April 24, 2024 | Penelope Singh

The Tiny House Movement


Living Well Doesn't Necessarily Mean Living Large

The tiny house movement has become popular among millennials who are looking for affordable housing options. But it is also being noticed by older generations who are looking to downsize and declutter their lives—a great options for both.

tiny house split image

Why do people want a tiny house?

Aside from a cost perspective, tiny houses are appealing to people who also want to live a more minimalist lifestyle, a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle, or even those who want more freedom to roam.

Woman Standing in front of a Trailer Converted to a House on WheelsMelike Benli, Pexels

How big are tiny houses?

Tiny homes come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from converted shipping containers to custom-built houses on wheels.

A typical tiny home ranges from 100 to 400 square feet and is designed for maximum efficiency when it comes to space, utilities, materials and other resources.

Rolling Tiny House outside.Peter L. Pedersen, CC-BY-SA-3.0, Wikimedia Commons

What are the environmental advantages of a tiny house?

As time goes on, we are realizing just how important the environment is to our overall survival as a human race. This is why many people are looking for more sustainable ways of living.

Most tiny homes offer greener energy options, such as solar panels, wood stoves, and various other utility options.

Small refrigerator in Tiny House.Nicolás Boullosa, Flickr

How much does a tiny home cost?

Tiny homes range in price from $10k to $50k. But once that initial cost is paid off, there are very minimal maintenance costs. Utilities are significantly lower as there is much less space to heat and minimal need for hydro and water.

Woman Sitting and Looking Through a Magazine in tiny house.Melike Benli, Pexels

What kind of tiny home can I get?

There are numerous types of tiny homes. You can design and build one yourself, or you can have a professional company design one for you. There are also many options of pre-built tiny homes available.

Here are 10 unique types of tiny homes available.

A Man Inside a Mobile HomePNW Production, Pexels

Park Model Homes

Park Model homes—like an RV or trailer—are one of the options people choose for tiny house living. They provide an affordable and efficient home without having to worry about zoning restrictions and building limitations.

Mobile home on the parking lot.Graham Horn, CC-BY-2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Park Model Homes: Amenities

Typical park model homes are set up in a trailer park, so owners will likely pay a small fee for the lot and any amenities they hook up to.

They can be outfitted with all the modern conveniences of a regular-sized home, making it a popular choice for many.

Manufactured homes on a parking lot.Defense Visual Information Distribution Service, Picryl

Shipping Container Homes

Converted shipping containers are an excellent choice for a tiny home. They can be modified to fit any style and design you want, and they are extremely durable—they can withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions.

Shipping container houseTom Check, Flickr

Shipping Container Homes: Amenities

Shipping container homes are extremely affordable—after you pay the initial cost for the container and the design, of course. They can even have plumbing and electrical systems installed, and can be moved to different locations if needed.

Container Architecture In GermanyImmanuel Giel, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Cabins and Rustic Living

For something more rustic, cabins and tiny homes built with raw materials are becoming more popular these days as a unique living space. These houses can be made out of wood, stone, or even metal.

Tiny house garden nature mobile homeIrk Boockhoff, Shutterstock

Cabins and Rustic Living: Amenities

Cabins are perfect for those looking for a more off-grid, minimalist lifestyle as they often are equipped with wood stoves for heating and have little need for electricity. Though, they can still be made with all the modern amenities you need.

Woman Lighting a Fire in the FireplaceMelike Benli, Pexels

Granny Pods

Granny Pods are a unique style of tiny homes. They are perfect for those caring for elderly relatives who wish to remain in their own space. These pods can be moved at any time, and can be added to an existing home or function as a stand-alone home.

Modern Tiny Home Guest House at twilight.BondRocketImages, Shutterstock

Granny Pods: Amenities

Granny Pods can include all the modern amenities of an average home, but are much smaller. The cost of utilities in a Granny Pod are significantly lower than any typical home, making it a popular choice for those looking for a cost-efficient home.

Mobile tiny house, great for outdoor experiences and holidays.inrainbows, Shutterstock

Houseboats

For those a bit more adventurous, houseboats are a great option for a tiny home. They can be easily moved, and can come in various sizes to meet all your needs.

Residential Houseboats - NetherlandsW. Bulach, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Houseboats: Amenities

Houseboats can come with all the modern amenities you’d need, and can be customized to include what you do or do not want.

The inside of a house-boat.Neil Rickards, Flickr

Houseboats: Mobility

Houseboats have become a popular choice in recent years as they allow you to travel without having to do much to the inside before you set sail.

Japanese Houseboat Moving On Hori RiverKKPCW, CC-BY-SA-4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Bus Conversions

Bus conversions are also becoming quite popular for those looking for a tiny home. Not only are these a convenient option, but they’re also extremely affordable as well.

Bus conversion in to a house.Railway Dave & Jim Freebury, Flickr

Bus Conversions

Bus conversions can be modified to include modern amenities, like plumbing and electricity—though most people keep them rather simple. They’re an ideal option for those who like to travel.

Converted school bus in to a house.Jonnie Andersen, Flickr

Earthships

Earthships are a unique kind of tiny home. They’re designed to be self-sustaining and eco-friendly as they are made out of natural and sustainable materials—like bricks, cob, and rammed earth.

Earthship Biotecture homehowderfamily.com, Flickr

Earthships

Earthships can actually still be moved if need, but they have to be taken apart first. Though most people who choose an Earthship do so for the maximum sustainability they provide.

Earthship home, interiorJenny Parkins, CC-BY-SA-2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Yurts

If you want to be truly connected to your surroundings, a Yurt is a great option for you. Yurts are traditional round tents that Mongolian nomads lived in. They are made with a basic wooden frame and felt covering.

Yurt At Carl G. Washburne Memorial State ParkRick Obst, CC-BY-SA-2.0, Wikimedia Commons

Yurts: Construction

Modern yurts are made to be semi-permanent with traditional latticework that is reinforced for a sound structure. They keep their traditional shape and are perfect for those looking for a more minimalist lifestyle.

Exterior of yurt in trees daytime.Matthew E. Hein, Shutterstock

Yurts: Amenities

Modern yurts can be rather large and include a closed off bathroom, a fully functioning kitchen, and a poured concrete floor. However, those type of yurts are permanent—but still provide a minimalist style and meet the needs of a tiny home.

An interior of a beautiful bedroom in a modern yurtWirestock Creators, Shutterstock

Cob Houses

Cob houses a much more than a small clay hut. Cob—a mixture of clay, sand, and straw—is a perfect all-natural material for building a home. Not only is it affordable, it’s also very durable, and will not deteriorate over time (some cob homes have been standing for 500+ years).

Small cob-style cottage.r.a. paterson, Flickr

Cob Houses: Amenities

Cob houses are not mobile, but they are sustainable. Since they’re built of all natural materials, they are much more affordable than an average home, and they can also be fitting with the same plumbing and electrical as a conventional home.

Interior of a cob-house.kobapan, Flickr

A-Frame Cabins

A-Frame cabins have a classic design that is usually made completely of wood. Its simplicity is appealing to those looking for a tiny home with rustic charm. They’re both a cost-effective and sustainable choice for a tiny home.

Woman stands on the terrace of triangular wooden cabin.Aleksei Isachenko, Shutterstock

A-Frame Cabins: Sustainability

A-Frame cabins are a sustainable choice because the elongated roof exposes the house to intense solar radiation, reducing the heating costs in winter. The large rood area also provides space for solar panels.

A-Frame Cabin on the mountain with people on the terrace.AS photo family, Shutterstock


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