Tag Archives: tiny house

5 Reasons To Consider A Shipping Container Home

shipping container houseWith the worldwide explosion of the Tiny House Movement, more and more people are looking for innovative methods to create their dream minimalist living space and reduce their footprint whilst staying within the boundaries of their respective country’s planning laws. To that end, many prospective owner/builders are opting to recycle and re-purpose a steel shipping container in what is proving to be an increasingly popular and effective way of creating the perfect tiny home. Here are 5 reasons to consider this method yourself over other methods of construction.

Cheap, Cheap, Cheap!

With brand new 20ft shipping containers available for as little as £1500 and second-hand examples coming in at well under £1000, they provide what is probably the cheapest pre-built structures on the market. And as there are literally millions of containers lying idle around the world and not exactly in short supply, it is very much a buyer’s market. The fact that they’re intended use is not for habitation is immaterial, as with a little imagination, inspiration and some specialist assistance, they can easily be transformed into a desirable living space at a considerable saving on other forms of tiny house construction.

Kind to the Environment

By opting for a cargo container construction method, you are essentially recycling an existing entity that would otherwise be sat in a shipyard somewhere deteriorating. By the very act of repurposing the container you are preventing its component steel from going to waste and negating the need for reliance on fresh materials to construct your new home. Container homes also lend themselves nicely to off-grid living, with the integration of solar, wind and water recycling systems further reducing your carbon footprint.

Construction Time & Flexibility

Speed of construction is a major concern when building any type of home. The longer things take, the greater the cost of labor and alternative accommodation arrangements. A delayed build can seriously inflate the overall cost of a project. As an existing structure, a shipping container design significantly reduces build time and, by extension, your stress levels. As they are also inherently room like and cuboid in nature, they offer a level of design flexibility not afforded by other construction methods. A container home can be extended upwards or outwards by simply adding further containers in a building block manner.


Cargo containers are built from steel and designed to weather the rigors of the high seas for tens of thousands of miles at a time. They are as tough as old boots! As such, they will require minimum maintenance whilst offering you better protection against the elements than any other tiny house construction method. You can also count fire resistance and natural disaster resilience among their many attributes.


The clue is in the name. “Shipping” container. These things are designed to be portable and can be easily delivered to a location of your choosing with relative ease. And should the time come that you require a change of scenery, container homes can be relocated to virtually anywhere with the minimum of fuss. Why move to a new home when you can take your home with you?

About the author: Andy Trowers is a staff writer for the popular second hand bargains website http://www.for-sale.ie/. Image: Angel Schatz

How to Start Living in a Tiny House

Tiny houses are about living beautifully, simply, and yet still with everything you need. It’s about independence from debt and getting the economic freedom to live a larger life, instead of having a larger house. If you’re seriously interested in living a smaller existence in a tiny house, you need to start changing your habits right this instant.

Measurement of a tiny house:

A tiny house is thought as those less than 900 square feet in proportions generally, although most small rooms are just 100 to 400 sq ft. The smallest yurt measures 12’ in diameter and 115 square feet and the largest one measures in at 30’ in diameter and 706 square feet.

You can argue that yurts are tiny houses. For individuals who decide to live tiny, residing in a tiny house represents more than just moving into a smaller number of square feet. There are varying stages to tiny house conversion. The first that comes up when thinking in the conversion, is what to do with the stuff that wil not fit in the tiny house. There are several solutions, you can either rent a storage unit, sale it, or donate it. Some social individuals are tiny house curious, meaning they prefer to learn more about small living, but are not going to quit their current home.

Here are some methods for finding the right kind of tiny house for you and how exactly to simplify your life so that living in a tiny house is enjoyable rather than confining.

Image: Ben Chun


There are various types of tiny houses, defined as those significantly less than 900 square feet. Consider the tiny house designs, starting from traditional to ultra-contemporary in design. Some incorporate off-the-grid styles like rainwater collection, wind power, and composting toilets.

Image: Wikimedia

Your needs:

A lot of people need a comfy, dry, quiet spot to sleep and a clean place to carry out personal hygiene. They also need a comfortable spot to sit or lie down during the whole day and an accepted place to store, prepare, and consume food for the whole day. You might want additional creature comforts such as long-term refrigerated food storage space, a whirlpool tub, a state-of-the-art entertainment system, a clothing dryer and washer,  a charged power generator, a dishwasher, personal bedrooms, wall-to-wall structure carpeting, granite countertops, workout services, T-3 access to the internet, and so on. Another option would be to get a storage unit from storage units Clarksville, IN so that you can keep everything that doesn’t fit in your house.


► A tiny house is less to clean

► Less unneeded clothing, broken devices,  etc.

► Lower energy expenses and a greener ecological footprint

► Newer food that’s purchased, captured, or harvested on a far more daily basis

► Additional time available for outdoor entertaining and activities

► You don’t need to sell your house when you relocate (if your tiny house is towable).


Smaller sized areas for design are more technical. Compact appliances cost a lot more than full sized appliances sometimes.

Pare down your possessions:

We spend about 85% of our lives putting on 25% of the clothes we own. Therefore by eliminating most of that wasted 85%, your daily life becomes directly simpler: less laundry plus much less indecision in what to put on that day. A laptop computer with a TV tuner is more energy efficient.

Image: Wikimedia

Bed Options:

Sleep is an essential part of existence, and creating a healthy bedroom should be important in any tiny house. Space is restricted in a tiny house, which is why nearly all tiny houses have a bedroom in a loft. Lofts are space savers! They are therapeutic also. A loft can become a cocoon for the body. Some tiny homes select non-lofted bed choices. To conserve space, this means incorporating convertible furniture usually. Another awesome bed option is an electrical lift-bed.

Be creative about storage:

A bed system could have clothing storage space drawers underneath. If you make an integral sofa, you may use the area underneath to store plenty of items. You can design a desk those folds out from the wall, then folds along to become a bed.

For a used house:

If you want, you can purchase a used tiny home. Additionally, there are kits available that can come with all or the majority of the materials for building the house, along with instructions. The least expensive option for small living is to get a well-maintained used travel or RV trailer. You get the benefit of having something well designed and constructed, but you have the disadvantage of not being able to customize your home to your requirements and wants fully.

Finally, if you follow these above tips, you are ready to start living in a tiny house.

Four Tiny House Myths Debunked: Why You Should Still Consider a Smaller Space

Tiny houses are taking the country by storm.

The question remains: do you have what it takes to the make the leap?

As more and more of the public embraces minimalist living through the tiny house movement, many of us can’t help but second guess our own living situations.

“Do I have too much? Could I actually fit in a smaller space than what I have now?”

Such questions are absolutely normal: tiny living isn’t often as glamorous as it’s presented on television. That being said, there are many myths about the transition into living in a tiny house that simply aren’t true and need to be debunked.

Whether you’re considering a tiny home or simply downsizing your current living space, understand the following tiny house myths and how to apply the “less is more” principle to your own lifestyle.

Myth #1: There’s No Room for Furniture

Although tiny living does require you to sacrifice many of your odds and ends, the fact remains that you can have elegant furniture in your tiny home.

For example, you can mix and match cottage-style furniture within your limited living space: you simply must pick and choose your pieces carefully. Tiny homes on the larger end of the spectrum allow you to enjoy more than a loft bed, too. Creativity is the name of the game when it comes to furnishing a tiny house: you may not be able to bring everything with you, but instead pick something new as starting point for your new home.

Myth #2: You Can’t Enjoy Modern Conveniences

Tiny houses are often associated with cabin-style living; however, that doesn’t mean you have to live without modern conveniences such as television and Internet. In fact, tiny homes are ideal for remote workers trying to embrace minimalist living and save money: such freelancers need access to wi-fi, for example, to make their living.

Simply because your space is scaled down doesn’t mean you’re cut off from the outside world.

Myth #3: Tiny Houses Aren’t Meant for Families

Obviously, flying solo makes for an easier transition into a tiny home. There are plenty of families making the switch, though, who simply employ a combination of the following to make sure everyone has personal space:

  • Moving in a larger model: a space around 500 square feet can easily fit a family versus a 200-square foot home
  • Taking advantage of outdoor space (think: patios and enclosures), ensuring that everyone in the household feels less claustrophobic and has an area for themselves
  • Sectioning the home into distinct “rooms” rather than taking a studio approach to design

Families can get along just fine in a tiny home, granted they know what they’re getting into when they make the move.

Myth #4: They’re a Novelty

Tiny homes are more than just a novelty for the wealthy. To those trying to make the most out of less and enjoy a lower cost of living, tiny homes represent a viable and valuable lifestyle change. While some tenants do find themselves transitioning back into a larger space after a year or two, tiny homes are here to stay for those able to adjust.

It’s easy to knock tiny living until you’ve seen such spaces firsthand. Despite popular belief, you can live life to the fullest in a tiny house: simply understand how to make the most of your space and emphasize what’s important to your home.

Prototype $1200 pre-fab tiny house can be set up in 3 hours

pin-up-houses-franceHold on to your wallets, because this little dwelling isn’t for sale yet, but it is a promising development in the tiny house movement.

Tiny houses aren’t for everybody, and they may not even be for most people, but if you’re looking to slim down your personal material footprint, and are comfortable getting by with a very small dwelling, a tiny home might be worth looking into. Of course, you’ll still need to find a place where it’s legal to build and live in one, and then figure out how to get water, power, and a toilet in it, but those aren’t necessarily deal breakers for the types of resourceful people who often pursue tiny house living. But two of the facets of tiny houses that can trip people up are the costs, which can be rather high for such a small home if choosing a pre-built or custom-built house, and the construction skills necessary to build a tiny house yourself, if going the DIY route.

However, there may be a solution to both of those issues if the tiny house company Pin Up Houses follows through with its latest prototype, as the folks there have been looking into the prospects of making mass production pre-fab models, and have built one of them, dubbed “France,” with an estimated cost of just $1200.

Read more: Pre-fab tiny house prototype costs $1200, can be built in 3 hours

Flat-Packed Tiny Homes Aim To Be A New Model For Affordable Housing

big_world_homes_centralpark1920cThe Big World Homes project aims to be a new model of affordable housing, and its modular mobile design could make it a good fit for ‘pop-up’ communities on unused land.

Australia’s Big World Homes, led by architect Alexander Symes, is taking on expensive city housing with its design for tiny modular homes that are shipped flat-packed, and can be set up in just a few days, with no other tools than a drill and a hammer, and are just a fraction of the cost of most of the homes currently on the market. It’s like tiny homes meets single-wide mobile homes meets IKEA, and although the project is still in its infancy, the idea has the potential to help overcome one of the barriers to home ownership, which is the incredibly high cost, especially in cities.

Not only are these tiny homes designed to be simple and quick to build, but they’re also intended to be relatively self-sufficient, thanks to solar panels and a rain catchment system, which can allow them to bypass the need to be connected into city infrastructure, which can add to the cost and complexity of building a home. One of the other aspects of current home ownership costs is the value of the land beneath the home (and the labor costs), which is considered in the price of housing, and which this project intends to circumvent by placing the off-grid homes in communities on unused land.

Read more: Tiny flat-packed off-grid homes aim to be bridge between renting and owning

Humanihut enables pop-up emergency tiny house villages

Humanihut shelter village
Portable emergency shelter villages from Australia will provide safe, good quality accommodation for thousands of refugees worldwide.

Almost 60 million people were forced to leave their homes in 2015 with 20 million recognized as refugees.

South Australian company Humanihut Pty Ltd has designed a compact and cost efficient housing system that will help disaster relief agencies shelter the increasing population of refugees.

Managing Director Neale Sutton said each system was highly portable and consisted of 16 separate Humanihuts that were all able to fit in a single standard shipping container.

He said Humanihut was actively pursuing markets in the Middle East and Europe and planned to deploy the shelter system before the Northern Hemisphere winter later this year.

“The Humanihut system is like a village. If you extrapolate the process of erecting 16 Humanihuts, which will only take around a couple hours, configuring the shower block and setting up a few more of them nearby, you can shelter about 2500 people,” he said.

“Water purification, power and sewage will also be delivered in the container.

“There is a real need for this type of thing. Some camps are hosting a couple thousand people and one in Jordan, at its peak, had about 250,000.”

Each Humanihut is 7.3m long, 2.4m high and can be folded down to 300mm to fit in the shipping containers.

The walls are steel skinned with an insulated panel that enables each hut to repel heat and cold, helping the shelter to maintain a comfortable temperature.

The company was recently named in Tallt Ventures’ Disrupt 100 list, which recognizes companies with high potential to change or create new global markets.

The index was sourced from more than one million global start-ups and was judged by global brands including KPMG, IBM, and Silicon Valley Bank.

“I came up with the idea while talking with my partner and co-founder Andrew Hamilton about Syria in early 2013. There were thousands of refugees fleeing the country and heading to the Jordan border and we thought about what we could do,” Sutton said.

“Each Humanihut has fresh water to ensure it’s safe for everyone because at the moment water is delivered from a community well. By providing clean water and shelter, the Humanihut helps prevent health problems like malaria that kill thousands of refugees every year.

“The Humanihut Shelter System breaks even with the cost of tents at the three-and-a-half year mark and in the fifth full year, based on a camp of 50,000 people, it would save the camp managers approximately USD $70m per year because they are no longer buying replacement shelters as they wear out.”

Durability has been an issue for contemporary refugee shelters, the majority of which are tents that only last about 6 months. Humanihuts provide more stability and can last for up to 20 years, proving to be the more cost efficient option.

There are about 5 million Syrian refugees who have been displaced since the civil war began in 2011. About half of them are children.

Sutton said the Humanihut concept was the first refugee placement product of its kind. He said the company was also working on other uses for the huts.

“The products aren’t just for the refugee market. We can provide small Humanihut houses for people whose houses have burnt down in bushfires,” Sutton said.

“We can also provide a camp for the construction and mining industries as well.”

Tim O’Connor from the Australian Refugee Council said the Humanihut system could be a highly sought after product because of its ability to deploy in an efficient and prompt manner.

“Humanihut shows incredible innovation from an Australian company. It is dealing with one of the greatest displacements in human history since the Second World War,” he said.

“With about 20 million refugees and the majority struggling to find appropriate shelter, it’s an excellent invention in that regard. Delivering relatively low cost, reliable, solid shelters for people who really need it.”

The final cost of the system is yet to be finalized but manufacturing will begin in July.

Originally published on The Lead by Caleb Radford, and republished here under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

$30K Tiny house on wheels allows couple to pursue their dreams

tinyhouse-giantjourneyWhen you want to really pursue your dreams, instead of simply dreaming them, you might need to think outside the box. Outside the housing box, that is.

Tiny houses are a great solution for a number of modern housing and living woes, including being able to own your own home while avoiding a massive mortgage, and tiny houses on wheels offer an additional benefit, in that your home doesn’t have to stay in one place, but can instead go wherever you do. Those were a few of the compelling reasons behind Jenna Spesard and Guillaume Dutilh choosing to build a tiny house on wheels, which allowed them to pursue their dreams of traveling and capturing their experiences in writing and photography.

Read the full article: Couple builds tiny house on wheels for $30K to free up money and time for travel

How to Decorate a Tiny House

According to criteria in a study conducted by the UN, people living in more developed countries can count on more living space than their deprived human fellows. The theoretical minimum of the floor area is set to 20 square meters per person. So, a tiny home is considered every home in which every person does not have at least 20 square meters, including all the rooms in that home. Living in such a place and decorating it is a real challenge, so let’s make it easier by sharing some interesting and practical ideas for small home decoration.

Small home – efficient space

Tiny_house_interior,_PortlandThis is the age of efficiency and evaluation. Housing is definitely fertile ground for these trends. Nowadays governments bring strict regulations for energy efficiency, and apartment owners have to pay a lot of attention to these aspects of their homes. The smaller the home is, the easier it is to keep it maintained in an efficient way.

In the light of thermal efficiency, every small home owner should consider getting a pellet stove. Although the initial investment is a bit higher than old-school radiators, it is a true frugal choice for those who want to have an efficient and warm home over a course of years. Here is a great article on buying income properties. Have a look at the pellet stove buying guide.

Space-opening colors

The combination of colors is of crucial significance for every tiny home, no matter if it consists of a few separate areas or only one single room. If your lounge area has enough daylight, you can go with some less aggressive, but still vivid, colors to create a contrast. On the other hand, darker living rooms will have to be enriched with bright, space-opening colors, such as lighter shades of red or the peachy color.

The kitchen area should go as light as possible, since such color tones boost creativity. Finally, the bathroom can be decorated with contrasting colors and shades. If you home is tiny, you bathroom must be minute, so try to play with it to create a cozy bathing area. Also, you might want to get more inspiration from a color scheme for small homes posted on the This Old House website.

Multi-form furniture

The ironing board is a pretty annoying item even in larger apartments. Now imagine that you have to find enough space to accommodate your ironing board, a mirror, a dining table, and other necessary furniture items in, say, 18 square meters. Luckily, people are a creative species, so there is a type of furniture called folding furniture, some of it you can find on antiques world website. Those pieces can easily change their shape, which makes them perfect for tiny homes. For instance, the ironing board from the beginning can also serve as a mirror. You should only add a mirror to one side of the board, install hinges at its bottom and fasten the board to a wall. Whenever you need to iron your clothes, you simply put the board in a horizontal position and you have a genuine ironing table. Instantshift has some additional solutions with folding furniture items.

Keep them safe and healthy

Every home has to meet some basic safety and health regulations. Since tiny homes look more fragile than their larger counterparts, they need to be looked after in a more detailed way. For instance, you should make sure that your place is equipped with safe front doors and a few safety cameras. This is especially a must for remote houses in the countryside. When talking about homes in the country, it goes without saying that every such home needs to have proper anti-bug devices, like professional pest control supplies, to prevent insects and mice from infecting the area.

Smaller homes can give you a great feeling of coziness and togetherness, especially if you have a family. Decorating a smaller house can be quite difficult as you need to utilize your space very well. If you can fit a white coffee table in the planning please do, as it looks very stylish.

We hope our ideas will help you make your little home a charming and pleasant place.

[About the author: Derek Lotts strives to find a perfect home. In his pursuit, he has gained the knowledge he is eager to share. Find more of his work at Smooth Decorator. Image: Tammy Strobel]