Have you heard about the Tiny Home trend? Does living in 400 square feet of space sound impossible to you? Many people are adding tiny homes to their property for other reasons. They can be great options, such as a guest house, an art studio, or a home office. They can even be used as a mother-in-law’s residence or a temporary place for adult children to live.
In case you haven’t seen just how amazing (and cute) these houses can be, scroll through the “#tinyhouse” or “#tinyhome” hashtags on Instagram or Google the term. Tiny homes, sometimes called micro-homes are skyrocketing in popularity in the U.S. They’ve spawned a “Tiny House Movement,” various TV shows, and thousands of articles, books, and blog posts. Architect magazine states, “The ongoing fascination with tiny homes hasn’t lost momentum, and more people might decide to build tiny in the not-too-distant future.”
Others think the tiny house movement is a passing fad because it requires serious downsizing of one’s possessions. While decluttering may sound like a great idea, 400 square feet is considerably less than the average U.S. home at 2,600 square feet.
Still, if you love the idea of owning a tiny home, consider the many uses one could have on your current property.
Challenges Posed by Tiny Houses
In addition to the obvious challenge of living in a space radically smaller than most of us are used to, tiny homes bring some additional hurdles.
A tiny house built on a foundation (as opposed to one that rests on wheels like an RV) is usually subject to zoning codes and regulations. Even though the tiny house movement has caused rapid changes in zoning codes in some states, many areas have not addressed these small newcomers to the housing market. In many places, there are still minimum square footage requirements for new home construction that rule out tiny houses.
However, some areas allow a tiny house in the backyard of a larger home, one that does meet the residential square footage requirements. Plus, zoning and building codes are changing to accommodate the rising interest in these small structures. Curbed reports that several states already have become tiny house friendly: California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, and New York. Texas is another option where it’s easier to build and place a tiny home because in many areas of the state there are “no, or very loose, zoning guidelines.”
Uses for a Tiny Home on Your Property
When out-of-town friends or family visit, offer them a cozy and memorable place to stay. You may feel more comfortable having your guests in their own separate space but, of course, welcome into the main house to gather.
Are you one of those families whose adult children need a low-cost place to stay for a while? Many young adults move in with their parents after college or during other times of transition. Rather than putting them up in their childhood bedroom or an impersonal guest room, offer them a tiny home. It will give them more privacy and the chance to decorate to their own taste.