Home Sweet Tiny Home

As the small-house movement picks up speed, get ready to make your move


| May-June 2011



home-sweet-tiny-home

Jack Journey, © Tumbleweed Tiny House Company / www.tumbleweedhouses.com

The McMansion used to be all the rage: 3,000-plus square feet of cavernous space, lofty nine-foot ceilings, a sprawling master suite, spalike bathrooms, and a barn-sized garage. Once status symbols, these elements are now waning in popularity as homeowners embrace the less-is-more mantra.

Today’s buyers want practical simplicity, not opulence, reports Tara Lohan in the Hartford Advocate (Dec. 30, 2010). One-third of the people polled by the real estate website Trulia.com say they prefer a home smaller than 2,000 square feet.

Taking this desire to downsize to the extreme are members of the tiny-house movement. The group promotes small living, lauding homes built with a diminutive footprint—often less than 300 square feet—and minimal resources. Their focus is “how much space (and stuff) we actually need, instead of how much we want or think we want,” writes Lohan.

Led by individuals like Jay Shafer of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company in Boyes Hot Springs, California, interest in the movement has increased since the start of the recession. Shafer’s yearly sales of tiny-house blueprints have risen from five a decade ago to fifty, and Gregory Paul Johnson of the Small House Society says his website receives as many as 70,000 hits in a single day.

People might think the amenities of mega-houses are required for domestic nirvana, but tiny homes offer clear benefits. Done right, these little jewel boxes are idylls of order and efficiency; they get rid of titanic monthly mortgages and utility bills; many incorporate green practices through materials or methods of energy production; and some, like Vancouver architect Michael Katz’s stylish L41, offer high design on a low budget.

That said, downsizing at this level requires gumption. Tumbleweed’s XS House, for example, measures just 65 square feet. The bedroom is a three-foot-two-inch-tall loft that accommodates a queen-size mattress, but only if it can be rolled up to fit through a small opening in the loft floor. There is no room for a washer and dryer or dishwasher. The toilet is in the shower.

sayit14
7/21/2014 3:43:00 AM

The idea is to focus on facts and try and define a baseline problem to share.


arthurmoc
7/14/2014 9:10:39 AM

My brother presented me a couple of tiny-house blueprints he has been working on and he was sure a lot of people will be interested in them because they incorporate the best green practices. People want to http://www.cbdsm.com/home-listing-report.asp and find the solution that would fit them best, I live alone and such a tiny house is perfect for me.


susanspacey
7/12/2014 5:42:45 AM

In the past few years’ people started to build more compact houses that incorporate green practices because this allows the owners to save money by paying less for the utility bills. My nephew bought such a house and the specialists at http://www.andysglass.com told him he made a wise choice because such houses that are built using green materials offer owners further financial benefits with special utility promotions and rebates.


karen608
6/13/2011 7:43:51 PM

Living in a tiny camper sized 'home' isn't for everyone. Some can do it and thrive. The expensive tiny home movement houses are not cheap, so not sure you are really getting the best value for your money. It would be cheaper to live in a small camper which could be had cheaply for a used one, and add on solar panels.