I have lived in a Tiny House, added on until it was pretty big, and now live in a Tiny House again. We will be adding on to this house soon, if that means anything.
Its nice to have a house that is cheap on utilities, but then other things drive you absolutely nuts. Like not having a place to put trash. We have weekly curbside pickup here, BUT what about the first Wednesday of the month when it is Recycling Day? That means we have to wait 2 weeks before trash pick up. In a Tiny House you cannot just store trash bags for two weeks without an issue.
There are other issues as well, and it can affect relationships as my wife and I found out.
I always suggest to people to plan to add on to Tiny Houses in the future, because 200% of the time I lived in a Tiny House, I ended up adding on.
I do plan to build a new Tiny House, but it will be so my In-Laws from out of state have a place to stay whn they are visiting us. That Tiny House will be 20 x8 for those that care about sizes.
I have discussed this before on here, and I am hesitant to continue, not because I am afraid to tell the truth, but because people are so nice on here, they want to "find answers" for Katie and I, and there are not any until we build on.
It stems from us having (4) daughters. This Tiny House has four small bedrooms, but our daughters did not want to move here, so we enticed them with their own rooms. They liked that, but in doing the math, you will see, Katie and I do not have a bedroom. Because this house is so small, a person does not have to yell to be heard. That not only limits sex, it eliminates a place for Katie and I to go for meaningful conversation. We are honest and open with our daughters (ages 6, 12,13 and 14), but sometimes a husband and wife need a place to talk without little ears. We do NOT have that, and it has affected our marriage in ways we never thought it would. Sex is a little part of that, and it has been over 2 months since we have been together. In our other house, we averaged that kind of fun, every other day or so. So, it cllearly is not because we have always had a sexless marriage, it is due to the housing situation we are now in.
So for us...again, a family of six, we must add onto this house. But you, and other people's situation will inevitable vary.
But the utilities...oh my. Our electricity is about $50 a month and we have electric hot water! And our heating cost in Maine with purchased fuel (not firewood) was only $750, so the cost of Tiny House living is very attractive. I do want to add on to this house, but unlike our other houses that are sprawling, I want to add on very carefully. Hopefully just enough to make life work, but not in exess.
BY The Way: Katie and I are NOT materialistic. We are actually minimalists and sold or gotten rid of 3/4 of our stuff. By that I mean having 6 T-shirts, 2 sweatshirts, 1 pair of sneakers, 4 underwear, 4 pair of pants...that sort of minimalism. We are not adding on because of "excess stuff in our life". We are long over that!
Another reason why I think Katie and I struggle with Tiny House living is because we live in Maine, and are Homesteaders. Again, this does not apply to everyone I know.
Maine is tough because it is seasonal: Winter, Summer, Fall and Spring. This means places to store winter coats for 6 people, but also snowshoes, shovels, lawn mowers and pruning shears. In this, I feel we are fortunate because we have a 48 x 24 “shop” where we store stuff, and a 48 X 8 tractor trailer where I keep my tools. It is not ideal because it is not really immediately available. Its within walking distance, but not right on site either.
For us, a storage unit place is a long way away so it’s not really doable, but I suspect, 95% of Tiny House owners, use them to store stuff. That is just one aspect of Tiny House Living that is not publicized on Tiny House shows. Sure…we got rid of 75% of our stuff too, but we still have more stuff than what our Tiny House can hold.
A bigger problem is Homesteading.
That just plain takes up space. It is the mundane stuff, from “where am I going to keep my gardening tools, rototiller, and seeds for next year, to where am I going to store my mason jars full of food stuffs from the garden? You cannot rent a pantry that works well for life. And even storage units are not ideal as the pressure cooker you need today, is behind the tomato plant trellises taken up last fall…in the back of the storage unit for sure. But what about the freezer? What about saving money on buying food in bulk? We save money on utilities, but I would be amiss if I did not admit that some of that savings is used up in traveling to a local store to buy food more often…at a higher cost then a true grocery store trip.
I am in no way saying Tiny House living sucks and avoid it. We do enjoy it, and I love the closeness of our family compared to the large house we had before. BUT we are adding on for these reasons too. Its not going to be like last time where I added on, just to add on because I love carpentry. Its going to be more calculated living space, but we are adding on nonetheless.
Travis, I solved my trash problem with a couple of big garbage cans with tight lids -- outside cans. This way, when a bag of trash gets full, I can just take it out of the house and put it in a can, where it stays (safe from my dogs and wild animals) until the trash is picked up on Friday mornings. I usually only have one bag of trash per week, but there's an extra can for the once-in-a-while extra bag. I originally bought the cans for storing animal feed where mice couldn't get in (the cans are galvanized metal), which is why I had them when we moved here. Before, when we were still in Oregon, we didn't have trash pickup, and had to take the trash to the local transfer station ourselves. That was a pain, having to store bags for weeks until I had enough to justify going (the dogs would get into them). Eventually I got an old horse trailer -- purchased so we had a way to evacuate the animals in case of a wild fire, always a danger in that area -- and it gave me a safe place to store garbage bags, too. There are other possible solutions to the trash problem -- a small building, or a different trailer, anything that will keep the trash bags safe until they can go out.
My husband and I are opting for a small house, and a big shop. The trash issue, tools, a place to put winter clothes, park cars in relatively mouse-and-rat resistant space, and an area to do projects makes the shop paramount for us.
I started out with a 1 bedroom, 1 bath design thinking I'd stick an outhouse with composting toilet outside somewhere, but now I'm adding a half bath in the shop. For those emergencies, but also for the times you are working and dirty and don't want to walk in the house. The part that bothered me with our small home design was no mud-room. I think the shop bathroom will help with that issue.
An added bonus, when I was playing with designs I realized that by sticking the house along one end of the shop that would create a wall that was very protected. So a sort of insulation from weather and such. I think it will be more cost effective in multiple ways for us to put the home in the shop. It is limiting us to southern exposure and a little east and west, but that's fine. It just took some design tweaking.
Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts. ~Wendell Berry
Kim, I think that connecting the house and shop is good design on several levels. The only things that might be negatives would be if you were going to have activities in the shop that would be a fire danger, or that might emit dangerous fumes, and with planning it would be possible to mitigate both of those. Work and storage space are necessary for any home economy except those people who do little more than sleep at home.
I think a shop and tiny home concept is very prudent. Just being able to deduct so much more off your taxes alone would be worth it, if you have your own business (and farms qualify as a business) that is.
Around here, a lot of contractors build a 4-6 bay garage below, and then live above the space in a normalish looking home. Of course the work/personal space gets very fuzzy in that situation, so they take a lot of tax deduction liberties. That would be even more fuzzy if the shop just had a Tiny House in the corner of it, or just off it.
No one can make you feel inferior without your consent - Eleanor Roosevelt. tiny ad:
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