Thinking about a Tiny House for the Future

A while back, probably a couple years ago by this point, a classmate from college posted about tiny houses on Facebook. I had never heard of them before seeing her post so I checked them out. At the time I thought it was an interesting idea. But I didn’t think it was something for me. I was looking for a house at the time. Most of them were over 1500 square feet, 3-4 bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms, living room, dining room, a basement, lots of space to use with plenty of storage. By most people’s standards, the “American Dream”. I certainly didn’t think I could live in a house that was less than 400 sf. The house I was renting wasn’t very big and I had too much STUFF.

So when I finally bought this place, what did I get? Less than a 1000 sf, 2 beds, 1 bath, small dining room, living room and kitchen. Not exactly what I was looking for in a house. Heather and I moved in and brought all of our stuff here. The house filled up. For a while everything was alright. Then I started to feel claustrophobic with all the stuff we brought and the more we accumulated. It was kinda overwhelming. But I thought that was what we were supposed to do, I was stuck in the consumerist trap!

I have learned something over the time of living here. I don’t need all that stuff! Yes, I still have more than I need or want. I have sold some stuff and given away a truckload of stuff to Goodwill. Mostly in the past few months, I have started to look at what I really need, declutter, simplify. And not just the house, I’m attempting to do the same with my life and my time. When I take a good look at the space I need, I know I don’t need even a 1000 sf. I might only need a quarter of that!

Which brings me to the point of this posting. A TINY HOUSE. The vision I have is for a tiny house on a 20-30 foot trailer, most likely utilizing an old camper trailer. Make it about 8 feet wide that would give me about 160-240 square feet of living space. Add an 8 foot sleeping loft and that would bring the total living area up another 64 square feet. Putting it on wheels helps to avoid building codes, which in my area limit a house to a minimum of 960 square feet. Also, it makes it portable. This is important because I don’t plan on living here forever. I want to buy vacant land somewhere (lately I have been looking in Northern Michigan, around the Traverse City area). When I finally get that plot of land, I want to have the house ready, move it there, and start building the place I dream about. Because it is on wheels I could have the option of taking my home and moving south for the winter, say to a beach in Florida, where it is warmer and sunny. Which, may be just another crazy idea I have in my head!

As an architectural designer, I have many ideas for the design. I’ve sketched out some ideas. Done a lot of research. Priced out different construction options. Steel siding, versus cedar, versus vinyl. Steel roofing or asphalt shingles. How much each window and door costs. There are countless options that to consider. A Whimsical Tiny House like this one goes to show that the design can be whatever you want it to be. You are only limited by your imagination.

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4 thoughts on “Thinking about a Tiny House for the Future

  1. I have always been drawn to your headline photo: a simple, small, older house set in open space. We have a 950 sq ft house and are itching to build and move into a tiny house. I will follow closely any ideas you present.

    We have 31 acres in northeast Texas, similar biome to where you are now, and are forming a small intentional community to become independent, grow our food, and get off grid. Fortunately, county building codes are negligible.

    Best wishes for your project!

  2. Thanks, Aggie!

    Good luck on your own tiny house. I should be posting more about why and how I’m building soon. I’m not as lucky to have lax building codes here but I have thought about a community like you mentioned. It seems that most intentional communities start out good, with good intentions, but seem to fail apart after a while, that is my only worry. I’ve thought a lot about them since my involvement with a local intentional community that seemed to have lots of divides within the members.

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