Mr. Jay Shafer is the genius responsible for coming up with the idea for Tiny Houses! His company, known as Tumbleweed, is part of the tiny house movement. In 2002, he co-founded the Small House Society in Iowa City, Iowa. In 2003, he was commissioned by Gregory Paul Johnson to build The Mobile Hermitage, which became one of Tumbleweed’s first commercially sold homes.
When did Tiny Houses start to flourish?
It turns out that during the Hurricane Katrina disaster in 2005, Marianne Cusato developed 308 square feet. On foot, construction of cabins for homeless victims and small house movements flourished.
Want one? What to do next?
Identify the square footage you will need. Visit local prefabs to get an idea of what their minimum requirement is or rent a Tiny House for a weekend to get an assessment and experience hands-on life inside a Tiny House. Then start thinking and planning the setup and your storage needs. Slowly but surely you will begin to form your image of the interior of your Tiny House.
A prefabricated building of 320 m2. foot is enough to make it comfortable and the transition from large to small very easy. Some even include all appliances and HVAC systems. All you need to do is pay for the building (approximately $35K), plus taxes and transportation. Another alternative is to contact a builder of your choice.
You should also research the state laws and the requirements for these Tiny Houses. A good resource for information is through The American Tiny House Association.
There are several different resources and websites that sell plans, workshops, existing real estate for sale or even rentals. So these small homes have come to stay for a long time and a definitive solution to not pay a mortgage for 30 or 40 years.
Being creative inside tiny houses
Imagine yourself inside a Tiny House and exactly what you expect to feel and be comfortable. Let’s entertain our thoughts right now… think about having enough kitchen cabinets, maybe a pull-out pantry, small stove with oven, enough counter space for food prep, small sink, closets for your bedroom, and where would it accommodate? in your washer/dryer combo, oh…and don’t forget your bathroom essentials. Do you want a loft bedroom or on the same floor? If you have a loft, how are you going to want your ladder? Will you have storage under or inside your ladder? As for your living room area, get creative to save space with a small sofa with drawers or storage below, perhaps a drop-leaf table for dining or working with a laptop, and continue to work on all your ideas by jotting them down. Then, with all your ideas, prepare a design drawing and include measurements.
There are many ideas for small-scale furniture that saves floor space. Sofas with storage drawers, corner desks, floating desks, folding tables with drop leaves, storage chests, Murphy beds, beds that slide out or slide up and down from the ceiling and many more. The truth is, whether inside a Tiny House or not, these are also great space saving ideas for small apartments, small rooms, sunrooms, dorm rooms, guest houses, studios, and even studios. Lots of innovative and creative ideas come to life every day from different sources and all because of the need for them. Very well said by Plato “necessity is the mother of invention”.
Last but not least: a reality check
I recently read an article “Dear People Living in Tiny Houses – Medium” by Lauren Modery where she wrote this article about Tiny Houses and she brought up some stark realities of living inside a Tiny House that weren’t so great, but the truth is that depending on however many square feet your Tiny House purchases, these could be custom made to be very comfortable and efficient. You’ll enjoy many great experiences, such as being able to take off whenever you want to travel, enjoy mortgage freedom, pay very low utilities, and receive lower property tax bills. Without a doubt, a great blessing!
But, in the end, it all comes down to planning wisely ahead by staying within your budget and making sure your expectations are met.