Over time, the increase in land prices has become a concern for the community, especially those earning middle to lower-class income. In fact, it is not uncommon for some to choose to live on the streets because they cannot afford to buy or build a house.
The financial instability has become a matter of concern to the government, especially in the US, where most people have spent 26% of their income on housing purposes since 2015.
Enter the tiny house trend, which has become more popular globally. Also called a small home, it can be built as a permanent residence or on wheels, so it’s mobile. Though a tiny house has no fixed definition of size, a house is considered tiny when the size is around 250-400 m² or less.
Building a tiny house requires several concerns, including downsizing the space and maximizing the use of home furnishings. If you’re considering having a tiny house, this article will discuss in more depth the pros and cons of owning one.
Advantages of living in a tiny house
There are several advantages of living in a tiny house such as:
There are several reasons why many people live in tiny houses. The most obvious reason is that they offer affordable housing. The price of taking care of legality, building or buying, and furnishing it with various pieces of furniture, of course, vary greatly.
Living in a tiny house can be much cheaper than living in a standard-sized house. This allows tiny house owners to use more money for other essential needs such as education or household expenses.
The choice of a more affordable place to live motivates many people to live in tiny houses, especially those who prefer a minimalist lifestyle. Placing too many items in a tiny house is, of course, not recommended because of limited space. This limitation also indirectly stimulates the occupants to consider the items they purchase seriously.
In addition, the limited space and improvised items generate distinct advantages for the occupants because they do not need to spend too much time cleaning and decluttering spaces.
Eco-friendly living options
Living in a small house also offers an eco-friendly option. Tiny houses are more environmentally friendly because they leave a lesser ecological footprint and can be built using recycled materials.
A tiny house is your best choice if you often travel out of town. A tiny house on wheels can allow you to live anywhere.
Drawbacks of living in a tiny house and how to overcome them
Choosing to live in a tiny house doesn’t mean there won’t be problems. Several challenges need to be understood when considering living in a tiny house such as:
Zoning laws are important in maintaining public order regarding land use and neighborhood living. And even though tiny houses are well known in many countries, some areas may still be unfamiliar with this concept.
Tiny houses on wheels are especially problematic when they do not comply with zoning laws in an area. The incompatibility between the desire to build a tiny house and the applicable zoning laws often results in people building tiny houses illegally. Doing so is detrimental to the surrounding community and dangerous for the owner because there will be a possibility of building code violations.
Zoning law problems must be solved by both parties (local government and house owner). The local government needs to clearly define the requirements and rules that tiny house owners must obey when building in a specific area. Meanwhile, tiny house owners need to research the zoning regulations that apply in an area as the first step to building a tiny house safely and legally.
Lack of privacy
Living in a tiny house means a room can be used by several people simultaneously, especially if there are more than four people in the family. This room-sharing also causes a feeling of being overcrowded and lack of privacy. This can be minimized by creating a barrier using partitions or curtains.
Botched Do-It-Yourself (DIY) jobs
More affordable housing options often tempt tiny house enthusiasts to build their own homes, especially by DIY. But in reality, many DIY tiny house enthusiasts need a basic understanding of the considerations in constructing a house, especially building codes.
Therefore, it is better to consult with professionals to avoid mistakes in the development process.
How to maximize a small space
Space limitations are one of the challenges when choosing to live in a tiny house. Mistakes in room settings and furniture placement will cause feelings of being cramped and inefficient organization.
Witchayangkoon, et.al (2021) suggest several things that can be done to maximize space in a small house.
Vertical space optimization
Structuring rooms vertically can help maximize the use of space in a small house. Build storage shelves on the wall to keep the center of the room empty. Doing so allows for foot traffic that is not disturbed by scattered items or shelves in the middle of the room.
Stories and stairs
Optimizing the space in a tiny house can also be done by building the house in stories and carrying out specifications.
For example, the room on the first floor can be intended for public purposes and the room on the second floor can be used for privacy. If this is implemented, the choice of ladder layout becomes an important element. Building spiral stairs with an area of about 1m² in a small house saves space.
Multipurpose areas with collapsible furniture
The limited area in a small house causes the arrangement of the room to be very dependent on the furniture used and the room’s purpose. Using multifunctional furniture will help save space, such as a bed that can be folded and used as a sofa.
In addition, building rooms with various functions can also help maximize space in a tiny house. For example, a bedroom that converts into a workspace.
Tiny houses can be an alternative place to live for people who need affordable housing, want to live minimalistic, and have high mobility. However, zoning laws and maximizing space are two crucial considerations. It is recommended to do in-depth research first as a first step in preparation to living in a tiny house.
If you would like to learn more about tiny houses, visit the Home Organization Science Labs. The lab uses the research of the Institute for Life Management Science to produce courses, certifications, podcasts, videos, and other resources. Check out the Home Organization Science Labs today.
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