Tiny House Living: A Big Trend in Small Design

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Tiny House Living: A Big Trend in Small Design

When most people start looking for a new home, either among homes for sale or perhaps one built custom, how much square footage the property has is usually one of the biggest concerns. In most cases, the bigger the home is, the better for the buyer. However, a growing group of people are realizing that sometimes, less is more. As one of the Delaware and Maryland region’s leading tiny house builders, we’ve noticed more interest than ever before. Instead of looking for bigger homes, clients are focusing more and more on the small houses on the market, or asking us to build from small house plans. There are many reasons why.

What are Tiny Homes?

Tiny houses, which are sometimes known as micro homes, are those that range anywhere from 90 square feet to 1,000 square feet. That can be as small as some people’s walk-in closets or as large as your average apartment. There is no hard and fast rule for how much square footage qualifies it as a tiny home, but most are in the 100 to 400 square foot range. The smaller the home is, the more likely it is to qualify. Some modest single-family homes are around 900 square feet, and they don’t really qualify as tiny homes.

Mobile Houses—an important part of the trend

a feature of some small houses is mobility, and this is especially true with manufactured homes. While you can build one on a lot, they are designed like mobile homes or campers in that they can be moved if needed. They aren’t typically hooked up to city utility services such as water or electricity. Instead, they contain the same technology used by campers, which includes a small pump and a disposal system.

Energy Efficiency as part of small house design

For electricity, they may use solar panels or even hook up to an electrical connection. The electrical needs of a micro homes are often so small that they can be met by plugging into an outdoor outlet. Some floor plans for small houses can be built for as little as $20,000, though the average price is usually around $50,000 to $60,000. The price is determined by the size, what kind of permits and zoning changes are required, what materials are used, and who builds it.

Why Choose a Tiny House?

The idea of living in a small residence may seem baffling to some. Why give up all that space? Won’t it be too crowded? What if you have kids?

Small Homes Save Money

The primary reason cited by most homeowners is that they are able to gain some financial independence. They are able to pay off the home much more quickly than a traditional home, and the utility costs are very low. Therefore, they have much more disposable income. They can save more of their money, work less or pursue other hobbies. Many retired couples choose to live in small to bring down the cost of their retirement.

And Protect the Environment

Another primary reason that many cite to buy  is that it produces a smaller environmental footprint. The home does not require as much energy to heat or cool, and it does not consume as much water. It also may not sit on a foundation, so it has less of an impact on the local environment. Many homes are also made with recycled or sustainable materials, reducing the environmental impact to build them.

What’s It Like to Live in a Tiny Home?

Tiny homes focus on design, rather than size. That means that every square inch of space is maximized for its full potential. You probably see open ceilings inside a tiny home. Instead, you’ll find loft beds and storage cabinets and shelves going all the way up to the ceiling.

Maximizing Micro Homes

Storage-use furniture and transforming furniture is used to get the functionality you need without taking up more space. For example, a bed might pull out in a drawer from under a sitting area, or a cabinet might open to reveal a pull-down desk. Every cabinet, cubby, and shelf should be able to perform double duty. There should be no wasted space. As a result, you may be surprised that you can do as much as you need even in the small space.

An Outdoor Focus

Many who own little houses also say that the smaller space forces them to go outside more often or to spend time with others, which they see as enormous benefits of this style of housing. This may be why small cabins are among the most popular types of micro homes. Tiny homes aren’t for everyone, but they can have a big impact for those who choose them. If you are thinking of building a new home in the coming year, consider the difference that a tiny home could make for you. Our tiny house builders would love to help.

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