Picture a small cabin in the woods, with someone chopping logs for the fire, and a pot of coffee boiling away on an iron stove. This is an iconic image of the spirit of American exploration. Now imagine a white mansion with Greek columns and a steel gate guarding green manicured grounds. As the cabin is the image of freedom and exploration the mansion is that of the American dream. This begs the question though, which one should we strive for?
The fact is that neither of these extremes are all that feasible; estates are costly and require an entire staff of their own while the tiny log built cottage of yesteryear was not usually very comfortable and the lifestyle required a lot of upkeep.
Tiny houses are in many ways a combination of these dreams, the comfort of a house, with a warm bed and heater that don’t require hours of chopping wood and carrying hay to maintain, but the freedom of adventure from the convenience of your home.
Beyond that though, just what is a ‘tiny house’? While there are wide varieties of structures out there that qualify as tiny homes there are some generally agreed upon guidelines for what a ‘tiny house’ is.
How big is a tiny house?
For starters the size. Tiny houses are those less than 1,000 square feet. Many tiny houses run from 200-400 square feet, while a few are as small as 80 square feet with much of the area given to multiple uses. For perspective, at the turn of the 20th century most houses were under or around 1,000 square feet, only after WWII did we see the explosion in house sizes we have today. The average size of a new American home is now 2,679 square feet, while the average family size has been in decline for years.
How is that different from an RV or prefabricated home?
Tiny houses are built to RV code, and can be taken anywhere RVs can go. However, Tiny houses distinguish themselves not only in their size and utility but also in longevity. Unlike RVs (with an emphasis on the ‘recreational’ aspect of the Recreational Vehicle moniker) tiny houses are built to be just as functional, comfortable, and long lasting. Using top quality materials and construction methods, tiny houses are made to last and built to be lived in.
What do tiny houses look like?
There are many different kinds of houses and tiny houses are no exception. Because tiny houses are built individually, not just molded and assembled, there are many different styles to choose between. From log cabins with wood stoves to modern designs with integrated solar roofs.
Are they less expensive to run than regular houses?
Efficiency, in every respect, is a hallmark of tiny homes. From using few building materials to being low cost to cool and heat, being smaller and using less is integral in the design. Cutting a home’s size in half reduces the carbon emissions by 36%, as well as using less water for cleaning, and less material to build in the first place.
Tiny houses are just that, houses, built for comfort and made to last. A great way to live, whether it’s your primary residence, as an extra space for guests short or long term, or a getaway cabin where you can relax and enjoy your home away from home. Tiny homes do not have to sacrifice luxury for function, but allows the freedom to live where you like, simply, and with ease.