The Tiny House Movement: How Jay Shafer & Dee Williams Built Tiny Houses by Hand and Started a Revolution
The woman in the picture is named Dee Williams, and she lives in an 84 square foot house, anchored to a utility trailer. Her tiny house is mobile, compact, environmentally-friendly, and only cost her $9,000 to build by hand. She has no mortgage, no debt, and complete freedom to travel the country, towing her little house along with her.
She decided to build her tiny house about 4 years ago, at the genesis of what would become a passionate, compelling, "tiny house" movement that continues to spread across the country. Her starting point: she contacted the foremost "tiny house" expert and first person to really make the tiny house movement famous, Jay Shafer.
Jay Shafer had been living in a similarly small dwelling and now owned his own tiny-home building company, called Tumbleweed Tiny House Company. Jay has been featured on Oprah as well as countless media outlets, where he spreads his passion for downsizing, and his expertise for constructing quality dwellings that are cute, compact, energy efficient, and very environmentally-friendly. Some of his building plans (available for purchase on his website) show tiny houses, like Dee Williams', tiny enough to be perched on a trailer. Other houses are larger, containing anywhere from 100 to 800 square feet.
The reasons for building and inhabiting a tiny home are many, sometimes complicated, but usually very simple. These folks were concerned about how the average square-footage size of the typical American home kept steadily rising. They saw that many Americans live in large homes but only really "use" about 20% of the house! These tiny house folks think there is no good reason to pay a large mortgage to own a large home you only use 20% of the space in.
So, they decided to build homes for themselves, smaller than most peoples' closets and bathrooms, and use all the money they're saving for other things, like travel, retirement, giving back to their community, or having nicer things inside their tiny homes. And they will tell you, that they do save money! While a tiny home is actually more expensive per square foot than a larger house, they save money on utility bills, and most have no mortgages whatsoever. Talk about being debt-free!
What do you think? Are these folks insane? Are they brilliant? Perhaps a little of both?
I, for one, LOVE the idea of a tiny house! I love the idea of downsizing and only owning enough square footage to really "use" every single inch of the house. But, here's the crux of the issue: where would all my shoes fit?
Interested in perusing a site FULL of awesome tiny & small houses? Here's an awesome tiny-home viewing site called Tiny House Swoon.
Looking to buy or sell a tiny home? Here's a buying & selling site you MUST check out, called Tiny House Listings.
And there are many more such sites out there; just search! Enjoy!
*photo & some info credit: http://www.oregonlive.com/hg/index.ssf/2011/02/tiny_footprint_big_step_dee_wi.html#incart_mrt
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