Tiny Homes

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Sapphyre

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Has anyone ever looked into these before? Very small, but fully functional (and cute!) houses, e.g. those sold here: https://www.tumbleweedhouses.com/ Lots of other places too.

I've also seen an encouragingly large number of DIY blogs and vlogs, even from people starting out as complete newbs (like myself). I'm intrigued by the idea of designing and building one of my own.

For someone like me, the concept is intriguing. A huge mortgage and being effectively tied to a specific area has never appealed to me. And, confession: I despise cleaning... so the less there is to clean, the better off I'll be. ^^;; I notice that I don't technically need a lot of space to live. My apartment right now is about 1000 square feet, and for the most part I live in the computer room (a space of about 99 square feet), the bathroom (~35) and the kitchen (~132 sq ft and poorly laid out). The livingroom basically just holds furniture and is almost never used except when guests are over; the bedroom is literally just a room for the bed to go in (and to store my clothes). There is also a spare room which is right now full of boxes and junk from when I moved in.

Which is to say, the ~1000 square feet of space I have is being used very inefficiently, and is probably much more than I need. And I'm paying for it in rent. ;.; I also deeply regretted the amount of furniture I own when I had to move out of my last place on short notice. What a pain... >.<

I know a couple of friends who might be able to help teach me the requisite skills to design and build my own, even though the idea is rather intimidating. I feel like with something that small, though, the details would really matter, and I'd want them done my way. Plus, I think it would be kind of special to really know the place in which you dwell inside and out, every nook and cranny. It would make it feel more mine.

It's a thought for avoiding a lot of mortgage debt down the line and maintaining some flexibility to relocate without having to pack up, sell the house, buy a new house, get used to the new place, etc. Has anyone here ever tried or considered anything like this?
 
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Marka

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Has anyone ever looked into these before? [...] Has anyone here ever tried or considered anything like this?

Oh, yes!

And one thing to mention about cleaning... you'll want to always clean as you go... yes, the small space makes it less to clean; it also makes it very quick and easy, to clutter and foul your living space...

I started designs on one that would be on a motor-home frame... about 10-years ago...

Health, finances and other things, have prevented me from realizing the actual build...

However, I've gone from a 2-demensional drawing done with MS-Paint... to converting it into a google/tremble- SketchUp, 3-dimensional model... Which especially after placing scaled-props like dishes and a 2-D person (scaled to me)... you can do a walk-through and almost feel the space and movement... build or, download ready made components... to speed up results and, make it so that revamps/adjustments - aren't destructive to the whole arrangement...

I'm not of the physical health or, of the finances to travel around yet, to even be able to decide that I want say, sunrise to come in from a certain point... I could also do extended stays with friends - without, imposing on their living quarters...

My intentions were to have a more mobile (wouldn't need permits or oversize-load pilot vehicles), sized house - that is removable from the vehicle, so it couldn't be classified as a recreational vehicle and, could be left stationary when desired too...

And, all of the benefits that you mentioned too...

Yes, I'm all for it...
-Marka
 

oleman72

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I don't really think this craze will last long. Depending on where you live local zoning laws will determine where you
can put one. Also ultillity hookups can be real strict. Also square footage requirements can come into play versus
travel trailers or other RV's which are mobile and can't be lived in fulltime.
 

Sapphyre

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Oh, yes!

And one thing to mention about cleaning... you'll want to always clean as you go... yes, the small space makes it less to clean; it also makes it very quick and easy, to clutter and foul your living space...

I started designs on one that would be on a motor-home frame... about 10-years ago...

Health, finances and other things, have prevented me from realizing the actual build...

However, I've gone from a 2-demensional drawing done with MS-Paint... to converting it into a google/tremble- SketchUp, 3-dimensional model... Which especially after placing scaled-props like dishes and a 2-D person (scaled to me)... you can do a walk-through and almost feel the space and movement... build or, download ready made components... to speed up results and, make it so that revamps/adjustments - aren't destructive to the whole arrangement...

I'm not of the physical health or, of the finances to travel around yet, to even be able to decide that I want say, sunrise to come in from a certain point... I could also do extended stays with friends - without, imposing on their living quarters...

My intentions were to have a more mobile (wouldn't need permits or oversize-load pilot vehicles), sized house - that is removable from the vehicle, so it couldn't be classified as a recreational vehicle and, could be left stationary when desired too...

And, all of the benefits that you mentioned too...

Yes, I'm all for it...
-Marka

Our thoughts run very similarly. ^_^ As far as being removable from the vehicle, one idea occurred to me...if down the road I'm rich enough and need the space, a page could be borrowed from the modular home playbook: one could have two roadworthy-size tiny house pieces which interlock side-by-side when placed on a stationary foundation. The house needs to be moved in more than one trip, but can still be done with no special permits, and this way it isn't quite so narrow inside. Could work maybe?

For now, though, I'm thinking something more Tumbleweed-sized, if maybe just a bit longer. ^^; I have a rough outline in LibreOffice for now...

Thank you for the encouragement!

Oh, and as for cleaning... I tend to let the clutter build up to the point that it annoys me, then clean (most of) it all in one fell swoop. o.o; So, the theory is, if the clutter annoys me faster I'll clean more often, and since there's less of it, it won't seem so overwhelming.
 

LstNwf

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Has anyone here ever tried or considered anything like this?

Having an interest in architecture and home design I have always found the idea of these as something that is unique, but can also be something that would take a lot of patience to get used to. Personally I dont think I would be able to do it; maybe not in one of the designs that falls in the small end of the scale, despite living in a smaller apartment already. Maybe if I had better organizational skills lol

As has been said, from research I have done the big roadblock for a lot of these is municipal regulations. Just dealing with any council/government to get to even build can make costs go up. Where I live for example, they are really picky about zoning and placement of structures and you would be walking the line of it being classed as a livable structure or an accessory building. However, with the costs of homes these days it is a viable alternative to a 25 year mortgage, land taxes (Depending on where you live) Water usage bills, etc.
 
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Marka

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Having an interest in architecture and home design I have always found the idea of these as something that is unique, but can also be something that would take a lot of patience to get used to. Personally I dont think I would be able to do it; maybe not in one of the designs that falls in the small end of the scale, despite living in a smaller apartment already. Maybe if I had better organizational skills lol

As has been said, from research I have done the big roadblock for a lot of these is municipal regulations. Just dealing with any council/government to get to even build can make costs go up. Where I live for example, they are really picky about zoning and placement of structures and you would be walking the line of it being classed as a livable structure or an accessory building. However, with the costs of homes these days it is a viable alternative to a 25 year mortgage, land taxes (Depending on where you live) Water usage bills, etc.

I think that with our ever increasing population... municipalities, are going to need to make some adjustments... I think that the tiny-house venture is a more responsible and anti-consumerist notion... that we live more within the means that we need not, so much sold on near palatial excess - that does so often seem to turn into built-in storage for things we don't need or use anyway... In my estimation, tiny-living is antithetical to hoarding on many levels...

Energy, pollution and real-estate and, economy, are all things to consider... the tiny-living should be given incentive, rather than discouragement...

Considerations for safety and easement and some form of community decorum; are still necessary things to factor... RV's really aren't built to be continuous living dwellings and, are considered luxury vehicles also, all but the best of them, are really quite inefficient in-spite of their small area...

Tiny homes should be equally suited in place of or near the larger counter-parts... without, looking like sheds and shacks or, subsequent shanty-towns...

for now,
-Marka

- - - Updated - - -

Our thoughts run very similarly. ^_^ As far as being removable from the vehicle, one idea occurred to me...if down the road I'm rich enough and need the space, a page could be borrowed from the modular home playbook: one could have two roadworthy-size tiny house pieces which interlock side-by-side when placed on a stationary foundation. The house needs to be moved in more than one trip, but can still be done with no special permits, and this way it isn't quite so narrow inside. Could work maybe?

For now, though, I'm thinking something more Tumbleweed-sized, if maybe just a bit longer. ^^; I have a rough outline in LibreOffice for now...

Thank you for the encouragement!

Oh, and as for cleaning... I tend to let the clutter build up to the point that it annoys me, then clean (most of) it all in one fell swoop. o.o; So, the theory is, if the clutter annoys me faster I'll clean more often, and since there's less of it, it won't seem so overwhelming.

I think the biggest problem with the modular aspects... it's going to have to fall under some sort of code-regulation... Currently, in the states... Labor & Industries oversees the coding and compliance for safety standards (insurance?), including plumbing, electrical, HVAC... and, some degree of structural design minimums... for both RV's and Mobile/Modular homes. Department of transpiration, regulates the transporting aspects for going down the roads, including size limits and such...

Then, we have local City, County and, Provincial codes too... I don't think anyone has fully figured out, how to reasonably manage this well and more succinctly... Mostly, I think people tend to just do it and see what happens...

I know that locally here, the news had mentioned a family being evicted and/or mandated to remove their tiny-structure home...

But, yes... modular may otherwise be the way to go... particularly if it was such that you could add or subtract and, even have endless layout and, detail options... In-fact, I had this idea for RV's at one time... if you think of cargo containers for airliners except, that the outside shell portion would be attached to each container so, that when you could lock and self-seal each piece until, you completed filling the void between the end-caps, to make the full floor-plan... each compartment would be comprised of a standard volume of space and incremental lengths yet, you could have single piece, double or triple length compartments, to accommodate sleeping quarters or, a galley for example... For the tiny-house modular, you might want removable weather panels, to weatherize exposed modular joining faces for example...

I think the main thing overall, for all types and designs... where money/value is involved (especially where it might cost investors)... anything from safety, health, insurability to, reflections on real-estate/home-owner values and, general market values... I think is going to be where negotiations and accommodations for satisfactory appeasement are going to need to be won, from our governments...

My best and, for now,
-Marka
 

Nam Repaid

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Laws suck! I wanted to build a 600sqft house over garage and build 2000sqft house attached later when I could afford it but the local law is 1000sqft minimum.
 
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Marka

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Laws suck! I wanted to build a 600sqft house over garage and build 2000sqft house attached later when I could afford it but the local law is 1000sqft minimum.

If I may...

What do you even need "2000sqft" of house for?
 

rennecfox

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watched the tv series occasionally(I think it was at least 2), kind of scary picturing living in a place with less space then my padding would take up XD
 

dogboy

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I've seen several shows on HGTV about small homes. They seem like a good alternative to living large when finances are a factor. There was an article on the Windows 10 financial section dealing with retirees selling their big homes and retiring to small homes. It wouldn't work for my wife an I as she spends most of her time in a wheel chair. It would be impossible for her to climb a ladder to the bedroom loft. I also like to be able to stretch out, and it seems like I'm always bumping into something in our house. But if you're young, it could be ideal.

Most cities and towns have zoning laws, but those laws often have specific places which accommodate mobile homes, etc. I'm sure you could find a place to put one.

In the first half of the 20th century, Sears sold house kits. People would order them from the Sears catalog. All the things needed to build a house would be delivered to the address and people would build their own house. I think they were called Craftsman houses or Craft houses, something like that. Now people buy those old houses and restore them. Building a small house should be doable if you have enough experience in building. There's also plumbing to consider and you might have to let a licensed electrician do the wiring. Showers can be a bit tricky as well, so there might be a lot to learn. There's also the sewer hookup or a septic system as well as hooking up to the electrical utility.
 

ade

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The pop-up on the linked page was so big that I couldn't navigate the page on my phone LOL

I'm all for such living, more so the tininess of it as I spend most of my waking time in this one room, the kitchen, and it's about the size of what can be trailered.

There are some downsides, naturally, but my biggest worry would be that it became popular thus forcing national and local governments to act to protect or increase their revenue streams.
 
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Maxx

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If I may...

What do you even need "2000sqft" of house for?

Clearly you've never had kids.

If you live by yourself, don't have a 100lb dog, never have anybody over, a cardboard box under the overpass works just fine.

Edit: Further considerations.... population density and diversity. If your nearest neighor in his 20x30 space is half a mile away, no prob. If you've got a neighborhood or a city where a bunch of people are packed into their tiny spaces, you've got a slum. It works to some degree in places like Japan where they're culturally uniform and conformist.

Consider you in your cozy little space butted up against a neighbor on the left with 3 or 4 loud kids, a neighbor on the right who likes to blast opera on the stereo at 2am, and a neighbor behind with 2 dogs, 3 cats who never picks up after them and barbecues fish regularly. Then there's poor innocent you with smelly used diapers piling up between garbage collections. Half a mile apart, OK, separated by a few feet, or worse, stacked in apartment blocks, be prepared for mayhem on the evening news.

Large personal spaces aren't so much a matter of physical need as they are a buffer against others.
 
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KittyninjaW

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I have considered buying an RV Before, if that counts, also I have considered the tiny home thing before it was cool, (Yeah, I know how that makes me sound.) Not really sure If I'd do it though.
 
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Sapphyre

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It wouldn't work for my wife an I as she spends most of her time in a wheel chair. It would be impossible for her to climb a ladder to the bedroom loft. [...] There's also plumbing to consider and you might have to let a licensed electrician do the wiring. Showers can be a bit tricky as well, so there might be a lot to learn. There's also the sewer hookup or a septic system as well as hooking up to the electrical utility.

A wheel chair would complicate things. :-/ Although many tiny homes have stairs instead of ladders, which often double as shelf storage. I'm rather fond of that idea myself. I would definitely hire a professional for the wiring, etc., but given the size there shouldn't be very much of it. ^^; Re hook-ups, some particularly forward-thinking people design their home to be partially or totally off-grid, using modern composting toilets and solar panels, etc. If the cost of battery storage comes down, I'd certainly be going that way... I might anyway, depending on how finances shake out. The difficult part to me seems to be obtaining hot running water without some kind of hookup (I must have my long hot showers! ^^).

- - - Updated - - -

I have considered buying an RV Before, if that counts, also I have considered the tiny home thing before it was cool, (Yeah, I know how that makes me sound.) Not really sure If I'd do it though.

I've considered the RV idea as well. On the one hand, it's nice to think of traveling at your own pace, anywhere you can drive to, and not having to pack bags or stay in hotels (and hope for no bed bugs!), nor make reservations, keep to a schedule, etc. You can travel but always be at home. It has its appeal, especially if you can finance it by (for example) working remotely. I've seen vlogs where it has worked for some people.

However, for me, I wouldn't enjoy driving such a big bulky vehicle everywhere, and then there's the gas mileage. O.O Also, RV's aren't insulated like tiny houses are, so from what I gather they aren't particularly comfortable to stay in during very cold or hot weather (unless you're burning gas to run the engine for climate control). And... I feel like I would want a place with a more "homey", cozier feel to it. ^^;

- - - Updated - - -

Consider you in your cozy little space butted up against a neighbor on the left with 3 or 4 loud kids, a neighbor on the right who likes to blast opera on the stereo at 2am, and a neighbor behind with 2 dogs, 3 cats who never picks up after them and barbecues fish regularly. Then there's poor innocent you with smelly used diapers piling up between garbage collections. Half a mile apart, OK, separated by a few feet, or worse, stacked in apartment blocks, be prepared for mayhem on the evening news.

Large personal spaces aren't so much a matter of physical need as they are a buffer against others.

Good point. I'd want my neighbors to be a decent distance away as well. I'd just like most of that distance to be outdoor space, preferably wooded or otherwise privacy-enhancing and requiring no actual maintenance on my part. ^.^
 

ade

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Regarding the power issue, it makes more sense to run a 12 or 24 volt system, then you can power from your attached vehicle, use a simple generator and also use car and wagon batteries for storage.
Most solar and wind power systems also operate at these voltages.
 

dogboy

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Regarding the power issue, it makes more sense to run a 12 or 24 volt system, then you can power from your attached vehicle, use a simple generator and also use car and wagon batteries for storage.
Most solar and wind power systems also operate at these voltages.

Interesting concept ade, and solar power would be awesome if you live in a reasonably sunny area. It's definitely the way we'll be going in the future. One of my neighbors has solar panels on his roof. I'm a big proponent of renewable energy, though I have an oil furnace, a terrible way to go.
 
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Maxx

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As has been said, from research I have done the big roadblock for a lot of these is municipal regulations. Just dealing with any council/government to get to even build can make costs go up. Where I live for example, they are really picky about zoning and placement of structures and you would be walking the line of it being classed as a livable structure or an accessory building. However, with the costs of homes these days it is a viable alternative to a 25 year mortgage, land taxes (Depending on where you live) Water usage bills, etc.

Cost/value of land also plays a significant part. If your plot of land cost $100k, putting $50k vs $100k worth of house on it isn't as big a decision. That's why, in certain suburban areas before the real estate crash, there were a lot of vertical additions to houses, and even teardowns of smaller structures to put a much larger more luxurious home on the same small lot. If you were nearly certain to get your money back later, might as well go big, or so the conventional wisdom went.

Now if I had property out in the sticks where zoning and building codes are weak or non-existent, one of these small homes would make a lot of sense as a getaway/fishing/hunting lodge/summerhome.
 

ade

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Interesting concept ade, and solar power would be awesome if you live in a reasonably sunny area. It's definitely the way we'll be going in the future. One of my neighbors has solar panels on his roof. I'm a big proponent of renewable energy, though I have an oil furnace, a terrible way to go.
i'm also a proponent of accumulators, especially mechanical as the gears and pulleys and supporting structures can be made from locally found materials (stone, wood, etc). for a semi-mobile solution, i'm thinking about an IBC filled with rainwater.
as far as i can tell, gravity using accumulators are the greenest and cheapest method of energy storage.
 

dogboy

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i'm also a proponent of accumulators, especially mechanical as the gears and pulleys and supporting structures can be made from locally found materials (stone, wood, etc). for a semi-mobile solution, i'm thinking about an IBC filled with rainwater.
as far as i can tell, gravity using accumulators are the greenest and cheapest method of energy storage.

You're always amazing!
 
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