Tiny houses, often on trailers, are becoming a fixture in the American landscape. Individuals, couples, and families want to drastically change the way they interact with their own lives and small houses can be a great solution.
What is the Tiny House Movement?
The tiny house movement is part DIY and part philosophy. The idea of living in a small space isn’t new in our culture but traditionally built homes have been increasing in size over the last hundred years in the US. Families who would have been perfectly comfortable living in 1200 square feet are now experiencing life in 3000 square feet or more.
The idea of downsizing and simplifying our lives is a direct response to the growing American home size and the cost associated with it. While many tiny home builders are designing houses between 100 and 300 square feet the philosophy behind the movement is about reorganizing your life to make your home work for you, whatever the size. Tiny houses can be built for families just starting out who don’t want to finance a larger home.
They can be for retirees who want to downsize their lives and live with less clutter and concern. Many tiny house builders do the work themselves and are able to design a space that works perfectly for their own needs. You can also hire a professional builder, like Joe Everson of Tennessee Tiny Homes, who can work with you to customize a small space.
As a place already known for alternative ideas, could Asheville be a haven for Tiny Houses in western North Carolina?
To help promote tiny living in the entire state of North Carolina, an organization recently announced their launch. TinyHouseNC.com is a resource for tiny house builders and enthusiasts from the mountains to the coast. Tiny House builders and bloggers are coming together to provide information on building, downsizing, and simplifying.
Where do you begin?
There is a lot to consider when you want to transition to tiny. How small do you want to go? What can you eliminate from your belongings? Do you want to be on or off the grid? What is your financial situation? The most important step for most builders is to just start building. There are a number of books and blogs that can provide information and inspiration for the tiny house movement.
- Healing Appalachia by Al Fritch and Paul Gallimore. This book is about a lot more than tiny houses but it is essential reading for anyone in Western North Carolina who may be interested in more environmentally friendly forms of living.
- Cracking the Code by Ryan Mitchell (eBook). This new online manual gives a great overview of the way building codes work and how to handle them when building a small house.
- Tiny House Listings (website). This site showcases tiny houses for sale all over the country. If you think you might be interested in small living but not ready to build your own, this might be a great resource for you.
Laura M. LaVoie is a writer and blogger living in 120 square feet near Asheville, North Carolina. Laura not only loves tiny houses but also enjoys the Asheville craft beer scene. You can read more about her experience at www.120squarefeet.com.