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What Is the Tiny Houses Movement?

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Tiny houses have evolved from a unique living space to a social movement for those seeking a simpler lifestyle and living with less—including less square footage. The small home movement is about decreasing your living space, but it’s also about living by the motto “less is more” and embracing the freedom that comes with it.

What Is A Tiny House?

A tiny house is exactly what it sounds like: a very little residence. A small home is often no more than 400 square feet, and is frequently less. Tiny homes often have a kitchen, living area, bathroom, and loft bed (the loft part is not generally included in the house’s total square footage).

To put these small dwellings into perspective, the typical American home is roughly 2598 square feet, while the average tiny home is between 100 and 400 square feet. In other words, the average American house is more than 6 times larger than a small home. If you require a picture, consider the following: A typical small home could only contain nine king-size beds and nothing else.

Tiny houses may help individuals avoid the high costs of living in huge houses while also reducing the quantity of physical “stuff” in their life. Tiny houses are usually constructed on wheels or with the capacity to be transferred elsewhere, making them appealing to individuals who want a more nomadic existence.

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Where can I put my tiny house?

Finding a place to put the actual house is one of the most difficult aspects of building a tiny house. Here are your choices:

On a foundation

A tiny home may be built on a foundation in the same way that a standard house is built—only smaller. However, although many states allow small house building, certain towns do not allow residences constructed on a foundation that are less than a particular square footage. Because laws and standards differ from city to city, builders must do extensive study before deciding where to construct a small home on a foundation. If you do decide to construct your tiny house on a foundation, you have three options: a concrete slab foundation (ideal for regions near water), a crawlspace foundation (best for areas where the soil is more clay-like), or a basement foundation (underground and much more costly). You may also make your foundation “semi-permanent” by building it on wooden piers—this option is ideal for anybody who plans to relocate their small home in the future.

As an additional dwelling unit (ADU)

An ADU is a building placed on top of a permanent dwelling or single-family land. To qualify as an ADU, a tiny home must be built on a strong foundation. It must also comply with all local construction standards and zoning requirements, which vary by state (and even city). Before selecting this option, ensure that you are in compliance with local laws.

In a tiny home park

There are several small home communities around the nation that include both foundation-built tiny houses and tiny homes on wheels. Check with the particular tiny house park for its exact laws, since they differ from location to location. You may install your small house in a mobile home park, similar to tiny home communities, but this might be challenging since you will need to fulfill all local construction requirements and get approval from the park management.

On wheels

Because state and municipal regulations may make it impossible to build a small home on a foundation. Many tiny house owners elect to place their tiny house on wheels. In actuality, the vast majority of modest dwellings are built on trailer bases. This, on the other hand, is subject to its own set of restrictions. You can’t just park your modest cottage wherever, for example. You must register your little home as an RV if you want to travel with it. RV parks are excellent places to park your compact home, but each has its own set of laws, so check with them ahead of time. People who travel commonly pick this choice on a temporary basis. Many people park temporarily in the backyards or driveways of family and friends, but they must obtain the property owner’s permission. You’ll also need the right tools and gear to pull your tiny house—no matter how little your Honda Civic is, it won’t be able to carry a complete house. Also, confirm any municipal regulations on the size of the tow trailer.

How did the tiny house movement start?

Tiny Home Builders California  is widely recognized for kickstarting the small home movement in 2010, when he released an essay on the advantages of living simply. He constructed his first little house in Iowa the same year. Shafer lived in it for five years and it was 110 square feet. Later that year, he launched the Tumbleweed Small House Firm in Sonoma, California, which was the first company in the United States to offer transportable tiny homes.

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