Why a Tiny House Should Be Your Next House

Tumbleweedhouses.com

Tumbleweedhouses.com

The Tiny House movement is a growing trend in home design today. You might be surprised to find that a Tiny House is the perfect answer to living better than you ever imagined. With a focus on quality over quantity the Tiny House makes the finer things in life more affordable and accessible than ever before.

The Premise

Most people can’t imagine living comfortably in a 700 SF house. And that’s mainly because society tells us we need MORE space. As Americans we should buy the biggest house we can afford, right? It’s a status symbol. After all, you can’t let the Joneses get ahead, can you? But what if you flipped the whole thing on its head? What if you stopped focusing on how much square footage you can get and started focusing on how good you can make the square footage you have? That’s what the Tiny House has done. The movement acknowledges that people are happier when they are surrounded with quality materials that are incorporated into a design that uses space so efficiently that you don’t even notice it’s small. The cozy design makes us feel secure and relaxed, but small and poorly thought out makes us feel cramped (even in bigger spaces).

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Tiny Houses can be anything from a 60 SF shed built on a trailer to a 1500 SF house. There really isn’t a hard and fast definition of what size qualifies. The important aspect of the Tiny House is intelligent and efficient design. From the very start the house is designed so that every inch is used to the peak of its potential. Empty wall space is utilized for built in storage. Many rooms serve double duty when possible. Honestly, do you really need a formal dining room or do you just have one because that’s what everyone else has? Why not have a room that with a few minor changes can serve as both dining room and living room?

And for the amount of money you spend to buy a house with an extra bedroom for guests that rarely visit you could put them up in a four-star hotel when they finally do come and take a cruise every year with the money that’s left over! There is no wasted space in a Tiny House. The layout is designed for the way we live today not what some commercial builder tells us we want.Tiny House Interior

Quality

Here is Orlando, FL the average new home costs $85 per SF to build and the average size is 2,500 SF. That comes out to a cost of $212,500 for your new home. Now what if you wanted to upgrade to granite counter tops, crown molding, solid wood flooring, marble tile, super efficient windows, exterior trim detailing, etc? That $85 a SF price just went way up. Now imagine your house is designed well enough so that you could shrink your square footage down to 1,250 SF. Now you can double your price per SF since you cut the footage in half and still stay in budget.

Due to it’s small size the Tiny House can be built using the best practice methods of builders and the best quality materials. Solid hardwoods, high-end tile, hand-painted sinks, anything you can imagine. Tiling a 30 SF bathroom with $20 a SF tile is much more attainable than a 300 SF bath.

Energy-Efficiency

If you think energy prices are going anywhere but up you need to get your head examined. All the signs point to increased costs for electricity, water, gas, and oil. But with a Tiny House you don’t have to worry about the price of energy. With such small square footage your heating and cooling costs are exponentially lowered, not to mention the lower initial cost of a smaller HVAC system. Now you’re not paying to heat and cool an extra 2000 SF while you sleep in your 500 SF bedroom. And to top it all off, you can afford to build a better insulated and more efficient house since you’re not paying for the extra square footage. When you have 5 windows to buy instead of 35 you can afford the best.

Resources

A quick Google search for “Tiny House” will open your eyes to the dozens of companies out there building and promoting this kind of living. For now it’s a fad to be sure, but one that in my opinion has legs. Here’s just a few of my favorite sites where you can learn more and even buy your own Tiny House.

tumbleweehouses.com

tumbleweehouses.com

www.tumbleweedhouses.com

www.tinyhousetalk.com

www.tinytexashouses.com

www.tinyhouseblog.com

 

What do you think? Why would or wouldn’t you consider a Tiny House?

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by Scott Sidler

Scott is the owner of Austin Home Restorations, a company that specializes in renovating and restoring historic homes in Orlando, FL and the creator of The Craftsman Blog. When not working on, teaching about or writing about old houses he spends time fixing up his own old bungalow with his wife Delores and their son Charley.

http://www.austinhomerestorations.com

12 comments

  1. Dixter on said:

    Tiny houses are appealing, but climbing a ladder to sleep is not.

    • Totally agreed! I would be more apt to go with a somewhat larger tiny house. The one person 100 SF models are a but too extreme for my needs, but a 700 SF tiny house would fit my family’s needs nicely. There are so many options.

  2. Meg Baco on said:

    Yes, I want a tiny historic house!

    I enjoy the cabins that were part of the vacationization of rural places, like those on the way towards Acadia National Park or the abandoned ones the way to Long Beach, Ontario. It would be fascinating if a grouping of them were collaborative owned and occupied to create a community.

    While the development of the rural land can generally be seen as bad, I’d say it’s better than private ownership of McMansions in the actual protected area. I am reminded of the house homes even on protected beaches in Florida.

    • You need to buy a cottage in The Camp Meeting Association area of Martha’s Vineyard then. I took a trip up there a couple months ago and there are so many tiny houses/cottages for sale that were all built in this one cozy neighborhood between 1850 and 1870. I wrote a post about it back in June. Give it a read!

  3. Ross Lukeman on said:

    Great article! Great point about quality material and craftsmanship becoming much more attainable when you cut your square footage. I agree, we buy much larger houses than we need based on the influence of builders and other people, not necessarily by taking a hard look at our own needs. I love the part about putting your guests up in a four star hotel and taking a cruise every year. As Jay Shafer said from Tumbleweed Tiny Houses, the main asset that comes with a tiny house is freedom. I think once people saw how much more money and time they could have with a smaller home, they wouldn’t want to give it up.

    • Ross, well said! I do think the tiny house or at least something much smaller is the future. We just have to show the rest of the world the benefits.

  4. Is the house pictured on your web site, the craftsman.com available to customers. This is the house with the white loft,wood flooring lots of loft windows,and totally beautiful? My wife and I are very interested in purchasing one,and would like to know the cost,and availability of ordering one.we would like to purchase one possibly in 4-6 months.

    • austinhomerestorations on said:

      Ray, the house pictured is designed by Tumbleweed Tiny Houses and we can build one for you. Tumbleweed sells plans for several different style homes and we are happy to build them for anyone interested. You can contact me at scott@austinhomerestorations.com

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