Rather than Tiny Homes think Small Homes
All the rage today is Tiny Homes. HGTV shows, news media articles and social media darlings.
They are cool, well designed with many posh modern amenities packed into a small space.
I want one. Who wouldn’t. With house prices becoming unaffordable to first time buyers and
the ever higher property tax and maintenance costs.
But how Tiny should you go? 350 square feet and no indoor plumbing. Very green but I am not
sure I could last more than a month before I would have to up-size. A little more privacy and a
warm bath are just to enticing.
Downsizing to a Tiny Home means you are going to change your lifestyle, like it or not. Look
over all your stuff and make sure you can live without it. I mean really live without it. Putting
stuff is an storage locker means you are not ready for Tiny House living.
Rather then Tiny think Small.
What is Small and Some things to keep in mind:
*Need Three bedrooms on one level: then you are still looking at 1200-1300 square feet with a
full bathroom. That is small by today’s average of 1900 square feet.
*Build with a full basement and then finish it for bedroom space and storage. The basement is
the least expensive finished living space you will ever get. You might then squeeze your main
floor space down to 950-1050 square feet. This is very small but a long way yet from a Tiny
Home of 500 square feet or less.
*We build “Grannie Flats” but most of the “Grannies” we know still would not want less than
700 to 800 square feet. That is a one bedroom with a full bath, kitchen, living room and small
space for hobbies. Maybe “Grannie’s experience is something we should listen to.
*When going Small put large windows in the living area. Yes, this takes away for wall space for
storage, but your small space does not feel so small.
*Make sure that you have fresh air and lots of it to maintain the health of you and your family.
A small space means you will be rebreathing more air. If you don’t like to live with your
windows partly open then you need to have an Air Exchanger. An Air Exchanger or HRV takes
out the moisture, cooking smells and brings in fresh air. Yes Tiny house living is a smaller green
footprint but not necessarily healthier. You need to find the right balance.
*Am I going to stay single? If not or if you have small children don’t even think of the Tiny
homes, you will need to add the cost of extra outside childcare just to stay sane.
*A Tiny Home in a new Tiny Home neighbourhood sharing with fellow enthusiasts is great but
the enthusiasm wears off when the Tiny Home push becomes another fad of idealistic city
planners to address their low income housing problem. There goes the neighbourhood and the
Trailer Park Boys will have a new place to shoot their TV show.
*If you are starting out with your first home, usually your budget is the driving force in your
buying decision. It was for me. However, most people grow their living space needs over time.
Just the way it is. Hobbies, higher income, pets, partners and children. It is likely that you will
not be staying in your first home for more than 4-5 years and then you need to sell. It is
important to make sure your home saleable. Super Tiny and idealistic is admired and adored
but not of interest to many buyers. Make sure you can resell your home.
Good Design for Small Homes will beat a Tiny Home any time.