Everyone is fascinated with tiny homes. Everyone but me, but I am trying my best to get onto the tiny house bandwagon too. They’re so very, very tiny and living in one day after day after day would be difficult. Normal living would make it look cluttered and unkempt, all the time. Where do you put simple things like your garbage? How do you make your bed? I think a tiny house would be ideal to use as a little “get away” where I could escape and be by myself when I need it. Men can have their garage, or a den, or a man cave but women, typically, don’t have a little hide-away. A tiny house could be the place where, when life gets a bit overwhelming, I could go to be by myself for a little while. Now that sounds appealing.
What, exactly is a tiny house? First, they’re tiny. They typically have a livable space totaling less than 150-250 square feet. Because they lack space, a lot of thought is put into the design and the utilization of space is ingenious. Every inch is optimized with multi-functional furniture, space-saving appliances, and sometimes, lofts. Examples of the clever use of space is making each step up to the loft double as a drawer. The kitchen table can also be used as a workspace. In fact, the top of the table could open so the computer and other electronics could be stored inside when not in use. Or, vice versa, where dishes are stored. There could be additional storage under the floor, by designing a door in the floor that pulls up. This would be a great place to store canned goods, blankets, and other things that you will not find room for otherwise. Large and small drawers could be installed in the kitchen wall to store spices, potatoes, etc. Tiny houses are built on a chassis or otherwise designed to be mobile, although they can also have a foundation.
You would think that these homes could be used in any small area one happens to have but this isn’t the case. More than likely, city codes will not allow you to have a tiny house in that little space in the corner of your yard. Chances are, they won’t even be allowed on a vacant lot dedicated to your tiny house. When I found this out, I didn’t believe it. Why can a home have a falling down garage, or other outbuilding on the property, but not a cute little, tiny home? Building codes will require a home with a minimum size that’s much bigger than a tiny home. Several years ago, there were only a few towns in the country that would allow a tiny home. Things are changing, though, and many more towns are becoming tiny home friendly. Don’t just assume that your town is one of them – check it out first.
It’s important to think about safety issues, particularly fire safety. These houses are tiny, usually with one door. In addition, they are made of wood and usually have some kind of wood burning stove. This makes it super important to use fuel burning appliances listed for RV use. Because tiny houses are small, flame retardants, formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds should not be in them.
Even though tiny houses are tiny, they can cost a lot. They are becoming more popular and can be designed with fancy countertops, expensive finishes – the whole nine yards. Since the intent of a tiny house is to allow the owner to live inexpensively and without a mortgage, building them cheaply is usually the goal.
As stated earlier, I love the concept of a tiny home but in reality, I could never live in one as a permanent residence. Many people would adapt well and love this lifestyle, but not me. I do, however, love utilizing space to the max and would enjoy incorporating tiny house space ideas into my own home.
What do people who presently live in tiny homes say? They don’t have rent to pay and heating costs are virtually non-existent. This, of course, saves money, allowing more time for a slower paced life that affords time for travel. There is no room to have a closet full of clothes or non-essential possessions. But the trade-off is a simpler, less chaotic life, giving you the chance to actually enjoy life, smell the roses, and get fulfilled. Ahhhhhh!
Give Susan or Phil a call. We’d love to get your thoughts. 971-246-7954.