of tiny houses
Most tiny houses are perfect for 1-2 people, but there are also tiny houses that offer enough space for small families. The clever use of loft spaces and room dividers makes it possible for everyone to have their own space.
Tiny houses are popular with people of all ages, and many older couples decide to downgrade once their children have left the big house. A tiny house does not give them the same kind of empty-nest feeling.
Sustainability of tiny houses
Tiny houses are often a lot more sustainable than bigger houses. You will, for example, need less electricity to heat the house in winter because there is less area to heat, and less space where heat can be wasted.
Many tiny house builders also use materials from sustainable sources, and it is easy to install solar panels to create your own electricity.
Tiny houses and storage
Being organized and clutter free is a lot easier in a tiny house than you might think. Tiny houses are designed with space in mind and there are many clever storage ideas in tiny houses, e.g., stairs that double as a bookshelf, and furniture that can be folded against the wall to save space.
Tiny houses and appliances
Just because a house is tiny does not mean that you will have to miss out on modern appliances and conveniences. A dishwasher, a washing machine, a dryer, and great kitchens are usually found in all tiny houses. You might even see some kitchens that are a lot better equipped than the kitchens in a big house.
The barriers to tiny house living
Tiny house living does not come without its own challenges, for some people the following barriers are hard to overcome, and you will certainly need to think about them before you buy or build a tiny house of your own.
- Land—Where will you put your tiny house? A tiny house can suddenly turn into a very expensive undertaking if you need to buy a piece of land for it.
- Loan—If you do not have enough money to buy a tiny house right away, then you might run into some issues as banks often do not consider a tiny house as mortgage worthy. It can sometimes be hard to get a loan for building a tiny house.
- Laws—Some countries have strange laws and regulations about where you can put a tiny house. Sometimes they are classified as RVs and can only be parked on land that is specifically designed for the use of RVs and mobile caravans.
- Social Pressure—Some people might feel that there is a lot of social pressure on getting a big house with a garage and a nice car. For some people, this might be a reason to not have a tiny house, even though they would really love to. Family and friends can be very convincing and even turn into bullies!
- Fears—The life of tiny home owners is sometimes filled with fear. What happens if laws change, and you do not know where to put your house? What happens if you have to move from a state in which your tiny house is no issue, to a state that has different rules? And what happens if you get married and decide to have children and pets? Will your partner ever accept a tiny house?
Ways to get a tiny house
Just like with a normal house, there is more than one way to become the owner of a tiny house.
- Build it yourself—If you have some basic skills and are willing to learn, you can make your own plan and build your own tiny house. This is the option that will take the most time, but can end up costing the least if you get some materials from cheap or free sources.
- Use a kit—This is for less-capable people who still want to be able to say that they have built their own house. Kits come with very good instructions.
- Have it built—This is one of the easiest options—but also allows you to customize the plans if you choose a good and helpful tiny house builder.
- Buy already built—Some companies have tiny houses that are ready to go—so you can pick them up yourself or get them delivered ASAP.
- Buy second hand—Some people decide to sell their tiny houses. Some people go back to living in bigger houses, other people simply want to build another tiny house and then sell the old one. Make sure you see them before you buy them as one person’s perfect tiny house might be your absolute nightmare design-wise.
Are you suited for living in a tiny house?
You might find the idea of living in a tiny house very appealing, but have you really thought about it? The pictures on the Internet might be lovely and very inspiring—but you need to ask yourself whether you would really be able to put all your belongings into a tiny house or give up many of them.
While downgrading is an attractive aspect for many people who opt to join the tiny house movement, it might not be the right choice for you. To get a better idea about tiny houses, you might want to visit some show tiny houses or maybe even live in one for a while. Some tiny houses are for rent on Airbnb and other sites. Try to test tiny house living for a while before you make a big, final decision about buying or building one!
(Photo credits: www.inhabitat.com, www.tinyhouseliving.com, www.tinyhousepins.com, www.hobbyfarms.com)