Tiny House, Tiny Living, The Tiny Life.

Part Two – Solutions To The Top 5 Barriers Of The Tiny House Movement

This is the second installment of this post, I posted the first part of this here, this is the second part of a post I wrote on the solutions to the top five barriers to living in a Tiny House.

Social Pressures

Social Pressures was something that Lloyd over at Treehugger took issue with because, as he pointed out, much of the rest of the world lives in small houses.  I guess I need to clarify that these pressures I speak about are not on a macro level, but a more micro, person to person, local interaction pressure.  This fact certainly wasn’t lost on me and ironically I had a moment of pause when it came to this article because I know living smaller is pretty status quo for most people.  But ultimately I decided not to go into all that for a few reasons: 94% of my readers are from the United States, an individual will typically get direct social pressure from their friends, family, and those around them, not from someone in another country, finally we are talking about Tiny Houses, not small houses; Building a small house typically can be done within the current legal confinements and are more widely accepted as just being practical, frugal, or a product of density.  Ultimately in the US, Tiny Houses are an extreme and only serve to spark a conversation about how much house and possessions do you really need.

As for dealing with these pressures I think it is very important first have a firm understanding of yourself, from there understanding the issues and engaging in respectful dialogue with opposing view points.  In the end you cannot convince everyone, but knowing yourself, the motivations, the convictions and gaining the support of those close to you can help you manage this.  Most often this is a pretty moot point because those you socialize with are of the like mindset, the rest are often fascinated by how cool your Tiny House is.  Just keep in mind that it isn’t for everyone.

Fear

The final point kind of extends the points from the previous heading, but understanding that to build a Tiny House you must pay a good chunk of change to do it is stressful in some ways.  I guess for me, spending $30,000 in one shot is very stressful and evokes doubts no matter what.  When purchasing my first new car, I remember just before signing the line I had a brief moment of fear hit me, what if I crash the car, what if it’s a lemon, what if, what if what if.  Simply put, for me, spending that sum of money is scary no matter how sure I am, because you are taking the leap.

Things that help with this is to be intentional about what you do, do your homework, think it through, look at ways to mitigate risk.  I always try to put it in perspective, that if I were to live in my Tiny House for 2-3 years, I could walk away after that because I would have broke even when compared to paying rent.

 

What Are your Other Solutions?  Let us know in the comments!

15 Comments
  1. A bit off topic but the major thing that scares me about tiny houses is living in Tornado Alley. I think I would rather go with a Small House that is on a foundation for safety. I would love to see an article about what those with tiny houses do when bad weather comes. Do they move their homes, shelter at a friend’s house, or just stay put and hope for the best?

    • You can put cement piers or these giant auger piers in the ground the use strapping to tie the tiny house into them. This will prevent the Tiny House from getting picked up and the way we design tiny houses (because they need to withstand forces on the road while being transported) actually make them safer that a traditional home.

      ground anchor website: http://www.nachi.org/manufactured-home-tie-downs.htm

      • Kat,this was my worry too. Wow Ryan,I appreciate your response. Thanks for the link too.

    • Great question and not off topic at all. Thank you for asking what was on my mind as well.

  2. I can think of several answers to this: 1) move to a safer area of the country, at least during tornado season; 2) build a tiny house that is dome-shaped to withstand high winds better than a thing with corners (earthbag domes would work well!)3) Build your tiny house bermed into the ground, fully or partly underground. Check out the underground house book – it’s pretty cool, and if I lived in an area like yours I’d definitely burrow underground. I live in the mountains, in mudslide country, and I’m building half-bermed into the mountainside. My house ain’t goin’ nowhere!

  3. When you are digging into the hillside to berm-in, be sure to check the topography and know which way the “land slides”. I don’t know any other way to word it. Years ago, in geology class, our professor told us how to successfully cut away at a hillside, for protection. If you do this wrong, it will cause the hill to come down on you. He was telling us what the construction companies were doing , on a regular basis, that caused these disasters. Men think they can construct a barrier that will hold back what they are whacking up. Even though something “looks” good right after it is built ….. can it stand the test of time or severe weather? Be safe.

  4. Have a storm cellar installed in the ground or build a storm cellar yourself with steel beams and concrete. Save rooms are ok but storm cellars work best in my own opinion.

  5. Oh yeah. Some states require that all mobile home dealers offer customers an in-ground storm cellar/shelter options to be included into their payment plans now days too:)

  6. One option that I’ve been considering for parking a unit is to buy a cheap house with a decent size back yard and rent the main house out and park your nice, new, THOW in the back.

  7. this tinny house stuff is the stuff i love mine its mazing i love my tinny house it is the best i can live beside the school i go in

  8. What is the situation if I call up the local electric utility and ask them to run a power line with a meter over to where I have my tiny home on the back of some property? Will it be considered a dwelling and be subject to permits if I try to run power to it?

  9. I’ve wondered the same. I’m still unclear about ADUs in the northeast. Is the building dept the first and last place to get info.
    1. how many ADUs are permitted?
    2. Is there a min/max sq ft?
    3. If it’s taxed, how is that determined?
    4. Is acreage a determining factor?
    5. Is there a min/max distance from main house?
    6. Can an AUX exist w/o a permanent structure?
    7. If not, does the permanent structure require a C of O before tiny house can be built?

    I’d appreciate anyone who can point me towards a clear book/site. Thanks.

  10. Deb you should check with local government for specifics. It varies dramatically from locale to locale, even can be different rules in one city. Where I live the ‘granny flat’ rules are the closest, and are different in it is attached versus separate. Also is a percentage of main house, so trying to be the sole bldg on a lot is a pain here. Also cannot have separate meters. If on wheels might be feasible if behind a fence, since RVS cannot be visible from street. I’m guessing RV rules are closest for a tiny wheeled. Some cities have embraced tiny houses and have specific codes, but alas not here

  11. I have always wanted to have my own tiny house. Is it expensive to start building your own home by yourself if your 17 years old who Can give me some advice.

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