Most Americans see sheds as nothing more than storage space. With the average shed measuring in at 120 square feet, many fail to see the opportunities that such a building offers. However, with Instagram reporting that more than 46,000 searches for the hashtag #SheShed have been conducted, it’s clear to see that the nation are ready to get more out of their garden shed. But how can you make your ample garden shed benefit your entire family?
A working environment
An increasing number of Americans are working from home, according to CNBC. They report that there has been a 385% increase in the number of job-seekers searching for remote roles. Meanwhile, individuals living in Atlanta, Tampa and Phoenix and most likely to work from home. When you’re building a business up from scratch, it’s essential that you have a dedicated area at home to work in. A rent-to-own shed is a convenient and cost-effective way to create your very own home office. Using your shed as an office, also creates a boundary between your home and work life, meaning your work-life balance will benefit too.
Somewhere to learn
A poll conducted by Statistic Brain reveals that U.S teens spend an average of more than three hours each night completing homework. Even younger children are typically assigned 10 minutes per night. Therefore, a quiet and peaceful environment in the form of your garden shed is the ideal location for your kids to get their heads down and study. As sheds can have electricity running to them and insulation built within them, there’s no reason why yours can’t be utilized all year long.
A place to relax
Eight in 10 Americans report feeling stressed on a frequent or occasional basis, according to the New York Times. And, it’s no surprise considering Gallup estimates that full-time workers work 48 hours a week, while teenagers are being bombarded with so much homework. But your shed can become a place to retreat to when it all gets too much. It’s the perfect location to unwind in with a good book. Alternatively, your shed can be used as a games room, simply by hooking up some electronics or by installing some old school games, such as foosball.
With an increase in the number of Americans working from home and teenagers requiring a quiet place to study, sheds are a great extension to the family home. Additionally, they can be used by the whole family to relax and have fun in after a hard day’s work.
The average cost of a residential home in the United States is $200,000. On the other hand, the cost of a tiny home can range anywhere from $25,000-$110,000. Can it be done even more cheaply? Certainly. But you’ll need to be able to do a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to aspects like sourcing the right materials and labor. Before deciding if tiny houses are right for you, it’s a good idea to understand some of the costs involved, as well as some of the benefits.
What are Some of the Costs Involved?
Materials & Appliances
Whether you’re looking to build your own tiny home or you’re looking to fill a ready-built tiny with appliances–these things are going to add up. If you’re building your own tiny home, a little patience and some scrap yard digging could land you some absolute treasures for free.
Appliances can be somewhat costly–the ones that are compact and of high quality tend to be. Remember, there is no one way to stock your house. Alternative options such as a hot plate instead of a full stove can save you some big bucks.
If you’re lucky enough to own a tiny house on wheels, it means you can hit the road whenever you please! A cost that tiny enthusiasts often forget to consider is a vehicle that can safely tow a tiny house. Meaning, if you’re the proud owner of a VW Bug, it’s probably time to consider an upgrade. If you’re planning on moving your tiny home often, another thing to factor into your budget is the cost of gasoline.
Aside from the structure, the cost to secure a home for your tiny home can sometimes present a challenge. The cost of land can range from free (behind your parent’s house), all the way to a standard purchase price. Renting a plot of land in one of the country’s many tiny house villages is another option, and will cost you around $400 on average per month.
Pro Tip: Be sure to check your local regulations for living in your tiny house on wheels full time!
How can a Tiny House Benefit My Family?
You might be wondering, how on earth can my family live in such a small space? Read on to find out! You might be surprised…
Time Better Spent
Your kids will love this one…less space to clean means less time spent cleaning! Although you may have to tidy up more often, the time you spend doing so will be brief. If you consider the size of a three bedroom residential home, the amount of money and time you spend towards tiny house cleaning isn’t even comparable. The time saved means you can go out and do the things you enjoy as a family.
Money Better Spent
Less storage space means less room for material objects. Not necessarily a bad thing! Instead of spending money on trinkets and extra clothes, you can put it towards the family vacation fund!
You’ll Get Closer as a Family
As the name suggests, a tiny house is indeed tiny. The small space encourages the sort of intimacy and closeness that many families would love to have. Additionally, the lack of closed doors and separate spaces encourages communication rather than avoidance.
To Invest or not to Invest
Choosing to live in a tiny house is an adventure that shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s requires you to adapt your way of living to a smaller scale in some ways, but allows you to live even bigger in others. Tiny living is a lifestyle that can be adapted to suit a family’s individual needs. Take the time to figure out what you like and what you don’t!
If tiny living is something that still interests you, there are ways to own a tiny house that suit almost every budget. Despite the costs, the benefits a tiny home can bring to your life are priceless.
Are you thinking about investing in a tiny house? Let us know in the comments!
Tiny home living means cutting back not just on your square footage, but also on a lot of the things you choose to carry with you. This includes your general belongings, as well as what’s in your wardrobe. There’s just no space for more than a few changes of clothes in a house on wheels or a cabin in the woods.
For most people, giving up a materialistic lifestyle and embracing minimalism is part of the charm of living in a tiny home. But having fewer clothes also means having to wash them more often, since you wear the same beloved t-shirts and sweaters over and over.
So what about laundry?
Going to the Laundromat gets expensive, and it’s definitely not a fun way to spend your time. With a tiny wardrobe, you could also find yourself washing clothes several times a week — and that’s nobody’s idea of a good time. It’s time to get down and dirty about your laundry options for tiny living.
Crafting a Laundry “Room”
Every single item that makes the cut for your tiny home needs to earn its keep. Your first task, then, is to decide how important having convenient laundry facilities is to you — versus how much space it will take up. It’s possible to shoehorn a combination washer/dryer into your kitchen space, but you’ll be taking up vital space. Even the most compact appliance will take up the same space as a 2-foot-wide kitchen base cabinet — and that’s if your tiny home kitchen uses standard depth cabinets instead of customized tiny ones. For most people, that’s just too much storage space to spare on an item you’ll only use once or twice a week. If you are willing to earmark that amount of space for laundry, you can get creative and store your detergent and maybe even your iron (if you bother) inside your washer/dryer unit when it’s not in use.
For most tiny home owners, a portable washing machine makes a lot more sense than a washer/dryer combo. They take up far less room and are more eco-friendly to boot. There are two main types of portable washing machines to choose from: the hand crank and the spinner.
The Hand Crank Washing Machine
Before Grandma had fully electric appliances to help with the housework, she may have had something like the Avalon Bay EcoWash Portable Washing Machine. This tabletop washer is less than a foot and a half tall and wide, and it uses absolutely no electricity at all — the power comes directly from you. The machine consists of a drum that holds about five pounds of laundry at a time — that’s about one pair of blue jeans, two t-shirts, a sweater, and two to three sets of underwear and socks. All you have to do is pop in your clothes, a small amount of laundry soap and some cold or hot water. Replace the waterproof cap and start cranking — two minutes of human-powered agitation will do the trick. The drain hose makes it easy to funnel water out of the machine and into any gray water system you might have, and you can repeat the process for a rinse cycle. You save lots of water and even more electricity by doing small loads this way.
An even tinier option is a spinner-style washer. This model basically looks like the big brother to your salad spinner and holds about four and half pounds of laundry. A great option for a spinner is the Avalon Bay EcoSpin Portable Clothes Washing Machine, which is just over one cubic foot in size and fits easily on a shelf or in a kitchen cabinet. It works in roughly the same way as a hand crank model, but you spin the clothing from the top instead. Though the spinner has a smaller load capacity than a hand crank washer, it comes with the bonus feature of being able to wring your clothes out in a spin cycle after the wash and rinse. This gets your clothes down to being just damp instead of sopping wet, which makes drying a lot faster.
Now that your laundry is clean, how are you going to dry your clothes? The best way is to put them out on the clothesline and let Nature do the rest for free. If you live in reliably warm climates, this may be all you ever need. For places with colder winters, though, you’ll need to invest in an indoor drying rack. When you combine this with the spin dry cycle on a spinner-style machine, you should be able to get your clothes dry indoors relatively easily — just save laundry day for a time when you’re not expecting any guests.
Pro Tip: Choose a drying rack that fits inside your shower to catch drips and keep your clothes out of the way. You might also consider installing extra towel bars in your shower for this purpose.
When it comes to doing laundry in a small space, it’s often best to get back to basics. The simpler your laundry appliances are, the less you’ll need to worry about. That’s why choosing a non-electric option is such an elegant solution: You have no worries about wiring, plumbing — or your utility bills. And when you only need to do a small load at a time, a couple minutes of cranking can also replace your arm workout for the day. That’s a win-win-win for tiny home dwellers!
The cost of living is rising every year and many people are seriously considering turning to tiny houses that are not only cost-effective, but also cozy and comfortable. Living in a tiny house the size of a storage shed is just the same as living in a large house, except that everything is space orientated. If you are looking for a better lifestyle and healthier relationships, you must go for a small house. Tiny houses are also economical and you can even make one out of a small storage shed. You just need proper planning. So here is a step by step guide on how to land yourself with a comfy tiny home in no time.
First things first, you need to know whether your government or the property developer managing your residential community allows you to do this transformation. Get the necessary permits and ask government officials to guide you through the legal aspects of your project.
The next thing you need to look into is whether you have the basic utilities such as water, sewer, and electricity in access to your shed site. We recommend hiring professional and appropriate contractors to make sure that everything is done in the right order. For all electric works, Gordon powers is a good company to consider as they provide 24-hour services.
Next, you need to set your shed on a secure and stable foundation. It can be a concrete slab or a platform made of concrete blocks. Appropriate grading is necessary around the shed to prevent water from gathering under the shed.
Now outfit the shed with quality plumbing for fixtures like a pedestal sink, a small shower, and a corner toilet. You may also consider installing an outside shower in order to save space in case you find yourself living in a warmer climate.
Remember that the actual lights and faceplates will be installed after the ceiling and walls are done. Any electrical wiring must be done before you start decorating the interiors.
You can add windows if you find the old shed windows unsuitable. Just frame them in and connect them to the existing framework. Also caulk them appropriately to keep out moisture. Also, weather proof the door and make sure that it had locking equipment installed.
After carefully mounting plastic to make the walls moisture-proof, properly insulate the walls and ceiling by working around the already installed plumbing and electric wiring. You can either cover the plastic with drywall or install wood paneling.
In order to insulate the floor, try placing a 1-inch layer of extruded polystyrene foam. Finalize it with a concrete board on the top and screw it down securely into the existing floor structure. You can lay any type of floor furnishing per your preference.
If you are planning to paint your tiny house, remember to install all the switch plates and light fixtures along with the plumbing fixtures after the paint has dried up completely. Also, test the faucets for leaks.
For space optimizing, simply add counters and cupboards near the sink. Look for furniture that has multiple storage options and uses. A built-in couch may double as a bed and may even have drawers underneath for storage. For entertainment, you can mount a flat-screen television. If you need privacy consider adding window treatments.
The world is moving at a fast pace. Competition is high in almost every industry. The people who lag behind very rarely have a chance to rejoin the fast lane. With the current rates of unemployment, many people accept whatever work they can get to make the ends meet. In such times, saving enough money to buy land and building a house becomes even more difficult. Unless you are lucky enough to have a relative leaving you behind a house and there is no one out there contesting a will, you have hope. But if that is not the case, we think that adopting a minimalist lifestyle and living in a tiny home is your best bet to save yourself from becoming homeless in the near future.
The truth is, living in a tiny home is sustainable and can also save the environment. Large houses need loads of electrical appliances, some of which may prove to be harmful to nature. Also, a place where there could be a tree, there is a useless room in case of a big house. Having a minimalistic lifestyle and living in a tiny home is something we collectively owe to our planet. Currently, we collectively consume more natural resources than our planet can manage to replenish. Sadly, the demand for these resources has doubled in the last 45 years.
For building the average 2,598sf house, one needs about 14,000sf of wood products such as plywood, and 16,000 board feet of lumber. This is roughly equal to 7 full logging trucks. Now if you add the concrete for foundation and petroleum based products for the development of roofs, metals for cooling and heating systems, and other similar ceramic-based products you will get an idea of how much actually goes into a house. Tiny houses, on the other hand, use very fewer resources, in contrast.
Living in tiny houses is also good for our relationships. Big houses allow everyone to have their own separate rooms and this creates distances in relationships and barriers in communication. It goes without saying that communication is nothing less than a corner stone of any functional family dynamic. In large houses, there are all numerous of nooks and crannies where families can disband to. It’s very easy to hide behind a closed door when it comes to domestic conflicts. This leads to many unspoken things and also breeds mistrust. Large houses make it easier for people to avoid each other, but by living in a tiny house you get a level of connection in relationships that effortlessly support the family connection. Issues are easily and swiftly dealt with and this also prevents the unnecessary festering of resentment.
Living in a tiny house is cost effective as well. If we look at it collectively, we will find that living in a tiny home can actually save the world we live in and also our relationships. Large houses are just a display of wealth and are mainly useless. If you are a prudent person, you would definitely invest in a tiny house and keep your finances and family together, plus you know you have låne penger support for any financing emergency.
Living in a tiny house means letting go of all the clutter that seems to come with the modern lifestyle. It is a refutation of the notion that our identities are formed by the things that we own. In short, moving from a modern home or apartment to a tiny house is an extremely radical change. Unsurprisingly, people often struggle to adapt. This is why many owners of tiny houses choose to abandon their new homes, often within the first year of moving in. Even I initially sold my tiny wooden cabin, after 9 months. To me it became unbarable, and I found my self forced to List My House In The MLS.
What can you do to both mentally and physically prepare yourself for this lifestyle switch? If you are considering or planning to purchase your first tiny house in the near future, you need to learn these five habits before moving day:
1. Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Living in an area less than 500 square feet obviously necessitates some compromises. Your home will have very little room for trash or unnecessary belongings. You need to get in the habit of letting go of and recycling unnecessary items. Not only will it help you get accustomed to living in a smaller area, it will benefit the planet as well.
All plastics that can be recycled are marked with a symbol and a number to indicate their composition. Learn what plastics your local recycling center can process.
When going through old unwanted electronics, check if items can be safely recycled.
If you are recycling large items, or heavy metals such as brass or copper, take them to a scrap yard — not a recycling center.
2. Buy and Sell Furniture Secondhand
Looking to get rid of some unwanted furniture, but don’t want to simply recycle it? Or are you looking for more space-efficient furniture for your new dwelling? Keeping with the theme of sustainability, you should consider both buying and selling your furniture secondhand. This a thriftier way of outfitting your home with all of the essentials, and it can further help you rid yourself of needless attachments to physical things.
As you acquire and sell furniture in your hunt for the ideal set-up for your living space, you should be aware of the true value of each item. Do your research and negotiate for a fair price. In no time at all (and even with a small budget), you can find the perfect furnishings for your needs.
3. Get Ready to Get Closer to Nature
As most tiny home owners can tell you, living in such a small space brings you substantially closer to nature — especially if your home is mobile. Because the amenities in your home have been stripped back to the bare essentials, you will be spending much more time outside. To stay comfortable, you will need the correct clothing for the outside temperature, as well as other necessities such as insect repellent and sunscreen.
If you want to get a hands-on experience with getting closer to nature before making any financial commitments, consider renting an RV. RVs have a lot of similarities to tiny houses, though they tend to be much more affordable (usually less than half the cost) and mobile. Get a feel for the lifestyle by making a temporary switch to living in an RV. This should give you a good idea if a tiny home is the right choice for you.
4. Connect With Other Tiny House Owners
If you have any questions before buying your new home, or if you have recently moved and have any concerns, you need a group of experts to depend on. Get in the habit of keeping in touch with other tiny house owners. Will your new home abide by local building codes? What is the best method of heating and cooling your home during extreme weather conditions? Regularly ask them questions about any burning issues that may be bugging you. In addition to connecting with the tiny living community here on Natural Papa, you may also want to follow other blogs that focus on tiny home living, such as Tiny House Blog and The Tiny Life.
When you’ve grown used to following these habits, you will be ready to move into your new tiny home. Be sure to recycle and clear out the space you need for your new lifestyle. Optimize your living space by buying and selling your furniture secondhand. Prepare yourself for living closer to nature. Finally, find a supportive network to assist you with any further questions. These practices will keep you content in your new dwelling, and they will change your life for the better.
Whether you have a small home or have made the plunge and built a truly tiny house, you have likely realized finding great furniture can be a challenge. The big issue for little homes is finding furniture which is aesthetically pleasing and can successfully function in multiple roles.
Many people get one of those roles right and fail entirely in the other. This is a shame because a home that is functional and unattractive is almost as bad as one that is beautiful but makes daily tasks difficult. Even if you don’t have a lot of money to invest in the furniture of your dreams, you can take style inspiration from top furniture design manufacturers like Thomasville and then make something similar at a scale that is more suitable for your home.
The living room of most smaller homes, and especially truly tiny houses, must be multifunctional. It may be the home entertainment center, office, bedroom, and children’s playroom depending on the day and time. Because of the varied roles the room is expected to serve, it is necessary for each piece of furniture to be carefully considered and capable of functioning optimally for many different needs.
For example, when choosing a chair for a small home, you don’t want to select the first attractive and comfortable piece that catches your eye. It of course should be both, but it needs to be more. A chair that might be purchased for a larger living room only needs to be useful as a place to relax. But if it will also be part of an office at times at a office space rental rates, it should fit comfortably at the desk. If it will be in a playroom, the upholstery should be stain resistant and water repellant.
The accompanying ottoman cannot be simply a place to rest one’s feet at the end of a long day. It needs to be large enough to serve as a coffee table or have hidden storage where toys can be tucked away when play time is over. Ideally, it would be able to function as an ottoman, coffee table, and storage all-in-one.
The kitchen takes up a lot of real estate in most homes, but it doesn’t have to. You can dramatically reduce the amount of space used by switching from traditional cabinets to open shelving, at least that is what I saw addison real estate closing was doing. This visually and physically opens the area and provides more functional storage space.
Appliances can also be purchased in apartment size or smaller that have many of the same amenities of their larger cousins. They are also available in energy saving models, which wasn’t always the case.
As for the furniture in the kitchen. You may have wanted a kitchen island and realized it would make the room feel too crowded. However, there are moveable islands that can be used as a taller extension of your counters that can be moved to a more convenient location when needed. This gives you the comfort of a kitchen island with a footprint that makes more sense for a smaller kitchen. You can also take advantage of cut-to-size plastic sheets in order to reduce the cost of materials when possible. Plastic sheets make great splashbacks and are shatter resistant, meaning they will last a long time.
Many people don’t realize the many ways in which bedroom furniture can be selected to optimize the space. Beds are large pieces that typically take up more than half of the room. This is to be expected, but all that room doesn’t have to be wasted. Some manufacturers have created stunning units that have bookshelves as headboards or which feature drawers that provide additional storage underneath the bed frame.
Nightstands are another piece of furniture that can be completely impractical if they only take up space to hold a lamp or charge your cell phone. While simple tables are an option, it makes more sense to maximize the floor space they occupy by choosing a unit that has shelves or drawers which can be used for storage. If the room is big enough, you might even choose to have two small desks on either side of the bed to serve as his and her office space during the day.
Your closet can be outfitted with carefully designed units to triple the amount of storage they can accommodate. If you have a minimalist wardrobe to match your smaller home, you can use this for storing items which can’t be accommodated elsewhere such as holiday decorations, luggage, or other seasonal goods.
Practical furniture doesn’t have to be unattractive, overly expensive, or boring. With careful consideration, it is possible to have a gorgeous and highly functional home filled only with items that are beautiful and supremely useful.
About the author: Katherine Smith (Kat) is a San Diego based freelance writer who enjoys writing on a wide variety of fitness and entertainment topics. In her free time Kat enjoys the beach and playing volleyball with family and friends.
While the tiny home/tiny life certainly isn’t for everyone, it comes with more benefits than simply “it costs less than a full-size home,” or “I prefer living simply.”
While there are a multitude of reasons why changing to a simpler lifestyle is more appealing — there exists some emotional, and mental reasons, as well. Not only can you learn to live with less there to distract you, you learn to appreciate the simple things in life, and how, in a lot of ways, it trumps everything else.
Lesson #1: “Avoiding a materialistic life means avoiding a stressful life”
I think for a majority of people, myself included, the more stuff I have, the more I feel like I have to worry about. Whether it’s cleaning up after myself or someone else, keeping track of chores that need to be done, broken things that need to be fixed or replaced — honestly, the thought of having to only worry about the bare necessities is one of the many blessings available to inhabitants of tiny homes. They don’t have to set aside different days for taking care of different rooms (at least, not in the same way the owner of the previously-mentioned 4-bedroom would have to), they don’t have to worry about losing something within the mess, and the only time they’ll ever have to worry about organizing clutter is during the “preparation” stage when transitioning into a tiny home.
That sounds pretty good to me.
Lesson #2: “You don’t need a ‘house’ to have a place to call ‘home’”
“Home is where the heart is,” belongs in more places than cross-stitch patterns and in frames over beds in hospital rooms. A home is wherever your consider it, whether that’s a 2-bedroom apartment, a tent in the woods, or the front seat of your car. It doesn’t carry the burden of only being allowed to be a 4-bedroom ranch house in a suburban subdivision, with the best furniture and bed sheets from a nice range of comforters at LH.
“House” was left in quotes within the title for a reason — tiny houses are certainly houses, for all intents and purposes, but perhaps not as the majority of people would see them. While, yes, they’d smile and share Pinterest links with their friends, plenty of people would never consider a tiny house to compare to that of a real house. The aforementioned house with 4 bedrooms and two bathrooms.
A home is what you make of it, and I think a lot of people have a hard time understanding that a tiny home offers all of the same necessary amenities of a large house, only more compact. You can still customize every aspect of a tiny house to your liking, you can change the wallpaper, utilize crafty lighting, the carpet or hardwood floors– it’s still all under your command, only you don’t have such a large renovation bill at the end of it all. Most people even suggest using outdoor features like in-ground ponds or patios to help the place feel a little more homey, without adding to the square-footage of the house itself.
Lesson #3: “With less to clutter your surroundings, there’s less to clutter your mind”
As previously mentioned, materialism may contribute a few good conveniences to our lives, but for the most part, it seems as if they’re only there to get in the way, make a mess, or, as this section is titled, “clutter” our minds.
With living in a tiny house comes the need to declutter and purposefully organize the things you absolutely need, cutting out any of the extra background/white noise that might exist otherwise. You learn not only to throw things away without attaching unnecessary significance, you learn how to avoid buying things you otherwise wouldn’t need, and you take care of what you do have.
Lesson #4: “Being ‘alone’ doesn’t automatically equate to being ‘lonely’”
For some unknown reason, people who choose to go out to eat, or go to a movie, by themselves, are seen as “strange.” Or “lonely.”
The problem with this assumption is, however, the implication that being alone is bad, and unwanted. The truth is, despite humans being naturally social creatures, we also crave time alone with our thoughts in order to clear our heads, take a breather from the real world and interpersonal obligations, etc.
Whether it be to the movies, or somewhere out in nature like on a hike, the stigma against being alone is uncalled for. And living in a tiny house doesn’t automatically mean you have to be a lone wolf– not only are there grander tiny homes that allow for a scrupulous family to live in, but tiny home neighborhoods might soon be just as common as common suburban ones are!
Lesson #5: “Living tiny allows you to return to nature, without the constant hassle of a tent”
What better way to go back to the roots of simply being a human mammal than by staking your claim of a small plot of land out in the country, the forest, the mountains? Except, this time, you’ll be there for good to enjoy the scenery, rather than only temporarily on a camping trip before eventually having to pack everything back up to go back to work on Monday.
Of course, while larger homes exist in nature in this manner, their costs are much greater than a tiny home would be, particularly in insurance costs. And so, with everyone eager to move to the mountains to live their dream of being a mountain-man/woman, chopping their own lumber and living off the land, a tiny house seems like the ideal choice to me.