When Crystal and I first talked about tiny houses we found inspiration in the most….well, (dare I say????) obvious of places. We were not sure what less than 200 square feet would look like, let alone feel like inside. So we headed to the local box home improvement store. It was there that we found the Best Barns Woodville model. Measuring roughly 10ft. x 12ft. it was ideal for us to get our bearings on a small space. We took a look inside and talked for several minutes on how we would convert such a simple space into a home. Within moments though we had plotted out a bed space, a kitchenette, a commode and sink; it was all coming together and quite quickly! For a moment we even considered how the space would be to just outright buy and convert to a cabin-esque sort of house. It was at least a start though and a point we often come back to when we find ourselves becoming too elaborate or trying to squeeze too much into our Tiny Home.
You can only imagine my surprise then when I came across the post yesterday on the Tiny House Blog by Christina Nellemann titled, A Tiny House for College Students. According to Nellemann 85% of college graduates move back home upon graduation. Interesting fact considering in the year 2000 only 32% of college graduates moved back home (according to collegegrad.com). Such a figure is an imaginative stomping ground for the likes of George Hemminger, who runs the YouTube channel Survive and Thrive in the New Economy.
His video Sick of Living At Home? Build A Small House touches on just the thing that Crystal and I first contemplated upgraded for the statistic outlined by Nellemann.
In the video Hemminger outlines how he built from scratch the small home a la Home Depot (including a window, insulation, and sheetrock interior) for about $1200 total. The video does not show anything resembling a kitchenette or a bathroom and from the commentary I gather it is little more than a bedroom outside of the main home it shares a yard with. However, it is a great launch point for anyone with an innovative spirit.
I personally think it is an incredible idea and leads to me to more global thoughts about how such a box-style shelter could provide incredible living options for impoverished people (including those here in the United States). If the box home were partially or completely off-grid (a simplistic 165-watt solar power system should fit most basic needs) and had some form of plumbing it could be a great structure for those struggling to get on their feet, get back on their feet, or even maintain ground. In terms of college graduates it would allow them an opportunity to pay off some debt, establish themselves in a job with a steady income, and find out more about what they want out of life before burying themselves in a mortgage or heavy consumer loans. But I digress (…for now).
What do you think? Is the small home (read: step-up from a storage shed) a viable option for people? Could it be done for less than $2000? What obstacles might come about in regards to living in one? I would love to hear more about your take on tiny houses, structures turned tiny houses, and how they play into the growth and development of our nation and world.