Tiny Houses Have A Big Impact

Jay Shafer and his tiny house
Jay Shafer and his tiny house | Source

It started in 1997 in Iowa City when Jay Shafer built his first tiny house. An artist and designer with an interest in sustainable architecture, he figured he could design a comfortable living space for himself in an area about the size of some people's closets. At just 89 square feet, Jay's house was too small to be allowed on a city lot, so he put it on wheels and named it " Tumbleweed" and figured he could park it on a lot somewhere in town.

But you know how it goes-- The city fathers said the wheels made it a trailer and sorry, no trailers allowed within the city limits. So, at a time when builders were thinking about 4000 square ft. meadow mansions and buyers were slavering over granite counters and great rooms, Jay Shafer bought a house with a big back yard in Iowa City just so he could park his "Tumbleweed" house there and live in it.The main house? well, he rented it out for income and thus Jay found his life's work and the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company was born.

Today, from his headquarters in Sebastapol California, Jay offers a variety of designs for living in spaces between 65 and 875 square feet. He'll sell you the plans or build the house for you-- or he'll custom design something and you can hire a local builder or build it yourself. More and more tiny houses dot the American landscape-these days. There are more being erected in other parts of the world too.They come in a variety of sizes. Some are on wheels and can be moved from place to place. Others are set on a fixed foundation. Some are deep in the woods. Others are part of "pocket neighborhoods" springing up on empty urban lots. Tiny houses are also used as guest houses, offices, studios, and workshops on larger properties. They make great vacation homes. They are perfect too for co-housing groups such as seniors or artists and writers who want to live together but have their independence and their own private spaces. No matter what they are used for, tiny houses are cheaper to buy and maintain than ordinary dwellings and create a much smaller carbon footprint for their owners. No wonder they are growing in popularity.

Virtual Tour of the Original Tiny House

Tiny house interior
Tiny house interior | Source

The Tiny House Movement

The tiny house movement is definitely taking off bigtime in the wake of the economic downturn and the upturn in environmental awareness. And make no mistake. It is definitely a movement. In 2002 Jay Shafer and three friends started the Small House Society whose mission is: " to support the research, development, and use of smaller living spaces that foster sustainable living for individuals, families, and communities worldwide." In the seven years of its existence it has garnered an enthusiastic worldwide membership and become an important voice for environmentally responsible small house living across the globe.

The society maintains a website of small house resources, and its active and ever growing membership provides networking and help for those who own tiny houses or want to. The society is on Facebook and maintains a Yahoo group as well. There are even a number of tiny house bloggers who outline the details and various aspects of tiny house living with great style and panache.

Tiny House Blogs and Info

Rowdykittens is written by Tammy, a sprightly advocate of tiny homes and simple living. She writes about both with wit and charm.

The Tiny House Blog is a wonderful compendium of information for anyone considering this lifestyle. It examines all the options, contains tons of wonderful photos and is very well done. Check out their Facebook page too.

Tiny House Design is full of kits, plans, design tips and much more. It is a terrific design resource. The latest post features the details of building a passive solar tiny house. What more could anyone want?

The Small Living Journal is an e-zine that is just starting up. It's being done by writers and bloggers who are also tiny house owners and from the introductory issue it looks like a must read for anyone interested in the subject.

Check out Tiny Homes. The Anti-McMansion -- a Fellow Hubber's excellent assessment of the advantages of tiny houses and what that means for the future

There is much more out there, including meet-ups, presentations, conventions,and the like.There are forums and discussions and much much more. Once you start exploring the web resources on tiny houses and tiny living, the enthusiasm gets to you. It is palpable. I keep thinking that this is just the beginning and I also think it is a very good and healthy idea.

The Future of Tiny Houses

The future looks bright for tiny houses. In the wake of the global financial meltdown and the collapse of the housing market, many people are re-thinking their priorities. As well they should. The American suburban lifestyle with cathedral ceilinged, multi-bathroomed, MacMansions on every cul-de-sac and three SUV's in the garage is unsustainable in today's world. You can practically hear consumer's wallets snapping shut as they search for a simpler, more sustainable lifestyle.Tiny houses are cheap to build, cheap to heat, and a snap to clean and maintain.  Why buy a big house with a big mortgage and then work 30 years to pay it off? Why not go for a house you can build yourself in a couple of weeks and pay for with the eqivalent of a car loan?

The movement Jay Shaffer started in 1997 has grown exponentially. More and more builders are offering small and tiny houses as an option for customers. There's even a tiny house company in Texas. After hurricaine Katrina, some enterprising folks from New Orleans got in on the act and now build and sell their own version of tiny houses. Mark my words-- one of these days these mini mansions are going to have great re-sale value. Downsizing never looked so good.

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Comments 123 comments

Tom Cornett profile image

Tom Cornett 7 years ago from Ohio

Very smart hub.....we're downsizing from a large house to an apartment. I use to paint very large houses....most were 3500sq. ft. or larger. Many had 4 baths and 5 bedrooms on average. The owners usually had one or two children and many times had no children or their children were raised.

I think that we all are going to have to downsize sooner or later. It is just getting far too expensive to maintain large homes. Great hub...thanks! :)


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks Tom--I totally agree. The uber-consumer American suburban lifestyle has got to go. We can't afford it anymore and it was insane anyway. I downsized about ten years ago and now live in a small, two bedroom house that is 750 square feet and I really love it.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

what a wonderful hub! I'd not heard of them before, fascinating.


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

I was considering a tiny house but opted for the camper instead, because I might need to move it. But something tells me I might build one in the future. Great hub, very informative -- I didn't realize it was already so popular an alternative.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

LondonGirl-- glad you liked it-- aren't they cute? Have a look at the video tour of Jay's house for an idea of the interior or a really teensy tiny house. Good to see you, as always:-) Teresa-- There are a bunch of people building their own tiny houses and blogging about it as they go. They are quite an enthusiastic crowd. I think these things are going to become more and more popular and if you build one yourself, it just might turn into a great investment as well-- what more could a girl want :-) Thanks for reading and commenting.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I think I'd feel a bit crowded in one with Isaac and my other half, though (-:


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

Since we own a bit of acreage- I always thought it would be a good idea to put a tiny house like a large motel room, on our property-- either for guests, a rental,  or as a granny house for me in later years.  I'm going to look at the plans.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

well,LondonGirl, maybe not in one of the bigger ones but I have to admit they are more for solos and couples that families with children-- the largest of them is only@ 800 sq. ft.  You might feel like the old woman who lived in a shoe with only one child:-)


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

800 sq. feet is large by central London flat standards, many 3 bed flats are that! Ours is 3 bed, and 1,000 sq. feet.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Rochelle-- I think these things are perfect for guesthouse or granny cottage. Check out the link in my hub to the Small House Society for lots of great resources. I think one of the blogs has plans and design tips too. It's a fascinating phenom--and gaining traction. Good luck with it-- hope you do it:-)


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

ooops hi again LondonGirl-- yes , I think they call anything over 500 square feet a "small" rather than a "tiny" house and 800 sq. ft. doesn't really qualify as tiny--they do make one model that is that big but most are around 200 sql ft and some are much smaller.

Yup London must be like New York in terms of space-- it is the most expensive commodity in the big cities of the world.  I live in a small town between New York and Philadelphia in a llittle Victorian worker-bee cottage that was built in 1870. It's just me and I have two bedrooms and 750 sq. ft.  However, I am told that at the turn o the 20th century six or seven people lived in this house. I don't know how they managed LOL


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

for a while, during a university holiday, there were 8 people in this 1,000 sq. foot flat. Crowded, but students don't care (-:


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

crowded but fun I bet:-) OMG it's midnight-- time for me to turn into a pumpkin. Night LG going to z-z-z-z-z-z Thanks for the visit. I enjoyed it:-)


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

Very interesting concept. As energy costs keep rising, more and more people will be interested in downsizing.


JamaGenee profile image

JamaGenee 7 years ago from Central Oklahoma

Once again, robie, you've written a fascinating and informative hub! Tiny houses...what a concept!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I agree, Robie writes fascinating hubs.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Good morning Peggy, Jama and LG and thanks for all the kind words--they are going down well with my morning coffee:-)


pgrundy 7 years ago

So cool! When we moved to Michigan I noticed a spot on the  back of our property, back in the woods, that looked perfect for a tiny house. I envisioned a workshop/studio space--somewhere to sit and write or put the kids up if they come to visit. I'm going to check out the resources you listed. Thank you so much for doing all this footwork!

Our house is about 1000 square feet but it feels smaller because half of that is a loft. and part of the downstairs is a mudroom where we don't really hang out--just hang our stuff. It's just the two of us so we like it fine, but it wouldn't count as tiny. Small, I guess. Ironically, right next door is a big mini-mansion development. I have to take some video clips and do a hub--I always mean to but never get around to it. Great stuff as usual robie--I'm always excited when I see you have written a new hub!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi PG-- always so good to see you and I feel the same way about your hubs, so thanks for the kind words. I can see you in a tiny house office on the back of your property writing away. Do go have a look at the blogs and websites. There is a lot out there and the enthusiasm is really amazing.

Take your camera next time you walk the dog-- I really want to read your hub on the development next door....sounds like just my meat. I hate Palladian windows and if I never see another granite kitchen counter it will be too soon for me LOL


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

my mother has a granite shelf in her larder cupboard to keep cheese and butter cool, and I think it's rather good.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

A granite shelf is one thing, LG but here in the last few years, huge kitchens with massive stainless steel appliances and polished granite kitchen counters have become the last word in chic. Newly constructed pretentious suburban houses feature them along. They have to be seen to be believed and are a testament to American excess and conspicuous consumption-- that's what i hate--not the granite itself.


pgrundy 7 years ago

LOL! What's funny is that often people don't even COOK in them! They absolutely must have the giant stainless steel and granite kitchen with marble or wood floors, but then they just snack and go out to eat all the time. I read recently that some of these granite counters were found to be emiting dangerous levels of radon--I thought that was poetic justice of some sort. Yes I will definitely get on the Minimansions versus the Michganders hub. I've put it off too long. :)


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

With 4 kids, 2 dogs and a cat, a tiny house for us would probably be anything smaller than 1500 sq. feet. But I totally agree with the comments and the article itself. We have too much house than we can deal with. Its nice, but cleaning it takes forever (not going to pay someone to do that). If we could unload it in today's depressed market, I would in a heartbeat! I think the tiny houses have a ton of charm, let alone the positive envt impacts. Thumbs up!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

PG thanks for the return visit-- I 'll be looking for your hub:-)

Hi Steph-- I agree that tiny houses are definitely not for big families. I downsized to my present 750 sq. feet and solo lifestyle from a 5 bedroom 4 bath old farmhouse about ten years ago and am still amazed at the difference in time and $$$ cost of cleaning, repair, and maintenance. I think the days of American excess are so over in lots of ways and small houses in older communities are going to make a real comeback in today's economic climate. Thanks for the comment and good to see you.

As for your housecleaning efforts-- makes me think of your vacuuming hub--one of the best around. Here's a link for those who missed it.

http://hubpages.com/living/Dyson-Ball


Kscharles 7 years ago

Fascinating subject and and you made it so interesting. I always look forward to your hubs, Robie2!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Why Kscharles-- how nice to see you and what a nice compliment. Thanks for reading and commenting and come back anytime:-)


Raven King profile image

Raven King 7 years ago from Cabin Fever

The tiny houses are so cute! The city managers are predjudiced against affordable housing. The media enjoys calling mobile homes trailers. Trailers are not mobile homes. For a mobile home you need a professional truck with special permits to transport it and a state permit to get electricity just to flush the toilet!

A travel trailer can be hauled by a regular truck. Strangely, some people do live in those travel trailers year round.

Some people live in mobiles because that is all that they can afford. The media shouldn't make them feel bad for possibly living morgate free!

Well...GREAT HUB Robie2. :)


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

What a concept! Never heard of it before -- not sure I'm cut out for it, I'm a biggie house kind of girl, though I only found that out through living in tiny houses :-) Great going, robie!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

LOL-- thanks Elena-- I wish you a great big house and a big domestic staff to clean and maintain it for you-- it's cleaning those biggies that gets to me:-) Thanks for reading and commenting.


Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Woooohoooo robie!!! Your new avatar and YOU are WONDERFUL!!!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Omygosh, Raven King-- how could I have missed you and your great comment.  Thanks so much for stopping by. I think tiny houses are just great and BTW they really are trailers not mobile homes.  They can be hauled behind a car or pick-up with a trailer hitch..the ones that have wheels of course. The larger ones tend to need a fixed foundation. But you are right about the prejudice about mobile homes--many of which are much larger and more comfortable than any tiny house.  Good to see you:-)


Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

I had no idea that "tiny houses" was a movement.  In fact, when I saw the title of your new (and oh-so-long-awaited-for) Hub, I thought you were going to talk about your house. :)

Thank God there are plenty of places in the country where you can put up a tiny house or roll it in onto your property, without a bundle of laws to the contrary.  One of my very special places on the earth exists about midway between the town of 1,000 motels and Bedford Springs, along the PA turnpike.  There, off the beaten path, is a tiny house, in the crook of a road.  It is just begging to be hit by a semi, but, thankfully, there is no such traffic on this quiet country road.  This house looks amazingly like Jay's, but without the do-dads that make it cute.

It exists in peace, as does its occupant, until developers turn the cow country into shopping malls.

Oh, thumbs up, did I say?


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi ST-- yes I know that town-- it's where I70 crosses the PA turnpike and it is a traffic nightmare, though the turnpike is beautiful there in the mountains. I hope your wee house avoids the semis and lives on in peace. Good to see you and thanks for the read and comment not to mention the thumb:-)


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi again Elena I'm getting comments all out of sequence here--sorry-- I took your real me on week-ends idea seriously so here I am just for today.  I think I will turn back into my avatar tomorrow though--not gonna wait for the full moon that's for sure-- thanks for the enthusiastic response LOL


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

Another great hub robie2. These tiny dwellings are a great idea for retired people who often no longer need a full size house. I am going to build one for myself in a few years time when I no longer need the extra room.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi earnestshub. Absolutly a great option for empty nesters IMHO, especially with the really nice supportive community of tiny house people to network with. Good luckl with yours and thanks for the comment.


funride profile image

funride 7 years ago from Portugal

WOW, and I thought my 1076ft² house was small... now thanks to you I feel like I live in a mansion LOL.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

It's all relative, Funride :-) Thanks for stopping by. Always good to see you.


realestateuk profile image

realestateuk 7 years ago from United Kingdom

Intriguing hub you have here. It seems aimed at people wanting to downsize their living arrangements, or go for simple lives under economical living conditions. Hence, the small house movements featured. This got me thinking, though. What about families who'd like to try out these small houses? Any tips for them, or are these small houses for single people only?

Although the videos embedded here seem to suggest some disdain towards debt, would it be too much to think that some affordable real estate for families could be possible, that's also environmentally sound and 'downsized'?


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi RE-UK-- your points are well taken and I'll try to address them. Really tiny houses are under 500 sq.ft. and probably are not enough space for a family with several children. There is a second category of "small houses" which includes dwellings up to 850 sq. ft. which maximize use of space and are built to the greenest of environmental standards. Some of these might suit young families who want to lower their carbon footprint and live more simply.

As for "trying out" tiny or small hoouses, I think some of them can be rented which would be a good way to get a feel for the lifestyle. I would suggest checking some of the tiny house websites and Craigs list for rental possibilities. I'm not sure if the tiny house movement has gotten to the UK yet or not-- I think the website of the Small House Society could be helpful on that one. In any case, thank you for such a thoughtful and good comment.


JPSO138 profile image

JPSO138 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

Very nice hub. I really enjoyed it.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Glad you liked it, JPSO138-- thanks for stopping by:-)


Jennifer Bhala profile image

Jennifer Bhala 7 years ago from Upstate New York

Love the idea, except we had four kids. 6 people might be a bit cramped in one. Maybe we would need three, two of us in each.

Definitely agree with no mortgage or debt and being in nature instead of in front of a tv


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hello jennifer-- yes I think 6 people is too many for a tiny house LOL They are being used by "co-housing" groups who want to live together though--like a writers colony or a group of retired seniors so your two two and two idea is a good one I guess.

I like the no mortgage part too. Thanks for reading and commenting:-)


yash24 profile image

yash24 7 years ago from india

A wonderful hub. I have seen and heard about bonzai, it take lots of time to grow it, atlist about 10 years or aboue. But your Tiny House is a wonderful idea. It will save money, space and time too. And also its maintenens will be vary low. A happy couple will be vary happy to have it. It also can be use as a weekend joy.

thank you.


New Day profile image

New Day 7 years ago from Western United States

Hi Robie2, I am going through Top Hubs this morning and thrilled to find this article. Tiny houses! I scratch my head at my parents' lifestyle - they are still in a 3800 square foot house. Why not a condo? Why not a tiny house? Then my mom complains about the cost of her heating bills. I'm going to forward your hub to her.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Yash24-- I'm so glad you like the tiny house idea. I had never thought of it but you are right-- they are the bonzai of houses--very nice analigy:-)

New Day--hope your parents like the idea--just perfect for empty nesters don't you think? And there is a whole community of people who are doing it to get involverd with too which is another plus for retired folks. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Melody Lagrimas profile image

Melody Lagrimas 7 years ago from Philippines

Tiny houses would be novel in many countries, but they are common in under-privileged ones. great hub and nice photos, thanks.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

True enough, Melody....one reason why we Americans should scale back a bit:-)


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks pk-- the Tiny Houses are having a bigger and bigger impact all the time. I think it's a good trend:-)


barranca profile image

barranca 7 years ago

Like the hub. I now live in a 940 sq. ft house and feel quite comfortable. My wife and I are empty nesters however. At one point we lived in a 3000 sq ft house, rarely used the third floor or much of the second floor. We rattled around in it. It was hard to keep clean and the heating bills were horrendous. Small is definitely beautiful at this point.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hello Barranca, nice to see you and thanks for sharing yur personal downsizing experience. Small really is beautiful isn't it?


Mr Nice profile image

Mr Nice 7 years ago from North America

Hi robie2! Great idea & cute little house, you can call sweet home. If it were I, I would have made a living, dining & kitchen on the ground floor & a nice bedroom on the first floor. That way you don't have to sleep in the attic.

However, you can use the attic as a storage room. Someone else made a dome house I don’t remember where. That house looked great too because I saw the actual plan. Thanks for sharing the information about this cute tiny house.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, Mr. Nice


Hawkesdream profile image

Hawkesdream 7 years ago from Cornwall

What can I say that hasn't already been said, just that I think the concept is a good idea. After all how much of the space we have do we actually use? Great for reducing outgoings too.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Hawkesdream.... it is an interesting concept isn't it and one that is really gaining traction -- I think it's an idea whose time has come:-)


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 7 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

A tiny house in my dream house, robie2. I lived in a "small" house, only 730 square feet of living space -- and that was much too big for me, although all the rooms were small. I always wanted to live in a motel room, but it never occurred to me that a tiny house was possible. Of course, a motel room comes with maid service. What a great idea! And a great hub, too.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi William-- well you could hire a maid to clean your tiny house too and tiny houses are much cuter than motel rooms IMHO:-) Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


laringo profile image

laringo 7 years ago from From Berkeley, California.

I think the tiny houses are a good alternative for someone living alone and doesn't need a lot of room. Quite economical I may add. Great Hub.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Laringo-- I agree and also think they make sense for some couples and for co-housing groups. Not only easier and cheaper but much less impact on the environment which is the factor that is getting a lot of notice these days. Thanks for reading and commenting:-)


mwp44 profile image

mwp44 7 years ago from Just south of Frostproof, Florida

I'm not crazy about little houses but you have a great HubPage and I applaude you and your work.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Well thanks, mwp44-- I'm glad you had an enjoyable read and i absolutely agree that tiny houses are not for everyone--but they are an interesting new wrinkle in the houseing market for sure. Thanks for stopping by:-)


Journey * profile image

Journey * 7 years ago from USA

This is amazing, Really for the true minimalist. I enjoyed the video tour of Jay's house. He has a lot more stuff than I expected to see (books, dishes, etc) and everything has its place. It is an interesting way to live. -Journey*


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

The true minimalist hits the nail on the head-- well said, Journey* Thanks for the comment:-)


DarleneMarie profile image

DarleneMarie 7 years ago from USA

Love your Hub Robie!  I could see myself living alone there; however, I don't know if I could be that close to my husband on a full-time basis.  One of us would definitely kill the other!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Love your honesty DarleneMarie-- and your sense of humor:-) I also love your HP profile and am your newest fan.


Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 7 years ago from Massachusetts

That tiny house is so adorable it kind of makes me want to move out of my regular size house and live in one of those - just because it's cute. :)


Rik Ravado profile image

Rik Ravado 7 years ago from England

Not heard of Tiny House movement before - very interesting - would be good to try one out and experiment with a decluttered lifestyle - Great Hub!


caesar 56 profile image

caesar 56 7 years ago from US

Great article with lots of helpful info.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hello Lisa and Rik-- Tiny houses are appealing, aren't they? I see a business for someone as a rental agent for them. I too would want to rent before buying or just use one as a vacation home or something..... but it is quite a growing movement and there wiol be more and more tiny houses around in the future.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks Paul:-)


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 7 years ago from California Gold Country

I guess he changed his opinion, or his translator software.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 7 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Robie, I LOVE these bitchin' little places!  My dream home/apt. has always been a loft - or something like that.  My last place (pre-injuries) was half of a converted basement (which I searched long and hard for), my 'subterranian loft' - as I called it, and I really liked it.  Just one big room with everything there, all contained in one living space.  The small bathroom even had a urinal!

The last actual apartment I had was set up the same way:  the bedroom was only used for storage and to hang my clothes.  I lived and slept (futon) in the living room and kitchen.

I've been looking around the Tumbleweed site and have already picked out a place: the Loring ... subject to change.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Ashley, Rochelle and CW--thanks for stopping by and commenting-- and CW good luck with getting a tiny house of your own:-)

Rochelle-- not quite sure what that was all about LOL


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Wonderful hub Robie. I'd like to link this to http://granniesgreenliving.com/ as a resource for green builders. I think this is the wave of the future, for sure.

Way thumbs up!


Bob Ewing profile image

Bob Ewing 7 years ago from New Brunswick

I have been thinking about a tiny house for sometime now, good hub, helped me take another look.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Dorsi-- so glad you liked this and of course, I'd be honored to be linked to your site--thanks. I think whatever the future holds, the day of the McMansion is over--thank God:-)

Bob-- I know that if you get a tiny house it will have a big, beautiful garden:-) Thanks for your input.


Dorsi profile image

Dorsi 7 years ago from The San Francisco Bay Area

Your article is linked to my latest post on page 1- this is just so interesting and I'm so glad this concept is gaining ground!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks Dorsi-- love your site BTW--very nice:-)


ReuVera profile image

ReuVera 7 years ago from USA

I came to this hub using Dorsi's link and I am very glad I did. I love small places. In Israel we lived (three of us, not counting the dog) in a 452 sq.f. apartment and there was enough room for everyone, and no ground for collecting junk. In WI we live in a comparatively large house (1150 sq.f) but it is easier to clean it than my former apartment (difference is in the nature outside- here it is trees and grass, in Israel- sand of a Mediterranean beach).

Thank you for great information, I'm going to consider it seriously for future options


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

HIi Reuvera-- I'm glad you found your way here however and thanks for sharing your personal experience with small living spaces. Glad you find this hub useful


2patricias profile image

2patricias 7 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

Cool! I love the tour of Jake's Tiny House. I think that I am too messy to live in a tiny house. The other Patricia works at home (with a Pilates Reformer) - so between us there is not much hope. But I could have one in my garden - it would look cute. And maybe I could use it to practice being tidy. Or put guests (or should that be guest singlar) in it.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

LOL I( could use one to practice being tidy in too-- I just love that image. Always a pleasure to see you 2patricias:-)


desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 7 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

Hubby and I downsized from a 3500 sf free standing house to a 1900 sf condo with two common walls! And it's perfect! Plus a daughter's now in a 400 sf apt. in Boston and it's also 'perfect'! Loved the column...and thanks for listing the blogs and ezines about small house living. Hubby and I even talk about how we could go even smaller with much less angst than we had with this first downsize!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi desert blondie--nice to see you. It's been awhile. I'm downsized too and really like having less space to clean and pay for:-) the tiny house thing is sooooo appealing in so many ways.


Stephanie Reiley 7 years ago

Hi there! Just wanted to say thank you so much for the mention. It's great to see the growing interest in smaller homes.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie, and for the great blog you do. I really enjoy it --hooray for you and for tiny houses:-)


cashmere profile image

cashmere 7 years ago from India

Just how much space does one man need. This is the ideal example of how wasteful we can get even with something as trivial as space. Love the sound of these tiny houses. More power to them.


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

I love the sound of them too, cashmere. Thanks for stopping by:-)


OptimistsOnly profile image

OptimistsOnly 7 years ago from Christchruch, New Zealand

This is rather parallel to my life. I recently downsized big time to fulfill my dream of living at the beach. I now have a room mate which is something I thought I would never do at the age of 39. You know what...getting rid of all that "stuff" feels great. I have what I need and I am HAPPY! Me and my friends talk about having "tiny houses" on a large piece of land creating a community that is close but spread out. Thanks for the great hub!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks OptimisticOnly, for sharing that great personal story. More power to you. Lots of people are doing what you are talking about. There is lots of info on the internet. Explore some of the links in the hub and you'll see. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Iphigenia 7 years ago

I love this hub and I love the concept of small houses - i currently live in a 29 square metre appartment - (9 of those square metres are terrace) - and I love it. For me it keeps things rel - and I've never hung onto possessions so I don't need the space. The only drawback is how to accommodate guests ....


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

You mirror my feelings exactly Iphigenia-- good to see you and thanks for commenting.


RGraf profile image

RGraf 7 years ago from Wisconsin

Just a shade too small. I would suffocate! But is soooo cute!


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

LOL well they come bigger i think-- up to 500 sq. ft. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinion:-)


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I feel it's like a playhouse for kids. LOL So cute! In the Philippines, there are housing projects of tiny houses for folks who want to rent and own. It's more affordable this way. :-)


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

sounds very sensible, ripplemaker-- yes they do look like playhouses, don't they. LOL


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Yes they do. Makes me wish we could have playhouses like that esp for our toddlers. LOL


robie2 profile image

robie2 7 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

what a great idea!!! and a great promotion for the manufacturer IMHO


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 7 years ago from South Africa

A wonderful idea! I have to confess this is the first time I have heard of this and I'm impressed. Makes such a lot of sense.

Love and peace

Tony


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 6 years ago from London UK

Hi robie2;)

cute but not very useful! I like to have enough room to swing a cat!........Not literally!! lol


robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

you gotta stop swinging those cat compu-smart-- oops forgot you are a cat-- or at least your avatar is


Rose Kolowinski profile image

Rose Kolowinski 6 years ago

Great tribute to tiny houses! I'm from Iowa and I remember all the trouble Jay Shafer had with the city, but he circumvented the rules very nicely!


robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Rose-- not surprised at what you say about Jay. He seems to be the kind of guy who thinks outside the box :-)


romper20 profile image

romper20 6 years ago from California

wow interesting! See its almost practical if you think about it though :)

Romper20


robie2 profile image

robie2 6 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Hi Romper-- yup it can work :-) thanks for reading and commenting--much appreciated


Ralph Deeds profile image

Ralph Deeds 5 years ago

I just caught up to this one, Robie. Nice job!


robie2 profile image

robie2 5 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks Ralph-- good to see you too although I dunno about that avatar LOL


John J Gulley profile image

John J Gulley 4 years ago from Wisconsin

Robie2, you hub's great! Chock full of useful info for folks looking to downsize but not necessarily giving up all the comforts of home


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks John-- glad you liked the hub-- yours is terrific too. Great minds and all that dontchaknow. Thanks for stopping by :-)


Olde Cashmere profile image

Olde Cashmere 4 years ago from Michigan, United States

A lot can be learned from this hub. I share Jay's views on sustainable living as it's becoming more and more important to implement due to the planets growing population. What's the point in having a massive house? I'd rather have a nice cozy one like these, and the fact there are so many models to choose from, it's win win. Thanks for sharing, voted up and awesome (:


alexpino profile image

alexpino 4 years ago from Florida, USA

Great hub on tiny houses thanks for sharing. I believe small spaces will have a big future as technology, inflation, and the environment continue to encourage it.


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Alex-- thank you for sharing and leaving such a nice commment. We are totally on the same page about the tiny house movement.


wwolfs 4 years ago

The tiny house is adorable and looks cozy. It may not be for everyone or the larger family, but I would think you could build a little larger if you needed to.

This tiny house movement is definitely going to bring less stress and a new freedom to many. From what I've read most people use about 20 percent of their home so that really is a lot of wasted space. I know I never use but a small area.

A nice hub and very interesting. I didn't know about this. Thanks for sharing!


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thank you wwolf for reading and leaving such a nice comment. Delighted you stopped by and hope you will come back often:-)


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Hi Robie! Very cool! I do love these style of homes and maybe when I retire I will go for it. For now I have a zoo and 2 children still at home. I could do without the space but where would I put the kids? haha!

I think you did an awesome job with the hub too. Interesting, fun and a great example of how someone can live a cool dream.


robie2 profile image

robie2 4 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

glad you liked it, housewife and thanks for the great comment-- much appreciated :-)


relawshe profile image

relawshe 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

Great informative article about tiny homes! I have written a hub about tiny homes too, and I'm fascinated by them! My husband and I think it would be neat to live on one to ease financial strains, but we also want to adopt children someday in a few years, and adoption agencies may look at that lifestyle as too "temporary" or "weird". I think a tiny home could fit 2 adults and a crib, but it'd be crowded for sure! Again, this is a great hub you have here about tiny homes! Keep up the good work!


robie2 profile image

robie2 3 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks relawshe for that great comment. I love finding other tiny home afficionados. I've been fascinated by them for years too. I say go for it and I'm definitely coming over to read your hub on tiny homes. Thanks for stopping by.


PegCole17 profile image

PegCole17 3 years ago from Dallas, Texas

These tiny houses are so practical and economical. They sound like the perfect solution to smaller mortgages, easier maintenance and more time for enjoying the important things. I'll be sharing this on fB since my nieces and nephews are in the market for their first homes.


robie2 profile image

robie2 3 years ago from Central New Jersey Author

Thanks PegCole17... and aren't tiny houses just perfect for military brats like us who are used to pulling up stakes and moving around and who get wanderlust very easily? I love them


Jean Bakula profile image

Jean Bakula 5 months ago from New Jersey

I saw my first tiny house on a blog called Treehugger.com. I get disgusted with people who think they need 5BR's and a 5,000 sq. ft. house to raise two children, so really liked the idea. It doesn't waste a lot of land, and some of them are very creative. There seem to be so many options.


robie2 profile image

robie2 5 months ago from Central New Jersey Author

I totally agree, Jean, Tiny Houses are a great way to live the good life-- who needs mor ? and thank you for taking the time to read and comment here.

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