in Design Minimalism
Have you heard about tiny houses? They are, as the name implies, very tiny houses, best suited for 1-2 people. They range from 100-300 square feet and have been getting a lot of press recently. My guess is that a lot of people are still stinging from the mortgage fueled recession and are looking for ways to spend less on housing. Having a cheap small house without room for many possessions is a great way to save some money.
For a lot of designers the tiny house is a dream. Because there’s so little space it forces you to be really creative and think outside the box. Literally, every inch needs to be considered. While there are companies that will sell you a pre-made tiny house a lot of people are choosing to build them themselves as a way t ensure they get exactly what they want. You can buy designs on-line and then customize to meet your needs. I’m not sure I’m ready to make the leap to micro-living quite yet but I’m definitely intrigued by the idea.
Here are my top 5 reasons, in no particular order, for being interested in tiny houses:
- Low Cost: Less space means less cost. Utilities are lower, maintenance is lower, and your rent or mortgage is almost nonexistent. From the research I’ve done, the most expensive part of owning a tiny house is setting up the plumbing. Most tend to use a composting toilet which doesn’t require full-on plumbing set-up but they can be pricy and usually cost around $2k. Depending on the materials you use and how much of the work you do yourself a tiny house can be built for as little as $10,000, which is was less than a full size home.
- Transportable: A lot of tiny houses are built on trailers so they can be pulled behind a pickup or SUV. I like this idea because it’s kind of like having an RV but more personal and home-like. Of course, you’ll want to be careful to make sure no one drives off with your house!
- Design Challenges: As mentioned above, figuring out the layout and design of a tiny house is just about my favorite thing about the whole concept. Every cabinet, step, outlet, nook, and cranny needs to be considered. Where will the bed go? Will it be a loft or a Murphy? One of the most difficult challenges is figuring out how the shower/bath will work. One really interesting idea I came across was a giant tub, that looked like a pretty deep sink, that you sit in and fill up with water to take a bath. It uses considerably less water than a conventional bath and doubles as a clothes washing machine. Genius!
- Helps Embrace Minimalism: As I mentioned in another post I am a budding minimalist, meaning I am attempting to live with a bare minimum of possessions. Living in a tiny house would ensure that you’re only able to keep the absolute essentials.
- Just Looks Cool: This probably isn’t really a very good reason to live in a micro-house but I just really think tiny houses look awesome. They’re so small and cute you just want to pinch them.
While I probably won’t be able to seriously consider building my own tiny house until I finish design school it’s a trend I’ll be following closely over the next few years.