Category Archives: First Thing: What IS a Tiny House?

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A Link to a Brand New Video to Air on BBC

This may give the reader a little more clear picture of what types of dwellings we are discussing on this blog.

What IS a Tiny House?

This is the blog of a Tiny House enthusiast. I LOVE tiny houses! My Blog originated here: which I still operate. Someone who gave me feedback about the site stated that he did not actually know what a tiny house is.  So a fitting start to this Shiny New Blog is a definition of what TINY is all about.

In light of the recent economic spiral down, people are beginning to evaluate what they really need to live well.  As housing has crept up feet wise over the last decade, housing prices have sky rocketed forcing families to over-commit themselves fiscally, physically and with their time.   Although smaller dwellings have been the way of life overseas for years, Jay Schafer re-invented tiny, American style, about 12 or so years ago.  For myself and others, it was his Tumbleweeds website that followed his trek across the country living in an 84 sq ft home, that caught my attention.

Tiny homes are built either on a regular foundation or on a trailer which can be towed behind a vehicle. Thus being used more like wooden RVs, they are most often considered as such by insurance providers and local ordinance. Given the tight restrictions placed on stick built houses, the mobile option is the only one viable for most.  This is because the roughly 50-250 square feet contained in many tiny houses is below the local codes for stick built houses to be plumbed and include a kitchen.

These houses are used for a wide variety of purposes. They become terrific vacation aids, retirement cottages, workshops, offices, “personal time” spots and full time residences for singles and couples. There are some cases where small families find them comfortable to share with a kid or two. There are medical purposes, including use as a “therapeutic” playhouse, and also for those who are sensitive to toxic emissions from treated housing materials.

As varied as the purposes these tiny homes are used for, the motive behind seeking this type of shelter also varies.  Many people are building their own from totally recycled and dumpstered materials.  Others save the money to have them built by professionals, but do so to reduce their impact on environment.  Many people do not want to continue to collect “stuff” and just want to simplify.  They are easy to clean, easy on the budget and easy to heat and cool.  They just plain make sense.

For examples of what tiny houses look like, just Google Tiny House.  Jay Schafer has Tumbleweeds, there is a company called, “Portland Alternate Dwellings” (or PAD for short), Scott of Slabtown Tinies is the very most affordable that I am currently aware of, and Dan Louche has recently brought Tiny to Florida.  Tiny Texas uses totally reclaimed materials that are fabulous, and Derek “Deek” Diedricksen, um, well, he just does what he wants. 🙂 There are endless lists of builders and most likely you will find one in your area doing something awesome if you look.  I know I left out most of them, but I hope to include a list on this page with active links for your convenience.

So there you go. You CAN downsize, reduce utilities costs, reduce waste, recycle, live sustainably avoid a mortgage, and live in a home made from the very best materials with low chemical emissions!  Whew! With all of that going for them, I believe tinies are going to be gaining in popularity for a long time…

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