What is a tiny home? Why would someone want to live in a tiny home? The answers can be as varied and personal as the tiny homes themselves. Currently, there is not anyone building mass produced, cookie cutter tiny homes. Each is a custom home unique to the individual. Some of the reasons people want to get a tiny home might be; they are environmentally friendly, to create self sufficiency, to simplify, for freedom to move whenever you want, for use on vacation or mountain properties, or financial reasons. Over the course of our next few posts, we will discuss each of these areas more in depth.
If you do a web search for tiny homes, the amount of information you can find is astounding. Tiny homes range from a very simple bare minimum home, to a luxurious well crafted home. There are homes that are completely off the grid capable and are totally self contained, to those that require hook ups all the time. Which tiny home someone chooses is unique to their circumstances.
Tiny homes originally started as something that people were designing and building on their own. The original movement was probably designed with the minimalist movement in mind. Allowing people to downsize and simplify their lives. It was people who wanted to unplug and remove themselves from the hectic events of life.
That is no longer the case. Tiny homes are even becoming attractive to the ultra rich. FORBES had an article that stated:
Jason Dietz, founder of Molecule Tiny Homes in Santa Cruz, Calif., says he built a tiny house on a waterfront lot for an IntuitINTU +0.05% exec that featured a surfboard island, bamboo reed floors, and a concrete countertop with grooves to funnel water from wet dishes into the sink. This particular home also featured an exterior shower for rinsing off after a cold day surfing.
The article goes on to say:
Newcomer Tiny Heirloom, a builder based in Oregon City, Ore., is offering homes with in-house speakers and LED lighting, starting at $65,000. The company is also advertising an automation system with hands-free lighting, voice-activated door locks, automated thermostats, and Bluetooth surround sound controlled via an iPhone or Android.
Do you need to cut yourself off from all the conveniences of life to live in a tiny home? Absolutely not! Tiny homes come in many shapes and sizes.
The trend for many is tiny homes on wheels (THOW). Although there are many that are building tiny homes on foundations or in a shed style on skids. There is no concrete definition for what makes a tiny home. If it is a trailer mounted home, it is limited by size and weight requirements to be towable. They can start as small as 60ft2
Joe Everson from Tennessee Tiny Homes gives a tour of his 60sqft tiny home.
Typically though, they are in the 28’ length. Although, there is some discussions about building homes on 40’ gooseneck. The trailers for these projects can be obtained through a custom builder. There is even a couple who designed their tiny home using a semi trailer.
Just remember, if you intend to move it you need to know what your limits are or what it will cost to move it. We will have a future article on towing tiny homes.
I personally think that when someone starts looking at homes over 40’ they are no longer really in the same category as what most THOW builders would consider THOW. As I said in the beginning though, a tiny home can be anything you want it to be. If you want, you can build it yourself, or you can find someone to build it for you. Your imagination is really the only limit to what you can do.
The reason you decide to move into a tiny home will really help you decide what size and configuration is right for you. If you are not sure about whether a tiny home is for you, and you want to try one out for a while before making a purchase, there are several places that rent them out.
- RCV Outdoors in Colorado rents tiny homes near Garden of the Gods. Garden of the Gods has some great scenery and outdoor activities. I lived near there in Colorado Springs for a while and spent many days hiking and exploring Garden of the Gods.
- Bayside Bungalow in Olympia, Washington provides a nice setting on waterfront property overlooking the Puget Sound.
- Tiny House Hotel is located in the Alberta Arts District in Portland, Oregon. It offers collection of theme based tiny homes that you can rent.
- Getaway has locations in both New York and Boston. They provide a unique experience as they don’t tell you the location of your cabin until shortly before you go so that you don’t have time to worry and plan activities. The idea behind their rentals is to allow you to go out and unplug from technology and really just enjoy nature.
- Mt. Hood Tiny House Village offers a variety of tiny homes just outside of Mt. Hood National Forest.
Trying out a location like one of these for a few days or a week might be just what you need to decide if a tiny home is right for you.
Moving into a tiny home might be something that you decide to do for a year or two. It might be something you decide to do permanently. It may be something you decide to do just for vacations or for your mountain retreat. A tiny home may provide the perfect retirement home. The reasons to choose a tiny home are endless, as are the possibilities of how you decide to build your tiny home.
Something else to consider when you decide to build a tiny home is where will you park it. Will you need to have access to hookups, or will it be totally self contained? Some cities do not allow tiny homes. You may need to check to see if where you intend to use it is legal. KOAs and other RV friendly places will let you use your tiny home just like a RV if it will fit in their parking spaces. You would just have to decide if that type of place is where you would like to live.
In this article we have posed a lot of questions. Hopefully as you think about them you will really be able to see how tiny living and a tiny home could work for you. Through this blog I hope to help you answer a lot of questions you might be having about tiny homes and if they are the right fit for you.
The freedom that you could get while living in a tiny home could very well make it worth the sacrifice of the space. In the end, you might find that it really wasn’t a sacrifice at all.