I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the tiny house movement and maybe even thought “why would anyone want to live in a tiny house?” but tiny houses are a great living option! With its growing popularity and with tons of people interested in it, it’s worth at least looking into. Tiny houses are perfect for those who don’t need the space of a traditional home and are looking for a cheaper alternative.
4 reasons to live in a tiny house:
Tiny houses are cheaper than traditional houses
Tiny house living encourages a minimalist lifestyle
Tiny houses have more room for creativity and customization
Tiny houses are better for the environment
Initial Cost of a Tiny House
The least glamorous part of any house hunting is pricing. Luckily, tiny houses are more cost efficient than traditional houses. Pricing for tiny houses varies based on aspects such as size and amenities, but the average cost is $30,000-$60,000. On the other hand, tiny houses can cost anywhere from $8,000 to $150,000. More expensive homes will have nicer amenities such as a bathroom and appliances. This is much cheaper than buying a traditional home, as in 2021 average cost was $408,800.
What if I want to build my own tiny house?
Sometimes this is the cheaper option, however upfront costs may seem daunting. Two things to consider are if you want to build the home on wheels or foundation. Building on foundation ranges from $35,000 to $68,000 (plus costs for the foundation itself and land to build on) while building on wheels ranges from $60,000 to $80,000. This is a large chunk of money, but as of 2021, the average cost to build a traditional house in the U.S. was $285,239.
While there is no “rule” stating how large or small a tiny house has to be, the average size is 60 to 400 square feet. Since this is marginally smaller than a traditional house, utilities are much cheaper! Pricing will vary based on the amenities you have chosen, but the average utility cost for a tiny house is $30 to $60 per month. However, It is important to note that even if you choose to add solar panels to your home, many places still require you to have another source of power. Now let’s break down the other amenities..
Hotspot plans average $20 to $80
Internet generally ranges from $75 to $100
Average cost ranges from $0-$10
A compressed toilet and using well water can eliminate a water bill!
Propane (If you so choose)
Average cost is anywhere from $10 to $15
It’s cheaper to refill than to replace!
The Minimalist Lifestyle
Tiny houses are, well, tiny! This means you probably won’t be able to take all your things with you, and that’s okay because a minimalist lifestyle has many benefits apart from getting rid of unnecessary things. Minimalism has been in practice for a very long time, and it is only getting more popular!
So what exactly is minimalism? It’s basically a way to declutter your life of things that aren’t necessary or hold sentimental value. Many people who choose this lifestyle also choose tiny house living because they no longer need a large space. On the other hand, one reason why people are drawn to tiny houses is that it forces them to pursue this lifestyle.
Minimalism on its own has a ton of benefits! For starters, with fewer material items you’re more inclined to spend time with loved ones and engage in more hobbies and activities you enjoy. You also aren’t attached to unimportant things that are just “there”. In addition to adopting a minimalist lifestyle, you’ll save money since you won’t be spending on things such as clothes and trinkets. This is also true with tiny house living as the space you’re in doesn’t allow clutter. In addition to this, with little space for indoor activities, you’re more likely to spend time outdoors and be active. In these conditions, you’re more likely to find a healthy balance between lounging around and being present!
Making It Your Own
Perhaps the most exciting part of house hunting is the potential a house holds for decoration, but with a tiny house there are many more options to make it your own than a traditional house. The amount of design you can do with tiny houses is virtually endless! Designing a tiny house is much deeper than what color the exterior should be, so it’s important to evaluate your needs and really utilize the space you’re working with. While evaluating your needs, I recommend checking out this list! It basically tells you to think about activities you do and determine what needs a dedicated space in the home and what doesn’t. In the age of apps and the internet, it’s super easy to find resources that allow you to design your tiny house before making any long-term commitments.
As mentioned before, you’re working with a much smaller space than what you may be used to, but this doesn’t mean you have to give up all your possessions. Tiny houses allow you to add storage spaces while still leaving plenty of space for home necessities. You have complete control over which amenities you include and which ones you don’t want. For example, if you don’t cook often, you may want to create a smaller cooking space to leave room for activities you do more frequently.
I have my design mapped out, now what?Subtractive design is a method used by many people when designing their tiny houses. This method involves you looking at your design and asking yourself how it would improve or worsen if you were to remove that aspect. On the other hand, if removing that aspect would keep the design the same, it’s a good idea to go ahead and remove it. An example used in the referenced article is a bathroom sink. This article states that traditional homes generally have a bathroom sink and a kitchen sink, whereas in a tiny house these rooms are typically close together or even separated by a wall, so why not save space by using one sink for both functions! In the end, it’s all up to you, and super easy to do what’s best for you!
In today’s world, being environmentally conscious is very important. Think of all the energy and resources you may be wasting in a traditional house. In a tiny house, you’re less likely to use more than you need. You may be wondering how a tiny house is more environmentally friendly than a traditional house. Well, aside from using less electricity and water, tiny houses need fewer materials to build, take up less land, and produce fewer emissions. On top of this, with less space to clean you may find yourself not purchasing as many cleaning products in plastic containers!
Everything is a chain reaction when it comes to environmental impact. For instance, since a tiny house requires fewer materials, fewer trucks are needed to transport these materials. It is also popular to use recycled materials when making tiny houses and even 3D printed materials! As far as electricity goes, it is apparent that a tiny house will use less energy to heat or cool and tiny house owners normally spend more time away from the house which reduces the need for electricity (and expenses!). Remember all that clutter you used to have? Thanks to tiny houses, you no longer produce as much waste as you may have when living in a traditional house! These changes may seem small, but they add up quickly. For reference, fossil fuel energy contributes 28,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year!
So there you have it! Purchasing or building a tiny home is a big venture, but for some people, it may be the best decision in the long run.