Friday, June 22, 2012

My Big Obsession with Tiny Houses

Don’t tell my wife, but I’ve recently stumbled upon a new obsession.  One might argue, a big obsession, with tiny houses.  Why would my wife care?  Can you imagine telling your wife that you are selling everything and moving your family of five into what amounts to the square footage of a camper?  Yeah, like I said, don’t tell my wife.  She already thinks I'm a bit insane.  Her shoe collection alone wouldn’t fit in 100 square feet.  So, potentially disapproving wife and all, what is so interesting to me about these tiny houses? 

Much like the grungy Seattle Sound of the 90’s prompting the response of Britpop, I can only assume growing cultural interest in tiny houses is directly tied to the gross prevalence of the McMansion of the pre-housing crisis bubble.  What is a tiny house?  You said it, its a tiny house.  Usually, big enough for one person… (maybe two if bathing is a frequent occurrence.)  But the tiny houses that really interest me are the ones built on a trailer.  It’s the best of both worlds.  Tiny character filled houses.  Hand built, but portable, like a camper!  They don’t come with a mortgage, or even yardwork if you don’t want.  Physical and financial independence?  I can see why this “trend” is gaining a mainstream following.

From a practical standpoint, my family of five could never live in a 100 square foot dwelling… We live on a five acre farm and our house is considerably bigger than that… and there are days where we feel like we are on top of each other.  Five people? 100 square feet?  Is that even sane?  Sanity is relative.  Cleaning, maintenance and yard work can all make our expansive abode feel like a prison work detail.  But just imagine, in its simplest form, having a house that you are able to hook up to and move to a different part of your own five acres?  Closer to the road in the winter to avoid plowing so much driveway.  Closer to the creek in the summer to take advantage of the cool water and views.  Closer to the shed when I wanted to have family over for a birthday party.  Now that is taking advantage of owning five acres! 

Maybe it is the feeling that you could pick up your house, like a turtle, and move where a whim might take you.  Maybe it is the sense of independence it appears inhabitants of tiny houses enjoy every day.  I know I love the details and character one can pack into the framework of 100 square feet.  So, is there a tiny house in my future somewhere?  Sadly reality is knocking.  Three words: Family-Of-Five.  In the meantime, I’ll have to live vicariously through the internet.  Dreaming of the day when my kids have driver’s licenses and can join me in pulling their very own tiny houses to our next port of call.

The unofficial voice of the tiny house movement:
A like minded blog on tiny houses:
Documentary on tiny houses, "We the Tiny House People":  YouTube Video
I just like the look of these architect designed "pod houses":  Greenpod Intelligent Environments
Nice aesthetic, using reclaimed materials in a tiny house format:  Reclaimed Space

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