The tiny house movement, what is with the excitement?


Well for a start, looking at 2020 we have had to rethink how we spend money and how exactly that money is earned.  In the past, our culture was one of large living along with the huge mortgages that supported such a lifestyle. Averagely in America, the house size was 1700 square feet to 2600 square feet then it grew to 4000 square feet or even more depending on how far one’s pockets could stretch. 

Come 2008 the great recession had property being repossessed in greater numbers than before and the focus was drawn to smaller-scale living. This meant houses less than 1000 square feet in size. This was done to cut costs and it pushed the envelope farther through the tiny houses on wheels bringing the size down to 400 – 100 square feet. Today this is what we consider to be the size of a tiny house.

Why was everyone excited? The media was closely following the trend and many of the known pioneers were building these houses by themselves sometimes even using reclaimed materials which meant anyone else could do it. Taxes were less and because some of them were maintained on wheels, the option of touring with your home became enticing. Houses were built to be self-sustaining with solar panels, compost toilets, and portable water tanks meaning these tiny houses were eco-friendly and could support off-grid living. If the tiny house is less than 120 square feet it is even exempted from needing a building permit.

However, all this allowed for those lacking experience and unwilling to seek professional help to do poor quality work. Then stigma towards tiny house owners started to creep up. On the properties where the houses on wheels could be parked, in case it was not a tiny house community the neighbors feared for property values to drop. Some of the pioneers of the tiny house movement set up tiny house building companies that prompted amateurs to jump on board with companies that didn’t have the capital to stay afloat and mid-way through construction they would run off leaving owners stranded.  To add to this, because of minimal square footage tiny houses have difficulty inside space access for the elderly and disabled. 

This is not to discourage you. There are many types of tiny houses. These include RVs (Recreational vehicles), trailer homes which are full houses simply constructed on a trailer, shipping containers remodeled into houses, houseboats which are exactly as the name suggests, yurts which were originally traditional round tents usually semi-permanent mostly with wood framework and not portable, bus conversions where a bus is given a total makeover to create a home and cob houses which are closely related to huts and are built with a mixture of clay, sand, and straw known as a cob. All these can mostly be categorized under tiny houses on wheels, tiny mobile houses, and tiny houses on foundations. As a potential tiny house owner, your choices are endless. With the urban touch being added in construction and the ability to tailor the specifications to one’s lifestyle, the choice is all yours.

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