Over the last few years, various TV home improvement channels have dedicated a fair amount of time to extolling the virtues of tiny house living. Young couples just starting a life together, retirees looking to simplify, a family that needs to cut expenses, a single who doesn't need much more than a roof over her head and a place for her hobbies and entertaining a few friends, are shown adjusting to a few hundred feet square feet and calling it home.
A tiny home could be a small trailer or RV., a houseboat, even a treehouse. It might be manufactured by a company specializing in such things or built by hand by someone who wants everything to be just so.
Space under the ladder to a sleeping loft becomes dresser drawers. A door slides out from the wall, with a compact clothing closet built-in. A kitchen contains everything from a simple hotplate and dorm room-sized refrigerator to a gourmet cook's dream.
The way every inch is used to make the space more livable and convenient is, frankly, amazing. For those who want to seriously down-size and make a much smaller footprint on the earth, tiny houses are quite attractive.
What size qualifies as tiny? The answer varies greatly. I have seen some people shoehorned into no more than a small RV, or as large as 700 squarer feet of living space. The average seems to be somewhere between 200 and 300 square feet...about the size of a larger master bedroom in a traditional home.
With the number of possessions radically reduced, minimal utility costs, and usually no mortgage, tiny house living is a tight budget's best friend. The average cost is usually in the $30-$40,000 range but can be much more inexpensive or much higher, depending on the amount of customization desired.
Betty and I just met a couple who have sold their large home and virtually all their possessions. They are in the process of buying an RV that will become their full-time home for the next several years.
Is a tiny home a good choice for a single retiree or couple? Or, is that amount of closeness just a little too close for you?