Tiny House, Large Living: The Essential Guide to Tiny Houses

tiny houses

Seeing as they’ve risen in popularity as of late, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about tiny houses. However, maybe you’re still unsure of what exactly they are. If so, you’re in the right place.

Tiny houses are ideal for anyone looking to reduce their carbon footprint, downsize, or cut back their monthly expenses. But we’ll discuss all that in a minute!

In this guide, we’re going to cover the ins and outs of tiny houses, helping you understand them and their benefits. Let’s go!

What Is a Tiny House?

There are many different definitions for what a tiny house is. However, most would describe a house that is under 600 square feet.

In many cases, tiny houses are built to be as compact as possible. Tiny house layouts strategically utilize vertical space as opposed to horizontal space. They also involve retractable and foldable elements like tables, beds, and the like.

You can build a tiny house on a foundation. However, many tiny houses sit on the tops of trailers. This enables them to be taken from place to place with the use of a truck or SUV.

It’s also fairly common to see tiny houses used as ADUs or accessory dwelling units. These are additional units that exist on a property as a means of providing housing to, say, guests or an older family member. Some of the best ADU facilities are, indeed, tiny houses.

Tiny houses can be made out of a variety of materials. Whereas some are made out of conventional house materials like wood and vinyl, others are made out of metal. In fact, there’s a certain subset of the tiny house movement that involves turning metal storage containers into tiny houses.

The Benefits of a Tiny House

tiny houses

Tiny houses come with a variety of benefits. These benefits include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

They’re Inexpensive

Perhaps the biggest benefit of tiny houses is that they’re inexpensive. You can build a tiny house for an average of $60,000. Note, though, that if you build your home yourself, it’s possible to spend as little as $15,000.

This is substantially less than what you would pay for a standard home, the 2021 average of which is $340,000. So, if you want to be a homeowner, but don’t have a lot of money to throw at the endeavor, you should consider building a tiny house.

They Can Be Portable

As was noted above, tiny houses can be built on trailers. As such, they have the potential to be portable. In other words, you can use them like campers and haul them anywhere.

This is a plus if you’re considering a nomadic lifestyle. Not only can you live on the road, but you can live fairly comfortably as well.

They’re Easy to Maintain

This doesn’t need a lot of explaining: tiny houses are easier to maintain than big houses. When you clean a tiny house, you’re essentially cleaning up a single room. As such, you can get from one corner of the house to the other in just a short time.

They Facilitate a Minimalist Lifestyle

This may or may not be a benefit to you, but tiny houses facilitate a minimalist lifestyle. So, if you’re looking to keep your number of worldly possessions to a minimum, living in a tiny house might be the right move for you. After all, you’re not going to be storing bicycles and weightlifting machines inside of a 400 square foot house.

They Require Very Little Energy

Another benefit of tiny houses is that they require very little energy. This is, of course, due to their small size. It takes much less electricity to cool a 400-square-foot home than it does to cool a 1,000-square-foot home.

So, not only will a tiny house allow you to spend less money on housing costs but on utility costs as well. Over time, these savings can add up to thousands upon thousands of dollars.

The Drawbacks of Tiny Houses

tiny houses

While tiny houses have many benefits, they also have some drawbacks. Let’s take a look:

They’re Not Always Allowed

Simply put, tiny houses are not always allowed. Some towns and cities have ordinances against building permanent tiny houses. So, before you decide to build on a specific plot of land, make sure you’re actually allowed to do so first.

They’re Difficult to Get Mortgages For

Most banks don’t look at tiny houses in the same way they do standard houses. As such, they often won’t provide mortgages for them.

Therefore, if you’re going to build a tiny house, you’ll either have to save up your own money, get on a financing plan through a tiny house builder, or take out a personal loan.

They’re Small

To put it honestly, tiny house living isn’t for everyone. You have to be comfortable living in an enclosed space. If you’re a person who likes to do activities inside, a tiny house probably won’t accommodate you.

A big part of tiny house living is spending your time outside of the house. You use your house for all necessary purposes (sleeping, cooking, going to the bathroom, etc.) but spend most of the rest of your time either outside on your property or in a public area.

Think long and hard about whether this is a lifestyle you would be satisfied with. If you’re an open-minded and adventurous person, it might be the perfect choice for you. If not, you’re probably better off with a standard-sized domicile.

Tiny Houses Might Be a Good Option for You

If you’re looking to live the minimalist lifestyle, if you want a life on the road, or if you want to save money on housing, tiny houses might be a good option for you. Try to find tiny house owners in your area and see how they feel about the lifestyle. With their encouragement, you might just build a tiny house of your own.

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