I specifically remember our foray into the tiny house world approaching 5 years ago now. Seeing those beautifully sided cedar homes perched a top their trailers was really nothing short of magical. For days I looked what what images were available then of homes like Evan and Gabby’s tiny house, Jay Shafer’s tiny house, the Protohaus, and a few others. My ears could have heard no sweeter sound than when Crystal confessed that she too like the tiny house trailers and that she thought we should move forward with it. For so many reasons tiny houses fit our life. But we had one large obstacle to overcome first. No, it wasn’t money. No, it wasn’t the “stuff” we owned. And no, it wasn’t the actual size of the space. It was the eye candy. For weeks and perhaps even months we had pictured ourselves living in those tiny house trailers without giving much thought to what it would take to bring our own to fruition. And so after some soul-searching, some truths, and some harsh realizations, our first tiny house lesson was learned.
Tiny houses are MORE than just eye candy.
In fact, they are a lot more. They are character builders. They are mind shapers. They are trend setters. They are rule breakers. They are homes. They are recreation vehicles. They are stumbling blocks. They are spirit breakers. But then I return to, they are homes! Tiny houses are homes! And by taking note of the myths below you can save yourself a lot of time and realize that tiny houses are more than eye candy and deserve to be treated as such.
TINY HOUSES ARE CHEAP
Really? And so what constitutes cheap? Is that cheap in terms of money invested or cheap in terms of ‘may fall apart at any second’? Because neither are true. In fact, according to a recent survey by The Tiny Life, a tiny house costs on average $23,000 if built by the owner. That is not the cheapest structure built by man considering for a 200 sq.ft. home that breaks down to $115 per sq.ft. And as for structural integrity it seems to me an overwhelming number of tiny houses are built above standard for reasons that range from fear of it falling off the trailer to fear of the inspector should he ever come around.
TINY HOUSES AREN’T FOR FAMILIES
For me this goes back to one principal. There is no black/white definition of tiny. Tiny is a relative term. To me 100 sq.ft. is tiny but 300 sq.ft. is ample. To a family of 5 though 3oo sq.ft. is tiny and 600 sq.ft. is ample. So to say that tiny houses aren’t for families is to say that a human being ONLY needs X sq.ft. in life to live. I don’t think anyone can say that with any sort of authority. There are tiny house families such as the Berzins, the Millers, and us!
TINY HOUSES PEOPLE CAN’T OWN THINGS
And why not? Does that mean that because you live in 200 sq.ft. you can’t have a movie collection? Does it mean that spices have to go from the kitchen? I think not. In fact, necessity is the mother of all invention and if there is one thing I have learned living in a tiny house it is that storage and creative storage specifically are of invention. I own over 400 movies and I am proud to say they all live in two places (effectively making 800 DVDs). They all have a home on an external hard drive and they all have a home in cloud storage. I can access them anytime and, well, anywhere! As for spices Crystal happens to have dozens of them. Between magnetic spice containers, the old “jar with the lid screwed to the bottom of a shelf” trick, and over/under spice containers, we haven’t sacrificed a single taste enhancement. You just have to be willing to look beyond the conventional.
So what about you? What tiny house myths do you hold fast to? Which ones are you helping to debunk?