According to an article published by CNN last year, America’s homes are larger than ever. In 2013, the average home size in America hit an all time-high of 2,600 square feet. But there’s a counter-movement to this trend that is gaining traction, where some people are choosing to majorly downsize the space they live in.
If you’re the type who stays on top of design and architectural trends, chances are you’ve heard by now about the Tiny House Movement. While its title is fairly self-explanatory, you may be curious to learn more. Why are many Americans rejecting the traditional “Bigger is Better” mentality to adopt a simpler – and less expensive – way of life? What are the pros and cons to a Tiny House lifestyle? How can you join the movement?
The typical small or tiny home is around 300 square feet, with some tiny homes totaling 100 square feet. People are choosing to build Tiny Houses for a variety of reasons, including environmental concerns and a desire to spend more time with family or outdoors.
Tiny Houses also offer transportability. Many Tiny Houses are built on trailer beds and can easily be towed to a new location. You may have run across news articles and blogs about people quitting their day jobs to travel cross-country in a Tiny House.
One of the biggest pros to a Tiny House: the financial rewards! Large houses come with large mortgages. But tiny homes can be very inexpensive to build and can result in no mortgage whatsoever. Utility bills are cheaper, and the money that previously went to a mortgage or rent and utilities can go elsewhere.
Of course, there are drawbacks to living in such small quarters, even if you are living with loved ones. Those who have joined the movement point to lack of privacy, storage space, and room to cook as some of the cons to Tiny House living. Some who have tried out the Tiny House lifestyle and realized that it didn’t meet their needs have concluded Tiny Houses are best fit for one person.
Prompted by two of his sons, Max recently decided to build his family their own Tiny House on wheels. It technically wouldn’t be fair to say he joined the Movement, because he certainly never intended to make their Tiny House a primary residence. (Six children, two grandchildren, two dogs, one cat and a variety of farm animals? Come on!) His sons plan on towing the Tiny House behind their trucks when they go on kayaking and fishing trips. Complete with a toilet and shower, the “Cozy Cruiser,” as he named it might also double as a guesthouse when it’s not being used by the kids for “glamping” trips.
Interested in building a Tiny House of your own? He’s designed three different Tiny House floor plans: The Cozy Cruiser, Cozy Roller, and Cozy Cabin.
If you’re not yet ready to build your own but are interested in learning more about Tiny Houses, check out the documentary TINY: A Story About Living Small, or the book The Not So Big House (1997) by Sarah Susanka, which many have credited with sparking the movement.