There is a trend happening these days where folks are leaving their large houses and escaping to what is called ‘Tiny House’. A smaller house could be thought of as a Tiny House, but in actuality, a Tiny House is a very small dwelling, usually under 400 square feet. About 2/3 of the time, they are built on a trailer chassis, so that they can be somewhat mobile. Some tiny homes are placed on a foundation or pilings, thus making them a more permanent home. Usually, the approximately 400 square feet is on the main floor, while there may be a loft area above one of the living spaces that is not counted in the square footage.
Why would someone want to live in tiny homes like these? For some people, it is about financial benefits. A tiny house can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $100,000, depending on how much is DIY and how much is done by a professional. Also, the cost of materials can vary widely, as you decide on how deluxe you want to make this tiny house. Lower cost can equate to little or no bank involvement, providing some monetary savings.
It does also follow along with the minimalist philosophy, which is about streamlining life and belongings. By deciding to live in a tiny house, one is forced to prioritize belongings and decide what you really need or not. Tiny house living creates an evaluation of what is important to you.
Rather than being stationary forever, tiny house living allows the possibility of picking up your home and dragging it to a new location ( for those tiny homes on wheels ). Of course this creates a situation where research is needed to learn how to tow safely. I will address this later in this article.
This leads into the next thought, which is where can you legally park one of these Tiny Houses? The answer is not black and white, depending on where you live. Some cities will not allow tiny houses to park, as they consider them to be RV’s and they do not allow full time living in an RV. In some cases, the towns or cities have designated specific areas as Tiny House Villages. RV parks can sometimes be an answer as well. If you are out of town on an acreage or farm, it is still good to check with the authorities. In placing a tiny home, certain questions need to be answered, such as - where is the power source? Where does the water come from? And where does the sewage go? Often there are strict regulations governing these areas.
One of the big benefits of most Tiny Houses is the ability to be mobile. If you want to follow the sunshine, that is a possibility. Or maybe you would prefer a different view. Just hook up your Tiny House and away you go!
It may not actually be that easy though. To be legal, one needs to know the actual weight of this Tiny Home, if it is being towed. So, if you don’t know the weight use a heavy duty truck, suitable for towing heavy weights and tow the unit to a commercial scale and be weighed. The amount of weight will determine what size of vehicle you need for towing. Next to check is the type of hitch on the truck. Is is the correct category for towing this weight? Most of the newer trucks are pre-wired for towing, and some have brake controls built in. The House itself, usually built on a trailer, also has to be legal for towing. Brakes on the trailer are required, and an emergency braking system should the Tiny House become disconnected while being towed. As well, tail lights and brake lights are required. Check with your local authorities to determine if any additional lights are required.
Another challenge for a potential Tiny Home owner to work through is insurance. Probably the easiest insurance to obtain is insurance as a recreational vehicle. That sounds easy enough, but often insurance for a recreational vehicle is only for part time living. Insurance for full time living is a necessity in Tiny House living. It would be a good idea to have a video record of the construction, focusing on areas that normally require specific trades. Let’s say that insurance for full time living in an RV is obtained. The registration for this unit will be shown as a Recreational Vehicle, which can again cause issues with locations that will not allow RV’s. If certification as a modular home is required, then research needs to be done on requirements to meet the codes and certification of a modular home. This is a whole different ball game.
These details are just pieces of the puzzle to put together in order to make one of these Tiny Houses your home. Tiny House living can be very rewarding, both financially and socially, providing freedom, satisfaction, and enjoyment.
Bruce has been involved in a few industries though out his career. Included in these experiences are a number of years as a realtor and other industries revolving around the housing industry. As well as real estate, Bruce has had a keen interest in the wellness industry. RV's and RVing as well as camping have also played a part in Bruce's life. And like many people, when possible, travel has been an enjoyable part of life too. This blog will touch on all these areas. Enjoy!