Credit for the philosophy behind the huge rush this past ten years in America to be part of the “Tiny House Movement” is often given to the writer, Henry David Thoreau, who was inspired by a simple life in the woods in a tiny cabin. His mantra was “Simplify, simplify, simplify!”
Many retirees, those wanting to downsize in an extreme fashion, others who want the freedom to travel, young couples, and others are jumping on the bandwagon to enjoy a simpler way of life and be a part of this popular culture. It has gotten national attention with reality shows, documentaries, websites, infographics, and spreads in every major magazine and newspaper. The states where those homes are the most prominent are California, Florida, Colorado, Texas, and Wisconsin.
The American Tiny House Association considers a “tiny home” to be one with a square footage between 70 and 400 and a “small house” between 400 and 1,000 square feet! That compares to the average American house being 2,600 square feet! Tiny houses come in all sizes and shapes, and they enable simpler living in a smaller and more efficient space.
A regular home’s size has grown by almost 50 percent. The additional square footage is actually a luxury and a sign of wealth and privilege. The “Tiny House Movement” is a small-scale rebellion against the culture of materialism and excess.
A tiny home can be set on a foundation. However, the mobility of these homes on wheels has been growing as many owners love being less tied down to a neighborhood and a set way of life and are free to travel.
Being environmentally friendly and much more energy efficient means far lower costs for cooling, heating, and lighting. Some of the tiny houses even have double pane windows and solar panels for a smaller carbon footprint.
There is no denying the joy felt by the decreased maintenance that can be done quickly, easily, and at a far less cost for repairs. House cleaning takes only a fraction of the normal time. You can’t clutter because there isn’t room!
It is not just the novelty and practicality, but these wee homes have paid a part in disaster relief after hurricanes as an alternative to FEMA trailers because of their ability to provide housing quickly and at a reduced cost.
If a person doesn’t want to live in one, there are additional uses for these petite dwellings such as a guest house, a mother-in-law suite, a studio or home office, and much more.