Tag Archives: 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. 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]

Professor Dumpster is bringing smart modular tiny houses to the city

AUSTIN-KasitaAustin, Texas, will be the first location for a new generation of compact urban houses, which are packed full of smart customizable features.

Tiny houses can be a boon for many people, but they don’t mix well with cities, as most municipalities aren’t very welcoming to dwellings that don’t fit into the standard ‘box’ of residential design. But a new type of tiny home, which is designed to be integrated into a larger “rack” of units in urban areas, and which can be moved on demand, could be the answer for minimalist city living on a budget.

Jeff Wilson, AKA Professor Dumpster, has moved out of his year-long residence in a converted dumpster, and now has a new project in the works, called Kasita, and it may prove to be a viable option for tiny houses in the city, as the units aren’t meant to stand alone, but rather to be installed in an apartment-like complex with other units. And in addition to the low cost (“half the market rate of a studio apartment”) and smart design features, these Kasitas can be removed from their rack and relocated to another one with minimal fuss.

This system looks similar to many other concepts that use shipping containers as the building blocks, but instead of starting with the basic container and then converting it into a living or working space, the Kasita was designed from the ground-up as “the ideal compact urban home.” And based on the wording in the press materials, these little dwellings shouldn’t be confused with tiny houses:

“Is this a tiny house or a container house? Not really, aside from being smaller than a typical home. The Kasita completely reimagines the home with industrial design at its core. There’s nothing quite like it out there. The Kasita does not contain a loft, Murphy bed, pitched roof, or wheels. It’s designed from the ground up as opposed to an adaptation of an existing structure intended to store and transport merchandise (but we have lots of love and respect for our friends in the Tiny House and container communities!).”

Interior From Hallway Bed Slides Out From Under CouchThe Kasita unit is a 208 square foot dwelling with 10-foot ceilings, which the company says is “about 30% bigger than a 20’ standard shipping container,” with all of the amenities you’d expect in a home included, such as a full kitchen, dishwasher, bathroom and shower, and washer/dryer. The units are meant to be inserted into the rack, where utility connections will provide water, electric, etc., with the glass-fronted end cantilevered out from the structure. The units will be able to be disconnected and moved to a new rack or new city, sort of like a high-tech mobile home, assuming there are other racks built and available for them.

According to the Kasita website, the units feature a host of features for customization and control over the spaces within, such as voice control and smart appliance and device integration:

“Your Kasita will welcome you home by 
adjusting the A/C, bringing up the 
lights and shades, and queueing your favorite playlist. Or, ask your Kasita to do something else (like rolling 
out the bed) via hands-free voice commands throughout.”

Interior TilesThe walls serve as modular grids for the Kasita Tiles system, which is claimed to enable “virtually infinite customizations and options” for the interior spaces, with options for shelves and cabinets and electronics. No pricing has been announced yet, but the first Kasita building is expected to be launched in Austin, Texas, in 2016, with 10 other cities in the works for the year after that.

Find out more at Kasita.

Vancouver Island Tiny House Build Ride-Along

tiny-nest-tiny-house-tarpGet a taste of tiny house building, thanks to Jake and Kiva, who are documenting their tiny house building process, step by step.

Looking at pictures of tiny houses is the gateway to heavier tiny house fixation, and reading tiny house books feeds the tiny house fascination, but when you start to obsessively tour tiny houses by video and are glued to the screen watching tiny house builds via YouTube, you know you’re hooked.

Read more: Follow along with this tiny house build on Vancouver Island