A BIG, little change in living!
Tiny house, inside and out
The hottest new craze in living large is by downsizing and living in a tiny house. The phenomenon started about ten years ago. More and more people are looking to care less about materialistic things and to care more about living a simpler, fuller and all around happier life.
The average American home is about 2600 square feet. The typical tiny house is 100-400 square feet. Talk about a change! People are realizing that bigger isn't always better. Sometimes having less quantity but higher quality of life is the answer some of us are looking for. Tiny living isn't for everyone but, I think I have found some information that can help you decide if it's what you're looking for!
People have been changing their lifestyles in this way for so many different reasons.
- Less use of lumber and other materials which means less trees being cut down
- Smaller and fewer appliances
- Less space to heat and cool
- Less use of electricity and fuel use. This is a big one because more than 80% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions during a home's 70 year lifespan are attributed to electricity and fuel consumption
- Can be built from recycled materials
- Lower taxes
- Little or no debt
- the average price for a tiny house is $23,000
- 68% of tiny house owners have no mortgage
Seeking more time and freedom:
- Their mobile!!! Most tiny houses are built on a trailer which hooks up to a standard 4x4 truck and can be towed anywhere!
- Decreased maintenance means that there is less space to clean which leads to more time spent with family, friends, or just enjoying nature!
- Their self sufficient
- About 40% of tiny house owners are 50+ years old
- Although many people build them as their primary residence, some people have also chosen to build them for their home office; suite for the in-laws, and even a space for the returning adult children.
- Tiny houses are also harder to track down because of the fact that many of them don't require the building permits that larger homes require
The pro reasons are some really good reasons to consider changing your life. Even if cutting down to 400 square feet or less isn't in the cards for you, you can still find ways to make your home more Eco-friendly!
I don't know about you, but these numbers scare me!
Comparing the two lifestyles is an eye opener!
Where there are pros...there are cons. It's up to you to weigh them...
- No personal space-which isn't a problem if it's just you living there
- Not enough storage space-let's face it, when you're taking 1,000+ square feet of a life and cramming it into 100-400 square feet....you're going to give up things
- Hitting you're knees, elbows, head etc on the walls and ceiling...have a first aid kit handy!
- No room for yoga or any other type of workout...I guess you could do it outside or on the roof (just don't workout in your birthday suit!)
- Small kitchens and bathrooms-these tend to be the most used rooms in the house and usually are required to be a little bigger.
- The toilet...Since you are building a house on wheels it should be common sense that there isn't a regular toilet inside. In fact, the toilets that are usually installed in these tiny homes are anything but ordinary. Here are the most common options:
>An RV Low Flush Toilet: This will be the closest option to the typical toilet experience. However, it needs connection to a sewage system or at least a place to dump the tank. I don't know about any of you, but I don't want that job
>Incinerating toilets:Does this name scare anyone else? These toilets come in electric or propane. The toilet then burns the waste into a small amount so it's easy to get rid of. The metal bowl full of ashes is then emptied...somewhere. It is pretty expensive when you consider the smell of burning poop filling your house and yard.
>High-tech composting toilets: This toilet turns your poop into compost. Once the compost and urine is full, you have to dump it in a compost pile outside or...somewhere
>Low-tech compost toilets: Better described as a bucket and sawdust. Once you have made your deposit into the plastic bucket with a lid, you then scoop some saw dust over the top of it and turn it into compost. You then empty the bucket in the pile outside or...somewhere.
Then there's my own personal favorite option...
>The Litter-box: Owning cats means we would have a few litter boxes anyways. So, cut down on cost completely and just share theirs! They won't mind! Of coarse I'm kidding about this one.
- The common message with really any of the toilet options above is that you would need a place to empty your waste. There's also a huge potential for inside and outside odors.
Multi-Cat and Multi-Human
Stop to take the poll!
At this point, would you live in a tiny house?
These facts really lay it all out there...
Phenomenon on TV
Recently, I have discovered this phenomenon on my TV. HGTV now has three different shows dedicated to this BIG, tiny craze.
Tiny House Builders:
Derek Diedricksen doesn't just make Tiny Houses, he creates micro masterpieces out of salvaged materials. Located in some of the world's most beautiful and at times treacherous locations, he prides himself on building the tiniest of structures that make the most of their surroundings. Viewers will follow along as this master miniature craftsman constructs paradise living in just a few hundred square feet.
Tiny House Hunters:
Follow home seekers across the country as they look to downsize, way down. They'll check out three unique streamlined houses under 600 square feet before deciding on the perfect compact kingdom to call home. When it comes to choosing one and making an offer, will they join the tiny house movement or stick with wide-open spaces? Viewers will be on the edge of their seats waiting to see what these Tiny House Hunters ultimately decide.
Tiny House, Big Living:
Couples learn what it really means to downsize when they take the plunge into the tiny house real estate market. At an average size of only 180 square feet, watch as clients meet with their builders, or decide to build these tiny homes all by themselves, and follow along through the construction process until the house is complete.
These shows give us a tour of these different homes, the set up options and the insight as to what the tiny living options are. Check your local listings.
Here is a walk through video
How a couple and their baby live large in a tiny space
HGTV Tiny House Hunters
Is square footage more important than happiness?
The answer is obviously, no. Although, having more space would be more beneficial to some families, some couples and lone wolves can benefit from simple, small living. I know we are considering it. Are you?