Tuesday 9 December 2014

A solution to our housing problems: tiny houses

How much space do we need to live in?
Futures Forum: How much space do you have to live in: "How family homes have halved in size by over 700-square feet in a century"
Futures Forum: How much space do you have to live in? ... Why not make it one of George Clarke's 'Amazing Spaces'?
Futures Forum: How much space do you have to live in - compared to the Continent? How are we taxing that space in the UK? And are you getting value for money from the estate agents?

However, it might be 'greener' - but also illegal - to live in something really, really small:

Live in a tiny house. Since at least the 1920s, the American dream has been all about home ownership — and the bigger, the better. Bankers loved it and so did government, which subsidized the trend for the rest of the century. Then the system exploded in 2008. Today, people are busy rethinking, and one result is the tiny house movement. Tiny houses are affordable, easy to keep up, and allow for flexible and light living. They’re also illegal in most municipalities, but thankfully they can also be mobile.

Fifty More Ways to Leave Leviathan : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education

It's getting big:
Under the Ledge: So, you are thinking of downsizing...to a Tiny House
House to catch the forest / Tezuka Architects | Lakes, House and Small houses
designboom contemporary: tiny houses
tiny houses – small dwellings of every shape and size

16 Excellent Tiny House Resources

One of the most popular articles here at Natural Papa has been my post about Our Tiny House Experiment. From talking to other people who are looking to either live in a low impact way, or to simply save money, I have found that the tiny house concept is one that really resonates with them. And thanks to the power of the internet, resources for how to make the transition to a micro house, how to build your own, or how to live in one, are only a click away.

16 Great Tiny House Websites

Tumbleweed Houses

“My decision to inhabit just 89 square feet arose from some concerns I had about the impact a larger house would have on the environment, and because I do not want to maintain a lot of unused or unusable space. My houses have met all of my domestic needs without demanding much in return. The simple, slower lifestyle my homes have afforded is a luxury for which I am continually grateful.” – Jay Shafer, Tumbleweed Houses, author of The Small House Book

[See my review of the Small House Book, by Jay Shafer of Tumbleweed Houses]

Tiny House Design

“In a nutshell, tiny houses give you back freedom in the form of time, money, and peace of mind. Why? How? Simply because they cost less to own, clean, heat, cool, etc. The less money you spend on your home the less you have to earn or the more you keep in the bank. The less time you spend cleaning and maintaining your house the more time you have to for the things you like to do.” – Tiny House Design

Tiny r(E)volution

“Tiny r(E)volution is a media-mentary on our goal to downsize, minimalize, prioritize, and proselytize, the plight of the Tiny House. Along the way we’ll be sharing our personal stories, our tales of discovery, and lot more information.”
“Is your dream to build your own tiny house? Then this is the right website for you. Our tiny house floor plans will be perfect for you. Generally speaking, houses are expensive. The bigger house you have, the bigger costs you have to pay. That is the reason why we focus on smaller, more affordable houses. First of all it is easy to build and even easier to maintain. Secondly it is nice to have a beautiful separate residence. Most of the small house floor plans offer porches, outdoor fireplaces and other important facilities, so the best place you can build your tiny house is in the country.”

This Tiny House

“This Tiny House is a girl-blog adventure, with a silent partner in crime. The girl is the author, obsessed with small spaces, efficiency, and living lightly on the earth. The boy is an outdoor explorer with a day job.”

The Tiny Life:

“The Tiny Life is a resource for those seeking information on tiny living, which encompasses simple living, tiny houses, and environmentally responsible lifestyles. We seek to provide more than just information on tiny houses, we aim to have discussions on living life…tiny! We refer to our site as a tiny lifestyle blog.”

Tiny House Blog

“The goal of the Tiny House Blog is to discover the different options available for a person looking to down size into a tiny house or cabin.”

Tiny Free House

“I’ve embarked on a little experiment. I’m building a tiny house that’s cross between Henry David Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond and a Tumbleweed-like Tiny House on wheels, the only difference is that it will cost nothing.” – Tiny Free House

Coming Unmoored

“This is the rather eclectic blog of a late-thirty-something woman in the process of overhauling her life in the wake of a short-lived and spectacularly disastrous marriage to the “Perfect Guy”. If you don’t already know me, perhaps the most important thing for you to know, at this point, is that in the last two years I’ve radically downsized my life from a high-consumption lifestyle in Tucson, Arizona to a small floating home in Portland, OR.” – Coming Unmoored


“Once you start looking, tiny houses are everywhere. A tiny house, a little house, an itty bitty house, a mini house: any way you describe it, little houses and hideaways are dear to our sense of proportion.” – TinyHouses.net

Tiny Spaces Living:

“Tiny Spaces Living is a blog for people live in small spaces who want smart tips and ideas to enjoy, improve, and maintain their tiny home.”

The Field Lab

“Have you ever thought to yourself, “How would I do it if I had it to do all over again?” Usually this thought only pops into your head when you are about to die or your life is in ruin or perhaps during a midlife crisis where family and job stress suddenly takes its toll. This feeling is usually accompanied by mounting debt and an overwhelming feeling of being trapped in the life you have chosen. Tension in the world, an unstable economy, high fuel prices, and mind numbing popular culture may also add to this feeling of utter futility.” – The Field Lab

Tiny Houses on designboom

“the size of a home varies around the world; while some families live in one room huts, others have gigantic homes which seem to never end. whatever the case, homes tend to grow with their owner’s prosperity. since 1970, the size of the average new american home has grown by 50 percent. this growth trend is similar in most western countries. however, for every trend there is an counter-trend. in the case of home size, more and more people are choosing to live in small homes” – designboom

Tiny Home Builders:

“Tiny Home Builders is a family owned business located in DeLand Florida. We design and build tiny houses on trailers. This gives the homeowners the flexibility to move their house to the perfect location, even if that perfect location changes. A tiny house can be built with all the amenities required to function as a stand-alone house, or equipped more sparsely to be used as an office or studio. For those looking to build their own tiny house themselves, we also offer guides, consulting, and plans. All of our plans have been used to build tiny houses and have been perfected in the process.”

Jay’s Tiny House

“For 30 years I’ve wanted to build my own off-grid, energy efficient home and I’ve been drawing various designs for it on envelopes since I was at school. My grand design is a little smaller than most people’s idea of a home and this is a test run to prove to myself I can actually build a house. Start tiny, then move up in size once I have the skills established.” – Jay’s Tiny House

The Tiny House Project

“The Tiny House Project will bring together a group of artists to help us explore how we, in America, live. Nine artists will create a neighborhood of tiny homes in order to ask some very interesting questions about the choices we make. Do our choices bring us joy? How do they shape our connections with the people around us? In what ways will our choices change the lives of future generations? The Tiny House Project is a public art experiment, and everyone is invited to participate.”

Tiny Texas Houses

“My goal is to show people what can be done with a concept I call Salvage Building, thus what you see is 99% Pure Salvage. That means that everything from the doors, floors, windows, lumber, porch posts, glass, door hardware, and even the siding has been saved and re-used to create houses that we hope will last for a century or more. I believe that there are presently enough building materials sitting on the ground to build much of the next generation of housing. All it takes to make it so is pure human energy, spirit, and the desire to build something that will last for several lifetimes.” – Tiny Texas Houses
“Our homes are built to the same specification as that of a traditional home. We use 2×4 structure which allows us to use the same appliances as that of a standard home. This certainly helps to give you that cozy, “homey” feel, and is a step above the flimsy products used in other tiny homes and RVs. Each tiny home comes complete and equipped with a (rather spacious) full kitchen complete with fridge, stove top of choice to poach your free range eggs while enjoying the sunny morning view of the rippling water on lake Kalamalka … Just kidding … That part is up to you. You’ll be finally able to convince your family to come camping with you, as each Tiny Home is equipped with a full shower and a non-smelly-environmentally-friendly, decomposing toilet! No more runs to the back of a bush in the middle of the night.”

Vermont Tiny Houses

“Learn how to build a Vermont Tiny House from the ground up. Start by learning about what simple tools, building materials, and building practices are needed to complete a tiny house. Build 300 or less square feet of functional space that can be used as additional private space away from your main home.”
“EcoCabins is excited to witness the simple living paradigm shift happening all around us. As the Tiny House Movement spreads across the world, we cheer it on and remain an integral part of its progress. We proudly build unique tiny houses of EcoCabins original design and other popular designs. We also educate and consult with local, regional, and national zoning authorities on how to affect changes that will make living in a tiny house legal in more places. We will continue our efforts to champion the tiny house way of life and we invite you to check out our innovative tiny house designs.”

Tales of a Tiny House

“The tiny house on wheels concept really appealed to me so I built one! I’ve spent a little over a year building my very own little home – and am now living with friends and family – being able to share myself and my time instead of just working to get by.” – Tales of a Tiny House
“An award-winning micro home designed for the heart of the city. It’s gorgeous, it’s smart, and every cubic inch is pristinely engineered from bed to front door.”

Small House Society

“The Small House Society is a voice for the Small House Movement. The movement is the result of concerns about what we are doing to the environment, and what the environment is doing to us (wild fires, flooding, hurricanes), as well as a shifting economy. Some people just desire to live simply so that others can simply live.”

Tiny House Listings

“Tiny House Listings is the web’s central place to buy, sell and rent small house properties that are under 1,000 square feet in size. The site was started by Steven Harrell. Steven is a tiny house enthusiast and lives in a 36′ houseboat with his wife Rhiannon and chihuahua “Mako” in Wilmington, NC.”
“When we decided to build a tiny house, we began researching and discovered that there was no YouTube-based series that showed a build from start to finish. So we thought we would make one! The build is still in-progress and we’re making videos as we go. We designed every inch of the house from scratch to be sure that it would meet our needs.”


All about small/tiny house design, small cabins, yurts, log cabins, houseboats, off-grid living, salvage construction, dumpster diving, thrift living, and diy crafts and woodworking.

The Tiny Project:

“The Tiny Project is my attempt to live a simpler, more conscious, debt-free life, and in doing so helping to set and example and educate the community about alternative, affordable, more sustainable ways of living.”
“For those contemplating making the move to a tiny house, you might want to add yurts to your list of potential tiny home designs, as living in a yurt can offer a number of benefits over other tiny house designs, depending on the situation, not including the obvious feature of living in a round home instead of a square one. Here’s a great primer on yurts, written by a guy who has years of experience in both building and living in them.”

The Floating Empire

“The blog of the design, construction, and launching of the vessel “Floating Empire”, an electrically driven boat utilizing recycled and repurposed materials and a mix of modern and 18th and 19th century technologies to reduce carbon footprint. The vessel is a tiny house barrel barge, simply built of castoff materials and easily available parts, providing an easy living space for an individual or couple”

{Update: there are more sites on here than the original 16, but I am leaving the title of this piece the same}

16 Excellent Tiny House Resources

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