In the last 40 years, the average American house size has increased from 1,400 to 2,700 even though the average family size has decreased. Australia is the only country to surpass the U.S. in average house size, and Canada is right behind us. The mindset is the bigger the better. Now not only do homes need a kitchen, bath, living room and a few bedrooms, they need game rooms, offices, extra rooms for company, and man caves. But do we really need these things?
Many people are starting to turn to tiny houses to lower their impact on the environment and soften the blow of home-ownership on their wallets. Tiny houses are exactly what they sound like. They are tiny houses that have only the essentials. Do you have trouble imagining yourself living in less than 160 square feet? I did too, until I saw some of these tiny houses…
Quaint Tiny Houses
I’m not sure I could live in something like this with my children, but it sure it cute. It would, however, be a darling office space. I love the front porch. Some tiny houses have wheels and are portable. Others are stationary and often completely off the grid.
This tiny house is build the same way as a traditional house, just on, well… a tiny scale. Big windows on the only available wall make it light and bright. This house looks like a little retreat from the real world. And with a garden out back, who needs the real world?
I can be hard to find a place to build your tiny house, especially if you aren’t willing to move to the country. These creative homeowners found a spot to squeeze in their tiny house. I bet the neighbors don’t complain about their houses being too small.
Ingenious Tiny House Design
Tiny houses can be built out of traditional materials, such as wood frames or RV frames, but some individuals are thinking out-of-the-box, or in-the-box actually. Shipping crates are readily available materials and cost next to nothing. These homes represent upcycling at its finest.
This tiny house, located in Minnesota, is constructed of two 20′ shipping containers. It is partially powered by solar panels and sports a water collection system.
This mom from California just couldn’t handle rent any longer. She spent $4000 building her very own container home.
These Mainers are amazing. I’ve had a chance to chat with them a bit in the past. With nothing but two shipping crates (purchased on eBay) and a dream, they are doing amazing things. You can follow their journey on The Ark Haus.
The Berzins Family
A lot of people view tiny living as a workable solution for single people, young couples or retirees, but what about families? Hari and Karl Berzins will tell you it is completely doable. In fact, they will help you along the way. They are the owners of Tiny House Family where they blog about living in a 168 square foot home with their two children.
Could You Do It?
So, do you think you could do it? What would it take to get you to downsize your life for a smaller footprint? What luxuries would your tiny house need? Share in the comments below.