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The tiny home trend is taking North America by storm!
One of the biggest trends in North American housing is the tiny home movement that is going strong right now. The tiny home trend is a social movement that has people downsizing to something much smaller. The smaller size equates to a smaller carbon footprint, more energy efficiency, and lower operating costs.
What is a tiny home?
A typical tiny home is between 100 and 400 square feet in size. It’s usually on tires so it can be moved to a different location when the are tired of their current location. A tiny house is often parked in a back yard or on someone’s land.
There are both benefits and challenges of living in a tiny home. Make sure you think carefully before you move into a (way) smaller space.
Live with less stuff
The average American home is more than 2000 square feet, and it’s jammed full of stuff. We buy things to replace the things we can’t find in our huge houses, and we buy furniture to fill up the rooms that we never use.
Although tiny homes are often touted as being the same as a traditional house - only smaller, they do require some concessions. Bathtubs are not usually standard in a tiny home, and closets are often more of a wish than a reality.
With what is often less than 10% of a typical home, you simply can’t have all the things you have in a traditional home.
With less space comes less storage. Your tiny house may only have room for 4 pairs of shoes rather than the 20 pairs you have now.
Tiny homes can demonstrate how everyday items use more space than you realize. Things like doors, which open into a room and require several feet of space around it just so it can open. With wall space rather than floor space required, a barn door may be the answer to your space saving dreams in your tiny home.
When you have less space, you have to be very conscious of the use of that space. Everyday items might need to have a dual purpose and everything needs to have a purpose. Your kitchen table might also have to serve as a bed when you have guests and your stairs might also be storage.
The cost of a tiny house is a fraction of a traditional house. A 150 square foot home can cost as little as $40,000, rather than hundreds of thousands for a permanent home. Of course, the cost ultimately depends on what kind of finishes you want in and on your tiny home, but it’s definitely more cost efficient to have a tiny home. Living debt free or with a small mortgage is a definite advantage of living in a tiny home
Live an uncluttered life
Your stuff can cost you both time and space. Minimalism is a growing movement that encourages followers to declutter. Supporters say the benefits of minimalism are that you not only save money, but you also save time, leaving you more moments for enjoying life.
Less Environmental Impact
Living in a tiny home is more energy efficient and environmentally friendly than a traditional home. Since tiny home owners have less space to heat and cool, they use less energy. In a secondary way, tiny home owners also purchase less because they have less room to store extra stuff, making them have a smaller environmental footprint.
Head for the open road
The freewheeling life is appealing to many of us, and a tiny home allows you to pick up and go wherever you want. Hook your hitch to a truck and you can take your tiny home anywhere you want to go.
Things to take into consideration
Check zoning and bylaws before you go crazy for the tiny home movement. You don’t want to move your tiny home to an area where you need special permission to park.
You should also think about whether or not you can give up your things and free space for a living environment where every inch of space is utilized. Can you live with only 4 pairs of shoes? Do you need a bathtub because you hate showering?
Lastly, take into consideration whether or not you want to be in such close quarters with your family if you have one. It’s one thing to live in a tiny home as a single person, and another to live with a family of four.
As the price of houses goes up, the tiny home movement shows no sign of slowing down. More organizations are showing their ingenuity in developing tiny homes, as well as the multi-use products to use in them.