Tiny houses have really started to become a trend in the states, which you may have noticed through the hit series Tiny House Nation that started airing on FYI in July 2014. The sensation provides a stark contrast to the traditional “American Dream” concept of home-ownership that contributed to larger homes to accommodate large families. In a study done of homes built in 2009 calculating how much square feet was built per person in resident housing, Americans have the second largest houses, averaging 832 square feet per person, trailing Australia’s 960 square feet. But with large houses comes large maintenance requirements, increasing costs for water, energy and mortgage, and a head full of headaches that have led to home owners looking for alternate solutions.
So what are tiny houses? They are simply tiny houses, typically built on trailers or other mobile platforms. These homes adhere to their “tiny” description with areas ranging from 65 to 400 square feet, and widths that are generally 8.5 feet or smaller. Comparably, “small” houses are described as having areas ranging from 400 to 1000 square feet, but tiny houses aren’t limited to a specific range in size as the term “tiny” refers to a matter of opinion. Space is a matter of concern though, as tiny houses are described as a means of living small in order to really live big.
Some tiny home-owners have even described tiny house as a state of mind, not just a state of living, asserting that a minimalist life helps you to appreciate the simple and connect more with your surroundings without distraction by forcing you to “de-clutter” your life. The real message behind tiny house is to become more conscious about how you live and a few of the benefits of small living include:
Affordability – A smaller house needs less energy to heat and cool and less maintenance in general, saving money on energy bills and maintenance fees. Its size and mobility dispenses the need to pay a property tax for the home, but other charges may apply such as vehicle insurance and registration.
Mobility and flexibility – The ability to just get up and go provide tiny home-owners a freedom unlike any other.
Minimal environmental impact – Tiny houses are more efficient and thusly more easily sustainable. Who knew such a small structure could have such a big impact in lowering your ecological footprint?
Simpler living – Tiny houses provide a self-contained, easy to maintain space that is perfect for those who are retired, disabled or seeking a more peaceful residence.
Cozy and intimate – Because the space is limited everything has a place and purpose, and because decisions about space are critical everything about your new home is tailored and reflective of you.
Of course, tiny living isn’t for everyone, especially when the house will be accommodating more than one. Living in such a small space is sure to put a magnifying glass over you and your companion’s shortcomings but the intimacy of the space is sure to bring you closer together.