Monday, June 5, 2017

Tiny Houses

There's a new trend in housing: Tiny houses.
Some facts about tiny houses:

  • They are usually built on a platform with wheels so they can be moved easily
  • Space-efficient:storage is tucked away everywhere
  • Sometimes they are solar-powered
  • They can be built by the owner or someone else
  • Tiny homes have features like any other house, only on a smaller scale, including washers, air conditioning, bathrooms, electricity
  • They can be as tiny as 65 square feet up to about 900 square feet (the size of a 1960s rambler is about 1100 square feet)
  • They are kinder to the planet: They use less materials to build, less electricity or gas for fuel, and create less waste
Here's some facts about housing costs--quite eye opening:
Less stuff: How much do we really need?
George Carlin about stuff:
  • Smaller spaces are cheaper to heat and air-condition
  • Minimal outside and inside maintenance
  • Less stuff = less to clean up
  • You'd learn to be better at food consumption--not a lot of storage
  • You could live by the advice of: Make do, use it up, do without
  • Deciding what to wear would not be a problem
  • Cleaning house would take very little time
  • They discourage consumerism, the habit of obtaining more to impress others
  • As such, a tiny house confirms that 'things' aren't going to make you happy
  • You will value and take care of those few things you really want to have
  • You could stay in one place or move whenever you wanted to
  • If your neighbors bother you, you can just move
  • If you know someone with land, you could park your tiny house there and pay no rent
  • You may be able to use campground hookups to temporarily park your home
  • You won't need any yard equipment: Lawn mower, snow blower. A shovel for snow, maybe. There's nowhere to put them anyway.
  • It is your own home, as opposed an apartment
  • Would you rather have a tiny house that's affordable, or a big house you can barely pay for?

Here are some ways a tiny house makes better use of minimal space:
  • If you like to have a lot of stuff, that would be a problem
  • Close quarters can make it hard to live with someone-or not
  • With a roommate, you'd have to agree on what stuff to bring into the house
  • Often, the bed or one of the beds will be in a loft with very little headroom
  • Permits to park your tiny house can be difficult to get
  • Also, hookups for water or electricity might be a problem sometimes
  • You would not have a garage. This could be a problem in a state with a long winter.
  • You would need a P O Box to use as your address, perhaps one in several areas, in order to receive mail.
  • Having an established doctor might be an issue

The first thing you'd have to do if you were considering a Tiny House, is to pare down your belongings to a bare minimum. This is, of course, hard to do if you already have a 'regular' sized house or apartment. If you are still living with your parents and/or in an apartment, it might be easier.
Here's one company that builds them or sells kits so you can do it yourself. Check out a few of their models:
Here's a video tour of a tiny house:
Here's a tiny house that's pretty fancy:
Here's a little community of Tiny Houses in Portland, Oregon:
Besides the obvious advantage of saving money on a house, imagine what they could do for the homeless: Wouldn't it be better to have somewhere safe, warm, and dry to sleep at night? A place where you call home, no matter how small? Check this out: People building tiny houses for the homeless:
 What do you think? Could you live in a tiny house? Would it be rewarding to you? Does it make you re-think traditional housing?

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