The era of supersizing everything is coming to an end, especially when it comes to modern-day homes. In an effort to save money and reduce one’s carbon footprint, the interest in the Tiny House Movement is growing rapidly throughout the United States.
According to tinyhousebuild.com, the square footage of homes in the U.S. has nearly doubled since 1973, while the amount of people per household has significantly decreased. As a way of trying to cut-down on hefty costs, debt and environmental damage, some are making a transition into tiny home living.
Reduce Unnecessary Costs to You and the Environment
In a country that lives by the motto, “the bigger, the better,” the thought of downsizing (moving into a smaller home), has a somewhat negative connotation. Despite popular perception, making the transition into a home with significantly smaller square footage does not mean losing luxury.
Not only will you save on the initial costs of building, but you’ll also save a lot of money in the long run. Because of the reduced square footage in a tiny home, it will take less energy to heat and cool, saving you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars per year in utility costs. The cost of building and owning a tiny home is much lower than a conventional-sized house. A recent study found that roughly 68 percent of tiny homeowners no longer have to pay mortgages.
Similarly, tiny homeowners significantly reduce their carbon footprint. One way many have cut down on building costs is by using recycled materials. To prove that building costs don’t have to break the bank, two students at Central College in Pella, Iowa, kept building costs under $500 by using mostly recycled materials.
Micro-Homes in Big Cities
The popularity of the Tiny House Movement even has inspired a new look in urban housing. Developers are starting to adapt elements of tiny house design to studio and one-bedroom apartments. Many are less than 400 square feet with built-in storage, and only the bare necessities to help prevent unnecessary space.
County Acceptance of Tiny Homes
Currently, the majority of counties and cities in the U.S. do not recognize tiny homes, and it can sometimes be difficult to obtain a permit to build one. Many counties have restrictions on how small a house can be in order to obtain a building permit.
In an effort to help advance this new concept of urban living, a bill has been introduced in Washington State that would prevent counties and cities from giving a minimum dimension size for builders is being considered.