Tiny House, Large Impact

Imagine living in a house the size of a one-car garage.  As crazy as it may seem, many people are choosing this lifestyle. Tiny houses are a huge trend among the environmentally conscious, the penny pinchers and those choosing to downsize their living space to prove adage, sometimes less is more.

Tiny houses range in size from 100 to 800 square feet. Oftentimes, tiny houses are built on trailers for mobility and to evade building codes for what can be considered a permanent residence. Excellent design and organization maximize the space of a tiny house, providing all the comforts of modern home on a smaller scale.

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The average carbon footprint for housing in a typical U.S. household is approximately 13, 000 tons per year. Living in a tiny house could significantly reduce this carbon footprint. Tiny houses require less material to build and are often built with recycled materials. Solar panels and devices for rainfall collection are common installations in these micro homes. Furthermore, the small space can be heated and cooled easily using less energy and fossil fuels. All these aspects contribute to a more sustainable living space.

Low construction cost and living expenses are other incentives to downsize living space.  A tiny house can cost as little as $8,000 total. In addition, tiny house owners are less likely to spend money on more stuff for sheer lack of space. Eliminating unnecessary material possessions can be very liberating – another reason the tiny house movement has become popular. With a few extra dollars in their pockets and no possessions holding them down, tiny house owners are enjoying the liberties that might not have been attainable with a large home.

The most recent tiny house movement began in 1997 when Jay Shafer built a tiny house on wheels to live in. Two years later the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, which provides designs, building plans, and ready-made tiny homes was popularized.

Running off the momentum of the original movement, Shafer founded Four Lights Tiny House Company.  More recently, the TV series Tiny House Nation and the documentary Tiny, have brought attention to the tiny house movement. Many homeowners are spreading their love of tiny houses with everything from blogs to pinterest pages promoting a sustainable trend in tiny housing.

Photo License: Creative Commons

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