What's a tiny house?
The premise of a tiny house is exactly what you would imagine : a house that has a surface area of less than 35 square metres. Initially intended to counterbalance the rapidly increasing size of homes in the United States (averaging around 250 square metres in 2013), the tiny house movement has spread all over the world, as people have become more aware of their ecological impact, as well as due to increasing mortgage costs in many countries. Prices for these houses can start from as little as £6000, and they are often designed with independence in mind: many of them are portable and can generate their own electricity.
One of the main advantages of a tiny house is that in many jurisdictions, they do not require any type of planning permission due to their small size. This allows one of the major hurdles of constructing a traditional house to be sidestepped, saving a significant amount of time and money. The ecological impact of these houses is also much less than that of a traditional house; due to their small size they naturally require much less energy for heating and lighting. Since they are portable, they offer their owners a degree of independence that a normal house cannot give, and they can, in effect, be placed anywhere the owner would like, local regulations permitting. Going on holiday but want the comfort of your own home? With a tiny house, you can simply take it with you!
You could be forgiven for thinking that such a small house would be cramped or claustrophobic, however in reality this is very far from the case. With some careful optimisation of the interior space, these tiny houses can give an impressive feeling of spaciousness and luminosity for their small stature. In such a house, it is very important to make sure that the storage spaces have been used intelligently - that is to say liberal use of shelving and cupboards, with very little of the furniture in the home having only one function. While in the past it could be difficult to have internet access in such a building, nowadays there are numerous solutions available to stay connected, such as 4G hotspots and mobile tethering.
If you think that a tiny house could be right for you, there are some aspects of this type of property to keep in mind. Since they don’t require planning permission, they also do not have an address associated with them, which can make accessing certain government services slightly more complicated. A fixed internet and phone connection can also be more difficult to come by, especially if you decide against keeping the house in one static location. Many people therefore decide to have a tiny house alongside their primary residence for these reasons, however it is possible to live in a tiny house full time, and solutions do exist to the challenges previously cited.
Many companies offer tiny houses off-the-shelf and ready to go, however if you would like to have one built exactly to your specifications, why not get in touch with one of our architects at find-my-architect.com, to see if this could be an option for you?