Why Go Smaller? Each year in North America, the number of people choosing to live in small spaces continues to grow. Whether they choose a smaller conventional house, small unconventional homes, cabins, or a variety of “tiny houses” there is a definite and powerful trend to downsizing. My wife Nancy and I are part of that trend. We sold our 3800 square foot home in Fort Langley, a suburb of Vancouver, and purchased a 2200 square foot fixer-upper in West Kelowna.
What is driving the decision? For many, it is one big reason: Economic freedom. Smaller homes usually mean less debt and less risk. That was part of our decision. Another big part of our decision was we did not want the upkeep of a large home. We felt like it owned us. We wanted more time to spend with family and decided the Okanagan area could give us that. Also, it can be mentally freeing. When you have less “things” you can lose the mental attachment to them and feel less like a hostage.
What Are The Choices For Smaller Living? The variety of smaller homes is vast, limited only by imagination. Here is a small list of some of the popular compact dwellings I was able to dig up. Each one exemplifies the money-saving benefits associated with tiny house or small living. Tiny Houses equal economic freedom, less time on maintenance, more time for enjoying life, flexibility and the ability to pull up stakes and head out of Dodge when the feeling or need arises. You will be amazed at the diversity of homes in this post.
Live Rent Free and Off The Grid .
The Wohnwagon is a self-sufficient mobile home, 269 sq. ft. of living space and are loaded with features that make living off the grid no biggie. This model is the “green roof” that harvests both rain and grey-water.
This Tiny Castle Will Let You Live Off-The-Grid
The “Transforming Truck Castle” took some mighty creative thinking to design. When parked it unfurls into an off-the-grid fortress. When it is time to hit the pavement, it folds back into a street legal vehicle. The tiny abode is loaded with money savings ideas like energy-generating solar panels that kick electricity bills to the curb. Our favourite built-in feature is the working bathtub on the rooftop patio.
A Prefab That Can Withstand Wicked Weather
Home insurance deductibles on weather and natural disaster related claims are no joke. They can cost homeowners thousands of dollars. But that would not be much of a concern if you lived in this sturdy little house by Cubicco. It was designed to withstand hurricanes, blizzards and even earthquakes. Available in 1, 2, or 3 bedroom models.
You Can Live in a Midcentury Grain Silo
Are your heating and cooling costs too darn high? I have three words for you: Spray foam insulation. That’s the secret ingredient that whittles down the power bills for this modern tiny house that was constructed using a midcentury grain silo.
School bus conversions are not a new thing. But their popularity is indeed growing among tiny house enthusiasts looking to DIY an abode on the cheap. If you’re interested in learning more about the Skoolie lifestyle, there are a number of sites to be found on Google.
You Can Live in an Egg Shaped Pod
There are a gazillion “concept” houses online that never get built. This is the “Ecocapsile” that did get built. In fact, you can preorder the “exclusive series” version of this portable off-the-grid home right now, or you can wait until the “affordable series” is available. It looks soooo cool.
A Cozy Home Built After Attending a Tumbleweed Workshop
The Tumbleweed Tiny House Company is the business credited for sparking the Tiny House Movement back in 2002 when they sold their first teeny home on wheels. The Quiet and Cozy Tiny House on the Bay, located in Olympia, WA, was built by Brittany, a small space enthusiast who attended one of Tumbleweed’s two-day tiny home building workshops. FYI, before taking the class, she had zero construction experience. Now Brittany earns her living teaching others how to create their own tiny homes.
Tiny Houses are Great for Families
We all know that raising kids isn’t cheap.But you may not know that your largest child care expense is housing. The Mini Motives apparently cost only $12,000 to build, and it is allowing one family to live blissfully mortgage free.
The Company Advertises This Hobbit Home Can Be Built In in Three Days
Earth shelter homes (aka Hobbit houses) are constructed underground, so they stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer. However, buried buildings like these when done right are expensive because they require a lot of extra work to make them mould and water resistant. One innovative building company solved this problem and now they are offering an affordable Lord of the Rings type abode you can build with a couple of friends in three days.
Tiny House Living Makes Homeownership a Reality
The family in the picture were hit hard by the recession. In 2008, they lost not only their business but also their house. Living in a compact dwelling rent free for several years made it possible for them to rebuild their lives. They created a new business that helps others build tiny houses and they were able to save enough money to construct a larger dwelling that is both clutter and mortgage free.
A Tiny House You Can Almost Build
Building a teeny house from scratch yourself can save you a bundle, but it is not an option that is on the table for most people. Monarch Tiny Homes understands that, so they created a dwelling called Half/Half House that splits the difference.
coodo is mobile living
Simply put, coodo is a frame with nicely rounded corners and stabilizing sturdy walls constructed of heavy glass. It’s heating, cooling and power systems are all neatly concealed within the flooring, ceiling, and inner walls of the unit. With your selected model, you choose from various options and we install it.The architects who created the coodo know this and went above and beyond to create a simple product that is practical, beautiful and good. You choose your colours, fabrics, and details and let them do the rest.
French Tiny House Serves As Full-time Home to a Family of Three
As you probably don’t know, due to the country’s towing laws, French tiny houses give firms less room to work with than their North American counterparts. With this in mind, Baluchon had a real challenge to make the 6.5 m (21 ft) long and 4 m (13 ft) high Calypso suitable for use as a full-time home for a family of three.
Alpha Tiny House
The Alpha Tiny House, by New Frontier Tiny Homes, is an attractive dwelling clad in cedar siding, some of which is treated in the Shou Sugi Ban method of charring wood to increase its durability. Sitting atop a double-axle trailer, the home has a total floor space of 240 sq ft (22 sq m), and can be opened up to the outside both with its sliding glass doors and a large garage-style door which is raised upward. The latter also sports a drop-down wall that creates a large porch space.
No Expense Spared for Luxury Tiny House Build
Though brand-new, the Earth and Sky Palace tiny house has a pleasantly weathered appearance that helps it stand out in the crowded small living scene. Inside, the towable dwelling is laid out on one floor and boasts some high-end additions that are unusual for a tiny home, including an app-controlled air-con unit.
Linda Small Homes
Whether you plan to build on a narrow lot, add a studio or backyard cottage, or just want a smaller home, you’ll love the Lindal approach to designing and building small houses, ADU and DADU structures, cottages, and cabins. Enjoy intimate living, low maintenance and energy costs, and stylish, airy environments. Lindal small homes start under 500 square feet.
The Lindal Catalogue boasts a huge selection of modern prefab home designs that offer efficient and customizable options and flexible floor plans. Lindal’s goal is to create homes that work with every clients’ lifestyle, price point, and build site. Their design team and local representatives will help you design your dream home, on budget, and built to last a lifetime.
Although tiny homes have entered the mainstream in recent years with help from TV shows, the reality may not be as glamorous or practical as it is made out. If you are considering this as a lifestyle change you need to do your homework. Most municipalities have minimum home sizes, may or may not allow secondary living within a tiny house, etc. There is lots of information on the web and a great place to start is www.tinyhouse blog.com which is all about “Living In Small Spaces”. I hope you have enjoyed this blog post. Finding out about Tiny House Living was very interesting for me.