Thoughts about Tiny Houses

For quite some time now, there has been a lot of talk about Tiny Houses. Many folks do not want mega mansions or even regular sized homes from 1500-2000 square feet. There is something to be said for that. People do not want to be slaves to their homes and their furnishings. Maintenance takes time whether it is doing housework- inside or raking the leaves and mowing the lawn-outside. So many of these homes DO NOT qualify as real estate. In fact, they are RV’s (recreation vehicles) attached to a truck. Different from a Winnebago because these homes actually look like architecture. A Winnebago does not. These homes actually have a sleeping loft that you can access using a ladder.But I have an issue with these lofts. I will tell you why. The elderly should not be considering one of these homes. Unless a senior is in great physical shape and really, there are not that many seniors who are-why would you want to climb up to a loft every night to retire? What if a senior develops a neuro-muscular disease like Parkinsons or ALS or stroke -then your mobility is really restricted. Forget about the elderly for a second. What about people who are just plain clumsy or uncoordinated? I can’t in good conscience recommend that these folks consider a tiny house with a sleeping loft. Also to me-can sleep be all that comfortable? I doubt very seriously that these designers have really considered the eldercare population when designing these homes.  It just isn’t the right demographic.

My wife and I watch the Tiny House program on HGTV weekly. It is fun to watch what one individual is going to select for his or her’s mini abode after examining 3 choices-both from a standpoint of features and pricing. I do agree with the long-standing adage of Mies van der Rohe-“less is more”? But people should not have to do without a bathtub or a dishwasher, for example, if that is what they have been accustomed to. There needs to be some semblance of normalcy.  Yes, I am keenly aware of the fact that normalcy is relative”Less is more” can be achieved in a very small condo of 800-950 square footage, as opposed to 400-500 square feet. There are ways to elongate a tiny house without the use of a sleeping loft and still keep the square footage intact. In the back, you will be able to put in the bed and dresser or other storage unit.

A lot of folks simply do not have the funds to put a down payment on a house. They may not want to invest in a manufactured factory-built house. A lot of construction materials that go into the building of those houses may be deemed hazardous or have the potential of being carcinogenic. Price-wise for well under 100K, one can buy one of these houses  from the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company (www.tumbleweedhomes.com)  or purchase the plans and build one yourself.  For the free-spirited individual who does not want to be tied down to the land, eschews conformity and is looking for something different, living in one of those homes can be an adventure. You can even have a few friends over for refreshments and socializing.

I do recommend that folks consider other forms of unconventional shelter. There are dome houses, Quanset huts, and yurts-perhaps topics for future discussion in other blogs. Contingent on one’s “handyman” and/or construction skills, one can find a small house that needs restoration, in a secure environment, if they are willing and able to take the time to do the work. There is also the matter of structures that can be adaptively reused for housing. However, one needs to work with your local planning department to ensure that the building and construction codes are met. Also, there can be no compromise, as to health and safety.

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For quite some time now, there has been a lot of talk about Tiny Houses. Many folks do not want mega mansions or even regular sized homes from 1500-2000 square feet. There is something to be said for that. People do not want to be slaves to their homes and their furnishings. Maintenance takes time whether it is doing housework- inside or raking the leaves and mowing the lawn-outside. So many of these homes DO NOT qualify as real estate. In fact, they are RV’s (recreation vehicles) attached to a truck. Different from a Winnebago because these homes actually look like architecture. A Winnebago does not. These homes actually have a sleeping loft that you can access using a ladder.But I have an issue with these lofts. I will tell you why. The elderly should not be considering one of these homes. Unless a senior is in great physical shape and really, there are not that many seniors who are-why would you want to climb up to a loft every night to retire? What if a senior develops a neuro-muscular disease like Parkinsons or ALS or stroke -then your mobility is really restricted. Forget about the elderly for a second. What about people who are just plain clumsy or uncoordinated? I can’t in good conscience recommend that these folks consider a tiny house with a sleeping loft. Also to me-can sleep be all that comfortable? I doubt very seriously that these designers have really considered the eldercare population when designing these homes.  It just isn’t the right demographic.

My wife and I watch the Tiny House program on HGTV weekly. It is fun to watch what one individual is going to select for his or her’s mini abode after examining 3 choices-both from a standpoint of features and pricing. I do agree with the long-standing adage of Mies van der Rohe-“less is more”? But people should not have to do without a bathtub or a dishwasher, for example, if that is what they have been accustomed to. There needs to be some semblance of normalcy.  Yes, I am keenly aware of the fact that normalcy is relative”Less is more” can be achieved in a very small condo of 800-950 square footage, as opposed to 400-500 square feet. There are ways to elongate a tiny house without the use of a sleeping loft and still keep the square footage intact. In the back, you will be able to put in the bed and dresser or other storage unit.

A lot of folks simply do not have the funds to put a down payment on a house. They may not want to invest in a manufactured factory-built house. A lot of construction materials that go into the building of those houses may be deemed hazardous or have the potential of being carcinogenic. Price-wise for well under 100K, one can buy one of these houses  from the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company (www.tumbleweedhomes.com)  or purchase the plans and build one yourself.  For the free-spirited individual who does not want to be tied down to the land, eschews conformity and is looking for something different, living in one of those homes can be an adventure. You can even have a few friends over for refreshments and socializing.

I do recommend that folks consider other forms of unconventional shelter. There are dome houses, Quanset huts, and yurts-perhaps topics for future discussion in other blogs. Contingent on one’s “handyman” and/or construction skills, one can find a small house that needs restoration, in a secure environment, if they are willing and able to take the time to do the work. There is also the matter of structures that can be adaptively reused for housing. However, one needs to work with your local planning department to ensure that the building and construction codes are met. Also, there can be no compromise, as to health and safety.