So, as you know, I’ve been doing a lot of research into the tiny house movement. I really love the idea of it. Plus, you’ve all seen them. They’re adorable.
It’s so fun to imagine the different ways to use such limited space and make room for the storage you need. But just lately, I’ve noticed a few trends in the tiny house movement that are a little worrying, to say the least.
Because I like to look on the positive, I’ve compiled this list as a way to present solutions, not problems. Please feel free to add yours!
Tiny Houses are Too… Tiny!
When you’re a happy and free-spirited couple, or first embarking on parenting with all it’s STUFF to think about, it’s a really romantic notion, living in a small space, usually on wheels, and leaving the materialistic world behind.
But most people with growing families tend to outgrow the space. Also, municipal bylaws generally restrict the size of homes to be larger than the average tiny home.
Buying bigger lots and building a 500 square foot home, instead of a 200 square foot home, is still small, but you wouldn’t run the risk of being fined, or spending a lot of money on a tiny house build, only to outgrow it in only a few years.
Tiny Houses are Not Technically Legal
Not everyone can park a bus in a local trailer park, or put their little 100 square footer in a friend’s yard.
The law is not always on the side of the tiny house movement. And in order for a culture to stick, we have to work with authority, not against it. Changing ordinances, and making old buildings and abandoned land usable again should be a goal.
Instead, we’re thinking about how to get around city ordinances, and whose yard we can borrow.
Tiny Houses Are Not A Viable Option For Many People
On the subject of working with the law, so much of the tiny house movement is built on the ideas of communal living and co-operation.
These are great goals, but the self-sufficiency required to build and maintain a tiny house often makes it impossible for people who might need it most.
For people who can afford to build a home from scratch for fun, experimenting as they go, the tiny house movement is a great thing. But the last thing we want is for it to become a status symbol.
Instead of building from scratch, one solution is to use existing structures. This takes the cost down considerably.
Another solution might be to host communal builds, in empty land that has been designated a tiny home lot. With a communal build, the entire community could share resources and knowledge, and the homes would likely be bigger, and be sanctioned by the municipality.
Freedom is a Good Thing… But It’s Not Always Realistic
It’s not a bad thing to have a tiny house on wheels for a few years, while you have the chance. But long-term, is it really wise?
I love freedom as much as the next person. But I also need things like food and clothes.
And to be honest, I like to work.
Maybe not regular hours, but I like knowing I have somewhere to be every day. The tiny house movement is built on freedom and counter-culture. I love that.
But I feel like if it’s going to stick (and it should!), we need to stop taking our cues from the hippies living out of their vans. We should start showing the world that this can work, for all lifestyles, as a long-term solution to environmental waste, lack of space, and a host of other problems.
I am all for the tiny house movement, but not because it’s cool, or trendy, or because I want to live free.
Mostly, because I think it could bring needed change to the way we live.