I saw this pop up the other day in Google Reader about the tiny house movement. As you can see in the picture, when they say tiny the mean it.
The market for them is driven evenly between extensions of existing homes, vacation homes and minimalist lifestyles according to one tiny home builder. This cottage industry (ha,ha) is increasing as people become aware of it and the economy has people exploring alternatives in their lives.
While it’s not for me, and probably many others, I do find the minimalism involved interesting. It really forces one to evaluate all their possessions and pare them down to only the most important.
There is a 2 minute video here. (Sorry no longer available - VL) More from the article:
“It’s very un-American in the sense that living small means consuming less,” said Jay Shafer, 46, co-founder of the Small House Society, sitting on the porch of his wooden cabin in California wine country. “Living in a small house like this really entails knowing what you need to be happy and getting rid of everything else.”
Shafer, author of “The Small House Book,” built the 89-square-foot house himself a decade ago and lived in it full-time until his son was born last year. Inside a space the size of an ice cream truck, he has a kitchen with gas stove and sink, bathroom with shower, two-seater porch, bedroom loft and a “great room” where he can work and entertain — as long as he doesn’t invite more than a couple guests.
He and his family now live in relatively sprawling 500-square foot home next to the tiny one.
Shafer, co-owner of the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, designs and builds miniature homes with a minimalist style that prizes quality over quantity and makes sure no cubic inch goes to waste. Most can be hooked up to public utilities. The houses, which pack a range of amenities in spaces smaller than some people’s closets, are sold for $40,000 to $50,000 ready-made, but cost half as much if you build it yourself.
Tumbleweed’s business has grown significantly since the housing crisis began, Shafer said. He now sells about 50 blueprints, which cost $400 to $1,000 each, a year, up from 10 five years ago. The eight workshops he teaches around the country each year attract 40 participants on average, he said.